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Author Topic: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)  (Read 187144 times)

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Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1560 on: January 21, 2021, 04:38:51 PM »
@KatDeMilo ahaha thanks for the coment :D

@Lego the rest of this post is dedicated to you lol
wow you kinda went all out on my thread ahaha

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this sort of 'flow' is letting the obstacles be and moving on to something else unrelated but similar so that you still have forward momentum.
Now that I think about it, that's very much like a river would do. A river will always flow downhill but work around the obstacles in its way. Act like a river - very kungfu wisdom there.

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It looks simple and appeals to the eyes, but actually behind that is a buttload of work that was done to be able to execute that simplicity.
True I'm starting to appreaciate other artists' sketchy styles now a lot more. I spent ages trying to figure out how they could draw something so sketchily but still make it look good, and basically a massive amount of skill and experience is the reason. I'm still working towards that :P

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Tracing has always been something I defend and will absolutely add to my regimens again.

It definitely has its place and is quite useful at helping you to gauge certain aspects of your skill. In other words, if you can trace (but not draw as an original) something successfully then you have the coordination, it's just the knowledge that's the issue.

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I feel these are not quite the art styles for you. The folds and details of the second image definitely and the expressive kawaii of the first, but not... Quite...
Hmmmm those two were not from my epic collection but they are close to the sort of work I'd like to produce. I'm still quite vague about my exact style at the moment.
I'd love to see anything you think would suit me better.

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I honestly wish I stopped practicing and just went at my projects, but in my current slump and crisis I want to at least have an idea of my workflow in some sense to be able to commit to something. It annoys me but I am a bit too chaotic in my choices.
I'm starting to lean towards my projects and regimes being the same thing, especially with writing it will start to manifest itself as practice one-shot chapters, but in themselves, they would be no different from projects, but they're still for practice. It's always a hard one when you're on the learning curve to know how much time to balance between regimes and projects.

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By the way, have you noticed how freeer one is with making poses when you DON'T have a 3d mannequin?
Hmmmm since I dont have a figurine I can't say, but with practice I have found I can sketch poses very freely without any references, so I probably agree.
And yes when you aren't copying something you do have that extra level of freedom to change proportions and stuff, although I find that quite difficult and my work will always be a very similar consistency between each set of figures.

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Not only has your fashion become super cool, you're having your characters hold more stuff and/or really stand in space and environments. You're levelling dude.
Many thanks. I'm still working on a fashion workflow but I have a higher range of generic outfits I can play with now. And yes putting props in my characters hands is almost a must these days otherwise I'm drawing wayyyy too generic stuff.

I've read half of Rave Master, gotta get back to finishing that. Pretty good story.

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and even at the highest levels of manga, cross-hatching done right looks so much better than the most 3d looking textures in my opinion.
I think I lean towards more "traditional" hatching rather than throwing textures and stuff down, partly because it's something I would also be able to do with ballpoint, but also in the long run I think it's faster to use the same pen to add texture than to flick through a clip-art library of textures to find the one you want. At the end of the day it's a different art style, so both are good in their own right.

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You not only learn to respect the amount of effort required in making a background but have a realistic estimate of any future illustrations or comics you want to make.
Bingo on the estimation point. I'm thinking that I can use tracing to build up a lot of "easy" experience to improve my speed and consistency for future projects and original artwork.

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I have a healthy understanding that 6 panels is the optimal 'medium' pace. 3 is action packed. '7' is also, funny enough, action packed.
I think panel count is one of those things that doesnt really matter if you use them well. There are so many different panelling styles and camera angles that pretty much anything works, bizzarely.

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Holy freaking wowwwwwwwwww I wish I could draw like this. Like literally this would be an achieved life goal of mine to have this level of comicking
Ahaha thanks very much. I'm also pretty content with this level of quality, I'm going to be going ahead with this quality for a few manga projects while I build up other comic skills and then bump the quality up as I gain more skills.
I think you could definitely get just as good if not better. It's almost 100% workflow and quality control stages that help to increase the quality. Oh that makes me want to do a step by step manga page animation.

and lo, it is made. By the time I reached the end stage it took 6 months from the first sketch. Also the first stage has more detail, actually in my new manga workflow I entirely skip the first sketchy step shown in the animation.

I'm pretty sure detail-wise you've sketched up to at least my half way point for manga, and in individual sketches you've been able to draw at a higher quality, so it's just tying all these skills together. There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes that isn't shown in the animation, such as figure cleanup and proportion checking. Around 30 iterations over 6 stages from beginning to end, about the same as my normal illustrations tbh.



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Man I definitely haven't paid attention to your progress in a while haha. I'm super jealous and want to reach these heights.
Ahaha thanks :P
The best generic advice I can give is to build up your own problem solving ability, which has been the biggest help to me as I can solve issues at any level, be it my skills or workflow, methods or thought processes.
The best advice I can give for you personally is to every now and then produce a piece at your highest level, take as many hours as you need for it (but still have a limit of some sort) and really put yourself out to finish it. That will help you to see more ways in which you can learn. An alternative to that is to take a previous piece and try and improve it. For both, draw the guidelines carefully and do lots of double checking.
I think you spend too much time on low level sketches and quick sketches, which you are already quite good at I think, but you don't finish off any of your work and so you're missing out on learning how to improve the proportions and quality of your pieces.

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Okay I definitely need to graph my life in general.
Like any tool, statistics are useful but they can be hard to use effectively to help you improve. I mostly use time spent drawing as a general measure of how productive I have been, but there is always a risk that I miss other underlying issues that the statistics don't show.

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Proud of you, suuper.
*sheds tears of joy*

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Teach meeeeeeeeeeee. (Except I suspect it's something that only really works for you personally. And I want to find my own in the end.)
I definitely endorse finding your own method because only you know what will work exactly for you.

If I were to tell you what works for me it would take a whole 2 A4 pages because I was logging all the different emotions and phases I was experiencing as I was trying to crack the final layer of the zone and that's how much I wrote.

In the simplest form I just massively psych myself up as quickly as possible.
In part I shed off any form of negativity and doubt about my art, I fill my mind with useful art related thoughts such as awareness of proportions and concept prompts, and keep a positive attitude.

I know that sounds pretty bizzare but it's based on multiple analyses of what is in my mind in good periods of drawing, and trying to recreate those states. I basically force a manual override of my mental state into one that is more conducive to drawing. It's the fine tuning of the exact state to create a "zone" that has taken the time, and it's still not the ultimate form yet.
So whatever psyches you up will vary. In my case it's a tiny collection of my absolute favourite songs (mostly anime ahaha)
With practice you can "power up" much more effectively and with a higher chance of success. My success rate used to be around 20% but it's closer to 90% now which is ridiculously awesome. It's basically a mental crowbar at this point.

But even being in a high power state has its limits. Without your art skill and experience, visual library and so on, you're just a steamroller without a driver.

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RE: YOU FINALLY INKING THE PAGES I WAS ALREADY BLOWN AWAY BY

DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUDE
Ahaha many thanks :P

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Oh wait, the time travelling story had nothing to do with the student selection hahaha. Botched that one up.
To be honest I did have overlapping thoughts when I did these pages, so although they are officially unrelated they could both be part of a larger story :P

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I sort of feel the gesture has been lost?
Ahhh perhaps I wasn't too clear on that, the sketches are not the same concept, the later one isn't meant to be an improvement of the earlier one. It's just two similar unrelated sketches to show the difference in line quality.

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-You've added not only backgrounds, held- objects but also other characters and them interacting with eachother. And judging from the numbers in record time too. Dude. Hooowwwww hahaha.
Partly the drop in line quality made it easier to sketch more complex ideas, but also just a result of constantly trying to reach that ability. I still have off days when it comes to making cool ideas.

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My favs are
....
You pretty much mentioned all of them lol
To be honest almost all of them are my favourites too :P
I had a very good day for that set.

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Mirror girl seriously deserves some recommendation. This alone deserves as much props as the level up in your sequential art. You've mixed all aspects from dimensionality, expression, storytelling and kawaii in one image. NICE.
Thanks, that's my top favourite along with the twins. I can't say I'll get as consistently good as that for a while, partly because I'm just practising core proportions and not putting a massive focus on amazing concepts at the moment.

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Shibari gal. She is my favourite. No I feel sorry for her. Ahem too smexy. But noo. But yeessss. But nooooo. But yessssssssssssssss. ((This comment will delete itself in 24 hours))
ahem.
thanks.
:P

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Means less time spent on WIP stage, means same result with awesome finish.
Yes that's exactly the direction I'm trying to move towards. It's still hit and miss, but generally more hit these days.

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Duuuuude how much have you been drawing haha.
LOTS ahaha :P
well I have 2 "art days" a week in which I draw for about 10-12 hours each day, and about 4-6 hours a day the rest of the week. I average about 6.5 hours a day assuming I hit 100% of my targets (I have a specific target for each weekday depending on my circumstances), which is still hard for an entire month.

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Nice that you're working at different expressions too.
Yeah it's not a major focus but it's too good an opportunity to pass up trying out lots of expressions.

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the expressions sell all of their hairstyles for some reason haha.
To some extent I am adding hairstyles that suit the expressions so curious you should say that :P

And yes I too love progression GIFs, so satisfying :P

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Overall it sounds like ther'll alwas be a complicated shifting of priorities to achieve your main projects, but I feel you've significantly reduced the amount of micro-decisions that you have to make for certain things. You've sort of 'risen above' certain considerations and now you have even more brainspace to tackle your time-consuming projects. The need for patience and quality is still there, but you've shed some scales for sure (IMO A LOT of scales) I need to reach this state.
That is so true, that really sums up well what has been happening with me lately. A lot of moving things around, and definitely reduced the time micro-managing it. Lately I'm more just sledgehammering the problems now with a massive amount of time instead.

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Yes. Definitely do this. Without even drawing a new illustration, posting your progress GIFs and explaining how you've personally levelled up as an artist in a long form text with images will at least gaurantee you a buncha likes, an opportunity for collaboration and a couple of subscribers.
I keep telling myself I will do this but it's just time that I lose from drawing that I dont want to lose at the moment. But I'm thinking if my productivity keeps up then I can set aside a specific block of time for managing my public profiles and stuff like that. I'm glad to hear you think I've got a change.

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Look up SrGrafo by the way.
Ah yeah seen plenty of his comics, quite an interesting story and also interesting to find out he's also a programmer/artist combo.

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YOU IMPROVED THE IMPROVED
Ahaha I find it a lot easier to work in stages for this reason, it makes it so much clearer how to improve an artwork when you have clearly defined stages that you are working with. It's sort of the core reason why my WIP work is going so well.

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Nice, nice. And damn that's a large amount of time addition, but knowing how you'll go these images will turn out quite awesome (They're already by my standards awesome but yeah you do you hehe. Can't wait to see the other iterations)
Yeah I was a bit annoyed by the time jump. But there's a huge difference between casually sketching an idea, and actually finding the final lines for it as an illustration. I'm betting I can boost the speed after a few more sets. This stage is still finding a new balance since I improved it a while back, and I didn't really pay enough attention to increasing the accuracy of my proportions to the next level. I thought that like 5% error was OK but really as I improve I should be working to about 0.1% margin of error. I only realised how much more accurate I needed to draw after realising how to be more precise with my lines so it's a constant learning curve.

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HOLY YESSSSS SUUPER-SAN TEACH ME HOW TO DRAW LIKE YOU
Ahaha you are too kind in your praise, I'm just a massive learner still :P
most of my skill is in my mindset and methods, not really in any art ability (yet), so really just spend a ton of time drawing and you'll improve along your own path just as much.

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Props dude. Keep at it.
Thanks, I definitely will now. As I've gained in skill I've also found my motivation and determination to get good have also increased, so It's starting to enter the final snowball stage (I hope :P)

and once again, a wall of text is born :P
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Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1561 on: January 31, 2021, 05:25:05 AM »
End of month report.

It's been an average month overall. I put that down primarily to not having quite the perfect balance on my zone, I missed a few things that affect it and so I dropped out of high power again. I'm hopefully on a bit of a recovery.

But I think the main issue has been working on this collab manga project. I call it an issue but it's more like a reason. Firstly, I've been giving detailed feedback on the script to my writer, who has been making changes, and then I have given feedback again. This has taken a large chunk of time out of drawing anyway. But also because of the size of the project, it's starting to take up permanent real estate in my mind and I think it's a bit of a distraction when I'm trying to do other things with my art. Also we're both hobbyists and so we don't really know how much time we can put into it each week, or even if it can be a regular amount each week, and so I've been a bit up in the air about what to expect from my writer and when, and I think that has led to a general purpose lack of focus the last few weeks.

Second to that was the stomach bug I had a few weeks ago. I wasn't actually through it when I posted my mid-month report and overall it lasted 8 days where I was feeling bad and didn't eat properly. So I think recovery from that has taken the rest of the month really, my sleep shedule has been very chaotic and I think that's also a major contributor to my current less-than-amazing state.

I've achieved some stuff though.

You'll notice that I've posted some drafts and sketches on the manga I'm working on in the Manga section. Hopefully that will get the attention it needs as the project moves forward into finished pages and chapters.
Learning to work as a part of a team has been a new experience and we have both made plenty of workflow and method changes to try and work efficiently and effectively for this relatively large project.

I also made a new warmup regime that I do every day first thing, which helps to focus and bring my general skills to the front of my mind.
I've been doing one of these pages each day. A tiny circle warm up to get my body moving and then some basic regime stuff to get my guidelines and thinking aligned with my art again.
It's also a bonus bit of practice for improving my initial level sketches by doing a redraw of each hand/face/pose next to the initial one, so it's almost like I am skipping a set of guidelines because I am not drawing over the original sketch, but next to it.

Spoiler






Also of minor importance but still worth mentioning, I created a full set of yearly summaries of art posters/calendar things. These are nice because they help to give a major overview of your work, but it's nice to see them all together to see my progression from zero to where I am now.

Interestingly it's quite hard to see linear progress because I generally am always focusing on things I am bad at, and so my work stays rather consistent/random until I do a high level piece.

Spoiler





















I also noticed a quick way of checking your sketch without having to flip your page. If you defocus your eyes (focus on something far away) and and stare at the paper you can't see the details as it's blurry but you can see the overall shape and I've noticed its a lot easier to notice major mistakes in proportions and guidelines that way. Perhaps not as effective as flipping the sketch but it's a good 75% effective, and for the speed in which you can do it it's going to be pretty useful in the long run I think.

Second to that I've also been trying to draw guidelines more accurately the first time round to reduce the need for so many fixing iterations. It's basically like trying to mentally project your sketch onto the page and very loosely trace it. I'm definitely going to level up this ability because in it's final form you can sketch accurately without the need for guidelines at all, and that is a massively powerful ability. I've got more ideas on this but it's still in the testing phase and so I can't comment with any authority on it :P

Have some notable rough sketches this month:
Spoiler


















I've also been levelling up in a more controlled manner by doing pages of WIPs in between pages of regimes, so I do a page of figures, a page of hands, a page of faces, and then I'm ready to to a page of resolved sketches. This way I'm able to immediately use the experience I've been gaining in the regimes and it'll stick better.

Have some notable resolved sketches:
I'm generally trying to add more detail that I might normally, for the practice. So always trying to add props and jewellery and stuff.

Spoiler














Inked Faces 210/1000
Like my 1000 hands regime, this started as an inked quality project, but I've dropped the quality back on this regime also, to have 2 resolve layers instead of a resolve and an ink. I think it really gives the faces better proportions and accuracy, which if I were to ink them, would end up much better.
Hard angles are hard, hair is also hard at some angles and styles.
I'm also not really producing a high range of expressions, that's not the purpose of this regime but all the same they're very weak so far. It would be good to improve the range of expressions I can naturally produce as this will help with drawing the expressions I want in my manga pages.



Finally as I mentioned in the writing log topic I've been working towards my own one-shot mangas as practise to boost my writing experience to the level where I feel confidence tackling not only a longer story than a single chapter, but actually tackling a story that I want to do rather than just throwaway projects. I spend so much time working on levelling up I hardly spend time on what I actually want to do :P

Partly the reason I really want to work on this with increased urgency is that I don't want such a large chunk of my experience to come from a project that wasn't my own idea. It's sort of selfish and ultimately a pointless reason, but I enjoy working on my own projects and ideas and so I'd still like that to remain the majority of my focus even while I'm working on this collab project.

At the moment I'm writing small tiny sections of ideas for stories or even just scenes, to get used to writing down and expressing my ideas, as well as to "exhaustively" consider plot points and get my brain trying to think of a large range of ideas. This will help when trying to think of scenes to add to fill out my stories.

I'm aiming for 1000 as a start but I might go through and take each idea dn turn it into a couple more for that extra bit of development and training my concept muscles.

So at the moment it's like:
-The hero finds out that one of his party is a spy but he doesn't know who
-The shy girl works up the courage to confess to a boy she likes but he turns her down.
-A shopkeeper discovers that he has run out of stock and an employee is responsible for forgetting to order more.

They're not quite entire stories, chapters or plots, but they can be used as a seed to grow an entire story or one-shot idea from it, is my current theory. I might pick several ideas at random and forcibly combine the ideas like a writing prompt to create an interesting story idea as well. They're also generic enough that I can alter them easily and tweak the basic concept.

And of course, doing more writing means less drawing, so that's also where some of my drawing time has gone this last month as well.

I think that's all for now, as I get used to working on the collab manga I'll probably need less brain space to deal with it and then I'll pick up my massive productivity again. I'm really looking to spam out work like never before this year so the faster I can get back to high speed again the better. Especially as I dont know what the next thing will be to knock my momentum I need to be ready to readjust at a moments notice to keep the high productivity.

See you all around :D
« Last Edit: January 31, 2021, 10:59:04 AM by Suuper-san »
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Offline Walt

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1562 on: February 06, 2021, 04:49:08 PM »
Great stuff Suuper-san. I love the anatomy and the clothes. Is any particular method you use for coming up with the story?

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1563 on: February 07, 2021, 02:38:38 PM »
@Walt thanks!
For coming up with stories, I have multiple methods. Generally I start with a random scene I really want to see (mostly a copy off some other favourite scene from an anime/manga), and then try and work out what characters are in it and how the character got to that point. Often I make up enough information to figure out what sort of story it will be, and how it begins and ends. Mostly epic or really cool moments work well as inspiration.
Alternatively, I start with a random genre and just play around with adding different sorts of random characters and events to see how well they mesh and if it gives me any ideas. It's mostly trial and error at this point as I don't have much experience.
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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1564 on: February 16, 2021, 03:19:07 AM »
Half-monthly report

well, more like rambling this time.

I've been busy with a manga project that has taken 100% of my art time since the 1st Feb.
Everything came together and so I'm just gunning for it now. Sort of lost as always in style and quality issues. But I'll talk about that later when I'm finished and review it. But have a preview all the same.



I wasn't going to post here until finishing but I've hit a speed bump and so I'm just going to talk my way out of it.

I'm thinking that there is actually more than one "zone".
The zone being a mental state in which you are at a high level of productivity, quality, speed, you name it.
The reason I think there is more than one is for several reasons.
Oh and yes I am totally overthinking it but let me be :P To begin with people calling it a "zone" makes it sounds a lot more special that what it actually is, but I think having a name for it makes it easier to visualise.
There are several "layers" of the zone, each layer down you become even more focused.
But also there are different "types".
When working with regimes I notice that I can switch off almost everything and just churn out sketches and work without much issue. But when working on a complex project such as writing you can't switch off since you need your brain to be active in problem solving and decision making. But you can still be focused of course.
So in other words, you need to be in a different mental state for different tasks to be at your most productive. Makes sense for sure.

I'm stuck at a mid-level focus for my manga pages. I'm trying to get higher but there's this massive barrier and I can't figure out what it is. I don't know if its focus related or skill related. If it's skill then I can't do anything about it but muscle my way through and get better for next time. It's definitely partly skill related because I'm struggling to draw what I want. But that's also because I'm working at a higher speed. But not like I'm rushing, I'm working at a sketchy quality/style, so it's meant to be quick. But perhaps I'm not allowing myself to be clear on the exact quality and so I'm varying between the target quality and trying to go higher, because I can work higher it's hard to limit myself to the exact quality that I want. So a lot of mental processing is going into quality control when really I want all that processing to go into speed instead.
So in that sense it's still skill related I guess.
I don't know if I am just plain trying to go faster than I physically can, which I can definitely see happening with my mentality. But it just seems like I am working slowly for something that should be quick (like my expectations based on my experience). Could just be this is the first time I've worked at this quality for a manga (as opposed to illustration), so it's just a learning curve at the moment.

Annoyingly I had a really bad Monday and Tuesday last week so only drew about 20% as much as I could've. So I didn't hit my target for finishing the project in two weeks, although that was seriously ambitious considering I was trialling out a lot of new stuff and had to do testing and stuff, as well as the scale of the project.

I'm hitting writing issues as well, like do the lines match the characters personalities, do they react according to their personality, is it realistic etc. Very annoying since I've only worked with illustrations previously. I'm making script changes even as I'm inking the pages. I think writing issues are going to haunt me for quite a while since that's a new skill to me.

So I think because my focus is split across all these different parts it's making it harder to knuckle down into top gear. Because I am processing so many different pieces of information (such as using the script line to determine the facial expression when sketching it), I keep dropping in and out of high focus. Because I need to take time to assess the information in each panel and determine the lines I am going to draw, I have to switch to an analytical mindset, and then switch back to an artistic mindset to draw it. So probably I think the issue is Context Switching, again. Ah it helps to have noticed that.
So the answer here would be to split the work into different iterations, but I'm not sure that's possible or useful. I've done a lot of iterations already such as panel borders, speech bubbles etc. Splitting the inking stage into parts - what would they even be? like characters, BG, clothing,face? I think they all interact so it's best to draw them all together.

I'm definitely overthinking it for sure ahaha

I think that's enough rambling for now, I don't want to complain about working slowly and then talk all the time, making my work even slower :P

cya in a week or so when I'll finish I hope :D

thankfully my sleep schedule is more stabilised again which is helping with productivity.
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Offline Walt

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1565 on: February 18, 2021, 12:40:35 PM »
Quote
Because I need to take time to assess the information in each panel and determine the lines I am going to draw, I have to switch to an analytical mindset, and then switch back to an artistic mindset to draw it.

How about you first do all the task of the analytical mindset, and then do all the task of the artistic mindset.

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1566 on: February 19, 2021, 10:24:25 AM »
thanks for the suggestion!
the trouble is I'll need to take a note of the results of the "analysis", which would take longer than just drawing straight after. So I'm already in quite an efficient mindset, it's just harder to become even more efficient!
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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1567 on: February 23, 2021, 03:59:42 PM »
Bonus update.

I apologise about the possible random order of points as I'm using my notes that I took while I was working as a guide. I hope that it still makes sense, and that maybe some of it might be useful, to someone :P
I sort of tried to categorise it...sort of :P

Also I don't know why but it's massively long.....lol

As you may have noticed, I have finished my manga project Dark Strike. Please check it out and leave feedback if you want :P

I wanted to dedicate this post to some rambling about what things went well, what things went bad, and how my targets were and were not met.

I think it's not a surprise when I say I want to write a manga. Practically all of us here share that dream. So these thoughts have been floating around in my head since the beginning of time, but lately as my skill has improved I have been able to draw individual pages, and illustrations at an acceptable level.

The Goal:

Spoiler
So the time had come to attempt a larger project, to test the ground, for becoming a weekly manga author. And that's what this project was, a MASSIVE test. In fact I'm sure in several years time when I am a weekly manga author I will still be calling my work an experiment or a test, because I just love planning meticulously.

So this was not just a test of my artistic and writing ability, but also a test of me, my attitude and mentality, to see if I was up to working with such a massive quick project such as this. I was basically trying to emulate a professional mindset,workflow and output, with my limited skill set and experience. Really I just wanted to get the ball rolling toward making a weekly manga, and this was the next intermediate step.

So being a test, it had a few limits and targets on it. The major ones being:
-Overall quality must be low, so that pages can be drawn quickly
-With that in mind, pages must be produced at a rate similar to a mainstream weekly author (17-20 pages a week)
-The story must actually have an end (function as a standalone one-shot)
-An efficient method must be used to both plan the story and draw the pages (This is actually massively multifaceted)
-Decisions should not be stressed over, make quick decisions to move the project forward.
-Pages must be detailed enough (despite being sketchy) to show that I could have done it properly if I wanted.

Since I have been working on creating efficient workflows for quite a while, I found it relatively easy to take things that worked well from other projects, picking and choosing modules to build this workflow up from scratch, rather than taking an existing workflow and trying to make it better. So this was a very custom workflow, at the peak of my ability.

Justifications:

Spoiler
Because of the target of working at low quality, I actually used a few "cheat" skills. Things that I discovered and told myself I would never use because it's not allowing me to gain skill properly. Stuff like fudging the lines when you're not sure what you're drawing, or randomly adding lines to make it look like you know where you're shading. Using hatching to add texture to distract from the bad proportions. So they are good for faking it, but at the end of the day they are not as good as the skills I want, so it's just a stopgap.

The overall plot was quite slow, I think, like nothing really happens and then when it does it goes away again and back to nothing happening for another bunch of pages. I allowed myself to work with a lower quality of script than I would have liked because:
-I am not a writer and so I have no way of writing a better script in a short amount of time.
-Regardless of script quality, drawing the pages is the priority. There's no difference art-wise between drawing a good conversation and a bad one, like you could swap out the speech buble dialogue to make it better later, it's a non-issue. I was primarily trying to see if I could draw a large amount of pages. The plot was almost irrelevant.

My style started to shift and I made different decisions as I was working through the project I decided to not go back and fix the previous work because that would take a lot of time, but also risked me changing my mind again and going back and changing it all a second time. And, it's only a test project at the end of the day.

Because of the story being rather plain, the art itself also ended up being quite plain. I wasn't too bothered by this as I dont see too much difference between a person standing boringly and a person jumping dyamically. Although one looks better than the other, in terms of workload they take the same amount of time to draw (roughly), and so it's just a good test of the workflow to have boring stuff happening as interesting stuff.

I deliberately didn't use straight lines in my art (except panel borders), this was to keep the sketchy feel of the work more consistent. A lot of the time I was actually tracing straight guidelines, so they turned out alright for the most part. Moving forward I will probably use more straight lines where appropriate.

What went well:

Spoiler
The writing was the hardest part, or at least it was meant to be. I found myself writing quite easily chunks of dialogue and descriptions of actions. I suspect I didn't find it hard because I was working in my comfort zone and so without realising it wasn't really challenging myself. When I try and work with other genres and stories we'll see if it gets harder or not.

I found it a lot easier to work to a lower quality than previously, like before I would start to get more and more serious and the quality would start to go up again (in fact, it did in this one anyway), but overall it kept the quick sketchy feel from start to send. In my head, the style was "it's just about alright?", so I only corrected things that were really badly drawn, and mostly my first time sketches were alright.

I had this suspicion for quite a while, but I find it a lot easier to put hours of work into a single larger project than spreading it over a few smaller ones, such as my different sketch pages. I suspect it's because you sort of build up a momentum of what you are doing, and there's no question "what am I doing today?", because it's just carrying on from yesterday's work. So I found it a lot easier to start in the mornings and carry on whenever I had a free slot. Quite fortunate really, because once I'm a weekly artist, that's all I will be doing, so my focus will be even stronger.
Ideally though I would like to be able to combine smaller projects into a "larger project feel", so that I can just carry on whenever I get time to draw, and I know what I'm doing. I think this related either to rotating projects or having a solid schedule of what I do on certain days, but it would be nice to have this level of productivity all the time.

I actually kinda forgot about a title page until this morning, so while I had thought about it previously I actually had to draw it and get it done. But despite being a piece that required a lot of focus and skill, I was able to get it done quite easily. I think the pressure to finish my project provided quite a bit of the driving force there, so really commitment helps with productivity.

I used a minimal amount of guidelines and iterations to keep the page speed high, and surprisingly I didn't struggle too hard. Hands were probably the hardest, but even they weren't insanely hard, so this shows that my core skill has risen a little to be able to cope with all sort of poses and angles without needing reference.

Much like the regimes, after a few sets you start to get in the rhythm, and this was the same with the manga pages too. After a couple you get a good sense of the quality you are working to as well as the order you attack various elements in each page.

While I did not have many iterations of the script, I found that I was able to make adjustments to the speech even during inking and colouring the pages. Similar to how I fixed up the dialogue on my manga WIP pages, it shows that even when you have the speech bubbles in place you can make changes that affect the flow of the story.

Something that I was a little concerned about, was that I would get bored of drawing repetitive stuff, such as a school background, a sofa or table, etc. Surprisingly this didn't happen too much, although I found myself getting annoyed at items on the table that I had to keep drawing all the time. I'd like to have a story that's varied enough so that I'm always drawing different things, all the same.

I worked through all 72 manga pages in iteration, so I drew all the panels first, then looped around and did the speech bubbles for all of them, etc.
This is sort of the ME method, developed over a couple of years with my WIPs, and it worked an absolute treat this time around. I found I really picked up the pace as I got used to each stage, enough that on overage some stages like panelling took less than a minute per manga page.

Another quality control step that I had, or rather didn't have, was double checking my work. I generally decided that if it was a small mistake, it didn;t matter, and if it was a big one, I wuld notice it sooner or later, and then fix it when I found it. This worked well for the lower quality I was drawing to, but I think generally if you make not too many mistakes, you can spend longer looking for them than you do actually fixing them, so it saves time if you dont keep looking for mistakes all the time.

In the past I have had ideas about what I wanted my manga style to look like, but I've always found it hard to depict properly. As I drew this manga though, a couple of features started to creep in that I wanted from years ago, such as the solid black eyes in smaller panels, using more solid blacks in colouring, and so on. not too many points but it was nice the see my style evolve in front of my eyes.

What I found difficult:

Spoiler
While I did loosen up over the course of the project, I still found it really hard to draw a full range of emotions, I found I could only get maybe halfway with some expressions, like anger/delight/confusion etc. The face didn't differ too much from the default blank expression some of the time.

What was insanely difficult, was keeping a track of object persistence, where things were in each panel and drawing them the same next panel. The main living room scene was maybe 15 pages long and had a sofa, armchair, chair, table, as well as wall ornaments, windows and doors - in almost every single panel. And at one point there were even items on the table that were relevant. To the best of my ability I drew them the same but goodness knows they varied so much each time.
second to object location is the actual object itself, like size and details in relation to other stuff. The furniture kept varying in size and it was the best I could do to just keep it normalish and move on. Partly the time constraint was the issue as I couldnt spend much time working out where things were or checking references or previous pages.

But something even worse than object permanence was character writing.
How to keep in mind each characters personality and how they would react in each scene and how they interact with each other was a massive issue. It's a writing issue hence my massive problem with it. I was doing lots of tweaks to lines and plot and just about managed to make the story work, but there are still so many minor things wrong with it I could write a book about it.

Also something that I have done before and just can't seem to stop myself doing, is drawing "normal" scenes. Like someone checking their phone for texts or something. To me I feel that that makes it too real, like it's not necessary for the story and just drags it out. Just because it's "realistic" doesnt make it good for putting in a story. it's meant to entertain after all, not catalog someones life.

I think because of working in my comfort zone, I natrually wrote a story that would be easy to draw. There was no action, really, no difficult backgrounds, no complex outfits or unique characters. So I think I skipped a lot of the difficulties by skimming around the issue, so I tink I sort of cheated without realising it.

Also for my script - everyone keeps saying sorry!

I found myself working in a zone, of sorts, but more the zone that makes you go to work when you feel dreadful, not the zone of productivity. So in one aspect I managed to get work done on bad days when I would have given up before, but I was super depressed while drawing the pages and the quality took a hit as well.

Bizarrely while I never draw men in my illustrations, I sure draw them a lot in my manga. I have no idea why, but I struggled with male proportions, as well as the fact that I had 2 male characters with different proportions, and I had to keep switching between their styles and not get confused, which was hard.

I find that it's hard to keep momentum when you reach certain goals, like the halfway point, finished lineart for everything, etc. It's hard to move straight on with the next task without sitting back and admiring your work for a time. And so inbetween different stages I had hours, even a day, where I was unproductive because of the elation of having finished a certain stage. It wasn't as bad as previous, partly because I was prepared for it to happen, but I think it's sort of an emotional release where you've been mentally tensed up over this task for a couple hours or a day, and to see it finished gives you a massive sense of relief and you relax too far.

While this technically went well I wasn't happy with doing it.
I used discord and texting to share my WIPs of the project with friends to get their opinion, and so in a way, I sort of outsourced some of the decision making and quality control onto other people. I dont think that getting a second opinion is bad, but almost that I felt paralysed because I wasn't able to make the decision myself without get other peoples thoughts.

Skills learnt/developed:

Spoiler
I noticed that while sketching the pages and so on that I kept having thoughts about the story, such as what events would happen next, the new characters that would appear and so on. Although this was a definite one-shot, I decided to write down any extra ideas that I had, and by the end of the project, not only did I have 3000 words of notes, but I had almost the entire plot of the whole major arcs sorted out, in other words, I could go straight into a serial from now and just keep carrying on. I wont, but I will hold this story and pick it up at a later date once I have a bit more experience. It also means that pretty much any story you are working on will grow all the time you are thinking about it, you just need to have a structured way of thinking to control it's growth properly. I'll have to work on that.

Since I have always added dialogue directly on the page, it was a new experience to write a script, before planning any page layouts. Not all manga artists do this from what I understand but for me personally it makes a lot of sense. Since the manga is just a visual form of a script, it makes sense to use a script as a first draft of a manga, to see how the story flows and where changes can be made. this can be done a lot faster than with actual visual page layouts with the dialogue already drafted in.

one advantage of writing a script before doing any drawing is that you set yourself a challenge by writing things taht you can't draw. It's a lot easier to say "John gets attacked by a dragon" than to draw it, if you have no idea what John or dragons look like. And you your story has an extra level of freedom to be more ambitious and figure out how to draw it later. and for things that are indeed too hard this time around, you can make the panel layout simpler, change a complex angle to a more simple one, do a close-up instead of a long-shot, etc, to actually make it work.

Since I am always an overthinker, to make a project move quickly you have to make snap decisions. I suppose working with the text prompts has helped in this regard as I found that I was making big decisions very quickly, such as the name of the manga - I might have anguished for hours trying to come up with the "perfect" name. I'm glad that I've learnt to drop almost all sense of perfectionist that I used to have as an artist, because if I even started to worry about the quality for example this manga would never have been made.

Depending on the zoom of a panel, there will be more of less detail. I have always known this and have tried it on and off, but in this project I was able to do it more consistently and control the details that went into each panel, and judge if it was the right amount or not.

Statistics:

Spoiler
Ahhhh my favourite part.

Regrettably even with my efficient workflows this project would not have been completed without a MASSIVE amount of daily time put into it.

The total project time was 125 hours.

Divided into 72 pages, is 1 hour 40 minutes per page. Half my high level time per page of 3 hours.

It's possible to remove certain tasks from the time per page, such as the style testing pages that I did. I took 4 random pages and before anything else, I finished them to the target style. I wanted to be sure that my workflow would work. But that took an additional 6 hours that wouldn't have been needed if I knew what I was doing. Like if I were to do the next chapter, I wouldn't need to do tests. So that was a one-time sort of thing.

Character design took 3 hours for some reason. I didn't have a definite method for character design so I just randomly doodled faces of what I thought the characters would look like.

Since this project took 23 days, I averaged 5.5 hours a day. Below my maximum output but definitely "up there". I don't think I could maintain that level for too much longer, although I was at 6 hours a day for the whole of December so it's not impossible and it's definitely repeatable.

The big 5, Bleach, Naruto etc, produce roughly 18-20 pages each week.
My project took 3.2 weeks to produce 72 pages, meaning I produced 22 pages a week for the duration of the project.
Mission Accomplished.
Absolutely regardless of the quality of the pages, the plot, anything, I have worked at the same rate as a professional manga artist, for 3 weeks. (and I'm massively tired)
I certainly appreciate the abilities of pro mangaka now a lot more, but I'm also really really happy that I was able to emulate their output (at a reduced quality). If I could raise my quality then I would really be getting on to a good level.

Annoyingly that's only 3 complete pages a day. I would have definitely liked to have it a bit higher, but I fulfilled my main objective. I'll work on further optimisation down the line.

Here is two pie charts for how the time was spent on each manga page. Notice that I include script writing as part of the page design, since the longer the script, the more pages it will cover, so it's still per page.

These are the tasks that I did (iterations) to make each manga page:



When I make my tutorial I will explain the steps in more detail.
A pie chart is quite helpful to see the relative sizes this time around.

Here are the tasks in chronological order.

Here are the tasks by size order.


So over 75% of the page time is only 5 tasks. If these could be sped up, compressed, made more efficient, then an even higher page speed will be achievable. I'm thinking that the Draft v1 can be removed entirely. I dont think it helped at all, except look like a super rough version of the manga.
The colouring could also gain a couple of minutes per page. it took me a while to build up a workflow for dealing with objects in sequential pages and I was jumping around quite a bit to colour everything. But If my manga had more changing scenes then it would have been harder.
Lineart has the potential to become more efficient, partly because it's just so massive a small increase in efficiency will give a larger speed boost.

I would like to think that I could write the script faster, but I'm not sure at my level of experience if that's going to happen for a while.

So I think overall there's not much that can be changed at this point, as I'm already squeezing a lot out of the available time, and I'm already at quite a high level of efficiency. I also dont want to spend a lot of time optimising when I'm still at an early stage of experience.

Ending Thoughts:

Spoiler
This project was definitely a good stress test, in a lot of meanings!
It pushed my skills to their max, pushed my workflows to be able to handle such a high workload, but also to see if I could handle doing it all. Overall, other than the fact I'm pretty tired and I dont think I could do it again, I managed to keep the pace and effort high for the entire duration of the project. So I think that a full-size weekly manga is a little out of my reach for now. But maybe I could manage say a weekly manga of 5 or 10 pages. More to follow on that.

The project came together really quickly, and really well. I think partly that's because I was in my comfort zone for writing and drawing. Whether I could do the same again for a different genre I don't know. I'm definitely going to test it though, because I need to gain the skill and experience.

Also this method was only for a one-shot, It needs tweaking if it will be able to be used for a serial manga. That's what I'm going to try now, a small weekly manga, but with a newer workflow.

Moving forward, I'd like to keep the momentum high, but I'm not sure exactly how I'll apportion my time and workload now. Really, I'd like to do a small weekly manga, permanently, from now on, for the rest of my life, since I've seen how possible it is to achieve. If I scale it right back to an appropriate amount of work that's regularly achievable, then I can scale it up as I gain experience. Doing a webcomic or something is a possible, but I think that's scaling it too far back. I'm still aiming at being a manga artist after all. I did have an idea for a story, well I have plenty of ideas, but if the story could be crammed into 4koma style then each individual page can be released on its own regardless of chapter boundaries.

And I'll still need to put lots of time into my regimes and WIPs which form the core of my skill. So I've got my work cut out for me. I'll probably have a plan and a think, then in my end of month update I'll have a clue what I'm doing.

Also the lockdown is ending in the UK and I'll be loosing my massive art days. RIP my free time. So I'll have to see how my life settles when everything goes back to "normal".

thanks for listening :P
Onwards and upwards!!!!
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 04:03:28 PM by Suuper-san »
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Offline legomaestro

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1568 on: February 24, 2021, 02:47:24 AM »
Heck yessss. I've been procrastinating reading your comic because I'm super jealous and amazed that you pulled off EXACTLY what you had planned to do in record time. You have literally made a one shot within a month after levelling up and working your way to it and I tip my imaginary hat off to you sir. I shalt start with reading your update first before I sink into the comic, but just know in general two things:

1- HELL YESSSSSSSSSSS
2- HOWWWWWWWWWWW????

Ahem

Re: The Goal

Dude. You are totally ready for serialization in every sense of the word. Especially because you don't seem totally exhausted from the work you put in. In fact, it seems you want to even reach new heights rather than this project being something that took all of the energy you have. This drive is not something you can learn in a tutorial, and is self evident in the studies and stuff that you do and is even more self evident in you keeping your personal deadlines so yeah, you are totally ready for serialization imo.


Quote
-Overall quality must be low, so that pages can be drawn quickly
This is my goal basically but I don't have enough discipline to make even the low quality stable enough to accept. I am very mood-dependent and even my low effort stuff can get much lower than planned unfortunately. Seems you solved this problem.
Quote
-With that in mind, pages must be produced at a rate similar to a mainstream weekly author (17-20 pages a week)
Nailed it methinks

Quote
-The story must actually have an end (function as a standalone one-shot)
I shall see how true this is after reading it  hehe

Quote
-An efficient method must be used to both plan the story and draw the pages (This is actually massively multifaceted)
This is the bane of my existence as a comic maker haha

Quote
-Decisions should not be stressed over, make quick decisions to move the project forward.
Word

-Pages must be detailed enough (despite being sketchy) to show that I could have done it properly if I wanted.
This is embarrasingly enough my greatest failure. I know intrinsically with many of my rushed work that I can do better, but the stuff that is actually on the canvas definitely doesn't show this side of things haha.



Re: Justifications
Quote
Because of the target of working at low quality, I actually used a few "cheat" skills. Things that I discovered and told myself I would never use because it's not allowing me to gain skill properly. Stuff like fudging the lines when you're not sure what you're drawing, or randomly adding lines to make it look like you know where you're shading. Using hatching to add texture to distract from the bad proportions. So they are good for faking it, but at the end of the day they are not as good as the skills I want, so it's just a stopgap.

Mwahahahahaha, sounds like you're using my normal methods of progressing a drawing as justifications. As you well know dude mental stamina is a thing, and I think 'cheats' are exatly the way to spare your energy for when you really need it. I think the way you can make yourself feel better about cheats is either 1: Making a super impactful emotional scene in your narrative in general (not necessarily good art, but either a slo mo scene or super potent frame or 2: Making a hyper-art project where you go absolutely HAM. I'm talking a 10 hour long (dunno what your time-efficiency product level is exactly) project where you really work at an illustration or a page until you can't upgrade it anymore. Even in the middle of a serialization where your interest is time, going extreme on purpose for at least a page or illustration might help you scratch that itch... I think. Dunno.


Ignoring the rest of Justifications because spoilers for now



Re: What went well

Quote
I had this suspicion for quite a while, but I find it a lot easier to put hours of work into a single larger project than spreading it over a few smaller ones, such as my different sketch pages. I suspect it's because you sort of build up a momentum of what you are doing, and there's no question "what am I doing today?", because it's just carrying on from yesterday's work. So I found it a lot easier to start in the mornings and carry on whenever I had a free slot. Quite fortunate really, because once I'm a weekly artist, that's all I will be doing, so my focus will be even stronger.
- This, this alone is golden information especially because it explains a lot of my motivational problems. Doing Sketch Survival and Writing Survival right now and I never understood why something so simple and meant to be motivationary drains me more than my larger projects until you put it into words. There is a significant drain of mental energy for the jumpstart of any project, no matter how small.
Quote
Ideally though I would like to be able to combine smaller projects into a "larger project feel", so that I can just carry on whenever I get time to draw, and I know what I'm doing. I think this related either to rotating projects or having a solid schedule of what I do on certain days, but it would be nice to have this level of productivity all the time.

This too is my ideal. In the end I have a heck of a lot of ideas and sketches and I'd love for them to be developed and/or come together to make some cool new thingies.

Quote
I actually kinda forgot about a title page until this morning, so while I had thought about it previously I actually had to draw it and get it done. But despite being a piece that required a lot of focus and skill, I was able to get it done quite easily. I think the pressure to finish my project provided quite a bit of the driving force there, so really commitment helps with productivity.

Awesome


Quote
I used a minimal amount of guidelines and iterations to keep the page speed high, and surprisingly I didn't struggle too hard. Hands were probably the hardest, but even they weren't insanely hard, so this shows that my core skill has risen a little to be able to cope with all sort o
f poses and angles without needing reference.

A part of me is tempted to use this as a rule, but this is definitely only possible because you've been practicing and streamlining your process enough to 'take shortcuts'.


Quote
Something that I was a little concerned about, was that I would get bored of drawing repetitive stuff, such as a school background, a sofa or table, etc. Surprisingly this didn't happen too much, although I found myself getting annoyed at items on the table that I had to keep drawing all the time. I'd like to have a story that's varied enough so that I'm always drawing different things, all the same.


Quote
Tables and chairs are notoriously annoying. I had an entire paradigm shift realizing how fundamental they are in measuring character height, and how important it is to understand how your characters interact with their spaces haha.

Quote
I worked through all 72 manga pages in iteration, so I drew all the panels first, then looped around and did the speech bubbles for all of them, etc.
This is sort of the ME method, developed over a couple of years with my WIPs, and it worked an absolute treat this time around. I found I really picked up the pace as I got used to each stage, enough that on overage some stages like panelling took less than a minute per manga page.

And it's a method that works truly well. I've shifted between three different methods of making manga pages myself, but I think iteration is something that'll work for me eventually at least in one sense of the word. Even if you run out of steam, you at least have a wider picture of the project you wish to work on rather than aiming for finished page after finished page.

Quote
In the past I have had ideas about what I wanted my manga style to look like, but I've always found it hard to depict properly. As I drew this manga though, a couple of features started to creep in that I wanted from years ago, such as the solid black eyes in smaller panels, using more solid blacks in colouring, and so on. not too many points but it was nice the see my style evolve in front of my eyes

You have brought up this point a couple of times. Glad to hear this haha! I'm currently in love with 3 different manga styles and I just can't quite settle. The best way to solve such a conundrum is indeed, make a project, draw it.


Re: What I found difficult

Quote
While I did loosen up over the course of the project, I still found it really hard to draw a full range of emotions, I found I could only get maybe halfway with some expressions, like anger/delight/confusion etc. The face didn't differ too much from the default blank expression some of the time.

inb4 emotion workshop

Quote
What was insanely difficult, was keeping a track of object persistence, where things were in each panel and drawing them the same next panel. The main living room scene was maybe 15 pages long and had a sofa, armchair, chair, table, as well as wall ornaments, windows and doors - in almost every single panel. And at one point there were even items
Damn you actually found a term for something that shockingly enough annoys me. One great bit of relief to me was through tracing: Mangaka aren't as disciplined with object persistence as you'd think! It's definitely something I'd like to pay attention to in general and don't make egregious errors because certain readers can indeed be nitpicky, but so long as the plot is engaging enough you can get away with a few... innaccuracies (but I forget who I'm talking to so nevermind lel )

Quote
But something even worse than object permanence was character writing.
How to keep in mind each characters personality and how they would react in each scene and how they interact with each other was a massive issue. It's a writing issue hence my massive problem with it. I was doing lots of tweaks to lines and plot and just about managed to make the story work, but there are still so many minor things wrong with it I could write a book about it.

If you don't have a gut feel for how your characters will react in a situation then you should just go for making character profiles. I usually avoid them like a plague because I sometimes consider it a higher form of procrastination, but in your case you definitely commit to projects so have a character sheet handy for at least 5 of your main characters so reference every once in a while (never study and/or memorize, otherwise they'll still end up stiff)
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Also something that I have done before and just can't seem to stop myself doing, is drawing "normal" scenes. Like someone checking their phone for texts or something. To me I feel that that makes it too real, like it's not necessary for the story and just drags it out. Just because it's "realistic" doesnt make it good for putting in a story. it's meant to entertain after all, not catalog someones life.

Haha here we'll have to disagree! This is where manga shines out the most methinks. In fact all of my favourite anime that blow me away are chock full of mundane scenes where I'm like 'Whoa, somebody actually commited to drawing and animating this'. Ghibli always does this for me. Mundane scenes are also great opportunities to up the stakes of manga especially if they happen to be supernatural and the like, and if they seem too boring and stiff to you, you can at least use the opportunity for light hearted banter and/or emotional weight. The 'realer' your characters are to eachother the more I can believe they like eachother, the more I'm invested in them being OK at the end of the story and it works as a nice way to pause between scenes.


Quote
I think because of working in my comfort zone, I natrually wrote a story that would be easy to draw. There was no action, really, no difficult backgrounds, no complex outfits or unique characters. So I think I skipped a lot of the difficulties by skimming around the issue, so I tink I sort of cheated without realising it.

Nuuu I was hoping for epic action. Ah well. I think Parasyte was sort of like this actually, a battle-horror manga with lots and lots of dialogue in between. Zetman too, so action can explode eventually, and doesn't need to happen after every scene.

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Also for my script - everyone keeps saying sorry!

I don't know why but I find this funny haha

Quote
I found myself working in a zone, of sorts, but more the zone that makes you go to work when you feel dreadful, not the zone of productivity. So in one aspect I managed to get work done on bad days when I would have given up before, but I was super depressed while drawing the pages and the quality took a hit as well.
Nuuuuuu. I haven't felt the zone in too long of a while and I want it again (which is exactly the way NOT to be in the zone tbh haha). Hope you reliably get  into the zone in the future. But seriously dude focus on the achievement of the amount of pages you managed to get done. It's cool!

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Bizarrely while I never draw men in my illustrations, I sure draw them a lot in my manga. I have no idea why, but I struggled with male proportions, as well as the fact that I had 2 male characters with different proportions, and I had to keep switching between their styles and not get confused, which was hard.

The curse of the infinite kawaii. I'm competent at drawing ecchi females when I seriously double down on it, but I have a same-face-syndrome as a result of simplifying faces while trying to emulate the manga style. If I level up on eyes and expressions and hairstyles I'll be so much further in general haha.

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I find that it's hard to keep momentum when you reach certain goals, like the halfway point, finished lineart for everything, etc. It's hard to move straight on with the next task without sitting back and admiring your work for a time. And so inbetween different stages I had hours, even a day, where I was unproductive because of the elation of having finished a certain stage.

I've found one way of really getting through this is seriously being dedicated to it yourself. Most of my comic projects work better when I'm the timekeeper, and not waiting on feedback/responses to motivate me. It doesn't solve the demotivation moments, but it helps you aim for the finish line more than focusing on every single excruciating step you have to make to get there. Not sure if it's relevant to your issue but yeah just wanted it said .


Re: Skills learnt/developed


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I noticed that while sketching the pages and so on that I kept having thoughts about the story, such as what events would happen next, the new characters that would appear and so on. Although this was a definite one-shot, I decided to write down any extra ideas that I had, and by the end of the project, not only did I have 3000 words of notes, but I had almost the entire plot of the whole major arcs sorted out, in other words, I could go straight into a serial from now and just keep carrying on. I wont, but I will hold this story and pick it up at a later date once I have a bit more experience. It also means that pretty much any story you are working on will grow all the time you are thinking about it, you just need to have a structured way of thinking to control it's growth properly. I'll have to work on that.

Stories writing themselves is a thing haha. That's the cool thing about them. They're super organic, which makes me more angrier at writers' block personally because I know it's not a lack of ideas that is stopping me, but something else. (Also DOO EEEET. Serializeeee. Serializzzeeee)
There's also a thing where when you're really committed to letting your characters live and breathe that the story surprises yourself even. I remember plotting out a story with a distinct end in mind but then changing it at the last minute because I knew it was supposed to go down that way. Love moments like that.


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one advantage of writing a script before doing any drawing is that you set yourself a challenge by writing things taht you can't draw. It's a lot easier to say "John gets attacked by a dragon" than to draw it, if you have no idea what John or dragons look like

This... This I can get behind definitely. That does it, I am a script and thumbnail-maestro from now on hahaha.

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Depending on the zoom of a panel, there will be more of less detail.
Funny enough, I'm having a small issue with zooming in and out these days. I'm going to try to stick to singular zoom levels to emulate the reality of working traditionally with paper, because to be honest it's driving me a bit crazy switching up levels of detail (which is more a me workflow problem than anything else)
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The total project time was 125 hours.

Divided into 72 pages, is 1 hour 40 minutes per page. Half my high level time per page of 3 hours.
Holy shyte 125 hours of work! Dude. Dude. Props. Absolute props.

And 1hr 40 Mins sounds about right
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The big 5, Bleach, Naruto etc, produce roughly 18-20 pages each week.
My project took 3.2 weeks to produce 72 pages, meaning I produced 22 pages a week for the duration of the project.
Mission Accomplished.

Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude hell freaking yes.
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So over 75% of the page time is only 5 tasks. If these could be sped up, compressed, made more efficient, then an even higher page speed will be achievable. I'm thinking that the Draft v1 can be removed entirely. I dont think it helped at all, except look like a super rough version of the manga.

Dude don't tell me you can go even faster *breaks pen* I quit hahahahaha



Re: Ending Thoughts


Hey 5 to 10 pages is still a manga if you super summarize and compress things, and methinks you'll definitely get the mettle and muscle to be able to do weekly so long as you keep at your path.

Work with a time allocation that works for you, and I would absolutely love the idea of doing weekly manga for good 'as a hobby'. It would just be so fun and epic to have that level of output.

And while freetime is going RIP, you will definitely find something in the new normal, and looking forward to whatever you come up with.

Onwards and Upwards!




And now... I get to read the comic hehehe. 

Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1569 on: February 24, 2021, 04:09:23 AM »
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Dude. You are totally ready for serialization in every sense of the word. Especially because you don't seem totally exhausted from the work you put in. In fact, it seems you want to even reach new heights rather than this project being something that took all of the energy you have. This drive is not something you can learn in a tutorial, and is self evident in the studies and stuff that you do and is even more self evident in you keeping your personal deadlines so yeah, you are totally ready for serialization imo.
Well it was a bit of a push to get it finished to my schedule, about a week in I wanted to finish within 3 weeks, so I went a bit over in my own estimations, but that can't be helped since it was new territory. It's hard to tell whether I was able to finish the project because things came together schedulewise, or things came together shcedulewise because I had a project to finish :P
only time will tell on that one, but the last couple months I've hit new highs quite a bit so it looks like I'm entering one of the final phases for time comittment. I think the more skilled you become, the more time you feel justified committing to art, so you snowball once you start doing it daily, and then more time each day, etc.
I did feel a bit of exhaustion near the end, but that might be a lot of things, and if it doesn't last too long then it's tolerable. But I dont feel like I need a break from it all, I'm more "whats next?" kinda feeling.

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This is my goal basically but I don't have enough discipline to make even the low quality stable enough to accept. I am very mood-dependent and even my low effort stuff can get much lower than planned unfortunately. Seems you solved this problem.
I won't say it was always easy, or that the pages came out how I wanted. The dining room scene I was having a bad day when I drew those, and the BG is simpler and less accurate, as well as the characters being a bit rougher as well. I had to do a bit of touch up later on when I came back to quality check the pages. That's an advantage of an iterative process - the work is spread out over many days and so you wont always be in a bad mood when you reach a certain page, and can fix mistakes from previous iterations.

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I know intrinsically with many of my rushed work that I can do better, but the stuff that is actually on the canvas definitely doesn't show this side of things haha.
That's partly why I had this criteria in the first place, it would have been very easy to skimp on details and say "it's only a low quality manga", but I wanted to know what was achievable.

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As you well know dude mental stamina is a thing, and I think 'cheats' are exactly the way to spare your energy for when you really need it.
An interesting way of looking at it. I think as you gain experience it uses less mental stamina to process certain tasks, and so in that sense you dont need to fudge it as much as you used to.

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Making a hyper-art project where you go absolutely HAM
I really do like these, and they are a lot more enjoyable than normal art, but at the cost of producing one artwork instead of like, 100 :P
I do have a project, currently unstarted, that is basically that. It should produce my highest level pieces to date, but I just havent gotten round to it as always ahaha. hmmm time-wise it should be around 8 hours I think? my last one was 8 but it was only a person, no BG, but I've levelled up massively since then so I could probably handle both in 8-10, hopefully.

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There is a significant drain of mental energy for the jumpstart of any project, no matter how small.
so true, even starting my manga on each day, or even each session required effort, like "ok time to carry on with colouring", and for a split second I havent got a clue what I'm doing and I just open the page and stare at it blankly for a minute, trying to figure out what I was doing all over again :P

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f poses and angles without needing reference.
Part of my cheat skills was using a generic figure building guidelines which can work on any pose, but only roughly.  I hit a lot of issues trying to refine the poses and make them properly accurate, which is where one would typically use reference.
Yes, it was definitely only possible because of my practice and regimes.
That being said I did use reference for certain things, such as the bird in the flashback scene, or my own hand for certain object holding poses, but I tried to limit that as it uses a lot of time rather than just drawing from your mind.

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Tables and chairs are notoriously annoying.
'nuff said. 100% agree on that :/

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Even if you run out of steam, you at least have a wider picture of the project you wish to work on rather than aiming for finished page after finished page.
This is why my earlier projects failed, such as Endlessness. Because of not having a proper sense of the overall story, I wasn't able to progress when things got harder. But this time by having a sort of cascade workflow, eveything falls into place and you always know what you're doing next.

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I'm currently in love with 3 different manga styles and I just can't quite settle.
I'm still not even at any style ahaha it was my all to just draw in my default style.
I've got about 10/15 favourite styles that I use for quick reference, but that's mostly core stuff like panel layout, camera angle and stuff, I haven't gotten onto faces/lines/costumes etc for stealing artists styles. I'm hoping that my manga workflow can be expanded to take into account the art style I'm working with.

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inb4 emotion workshop
well, we have an expression workshop :D

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Mangaka aren't as disciplined with object persistence as you'd think!
I also noticed this when tracing!
Actually I noticed a lot of small level mistakes and stuff when tracing that made me think, "huh, managka are normal people after all". It's just they have an absolute ton of experience that means they can do a lot of things by habit rather than having to think about it constantly.

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you should just go for making character profiles.
I definitely struggled with character design on every level, I started to build up a sort of character sheet info on each person, but it was all "too little, too late", and didn't help very much. I have character design regimes in the pipeline, perhaps they ought to be brought forward now that I'm switching into manga mode.
But I definitely found the characters starting to come to life near the end, like I could feel how they wre feeling and could imagine them in different situations, so perhaps it's just practice.

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Haha here we'll have to disagree! This is where manga shines out the most methinks. In fact all of my favourite anime that blow me away are chock full of mundane scenes where I'm like 'Whoa, somebody actually commited to drawing and animating this'. Ghibli always does this for me. Mundane scenes are also great opportunities to up the stakes of manga especially if they happen to be supernatural and the like, and if they seem too boring and stiff to you, you can at least use the opportunity for light hearted banter and/or emotional weight. The 'realer' your characters are to eachother the more I can believe they like eachother, the more I'm invested in them being OK at the end of the story and it works as a nice way to pause between scenes.
When you put it like that I find it hard not to agree with you :P
Well the fact that I drew it probably shows that I fundamentally want to show it, but I think the trouble is, especially in a weekly manga, you only have so many pages of story to work with, and the more slice-of-life you put in, the slower the story will go and the more weeks it will take to get your story finished. I think that's more what I meant. I think I was more annoyed that I didn't have more action or interesting stuff happening, it was ALL normal stuff and conversation, and that probably annoyed me I think.

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Nuuu I was hoping for epic action.
lol
me too to be honest, I'll definitely have to try and make sure it makes it into my next mangas. I felt a bit wasted just drawing conversation panels, page after page.

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Hope you reliably get  into the zone in the future.
Once I realised I was in the wrong zone it did help to try and work my way out. By the end of it, either just excitement at being close to finishing or what I dont know, but I was in a much better place.

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I have a same-face-syndrome as a result of simplifying faces while trying to emulate the manga style. If I level up on eyes and expressions and hairstyles I'll be so much further in general haha.
Yup, same here lol
If I had more than 3 characters I would have been stuck for sure I think.

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not waiting on feedback/responses to motivate me
This is a major thing I've noticed recently that I want people's feedback on stuff, and I hope that I'll keep more to myself and just get on with it in the future, because that way stuff just gets done.

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Funny enough, I'm having a small issue with zooming in and out these days. I'm going to try to stick to singular zoom levels to emulate the reality of working traditionally with paper, because to be honest it's driving me a bit crazy switching up levels of detail (which is more a me workflow problem than anything else)
I probably used the wrong term, I meant like the size of the panel and the type of camera shot it is, i.e. a large close-up will have so much detail v.s a small long-shot in which the faces are barely visible.
Incidentally I used a constant zoom for each stage of the project. Anything that I cant draw without zooming in, isn't worth drawing, is the basic reasoning behind that.

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And 1hr 40 Mins sounds about right
Assuming a mangaka works a regular 40 hours a week (which they dont according to one source :D), that's about 2 hours a page. Funny I never looked at it that way before, but that's actually massively fast for the quality they produce. Let's assume they have 1 full-time assistant, and the page time doubles to 4 hours, which sounds more reasonable given the quality of the pages.

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Dude don't tell me you can go even faster *breaks pen* I quit hahahahaha
You can never stop going faster if you put your mind to it!!!!

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Hey 5 to 10 pages is still a manga if you super summarize and compress things, and methinks you'll definitely get the mettle and muscle to be able to do weekly so long as you keep at your path.

Work with a time allocation that works for you, and I would absolutely love the idea of doing weekly manga for good 'as a hobby'. It would just be so fun and epic to have that level of output.
Yeah it's a mixture of issues at the moment, mostly not being sure what quality to work at, how many pages to do and what sort of story that would be. Really minor issues really, I should just start straight away and then worry about if it's right or not once I've started.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2021, 06:59:32 AM by Suuper-san »
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Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1570 on: February 28, 2021, 05:43:35 AM »
End of month report

Well, not much has happened since all my time was spent on my manga this month. I did achieve a couple of other things though, and I'll talk a bit about my plans for the near future as well.

Have a random sketch page. Often a theme starts to form even on unthemed pages so this one ended up being trying to draw faces without guidelines and to be expressive. It sort of snowballed at the end with the quality dropping and the expressiveness increasing. I really need to improve the range of emotions I can draw when it comes to comic reactions.
But this seems to be reinforcing a bizarre learning style that the "better" I get, the more deliberately low quality I seem to be drawing. I think that's because once you know you can fix up the lines to be high quality, you don't need to practice that as much as drawing the proportions correctly or coming up with a better concept. So it's a waste of time to finish your drawings all to maximum quality and you wont learn as much in the areas you are trying to focus on.
However I'm slightly intrigued by the 2 bottom right girls which look a bit more finished than the others. that might make a nice webcomic style, or a very neat low quality test style for mashing out pages. I might develop that as a new style or an intermediate testing style while I learn other aspects of manga.



I started a new regime by accident, 1000 manga combat pages. I varied the quality massively and ended up in a "red v blue" style which works quite well for what I'm trying to learn. I'm going to also combine sound effects with this one as in the last few pages, and probably do magic and weapons as well, and just have them keep on going and going. Goodness knows I need the practice.
8/1000 so far.

Spoiler















I have also finally finally combined my old drawing statistics with my new statistics to give a lifetime statistics overview now. The main issue was that I used to record pages drawn, and I now record time spent. While being related these 2 metrics are seriously not interchangeable and I had to decide on a time value for each page. I settled on 20 minutes per page, given that I did a lot of gesture pages that were maybe 10 minutes a page, but also longer sketch pages that might have been 30 minutes or longer. It's impossible to know accurately, but this gives a general idea of productivity. It also scales well against my actual time spent in more recent years, with really good months being a similarly high value of time spent.
There is still a missing statistic, that of traditional pages drawn since I started drawing solidly digital, so I'll have to count up those pages and add them back in, but it wont change the values much.





Incidentally the total time spent drawing, ever, is 3620.7 hours. Kinda a long shot from 10000 if you ask me. I wish I could have picked up the pace sooner but that's something that comes with experience too. Also I only treated it as a hobby for the first few years and so I deliberately wasn't obsessing over it as I am now. That came from a career path change that I decided I wanted to be an artist and make money that way, as well as the desire to produce a massive amount of manga and illustrations.

Something I forgot to mention in my Dark Strike ramblings was an interesting variance in quality that I was able to observe, thanks to my test pages. I produced 4 pages at the target quality before starting the final draft of the manga, to give me a solid sence of what style I was aiming for. But when I came to the same pages in the manga, I drew them again. So now I have 4 duplicate pages that I can compare to see how they differ despite having exactly the same intent when drawing them.

On the left: The test style
On the right: The final pages

Spoiler







Curiously despite there being many differences, there aren't what I would call improvements from the first attempt to the final page. But this shows something quite interesting - your art can be very varied quality wise and you might not be able to draw it exactly how you want, but it will still fall into the accepted quality range. This is the counter argument to perfectionism - there is more than one correct solution and so there is no perfect solution, at least not one worth killing yourself trying to find. Often, at least in my experience so far - the first answer to a problem you have is the one you should take. Partly, because it is the only solution you currently have, and secondly, if it was a massively bad solution you would probably already know, so it's already passed the first quality check.

Completing the manga gave me a massive confidence boost for about a week after, it's sort of dying down back to my normal level now and I'm cracking on with normal stuff again, but I've founds it a lot easier to suddenly jump on a quick project, like my new combat regime, or to do quick finished sketches in different themes.

These sketches are something I could have done before, but it's only now that I have the confidence and the quality control to know exactly what I'm going to do and be able to do it. This sort of spontaneity is something that I've wanted for a long time.

Spoiler













Also especially between the last two sketches - there is a massive genre variance as well. I'm starting to be able to increase the range of things that I am able to draw confidently. Since manga has a massive amount of different stuff in it, it's important that I get used to drawing a wide variety of objects and genres so I can properly tackle a full manga.

I had planned that I would jump straight into my next weekly manga, but I hit a few speed bumps. Mainly, I'm not sure what my schedule will be like going back to work, so I want to wait 2 weeks until I'm back working and then work on a new schedule that enables me to output pages each week.

But I'm also concerned about my writing ability. It's better than it was for sure, but I'm really not confident and I don't want to waste my time artwise on a weakly written story. So I'm considering doing some more low level script practice first, possibly with an equally low quality art style, or just as a script form and move on, which is the fastest.

Also as my combat regime has highlighted, I can't draw action well in the slightest, so I need to branch out and gain a bit more skill in some more varied areas before I tackle a larger project again. I might make a few throwaway stories for practice.

Also also is that my writing is so bad I'm massively embarrassed to have it even seen by others at the moment, so I need to either get past the embarrassment or gain a couple of levels real fast. I'm stil aiming at a weekly manga real soon, so that's a goal that I dont want to lose sight of.

I've also got my other regimes that I'm cracking away at to keep my core skill on the rise, figures and faces and whatnot. I'm also trying to whittle down my WIPs now and get on with producing high quality illustrations from my favourite WIPs. 

My one-shot manga only confirmed that I am able to draw the quantity of weekly manga, which is a massive step, but alone it's not enough to produce a weekly manga without the supporting skills for quality.

So as always it's full steam ahead.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2021, 06:50:31 AM by Suuper-san »
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Offline Suuper-san

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1571 on: March 13, 2021, 09:22:06 AM »
Half-montly report.

In the first few days of March my art ground to a halt. Productivity hit a massive low, along with self esteem. Partly because of reevaluating the Dark Strike manga against target professional quality made me realise there was so much I still had to learn. But that didn't last long.
But I was also subconsciously problem solving my next step and so it drained my brain power from art.

I was basically weighing up the next step for me as a manga artist, especially one with limited writing experience. And the conclusion I found was not entirely surprising - go all out. Since my writing needs the most focus I dont want to have a high quality art project (including manga) running at all, as it is time-intensive. I need to produce a large amount of writing in order to gain the most experience. And based off my own learning theories, I need not polish my work too much, or even at all, in the beginning.

Based off my statistics for Dark Strike I have a rough idea of how long it takes to write a page of script and draft it at the lowest quality possible. So that is the new low quality that I will aim for.
It feels like I'm sort of swapping around Skill Points for an RPG Character , moving points from art into writing, reducing the quality to increase the production rate and so on.

A couple of issues I've been facing is, how to plan a larger plot? how to design characters? and partly related to my Research thread, how research can help.
I must admit I'm all very nooby in it all. Level 0 as I like to say. Although my experiments so far seem to be successful so maybe level 1, I might dare to say.
I'm basically winging it :P

The hardest part is working out what I don't need to work on, to free up time for something that I do. As well as working out the levels of iteration of improvement and how useful they are in the grand stream of things.

And so I've arrived at a vaguely accepted quality of work and workflow for producing a weekly manga. I'm hoping to put it into production quite soon, but I'm still world building and working out the major plot of my stories.

I wasn't sure how much to mention on here since I do really talk way too much, but I think it's nice to talk freely and get my thoughts down on paper so to speak.

I'm aiming to produce multiple stories at a weekly rate, starting in about 3/4 weeks
It sounds sort of impressive but it isn't really, as you will see from the quality when I start posting.

I'm taking a bizarre route towards manga design in that the ENTIRE manga is one massive WIP, and so even the chapters that I'm producing are completely changeable drafts. I'm basically producing a massively low quality weekly manga, with the aim that producing a script and draft pages will actually help in the design of the characters and plot, with the idea of much later on, producing it at a much higher quality.
At any point the plot of these stories, as well as the characters in them, may change suddenly, so in all I don't expect that I'm going to be producing coherent stories for the most part.

So these projects I expect to fail, massively. Sort of a strange target I know :P
But with the failure will come a massive amount of experience, and hopefully corrections to the stories that will help produce a much higher quality one later on.

I'm targeting the absolute core skills and primary concept generation of both writing and art, with the assumption that I will naturally (or more easily later on) gain the higher skills needed to polish my work. But I will also be working slowly on a medium quality work of resolving sketches as well as my regimes, so that will contribute to skill growth.

The primary goal being, a weekly release of a chapter of manga. ANYTHING else (including the quality) is secondary, but I would like to have a decent plot all the same.

I'm going to be working on 4 stories each week. That way I can work with different genres and characters and settings etc. The reason I'm doing a weekly manga, and not continuous one-shots, is that there is a massive risk that I wont learn to plan larger stories in a consistent style, so this is really me aiming at the exact skill I want now. And 4 stories is the maximum output that I can achieve given my schedule and statistics, as well as a healthy amount of down-time where I don't expect to meet my goals.

So here are the 4 stories I am working on along with some concept art.

Beta Reincarnation
A man dies and reincarnates into a fantasy world with magic (Sound familiar? lol)
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.



I'm going with generic Isekai vibes for this, partly for easing into the fantasy genre and also because I am a massive fan of almost any Isekai. I tried to give the basic plot a bit of a twist just to make it a little interesting.

Et Cetera
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.



This is intended to be both a cute and fun comedy manga, with no seriousness at all. Like a cute version of Gintama is the general idea in my head.

Whispering Future
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 her grandmother taught her.



This is based off the plot idea I came up with on my manga tutorial I made recently. I liked the idea and it was as good as any other so I'm interested to see how a generic plot idea develops.

Eclipse
A girl and her brother find themselves entangled in a battle between those who want to use their super powers to protect people in secret, with those who want to use them dangerously in public.



This is a complete rewrite of Dark Strike and a continuation, with an alternate beginning and some other changes. I had a lot of plot ideas left over from when I did the one-shot and so I felt that it was a waste not to work with something that already had so much thought put into it.



Overall the planning stage has gone alright, I haven't got into the full art side of the design yet as is clear from the scraps I've posted. I'm still working together a method and workflow for story development, and I suspect I'll be making changes all the way through these projects as I release new chapters.
It's hard to find a good balance for world building since the art quality I'm aiming for at this stage is really really low, so to some extent I don't need to design anything. but I would prefer to have a higher quality method that will work when I move towards a proper quality manga.

I suspect I will hit some sort of road blocks along the way but otherwise I can't see many failure points in such a low quality method. Unless I really get into it, I wont be able to learn what problems there are to be solved. So it's a very uncertain ground I'm moving into, not really comfort zone at all.

So stay tuned for soon to start weekly manga (draft!) series!
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 02:54:28 PM by Suuper-san »
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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1572 on: March 15, 2021, 07:39:38 AM »
Nice to see you're thinking about the writing aspect as well.  For me I have been investing so much time into drawing instead of writing that I wouldn't even mind drawing someone's story if it was good.  Though, considering my last post that I had on MR, I might write some stories

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1573 on: March 16, 2021, 11:04:09 AM »
thanks
yeah well for making a manga story one has to be able to write a good story, otherwise you're wasting your time illustrating a poorly written story I think.
But it does take a lot of effort to get good at both writing and art, this is the first time in my 10 years of drawing that I'm now deliberately trying to raise my writing level, as I've been art focused the whole time too :P
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Offline Manimal

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Re: Suuper's manga (+digital and 3D)
« Reply #1574 on: March 26, 2021, 10:11:53 AM »
Nice concept pieces, you have four solid ideas. I like Et Cetera the most, it seems really fun. The little robot is neat and has one of those simple and shall we say...marketable...designs. Always nice to see your sketches, I think any of these could end up as an enjoyable manga.