Friday, March 9, 2012

24 Hour Comic Day Lessons Learned

Haha, I know this is way behind but this is the closest I've been to finishing a comic. :D I know it was supposed to be done in 24 hours but I wanted to complete it anyways even if it's several months later. XD I'm almost done, just need to do a few more pages of backgrounds and cleaning up then tone it. It's a relief to be almost done since I now want to work on other more serious comic stories I wanted to do.

Although the story is a bit random and incomplete I'm still happy to have it almost completed. I think I'm sort of getting the hang of creating comic pages. I think I needed to find my rhythm in creating and once I got used to it; I was able to pump out more pages. :D I'm still experimenting with style and just have the story penciled but I plan on darkening the lines in Photoshop and tone on the computer. Although it's not a serious story, I still wanted to practice it as if it were a serious story. I have improved my art I think from a long time ago. I know I still have lots to learn but I'm happy to be able to see an improvement.

I definitely learned a lot when working on this story. Here's a list for my references and maybe would help some of you:
  • Plan ahead - I outlined the story mostly and then winged the rest. For future reference, thumb-nailing pages ahead would be a better idea but for the 24HCD it was acceptable for lack of time.
  • Layout - I use a lot of word bubbles and don't leave enough space. I do this a lot, maybe need to work on more showing and less telling
  • Simplify - I ended up using my normal style because I like it, maybe for the next story I should simplify the characters and story.
  • Time - I kind of had to force myself to get pages done. I had to set aside time to draw but once I started I was on a roll.
  • Plan phases - Some people can do one page at a time but for some reason I do better in phases. I first did pencils, then added the word bubbles, refined the pencils while editing, then backgrounds and clean up, lastly toning and finalizing. I did each phase for the 24 pages before moving on to the next phase.
I hope some of this information was practical for you. I'm the type who is a bit of a perfectionist and am afraid of changing my mind during a story. Basically I want to get all the pages done and only when I'm satisfied do I move on. Unfortunately, I get nit-picky and hardly get past the planning stages on some if not most of my comic projects. Trying to get better at this but I like to think I'm improving, even if it's a little at a time. :)

How about you guys? Do you have a specific process of planning your comic or do you just go with the flow and write/draw on the spot? How long does it usually take you to finish a comic?

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