At times, every story hits a block. You can spend ages staring at your computer screen wondering where to take your story next. Maybe you’ve already started to grow bored of it. Time to kick-start the momentum again…
- Introduce a new character.
- Kill off a character.
- Throw a spanner in the works (mess up a character’s plans).
- Blow something up.
- Reveal a secret.
- Send a character on a journey.
- Get a character arrested.
- Give a character an unexpected gift.
- Make a character lose something of importance.
- Make a character find something.
- Cause an earthquake/volcano eruption/tornado/apocalypse.
- Make a character fall in love.
I sort of want to put all of these chronologically into a ten page comic somehow.
My sister put up some more stuff from her class! >u<)b
“The ring and index fingers vary by gender and sometimes sexual orientation. Men tend to have longer ring fingers, while women have longer index fingers, though sometimes they are the same size.”
amytfalcone asked: Just a tip, Blurb technically owns the rights to everything you print through them. :D
Oh hey, Thanks for the heads up.
Usually when this kind of thing is in Terms Of Service, its because the company needs to take some rights to simply perform the service. (deviant art has caught alot of flack for their ToS, for instance, but has through the years had to correct and explain their language.)
For the most part, when companies like this spring up it is in their best interest to not abuse their ToS on a way that pisses off artists, after all we would be their main clientele. However, there are lots of ads on the site that are using user content and that may or may not be with the artists explicit agreement, but a liberty of the ToS.
I’m happy to put this warning up, because staying informed and reading up on your terms is always for the best. If any artists are being unjustly treated by ANY company, I recommend using the all powerful internet to speak up for themselves. I caution about being sensationalist about ToS terms, though, without some evidence of misuse. Blurb pretty clearly states that
“8.1 Definitions. “Content” includes text, files, design templates, images, photos, video, sounds, works of authorship, and other material. Your “Book Content” includes Content that you include in the Books, submit to Blurb for Books and print services, or that you contribute to the Books of other Members. BLURB HAS NO OWNERSHIP OF ANY OF YOUR BOOK CONTENT.”
Further, If the statement you are worried about is
10. Other Content. You hereby grant to Blurb an irrevocable, perpetual, nonexclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free license (with right to sublicense) to use, create derivative works, reproduce, distribute and publicly display any Content, other than your Book Content, that you upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available on the Website or App (“Other Content”).
Then you can also view some of their own feedback on their forums, here:
Sorry, we weren’t avoiding this — I didn’t have a chance to read this thread until now.
Artemisworks – Have a look at the section right before the one you’ve mentioned (section B8-B. License to use your Book Content for optional Blurb features) in our Terms and Conditions. That specifically deals with the Book Preview feature, essentially saying that you give us the right to display your book’s preview on our site IF you decide to use that feature.
The “License to use Other Content” section you mentioned means “Content that you post on our website” – specifically Forum posts, site feedback, that kind of thing. Not book content.
You own (and are responsbile for) your book content, plain and simple. We only show Book Preview content in the Book Preview feature – we do not re-use your book preview content for anything else.
Hope that helps clarify.
Let me be clear, I have not researched into Blurb heavily, perhaps someone has had a poor experience and I’d be interested to hear it. I just always look into ToS issues from both sides.
My buddy frank went to some conference thing and took these notes. I cant remember the conference, but these notes are good tips, So check them out. DO IT.
Character Design Notes(Wesley Burt/Andrea Wicklund/Marko Djurjevic)
- Reference everything. (Not 1:1, but figure out why it looks/works the way it does, then apply that to your work.)
- Be as accurate as possible. (I saw them make such small changes to every part of his character multiple times!)
- Indicate form and features (Example 1)
- Absorb as much reference and inspiration as possible before starting. (Helps you “hone in” and good design decisions.)
- If your characters outfit/props are less design oriented than usual, the gesture/hands/expression become extremely important.
- In production, it helps to “sample” your color pallet from photos you have. (This is an easy way to capture mood and proper lighting.)
- If stuck, think to yourself “Why does this look wrong? What would look right?”
- For certain character types, it’s very helpful to “channel” celebrity or elements that are commonly known and fit. (Example 2 He mentioned channeling Einstein for this robot.)
- For different characters (In his example they where big ass Transfromers), it’s important to consider where your camera is. (The transformers are all seen from a human point of view, so it was necessary to design them with that in mind.)
- Greyscale washes…? (Why did I write that down?)
- For hair/beards/fur etc. Consider the entire form and shape, not the individual strands.
- Reference is so important! Materials, textures, gestures, everything! Absorb and retain as much as you can!
- There is a time and place for each method of generating character concepts. (Silhouette vs. Sketch, etc.)
- Start with a good idea/brief. Get the underlining structure, gesture, and balance FIRST. Do not move on until it looks RIGHT!
- Strive for a visual rhythm. (Negative space vs. Details, give the eye places to rest.)
- Wesley and Marko once had about a month to do 2800 Gladiator concepts!
Heads and Emotion Notes (Wesley Burt)
- Emotion and personality carries to the ears and neck! (Neat!)
- The character addressing the viewer or looking past them can change the feel completely.
- Just as one tries to capture the gesture of the pose, you need to start a face / expression with a gesture as well. (Don’t move on until it looks right!)
- Don’t draw from feature to feature, form the entire thing.
- Strive for an internal understanding of different complexions and skin types.
- Hairstyles indicate personality.
General Notes (Kemp Remillard, Wesley Burt, Nox, possibly others)
- Ctrl +Shift +C = copy selection to new layer (A lot of the instructors did this to give them “avenues for time travel”.)
- Digest as much reference as you can for your subject.
- A good process is organic, start rough then dig out your character or subject on new layers. (Leave some rough lines to fight stiffness or allow for happy accidents.)
- As always, balance Function vs. Form. Pure function can be a bit boring, pure form can feel ridiculous.
- Sometimes turning your brush transfer (pen pressure opacity) OFF is helpful when you need precise values! (Helps vs. muddy values)
- See the big image. Work the entire picture at once, don’t noodle too long in one place.
- Draw and paint more. A LOT more.
Misc. things I remember
- Paparazzi photos are amazing references! Usually no flash, captures the moment and gesture really well.
- It seems like a good idea to have lots of thumbnails, variations and ortho drawings in your portfolio.
The ones who only know Hussie by his outrageously popular MS Paint Adventures may not know he is truly talented in the realm of inking badass shit. A fellow forumer of mine has preserved his old Inking Tutorial online, You should familiarize yourself with it, because even if you don’t like the style, the principals are the fundamentals of inking.
This is merely half of the tutorial, check it out on http://smokinghippo.com/TSOtutes/inking_tutorial.html
So you’ve drawn something cool, and now you’d like to ink it. Inking is easy. It’s pretty much just tracing the lines of your drawing with a pen, right? Sure. Whatever you say!
You start with your pencil sketch. In this case, done with a non-photo blue pencil. After inking, the scanner can be set up to ignore blue lines, leaving only your ink.
Then you trace it with your pen. Man, that was easy!
Now don’t get me wrong. The above drawing is fairly clean and accurate. Maybe it’s suitable forâ€¦something. Like a coloring book. But make no mistake. This is a bad job of inking.
So what is it missing? Neatness aside, and all things being equal, what’s the difference between a bad ink job and a good one? Simple. Varying line thickness. I only used one line thickness to ink that whole thing.
So you’re saying, “Ohhh. Ok. Give me just one minute.” You reemerge from your desk with something like this:
Yeah, nice try. That sucks almost as much as the first one. You knew you had to get at least one more line thickness in there, but it’s clear you were confused over the criteria by which you decide to thicken some lines over others. While giving the drawing a heavy, fat-ass perimeter approaches some vaguely cogent methodology, it’s just not going to cut it.
Above is a good example of a good diversity of line thickness, applied with a sense rhyme and reason. Thick lines make certain aspects of the drawing more emphatic when needed, while thinner lines understate other aspects. The lines have energy. They play with each other. This is the difference between good inking and bad. This is my natural inking style (honestly, it was a lot easier for me to ink that than the first example). Speaking of style, this brings me to a good point. A simple definition of inking style:
A personal inking style is dictated entirely by the methods used to vary your line thickness, and the criteria by which you vary it.
Ok, sure, there are some other factors, like how one feathers and shades and such. But in my opinion, all these factors are pretty strongly overshadowed by that basic definition.
So you’re now saying, “Ok, fine, it’s really important. But how should I do it, and when? I mean, I tried that fat perimeter thing already. I’m out of ideas.”
This is a pretty complicated question to answer. There are tons of reasons to change up your line thickness, many of them serving utility in the drawing, and many just boiling down to personal taste and preference (just as I said, it and personal style are essentially one and the same). I’ll discuss it in further depth later, but just to give you a taste of one idea, falling under the â€œutilityâ€ category, see the drawing below. You’ll note how the lines in the arms get thicker gradually, the closer they extend towards you. Here, line thickness is helping to show distance. Near objects have heavy lines, far objects are finer.
Let’s talk briefly about the tools of the trade. Or at least the tools of this tutorial. Micron pens:
I generally keep on hand 02, 01, and 005 (from thickest to finest). It’s nice to have an array, but don’t get suckered in to thinking you need it. I did virtually all inking in this tutorial with an 02, to illustrate a point. You can make very fine marks with even a very fat marker if your touch is light enough.
Note, you can also ink with a brush, or a brush-tipped marker. This is an inking with a pen tutorial, not an inking with a brush tutorial. Inking with a pen and a brush are totally different animals. With a pen, the mark is confined to a single point. Thus complete control over the mark is much easier, because all you have to do is control one point in space with your fingers. A brush tip by nature is bigger and floppier, and mastery takes considerably more grace, I think. The results of brush inking tend to be more organic and free-flowing, and can be totally mind-blowing if done well, but those skills exceed the scope of this tutorial.
You’ll also need an eraser, if you choose to pencil with graphite, ink over it, then erase it later. This is how I do 95% of my work. Here’s what I use. Probably the best eraser I’ve ever used for erasing pencil.
Thickening your lines
Before we get into why you would thicken, let’s talk about how. Seems trivial, drawing thick lines, but maybe there’s more to it than you think. You might suggest, â€œHell, if I need to draw a really thick line, I’ll bust out my really thick marker.â€ That’s a silly line of reasoning, and I advise you to dispense with it. Remember, I’m only using an 02 for this whole thing. Switching to a really thick marker would rob you of some finesse, which I suggest you will need, even when you are doing thick lines.
Method 1: Draw boundaries, then fill
Drawing one thick line is actually the same thing and drawing two very thin lines.
Color in between. That’s the easy part. Note, you can now switch to a thicker marker if you desire for the fill, rather than wasting the ink of your finer markers. You’ll note I’m not following that advice here (though I often do).
Method 2: Thicken as you fill
This is the method I use far more often. I make lots of little sweeping strokes quickly until the thickness and contour feels right. To me, this practice injects a little of the life and energy from rough sketching into a process that is otherwise quite technical and exacting.
Varying line thickness doesn’t just mean making some lines thicker than others. You can of course vary the thickness within the same line. This is in fact an excellent thing to do for most of your lines (given you apply some method to your madness, which is something that takes practice). A tapered line is almost universally more attractive and energetic than an ordinary line. I can’t tell you how to draw these. It just takes practice, and a light touch. But I will say if you adhere to method 2 above, it makes it a much easier, fluid move to go from drawing an ordinary line to a tapered one.