It's Sleep Time!
Nov 21, 2020, 4:00:55 PM
...It's Sleep Time. For Reals now.
Looks like our two headed doggo friend has finally tired himself out. What is Kamiko planning?
The Heartwing Staff
You might notice that Kamiko's staff is slightly different. I decided a few weeks ago to model her staff using Blender. Then I can use the freestyle rendering options to "ink it" once I pose it in frame. Now I don't have to really draw/ink every time I need to display the staff. Here's a 3D render of the staff as it is:
I'm using a custom node toon shader in Blender. You probably notice the inked lines -- that's Blender too! There's a rendering pass called Freestyle that allows you to determine how a model is "inked." There are some artifacts in this render, but for the comic, I would do only the freestyle lines over a transparent image and then super impose it over the other inked artwork and merge the two together and clean up extraneous lines.
Here's the whole staff rendered via Blender using a non-toon shader.
A wireframe view:
If you've got any skill at 3D modeling, you might cringe at some of this mesh work. The "wings" have too many polygons. Everything else was low-poly modeled and then I used a Catmull-Clark sub-division modifier to smooth it all out. The "wings" are done using several curves that are scaled and put together. I didn't bother to take the time to retopologize the wings when I finished because I'm not -- at least for now -- thinking of using this for a 3D game asset. I can render this just fine in Blender without any slowdown.
So, how's do we go from this 3D model to an inked outline?
Here's the artwork I created using Clip Paint Studio. To start I used Clip Paint's 3D figure and posed it and adjusted the camera angle. I used that to do a rough sketch and here you're seeing the ink and blue pencil sketch over the 3D model. Our two-headed doggo I did freehand. It's, shall we put it, rough.
If you step back in time and look at the previous pages, you'll see that all of those pages look rough. Now that I'm back at a full desktop computer with the power of Clip Paint Studio behind me, things with Magical Girl Kamiko might change a bit. I'm getting used to Clip Paint's tools again. Part of this is that the iPad I'm using for rough sketches (and in this case finished comics) is starting to lose it's battery charge. Plus, I built a new PC, so I should be using it.
I suppose you could say, for fun, I inked it, and because of that I could integrate the heartwing staff right in.
In a new scene in Blender I append the Heartwing Staff model. I create an Image object with the rough sketch and place it into the scene. Then I simply rotate the 3D model into place over top of the rough sketch and render it using Freestyle to get the lines.
Here's what it looks like with the 3D model super imposed over the 2D image.
Here's a version of the final sketch (without Doggo):
Once Blender's done rendering the staff, I can super-impose the staff over the actual 2D drawing and then I use masks to hide the overlapping parts. I also fix up the lines of the staff. In this case I also created an outline around the staff to give its silhouette some more thickness from the interior lines.
I know it seems like a lot of work, and to model the staff it certainly was. But now I hope that it will be easier to simply render the staff rather than draw it every (or most of the) time.
So that's it for this week. Thanksgiving is next week, but there will be a comic on Saturday! The goal is to get something out every Saturday, holiday or no.
Vote for Us!
Oh, and hey, if you're enjoying reading Magical Girl Kamiko please consider voting for us at TopWebComics. We're covering around 260th place for the month's top 100 comics. Yes, we're not in the top 100, but we're doing better! In October and September we were hovering around 350th place, so we've jumped up!
I hope you are enjoying the comic.
Since the next update will come after Thanksgiving (in the US), have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, and I'll see you again next Saturday.