Melchizedek: King of Justice

Calling all self-proclaimed mangaka!

Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby Midori » Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:13 pm

No I understand the principle, I just wouldn't have thought such a tiny difference would matter so much. Objects in the natural world aren't usually arranged on a perfect rectilinear grid anyway, so I wouldn't think one's eyes and brain would mind such small variations in the angles of things.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby K. Ayato » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:32 pm

There's also the concept of symmetry and balance. Like the image Xeno linked demonstrates, an image is deemed less attractive to the eye if it appears lopsided or off-balance.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby Xeno » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:45 pm

Except that's not what we're talking about. In the natural world if your horizon shifts, everything else shifts to accommodate this adjustment. The only way one thing will have a different and unnatural appearance in the real world is If some kind of optical illusion is being utilized to break the perspective.

The issue in a 2D illustration is your point of perspective cannot shift, so having multiple horizon points breaks the perspective. Buildings are not lined up the way they should be if you were looking at them in real life. This causes perspective to break and the mind does adjust for it, but still recognizes that something about what it's looking at isn't quite correct.

Think of it like taking three pictures of the New York skyline from a skyscraper, only each picute is taken 5 stories apart from each other, but in the same spot otherwise. The difference would be astounding between the two pictures furthest apart, but even just 5 stories would reveal jarring shifts. The slight degree change we're looking at in this first frame is equivalent to 5 to 10 stories.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby mechana2015 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:21 am

Midori wrote:No I understand the principle, I just wouldn't have thought such a tiny difference would matter so much. Objects in the natural world aren't usually arranged on a perfect rectilinear grid anyway, so I wouldn't think one's eyes and brain would mind such small variations in the angles of things.


And this is the biggest problem with using single point perspective. Small shifts in single point perspective are both able to be mapped and incredibly apparent, even to the untrained eye. Two or three point perspective actually generally offers more leeway, by virtue of the vanishing points (almost always) being off the page. Objects in the real world AREN'T in a perfect rectilinear grid, so when you draw single point perspective of an outdoor environment it already invites skepticism, since humans view the world in what is largely called three point perspective (though you can usually narrow it to 2 point perspective for image making, since the third vanishing point is...well... sort of up a long ways, hence our perception that a wall is straight up and down. We're not used to one point, so anything wrong with one point becomes abhorrently apparent since we're actually used to computing and observing in three(ish)... I could actually argue for 6 since our eyes are operating in stereo, but we don't draw that way since we are working in a non-stereo visual environment. The only reason it's less noticeable in real life is that our average vanishing points (due to how the optical world works) are VERY far away. We're talking that, if you drew a small picture, probably off the page for all three, possibly several feet off the page for even a small drawing. This allows something important to happen in two point perspective. If you do it right, you can kind of fake it, and it won't be nearly as obvious. Variances like we've pointed out, especially the ones I pointed out, might be noticeable, but they won't stand out nearly as much. Of course gross errors will still stand out, and professional comic artists will often draw panels with challenging perspective, such as cityscapes, on a massive perspective grid, just to get it right.

So now to shift the discussion a little I'm going to point out that this:
"NEVER let your backgrounds dominate the image when your focused characters are in the scene."

This is excellent. This is also why perspective is so important. Flubbed perspective is distracting. It distracts from the characters, and the story and everything else, because your eye is sitting there going 'the heck happened to that building?' Unnatural environments are eye catching, and are often used in comics to show that something has gone wrong or that the world is different, be it lovecraftian 'eldrich architecture', surreal 'dreaming' or just plain distorted visuals will catch the eye and hold it... probably somewhere you don't want it held if it wasn't a deliberate choice.

There are two ways to do this. The first, is called the masking effect (thanks to Scott McCloud teaching this). The masking effect is drawing a character in a very light, smooth cartooney style, like many manga (One Piece or the Ouran High School Host Club anime), or some European or american comics (TinTIn is the best example), and then drawing the background in such a complex and realistic manner that the character pops out of the background due to the contrast of styles. This is rather difficult, but can be a rewarding result. That being said it's one way, but not the way best for this style of comic, it's not how Teen Titans/Young Justice/Batman TAS and many american comics are drawn.

And that brings us to this comment, our first panel and the concept of atmospheric perspective.

There's something going on in that panel.
I couldn't tell initially.
It took me a while to catch on that the action arch wasn't a part of the architecture. It gets lost in the background.
So what's atmospheric perspective?
It's what happens when the air gets in the way of what you're looking at and obscures the background. It makes the illusion of depth occur in images. The easiest way to simulate this is to reduce the detail of the image the further away something is and reduce the contrast of the object with the sky behind it.

There's a little of this in the background of your first image as the furthest buildings are in solid black... this is one way to indicate this, and I like it for this comic. The problem is the closer background buildings being all the same tone, which introduces optical confusion due to the lack of contrast. So lets introduce some atmosphere.

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There we are. Rough and dirty, but this is a sample of how it could work on this specific panel. You'll also notice that I took some detail out of the background and toned even foreground buildings to redraw the eye back to that center impact. It hasn't totally fixed it, but Ante covered the angle issue, but the focus has returned to the middle of the image more and it's easier to tell what's going on, and the environment looks deeper.

Next Time, (Probably) Anatomy and Character Design

Unless something else comes up. <.<

EDIT: Suggested reading on more advanced ideas about making comics and how to make comics people can and will read.
Scott McCloud - Understanding Comics
Scott McCloud - Making Comics
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby EHeroAndrew » Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:03 am

I've read those books. I have a bunch of how to draw comics/manga books. Some were helpful, some weren't.
I also like using the quote from Bakuman, "The best rescource for manga is manga". So the manga I read and take artistic inspiration from are Dragonball Z, Fairy Tail and Naruto.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby K. Ayato » Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:48 am

But what about actual CLASSES? Life drawing, in particular.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby EHeroAndrew » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:06 am

K. Ayato wrote:But what about actual CLASSES? Life drawing, in particular.

I have an Associates in Arts. I took 2 semesters of life drawing. If you want proof I can take pictures of my stuff and send them to you through email or PM.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby mechana2015 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:10 pm

EHeroAndrew wrote:I've read those books. I have a bunch of how to draw comics/manga books. Some were helpful, some weren't.
I also like using the quote from Bakuman, "The best rescource for manga is manga". So the manga I read and take artistic inspiration from are Dragonball Z, Fairy Tail and Naruto.


Drawing comics is working in a different language, and while McCloud can be a little granular and dense at times, his books are the best approach I've seen to making sense of how ALL comics work, whether their origins be Asian, American or European. I've read through them many times, and I highly suggest owning them and keeping them around, since just looking at a comic isn't going to always tell you why a page or panel looks the way to does, but the analytical approach McCloud uses, especially in Making Comics can definitely give you a clue as to how to approach various problems unique to the medium.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby EHeroAndrew » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:35 pm

I was planning on either buying the prints or digital format. But since I couldn't find the ebook versions so I have to resort to buying the prints. My closest Barnes and noble has 2 (Understanding & Making) of the 3 books. The only one I couldn't find was Reinventing Comics.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby mechana2015 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:47 pm

Reinventing is the least useful of the three. It has some interesting and very relevant parts but much of the technical commentary is becoming rapidly dated due to the somewhat unpredictable directions technology has taken since the book was published, and some of the more experimental ideas are just that... Still experimental and not necessarily useful ideas for just making comics, especially making comics based on a pre-established regional style.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby EHeroAndrew » Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:53 pm

And it is a very nice book for any aspiring comic artist to have. It's pretty much just one big comic about making comics lol.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby invaderv93 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:42 pm

Oh boy. Sorry to rain on your parade, EHero, but I'm not a fan thus far. I do think your work is salvageable however. You have put in some admirable effort and, as Davidizer earlier said, deserve credit for actually, tangibly working on a project. The concept, while a little generic and heavy-handed, is also not the worst thing I've ever seen and could be cleaned up nicely.
However, you have quite a bit of work to do.
Here are my basic criticisms:
1) Stylistically the comic is rather disappointing. You've set it in a sort of cyberpunk setting, which piqued my interest at first as that aesthetic gives you a lot of room to develop an interesting, unique world for your story. However the art is rather flat and average - good enough on a technical level but just not very interesting to look at - and the decision to couple this simple style with black-and-white coloring is a poor one. Cyberpunk is famous for it's juxtaposition of bright colors and shadows. Complexity of both the art itself and the coloring is key. If you made the world a little more complex and gave the reader more to look at, then you could get away with a black-and-white, traditional manga-like color scheme. But if you're going to stick to a simple setting, then you at least need some degree of color, otherwise there is literally nothing to catch the eye and distinguish your manga from the pack. You are working in a visual medium, so you must have good, compelling visuals.
2) Your characters thus far are bland at best and laughable at worst (and your choice of names do not help this). Stylistically the characters are nothing new (to the point where it could be kind of a legal problem; Natural Selection looks exactly like Nightwing) and writing-wise they're far too archetypal. None of them seem to have any personality nuances beyond what is expected of their character "type." They are roles, not people, and if you want people to take your message seriously you need to make all parties involved (yes, even the antagonists/people who's ideas you disagree with) sound at least somewhat like actual, fairly reasonable human beings. As it stands, your characters (especially the antagonists) are incredibly one-dimensional and unbelievably, almost robotically radical in their opinions. It feels too simple, almost spiteful even, and makes the manga's ideals seem more childish than they otherwise would be.
3) Can we get a little bit more backstory for the characters/setting and a more thorough look at the world and the issues at stake for all parties involved? This would certainly help with the development issues.
4) Lastly, what exactly is the relationship between Mel and Eva? I got the impressions they are adopted siblings, in which case (even if they are not blood relatives) many of the things Mel says to her are kind of disturbing and seriously damage his likability as a protagonist. If a guy in a story keeps telling his own sister how hot she looks, I am not inclined to think of him as a hero.
Best of luck.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby Ante Bellum » Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:00 pm

EHeroAndrew wrote:
K. Ayato wrote:But what about actual CLASSES? Life drawing, in particular.

I have an Associates in Arts. I took 2 semesters of life drawing. If you want proof I can take pictures of my stuff and send them to you through email or PM.


You could have fooled me, if your comics are anything to go by. Do you even have your own style, or do you rip everything from other artists? It's bland and unappealing at best. I can't settle on anything to look at because everything runs together, there's nothing I can point to and say "yeah that's really nice" because all I can see is a combination of standard Marvel/DC and Generic Shounen Manga #8. If you took two semesters of figure drawing, why does your comic look like you learned entirely from OTHER comics?
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby EHeroAndrew » Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:49 pm

invaderv93 wrote:Oh boy. Sorry to rain on your parade, EHero, but I'm not a fan thus far. I do think your work is salvageable however. You have put in some admirable effort and, as Davidizer earlier said, deserve credit for actually, tangibly working on a project. The concept, while a little generic and heavy-handed, is also not the worst thing I've ever seen and could be cleaned up nicely.
However, you have quite a bit of work to do.
Here are my basic criticisms:
1) Stylistically the comic is rather disappointing. You've set it in a sort of cyberpunk setting, which piqued my interest at first as that aesthetic gives you a lot of room to develop an interesting, unique world for your story. However the art is rather flat and average - good enough on a technical level but just not very interesting to look at - and the decision to couple this simple style with black-and-white coloring is a poor one. Cyberpunk is famous for it's juxtaposition of bright colors and shadows. Complexity of both the art itself and the coloring is key. If you made the world a little more complex and gave the reader more to look at, then you could get away with a black-and-white, traditional manga-like color scheme. But if you're going to stick to a simple setting, then you at least need some degree of color, otherwise there is literally nothing to catch the eye and distinguish your manga from the pack. You are working in a visual medium, so you must have good, compelling visuals.
2) Your characters thus far are bland at best and laughable at worst (and your choice of names do not help this). Stylistically the characters are nothing new (to the point where it could be kind of a legal problem; Natural Selection looks exactly like Nightwing) and writing-wise they're far too archetypal. None of them seem to have any personality nuances beyond what is expected of their character "type." They are roles, not people, and if you want people to take your message seriously you need to make all parties involved (yes, even the antagonists/people who's ideas you disagree with) sound at least somewhat like actual, fairly reasonable human beings. As it stands, your characters (especially the antagonists) are incredibly one-dimensional and unbelievably, almost robotically radical in their opinions. It feels too simple, almost spiteful even, and makes the manga's ideals seem more childish than they otherwise would be.
3) Can we get a little bit more backstory for the characters/setting and a more thorough look at the world and the issues at stake for all parties involved? This would certainly help with the development issues.
4) Lastly, what exactly is the relationship between Mel and Eva? I got the impressions they are adopted siblings, in which case (even if they are not blood relatives) many of the things Mel says to her are kind of disturbing and seriously damage his likability as a protagonist. If a guy in a story keeps telling his own sister how hot she looks, I am not inclined to think of him as a hero.
Best of luck.


Sorry that you feel that way.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby Ante Bellum » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:13 pm

EHeroAndrew wrote:
invaderv93 wrote:A good post.


Sorry that you feel that way.


Is that what you're going to tell the professionals when you try to get published?
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby K. Ayato » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:59 pm

Oooh, BURN! I understand you're pretty defensive of this project, but your ego is getting in the way of us wanting to help you actually improve what you hope to accomplish.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby Xeno » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:29 pm

I'd also like to point out that this city is essentially a futuristic brutalist landscape. Which I'm not exactly opposed to, because brutalism is awesome, but you'll need to kill some of the diagonal lines.

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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby mechana2015 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:07 am

EHeroAndrew wrote:And it is a very nice book for any aspiring comic artist to have. It's pretty much just one big comic about making comics lol.


Yeah if that's referring to reinventing comics... you must not have read it.
You're going to be in for a big surprise if thats what you expect reinventing comics to be. A big comic about making comics is what Understanding comics and Making Comics are about.

Reinventing comics is about the comics industry and how it needed (or needs) to change to stay relevant and interesting. It covers 9 sections about this, the first is comics as literature, and the second is comics as art, neither of which are writing or drawing comics, but more about working on academic acceptance of comics. The third is about creators rights, which while important has changed really drastically over the last fourteen(!!) years since this book was written, and the development of the self publishing and online webcomic culture have made large sections of the argument either irrelevant or drastically different. The fourth is 'Industry Innovation' which like the the previous has been really shaken up in fourteen years, rendering much of the topic feeling more than a bit dated, as many things in the chapter have already occurred or now can't occur due to things like digital publishing. The next two sections are about Community Standards,like public perception and institutional (academic) scrutiny, which sound... somewhat quaint since comics have now found their way into textbooks sections, including Understanding Comics itself, and the fact that Marvel and DC have both knocked a very large amount of Comic based movies clean out of the park box office wise. The last three sections are probably the three most relevant to the actual process of comics now (though the first two academic topics are still probably active today). These are chapters about gender balance (of both characters and creators), minority representation in comics, and diversity of genre (not all comics need to be superhero comics). They're interesting and important to be mindful about in my opinion, they're not really a 'how to' section.

The last section of the book is about using computers to make comics, distribute comics, and use digital space to influence how comics are read and perceived. All sections seem pretty... dated, in this time.

Essentially, it's a good book, as a historical document, but in relation to actually making comics it's 14 years out of date and totally about the comics industry in 2000. It's like a book about website design and online culture from 2000, with all the technical information written in HTML 1.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby invaderv93 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:42 pm

Also did you remove my comment? Kind of rude don't you think?
*EDIT: Back again, possibly just a technical glitch. NM.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby EHeroAndrew » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:55 pm

What was the comment? I never deleted a comment... Unless the page was deleted.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby invaderv93 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:22 pm

Oh it was nothing just when I was looking at the thread my comments and a couple other people's weren't showing up. They were all back after a short while though so I think it was just a technical glitch and not your fault. My apologies.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby mechana2015 » Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:10 pm

Just for future reference, if a post is missing, a mod did it or it's a glitch. Thread originating posters don't have that capability.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby EHeroAndrew » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:04 pm

Update: Pages 1-16 have been reuploaded as new pages. Now I can move on to make new pages.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby Ante Bellum » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:30 pm

Hey, come here, I'm going to let you in on a little secret, no big deal, it's just that oh I don't know THE BREASTS ARE STILL IMPOSSIBLY HUGE AND THE WOMEN STILL LOOK THE SAME AND YOU ACTUALLY REMOVED AGE LINES FROM AN OLD WOMAN INSTEAD OF MAKING HER LOOK UNIQUE YOU SEXIST HACK.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby EHeroAndrew » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:19 pm

Ante Bellum wrote:Hey, come here, I'm going to let you in on a little secret, no big deal, it's just that oh I don't know THE BREASTS ARE STILL IMPOSSIBLY HUGE AND THE WOMEN STILL LOOK THE SAME AND YOU ACTUALLY REMOVED AGE LINES FROM AN OLD WOMAN INSTEAD OF MAKING HER LOOK UNIQUE YOU SEXIST HACK.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm8xRvoQkc0
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby Xeno » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:31 pm

EHeroAndrew wrote:
Ante Bellum wrote:Hey, come here, I'm going to let you in on a little secret, no big deal, it's just that oh I don't know THE BREASTS ARE STILL IMPOSSIBLY HUGE AND THE WOMEN STILL LOOK THE SAME AND YOU ACTUALLY REMOVED AGE LINES FROM AN OLD WOMAN INSTEAD OF MAKING HER LOOK UNIQUE YOU SEXIST HACK.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm8xRvoQkc0

1. Your cityscapes look better. Good job.
2. Ante is right, so is the girl in that video (Ante is better than you).
3. Look at the girl in the video again, notice how her shirt isn't about to explode from her enormous breasts? Because she doesn't have enormous breasts and not all women do and maybe you shouldn't give all your woman character double-J cup boobs.

PS: I've been told I was born a ramblin' man, so your video has little effect on me.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby Ante Bellum » Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:31 pm

Poor babby, he just can't stand the thought of any women not fitting into his ideal.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby EHeroAndrew » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:05 pm

Ante Bellum wrote:Poor babby, he just can't stand the thought of any women not fitting into his ideal.


Well better buckle up, missy, because they are here to stay. I'm staying the course.
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby Xeno » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:10 pm

EHeroAndrew wrote:Well better buckle up, missy, because they are here to stay. I'm staying the course.

but...ante isn't female?
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Re: Melchizedek: King of Justice

Postby invaderv93 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:27 pm

*headdesk* First of all, I don't see a single thing you've changed based on people's more than reasonable suggestions (for instance I again must question the sterile blandness of your environment. It's dystopic, so where is the clutter? Where's the grit? Where's the life? GIVE ME A REASON TO LOOK AT THIS). Second, Ante's completely right about the laughable proportions and disturbingly sexist style of your lead characters. No one is asking you to cut out these characters entirely. We're asking you to simply alter their costumes to look more realistic. I mean, speaking from personal experience, Pyra's top would never stay up if she had a cup size that big. Large breasts + strapless tops = wardrobe malfunctions galore, not to mention how ridiculous they look. It damage neither her character nor your story's plot if you adjusted her costume/body type to be physically possible (not to mention that proper proportions would actually make her look much better). Yet so far you've responded to such - again, completely reasonable - suggestions by either ignoring them or childishly digging in your heels and mouthing off to those who could help you improve, like you did with Ante. Rudeness and stubbornness will get you nowhere. I mean, you DID ask us all for help! Accept what criticism is clearly due you and don't pitch a little fit whenever we don't fall over ourselves to praise you. That's not what we're here for.
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