Turn­ing 3D scenes into clear and at­trac­tive comics panels isn’t merely a mat­ter of ap­ply­ing a Pho­to­shop fil­ter…

ImagineFX - - Workshops -

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.

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