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Author Topic: ComiPo, for the helpless, hopeless writers  (Read 3288 times)

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Offline paddyspens

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ComiPo, for the helpless, hopeless writers
« on: July 18, 2015, 11:31:04 AM »
Hello!

What I have written below is based solely on my experience and a mere tips/intro to the ComiPo. If you want to learn it from a guide, you should google it.

I am someone who loves manga, but unfortunatetly, can't draw. Then I found ComiPo Manga Maker had an English version on Steam for 9,99$ (It was Japanese before) when it was summer sale. Right now it's 30$ but I'm sure discounts will pop up, so if you can be patient, you'll find a good discount for it on Steam. I'd love to post some links, but I have no idea if I can post links or not right now, so I decided against it. (Btw can someone light me on that matter please?  ;D)

First thing to understand about ComiPo, that it's "gives the impression" of an ass. Not because it's a program that's hard to use, but because until you get the hang of it (and it's somewhat easy don't worry, its not complicated), you'll think it's impossible. So MANY buttons on the interface, makes you go "wtf". It's not. It's really not. First time I used ComiPo I thought it was the worst purchase I have ever made, but now I clap myself for buying it. So stop thinking and just keep making mangas.

After your first somewhat horrible manga, you'll be used to the interface to at least make something decent. Everytime you make something, you get better, you can feel it by reading what you have done from the first manga to the last.

Now for using ComiPo. ComiPo somewhat transforms you into a magician at some point. Not because you make awesome things, oh no, but since you can't draw, you have to keep finding tricks to make it visually beautiful or logical. I'll get back to the logical part in a bit. You can see what I meant with beautiful, here:



You see, left part is just plain bad. It's bad. It gives no aesthetic feeling whatsoever. You need to find a proper font, a proper size, and good punctuation. Without those it's just not good. Another thing is to keep picture aligned. The picture above is not, for example, you can see it to the right lower corner. Keep it aligned. Waste time, but do it. Trust me. I didn't do it right now because these are just for giving you an idea.

For the logical part. Look at this:



Or this:



You get it? Left part is not logical. You have to adjust it until it's correctly aligned. Perspective. Perspective is your new best friend. Do not lose it. Do not fight with it. Whatever you do, perspective is one of the most important parts to making a manga. (And in real life drawing of course. lol.)

Speaking of best friends, don't forget oh-so-mighty Google. Whenever you're in a pinch, use it. Can't find the background you want? Google it, google picture it. You can't use or understand something? Lots and lots of guides are there, find them, read them.

But after all, this is a limited program. This is not the program for a new greatest manga of all times. It has its limits, knowing this early will save you from a lot of headaches. After you spend hours trying to do something and can't do it, you should know it's probably above that limit. I mean try to keep it simple, and don't get frustrated if you can't picture what's in your head, sometimes it is really hard to do, and sometimes it's impossible. But if you're so stubborn like me, you can use tiny little silly "tricks". Including, but not limited to, these: dividing the panels, coloring the illogical parts, putting text bubbles on characters etc. Right now it makes no sense, I know, and seems simple, but once you start using the ComiPo, you'll know what I am talking about.

Oh, and create your own characters. Don't use the preset ones. For the main characters, definitely create them. It's easy. And if you're not rich, you don't have to buy all of the DLC's. I didn't. They are ridiculously expensive, and they only bring new clothes. I didn't buy any of them yet, cuz I'm fine with the default ones, but if you want them, buy ONE for now. You can buy the rest later.

That's it folks, if you have any more questions ask and I'll try to answer to the best of my abilites.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 10:28:14 PM by paddyspens »

Offline DeAngelus

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Re: ComiPo, for the helpless, hopeless writers
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2015, 07:43:05 PM »
Yeah ... best let the official tutorial show them how .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxdmWsU1IXo
http://www.comipo.com/en/demos_tutorials/index.html

To be honest , I wouldn't recommend it highly to artist-to-be who want to draw a manga out (I can see this as an alternative solution for storyboard for writers though) . It kind of promoting laziness (like base dolls on DA) by giving them preset models & props without having to illustrate them manually . Also , you can't create uniqueness overall as you're stuck with limited sets that if you use it that everyone else will use too , in other words , possible copycats are high here . In addition to that , your finished product will definitely fall severely flat in terms of variety , interactive , color , tone & mood value , something that is seen in your manga , paddyspens .

So again , highly unrecommended for starting artists , but could-be alternative for writers to present a storyboard .
« Last Edit: July 18, 2015, 07:45:45 PM by DeAngelus »
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Offline paddyspens

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Re: ComiPo, for the helpless, hopeless writers
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2015, 10:26:25 PM »
Of course you are right. What I stated above was merely my experience and opinions, when you learn from an official guide, it's obviously the better choice. and thank you for posting a link, it seems until I am at some sort of a level, I can't post links.
And yes, you can't make a masterpiece using this program, it's for fun, and it should not be taken seriously. the product itself states that it's limited and it can only create to some extent.
but I disagree with the "promoting laziness", since talking from experience, I've spent countless hours trying to create a 32-page long chapter. Sometimes, I was at my wits end trying to picture what I wanted, due to its limitations, but when I finally made what I wanted to make, the rewarding feeling was unfathomable. of course, the effort you make is not the same when you draw a manga, but then again, it does require some sort of an effort, and its users should not be belittled. Also, I believe the uniqueness should get from the vibe you get, not the way you use. I've seen some real good ComiPo mangas that are way better then some serializations.

so in my opinion, I'd recommend ComiPo to anyone who wants to give a shot to manga making, but is unable to do so. then again, as you said, the final product will not be the next fullmetal alchemist.

oh and thank you for your opinion about my manga. I'll be sure to consider it.

Offline DeAngelus

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Re: ComiPo, for the helpless, hopeless writers
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2015, 02:36:11 AM »
but I disagree with the "promoting laziness", since talking from experience, I've spent countless hours trying to create a 32-page long chapter. Sometimes, I was at my wits end trying to picture what I wanted, due to its limitations, but when I finally made what I wanted to make, the rewarding feeling was unfathomable. of course, the effort you make is not the same when you draw a manga, but then again, it does require some sort of an effort, and its users should not be belittled. Also, I believe the uniqueness should get from the vibe you get, not the way you use.
Okay , here comes an essay in a oddest of places ...

Now there's the main problem that leads me to give such conclusion . Laziness in manga creation refers to not creating something from scratch that relies on your imaginative power , how much you've done actual practice & research & being original . ComiPo , though it's an okay & one can have fun with it by making a manga (which is why in no way I mentioned anything that tells you to not use it at all) , it does not offer you space to spread your wings fully , due to what you've mentioned there - limitations , limitations from the fact that it's a dumbed down version of a 3D animation software .

Limitation's good for you in order to push ones creative & artistic skills to the limit & beyond by thinking of out-of-the-box solutions to overcome that . But there are differences between real-life and/or self-imposed limitations & unnecessary/unneeded limits . The tools offered by ComiPo , like base dolls & tracing , are the kind of tools that WILL unnecessarily traps your skills & creativity in it's mold . Let me remind you that those character models , backgrounds & props offered in ComiPo are not made by you , someone else made it , commissioned to be included into ComiPo for your use . But if somehow someway they do not have something you're looking for and/or it doesn't have a pose or texture that would meet the requirement to tell a particular scene , it's your personal dead end because your creative & artistic skills is being limited against your will by the creators who made them & if the creator had decided to no longer/refuse offer anymore props , tool-kits & models for ComiPo , you'll immediately hit an assuring dead end in this particular road with no possibility of paving one out yourself (simply because by default you're beneath the original creator on overall skills in art) without returning all the way back to square one .

Effort is not really a measurement in time spent on making a finished product , it's determined by you & what you've done collectively . One can put all effort into making a finished product by using pre-existing stocks obtainable from other creators stores/sites and not see any sort of improvement , even having spent long hours for years in front of the table making them out . Effort without a lead via research/guidance/practice/experimentation will end up with you circling around aimlessly - another thing ComiPo does not offer you & most definitely will not offer , just like any other art tools out there , like Photoshop & SAI . I've been through this in my first-half of my life being a comic/manga author myself , seeing no significant improvement even though I've been drawing nearly the whole day everyday , even during school hours . It's only when I was offered some sort of 'lead' it's when I see growth in my creative & artistic skill & it grows big time .

The uniqueness in manga/comic terms (or in general term , for that matter) is the kind that stands out in the pool of manga/comic of a more generic kind . It can be because of it's compelling storyline , uncommon/unique take on concept , memorable characters etc. . Uniqueness obtained from personal intuition , taste & way of handling goes hand-in-hand , but ones way of handling holds the major key in crafting an unique story , along with ones experience & knowledge , one can also determine it's value .

Quote
I've seen some real good ComiPo mangas that are way better then some serializations.
I've looked up for works & videos that uses ComiPo & a lot , if not all , aren't coming close to some serialization standards . Care to show yours ?

Quote
so in my opinion, I'd recommend ComiPo to anyone who wants to give a shot to manga making, but is unable to do so. then again, as you said, the final product will not be the next fullmetal alchemist.

I highly discourage artists in-the-making from using ComiPo . It may be just another opinion of many , but this opinion of mine is based on the fact that I'm an artist myself (been doing this for a long time already) & ComiPo severely lacks the fundamental functions of that of any art software essential (namely , Photoshop , ZBrush & Painter) to promote artistic & creative growth in general , physically & mentally . But I can see this be used as a 'for fun' tool to use for the heck of it & for writers who wants to get a pictured form of a storyboard across but don't have the skills to draw them out . If someone do try to sell a manga/comic that is made by such art software , any reason they or anyone gives about it , it'll still looks like still snapshot images from MMD (MikuMikuDance) because it is after all , a dumbed down version of it (I've confirmed this claims already) .

There are better art software that does a way better job at it . But if you're still looking for the ones that offers templates & textures used in manga/comics , Manga Studio comes close to that (there's another art software but it's in Japanese only) but it only caters to the general black & white manga/comics & even with them , you'd still need to build-up your manga/comic manually - drawing them out . As for graphic novels , you're going to have to make it from scratch .

... I feel like a lecturer of MR ...
« Last Edit: July 19, 2015, 02:42:09 AM by DeAngelus »
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Offline Boosted Nomena :)

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Re: ComiPo, for the helpless, hopeless writers
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2015, 03:39:29 AM »
I highly discourage artists in-the-making from using ComiPo . It may be just another opinion of many , but this opinion of mine is based on the fact that I'm an artist myself (been doing this for a long time already) & ComiPo severely lacks the fundamental functions of that of any art software essential (namely , Photoshop , ZBrush & Painter) to promote artistic & creative growth in general , physically & mentally .

There are better art software that does a way better job at it . But if you're still looking for the ones that offers templates & textures used in manga/comics , Manga Studio comes close to that (there's another art software but it's in Japanese only) but it only caters to the general black & white manga/comics & even with them , you'd still need to build-up your manga/comic manually - drawing them out . As for graphic novels , you're going to have to make it from scratch .

... I feel like a lecturer of MR ...

Thank you prof for giving us your profound opinion as usual, but you are kind of missing something here...this alternative is mostly for writers and all people burning hard for writing their stories but doesn't have the skill to draw... I see a hug potential in it, not having skills or creativity can be out-weighted by continuos hard-work and the software you are using are just TOOLS, sure some are better than others but it's just for convenience, you are the human and not the machine so you've been given enough brain to find you way around limitations and that is where the "laziness" is not applying...

Sorry but I prefer seeing a manga born from a software than staying on a piece of paper as word for the rest of the writer's life or drawn in a really "unpleasing" way by someone who does not even realise how unpleasing it is and refuses advices of help...we've been debating so hard about artist writer ratio being really low...so I see this as a potential to remedy to that...no one should beg anyone for doing something or feel miserable or depressed because things didn't go according to original plan, either artist or writers...

Also people are using base on DA because they are unable to draw anatomy but they have other things to show of like their colouring skills...I have seen it on real life as well, saw horrible stuff (but maybe just my own point of view) drawn on canvases but still somehow pleasing to the eyes.

Good for you if you can do everything from scratch, but everybody is not you, sorry if that sounds a bit harsh it was not intended but paddyspens spent hours on this, which I find really admirable...and as I see with the logic with perspective he has, he does have the potential for being an artist, he could even start to draw now if he wants to because this experience surely trained his eyes.



« Last Edit: July 19, 2015, 04:57:18 AM by Nomena-Alrina »
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Offline legomaestro

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Re: ComiPo, for the helpless, hopeless writers
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2015, 08:46:07 AM »
Keep things civil yeah? Just a small heads up.

Personally I feel I'd definitely rather slave away at storyboards. Preset things are so addictive and fun they may end up getting in the way of learning things. Not that Im always good at learning the proper way haha.

If you find it useful and fun then go ahead. Especially if you're more interested in the getting the story out part over the actual drawing

Like chibi makers and dolls though I just don't have it in me to use them and externalize them as my own products.

Offline paddyspens

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Re: ComiPo, for the helpless, hopeless writers
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2015, 09:37:27 AM »
I think some points made came out unnecessary, as I've said in the beginning, ComiPo is for fun, and fun only, and it's something to get you started and/or hone your skills as a writer.
If you can create something new, then I believe ways no longer matter, as long as it's yours and new. I agree with the sentence "presets can make you lose creativity", but in the end, they are there for your use and will, you can bend them however you like, and as an artist, you should know that you should rely on yourself ultimately, and not on other things.

What I meant by "some better ComiPo mangas", I've seen ComiPo mangas that are full of writing potential, as if poetry flowing out from pages, of course they can not reach serializations standarts, it's impossible to reach to the hand drawn mangas in terms of visuality. No one should start making ComiPo mangas expecting that.

And for the third time, writers like me who can't draw, and wishes to draw, can and should use ComiPo and other digital programs as much as they like. As Nomeno-Alrina kindly said (and thanks for the compliment :)) I've learned so much, and I can make storyboards that makes sense now. I am the living proof that you can learn at least something from it, and I really had fun creating my manga. I stayed up 'till sun rise sometimes for something I was creating, and it was amazing. I'd like to think ComiPo fulfilled whatever it was I was expecting from it.

Of course like legomaestro pointed out, people usually choose to draw their ideas, and ComiPo is merely an alternative. As I've said in my first post on this topic, everything considered, it is a program, no matter how you hard you try, it has its limits, and starters should know that it has its limits.

Offline DeAngelus

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Re: ComiPo, for the helpless, hopeless writers
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2015, 08:10:20 PM »
I highly discourage artists in-the-making from using ComiPo . It may be just another opinion of many , but this opinion of mine is based on the fact that I'm an artist myself (been doing this for a long time already) & ComiPo severely lacks the fundamental functions of that of any art software essential (namely , Photoshop , ZBrush & Painter) to promote artistic & creative growth in general , physically & mentally . But I can see this be used as a 'for fun' tool to use for the heck of it & for writers who wants to get a pictured form of a storyboard across but don't have the skills to draw them out . If someone do try to sell a manga/comic that is made by such art software , any reason they or anyone gives about it , it'll still looks like still snapshot images from MMD (MikuMikuDance) because it is after all , a dumbed down version of it (I've confirmed this claims already) .

There are better art software that does a way better job at it . But if you're still looking for the ones that offers templates & textures used in manga/comics , Manga Studio comes close to that (there's another art software but it's in Japanese only) but it only caters to the general black & white manga/comics & even with them , you'd still need to build-up your manga/comic manually - drawing them out . As for graphic novels , you're going to have to make it from scratch .

... I feel like a lecturer of MR ...

Thank you prof for giving us your profound opinion as usual, but you are kind of missing something here...this alternative is for mostly for writers and all people burning hard for writing their stories but doesn't have the skill to draw... I see a hug potential in it, not having skills or creativity can be out-weighted by continuos hard-work and the software you are using are just TOOLS, sure some are better than others but it's just for convenience, you are the human and not the machine so you've been given enough brain to find you way around limitations and that is where the "laziness" is not applying...

Sorry but I prefer seeing a manga born from a software than staying on a piece of paper as world for the rest of the writer's life or drawn in a really "unpleasing" way by someone who does not even realise how unpleasing it is and refuses advices of help...we've been debating so hard about artist writer ratio being really low...so I see this as a potential to remedy to that...no one should beg anyone for doing something or feel miserable or depressed because things didn't go according to original plan, either artist or writers...

Also people are using base on DA because they are unable to draw anatomy but they have other things to show of like their colouring skills...I have seen it on real life as well, saw horrible stuff (but maybe just my own point of view) drawn on canvases but still somehow pleasing to the eyes.

Good for you if you can do everything from scratch, but everybody is not you, sorry if that sounds a bit harsh it was not intended but paddyspens spent hours on this, which I find really admirable...and as I see with the logic with perspective he has, he does have the potential for being an artist, he could even start to draw now if he wants to because this experience surely trained his eyes.
The one in red & underlined answers the one underlined ... I do though question your action to snip the one in bold out from the same paragraph & miss what I've stated there . Heck , I kind of question why so far , nobody read that in the first place . Maybe it's a fault on my part that I gave too much importance in explaining the applications effects of such software to artists & didn't give much on the writers part . If so , then apologies in advance .

It's normal for a human being to find ways to deal with limitations . I would like you to re-read this :
Quote
Limitation's good for you in order to push ones creative & artistic skills to the limit & beyond by thinking of out-of-the-box solutions to overcome that . But there are differences between real-life and/or self-imposed limitations & unnecessary/unneeded limits . The tools offered by ComiPo , like base dolls & tracing , are the kind of tools that WILL unnecessarily traps your skills & creativity in it's mold . Let me remind you that those character models , backgrounds & props offered in ComiPo are not made by you , someone else made it , commissioned to be included into ComiPo for your use . But if somehow someway they do not have something you're looking for and/or it doesn't have a pose or texture that would meet the requirement to tell a particular scene , it's your personal dead end because your creative & artistic skills is being limited against your will by the creators who made them & if the creator had decided to no longer/refuse offer anymore props , tool-kits & models for ComiPo , you'll immediately hit an assuring dead end in this particular road with no possibility of paving one out yourself (simply because by default you're beneath the original creator on overall skills in art) without returning all the way back to square one .
My post was to highlight the adverse effect of relying too much on software like ComiPo that gives you preset models & props instead of series of tools that (tries to) replicate the real world tools used by artists to create artworks as close as possible . Paddyspens latest post convinces me that he/she understands full well of over-reliance over pre-made molds , so I won't go too far into this . But here's the thing , it is considered lazy & cheating if you decide to overcome one's own limitation by using software like ComiPo & pass it off as 'your' manga .

Yes , I do hope to see more mangas that are 100% digital as I've seen a good number of those out there already . But even after many years art software developers develops them & tries to tune them to replicate the traditional ways of creating art , it still gives off the 'artificial' feel - too pristine clean & perfect , which is why professionals don't 'highly' recommends it & sticking to it all the way as though it's the only tool in the art world . Experimentation is key here & if digital don't give you the results you wanted , look for other ways . This is my say on the the artist side & as for the writers side , go ahead , use it as I don't see much problem with it but for the sake of giving a justifiable reason , I'll explain it later on below . And yes , artists in general are notorious to have big attitude , I've dealt with them more than writers and/or manga authors to see the picture ...

-Off Topic-
DA emits a noxiously , ugly aura to the art community & the public in general , so it's a given as many good artists are seen leaving or had left (still tracing where do they go , including the ones from the now closed CGHub) . Almost everything in there is what a sane artist would NOT do & that includes the wrong way of getting better at art . I wouldn't say that using base dolls & tracing from original works are inherently bad . It helps , but it's so limited , asking them to draw the same thing without the molds as assistance almost always result in their mold-less design to turn into a pile of mud . That's why it's always been suggested that any starting artist should practice anatomy simply because those original works you've traced & the base dolls you're used , they all conform to that one master mold .

And I didn't say that I did everything from scratch (where did I say that ?) & yes , I'm well aware that not everyone can agree/conform to one thing . And I'm going to apologize for this as this is definitely a mistake on my part for not doing some digging on OP to find out that paddyspens is a writer only , not an artist or both (author) . But I'm going to disagree with you in that what paddyspens posted there indicates that paddyspens can draw . Concept-wise , yes , there's a small hint in it , but being able to draw it out is a whole different story as the usage of pre-made models & props =/= artistic talent .
-Off Topic End-

I think some points made came out unnecessary, as I've said in the beginning, ComiPo is for fun, and fun only, and it's something to get you started and/or hone your skills as a writer.
If you can create something new, then I believe ways no longer matter, as long as it's yours and new. I agree with the sentence "presets can make you lose creativity", but in the end, they are there for your use and will, you can bend them however you like, and as an artist, you should know that you should rely on yourself ultimately, and not on other things.

What I meant by "some better ComiPo mangas", I've seen ComiPo mangas that are full of writing potential, as if poetry flowing out from pages, of course they can not reach serializations standarts, it's impossible to reach to the hand drawn mangas in terms of visuality. No one should start making ComiPo mangas expecting that.

And for the third time, writers like me who can't draw, and wishes to draw, can and should use ComiPo and other digital programs as much as they like. As Nomeno-Alrina kindly said (and thanks for the compliment :)) I've learned so much, and I can make storyboards that makes sense now. I am the living proof that you can learn at least something from it, and I really had fun creating my manga. I stayed up 'till sun rise sometimes for something I was creating, and it was amazing. I'd like to think ComiPo fulfilled whatever it was I was expecting from it.

Of course like legomaestro pointed out, people usually choose to draw their ideas, and ComiPo is merely an alternative. As I've said in my first post on this topic, everything considered, it is a program, no matter how you hard you try, it has its limits, and starters should know that it has its limits.
Just like Nomena , you also did missed out the one I've highlighted above in bold red . Yes again , maybe it's my fault as it's possible that that one short line doesn't tell much (as opposed to a whole essay directed to artists) & gives it much visibility , so I'm going to expand on it as much as possible .

I do see this is as a good alternative for writers to draft out pictured storyboards without having to utilize their already poor artistic talent , but alternative is still an alternative & here's why (you'd probably don't have to know about it , but this is for other passerby as well) . Like how artists who'll use it will get limited by it , writers too will get limited by it in a way that you can't design a character from which the preset models & props in the software do not offer . If that happens , you're going to have to find a closest presets that comes close to what you've imagined (or having to manually draw them out) & then having to re-describe it to your artist & the readers as to how this particular character should look & behave like . Also , there are things that are missing in it that you'll eventually still have to keep your scripts with you to clarify everything i.e : Dynamic movements , unique expressions & props , detailed gestures , fantasy-made settings & non-humanoid characters , to name a few .

To put it simple , this software isn't going to liberate you from scripting anytime soon . There are guaranteed ways to deal with storyboards , like the hard 'draw it out yourself' way or the smart 'hire an artist' way .

Again , if you're using this to create a fun-only projects , go ahead . All of those point will not apply to you but only those who seek ways to get a illustrated storyboard out . So , read slowly & carefully ... I'm not going to re-quote the re-quoted again .
« Last Edit: July 19, 2015, 08:18:15 PM by DeAngelus »
PM me if you wanted a critique. It takes time for one to come to you, so please be patient.

If you wanted it to be public or private, do tell me.