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Topics - Suuper-san

Pages: [1] 2 3 4
1
General Manga writer discussions / Am I overthinking social media?
« on: April 12, 2021, 02:35:58 PM »
Ok so the answer is most definitely yes, I'm sure.

I think the issue is that I'm not a heavy social media user to begin with, so I've always viewed social media platforms as something I would be more engaged with once I started to become more professional (producing proper illustrations and manga), and something that I would use "professionally" only, so just posting high level stuff and not sketches, or rambling posts like I do here.

But I'm starting to think that it's something I should already be starting to use, to engage with art and writing communities more and get a bit of a following with what I'm doing already, sketches and whatnot. Basically not just posting my sketches and doodles on MR, but on other places as well.

I think because I've always viewed this forum community as a place to chill out and learn with others, I've always felt a lot more at ease expressing myself here than on other platforms, in fact I dont even have a Twitter or Instagram etc.

A second problem is that I view social media as a large drain on art and writing time that could be spent on projects, so really I want to become a hermit until I'm massively good and then "post on ALL the platforms!", kinda thing.

Not really sure what I'm having an issue with but just wanted to get it of my chest, maybe someone understands (0-0;)

2
Members Manga / Et Cetera [Prototype]
« on: April 11, 2021, 10:39:42 AM »
Please read my disclaimer if you would like to critique (basically don't critique minor details since I'm only focusing on expressing the core of the idea)
But if you seriously want to mention more fine details then go ahead, it may still be useful to me but I dont want to waste your time.

This is a prototype manga as it is basically in draft format, both script and art. I intend at some point to completely rewrite it and produce it at a proper quality level, although there will always be the allure of the next shiny story.

Et Cetera

Blurb

A robot lands on Earth on a mission to learn about Humans and their culture. He follows around a group of children in an "adventure club", helping them when they get into trouble, and causing just as much trouble on the way.

Chapters

Chapter 1: The Hero Makes a Friend






























Chapter 2: A Guild






























Chapter 3: Going Nowhere































Chapter 4: Distractions


































3
Members Manga / Whispering Magic [Prototype]
« on: April 11, 2021, 10:26:15 AM »
Please read my disclaimer if you would like to critique (basically don't critique minor details since I'm only focusing on expressing the core of the idea)
But if you seriously want to mention more fine details then go ahead, it may still be useful to me but I dont want to waste your time.

This is a prototype manga as it is basically in draft format, both script and art. I intend at some point to completely rewrite it and produce it at a proper quality level, although there will always be the allure of the next shiny story.

Whispering Magic

Blurb

A girl who grew up in the country moves into the city to enrol in a famous magic school on the recommendation of her Grandmother, who was a famous mage in her youth. But she soon realises that the magic being taught at the school is nothing like the magic she has learnt herself...

Chapters

Chapter 1: A Small Fire
































Chapter 2: Difficult First Steps






























Chapter 3: Blending in































Chapter 4: The Storm
































4
Members Manga / Beta Reincarnation [Prototype]
« on: April 11, 2021, 10:12:42 AM »
Please read my disclaimer if you would like to critique (basically don't critique minor details since I'm only focusing on expressing the core of the idea)
But if you seriously want to mention more fine details then go ahead, it may still be useful to me but I dont want to waste your time.

This is a prototype manga as it is basically in draft format, both script and art. I intend at some point to completely rewrite it and produce it at a proper quality level, although there will always be the allure of the next shiny story.

Beta Reincarnation

Blurb

A man dies and reincarnates into a fantasy world with magic. He was meant to have overpowered game-style abilities as many heroes do, but as he is the first person that the God has reincarnated, his powers are unreliable and he can almost never use them properly. He ends up trying to learn magic the hard way as everyone else does in this world, to get by.

Chapters

Chapter 1: Blasted Far Away
































Chapter 2: The Slime






























Chapter 3: Just a Traveller































Chapter 4: On a Quest
































5
Members Manga / Eclipse [Prototype]
« on: April 11, 2021, 09:57:46 AM »
Please read my disclaimer if you would like to critique (basically don't critique minor details since I'm only focusing on expressing the core of the idea)
But if you seriously want to mention more fine details then go ahead, it may still be useful to me but I dont want to waste your time.

This is a prototype manga as it is basically in draft format, both script and art. I intend at some point to completely rewrite it and produce it at a proper quality level, although there will always be the allure of the next shiny story.

Eclipse

Blurb

The world is just not ready to accept that some people have supernatural abilities. Emily wants to use her powers to help people, but her brother is afraid she will put herself into dangerous situations. Perhaps she can find her purpose with the secret organisation known as...Eclipse.

Chapters

Chapter 1: My Purpose




































Chapter 2: The Dark Moon






























Chapter 3: Into the Deep































Chapter 4: Brother and Sister
































6
Develop Your Story / Suuper's Writing Projects & Manga Stories
« on: April 10, 2021, 01:17:39 PM »
This thread is for me to organise my projects to easily catalogue and find them, as well as to rant and monologue about my writing issues and breakthroughs.

Current Projects:

Eclipse

Beta Reincarnation

Whispering Magic

Et Cetera


Old, Completed and Cancelled Projects

Stories:
2012
Blackout

Mangas:
2015
Bokura no Manga
2016
Overdrive
Endlessness
2020
Monday Blues (Collab Manga)
2021
Dark Strike

7
Manga Writer workshop / Write a Magic Incantation
« on: March 31, 2021, 06:38:14 AM »
Well since one of my stories uses spoken spell incantations I figured I would open this up to everyone, as it's sort of fun.

Write a magic incantation in any style you like, for the type of spell described by the post above you.

-No limitations on the length (long or short), but you're not allowed to use the Spell Name Only, like EXPLOSION!!!
-You don't have to write in English, it can be a different language, elvish or any made up language/words if you want. But no akhavuihawvfwaerv , ok? But ideally English is nice because it probably requires the most skill as opposed to using random gibberish (i.e. Google Translate between langauages) that just sounds cool.
-Give the Spell a name, but it doesn't have to appear in the incantation
-Leave a prompt for the next person, describing a spell and what it does.

Here's my shot.

Prompt:
A small healing spell that heals surface wounds on a small portion of the body

Lesser Healing

Heed my call, oh divine ones
The powerless fall in darkness
Knead the form, knit the flesh
Spirits of life, grant your blessing
Let us stand up again, and flourish
~Lesser Healing~


So my challenge for the next person is:
A fireball the size of a football is generated and launched, typically for attack purposes.

8
General Manga writer discussions / Young Pro Mangaka
« on: March 20, 2021, 04:53:48 AM »
I was looking at some of my favourite manga series and other popular titles to see how old the authors were when they started to write them, and it was a bit of a wake up call for me, especially the younger ones.

Rounding the years roughly, this is how old the authors were when making these series:
FMA - 27
Bleach - 24
Naruto - 25
Rave Master - 23
^same author, Fairy Tail - 29
One Piece - 22
Rurouni Kenshin - 24
History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi - 25 (probably)
Nichijou - 29
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - 27
Lucky Star - 26
Kimi ni Todoke - 30

I know that for around 6 years I didn't have writing a manga as a main goal or even having art as a career option, and I deliberately kept it as a background hobby for longer than I "should have", given my current desires.

I'm not saying that if you're older you can't write manga (there's plenty of stuff written by older people that brilliant), but this is, amongst other things, the level of a pro mangaka. Yes they trained and went to art school and apprenticed under an already pro mangaka, so they've got a lot going for them.

Basically, to me, this relates to my desired life output and what I want to do in terms of quantity, for my entire life.

I definitely want to be a good artist by the time I hit 30 (2 years to go :|), only just because it's a round number and viewed as a checkpoint of sorts by a lot of people, and timing-wise I might just scrape in :P

I'm not saying their ages should be a target for aspiring manga writers, but merely that this is what is achievable if you put your mind to it, are dedicated and focused.

Here are some "older" artists that have equally started writing popular works (possibly as their second/third series)

Nanatsu no Taizai - 35
Ore Monogatari!! - 40
World Trigger - 32
Detective Conan - 31
Black Clover - 31

As a side point most of these artists have written one-shots that you've never heard of and serials that got cancelled through lack of popularity etc, so it's not like they had it easy, they had to work hard to get where they are and deal with disappointment and setbacks as well.

Basically, keep at your goal, if you're young, make good use of your time, if you're older, make good use of your time. That's all.

Onwards and upwards.

9
I'm struggling to understand the scope of plot writing, especially the early development stages.

I'm wondering if placeholders are useful when writing. I mean it's probably helpful when you are in full script flow to put Guard#1 or Bystander#2, even if their names get used in the script, because you can go back and add it later once your script has been written.

But it's possible to use placeholders for larger aspects such as a "relative" to the main character, is it their (father/brother/uncle/son)?
But I feel that you are using a placeholder "relative" instead of making a decision, because there is a massive difference in interactions between the character and their father, or their son. So in that respect it's not helping you write the story?

Also as a side point, when you don't have the name of your story decided, what do you title your Word document, Story#1? I get the feeling that would get annoying if you have a handful of stories being developed at the same time.

Is it better to use a temporary (bad/wrong?) name instead of a blank placeholder? And then change it as you see fit down the line?

10
I'm hitting a lot of basic issues now I'm leaning into writing, sorry for the noobyness.

I understand that the answer is sort of obvious - do as much research as is needed to make the story accurate and interesting.

But I'm also wondering how much research actually gets included in the story once you write it.

For example if I remember correctly in a bonus page the writer of History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi said he actually went to other dojos and did research on martial arts and so on, and included some of that in his story, but also made up a lot of stuff that doesn't exist to make it even crazier.

Like if you write a cooking manga like Shokugeki no Souma, then you'll need to know cooking vocabulary and terms.

I think my actual question, is, Can you get away with not researching very much and bluffing your way through the story?

I think also Research and Inspiration are quite closely related. You can get a lot of ideas from research, but take them in different directions and so on.

I suppose my sub-question is, Is it obvious when an author has done or not done their research, even if that research doesn't show directly in their work?
Like you can tell the work has more flavour or depth?

I think I'm getting closer to my real question lol
In a fantasy, what benefit is there to research when the entire thing is written "from scratch"?

I understand it can help with inspiration of course.

What should I even research?

Given that inspiration can be rather abstract in how you interpret things - like seeing a design for armour in the museum might give you an idea for a character, that doesn't even wear armour. So it's almost like any and all research that you do, could be helpful? That sounds awfully unstructured.

11
Members Workshops / Draw a fight sequence!
« on: February 26, 2021, 12:10:17 PM »
I'm going to be doing this massively to build up for my shounen mangas. Sort of a combination of fight choreography and sequential art.

Basically in whatever sequential format you like, draw (or write!) a fight scene between two or more characters.
The idea is not only to practice framing of particular action shots but to accurately convey the sequence of combat actions.
i.e. if the character has just blocked a shot with his left arm, he won't punch with it in the next shot, sorta thing :P

You dont have to draw an entire fight if you dont want to or if you can't think of anything, just a couple of frames is also acceptable.

I'm going to try and sort of randomly pick different types of weapons and give them to random A and B characters to duke it out, and see if that helps. Not sure how much narrative to add at this point. Probably I'll keep it minimal to make sure the art is clear what's happening.

It can also be a fight between a character and a monster/animal as well, which is also quite relevant for fantasy manga.

An easier challenge for those who might find it daunting : draw a single shot of combat, a person throwing a punch or two characters with swords clashed etc

12
I wanted to make this, partly as a tutorial, partly as a making-of, and partly just to make the concept concrete in my mind and to work out what I would do differently next time.

I suppose the most important part of this tutorial is that this is possible for anyone, at any skill level.
This is not how to make a GOOD manga, this is how to make A manga.
You need to take into account your own skill level and what's achievable, and what isn't.

The second most important thing is relevant for any project - you must know when to MOVE ON.
You could spend forever tweaking the story or the art and never get finished. At the end of the day, a complete manga, no matter the quality, is better than a fabulous idea, in your head.

I hope that this tutorial is helpful and maybe gives some insight into how you can make your own manga.
I'll use my recently completed manga as example reference throughout.

The Initial Concept

Spoiler
So where does an idea for a story come from? The chances are you have a story in your mind already.
I started Dark Strike from scratch which gave an interesting insight into rapid story development.
There are many ways to get inspiration, a scene from film/anime/manga/novels, a phrase someone says, a location you see on TV, or in my case, a writing prompt.

Writing prompts are useful because they often make you think of characters and places that might not naturally come to the front of your mind on your own.
You don't need to create an entire story at the moment, just create an interesting idea or situation that you can develop further.

I make my own writing prompts by combining random words from different lists, and the prompt for Dark Strike was "Angry, Exercising, Windy, School".
You don't have to combine all the prompt words into a story, or even any of them, it's just to give you a random starting point. I could have done for example:
  • Students get trapped inside a school as a hurricane approaches (School+Windy)
  • A student at a school for magic is expelled because he uses wind magic which is a taboo (School+Windy+Angry)
  • A schoolgirl has put on a lot of weight over the winter holidays and now has to take up a sport to loose it all (School+Exercise)
  • A new student at school keeps to himself and always looks angry, but there's a soft side that he doesn't show to everyone (School+Angry)
And I could go on and on. Basic ideas are just that, incredibly simple one liners that describe some aspect of your story. And depending on the prompts, you'll come up with different ideas.

In retrospect these all sound better than my actual idea:
-A girl told her friend that she'll still go jogging in the rain, and now that the weather is bad she's angry at herself for making such a promise (School+Angry+Windy)

Developing the Concept

Spoiler
So now you have a basic idea, it might be just a character, a scene, or a setting.
You now have to fill the remaining gaps.

You can always change anything you decide, so move quickly forward by filling out the idea with basic blocks that you can rearrange. It doesn't matter if it's bad, what matters is that you create content which you can improve. You can't improve what isn't there.You're basically building up a larger picture and expanding the plot forwards and backwards, answering questions and justifying decisions.

Using the previous ideas as an example:
  • Students on a camping trip get caught in a really bad (unpredicted) storm and the tents are starting to blow away. They seek shelter in the nearby woods, but one of the schoolgirls is missing. The teacher tells everyone to stay put but one student (perhaps who has a crush on her) goes off on his own to search for her.
  • A girl growing up in the countryside knows nothing of the larger world of magic. Her parents encourage her to go to the "inner city" to study magic as she has an aptitude. On application she is asked to perform magic, and she creates elemental magic, such as generating fire/water. This is viewed as an incredibly basic spell (equivalent to being able to read to a 4 year old ability). The inner city has such a high focus on magic education that their students are incredibly advanced. Not only is she at a disadvantage being underskilled compared to everyone else, the other students look down on her and bully her. She doesnt want to disappoint her parents and decides to stay on and learn magic.
  • A schoolgirl learning how to cook starts making lots of cakes for her friends, but once the winter holidays start, she couldn't meet up with anyone as she went back to her families home in the country. She ended up eating all the cakes she made herself. Now back in school she has gained a lot of weight and her friends are trying to help her to lose it by trying out different sports. but she can't stop herself from eating more cakes that she makes herself and so it's a constant struggle.
  • A boy was constantly bullied for liking cute and "girly" things, and so when he moved into upper school, he put on this facade of being tough and angry to avoid being picked on. But a girl learns his secret one day, running into him on the weekend. Now she threatens to tell everyone if he doesn't help her to be more feminine, as she has the opposite problem of not being girly enough and she wants to blend in with the other girls.
Ok first of all, what the heck. These are all pretty cool ideas, no? This wasn't the intention of this tutorial.

Anyways, you'll notice that for almost all of them I have changed the core idea already. The first one I changed the setting from a school to a camping trip, the second I changed the taboo magic to incredibly basic magic, and the protagonist to a girl. So your seed of an idea can change very easily at this point, and for that reason it's good to change things around while it's so short, until you're happy with the basic concept to develop further.

In the case of Dark Strike, I developed the story adding fantasy elements like this:
A girl jogging in the rain finds a boy by the side of the river beaten up. It turns out he has super powers and is part of a secret organisation that fights to protect society. But she must now choose to join, or have her memory erased.

Expanding the plot

Spoiler
So you now have a relatively solid idea of some of the things that happen in your story, but still no sense of where it begins and ends. The concept needs to be expanded both ways until you reach a decent starting point and ending point.

Having a solid grasp of the genre you are writing and the scale of your project will help in this regard. If you are aiming at a serial manga or longer project, then your story will be much longer with arcs and lots of events happening. If it's a one-shot then the story needs to be smaller, with basically less stuff happening. If it's a romance, it'll typically end with a couple being formed, if it's a mystery, it gets solved, if its a shounen, then the big boss is defeated. You can work from a typical ending backwards and fill the gaps.

I started by introducing the character and her worries in a school setting, where she tell her friend that she still goes jogging even if it rains. Then I had to figure out why she doesn't just call an ambulance for the injured boy and takes him to her friends house. And then since her friend I decided is overprotective, I had to decide on how she convinces him to let her join this organisation, and so I added her friend getting injured in a previous superpower related incident, so she has personal cause to try and protect her friends.

So at this point you have a rough idea of the beginning, middle and end of your story, and probably some of the characters and events as well.

The Event List

Spoiler
This is sort of a cross between a scene list and an expanded synopsis.

You start writing what scenes happen and events or shots that you want to include. You can fill this out all the way through, or work through the bits you know first and gradually fill out all the gaps. You may also find that you rearrange events and move individual events around to make the plot flow better.

At this point my manga looked like this: (excerpt)

Spoiler
Emily sees a person half in the river
Drags him unconscious out of the river, he suddenly starts coughing up water
She attempts to call ambulance but he prevents her.
She sees his wounds – he’s been stabbed/bleeding
He tries to get her to leave him alone/walk away but collapses
He gives in to her taking him to her friend’s house (Sam)
On seeing the injured Joshua, Sam also goes to call for an ambulance but is stopped by Joshua
Sam reluctant but agrees.
They treat his wounds as best as they can and Joshua passes out/collapses
Sam voices his concerns to Emily about this stranger. Especially what if he dies on them.
It is night-time, Emily is not sleeping
Sam talk with her, a little about how she has grown up.
Emily eventually falls asleep on a chair while Sam is talking.
3pm Next day
It is afternoon, Joshua wakes up (looks at broken watch on wrist). Sam is already awake – he has been awake the whole time? (don’t underestimate a writer!)
Joshua has a  small conversation with Sam, mostly chit chat, name/age
Sam gives Joshua some food
Sam wants to know why Joshua is injured and why he is avoiding the hospital and if they are being endangered by him (to protect Emily)
Emily wakes up before he can answer
Sam has called in sick for Emily at school
Emily also asks about Joshua
Because he has been saved by them he agrees to tell them what happened
Joshua reveals he is an Ability User and the existence of the Secret Organisation Dark Strike
He was on (his first?) solo mission to capture another Ability User but they were stronger than the reports or they had extra help. It was a recruitment mission but the user turned out to not be suitable and went berserk. Weather power.
Sam expresses his disbelief
Joshua demonstrates his ability of Telekinesis
Sam probes for more info
Explanation of Ability Users and the damage they can cause – mentions the shop collapse in which Laura was injured.
Emily is angered

If you are writing a serial manga then it will be difficult/long to write this for the whole story in such detail, so for later chapters you can use less detail and it will sound more like the previous step.

"Events" as I use the term, can vary between an entire scene, "Emily eventually falls asleep on a chair while Sam is talking", or just a single shot "Emily is angered". It can also be a notation that is just informative for the next writing step such as, "3pm Next day".

Generally at this point there is no speech yet although if you think of specific phrases you want they could go in here, such as, "don’t underestimate a writer!", which made it into the final manga.

There should be nothing missing that is essential to the plot at this point, and the story is basically quite clearly laid out.

Character Design

Spoiler
I actually did this much later in my process, and I regretted it, as character design is not just the looks of the character but also their personality. Having a clear idea of their personality helps to write their dialogue and to write specific intereations between different characters. It also gives you a chance to draft any scenes you like or expressions to show how the character looks showing different emotions.

I sketched the characters loosely on a draft page like so:


And then cut the chosen images into a word document where I wrote about their personality and extra information, their past and future events that are relevant to them



This should definitely have been filled out in more depth as I think it would have helped to write the characters better, as well as write more characters into the story rather than just the 3 main ones I had.

Expanded Events (Script v0)

Spoiler
Since you conveniently have a bullet point list of events you can go ahead and fill in the gaps with even more detail now, writing in a script format that suits you. I just used:
Name: (action) Speech/(Thoughts)
as a general format although I will probably use
Name: [Action] (Thoughts)
OR
Name: [Action] Speech
moving forward to have a distinction between an action and a thought.

You dont have to write a solid script at this point, I sort of jotted down dialog ideas as I went through the bullet points. Having the event so clearly laid out meant that I could skip points that I wasn't sure of, and come back to them later, and the story still flowed properly.

So at the end of this stage I had a fully laid out, rough script. I didn't fix typos at this stage because it would be pointless, as the next stage makes a lot of alterations and fixes, in which typos are corrected then.


Full Script (Script v1)

Spoiler
Now go through the entire script, removing the bullet point event headings, and joining each section to the next so that it flows smoothly. Sometimes they will join up quite nicely, other times they need a bit of gap filling or moving around.

So now you have a solid script, with panel descriptions where necessary although not too relevant at the moment. I save panel design for quite late on as the panel layout shouldn't affect the story, that is, you should be able to plan the story freely without having to think about how you would draw it or what sort of shot you want.

At this point you have a full script, You can review this a couple of times to make sure the flow works and to change parts that dont sounds right etc.

I only reviewed once, and moved on. You can easily spend hours editing to get the "perfect" script and it will still have errors in it. One thing I have noticed is that you can change the dialogue of the speech bubbles at any time, so you can make last minute changes to what characters say to make it sound better at even such a late stage.


Paginated Script & Thumbnailing

Spoiler
The script needs to be sectioned off into pages and panels for the actions and speech.
I found that you start to imagine the panel layout out of necessity, to see what can fit on each page, and so both the pagination and the manga page thumbnails I did together. It doesn't make sense to split them up.

The reason I didn't write down camera angles and shot types, in the script, was because it would take ages to write down each one, and so I decided that the drawing of the stick figure in the thumbnail would be my reference as to what camera angles I was using.

I had my windows in side by side mode so I coudl see both my page thumbnail and the script. I split the script into panels first by separating sections into individual paragraphs, and used the page break to mark separate pages


At the end I had this:



The white space is very annoying though, but word can hide whitespace as an option, so during the designing stage it actually looked like this:



Pretty cool right?

This is the actual size of the thumbnails that I drew:


The main reason for this was so that I could copy and paste it into Word and the size would be correct and I wouldn't have to resize it, so it's a speed thing.

By the time you get to the end of yyour script, you have your manga page count as well. If you are splitting into chapters then you'll need to keep an eye out for places you can break the script to have a normal page count for your chapter (especially if you have a weekly target!)

Initial Page Draft

Spoiler
Now comes the hard part, drawing it all!!
Since you have a script you already know what you're drawing, so it's just a matter of putting pen to paper (or screen) and getting down a rough idea of what you want.

I dont think this stage was of any help to me really, as the script had a lot of the details for actions and expressions, and the draft wasn't like a sketch for the final version, it was literally a rough draft. I think that because I had a solid script and thumbnails already done, that I could have just gone straight into guidelines for the final version, but this is a step I did this time round nonetheless.

I pasted the speech in using a larger font than my final font (to make sure that I didn't make the panels too packed and gave the speech room to comfortably fit in the panel. Looking back this stage also wasn't helpful as I had to change the font for each box once I got to the final version, and it was faster to delete them and paste in the text again. Next time I would paste in with the correct font straight away and just be very careful with the bubble size to give the text space.

I also adjusted some panels and borders to adjust the space for certain shots.


Panel Borders

Spoiler
Now all the drafting has been done, it's time to make all the final versions of everything. Starting with the panels, since having a solid panel edge will help with the placement of bubbles and the sketches in each shot.

Here is a crash course on how I do it.

In a new layer, make a black border around the outside (the margins basically)
Draw solid black lines to divide all the areas of each panel.


"Colour select" the white areas.
In a new layer, fill the selection black, then shrink selection by how thick your panels will be (8px I think for me), and paste white in the selection.
Delete the black mask layer.

In this case I had to make an additional insert panel, which I used the rectangle select to draw it, and the same fill/shrink/fill to make the border.

Bam. Insta-panels.


Speech bubbles

Spoiler
I should have done this stage after the final sketching of the guidelines/characters, because in some places I moved the characters and the speech didn't look like it was coming from them anymore, and had to be redrawn.

Because of having pasted the text in previously in the draft, I know what size to roughly make the bubbles. In the future I'll paste the final text in straight away and I'll still know what size to make the bubbles.

I use a similar technique to the panels, creating the outside shape as a solid and then deleting a portion of the inside. I don't have the steps I used for the final version but here's the test version page.



This time I used the "layer alpha to selection", shrink by 3px and then fill white
I used the pen to manually draw in the areas where the bubbles overlapped. In the final version I did the bubbles in stages and so I didn't have to do that step.

Bam. Insta-bubbles



I found that it was hard to get the shape I wanted and they just looked like wonky ovals, so in the final version of my manga I used the ellipse tool to make perfect ovals.

As some people have mentioned, and I already thought it myself, it's strange that the bubbles go outside the panel borders - most manga have the bubble cropped to the panel edges and so I'll be doing that in my next work.


Text Formatting

Spoiler
It's quite easy to go through the script and copy and paste in all the text. I don't have an image of it but I went through the entire script and just pasted all the text in roughly, I didn't edit it to fit the speech bubble at all at thig stage.

Once all the text was pasted in, I went through and adjusted the textbox size and location to make sure the text looked alright. In some places I added manual breaks to push the words onto the next line so the lines were all even to the eye.

I also added the sound effects at this stage. In some places I used a different font or a larger font, but this can also be hand drawn. I'm still not sure what I want to do at the moment as both have a different appeal. Generally Japanese manga is all hand drawn sound effects which are nice.


Guidelines

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Since I was working on a small time and quality budget, I chose the fastest route to a tolerable quality, that is, a single guideline layer, and a final inked layer. This is actually very hard, and for any shot that was out of the normal, I found that the guidelines weren't quite enough. But since it was a sketchy style, any extra guidelines I needed I drew on the ink layer itself and left them in for flavour. Mostly they can't be seen because I hatched over them to hide them :P

I used the same style figure as my figure regime that I have been doing lately, so it was quite easy to treat each page as a continuation of that regime and draw each figure in the right place and pose.

What was new and difficult, was working with figures for multiple characters, male/female, and different sizes of figure for different shots (i.e. a smaller shot vs closeup)

The main background lines are also drawn in, sometimes I used a proper vanishing point, sometimes I just guessed, or the scene was in almost-isometric and the lines were mostly parallel.


Inking

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I really dont have an explanation for how I produced this level of inked quality from just those simple guidelines. A mixture of luck and comfort zone I think, as well as a healthy level of experience from other quick sketch regimes.

One way I made the sketch look better than it "really" was, was to add a lot of hatching, half as shading and half as texture, to make the piece more interesting without actually adding any specific details.

Partly because my character designs were weak, and also because of the lack of intermediate stages, the faces were quite different in each panel, and varied more than I would have liked.


Colouring

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I split colouring into two steps, although they overlapped a lot when I was actually doing the colouring.
"Actual Colour" and "Shade"

Actual colour being where someone has black hair and you colour it black, Shade being an overlay on the whole panel, such as because it's nighttime.

Mostly i used the pencil tool to outline an area of colour and then filled it with the paint bucket tool. I didn't use gradients too much but I'll need to have a wider range of colouring skills as I aim at a higher quality manga in the future.

Just colour:


With Shade:


I didn't add too much shading with areas of colour and left it mostly to the hatching to show shade, partly because of timing, but also because of lack of skill - I didn't actually know what to colour at all, and would have struggled to figure out which parts needed shading. This isn't as much of an issue when hatching as I can guess a lot more and it sort of works out.

Cleanup

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You'll have noticed that the shade and the lines extend beyond the panel boundaries, this needs to be removed.
I actually cover it with a new layer rather than deleting anything.

Remember that black panel border layer that I said to delete?
Well don't delete it :P

Fill the black parts white and bring it to the front of the sketches, but under the speech bubble layer, and it will cover all of the unwanted sketch lines



You now have a finished manga page!
Now to repeat those steps for all the pages and you will have your very own manga.

TL;DR have a step-by-step GIF, you know you love them :P
I tried to include the script iterations as well, although these were never on the image as they appear in the GIF.
Also I made it slow transitions to see the details easier.
click to enlarge



13
Members Manga / Dark Strike
« on: February 23, 2021, 01:15:03 PM »


I have finished my project, almost on time!!!!

For an in depth rant discussion on this project, click HERE

Also apologies if all you writers already know this or it sounds nooby, but it's a first for me :P

The main drive for this project was wanting to gain some manga writing experience on my own personal projects rather than gaining it working on a collaboration project. A petty reason to be sure, but there you go.

So I was thinking that I wanted to make a one-shot manga, but I wasn't sure how to go about it, and so I just started drawing pages with random prompts as I have been doing previously, but this time I was using a new method (I mentioned this on the writers log thread) that could work with planning multiple pages. Up until this point I have only really planned the plot as I drew the page, and never thought about connecting pages, or working with a larger plot.

And I kid you not, the first page I did with this new method spawned this story. I wasn't putting any extra effort into it at all, it was literally a random page, that grew and grew massively. I'll talk about that method separately.

And so I suddenly in the space of 15 minutes, I had the basic beginning, middle and end of the story. Since my drive was high to create a manga, I immediately decided that this was the one, and started to work out how to make it into the final product. HERE is the step-by-step tutorial of how I made this manga.

And so with a method in place and a plot to work with, I started cracking away at the workload in good old iterative bulk fashion. My timescale was to finish in 2-4 weeks, and to work at a page rate similar to professional weekly manga artists. With an obvious drop in quality of course :P

And despite a few not great days, I managed to finish in 23 days from the project start on Feb 1st, producing 72 panelled pages and 76 Pages overall. Basically all targets met, and a new high point in my art career, as this is the largest project that I have successfully undertaken.

Any and all feedback welcome.
Despite my overall joy on completion I am aware nonetheless that my writing is awful and so the story itself also suffers quite a bit. But it is done, and I move on.

Also needless to say I printed and stapled a real life copy


Enjoy.
Reads right to left like all good manga.

You can read the PDF on google drive if that suits you better
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VEWcPXYA_D3l29HC3tdGTcBfGK46MQZF/view?usp=sharing

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14
Members Manga / Monday Blues
« on: January 28, 2021, 02:02:11 PM »
This is a manga story that I am working on with a writer as a collab project. The story is already mostly worked out as his project, so it's more like I'm his artist, although I am making contributions to the script. He's allowed me to post here, for feedback and attention.

It's a slice of life and romance, with a fair bit of angst in it which isn't what I'd write myself personally but so far I like the story. You start to feel the characters coming alive when you put a lot of time into thinking about them, which is a first for me as I've probably spent more time on this already than any other manga project.

So far the story has had quite a few major hacks to it in making it a manageable length to complete within a year, and we've managed to resolve it to 3 10 chapter books, each book being a different romance but with the same overall cast (each romance is a different pair of characters). So it's 3 romance stories in the same timeline, with a slight overlap in each book as they all appear in each other's stories.
I think I made it sound more complicated than it is :P

We're only planning to finish the first book and then take a break to do other projects and stuff. I'm personally hoping to multitask my own manga at the same time (because when have I ever taken the easy route ahaha)

So here is the first draft of the first set of pages. I'll be posting sketches of all levels here but I'll try and keep it organised. Especially since to some extent I'll be working on different sets of pages simultaneously to make the collaboration more efficient (otherwise I'm waiting for feedback from the writer or he is waiting for feedback from me and we can't do anything else while we wait), there'll be quite a bit of posting I think. I'll probably only break radio silence on MR for this, we'll see if it's too distracting XD

The only other thing to note is that the pacing is quite fast compared to what I would like, but I think I am a slow paced writer, so maybe you guys will have a different opinion.

Feedback is very welcome on anything, we're giving this quite a good shot so we want a good result.

This is the primary draft so chaos reigns everywhere but the script is pretty stable now after previous alterations. I doubt there's anywhere to actually give feedback on at this stage tbh but I wanted to post it :P

First page is kinda character introductions.

Oh and it reads right to left because I can't draft left to right ahaha

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The main cast:
left to right:Luna, Diana, Mercy, Mio, Roman, Tobi, Dominic
It's meant to be a height chart and quick character ref but ended up looking bizarrely mugshot-esque.

15
Members Workshops / Inktober 2020
« on: September 22, 2020, 02:55:08 PM »
First of all, did no-one notice Inktober 2019? Did we all collectively completely miss the entire month?

Anyways the beloved month of Inkober is nearly upon us.
A great time to take on a daily challenge, try out new mediums, and improve your art habits!

It would be great to have some participants and some friendly competition!

The main website as always:
https://inktober.com/

The official 2020 prompt list:
https://inktober.com/rules

Incidentally there is an Inktober52 contest as well, which is one drawing a week for a year. Just in case anyone is interested.

I'm going to participate in full force, but not with traditional inks this time, instead I'm going for a full colour digital illustration (it's a coloured lineart so it counts!!!!! promise!!), actually based off the prompt word (since I do prompts now XD)
Second to that I'm going to be working in bulk with probably 4-6 days at a time because that's my ultimate method. But I'll post every day with the progress.

My own goals for this: (spoiler for hiding rambling)
Spoiler
My self imposed restrictions are:
-Must produce multiple concepts for each prompt before picking a final design (~10?)
-Must be full body. (I kinda do this always, maybe not so important? gotta have cool shoes tho XD)
-Must have an awesome outfit (epic level details and multiple props and items!)
-Must have a fully rendered background (possible epic level)
-Quality at epic masterpiece level (a level higher than my highest piece ever)
-Not a must, but try and avoid cute girls for this one unless the theme begs for it.
-After all 30 are completed, go back and make alterations and improvements ~1 hour per piece.
-Finish each batch within the days that the prompts cover (cannot see this happening lol)

At maximum quality I might hit time restrictions but I'm taking a huge gamble that I can manage it. It'll definitely give me some insights into my limits.
I'm going for ~6-8 hour pieces, partly to push myself back into the flow of things, but also because I just plain need to do some long pieces for leaning myself into proper illustrations.

I'm going to try and use all my abilities and tricks at my disposal (some I never use for time constraints), and I'm hoping to pick up on issues between batches to refine my top level skills even more.

Even though I'm working at maximum level, it's so beyond my normal level that's it's basically an experimental style. I can't say I have too high hopes for it although I think they will turn out alright, but just not great. It's a wall I've got to go through to get even better.

I think my work might interfere with the timing, so I also expect this to go a bit over the month end. But it'll be my 95% focus until it's complete.

Note to my future self (because I know this will happen) - Don't start chickening out of finishing your drawings, especially if they seem really good! they will be better than normal because you're putting more time into them!! You need to finish them to gain the next level of skill!!!! Baka!!!

Leave a comment if you're up for joining and we can all encourage each other \(^-^)/
Post your artworks in this thread as well so we can easily see each others stuff  :dance:

I'll see you all later  8)

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