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Develop Your Story / Re: Charred Life (Rewritten)
« Last post by Echo_River on Today at 03:31:38 PM »
Chapter 7: Assessment

“Shadows be true, you’re the first-timer the wolves were making a ruckus over.” Leaning on the wooden fencing at the top of the stairs was a man in all black.
“You’re –” Dave recognized him as the one Roun called The Leopard. He took one look at the man whose face only half shown from behind the ridiculously large scarf. “-Aunt Swallow’s brother?” Drawing from his meager knowledge of the family, Dave named a relative whom he was much more familiar with. Aunt Swallow attended most of their family gatherings and was generally well-known outside the village.
Roun glanced at his cousin, eyebrows raised. He wasn't suprised that Dave knew about uncle Waron, he was surprised Dave could tell it was uncle Waron under the mask. Meanwhile, the Warden barked a laugh, startling them both. “Swallow hasn’t been running her mouth about me, has she? Trust a sister to rat out her brother.”
“No, your eyes.” Dave indicated his own with two fingers.
“Wow, Dave, have you been running a detective agency without me?” Roun said, forcing the words past his astonishment. “I bet even Wholmes couldn’t deduce relations based on their eyes. Let me join.”
His cousin rolled his eyes. “It’s not that hard.”
Waron made a humming sound, eyes trained on the boy. Whether he was smiling or frowning they couldn’t tell. Though the noise vibrated closer to mirth. “Now that’s not a skill to discredit so quickly. If I had a skill like that, I would be able to tell the difference between a Nanrot and an Acor. Don’t you think, Roun?” Even though the man had spoken in lazy sarcastic tones Roun stiffened at his words.
“I have twenty-twenty vision thank you. Unlike some people, I can identify the two-hundred fifty some fungi in the forest.” He started to edge away. “Anyway, Dave and I are going to squish in a little practice. Later.”
“Word of advice,” Waron called out after them. “Irian boars are smellers, so if you ever find yourself on the front side of their snouts, staying still is a good idea.” They couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic or not this time.
“Um, thanks?” Dave replied.
“Oh, and don’t forget to throw something at them! Have fun, kids!”
“He’s joking, right?” Dave whispered to Roun after they rounded the corner of the hall.

“Forget him,” Roun huffed, frowning. “He thinks he’s being funny. What can you do. There’s a crazy uncle in every family.”

 Through a break in the trees, the boys emerged into a large flat area surrounded by a grove of thick trees with straight trunks planted in a circle. Characteristic blue lights hung off their branches, but what drew Dave’s attention were the arrangement of oddly modern looking posts in the clearing. About twenty posts made from white blocks were positioned randomly about, glowing a soft blue. They stood upon a surface of large tiles of a similar whitish colour. When he stepped onto them, Dave was reminded of walking on kitchen floor tiles.
In addition, Dave noticed a hum in the air, gentle and melodic without being annoying. Dave swallowed. “These are training grounds?”
“Specially made with old Zerakis technology.” Roun moved around the area, prodding posts to make them sink into the ground, and pulling more out of the ground where Dave couldn’t even see a break in the tiles.
“Our ancestors? They were at the height of their society, weren’t they?”
“So, you do know about them. That’s a relief. I’d be in trouble if you didn’t,” Roun huffed. He finished setting up the last post which completed the pattern of posts forming a large circle around them, allowing the use of the space in the middle. “Watch this.”
Drawing back his foot, Roun kicked the middle of one of the posts. It broke clean in half, turning a hazard yellow as the top smashed into the ground and broke into smaller pieces.

“That was ama-” Dave started to praise the force of his cousin’s kick when something more ‘Ama-’ happened. Not even a moment passed when the broken pieces suddenly slid across the ground and smacked back into one solid white piece, recreating the post without sign of a crack. “-ZING. What?!”
Roun grinned. “Self-rebuilding Training Targets. One of the cooler things they left us. Don’t worry about obliterating them.”
“That’s lit!” Dave blurted, eyes glowing.
“Only works with small objects like this though. They couldn’t apply it to the buildings.”
“Why would you want to punch a hole through your house?”
“Hey, sometimes even I feel like kicking a wall.”
“Am I supposed to knock these down?”
Roun regarded Dave thoughtfully. “What’s your main weapon.”
Dave perked. “Throwing knives.”

Roun deadpanned. “That’s a side weapon, not a main.”

“They’re my favourite.” Dave fidgeted awkwardly. “And my strongest.”
“Might as well start with those I guess. Did you bring any with you?”
“…do I look like I have anything on me right now?”
“I was hoping you’d show me some secret ability or something,” Roun remarked. “They should have some equipment up at the hall, I’ll fetch them for you.”

At a certain stage of maturity, you realize that having that skill to do something doesn’t mean that you are automatically good at doing it. Roun admitted he didn’t practice as much as he should… but he didn’t think he would feel this out of it. How good Dave would be at weaponry, he had no idea. Hopefully not as lacking as his knowledge of Acor was.
This was the clincher. He’d shown Dave the village, introduced him to some of the family, and was now about to witness Dave’s competence for the festival. A knot of anxiousness wormed into his chest. How bad could Dave be? As often as he saw Dave at gatherings, he actually had no idea. He trusted Uncle Jaanes hadn’t set him up for sure failure.
Roun stared at the dagger in his hand, one of the most commonly used weapons. His brows drew low, eyes squinted, and lips drawn in a thin line. His fist clenched around the grip as if holding a kitchen knife. He wiggled his fingers, trying to feel the right position. They wouldn’t settle.

He took a different approach and flipped the blade to hold it in a reverse grip, again grasping for the right place.
“That doesn’t feel right either… maybe I need a different set of knives,” Roun muttered to himself as he regarded the quillon of the knife.
To the side, Dave came out, wearing an Acor shirt Roun had found, a loose gray top that he rolled the sleeves up to his elbows. He still wore his black jeans and sneakers, giving him the semi-urban look. Around his waist he had a belt with a pouch and a holster that held the knives.
It fits him well, Roun thought. “Hey, you look good. Can’t imagine how Gran can make you look better. Your face maybe.”
“Hah, let’s hope yours is still intact after we’re done here,” Dave remarked lightly.
Roun smirked and handed Dave the knife. “Fair enough. Show me what you can do.”
The posts in the clearing now glowed with a different colour. On each of them shone one little square red tile among the white. Dave took a moment to scan his eyes over them.
“Hit one red tile on each of the posts as fast as you can,” Roun directed, stepping outside of the circle. “I’m going to time you.”
Dave weighed the blades in his hands with a thoughtful look. While his eyes locked onto the first post, his other hand drifted over to the pouch on his belt containing another set of knives. The slow measured movements combined with eyes narrowed to slits reminded Roun of a tiger, crouched and positioned to spring.
“I’m ready,” his cousin said.
He’s so serious. Roun gulped as an uncanny feeling crept up on him, making him shiver. “Okay, I’m going to give you a three, two, one – go.”
The words barely left his mouth when the clearing erupted in a rapid flurry of sounds.
Whoosh – whoosh – thud – whoosh – thud thud –
Whoosh – thud – whoosh – whossh – thud –
Thud – whoosh – thud –
Whoosh – whoosh – thud – whoosh –

His finger hit the stop on the timer the moment he heard the tenth impact.
Something silver had soared close to Roun and struck the post nearest to him. Splintered yellow streaks tainted the red tile where the blade pierced through.
Then his eyes lowered to the timer.

“How’d I do?” Dave said, slightly out of breath. He twiddled the leftover knives in his hands, flipping them over his knuckles casually.
“Two point five four seconds,” Roun told him, throat slightly dry.
“Agh, three milliseconds off my best,” Dave groaned. “How does that compare to the others? I bet they have real battle experience.”
“Uh, you’re good,” Roun said in short stutters. “You weren’t kidding when you said this is your strongest skill.” He smiled and gave Dave a slap on the back. Without looking, he knew that each of the bladed had struck a red tile on all ten posts he’d set up. And what surprised Roun – mildly surprised, he’d admit – was that Dave threw blindly. That is, he didn’t wait to see if he’s struck center before throwing the next, as if he was already sure he would hit his target.
That’s it. He sent out homing signals with his brain.
His cousin was better than he.
Roun closed the timer. “Yeah, you’ll be fine.”
“Should I do it again?”
“No no. That’s enough for that test.” Roun smiled brightly.

In all honesty, Dave’s numbers were a lot better than some of the others, perhaps because, although common, throwing knives wasn’t considered a major form of combat. Sure, everyone in the village learned the skill as anyone could hold a small knife. Even the young children used them to learn basic offensive and defensive techniques. Older kids liked to use them for fun competition. No one had them as a main. 

If this was Dave’s “average”, his best would be mind blowing…but he wasn’t going to tell his cousin that.
Wait, if Dave is really this good – it’s a good chance to pick up some tips. Unless Dave’s a prodigy, then I’ll really be at a loss.
They collected the knives from the posts, the tiles snapping back together without a sign of a crack. The Zerakis forest tech was really something.
“Where’d you do most of your training?” Roun asked.
“Dad sent me to a ton of dojos when I was younger,” Dave explained. “He believes in collective learning from different perspectives. After that, he trained me himself.”
“He did?” Surprising.
“I also practice with my sister. We like to play darts together.”
“I remember Halyn.” Roun handed Dave the knives back and they looked at the self-repaired grove.
“My dad even bought me my own set of throwing knives. They’re back at the house.”

Cret, uncle Jaanes was really hardcore about training.

Dave pulled out one of the blades, a double-edged weapon with a slender blade that shone in the sunlight with a golden tint as it sat in its dark wooden handle. “These are nice too.”
Roun had to admit, they were pretty.  “Can you show me how you throw? Slowly.”

“Okay.” Dave held it upright, only gently clutching the dagger with his thumb and two fingers. “- is when I throw.”
With a swift arm motion, Dave threw the knife sideways, and the weapon slipping from his fingers with that same magnet attracted movement like the target pulled it in.
The action was fluid, decisive, strong.
Roun retrieved the knife from the post and held it in the same way he had seen Dave hold it, then aimed a sideways look at his cousin.
“Can you catch a flying knife?”
Dave held his hands out and shrugged. “Try me.”
A flash of gold streaked for Dave’s eye. Very calmly Dave leaned his head to the side and raised his hand, snatching the handle of the blade neatly out of the air.
“Whoa -!” Another flash forced him to duck. Dave avoided a second dagger that sailed through where his head had previously been. “That was uncalled for,” he bristled.
“I wasn’t aiming at you,” Roun said, pointing to the post behind Dave, the dagger stabbed into a red tile.
“Uh-huh,” Dave rolled his eyes. “…you’re not bad yourself.”
“Thanks.” Something like a smirk flitted by Roun’s face.
As Dave went to get the unexpected dagger, a thought came to him. No, a vague feeling that, for some reason, Roun was thanking him for more than just the compliment. It was the same feeling when he talked to himself, but the other voice sounded like another person. He shook his head and pulled out the blade. He heard no voice at the moment. Just his imagination, right?
Roun reset the posts to submerge back into the ground. “Did you know, throwing a knife at someone in the Nanrot tradition counts as challenging them to a duel?” he said, in an off-handed manner.

Dave chuckled. “Oh yeah? Where’d you learn that?”
“My mom.”
“Are you challenging me?”
“For our next activity.” Roun smiled, playfulness in his expression.
“You’re on. What are we doing?”
“Swordplay.” And something I’m better at, Roun thought a bit uneasily, fingers clenching around his dagger. They settled comfortably now. Like a dog clamping its jaws down on its quarry. If Dave covers this, then I really don’t have to worry about anything. What was I anxious over anyway? Obviously, Uncle Jaanes prepared him for the exam.
Dave immediately groaned. “Aw, not that. That’s my worst skill.”
Or not?? Roun glanced at him in surprise. “Then what’s your close combat skill?”
“I need one?” Dave scratched his head.
“It’s part of the qualifications.  Proficiency in all weapon types.” Roun patted the sheathed blade at his side. “You think all opponents are going to stay on the other side of the dart board?”
“I like to keep my distance,” Dave admitted. “Do dual knives count?”
“Too light,” Roun told him. “You’ll be lighter on your feet sure, but an opponent with a bigger heavier weapon could easily knock them out of your hands. Not to mention they’re useless against long-rangers. Trust me, you haven’t seen some of the side arms the Wardens have. Hold on, I’m going to get one for you, we need to cover this.” We NEED to cover this. Worry was a better prompt than trying to be better than everyone else. He started to head in to fetch the equipment.

As he did, his mind continued rolling in doubt. What if Dave only had one strong skill? What if he didn’t know how to use any other weapon? Did he have enough skills? A month wouldn’t be enough to get comfortable with ones he didn’t know.
This sucks, Roun sighed inwardly.

NTS: Edits

Chapter 7:
- Made minor dialogue and description edits. Still needs tinkering.
- Split chapter 7  into two chapters "Assessment" and "Family"

Something that always haunts me is that when I'm writing a scene, I'll word things one way, but when I go back to edit I'll mentally facepalm and wonder why I worded it that way.

NTSx2: Going to continue to post so I don't fall behind on my own schedule. The goal right now is to stahp worrying about doing it perfectly and just getting it down. I know I'll probably be making some extreme edits in the future, but if I don't get it down now I'll never get it down OTL

Members Workshops / Re: SKETCH SURVIVAL!!!!!!!!
« Last post by Echo_River on Today at 02:59:09 PM »
@suuper Brains are neverending mysteries in that way.
This one is soooo cute! I love the umbrella! The 3Ds feel solid.
Manga Art Gallery / Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Last post by suuper-san on Today at 02:42:19 PM »
Felt bad not replying since you wrote so much.
I do check MR on my phone now, while travelling, so it's not wasting time. But I'll barely reply.
I'll also try and be brief.

I am indeed dropping sketches that I don't want to finish (~10% at the moment but I want to drop more), but one problem is the range of sketches that I do want to finish is huge, from not so great to awesome.
It's just a lot of my sketches are nostalgic and I never finished any of my sketches from when I first started drawing, so I wanted to finish them "for old times sake". So it's an emotional attachment to the old sketches, and that's why I'm insistent on finishing at least a lot of them.
I am shifting into my newer stuff, and I certainly don't plan on finishing ALL the WIPs, I was sort of exaggerating there. I dont want to have old sketches that I still want to finish, that's the current goal, to finish the old ones, from yesteryear. I will probably have a 6 monthish rollover period once I catch up, I think.

Yes I can indeed produce a lot of sketches if I want, and I am a lot better at making interesting ones, so that's not the issue. Ironically knowing that my sketches will become WIPs is not a worry for me as in "I have to finish this so I'll put the effort in", rather the opposite,"I'll leave the fixing up to my future self", and I can draw freely.

Break free from the guilt of your self-imposed chains. Make the art you want to make. If you have old art you want to re-do, re-do it. If you have sketches you don't want to resolve, then don't resolve them. Forget about the pile of corpses that will build up in your wake. They're just a bunch of corpses anyway.
I am indeed following this. I'm now frequently (for now) resorting my WIPs and trimming out ones that I don't want to finish, getting tighter and tighter on the level that's accepted, as I get used to the fact that I can't finish everything (I always knew this but now I have to deal with accepting it).

I also have concurrent art pages that are me working on my new style, so it's not all old catching up. But I'm still getting used to my new shift into high(er) gear.

Thanks for the tips and advice :)
Members Workshops / Re: SKETCH SURVIVAL!!!!!!!!
« Last post by suuper-san on Today at 02:31:17 PM »
awesome sketches Lego!
Love the photo-y one. how did you do it? painting over a photo?

Day 29: hey nearly a month.
I actually felt really bad this morning from a bad night so left it to the evening. I still feel bad , tired and stiff. And I was totally prepared to do an awful drawing, but to keep drawing daily regardless. And I came up with something rather nice.
I wish I could figure out exactly how my brain ends up with the idea because I didn't have it, and then I did.

Manga Art Gallery / Re: Legomaestro's Art Box
« Last post by legomaestro on Today at 07:32:24 AM »
Tips and Tutorials / Re: Legos How-tos
« Last post by legomaestro on Today at 07:14:40 AM »
Making details super early is my eternal problem haha. I saw the rope thing though. Definitely going to use that.

And hahahaha 1000 for life.

Okay I was told my flow with planning a page might be useful to some, so this is how I make a page (at least in this case)


I come up with the idea for the page and write them down. I forget how easier it is to do everything on the same page. It prevents jumping back and forth between traditional and digital too much and streamlines the process.

I then go to panelling. The rule of thumb for any of my manga, as much as I hate backgrounds is to always start with a large panel that establishes a shot.

I then estimate how many panels will be needed. I went over the top here and I think it would have worked better with two pages. (The characters have ended up pretty squished as a result.)


Accepting my loss, I've decided to sketch out the elements. I work very shape-based. As I am right now hunting for references makes me lose motivation to finish the page, so I  throw in as much as I can into each scene with a very simple shape-based thought process.

You can see how majestic the aeroplanes are: They're down-right symbolic doodles of what a plane typically looks like.

 If I were smarter I'd use 3d models of aeroplanes or do studies to make them more 3d, but in the interest of flow I immidately draw them and move on.

Ideally, I'd use this thumbnail to then collect references and improve upon the looks, but I pretty much ignore that stage and decide it's my final shot.


I finish the page.

Magnificent linework and complete panels as you can see *cough*

I fill in extra elements I might find useful to tricking the reader into accepting the background. I try to keep it as intuitive as possible, because it takes the slightest disturbance to get me out of the flow. In fact, in the space of making these pages I got 3 interruptions that almost made me postpone making this 'How-to'. The chances of me rage-quitting increase the more time I let myself think about things.
Members Workshops / Re: SKETCH SURVIVAL!!!!!!!!
« Last post by legomaestro on Today at 06:57:11 AM »
Yeaup. I'm getting into it now to get some concept-art making chops especially for backgrounds.

Day 22

Manga Writer workshop / Re: WRITING SURVIVAL!!!
« Last post by legomaestro on Today at 06:55:17 AM »

Day 2

Time Woman

"It was the super hero, Time Woman! "

She wrote fan fiction of herself. She looked forward to learning how to draw.

She looked outside at Coal-City, the most peaceful metropolis in the world. She smiled to herself and kept on reading her fan fiction. She found a typo and corrected it. She wrote more stories. In this adventure, she was battling the demon Evos. With a flaming blade, he attempted to destroy the city and Time Woman sprung into action, rewinding time at specific points to stop people being crushed from debris. Mending burnt humans with lost limbs in instant-rewinds.

The story used to be true for her. In her time as a super hero she used to only be able to rewind isolated incidents of time.

As she became stronger and more powerful, she became able to rewind any incident - indeed any evil person - into non-existence.

She hadn't had a fun battle in a while. So she wrote fan fiction that imagined such battles.


totally turned into a OPM situation haha
Anime Talk / Re: Winter Season 2020 Discussion
« Last post by Manimal on January 27, 2020, 07:46:54 PM »
I've found my definite four for this season and I intend to stick with them. Some notes. 

Eizouken (Up to Episode 4). A very nice show full of heart. My kind of series, it's about passionate people with lots of love and knowledge about the medium they pursue. The show gets it good by being full of imagination with it's unique designs, backgrounds and fantasy sequences. It has top notch presentation and it feels more alive than the onslaught of mediocre shows we get every season. It has something human, a burning heart behind it's subject of anime creation. It also shows us some of what goes into making animation all while keeping things fun. This show is very nice and it single handily made me feel it was worth coming back to seasonal anime. 

Koisuru Asteroid (Up to Episode 4). After giving the following episodes a chance I found this show to surprise me. While it's not anything good or even memorable it has oddly good interactions and fun dynamics among the characters. They have small details that make them interesting and I like to see them interact with each other. We are taught random things about the stars and rocks in the process. Episode 1 seemed generic but there is something behind this show's dialogue and energy that makes it enjoyable. It's something good to watch every week.

Murenase! Seton Gakuen (Up to Episode 3). This show is shaping up to be an enjoyable harem comedy. The animal element gives it something fun and unique. It plays this up with new characters every episode who act like the animals they represent in a variety of ways. I really like the sloth girl and the naked mole rat girl who finds it shamefully and embarrassing that people wear clothes. Her minions as well were really amusing in episode 3. The sidecast is very fun in this show and it makes things enjoyable. It's pretty decent for a "harem" type show.

22/7 (Up to Episode 2). What a weird show, this is the one I have the most to say about because it's such an oddity. It's like a show that is 10 years behind it's time and it has the strangest tone and story. There is an all powerful wall that is a supernatural force that assembles an idol group of random girls and makes the angsty bangs girl the leader because...I don't know. This show has strange energy and seems to be full of drama. I don't think it's going to be good but I do think it will be worth watching to see how stupid and crazy it gets. I haven't watched episode 3 yet but I'm sure it will be more weirdness.
Manga Art Gallery / Re: Legomaestro's Art Box
« Last post by legomaestro on January 27, 2020, 06:39:58 PM »
Haha cheers Coryn. And yeaup pretty long post.

@Basic wow that's out of nowhere and very highly appreciated. I mean, I'm no one to teach anyone anything but I can definitely share my process if it's useful to anyone. For now there's no real 'artists resource' thread but I can make a tutorial in my 'How-To' Board. Thanks again!

Also I've got the book Framed Ink. A lot of it is theory I already know off but it looks really good. I'll see if on a closer read I like it more.

I've always wanted to be able to generate sci-fi backgrounds and the like like concept artsits do and I'm in the rabbit hole of photobashing. Then I discovered it can be done with characters too. Had some huge misses with my attempts but its fun getting used to using references and the like.

I've also got hope of working more with black characters. I just by default don't really want to draw them (along with old people) but I guess if I force myself to use photos I'll have more of them seep into my work.  For now I'm just messing around and having fun. On that note I think I want to try out abstaact stuff.

And this was inspired by a photobasher who made a mech out of their friends face. I tried it tonight with a ballpoint pen. Worked much better than it should've

and bkg thumbnail

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