I finally got to get the photo-shoot for the next couple of comics done! I should have enough pictures for three pages at least.
Most of the timing issues were my fault, as I am unusually busy right now, so I am thankful that the model was willing to work with me on that.
So now I am pulling out the good photos, organizing them and getting them edited into a usable comic page!
The next page is coming soon!
I have some amazing things planned for the comic and I am actively working on them. However, I am caught within a month of insanity. Between work commitments and personal commitments I am trying to find time to even write blog posts.
The Talon is one of the few avatars that is still housed on someone else’s account so I am having to try and schedule photo shoots around their schedule. They are playing heavily in the upcoming storyline so I am trying to get as many photos as I can with each shoot. It’s a challenge to bring it all together!
I haven’t forgotten about the comic! Quite the contrary I am working hard on getting the next several pages questions up and ready to go. I even have some exclusives just for my beloved Patrons! Let me know if you would like another Facebook live session where I can answer all your comic related questions!
All of this is coming soon!
To make the Patreon rewards more useful to folks, and easier for me to achieve on a monthly basis, I have updated them.
I have adjusted the price tiers to those that are most used, and given folks at each tier some fun things to experience.
One of the big changes is that I will be holding a monthly Q&A session on Facebook Live for everyone! So if you haven’t liked the Facebook page do so now and you won’t miss a thing!
The first Facebook Live event will be June 14th at 6:00 cst.
The $3 and $10 tiers were dropped so that I can give you more bang for your buck on the other tiers. I think it is going to make a big difference.
If you aren’t familiar with my Patreon page, head on over and check it out! We would love to have you.
I hope you have a great day!
So I’ve been busy working on the sim, getting it ready for the stories yet to come.
Here is a picture of the slums of Vardala, ready for their debut in the comic!
It will be a while, but I can’t wait to tell stories in this section of the world!
I also added lights to the streets outside the shops.
I am happy to be able to have purchased a hospital for the city as well! It will come in handy knowing how much the crew of the Jeweled Heron like to get in trouble.
Writers create a world when they write. It’s usually huge and vast and rarely ever seen in the actual story in it’s full glory. Sometimes it’s not. But my worlds are just that, filled with history and characters that rarely get explored in the main story-line.
So I offered my Patrons the ability to see into a small section of each character to give a more detailed view of who they are and what their motivations are. They are 1-2 page comics that really are just character studies but they are fun and give you insight on the character.
So I asked my Patrons if they would be okay with me sharing these comics with you after a while, so that the general reader can get those same insights. They said they had no problem with it. (I love my patrons!)
So two months after the Patron’s get the first look, you will be able to see the comics too! They will only come out once a month, and will be posted on the first Thursday of the month.
Look for the first one next week!
Some of the most fun, and time consuming, moments in the creation of this comic is the set up and photography sessions. I can spend several hours making sure the scene is just right so that I can get the photos I need.
Let me show you a bit of the work that goes into creating a comic page.
First, you have to have a world in which to set your stage. Recently I purchased half of a sim and have spent the last week or so building the world I need to have to fill all my needs. I am nowhere near done but Clio’s forest and the hovel that she lives in has been set up. While I am sure there will be some tweaking I won’t have to recreate it for each photography session.
Props and appearance of the avatar are also important. I have gone nearly all mesh in my build because it looks better in the photos. A few of my avatars are still not fully mesh, but many of the main ones are. The lines are smoother and they are more rounded. They also bend better, and while you still get some clipping, the clothing actually folds with the body rather than glides through the body like sculpted clothing did.
I should do a comparison between when I first started Second Life and the way it looks today. I’m sure many of you would get a kick out of it.
Poses and facial expressions can express more emotion than words can describe in many instances, and making sure that they are appropriate for each panel is key to making sure the reader gets the intent of that panel. I have several facial expression HUDs and mesh heads usually have some expressions built in too. I love the CATWA heads, their animators are great for photography because they allow you to animate the eyes and the lips separately or together. This makes things SO much easier for a perfectionist like me. This also usually takes the most time. Getting everyone set up and their faces emoting properly can take 15-30 minutes alone depending on the complexity of the scene and whether I’m using static poses or animations I have to wait to cycle.
Then with any good photography the lighting and angle of the shot will make or break all your hard work. Second Life has a lot of lighting options but usually I choose one that casts the right shadows and then edit the photos in Photoshop so that I can get the mood I want without having to flip through the several hundred lighting presets in the program itself.
I take a lot of photos each session, many of which will never be used, all searching for that perfect shot that I want to put into the comic. I love the feeling of “HA! Got it!” that you get when you know you have the one. It’s so rewarding!
You may have noticed that this is the first part of a number of posts. In the next post I’ll go over how I pick the perfect picture to use and some of what I do in Photoshop to make them a full fledged comic page.
Be seeing you!
Clio’s house is featured predominantly in the upcoming page of the comic so I have spent much of my time getting it ready for its big debut. Little details make the scene, so I am making sure that those little things are perfect. Everything in the scene has a story. I do that mostly because I’m a masochist but also because it adds depth to a scene and allows the visuals to be more than something overly simple. Most of what is out there won’t ever make it to print, but it *might* so I spend time making the environment, rather than just a few out of place scenes.
It’s nearly done, then I can get the photos for the next page of the comic, edit them together and have something to post come next Tuesday.
That is, so long as the holidays don’t steal all my time. I’ve got quite a few things that need to be done for home and family and they come first. I’m sure you all understand that, so thank you for your patience. I will do my best to get a comic out asap!