Wednesday, 9 December 2009

The end is nigh...

Here's part 2 of my 'script to finished page' process I was using for the Demented story in 2012: A final prayer. Part 1, including the script, is here.

6/ Calendar: The calendar in Bob's script pops up various times in the eight page story so I wanted to create it in photoshop (simply using the text, select and fill tools) and impose it on the images so I wouldn't draw it too muddled trying to squeeze in all the numbers.

I had forgotten to mention before, but although Bob's script mentioned the calendar appearing on panel 3, there was an angle I wanted to use later in the story that meant it was better to have it over Aida's head and so established on panel 2. An examples like this is why I find it's often helpful to layout an entire story, or at least scenes or issues at a time, rather than just before drawing each page.

7/ Redraw: Looking at the scanned page, panel 5 was much too cluttered and needed a little more room for both dialogue and to make out what was happening:
I took the scanned panel and on a new photoshop file moved things about and digitally sketched around it.

The characters looked a little squashed, and the panel wasn't going to fit into the original space anyway so I stretched it a little and turned in a blue colour.
The I printed out the blue panel and inked over it with my pens/brush. When I rescanned it I could quickly and easily take away the blue channel on photoshop so I'm left with just the black line.

8/ Black and white artwork: Finished the inks on the rest of the page and digitally put panel 5 into place, then used the curve tool to get a really strong contrast between the black and white.
To get the wallpaper texture I simply took a photo of my studio wallpaper, again using curves to bring out the pattern. I used the transform and perspective tool to fit the pattern to the walls as seamlessly as possible, and used my PS 'blood brush', which I'd created previously by scanning in an ink splat, to add the black splash at the bottom right (which actually has subtle story significance). I also didn't like how straight Aida looked on panel 2, so tilted in slightly just to make it more interesting, and added straight borders to the panels using the stroke tool.

9/ Greyscaling: The book is printed in black and white, which allowed for some greyscaling. I was originally just going to finish off with the stark black and white above, but I experimented with the greyscaling and thought it added to the art and atmosphere. All done in photoshop (CS4 incase anyone was interested).

10/ Lettering: This was my first time lettering in Adobe Illustrator, previously just using Photoshop. It look a little bit of learning, but I managed to pick up the basics pretty quickly and much prefer the process and result compared to Photoshop. It's the ease of ability to change and play with the vector lines before finalising or distorting anything that makes the difference. Thanks to this video for the quick reference.

And that's the page finished. Laying it out like this makes it look like a lot of work, but I didn't really notice as I enjoy it so much. Time wise I think I did the 8 pages over about 2 weeks.

So if you want to see the rest of the pages, pick up the 2012: Final prayer anthology. There is some great art and writing in the book and I really enjoyed it myself.

On an altogether different matter, I may have some amusing TV news next week if everything works out...


  1. To be honest man, the images are small and don't open up bigger so it's really hard to see what you've actually done with the pages. Just speaking for myself, i'd like to get a closer look.

  2. Geez Dec your always complainin'..

    Just kidding, didn't realise I was using the old version of the blogger editor. The last 3 images are now clickable to see some big ones :)


  3. That's much nicer man. Now i can actually see the pattern you were describing. Actually, with the added greytones, that wallpaper looks a lot more natural. Works really well. Fair play.