1. #1
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    Jun 2012

    Post Feedback on Comic Art Workflow

    Hey all,
    First i'd like to say that I don't share my work that often here but recently i've been developing a method for converting 3D art into what looks hand drawn comic book imagery and I'd thought some of you might be interested.

    Here is a quick a sample of my results and if anyone could give me feedback on quality and overall look i'd appreciate it. Note however this image had to be downsized to upload on here so that that into account before commenting on that. A larger image has been uploaded to my deviantart page link is Here

    If anyone is interested in this workflow please let me know. It's simple really, and faster than most other workflows out there. this took me less than an hour to do. Wish i wasn't bar-tending so much so I could focus on developing a comic book. Realistically I can prob pump out an issue each week.

  2. #2
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    May 2013

    Default cool

    Cool man, looks good. good modelling skills, workflows ALWAYS appreciated

  3. #3
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    May 2009


    Thank you for showing your work, I know sometimes that is a bit hard to do. First off your model looks very nice. The attempt to make it look hand drawn/painted
    feels like it still needs some tweaking in my opinion. To me I can see where you have the outline going on and where some areas give the look like what I believe you want to achieve.
    However, there are areas where there is reflection showing which is giving me the feeling that it is still a 3d render. I understand the highlights that you see in all comics but in this specific example
    the highlights/reflections that show over the texture of the model giving a glossy feel especially on her right leg/thigh facing the "camera". Her upper body while it still has some
    of that sheen/glossiness is not as strong and doesn't stand out as much to me as the bottom of her suit, although it is still noticeable. Her cowl looks awesome though and it works perfectly on that object. Possibly due to the lighting
    or the lack of noticeable textures on it. I hope that helps. I do like where it is going and would like to see how you can improve it. I like how your boots look though, possibly due to the highlights being stronger and the texture being very light
    My suggestion would be to blow out the areas you want highlights in with either no fade or a tight fade and see how that looks.
    Also just for testing purposes (make a copy or don't save over your original) remove the texture, and fill her suit with just the purple color with the same settings you already have and see how that looks.
    We of course would like to see what posterize,outline,layers, techniques you have used to achieve this look, and again thank you for posting..

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    Hey Daniel,

    Thank you so much for that feedback, i really appreciate you taking the time to go in depth on whats good and needs fixing.

    I'm glad that you were able to see where i'm going with this. I end up seeing a lot of other artists try this technique and the results still end up looking like a 3d render. Still impressive but lacking that pencil and paper feel.

    Being that I lost my ability to draw in pencil due to a car accident and carpal tunnel syndrome, I found graphic/3D art to be my new medium i can work with so this technique of 3D to comic imagery is my personal quest to fulfill.

    As an artist i tend to rush to finish so i can spend more time perfecting and fine tuning my technique in order to not create bad habits so when I work on a serious project i can confidently take my time on it.

    When I get the chance i'll try and use your notes to improve this image and re-post the results.

    Thanks again and when I have time off from work i'll write up a tutorial.

  5. #5


    I've actually been playing with the same idea, sent a text to my friend the other night to the same effect. I'd love to see your workflow and how you achieved that render, it's quite nice!

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    Oct 2012
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    would love to know more about your comic workflow

  7. #7
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    Default Back From Hiatus

    So I know it's been a long time since i've updated my thread but with work and school and life of course an artists talents get pushed aside.
    I'm 29 with mortgage, my priorities supersede artistic ambition. However my goal here is to be able to produce a comic book series in a shorter time period
    than traditional production standards so the above aforementioned issue dissolves into the background.

    Now in order to fully map out the scope of this task first you got to analyze what is the common method comic book creators and artists follow.
    Usually, from my experience in producing, the process for making a comic series goes as such and this of course is dumbed down.
    Idea concept stage -> script writing -> drawing stage -> inking and coloring -> lettering -> send to print

    Of these stages the "drawing" to the "lettering" are the most time consuming in the fact that an artist usually can only work as fast as he can draw
    which is determined on his skill and time allowance to work on these. Writers on the other hand only have to put words to a page and for the most part
    this process is less time consuming. Personally I can write a 30 page manuscript in a day while an artist can maybe churn out a page every day.

    So the majority of time is in the artwork in a comic. Now if an artist can churn out an issue a week then there wouldn't be much of a delay in this pipeline, right?

    In my research of utilizing zbrush as a means to create comic book art I have found that there is hope to accomplish this. However all i've seen so far is a lot of
    pie in the sky in that no one has really accomplished that yet. Sure there are a few out there that have created comic book hand drawn quality but that's where it ends.
    Still I've been waiting patiently to see any of these others artists come up with a final product. Sure they have put out designs and layouts that demonstrate the ability to do so
    but none that I am aware of have brought anything to fruition.

    In analyzing what they have done right and what they have done wrong I myself have built upon their methodology with improvement. What I found to be the biggest drawback
    in their method is the ability to pose a character efficiently so that renders don't end up looking like the same model rendered from different angles and moved around a bit
    with the transpose tool. Even though I greatly applaud them for their efforts on effort and ability to render images of quality work and view them as pioneers of this method.
    With special consideration for Oliver Thill as being the best so far and probably the first too. However his process involves a bit of post work and photoshopping.

    Now in order for an artist to follow this same method it requires them to first create the character in 3D which I am not going to say you don't have to do. However when you do
    the character should be created with animation in mind as in a boning and rigging. This I feel in super important, the rigging part that is, because without it your confined to the
    zbrush transpose tool which is my least favorite way to pose a model. In a comic book pose and expression convey a character's life force. Without it, it becomes lifeless and
    ends up looking like a puppet. Which is the big mistake of most amateur 3D artists that start out doing portraits. Once you got a character rigged and modeled bring it into zbrush.

    So now that we established that first and foremost you need a fully rigger character. The next part is texturing which should be uniformed throughout your model and rest of the characters.
    What I mean by that is if the skin is realistic then so should be the clothing be realistic. This should go as a no brainier but once you start doing renders with a certain
    matcap or shader the texture can and will ruin a look. The textures should match also the style of comic you are trying to portray. I can't tell you how many shaders I've made just
    because I've tried emulating a certain comic artist's style. This was my major frustration in starting this project. I would get so hooked on making my renders look like ArtGerm or
    Genzoman or J Scott Campbell drawing I kept forgetting that was my style and my look. So when starting out don't fret because your work doesn't look like someone else's. Instead
    be glad you got to this stage and this is where the fun will start as you experiment with shaders.

    When it comes to shaders the key is to eliminate the look of 3D while retaining detail. Of course we all can just take down the opacity of a shader and add a outline which does work
    and have used for super fast concept art for a client. The real challenge is in the control. What I have done is taken the "quadshaders" matcap and used each shader within for
    each element of a painting. Now if you have no idea what i'm talking about then you haven't realized what zbrush is capable of. Quick refresher, each shader is like a layer in photoshop
    4 on the top and 1 on the bottom and just like photoshop you can change the blending mode in the mixer tab (see illustration).

    I'm not getting into a whole tutorial series about it, that's
    what google is for. So if you think in terms of line art, flat colors, shading, and lighting for a photo; then you would arrange and blend them to create the image. Like I said before
    once I grasped this concept I went out trying to duplicate different art styles. Which you'll see below in a few examples (46 is the number of shaders I currently have made to this date,
    some are just slight variations of each other to the shadowing or specular). Reason I use this method of shading versus lightcaps is that you can control the direction of the light from
    the light tab which makes tweaking easier. Plus once you have a good understanding of each layer and how to tweak it then photoshop is just for finishing
    touches (like fixing the ugly hair alphas i have).

    Once you have completed this now its a matter of posing your character, importing the pose to zbrush and render the shader.

    Ok now that you've gotten a taste of my pipeline and found a shader you like. Start making comics dudes and chicks!

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