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Topics - legomaestro

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 27
1
MR Pub / Sling a meme chit chat
« on: June 14, 2018, 06:37:08 PM »

This is the interwebs.

We do not talk in text.





Whether it's world news, whether we want to share what our mood is like, whether we want to just throw shade at a raider, there is only one way a proper denizen of the Internet communicates...

Through memes.



PS: Bonus points for remixed memes using your own photoshop skills

2
Anime Talk / Legend of Galactic Heroes
« on: June 02, 2018, 06:15:50 PM »


I finally finished this anime.

I guess the 'just watch it' tactic of watching anime really does work out, eh. Turns out I had more time than I thought I did. I haven't binge watched 100 episoders in quite a bit.

I need to point out the negatives first just to sweep them out of the way: The Engrish (and Germish) is still quite jarring sometimes when an important scene is supposed to happen. I guess it was a time before the interwebs, but still, for all its high budget anime production companies seem quite unwilling to go the extra mile in making proper translation efforts. They're otherwise so insanely effecient and push themselves to the limit to get stuff done, I just don't understand how it happens haha.

Another frustrating bit may be more personal in that some of the antagonists seemed to be half-gods in how their machinations were so effective despite it being an age of space where investigative tools should've been available to at least make such things extremely difficult, but ah well.


Otherwise this is a masterpiece. Yeaup, it's up there. I don't even really want to give it a number rating or anything. All I know is that it got me in the feels in all sorts of ranges, and it engaged me, and it amazed me, and it awed and inspired me.

The first episode alone blows a lot of anime out of the water: In theory the set pieces, that is the characters and plot that are introduced there tell you the whole story. It just begs to develop in a certain direction. You understand the entire premise of the anime, who the main protagonists are and what you can expect from future episodes.

As something that isn't shounen, I'm amazed that the arcs came seamlessly one after another. This anime has so much to praise from a technical standpoint that I could write for miles on that alone, but that'd be a disservice to the most important bit of it in my opinion: The narrative.

It's such a quintessential space opera, with the omniscient narrator who escorts you the viewer throughout the story, delivering interesting facts, vague information (mentions what historians thought of an event rather than just telling you) or chilling lines about some potential doom. The surprising moments of humour got to me too, and I laughed out loud three times while watching the anime. It's such a good show, so rich in story and characterization.

The action was intense too. In the later episodes, I have a feeling the directors definitely did some research on what war is really like because that gore was quite visceral. They used the 'soldier crying out for mom' troupe twice and that was odd, otherwise it showed the brutality and epicness of space battle quite well. Melee combat with axes in space. Laser pistols, ship to ship battles, heroism, cowardice, you name it.


I finish this show quite satisfied, so satisfied in fact that I'm ashamed that it took so long to just pick it up and check it out. There must be other anime that I've done the same with, and I can't allow that to stand.


If you ever have the time please, please check this out.

3
Tips and Tutorials / Focus on The Big, Ignore the small
« on: June 02, 2018, 06:51:08 AM »
Focus on The Big, Ignore the small

Spoiler


If you're stuck at the actual process of writing a work, your problem may be the fact that you're hindering the natural process of your creative mind to churn out stuff and get things done, that is, you are focusing on micro-managing the creation process.

As a writer you've got to accept that there is a lot of stuff that you already have, no matter what you think your skill level is, there are things that are automatically within your ability that you don't really need to think about. As breathing is automatic until you're told about it (sorry ), as your heart beats without any mention, as you know exactly how to move your hands across keyboard or paper there are stuff you don't really need to study per se to be able to do, and will improve themselves over time anyways as you work further.

That applies to storywriting too. Other than plot and character related writers block you've got to choose a medium and stick with it. You've got to stop thinking up a perfect room that doesn't exist where you feel you'll be able to write. You've got to stop fantasizing about a plan to write 15 minutes every day, or fantasizing about building up a library of complete works. That stuff comes along as a by product of getting started on your story.

In this age it's pretty hard to just get started and stick with an idea, I mean there are thousands of kinds of writing that each sound fascinating to listen to. Your mind tingles in awe at the romantic fact that some writers do the whole yellow legal pad and pencil thing. Or what about writing 200 words every morning and eventually getting a 1,400 word short story every week! That's 54 short stories in a year! Amazing! Wow I wish I could do that!

That's you planning, micro managing, focusing on the small stuff to perfect your process, instead of actually getting into the process and refining things from there. In a battlefield you don't have time to oil every bullet or check if your rifle won't jam and see if everyone in your team is ready. You've got to work with what you have at the moment and go from there.

And it's understandeable if you are a more cautious type to think: That's just preparing for disaster. But don't underestimate the human mind! You're a badass biological machine! You have a badass soul! Think of it, all the what-if situations you think up on a whim when you watch your favourite anime. How your mind is almost never silent, always thinking, always churning along. Do you ever need to steer those thoughts? What about our insane motor skills we use for typing or writing. (Especially when it comes to writing, you've got to appreciate what you've learnt. Try your name with the wrong hand. Frustrating, neh? Erm... If you're not ambidextrous at least).

And the thousands of things that are impressive but that you don't need to consider go on from there. With the internet, any book is in your reach, really. Any resource. The technology is amazing, it allows you to transmit information on an internet forum while you're having a coffee without even using Microsoft Word as a medium. Instantaneous, effecient.

It's all well and all to appreciate these things, even have philosophical discussions. And hell yeah I love me some debates over hard-copy writing vs soft-copy writing. Read all the tips and tutorials you want, read all the resources. But don't let it get in the way of actually getting stuff done. It's like trying to be wise without living your life - it just doesn't work. Things come along with time, and you've got to trust yourself that the processes are all running well an in order, so that you can focus on the actual story instead of the small things.

TL/DR: Focus on creating the story instead of planning and refining how you write your story - That stuff is already being done automatically so you can refine it later.


My two shillings

4
Members Manga / Lost Fir - One Shot
« on: May 31, 2018, 08:41:35 PM »
A god burns, and a man seeks to end a curse that took him away from an idyllic life as a blacksmith...





Foreword

Indulge me a wall of text before you (hopefully) indulge reading the comic.

This is a failed collaboration.

Ryan and I were chatting on skype at some point, and I was getting some useful tips on arting from him as usual, when life does what it does and we got way too busy to even complete it. I worked on the storyboard in a two step process: First a mini storyboard to get an idea on how many pages it'd be, then drawing out that storyboard to full blown pages. For a while, things looked really good. But alas...

So there it sat, a complete storyboard with lot's of notes and nothing else to show for it really. I did learn from the experience, and to be honest this will absolutely happen to a lot of my other projects now and in the future, what I know is is that by doing this mad 4 day rush I've put a chink in the fortress of my own personal Development Hell.

I got it done. It's finished, in  it's imperfect art and quite flawed form, but I'm proud that I managed to finish something that I had left for dead. I'll celebrate this, and a lot of my characters can rest easy knowing that there is some hope to me getting to them eventually...


Anyhow, hope you enjoy the story, and I'll post all extra material at the end in hopes of encouraging other writers to get off their but and get things done, whether in comics or in personal stories. For a long time my art level was an excuse, but now I know the problem was actually just a fear of putting my foot down and finishing something. Funny enough, some of the storyboards have more life than the finished product. Weird.

Also what is perspective?

Enjoy

TL:DR Super stoked that I got an abadoned collaboration project finished. Please enjoy.



Lost Fir

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Storyboards and Character Notes













































The Map and a Little History



Year 0 - The Upheaval. Several thousand gods come to the mainland and in the massive scrabble for beliefs and power, wars are raged and large kingdoms form almost instantly in comparision to how long such things usually take. Countless others are obliterated from existence.

The year is 645. Not even a millenium after The Kingdom was established, the land is overrun with magic and greater and lesser gods.


Samaritan Paladin Monastry - After the first upheaval of gods descending on the continents, the Samaritan Paladins moved from the mainland to an island. They used to be fanatics who carried out crusades to crush any opposing religions, but then after seeing that the new world was one ruled by multiple dieties, they decided to focus on crushing 'evil gods and their disciples and activities', but that, too, was too vague a guideline, because at any number of time there were hundreds of evil gods that were benevolent to great populations  and cruel to others. So that wasn't reliable enough a service to offer... Finally the Samaritan Knights settled on protecting those affected by curses - Usually the rich who are able to repay such a service. It was a much more practical solution, and has been working to their favour ever since. (It is possible that the Waroth Cultists are an offshoot of the Samaritan Paladins', or a coincidence)


The unnameable woods - One of the last hotbeds of primodial undiscovered gods, the unnameable woods have the literal inability to be named (other than the title - which is a bad english translation of the in-world-term) because of the many powerful gods that reside there and refuse to have an opposing forces territory acknolwedged over their own. It's a dangerous place for tresspassers, but can be visited.  It also serves as a biodome for a lot of the land's wildlife.


Blindspot - a desert where the sun always shines with blinding intensity. It takes only five seconds to be blinded forever by the sun. A god resides in that area.  Some pilgrims voluntarily blind themselves in this land after suffering some trauma or as pencance for a crime, becoming Blindmonks, who help others navigate the desert or spend their days in meditative hermitage.

Valley village - Troy's home village. Named after the two mountains it's perched between. A humble village that makes a name for itself through Dale's Smithery - Troy's family Smithery - and the ore that resides in the area.


Kokgo Bog - A natural fossil deposit, massive bog.


The Pass - An old fort that worked as a border between the human world and the elven world... Until the elves left the mainland forever during The Upheaval. 


Elven Glade - During the upheaval of gods, the elves followed their strong belief in the woods and nature as a whole , refusing to ascribe any of nature to a single god. Over time, gods encroached upon their territory, what they considered a tainting of their beliefs - the sheer inability to follow their cultural and personal beliefs without inadvertly worshipping a dervish or singular entity of some sort forced them to purge the woods of any supernatural beings and they vanished as whole. However, the glades are blessed, and anybody is able to visit them once in their life time - an experience which they forget as soon as they leave the glades. And nobody who has made it to them will be able to find them again.


Halen/Haven - A town under the petrified stone remains of a giant. The gigantic ribs curl over the city, providing it shade. It's a very rocky place, but is rich with minerals and a sort of loamy earth that is excellent for produce, albiet bracky and distasteful. The south witch originally researched the history in the area when she was an apprentice.


Dragonblood Bog - A unkown god liquiefied a pompous dragon into black oil. Several witnesses report this. The few who tried to approach the god met the same fate. He is said to travel in humanoid form.


Alambra Outpost - An ambitious outpost said to be preparationto travel to other lands than the mainland. Some are said to be sent there for exile, but there has been no 'infamous' criminal worthy of a long trip over the lands from the kingdoms to be deposited there. It's easier to have local kingdoms mete out punishment locally . The outpost is an arid desert island with very little to tempt anyone to refurbish it. Little historical value.



5
Manga Creations / Raiders Rock Out: MR One-shot
« on: May 30, 2018, 08:15:01 PM »
First she pulled her string along the violin. The whine was mosquito-like, but beautiful somehow.


Someone tickles a guitar and in this totally super secret basement (Coryn's garage this time around, this group of ruffians makes it a point to play their music in the garage's of every raider in town.


If their interests were more than just music, they'd be a formideable team of espionage, the best in fact. However for them, Rock is their life, Rock is their blood.).


They all start bobbing their heads: The Flowerlin, The Lightning Witch, The Manimal (For nothing describes him other than this monicker. Manimal is a title in on itself),  The Dude With The Afro (How dare you think of Frono first before Lego dammit. I meant Lego!) and The God Plea.


They step forward, they step back. They sway left, they sway right, In the sharp flourescent light that casts shadows across the walls, they do rock.



Nomena steps back. Her part is done, she introduced the song, but she still sways along to the music, and it's cool.


Manimal drums, and there are no metaphors here:  He drums.

There is no need for exaggeration, no need for flowery prose: HE DRUMS. And hell yeah he's pulling it off. Ba-dum tah, ta ta boom tah.


Lego funks the beat, scritch-scratching at a record to add distortion to the mix. He has headphones on. He's  in the zone.

Mahlua ROCKS at her guitar, carefully looking at the strings like she's new to it, but she's in the zone, and she's clearly been doing this for a while.


And OGHM continues with the main bassline, his fingers moving like pistons on a fine car engine, he stares forward as he always does, always in the zone, always just pulling it off.



Meanwhile Paipis sat and massaged his chin as he recorded all of this on his phone (A Motorola). He strokes his chin and thinks These guys could go legit at some point. But they need this. They need this underground scene. Still... There's no need for them to sneak into garages anymore. I'll see if they can get a place at the pub at a point. His pet monkey also stroked his chin philosophically.



And finally,  they are done. Also Coryn, said owner of garage and house,  happens to be returning home at the moment and they need to get out of there fast.

They do a Leverage-split - They face eachother, look eachother in the eyes, make subtle nods, acknowledgements of how awesome (or not awesome) the rock session was, wish eachother luck - and they go their separate ways, until the next time they sneak into a garage and rock out.





Paipis grins to himself as he flips his phone like a coin between his fingers.


He's going to get so Haruhi-damned rich off of this.


They seriously needed a band name other than The Ruffians though... 2001 much? They need a better name.


Paipis opens his recoding  playlist and scrolls down at random, happening upon some songs he liked from the group before they came together. He reminisces as he skips through them
Spoiler





The Flowerlin (Nomena) :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rjri2DwBQ2U
The Lightning Witch: https://soundcloud.com/mahluaandmilk
The Manimal: https://soundcloud.com/barrygoldman5090/divers-high
The Dude With The Afro (Seriously I mean Lego not Frono gaddamit. Why u do this) : https://soundcloud.com/mordecai-jande-banda/epic-deathscene
The God Plea: https://chirb.it/kPdkAc




and nods his head in appreciation, before walking down a lonely street. Burgundy, his pet bear follows him... And this is the end of this particular story...



END  OF RECORDING



6
MR Pub / Translate the above japanese post
« on: May 03, 2018, 11:04:16 PM »
omaewa... korosu! *Serious eyes*

(This is a topic where everyone talks in faux japanese, preferably using phrases learnt from anime, and because Hasith-sama never programmed katanaka in the forum code we'll have to resort to using horrible latin characters to spell everything out.

I hope that this practice will help us learn japanese a little.

Cheers to all those who legit know japanese better and correct the above poster )

I'll start




shiineh.


/next post

'Die, you meant'


Onegai


7
So yeah, you are trying to write a story with anime characters and feel like you can't quite capture the spirit of japan and miss important details? How you go through your memory and actually see how many stories you like take place in super foreign lands and the like?

- Bonus points for mentioning inconsistencies that you have noticed either through your own knowledge or wikipedia

- Bonus points for anime that have absolutely no japanese characters



My attempt: Cowboy Bebop!

Earth doesn't even really appear in the story. 'Foreign' Names all round. Legendary anime on the basis of great musical score and story telling alone.

8
Naruto Anime / Your own Ninjutsu
« on: April 29, 2018, 09:16:55 AM »
You know what? Screw it we're going to come up with our own stuff for every manga universe we like muhuhahaha.




Jutsu Name: Magnet Release - Blood Eater

It's a Magnet Release jutsu that is used in conjunction with a ninja-weapon. When the target has accumulated enough cuts, using a seal their blood will be sucked up into the weapon. For this reason it's a two-part jutsu. The first seal enhances the magnetic properties of the enemies' blood by injecting it with magnetic chakra, and the second part of the seal retrieves the magnetized blood.  For this reason there is the terrifying possibility of dying from miniscule cuts regardless of what armour or chakra reserves one has. However, those adept at sensing chakra understand when their body is being manipulated, and as any good ninja knows, don't get hit in the first place by an enemies' blade.

9
Members Manga / Swords Like Gods
« on: April 15, 2018, 08:15:45 AM »
Synopsis: Two swordsmen travel an apocalyptic wasteland in hopes of creating a safe haven for any survivors they find. Things happen.

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10
MR Pub / Steal The Orb Time Travel Game
« on: February 13, 2018, 12:23:38 PM »
I need 5 Beta testers for this, otherwise it might get too insane if we add more.


THE ORB

Okay Raiders, here goes an experimental game of experimental games.

There is a special Orb (suspected Dragonball) that is locked up in a tower located in a heavily defended sector of MR called 'Spectretown'


For some reason everyone can time travel in this part of the city. Your aim is to steal the orb and escape before the other raiders stop you - stopped you or will have stopped you.

Confused? Me too. I don' even know if this'll work.



How to play

1. Make a post as detailed or brief as you'd like to steal the orb.

2. Edit your post and only your post in order to counterract the thefts or attempts by other Time Travellers.

3. Make sure that you read all the previous events in the time line in order to have your character react accordingly.

4. Every updated post that follows the flow of the newest change in the game counts as 1 Cycle.

- Is it more advantageous to come late into the game? In the middle? Who knows?
- Are detailed posts better in locking other people out? Or is being short and sweet the best way to react quickly? Who knows?



EXAMPLE

Cycle 1

Quote from: legoh

Legoh chuckles "Too easy."

walks up to the orb and steals it.

Quote from: legoc
Legoc knocks Legoh out, "Seriously? You just walked up to it like that?" He runs and hides in a corner somewhere


Cycle 2



Quote from: legoh - edited again

Legoh decides to wait instead of going to steal the orb. "Bastard won't get me now" He says


Quote from: legoc - edited
Legoc knocks Legoh out, "Seriously? You just stood there waiting and doing nothing?"  He runs and hides in a corner somewhere


Cycle 3


Quote from: legoh - edited again

Legoh decides to get a tank and rolls up to the orb, waiting for the annoying catman to appear


Quote from: legoc - edited
Legoc steals the orbs and runs away before Legoh can even react, "Too slow, sucker!"



11
Develop Your Story / The Fall
« on: February 01, 2018, 07:11:35 AM »
I need to flex my writing muscles in any way possible. So what better way than to make some MR Canon? This may or may not be a short story depending on how fast I abandon it or not. I need to finish the other ones that I started, but really at this point I just need momentum rather than always stressing about what I haven't done yet. So here goes nothing. (I'll move this to Creations if I finish it.)


[Decrypting Classified files]

[Operation: Revengers]


The Fall
1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQggvJx_kFA





"Hold the line." Sai said calmly, his dual wielded pistols singing a chorus of death to the spam ninjas.

"What Line!?" Doodler swung her broadsword and cleaved through a mass of jumping ninjas. Even as they dissipated into destroyed html code more came to fill the place. There were enough of them to darken the sky. 


There was a roar of a sniper rifle, and a bright flash as a light-based spell stunned the hoard, and in the next minute after some more desperate shooting from Sai and slashing from Doodler, the spam ninjas were eradicated.


Doodler coughed and stabbed her broadsword into the dark sand.

"That was too close."  Toasty said, walking over with his 50. Cal sniper rifle over his shoulder.

"We're just tired." Monsterful sighed as he walked over to them.

They were standing in a massive desert . The sand was black and glittery, above them was a vista of stars and spinning galaxies. A completely clean look into space without any clouds or atmospheric distortions to hide the view. It was an awing sight, but in a sombre, dark sort of way.  They were far from The City. Very far.

It seemed appropriate for the wretched situation.

"Are Nair and Lego still out?"  Sai asked, scanning the horizon for any future attacks.

"Yeaup." Toasty nodded towards two unonscious forms in the sand, "Hasith and Co. Are going to kill us."

Sai smirked, "I thought we all agreed we're going to kill you first. Let's just get back home. "

"Nope. I'm resting for a moment."   Doodler said.

The raiders themselves - moderators to be more specific - weren't in good shape. They were all battered and bruised in one way or the other. Hair ruffled, dried blood on their lips. Their clothes were made of Mysias thread of the highest calibre, but even it was starting to tear. They'd been through countless battles in their long trek back to The City. 

There was a groan as Lego finally gained consciousness. Toasty walked over to him and offered a hand,

"Welcome to the land of the living."

"Guh." Was Lego's reply, "What did I miss?"

"Oh, just about a thousand spam ninjas. It was pretty epic."

"You lucky bastards." Lego grinned. His right eye was swollen shut.

"It's amazing how many you see hanging around trolls." Monsterful said.

"Yeah well, misery loves company." Sai said.

Lego balled his fist. "More than getting knocked out by cannon fodder, it pisses me off that we didn't get at least one of them. And whoever that traitor is I swear ..." 

Sai held up a finger, "No point in worrying about that now, Lego. Your mission failed. That's what got you guys in this jam in the first place. And make no mistake, you guys are in trouble. But for now, gather strength and focus on the task at hand. "

"Roger, roger." Lego grimaced and sat down in the sand. He just stared at the ground, hanted.


Doodler and Sai exhanged glances, and then walked off a bit from the four raiders. Toasty began checking his anti-material rifle while looking around.


"Should we even tell Co and Hasith about this?" Sai said in a low tone.

Doodler shrugged, "They're strict about rules and stuff, but it's not like their hearts weren't in the right place."

Sai shook his head, "Musick got-"

"No." Doodler refused the thought, "She isn't. She'll be fine. Any one of them could be in the same situation, and any one of them would make a way out. She's a ninja. She'll make her way to us."

"So we don't say anything?" Sai asked.

"Let's just deal with getting to the portal we used, and try to put some distance between us and the hoard."

"Fine by me. Man, Coryn is going to be pissed we didn't bring him along."

"Not our fault he locks himself up in the lab all the time."

"Well, at least he didn't need to see us get our asses kicked by that spam monster."


The two raiders spent the next few moments in silence, waiting for things to get busy again, waiting for the next hoard to attack.

12
General Discussion / Raider Biometrics - Describe your Raider!
« on: January 26, 2018, 09:29:56 AM »
Describe your Raider!


The Ethical Science Division, Biometrics branch is looking into making a raider clone army. interested in the
physical state of Raiders on the forum. Also, there are orders from up top for some Raiders to get some ID cards, because at this point it's driving the admins crazy not really knowing what Raiders look like. Between resurrections, power ups, evolutions and all sorts of shenanigans, it's time to know what people look like!



Along with Coryn's Quick and Easy Guide to Canon, I thought it'd be really helpful to get canonical descriptions of Raider personas for the sake of any future projects (Man I really need to get to that VN) and attempts to depict them in comics and stuff. (Fingers crossed for actually doing more of that)

Now it's useful and all to have centimeteres and weight and blood type mentioned but I'm hoping for some real practical stuff to help with the drawing process.

REFERENCES PICTURES FIRST AND FOREMOST, but otherwise it'd be nice to see the practical references.





So other than a general physical description, for the sake of artists and the like it'd be useful to know

Spoiler
1. Height in heads: 7.5 Being average, 8.5 being heroic and tall e.t.c. Like I said you're free to give exact centimetre measuremeants but this is about giving a general idea of how to draw your raider.

Spoiler
2. Body form: Weird I know, but I've found it helps a tonne to know 'How' to draw your character, like all the hundreds of tutorials on that front. Are their waists and torsos the same basic relationship? Are they Slenderman- spindly? Round?  Or do they look like something Oda drew?

Spoiler
3. Muscle tone: Is your raider buff af or a lean killing machine like Bruce Lee? Or are they just soft skinned?


(Lel what is anatomy )


Example


Legomaestro is a black trenchcoat wearing man with an afro. Average height (7.5 heads), basic body form (two blocks basically) and lithe - muscular but not beef-caky.

Reference images:
Spoiler

Spoiler

For the trenchcoat.



13
*inspired by Mahlua's workshop: http://forums.mangaraiders.com/index.php/topic,17412.0.html








Who doesn't hear the sounds of manga even though they don't quite understand them? Who doesn't cringe at the strange times One Piece english translations put 'dun dun dun' for dramatic scenes, even though they know exactly what kind of epic dramatic music they know is playing in the scene? And who doesn't know how laughing sounds in text form, no matter what your mother tongue is?

Onomatopoeia is a fundamental part of comics, although in the mordern age (especially in the west) it's common to focus on dialogue alone. I mean, The Walking Dead should have a lot of sounds, but you only end up with screams and the like. It's nothing in comparision to manga, that seeks to stage every single action, from the simplest facial expression, to a single breath, to an epic explosion, or a rain of fists - (ORA ORA ORA ORA ORA ORAAAA )




Onamatopoeia Workshop

- Post in spoiler tags your own audio/onomatoepic interpretation of the above posted description

- Keep your description within 10 words. NO essays plz



Example:

Quote
1. Laughter by an evil pirate


Answer:

Spoiler
Quote
Zehahahahahahaha





So, lets start, My description:

The sound of the ocean




14
General Manga writer discussions / Why is DBZ so good?
« on: October 10, 2017, 07:29:16 PM »
From a writer's perspective, why is DBZ so good? No matter how much it's a childhood anime, and how much the fights are hype, why is it that from a writing perspective you don't totally insult the characters for being cliche? Even though it's the pioneer of the new shounen anime and manga, with DBZ Super the anime has still proven to be popular and worth the wait. I've found myself excited at the power-ups, even though I'm tired out by that 'cliche' in other shounen anime.

My theory is that because it's so honest and simple a shounen, it hits all the points that any shounen-anime-watcher wants to see. By being so predicteable, it's as timeless and fundamental as greek mythology. DBZ can be interpreted in a millions ways because of how simple it is and fun to watch.

But yeah, maybe it is just the hype of how popular it is and how well it got recieved in the west.

Thoughts?

15
General Discussion / Symbols, Vocabulary and Art
« on: September 26, 2017, 05:49:55 PM »
Symbols, Vocabulary and Art - A Case for explicitly using Icons and Symbols as a Foundation to being an Artist


Summary


Writing, Drawing. What are the cores of the two crafts? I feel it is the transmission of ideas using recognizable marks on page, whether physical or digital. At the core is the relation of an idea, the expression of an artist through his craft, but people focus on how the idea is represented more than the form. It's not about sharing an idea; it's about sharing it as objectively accurate as possible, as photographic as possible, as stripped of style as possible. With this, I take the other standpoint:

That the idea is more important than the scientific accuracy, that as humans the subjective representation of a subject should be focused on before obsessing over the correctness, that when you first focus on having a foundation of good ideas and your own expectations, that you're more ready to accurately depict them and share them.

(A lot of this has been inspired by Sketchnoting Made Easy by Mike Rhode. If you can ever get it cheap, I'd really recommend it. Or better yet trawl through Pinterest for other sketchnoters' works. It's a pretty simple but revolutionary concept to get behind. )






1. Introduction
I was back to studying my favourite mangakas styles for some insight in how they draw, in this case Masamune Shirow's Ghost in the Shell (The Insane Massive Training Workshop for the win, although I doubt I'll ever do something so crazy again.)

For someone who knows his cybernetics and guns and spends a preposterous amount of time going off in tangents about interesting theories in the middle of a story, he has a certain charming style that is truly boiled down manga. Of course, when he pulls out the big guns he knows what he's doing i.e. drawing, but still, I always loved that his work had that old-school manga feel. You know the one, with the basic emotions used more often than not, chibi being a matter of course, and the 80s esque aesthetic for the female characters.




I've been working on a comic, after all, and as of now I feel like I've reached the art level that I wish to have, but there was something missing. There's still that horrendous intimidation when it comes to thinking up scenes. There's still a great sense of emptiness to my scenes that no walls of text feels like it could solve. It's not a lack of inspiration, just a general overwhelming of the senses. Despite my worst intentions, the mantra still sticks: Perspective! Lighting! Dimension! Anatomy! Over and over. It's never a fun thing to confront.

And as I thought of this I doodled my thoughts on the page.



2. Building Blocks

The problem is not that I can't draw. It's that I can't draw well enough.  There's often a 1:1 correlation between my vocabulary and my visual library... Except there isn't (which is why it's crossed out up there).

I was surprised to see that although I can speak and write well enough, I learn those definitions more often than not without visual or emotional context. While my vocabulary increased, my visual library stayed pretty much the same.


AND: My entire vocabulary consists of a tool set of 26 alphabet characters that are stringed together with other punctuation marks to build words, to build sentences, to tell stories.

Just as in drawing, you can't get away without squares, triangles, circles, dots and squares (which of course become complicated as you progress.

And yes, these tools are set in stone, but style influences them no matter what. Or rather, your inability to draw like a computer or a penman ensures that you'll have the ability to relay the idea correctly, but it's not something you expect to print in the market.

However, just because you can't accurately mechanically represent the letters of the alphabet or the forms of something, it doesn't mean the idea suddenly vanishes in the wind, unworthy of even looking at, or unable to even relay or express emotion and information.




I tested myself to see how little of the most basic visual vocabulary I had, and found myself lacking on one hand, but actually doing much better than I thought on the other.

I noticed how Masamune Shirow managed to make a background character that really, alone was just a scribble, but managed to convey a travelling tourist type with a rolled up backpack, leaning against a tree.

Palm trees were little more than squiggles. The buildings were in great perspective, yes, but the windows were just squares. I was quite surprised.

I thought to myself: I have these building blocks for sure. I can do this! I know thousands of words in the English dictionary, I know how to spell most of them, and they are all built up of the same letters, surely that applies to art as well then, right?

I looked at one page and decided to name all the objects and consult my own memory to see if I had at least a rudimentary representation of the objects. On one side there were surprising solutions to depicting the objects that I never thought of, simply because I was never confident enough to do so, but on the other hand it's pretty barren in my visual library. I found that more than thinking of the high concepts, like the interior of a car engine I needed to have basic slots in my head to represent objects.

I.e. Symbols. Yes, the dreaded word to all fundamentalists out there. But I'll say it again: Symbols first. Idea first. The truth later.


3. Iconography

This is my case:

An Artist (here meaning writer, mangaka) is someone who wants to deliver their ideas to the world.

The aesthetics are more than important. Please never forget that I appreciate and love good looking art, because if you completely throw that aspect out of the window you end up with billion dollar paintings that are black squares. There is some modern art that I have truly no patience for, especially the ones that rely on shock factor, but that's another story altogether.

In any case - The idea is the core of a work.

Before you're in the luxurious world of an anime and mang fan with a passion and the time to make your artworks, art had a practical function: Relaying information. Caveman Bob needed to tell his family that there was a dangerous woolly mammoth out there, after all. He needed to tell him that white lines came from the sky and set a tree on fire, a great gift that can warm, heal and hurt.

Caveman Bob is the luckiest  and most honest artist there is, because he gets to be utilitarian in his expression. There is no abstract art giant looking over his work.

The brain has never stopped being a codifier. Anyone who sees with their eyes sees thousands of things at once. That was an obvious statement on the level of 'people die when they are killed'. But you also hear thousands of conversations at once. Or see thousands of texts. You filter them out or codify them automatically. Mother, Police Officer, Swan in a lake, Bench, Car, Bus, Watch, Phone, Computer, Text message notification sound, Some foreign language romance novel, Someone's talking about politics, That's a song I know (but not the lyrics).

It's to the benefit of an artist to be able to focus and study on singular things and features so that you truly know what they look like, but before all that you have to be willing to save inferior copies of what you see and notice and file them away for later. NO - A step further than that. Codify them yourself and say 'This is what it is in my mind' so that you at least have a reference point, rather than denying remembering anything at all if it's not accurately depicted enough.

Doodle it. Turn it into a symbol.  Have actual fun and interest when trying to think of how to draw something with the building blocks you have at first, and then, when necessary, look up an image. But the idea and how you put it down first should be what you start with.

I've been googling a lot of doodle art and the sketchnoting book has become my bible when it comes to building up a visual library for me. I don't remember the last time that I felt so free when it came to improving my visual library, and I look forward to having thousands of such ideas in my head to match my spoken and written vocabulary. If I ever do that, then my pen will flow over the page when drawing.


Additionally...

Drawing stuff with doodle-logic, with simple building block methods is not some crime. Yes, anime and manga comes from Japanese influences. People don't frown or laugh or have those silly smiley-esque expressions. Those are highly symbolized and don't accurately display how muscles act on a human face, but do they lose their charm or effectiveness because of this?  No, they gain their expressive power, especially because a community accepts them over time as part of the language for the particular medium.

One could say that such things destroys' an artist’s life, expressing everything with photographic accuracy is the holy grail, and still know exactly what a heart symbol means. Is it accurate? Hell no. The heart is disappointingly anatomically when it comes to being an artist, a mass of muscle that has no interest in being drawn off the bat without some relatively serious study, but you can still convey it with a single continuous stroke, and there's a beauty in that.



A dry run

I'll be posting in my Miscellaneous Arts topic, but I made a dry run of objects off the top of my head to see what I could doodle so far without completely losing the sense of the object itself. It was a surprisingly better result than when I studied the GITS manga page, and it's my current marathon drawing project.


I'm not happy with the record player, the window and the pencil case



Stationary is pretty easy for me, but animals are pretty much non-existent even as symbols in my head. Well except cats. I actually learnt how to draw a dog from a classmate, and you can draw a rabbit with the number 52, but birds, fish, sharks, horses etc. are a no go. And sadly, I didn't even know how to doodle a guitar.




I just can't stress how good it feels to feel interested in drawing. I waited long before I wrote this to make sure I was out of my honeymoon period to see if I could push myself to try to doodle something off the top of my head, and it still worked out okay.



This is something that I'll always be thinking about and looking into, because I need to be able to formulate this idea better in my head. All I can say is that I'm excited for it and interested in it.





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