Category Archives: Team Business

Where the discoveries made from the business classes are documented

Kickstarter

I completed the kickstarter video and I am quite proud of myself for doing so because initially I hated doing the lip sync animation. I don’t know how some people do it, because only having 1 minute and 12 seconds was a lot. However, once I actually watched it back I was really satisfied with the outcome, and look forward to trying it again in the future.

I watched a really straightforward tutorial for how to create the lip sync. Initially I was going to attempt to use shapes and morph the mouth using different keyframes but this proved both problematic for creating the mouth shapes that had teeth and it didn’t look right.

So watching the tutorial you simply create the layers of different phonemes in illustrator, bring them into after effects and make each layer one key frame. Each keyframe pays after the other and then you just cut the comp down to the correct time.

Once you add the slider, expression and control (watch the video for how) you simply slide the slider until you get the appropriate phoneme and key it.

I did a quick version of the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGKXUJpvcIc

However, I noticed (prior to receiving Danny’s proper character versions)that I had forgotten to make the layer 3D so there was no shadow from them and also they don’t blink. Another issue is, I designed the characters in photoshop and thought I turned off the white background layer but apparently hadn’t, leading me to key out the white background and subsequently removing the whites of their eyes. Whoops.

I rectified these mistakes in the final version, although just before I hit render I thought I had gone deaf. It turned out at some point when editing the video I deleted the narration so I had to bring it back in and edited it again and try and match it up with the lip sync. Nothing is ever straightforward with me. Anyway… Here’s the kick-starter:

Danny did the concept art for this, (which you can see in the background and the tow main characters at the front).

Harvard Citation:

BloopAnimation. (2013). After Effects: How To Build a Mouth Rig For Lip Syncing (2D animation). Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lanbndDl1lg. Last accessed 1st Jul 2017.

Poster Design

Okay… This took a while. It wouldn’t have been complete except for Jennie helping me. When I last met in person with Danny we had discussed the poster being similar to Christopher Nolan’s film posters because I felt they were simple yet really effective at capturing the tone of the film.

Example of the posters

The-Nolan.jpg

As you can see, they are fairly straightforward. A silhouette in the foreground and a dramatic scene in the background.

I took it upon myself to design the poster, and created this initially after a few hours.

19206343_1914422255499517_23448629_n.png

I then sent it to Jennie for feedback, since she is far better at me at painting, and she said:

  • Add green light onto the characters
  • Have more detail
  • Make sure the characters fit with Danny’s style (they didn’t as you can see from the concept art in the powerpoints)
  • Add shadow on to the back of the stones too
  • The hill looks like a small bump

Jennie very graciously offered to help me and I sent her a version after that were I had added some trees to try and make the scene more interesting and add a sense of scale. Mainly thinking that all that needed fixed was the characters hair.

19369434_1917355195206223_980911556_o.jpg

Feedback:

19238682_10211520129032128_673271160_o.jpg

^^This was Jennie’s quick version to help illustrate her advice. The clouds were much better than my attempt (using difference clouds) and i could see there was a difference in scale. I also liked how she blended the grass on the hill.

So I had another go.

19402519_1917355221872887_1904149520_o.jpg

Feedback:

  • The poster is still missing something, possibly because its rather flat i.e. little detail to help the scene seem more 3D or it could be theres a lot of empty space
  • Try doing different thumbnails to experiment with composition

I ended up producing this quick sketch to try and emphasise the height of the hill, and bringing back the trees to add a sense on scale.

I received the following feedback:

19401555_10211565060795394_54805365_o.jpg

I then created this version:

19478742_1918517265090016_18609922_o.png

This version features the font I designed called “BluQ” after the name of Danny’s business. The white lines on the poster are there to help me remember where the two character’s eye lines should be. I tried to make their poses more dynamic with Ari reaching for his sword and Ryne reaching out to him in fear.

By this point Jennie was actively collaborating with me on making the comic and I had shown Danny some of the earlier versions and he was pretty excited about it. I sent this version to Jennie and she came up with this quick doodle that I thought was more atmospheric than my 3 hour construction. This was to get the shape down right before she added in the two characters.

19449256_10211581735172243_279245477_o.png

After all this, Jennie obviously had to focus on her own work, so I used her design to create the final poster (see below). Without Jennie’s help I definitely would not have been able to get to this standard of poster. I would have handed in the first one, but I am pleased with what the outcome is. Chatting about it afterwards it seems that the turning point was with the character design, as the curved shapes (which Mike talked about in Life Drawing) really took away to stiffness on the characters and made the poster a more dynamic piece of work. (Also pleased to say I did the hair myself).

Cover.jpg

Logo Development

I’ve been learning quite a bit about after effects the past few months and when Danny and I discussed creating the logo for, the then, Faolen Studios it came in handy.

Danny liked the idea of a jumping wolf design and so I created this.

Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 19.16.35.png

I firstly drew the shape of the wolf jumping in Illustrator then went into after effects. I made a black background, added a layer with triangular particles flying out and then brought in the wolf as a new layer and changed the alpha settings.

Then when I was satisfied with how the particles looked in the wolf and that there were no gaps, I rendered out a frame as a .jpeg.

However, after thinking about it, Danny thought it was too detailed so I bumped up the particle size and got this.

Faolen Studios Logo 1

Now Danny has created this logo, (not the finished version). Also trying to think of a new name for the company at the minute it is now Blu Q Studios.

Blu Q Studios Logo

Kickstarter Videos

I watched a few kickstart videos but I have to say it seems to be an oddity for webcomics and there weren’t that many examples that I could find. That being said maybe I just wasn’t looking in the right place.

Main notes:

  • They were short (usually 2mins or less)
  • Mentions the platforms that be used
  • Brief story summary
  • Snappy
  • Either voice over or create talking to camera

Videos:

310 Views – ANTIIS Comics Presents Kickstarter Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxw_6Qsi0Ko

47,146 views – Best Kickstarter Videos of 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8d0U-vMkSE
(Exploding Kittens looks like the type of thing to look at $8.7million dollars raised)

41,950 views- 5 Tips for Making a Killer Kickstarter (CrowdFunding) Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwHs3i0KIbs

960 views- Please support me on Patreon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evOq7TiZcMA

1,172 views- ComicFAN en PATREON: cómics y videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjFR0s69uGs

2,173 views- My Art Patreon [AN INTRODUCTION]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW7gXn_QEo0

Getting An Audience

I found this article quite helpful in breaking down the steps of building an audience on a web comic, because in all honestly social media and online communities are things that I’m just not that familiar with, so this was essential for walking through it.

I’ll just write down the four main steps but I’d definitely recommend going and reading the article in full. Thats the four main phases but in each phase it breaks it down further into the various steps and questions you should be asking when working out your own webcomic.

Four Main Steps

1. CREATE YOUR BRAND

2. BUILD A PROFESSIONAL WEBSITE

3. BECOME ACTIVE ON SOCIAL NETWORKS

4. PRACTICE CONTENT MARKETING

Harvard Citations

Peterson, J.R.. (2012). Build a Strong Online Presence for Artists in Four Phases. Available: https://www.indiemade.com/resource/build-strong-online-presence-artists-four-phases. Last accessed 25th Apr 2017.

Comic Research

Jennie sent me some helpful links to a comic book artist she follows.

Which was tremendously helpful because I have absolutely no idea about any of this internet art world stuff. I just like to make diagrams.

This is an artist’s book that she is hoping to emulate by selling her own book (Holly that is) in the same way:
https://ironcircus.com/shop/ebooks/27-let-s-kickstart-a-comic-pdf-ebook.html

This is her website:
http://endallgraphics.com

This is her tumblr:
http://hollycbrown.com

This is her instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/h.c.brown/

This is her store:
http://endallstore.storenvy.com

So a common thread is that they either are eponymous or they go under the brand End All Graphics. Personally, I think it would have been better if she stayed with the eponymous angle, because then all artwork would be synonymous with her, rather than slightly confusing things with the alternative brand she has. Simply as a point of having a strong unified brand, but that’s just my opinion.

What is very apparent through her various social media and stores, is that she has a very distinct and consistent style, which is what we should take away from this. Everything links together nicely, it’s easy to find the links to her other channels, and the work is clearly displayed when you navigate the various links leaving no doubt as to what her style is.

 

Research

Comic Research

Tips on Beginning:

  • Make it for the right reasons – you want to
  • Read a lot of comics
  • Carry a notebook in case you have any ideas
  • Set an update schedule and stick to it
  • Start it right now – don’t keep putting it off

Planning:

  • Create a compelling concept
  • Create your characters e.g. backstories and personalities
  • Keep your style & schedule doable
  • Get feedback
  • Plan out your schedule so you get into a habit
  • Have a buffer- in case your sick or fall behind so that you can still update regularly
  • Promote your comic as much as you can and engage with the community

Additional Notes:

  • Share your comic on the hosting sites forum
  • Promote it as much as possible with social media
  • Engage as much as possible with other content creators e.g. on Tapastic interact with other webcomic artists – Fleen is also geared towards networking the web comic creators as is Webcomic Alliance
  • Make sure your text is legible
  • Make sure you actually enjoy the process
  • Consider future printing possibilities so save 300dpi and consider colours so converting RGB to CYMK
  • Choose the name carefully
  • Strive to keep improving your art

Some free hosting site for comics, that we hadn’t known about, mentioned are www.smackjeeves.com. Need to look into them more. A free resource is  Making Comics for helping get your started.

Biggest Mistakes:

  • Expecting too much too soon
  • Business before comic e.g. Merchandising before really establishing a loyal fanbase
  • Overworking/Unsustainable schedule

Recommended Reading

Making Comics and Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

Light for Visual Artists by Richard Yot

Framed Ink by Marcos Mateu-Mestre

Critical Theory Today by Lois Tyson

The Webcomics Handbook by Brad Gulgar

Logo Research

We found Logo pond to be our favourite site for inspiration as the logos were all fairly minimalistic. We didn’t really like the isometric logos that we looked at but it did push in the direction of incorporating geometric shapes into the design.

Logo Design Tips:

  • 2 pictures wrapped in one (like the Boat logo, one way it’s just a letter another its a picture)
  • Colour is important but it should still work greyscale
  • Avoid repeating the same design style over and over, for example, circular badge divided into segments. Try and make it ageless rather than following a trend.
  • Make it unique/ instantly recognisable
  • Try use custom font
  • Keep it simple stupid!
  • Think about proportion and symmetry
  • Maybe incorporate negative space (see Fedex Arrow)
  • Is it passive e.g. Apple logo or active e.g. Twitter Logo
  • Have a meaning to the design

Danny likes the idea of a jumping wolf design with geometry incorporated into it, which I quite like the thought of doing so I said I would.

Danny got in touch with some comic book related people, I can’t remember the different names so we wrote up a list of questions to ask them, which are in my notebook.

To Do List:

NAT: Costing + research examples + logo
DAN: Concept sketches + write out story +try to do a page
BOTH: Names

Harvard Citations:

bigred22. (2012). Cork & Cow. Available: https://logopond.com/bigred22/showcase/detail/177215. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

Carvarel, J. (2009). 20 TIPS for Webcomic Beginners!. Available: https://heylookcomics.wordpress.com/2009/07/03/20-tips-for-webcomic-beginners/. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

Corres, S. (2014). 30 Examples Of Marvelous Wolf Logo Designs.Available: http://naldzgraphics.net/inspirations/wolf-logo-designs/. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

Davies, L. (2014). The Biggest Mistakes People Make When They Start A Webcomic. Available: http://io9.gizmodo.com/the-biggest-mistakes-people-make-when-they-start-a-webc-1614779817. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

Davies, L. (2015). Want To Start A Webcomic? Here’s The Best Advice Around. Available: http://io9.gizmodo.com/want-to-start-a-webcomic-heres-the-best-advice-around-1687769556. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

designtrends. (2017). Unique and Inspiring Isometric Logo Designs.Available: https://www.designtrends.com/graphic-web/logo-designs/isometric-logo-designs.html. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

Johnson, J. (2013). 10 Tips for Designing Logos That Don’t Suck.Available: https://designshack.net/articles/inspiration/10-tips-for-designing-logos-that-dont-suck/. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

Mundhenke, R. (2013). My Top Ten Tips for Starting a Webcomic.Available: http://webcomicdojo.com/post/28055048872/my-top-ten-tips-for-starting-a-webcomic. Last accessed 11th July 2017.

Pojo. (2016). Webcomic Tips. Available: http://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/not-good/how-to-start-a-webcomic-tips/viewer?title_no=23913&episode_no=14. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

Quinn, M. (2011). Advice on Starting a Webcomic. Available: http://goknights.tumblr.com/post/15854328722/advice-on-starting-a-webcomic. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.

studywebteam. (2008). 50 Tools & Resources to Start a Webcomic.Available: http://www.studyweb.com/50-tools-and-resources-to-help-you-start-a-webcomic/. Last accessed 11th July 2017.

wikiHow. (2017). How to Make a Webcomic. Available: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Webcomic. Last accessed 11th Apr 2017.