I gotta tell you...

Fess Up ;o)
thip at 5:30AM, March 24, 2007
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posts: 11
joined: 11-24-2006
That does it!!! I've just read - again - a blog entry about a superb comic (http://www.websnark.com/archives/2007/03/i_called_my_dad.html) where the creator, who uses Poser (and 3D in general) brilliantly, nevertheless carefully emphasizes that his stuff is NOT to be considered “Poser comics”. I get the feeling with those creators and commentators that they'd sooner ‘fess up to being hooked on pornography than technology. Since they do take such great pains, it must be important to escape culpability.

So why do I ’fess up? Because I hope to corrupt other storytellers into taking up the same vices. If you have a story to tell, and never really got past all those “preliminary sketches”, “initial character designs”, etc., or if are telling your story, but don't REALLY think that those semi-stick figures are sophisticated - well, then maybe there's really nothing more than a rather sillly mental obstacle between you and putting your fully realized comic out there on the web?

So read on - it won't take longer than it takes to drink a cup of coffee, and it might make a lot of difference to you as a storyteller.

I've been asked quite a few times how “Purgatory” is put together. This blog entry (skip to the bottom of this entry if you can't be bothered with the chit-chat) shows how it's done. Sorry about the near-unreadable notes on the images, they are meant for bigger-size viewing, but the visuals should be more or less self-explanatory.

So no, it isn't hand-painted (too slow), Machinima (too limiting), or do-it-yourself-3D (too cumbersome). It's all Poser rendering and Paint Shop Pro postwork, backed up by occasional forays into Bryce and Vue.

Why do I use Poser? Or why don't I at least model the 3D stuff myself like a man? Can't I model? Can't I draw?

Well, yes, I can, at least on the crafts level. I won't venture into art discussions ;o)



I sell a few 3D models on the web (http://market.renderosity.com/mod/bcs/index.php?vendor=5965), and I did do my stint at hand-drawn comics once, waaay back in the 80s, before the long night of the 90s hit the comics industry. I even got PAID for it - those were the days *LOL*



Back then, the chorus was : “Well, yeah, I do use the odd bit of photo reference, but just a little, and not really, and, you know, I could stop using it any time, I'm not dependent.” Except for Boris Vallejo who merrily 'fessed up to using photos, and even described in detail how to do it in his superlative Fantasy Art Techniques. That's what corrupted me. I owe him ;o)

Now I'm working with computers for a living. So I don't HAVE to do comics. But I'm one of those people who love telling stories. They call'em amateurs ;o) I'd love to make a movie. Or a TV series, since I am chronically unable to be brief (if you read my comic, you'll have noticed).

But ILM or HBO haven't called me yet. Since I'm smart enough to realize I might have to wait quite a while, I have opted for the poor man's movie or TV series : comics.

So I broke out the pencils and brushes, and pulled the mouldy cork out of the ink bottle? Never crossed my mind! I wanted to tell my own stories, on my own time, and publish on my budget. That's what DIY really means - doing it on your own terms. And, using Poser, one can do in hours what used to take days with pencil and brush. With Poser, I could actually face the prospect of doing a 300-page, full-color, realism-style comic in my spare time, and keep up a reasonable publishing schedule, all on my own.

And it is happening! The story is running on the web - right here on our favority web comics place, to the tune of 3-4 pages every two weeks, a “Season 1” collection is on a web marketplace (http://market.renderosity.com/mod/bcs/index.php?ViewProduct=51610) and, Murphy willing, 2nd and 3rd season will follow. Nope, it isn't selling very well (nine copies to date, and stop sniggering down there at the back row), but if you have a more appealing story to tell than I do (someone's bound to have *LOL*), creation and publishing budget is zero. That's hard to beat!

And that's why I hope to corrupt anyone who has read this far ;o) I see tons of comics on the web that are either not getting past the initial few pages, or - ahem! - are better in the story than in the pictures. Technology is not pornography, folks! Pornography pays for a lot of it, the web wouldn't be half as widespread (no pun intended!) without T&A. But it's here, and it's offering a lot of stuff that enables you to tell your story in images on a par with the pros, instead of looking like a 3rd-grader's school project (and I have nothing against 3rd-graders, some of my best friends are 3rd-graders, really, honest).

It isn't Poser or nothing. There's plenty of other apps with figure capabilities. It isn't realism or nothing. There are Manga figures, funny figures, animals and robots. You can render realistically or stylistically. You might even choose to use the Machinima method, as in Jeriah (http://www.drunkduck.com/Jeriah/index.php). You might do without 3D altogether, as is so brilliantly done in New Nation (http://www.drunkduck.com/New_Nation/). Or you might even be as shamelessly clever as the creator of Floyd and Mike (http://www.drunkduck.com/Floyd_and_Mike/index.php) ;o)

If you know how to draw, or eventually learn how to do it, more power to you. But it's just a nice-to-have craft, not an Eleventh Commandment For Visual Storytellers. Noone ever blamed George Lucas for having all of ILM to do his movies for him. It's still Lucas' stuff, because without him as the storyteller Star Wars wouldn't exist. But - without ILM it wouldn't look as great!!!

So, if you are one of those creators still suffering from the knee-jerk response to technology, get over it! If you are one of those creators already using it, step out of the closet. A good laugh shall set you free ;o)













Merry storytelling.

Cheers,

Thip

last edited on July 18, 2011 10:27AM
theleast at 7:34AM, March 24, 2007
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posts: 54
joined: 5-22-2006
The reason I have stated several times that Crimson Dark is not a “Poser Comic” is not because I want to hide the fact that Poser is an integral part of my work, but because it is only one step in a much larger process. I actually spend less time in Poser than I spend in any other piece of software. I spend much more time working in Photoshop, yet nobody calls it a “Photoshop Comic”.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:27AM
thip at 8:58AM, March 24, 2007
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posts: 11
joined: 11-24-2006
My point precisely. No creators take pains to emphasize that their comic is not a “Photoshop comic”, but they do take pains to emphasize that it is not a “Poser comic”. Of course you don't spend much time in Poser, neither do I, as can be seen from the above; that's the whole point of Poser (and other apps of that type) - that you don't HAVE to spend much time getting those figures posed and rendered. A comic is a comic is a comic, so what's so terrible about having used Poser to provide the raw material? All that matters is the quality of the final product, and you ain't got nothin' to be ashamed of, your work is outstanding ;o)
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:27AM
kenm at 10:14AM, March 24, 2007
(online)
posts: 3
joined: 12-9-2006
Just to give you both something to think about, I am a fan of both of your comics - and have been since you started your stories. I look for art that helps tell or enhance the story - and too much “traditional” artwork doesn't do a particularly good job of it. Personally, if the story is a good one I don't even notice what software is used to create the pictures. I don't care. If the story is good enough, it is irrelevant. Example: Requiem (http://requiem.spiderforest.com/). Please keep up the good work - I love your stories!

Ken
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:27AM
thip at 2:16PM, March 24, 2007
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posts: 11
joined: 11-24-2006
Didn't know other Renderosity-ites were lurking here on DD, mr. Roden ;o) Your Requiem and Tunnelrunners are quintessential examples of the point I'm trying to make : producing a full-color, realism-style page A DAY, every day, FOR YEARS, as you have done, is just not possible without technology, unless you're a pro. Coming to think of it, few pros can work that fast, anyway, either way. Love the Herbertesque complexity of the plot and the Houses-based world you envisage in your stories, BTW. The sewers-sequence (p. 800 and forward) where the human Moira hears about the aliens' history has something Dosadi-like about it! Maybe you oughta put your stuff on DD, and not just in Rendo's weekly gags'n'funnies collection..?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:27AM
kenm at 12:26PM, March 25, 2007
(online)
posts: 3
joined: 12-9-2006
Unfortunately, I'm not Mr. Roden - just a dedicated reader of his. If I may be allowed a generality regarding those who write and draw: those who choose to use Poser do so because they are primarily graphic story-tellers. Those who draw or use graphic art tools (Painter, etc) are primarily artists who just happen to be telling a story. We can find exceptions, of course. But generally this seems to be true.

Out in the world of print comics, you almost always see either very good art or very good stories. They rarely match up. When someone is able to do both, however, the graphics usually match the story extremely well. This is particularly true with webcomics where people have the opportunity to run their own show.

I am looking forward to the day when some of the “Poser” story-tellers will show up in print. They will be excellent graphic novels.

Keep up the good work!

Ken
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:27AM

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