Review of the year 2021
Published by Suisei at 28/02/2022 à 20h15
It's been a long time since I've given any news. I have been very busy these last months.
It is therefore time to give some news!
To begin with, it seems that this is the first news of 2022, so, I wish you all a happy new year a little late! :D
Today, we're going to take a look back at a very, very busy year in 2021.
So busy that some of the topics mentioned today will be the subject of separate news in the coming weeks.
Here is a small summary of the topics I will cover.
- 13th Digital Painting School's Challenge
- TGCM Comics
- Dragon Ball Multiverse
- Blender 3D courses
- The Cardassian Bird-of-Prey
- Update of Go on an Adventure Comrades!
- In conclusion
I already told you about this project in a news early last year, an app that allows you to generate a number of patterns and effects in an automated way for comics and mangas.
The application itself has not progressed much since then, but I have done a lot of research on 3D programming and have developed new separate tools to speed up my work processes.
I went beyond web technologies and worked a lot with the Python language.
Now I have to think of a way to put all this together in an intelligent and accessible way for the general public.
New effects in the application
Automated 3D scene generation with the Python language.
We don't need to introduce you to these good old stormtroopers anymore.
An application that generates a program that itself generates a 3D object... Yes, the delirium goes far. x)
The object generated here is a Cardassian weapon (Star Trek).
There is a lot more to say about it, so this topic will be the subject of a more complete news in the coming weeks.
13th Digital Painting School's Challenge
In line with my research for the Peguy project, in the spring of 2021 I participated in a contest organized by Digital Painting School, a French speaking online digital art school.
The proposed theme left quite a bit of creative freedom, so I took the opportunity to submit a drawing not drawn with a pencil or stylus, but drawn with lines of code.
Basically, I wrote a program in Python that generated a robot and a 3D setting. Then I loaded this 3D scene into Clip Studio Paint and applied some filters to get a color result.
The concept has been quite successful. :p
This project allowed me to develop a bunch of new features that will be usable in Peguy in the future.
The next big DP School challenge is announced for March 2022. I'm looking forward to it to try new experiences. :D
Keeping with the illustration theme, last year I did a whole news about the old software of my childhood, AppleWorks and I did a pixel art illustration with for the Drink'N'Draw.
It made me want to explore this style more, but with Clip Studio Paint this time. :D
Feel free to click on the images to see them larger and appreciate the details.
Two Dukats (Star Trek - Deep Space Nine). What? You didn't notice that I really like this character? 8D
The first is a makeover I came up with for a story that takes place in an alternate reality where he loses an eye in battle and becomes a space pirate.
The second one, with the red eyes, was a pretext to test my new graphic tablet... Or testing my new graphic tablet was a pretext to draw him... Who knows. 8D
Kira Nerys and Dukat (Star Trek - Deep Space Nine). I won't tell you the story behind this drawing right now, otherwise it's not funny. I let you imagine. :p
Last May, there was a Drink'N'Draw session about Cowboy Bebop, an anime I really like with great music.
So, I bought a new graphics tablet.
My nomadic wacom was very helpful, but as nomadism is no longer relevant with the virus that we know, making regular data transfers between the tablet and the main computer was becoming restrictive.
So I bought a model width screen to plug into my computer but still small enough to carry on vacation.
I was a Wacom customer for a very long time, but the market has evolved in the last few years and new quality brands have emerged at half the price.
So I invested in an XP-Pen Innovator 16 last spring.
It is the size and weight of an Ituos Pro Large from Wacom.
It is the price of an Intuos Pro Large from Wacom...
But there's the built-in screen too! :p
It's really great and fits my needs perfectly. I work with it all the time since then.
Draw with the mouse!
Well, working with AppleWorks has made me want to do more experiments in the year 2021.
I made drawings with a mouse!
Yes, it's possible and it's not that difficult. ^^
In fact, I took over a technique I had developed when I was 12 or 13 years old, when my parents did not yet have a scanner.
I had no choice but to do my digital drawings with the mouse.
The trick is not to try to draw the lines freehand with the mouse and the pencil tool, but to use the geometric tools, especially the straight line. At least with the straight line, you only have to worry about 2 things: the starting point of the line and its end point. Thus, the lack of dexterity is no longer an issue. It doesn't matter which way you go.
And with a succession of straight lines, you can simulate a curve.
That's it! Now you know how to draw with a mouse! :D
You can even do it while wearing mittens. I tested it as a joke, and it still works. x)
I made these 2 drawings with the mouse on AppleWorks during Dragon Ball Multiverse lives on Twitch with the main artist Asura.
I will try again one of these days with a video to show you the work process in more detail.
It took me a long time to get interested, but I recently opened a portfolio on ArtStation.
I was expecting a kind of deviantArt bis, but in fact no, it's better, you're more free to organize the content of your portfolio and you can even show your work process (which is what some profesional artists do and it's very instructive).
The quality of the content, at least the one put on the trending page, is also much more professional.
And above all, it's not full of intrusive social networking features! x)
So, if you want to see my latest illustrations from time to time, my ArtStation gallerya> is updated! :D
Just click on the preview below or click on the Illustrations tab of my website to access it.
This project progressed more slowly in 2021 than in 2020, but I continued to work on it anyway.
I went back to the blog space, private messaging and comments interface to make it as ergonomic as possible. I also added an image manager for each user, so you can illustrate your words when you express yourself without having to look for a third party image host.
I'm also close to finish the comic pages uploader and I'll soon be able to tackle a big piece, but also one of the most interesting of the platform, namely the online layout and lettering system. Yes, you will be able to draw and fill your dialog bubbles directly online with automatic translation from French to English or from English to French! :D
I hope that this little extra will be one of the strong and innovative points of the platform.
Dragon Ball Multiverse
I didn't release any hard copy comics in 2021, but I didn't walk away from the drawing board.
This summer I participated in the realization of about fifteen pages of the collective amateur comic Dragon Ball Multiverse! :D
For those who don't know yet, DBM, it's a fan comic that tells a sequel to Dragon Ball Z. The story is set 10 years later and does not take into account neither Dragon Ball GT, nor Dragon Ball Super (which did not exist yet when DBM was created).
It was created by Salagir (the writer) and Gogeta Jr in 2008. Today the main artist is Asura and dozens of other artists participate in the creation of special chapters.
To read the entire comic, it's here!
The chapter I participated in was published during the fall of 2021 and begins here.
I had to get used to Akira Toriyama's style again, which I had hardly practiced for about 20 years. I'm doing not too bad. little by little it's coming back. x)
A more complete news is planned on the subject.
I will show you the working process I used to make the pages. You should already know that I have applied all the research I had done until then... Which I have already completed since. :p
The cover of chapter number 84.
Page number 1944.
Blender 3D courses
Speaking of research to improve my work processes, in the early fall of 2021 I started taking an online course about the software Blender.
Blender is a free and open source 3D modeling software. It is increasingly recognized and used by professional 3D artists.
The course I'm taking is provided by Digital Painting School and focuses on the use of 3D for 2D (illustration, comics...), which is very precisely what I need. :D
I had started a course on this same software 14 years ago. The interface and ergonomics at that time were absolutely bad!
Things have changed a lot!
Today Blender has become much more pleasant and easy to use and has been enriched with many powerful features. Now I'm using it all the time. x)
Here are some of the works that I have done or that are still being done as part of the course.
The orange robot is the model that the instructor proposes to make step by step in his videos. The 3 others are original creations.
These first 3 images are finished.
For these last 2 it still lacks the so-called paintover phase which consists of repainting over it in 2D software to break up the 3D look and add the missing details that it would have been too laborious to do directly in 3D. The goal of the work technique is to save time wherever possible.
The Cardassian Bird-of-Prey
Going back to a comic topic, in 2021 I started working with my great accomplice Marialexie on a comic project, more precisely a webtoon, about Star Trek.
More exactly on Star Trek - Deep Space Nine.
It's been a long time that we wanted to do something about Star Trek, which is a universe that is really close to our hearts, and it's while watching Deep Space Nine that we finally had an idea.
Without going into details, we didn't like the way the treatment of some of our favorite characters ended to a frustrating degree, and since the concept of alternate realities has always been part of Star Trek, we decided to imagine one where things would have happened differently.
The fork in the road comes at the end of episode 14 of season 4, when Dukat decides to go fight the Klingons alone.
I pulled out a dirty word a few lines back: webtoon.
What is a webtoon?
Basically it is a comic format optimized for reading on touch screen phones. The comic panels are read one after the other in vertical scrolling.
It gives a different narrative rhythm than a classic comic and the authors play more and more with the vertical scrolling effect.
The popularity of this format is soaring. I think that in addition to the convenience of reading on a phone, the addictive effect (which social media well konw) of vertical scrolling associated with the fact of telling a story is a contributing factor.
I've been wanting to try this format for a long time and I thought this project would do just fine. Since it's not humorous or parodic like Dragon Cat's, it's out of the question to exploit it commercially, so I might as well choose this project for a purely web format.
And as this format is becoming more and more popular, I plan to be able to host it on TGCM Comics, so I need to make sure I have a project like this so that there will be content in the webtoon section when the site launches.
To get an idea of what the project is going to look like and what a webtoon is, there is a prototype that mixes finished and pencil panels available online, you can read it here.
The other objective of this project is to apply all that I have learned and developed before and thus to use 3D massively for the scenery and the ships.
In short! A project to propose content on TGCM Comics and use Péguy and 3D... Everything is linked ! x)
The cover illustration for the project.
I took a lot of inspiration from the Star Trek movies posters to make it.
3D, traditional drawing, digital painting... There is already everything in this image.
Update of Go on an Adventure Comrades!
And finally, let's talk about games!
At the end of last spring I made a major update to my online mini adventure game.
Now you don't need to download the game to play it. You can play it from your browser. To do so, just go to the game page and click on Play.
The server is no longer hosted by me, but by a real professional host now. So it is always running.
I will detail a bit more in a dedicated news.
A much neater and sexier web interface than with the python language.
Well, I told you that the year 2021 was very busy. x)
To summarize, this year has been marked by the learning and development of new methods and tools to improve my working process.
The year 2022 should continue along the same way.
Its objectives are:
Finishing the exercises of the Blender courses, finishing the development of TGCM Comics, resuming a more regular rhythm of realization of my comics and finally studying some software of video game creation.
Yes, because developing games entirely from scratch while having to take care of all the technical aspects of simulating the physics and the display system was fine 14 years ago, because it was formative and these creation tools were in their infancy and not very accessible to the general public.
Nowadays almost nobody does that anymore and game creators focus on the content, which makes a game unique, and I would like to do the same.
Anyway! I'm going to spend a lot time learning a lot of things.
On that note, I wish you a nice week and see you soon for new adventures!