Kamiko's Daily Life

Feb 27, 2021, 4:00:00 PM


Over the last decade I've built up a sense of who Kamiko is and I wanted to take some time to explore that in these new comics. I wanted to start with something more slice-of-life and get a feel for who she is when she's not being a Magical Girl.

How does she live?

Where does she live?

What does she do when she's not fighting monsters by moonlight?

So that's the premise I went with and began drawing stories around that.

The Artwork

It's a combination of 2D and 3D. This is me using the full blast of my artistic knowledge.

I actually spent some time building her apartment in 3D. I'm hoping to reuse it in multiple stories as a major setting. I mean, she lives here so there's plenty of stories that can take place in this location.

Also, I thought it would be fun as an exercise in visual storytelling. A place tells you a lot about a person after all. I still think I have a long way to go in designing these spaces.

A lot of the 3D models you see used in the background are kitbashed together. I found various free 3D repositories online and pulled things that I felt made sense for Kamiko. Well, okay, I don't know if kitbashing is the right term for it, but it's built from various free 3D models I found online.

Yes, like a vase with a bunch of bats. Ever since the Rabbit and the Moon when it comes to her, baseball has shown up in some form or another.

The shoe shelf though... I made it using my own assets. The shoes come from a 3D model I did of Kamiko. I basically pulled them off her feet. If you look closely at the image below you'll see that they don't even have interiors because they were never mean to be seen up close. I realize there's probably a lot more I could do with those shoes, but I simply retextured them and placed them in different positions to make it look like quite the collection.

Here's the shoe cubby in color (mostly).

Blender 3D model of high heel shoe cubby hole | Magical Girl Kamiko | This Mortal Coil Webcomic

Blender 3D model of high heel shoe cubby hole | Magical Girl Kamiko | This Mortal Coil Webcomic

Of course, there's the Heartwing staff as well.

And no, I didn't decorate her entire apartment. I only built out what I immediately needed. There's still plenty of rooms to explore and things to add and change over time.

Apartment Model

You want to see what her apartment looks like in 3D?

Blender 3D model of apartment building exterior | Magical Girl Kamiko | This Mortal Coil Webcomic

Blender 3D model of apartment building exterior | Magical Girl Kamiko | This Mortal Coil Webcomic

Again, I only modeled what was needed. It's based on a real building somewhere in Tokyo. I used a site to look for apartments and came across something I liked in the area of the city I wanted and started there.

This model is mostly made from making one floor and then repeating that one floor multiple times. I didn't bother to make the base. I guess for the most part I can get away without showing that for now, but maybe one day I'll have to figure it out.

That other cube there... it's only meant to cast the shadow. I rendered it with a toon shader so most of it is flat shaded. Blender allows you to do inked lines as well. I'm sure if you look closely to the building in the comic you might see some weirdness, but that's fine.

The Living Room

Most of the 3D assets here are found on various sites like CG Trader and Blender 3D modeling repositories such as the sofa, the mounted TV, the TV stand, the vase and bats.

Blender 3D living room interior | Magical Girl Kamiko | This Mortal Coil Webcomic

Blender 3D living room interior | Magical Girl Kamiko | This Mortal Coil Webcomic

I hope to be able to reuse a lot of this down the line and that the labor I put in now will pay off in future comics.

Of course, I'll only use detailed backgrounds when appropriate. If it's talking heads I'm sure a color backdrop will be fine. This is more for establishing location and where characters are relative to one another.

And I also enjoyed it as a form of visual storytelling. You can see some aspects of who Kamiko is in here from her Magical Girl side to her, well... other side.

I hope you are having a great start of the weekend. More next time!

If you have questions about how I use 3D feel free to ask in the comments below.