Saturday, February 02, 2008

Interesting Experience.

Ok, just because I haven’t plugged it enough yet, I now have a new webcomic.

Not to ‘toot my own horn’ (hur hur, that sounds dirty), I now have two comics up, and both have received nothing but 5 star ratings. Normally, I wouldn’t consider this a big deal, but the ratings are anonymous, so it’s not the usual ‘Hey, I love your site/blog/comic! Do you like mine?”

Well, I just finished the panels for the third comic (not actually put them together yet tho, they’ll be up by tomorrow evening)…and thanks to a bit of experimenting I can say objectively that the new one is a lot better than the first two.

My biggest problem is that this is a Half Life webcomic, which means it’s really easy to make jokes that will go right over the head of anyone who’s never played the game…and pretty obvious to people who have. This third comic is my attempt and making something that everyone will be able to see the humor in, regardless of whether you’ve played the game or not. Once it’s up, let me know what you think.

It’s a very weird learning experience making this thing. As you can probably tell, I tend to be pretty verbose, so having to convey a story with just 6 pictures and a handful of words is something that’s pretty damn alien to me.

Of course, I’m making some stupid mistakes. I’ll spend half an hour getting a character posed just right, or ‘dressing the set’ down to a tee…only to discover that a lot of my hard work is hidden by speech balloons, or far enough away that the detail I went to was pretty much a waste.

What surprises me the most is what people don’t notice. It’s like drawing a rough sketch and listening to people comment on details that only exist in their heads.

For example, I got a private message through my hosting service from someone asking for advice on posing G-Mod ragdolls because of this panel:

The guy commented that I’d posed the Combine Elite ‘perfectly’, and asked if I could write him a tutorial on posing.

The truth is, I didn’t pose the ‘Elite’ at all. It’s a live spawn with the AI turned off. In a nutshell, that means that instead of starting with a limp and ‘dead’ ragdoll, you get a ‘live’ character who just stands there. (If I turned the AI back on, it would run to cover and try to shoot me just like in the game). The Elite is actually just standing to attention, holding his rifle. I just chose an angle that hid most of that. In fact, seen from a different angle, the G-Man’s foot is actually a good 20 inches away from the Elite’s body.

Of course, I didn’t tell the guy any of that…I just told him to practice J

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