Sunday, August 2, 2015


Welcome back TEAM KIRE(Key-ray).  Kire is Erik spelled backwards.  :D

So this is a glimpse into the process that creates DRACO AT WAR, this time we'll be looking at PG 4.

I started with the script.  Based on the script I did a thumbnail in a notebook.  I originally thought I would do 3 panels, 1) a wide shot, 2) a close-up and 3) a medium close-up.

If you look on the right side of my thumbnail, there are three horizontal panels, the 1st says 1/2, the 2nd says Z F TH, and the 3rd says M R S.  Those are the initials of the characters.  The 1st panel I intended to take up 1/2 the page, and then stack the other 2 underneath, showing the 6 characters 3 at a time and getting a feel for who they are and what they may be like.   Kind of like an introduction.   I thought it would be more dynamic that way.

 Then I started to do some full sized roughs.

It occurred to me that in the 2nd panel I could still do a close up, but this time of Finn (F) and show Zayden (Z) and Thrash (TH) behind him.  I thought that would add depth and still qualify for the needed page close-up.  (As a general rule of thumb you ought to shoot for at least one close-up and one wide-shot per page… it's not required, but it's a good rule if you need help.)  So I have my wide-shot and my close-up, with characters on either side of Finn… I thought of breaking the panel with Finn, because he's so big.  If you break panels, make it a full break.  Don't half heartedly break them, or it will look like a mistake or a tangent.

It seemed a little redundant to have everyone doing their thing, as described in the script, and then show them all again, but with a closer view.  So I thought for the 1st panel I'd have Zayden say his line, he was going to wait until panel 2, and I thought I'd show Finn in the BG.  That seemed cool to me, so I roughed it out on good paper.

As you can see though, Finn is too large to fit in the 1st panel and still fit with the perspective, so even though he had a cool pose, he had to go.  :(  I also changed panel 2 to give him a super close-up, because he's so cool, and also because you saw him clearly on the page right before this one, so you don't need to see him that well all the time.  His eyes and hair are enough for this page.

The first panel pencils ended up looking like this.  You can see the 2H (lighter) lead underneath and the HB (darker) lines on top. I tried to get the faces pretty tight before I started inking them.

Let's do some inking!

I had the figures pretty much how I wanted them so I started inking.  School Pen Nib and Eon Vortex Ink.

After inking the figures in the 1st panel, I inked Finn in the second, and then I worked on tightening up the other figures on the page.  I had a speech balloon over Zayden's head in the 2nd panel (he's the figure sitting on the pipe) but it was too close to his head so I thought about putting it on the left of Thrash (the guy with the sword).  And Rune's face (the guy with a gun) was giving me so much grief!! He has so many upgrades and modifications there isn't much flesh left to draw.  So his face, especially, is a little tricky.

 So here I tweaked Zayden's posture in the second panel, I had him hunch over more, which left room for the speech balloon over his head.  I didn't want the speech balloon on the left of Thrash because there is a balloon right above that.  So this way the Balloons go from far left, to middle, to far right, as you read the page.  It's a smoother transition I think.  I also played with Rune's face some more, I felt like I needed to draw his right eye through the lens so I could get the positioning of everything better, otherwise the super-scope over his eye was floating around and going in the wrong places.

And these are kind of how the inks are going.  I still have a lot more to do, but I was playing with a more graphic black and white, deep-space feel.  I still have to do the BG's in panels 2 and 3.

So, yep, stay tuned.


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