11 FROM 3D RENDER TO 2D DRAWING
Turning 3D scenes into clear and attractive comics panels isn’t merely a matter of applying a Photoshop filter…
1 Render in 3D
Here’s my exported render for a panel. My elements are arranged exactly how I would like and I’ve lit the figures in such a way as to emphasise all the important information and convey drama, but ultimately the scene looks very much like a slick CG render. Other than the composition and lighting choices, there is nothing particularly special about it.
2 Knock back the CG
I apply a Stamp filter to the image in background with a couple of different Darkness settings, each on a separate layer. This gives me some idea where my basic forms and areas of shadow will be. The filter will be enough for more geometrically straightforward background and prop elements, but everything even vaguely organic-looking must be drawn in by hand.
3 Ink over the line art
I then print out the composite of the digital elements and practical pencil drawing in blueline, and ink it all by hand. At this stage I can make decisions about how much background detail I want to preserve, how best to render it and what elements I need to clarify.