A Voice in the Woods

Apr 18, 2015, 1:00:19 PM

How It's Made: A Voice in the Woods - 1

Here's the next entry into "How It's Made" for the first page of "A Voice in the Woods."






I used Blender to help me set the stage in the first frame. That house all the way to the left is the Shinto Shrine that we saw in The Storyteller. It's part way up a mountain and there's quite a bit more mountain beyond it where our characters are making their long climb. All of those spheres are supposed to be trees as well as the gray spaces all around the "track." Kamiko is of course the figure. I didn't bother to pose her out, just enough to have her stepping up the walkway and using her sword as a walking stick/cane (it'll probably be a really battered and dull blade by the time they get to where they're going).

There's a seemingly random cube floating in the air, and the point of that is to use that cube to create a 3-point perspective grid in Manga Studio. When I use the perspective rulers it's something I can align to so that it's correct when I go to draw the things out. The cube is actually axis-aligned and the camera is placed up high looking down for the shot. The grid was useful for the shrine and giving it some of its detail and also figuring out the perspective between the lamp posts. I do have a 3D model for that shrine, but I didn't want to use it -- it seemed overkill for just some background detail, and actually the shrine from  "The Storyteller" was something I had just straight up drawn with some 3D blocking pre-vis image.

Yes, that's right, Jade is that block with the cylinder. :) Another thing I've been doing with storyboards is blocking in where I think the bubbles should go, this way I can design everything -- what should be on the page and where the bubbles are so I can know in advance if they're covering up any of the artwork.




As you can see, me being lazy with the backgrounds again for my pencils, but I don't want to spend a great deal of time detailing it when I'll be doing that in the painting step, so it saves me a bunch of time, even though the pencils look really messy.

No Bubble Artwork

A Voice in the Woods - no text

A Voice in the Woods - no text

You're thinking I have some clever brush for the stone-y looking texture, right. Well, I don't. >.<

Yes, I stippled that by hand using the G-pen in Manga Studio 5. Yes, that took a while. :) Yes, that's ridiculous and yeah, I actually made a stipple brush later. If you remember, the blue is also for the Elixir of Immortality. I thought of adding that in at the end, because Jade can smell it, and so it was a way of getting a little more of his POV into the page.

The second frame reuses a background from The Storyteller as well -- it was originally a photo I took of Mito, Japan when I visited back in 2010. I had a friend living as a JET in that city and I took it from a pretty high tower. Here's the link to the page from The Storyteller (page 57) where the background is used. It's also reused again at the end of that chapter.

Kamiko is hardly appropriately dressed to go traipsing through the woods and up a mountainside in high heels and Lolita clothing (and across the moon earlier in the story). Not to mention it's also summer, so it's probably incredibly hot, and she's been running around since the day before and honestly, who knows how long if she was in the Eternal Realm or a limbo world at the start of the story. With that in mind, I drew the first frame of her looking a lot more sour about having to deal with this demon wolf. Also, being around Jade doesn't help either. In the last frame I added some wear and tear to her shoes, and probably I should be adding scuffs and marks to her clothing and twigs in her hair.


I started to script pages differently. Before I was using an actual movie/comic template, but there's no point to that. When I rewrite this chapter, I decided to do a more compact format. I wanted to spell out the frames and describe them briefly. Under the frames would be the dialogue with the character name. The way things are numbered are meant to describe rows and columns of images. So to say "1" it means that that image will take up the entire first row of the page -- how big that image is, is up to me later on. To say "2a" and "2b" mean that I want to split the next row up into two images -- although if you look at the artwork, 2a-b are the stacked images to the side of frame 1. It's a little more compact to write this way since I don't have to deal with the tabbing and formatting and I can just hash this stuff out in a text editor a lot quicker.

Page 1

  1. Kamiko is cutting her way through the woods with Jade leading the way up the mountain. They’re following the blood trail as well. And they cross under a giant torii gate.

Kamiko: Let me get this straight, I have the elixir? Jade: Yes, your younger self nabbed it from me as I escaped her clutches. I can smell it! Kamiko: Alright, we find Natsumi and Hana, get the elixir back and save Chang’e. Piece of… 2a. Close up on Jade Jade: And the wolf? Kamiko: (O.S.) We kill him. 2b. Close up on Kamiko looking down at Jade. Jade: (O.S.) Might I remind you… Kamiko: Okay, then what? 3. Jade hops in front of Kamiko and up a post that holds a small shrine. He sits on top of it and goes off on Kamiko. (SFX: Thump thump) Jade: This is my problem with you, god child, you deconstruct everything to it’s simplest and ignore the consequences. You’re reckless and with my mistress’ life on the line, how can I trust you to act with care? Kamiko: You don’t think I could do it? Jade: Do what? A miracle?? 4a. Kamiko crosses her arms. She looks a bit conceited. Kamiko: Is there a better way? Jade: Containment. Kamiko: Ookay, so in a hundred years he pops out again? Then what? He’s dying. That’s a bandaid solution. I want to fix this for good. 4b. Close up on Jade. Jade: At what cost? Kamiko: Sniff out your stupid elixir and we’ll go from there, okay? 4c. Jade jumps down from the little shrine lantern he was on. Jade: This way!

That's it for this week's How It's Made. See you next time!

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