Page 123

December 7, 2009

Late! Urgh. I did think this would happen, a combination of being away in Glasgow all weekend and also trying out a bunch of different things with the art on this page.

I hope it’s not too jarring (I can never tell what’s obvious and what’s not), but I’ve started doing all my lineart in pencil with just minor adjustments in Photoshop, which took much longer, but only because I’m using a scanner that’s barely clinging to life. Otherwise I’m pretty happy with the change! I think it looks a lot nicer than the lineart did before, and it’s nice not to be stuck at the computer for the entire process.

The vote incentive is the cleaned pencil lines for this page, which I’m a bit proud of.

25 Comments

XD lol … this is random, but I have an extreme soft spot for fire casters lighting their own cigarettes.

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Me too! Obviously, haha. Crappy fire magic is actually quite useful for mundane things.

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If you are bad at something you can stuill use it at a certain extent…like my knowladge of the spanish language and her fire magic.

And I nearly lay on the floor laughing when I read the “I am good”"Guess so” Panel :D

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You know, I don’t think I ever noticed her eye color before this page…

The plain lineart for this page almost makes it look like a whole different comic… in a classic sort of way!

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I think the way I draw eyes usually means it’s quite hard to see eye colour, so fair do’s. I’m quite pleased with the lineart for this page! I think it’s the most competent lineart I’ve ever drawn.

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I hate to say it, but I’ve not really liked the art on the last couple of pages. It’s looked more cartoony/classic comic style and seems to be shifting away from the style that’s really defined Red Moon Rising for me. It’s especially apparent in the faces and the foreground textures (the backgrounds are still lush).

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I’m sort of wondering if it’s the heavy black cast shadows you’re missing from this scene, Rob, in which case, good news – that’s going to be specific to this scene. I didn’t want to muddy the sunset colours with heavy blacks so I’m letting the cel-shading carry most of the form right now, rather than the lineart.

Having said that, I quite like how this scene (and mainly this page) turned out… I think it’s just a personal preference thing. Though as the artist, I’m afraid my personal preference supercedes yours. :)

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Rob- I’m confused about what you’re referring to… I went back and forth and looked at some of the prior comics… What is it that you feel has changed?

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Her face bathed in the dusk sunlight on the third panel is so… beautiful. If I was Galak I would be completely blushing by now.
I am such weak sauce. Hahaha!

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Maybe the fear of nose-punching mitigates that for him slightly, though? :)

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Heh heh… You just couldn’t resist the “use for crappy fire magic,” I see :D
I’m happy that finally found its way into the comic.

I wonder if what Rob’s talking about is the softness of the line-art? Your lines have been getting progressively smoother and softer over the past few months, it seems, whereas they used to be much more harsh and straight… I’m searching for the right words here… I think the best way to describe the difference for me is that your line-art used to seem more angry and hasty – sounds strange, but I mean that as a good thing. I started reading back when the colonel was nearly gettin’ all blowed up, and was immediately hooked because the artwort felt so genuine. It was raw, unforgiving, and un-produced; whereas so many webcomic artists seemed to be spending so much time trying to smooth out every hard angle in their characters and soften each line to make them seem more “real,” you let your characters have those hard, angular features, and they struck me as far more human because of them. You’re artwork is still absolutely beautiful and I still love the characters, but I do sometimes miss the boldness that was there before you started cleaning up your lines more.

Hmm… Did any of that make any sense? Am I just rambling here?

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Hmm. I think that makes sense, so no worries there. To be honest, I don’t think it’s a matter of me consciously cleaning up my lines, more that there was simply a lack of finesse in the earlier lines that I’ve “overcome” at this point – better knowledge of anatomy has played a big part in that, particularly in the faces.

Unfortunately there’s a bit of a fuzzy distinction between “style” and “mistake” – I’ve heard it said that a style is simply a collection of mistakes. Personally, I feel that the proportions of the faces earlier in the comic were not so great and I’ve subconsciously been adjusting them as I learn, making them more distinct in some places (compare Adrianna early in the first chapter to now) though I expect some look less distinct now as a result. And the style of the lines is something that’s become more refined, for better or worse, as I gained better control over my medium.

In the end, how the art progresses is completely subject to my whims and personal sense of aesthetic, which isn’t going to mesh with everyone else’s. I see where you’re coming from with the lineart in an objective sense, though subjectively… I prefer the lineart in this page. On the other hand, it’s also partially a matter of learning my way around using pencils again. Chances are the style of lineart you like will work its way back in to the art, but in a way that I prefer. This is a very thin-lined style, animation-esque, which I do really like, though I also like the expression of line and shadow in much thicker, brushier lineart – I think page 83 is probably a good example of something that’s been lost that I’d like to reintegrate into the lineart.

I am rambling away here, but… I guess experimentation is the key. Two steps forward, one step back. I know not everyone’s going to like it when things change, but I’m simply trying to incorporate all my influences into a style I can like unreservedly. And not to make this about me me me, but I am the only person I’m really trying to please here. :)

Additionally, trying out different media and work practices is a big deal…moving away from Photoshop for the lines just for this single page, I feel like I’ve learned a lot, and I reckon that’s a good sign. In the long run, you’re probably just going to have to trust that I think I know what I’m doing. :)

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Now I’m hoping my last comment didn’t sound like I was attacking you! I definitely understand and agree with you – your preferences and desires are the only ones that matter in regards to how you make your art. It’s YOUR art, not ours, and I would be very disappointed if you went and changed something just because one of us reading out here said “I think that would be better like this.” I’m waiting with baited breath for what you have in store for us, and I’m happy to know that you’re an artist who will stay true to herself even when others disagree.

And I just realized in my last post I talked about “artwort.” Congrats to me for typing too fast and not reviewing well enough. Sounds like some weird herb you’d find growing in a ditch along the side of a road…

In any case, thanks for the best story comic on the web.

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Oh, it didn’t sound like that at all, don’t worry. :) I encourage healthy debate here. You’d probably need to descend to “u suck lol” levels to annoy me.

I’m pretty used to the idea that I can’t please everybody – if I tried I’d end up with something quite generic and bland, and what would be the point in that? On the other hand, I’ve found points brought up by readers down here in the comment section to be pretty useful quite a lot of the time, and usually worth some sort of consideration. You’re all quite smart. :D It’s essentially a matter of filtering it through my own perspective so I end up with a final product I like. Chances are if I like it, a bunch of other people will too. Or so I hope.

If it helps, I didn’t notice the typo, so I think that makes me almost as rubbish. Cheers, Kyle. :)

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Artwort….. Sounds like it makes whoever ingests it more capable of learning to draw… I WANTS IT!!!!!!!

Uh… *looks around* This seems to be a A/B conversation, so I’ll “C” my way out of it.

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Just to be clear, I wasn’t complaining, just stating a personal preference. Of course, you’ve got to experiment and develop the style, and it has changed a lot over the course of the comic. That’s one of the pleasures of reading it.

I don’t think the line art or change of anatomical understanding ( ;) ) was what I meant though (at least not directly). It’s more that the pages don’t look as rich as lush as before. Compare with this page for example (chosen at random):

http://www.redmoonrising.org/2009/06/page-36/

The current one looks much flatter and more cartoony. The speech bubbles especially stand out — they don’t have the awesome, distinctive feel that they used to have. (I know the line art in that previous page is a lot rougher too, but it’s mainly the textures I’m thinking about).

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Oh, no, I understand that, no worries. And no hard feelings, as I said above, I encourage healthy debate as long as there’s no yo momma jokes involved.

Also, I think I can pin down what you’re not liking about the art in this scene as much – essentially, I use a single texture layer over the final art to give it that textured look, and the opacity of said texture layer in this scene hasn’t been as high. It’s less prominent, more see-through. The thing about doing textures in this way is that it can enhance the picture by adding more visual interest, but it also tends to obscure fine detail, particularly in the backgrounds, so I have to balance how heavily I use textures.

In this scene, the texture’s at about 10% or so, since the backgrounds are fairly dark and anything higher made the clouds look like they were made of sandpaper. In the scene you linked to it was more like 30%, but it varies wildly from scene to scene – it was pretty heavy in the last scene, I think.

As for the speech bubbles, that was pretty much a “dur, I forgot” thing. I accidentally dropped that stage from my process a while ago without noticing. The new page has them, and I’ll be going back to fix the previous pages. Thanks for pointing it out. :)

The texture is a pretty simple fix, though. If that’s all you think that was bothering you about the recent pages, then it’s not a permanent change, just a scene-specific thing.

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Fair enough, and thanks for the thoughtful response. The speech bubble thing is funny, it was kind of like, after a few pages, “there’s something missing here… erm… oh yeah!” It’s those subtle things that are hard to put your finger on when they’re missing, but can make a lot of difference to the feel and atmosphere of something. And yes, that does make sense about the texture overlay too, that was probably all it was ;). I know the scene I pointed out was pretty heavy in that respect, but it *was* chosen at random, honest!

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I think this page in particular is more flat than some other recent pages, but I can’t exactly put my finger on why…’cause there’s a good light/dark balance and everything. C_C;

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