New Software


Thanks to a sale by SmithMicro I’ve got some new software to play with.  I picked up Poser 9 (which means I’ve finally upgraded from my very outdated copy of Poser 6), along with Manga Studio 4 EX and Anime Studio 8.   Drawing or creating comics is something I’m developing more of an interest in but haven’t had much chance to explore.  Lately, I’ve been learning to draw in western comic and manga styles using GIMP and I’m planning on posting some samples in my gallery as soon as I have something I feel is worth showing.

My initial interest in learning comic style drawing and art was to teach me speed.  Developing characters and other complex 3D models is a lot easier if you take the time to do good concept drawings first.  It helps you work out all the details in advance so that when you are building your mesh and laying down your first edge loops you are more organized.  This ultimately means less editing of your mesh later and saves time.

Concept art is also really important when you’re doing work for a client, you can sort out various details in advance so that the client is happy and you don’t spend several days building a model and then have to start over because its not what the client wanted.  This is another reason speed is important in concept art, you need to be able to turn out a good image in 30 min or less.

Plus, really good concept art can be cool on its own.

But, I’m also developing more interest in comics and graphic novels which brings us back to Manga Studio.  I’m also a writer though these days I haven’t had much time to write any new fiction (I really need to make the time).  One thing I’d like to do eventually is publish my own graphic novel.  I’m not sure what it would be about, maybe something sci-fi, but its a project I’d like to work on eventually.  Manga Studio looks to be just the thing for developing my own comics and graphic novels, once I learn the software.

Another project that I’ve had on the back burner for a long time is developing my own tabletop RPG.  I started playing various RPGs about 30 years ago and have a file folder of notes and ideas.  I’ve even gone as far as developing the core mechanics for my own RPG.  Here again, if I’m going to tackle doing all the illustrations as well as the mechanics and writing, speed is going to be a must.

As always, so much to do, so little time.  But learning new skills and taking on new challenges is always fun.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about learning to draw comic or manga style art yourself a good place to start is Jazza Studios.  Jazza, aka Josiah Brooks, is a professional artist and illustrator who also makes a lot of good tutorial videos.  One of the things I like about his videos in particular is his style, he has fun while teaching and that makes the video more engaging.  You can check out just the videos on YouTube here.



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