Published by Suisei at 05/02/2021 à 15h45
In this news feed I've told you a few times about a project I named Péguy. Well today I dedicate a complete article to it to present it to you in more detail but also to show you the new features I brought to it at the beginning of the winter.
It's not the priority project (right now it's TGCM Comics) but I needed a little break during the holidays and coding vector graphics and 3D, it's a little bit addictive like playing Lego. x)
Let's go then!
Péguy, what is it?
It is a procedural generator of patterns, graphic effects and other scenery elements to speed up the realization of my drawings for my comics.
Basically, I enter a few parameters, click on a button, and my program generates a more or less regular pattern on its own.
The first lines of code were written in 2018 and since then, this tool has been constantly being enriched and helping me to work faster on my comics. :D
This project is coded with web languages and generates vector patterns in the format SVG.
In the beginning it was just small scripts that had to be modified directly to change the parameters and run individually for each effect or pattern generated.
Not very user friendly, is it? :’D
This first version was used on episode 2 of Dragon Cat's Galaxia 1/2.
During 2019 I thought it would be more practical to gather all these scripts and integrate them into a graphical user interface. Since then, I have enriched it with new features and improved its ergonomics to save more and more time.
Here is a small sample of what can be produced with Péguy currently.
Graphic effects typical of manga and paving patterns in perspective or plated on a cylinder.
All these features were used on Tarkhan and Gonakin.
I plan to put this project online, but in order for it to be usable by others than me, I still need to fix a few ergonomy issues.
For the moment, to recover the rendering, you still need to open the browser debugger to find and copy the HTML node that contains the SVG.
In other words, if you don't know the HTML structure by heart, it's not practical. 8D
A 3D module!
The 2020 new feature is that I started to develop a 3D module. The idea, in the long run, is to be able to build my comics backgrounds, at least the architectural ones, a bit like a Lego game.
The interface is really still under development, a lot of things are missing, but basically it's going to look like this.
So there's no shortage of 3D modeling software, so why am I making one? What will make my project stand out from what already exists?
First, navigation around the 3D workspace. In short, the movement of the camera.
Well please excuse me, but in Blender, Maya, Sketchup and so on, to be able to frame according to your needs to get a rendering, it's just a pain in the ass!
So I developed a more practical camera navigation system depending on whether you're modeling an object or placing it in a map. The idea is to take inspiration from the map editors in some video games (like Age of Empire).
Secondly, I'm going to propose a small innovation. When you model an object in Blender or something else, it will always be frozen and if you use it several times in an environment, it will be strictly identical, which can be annoying for natural elements like trees for example. So I'm going to develop a kind of little "language" that will allow you to make an object customizable and incorporate random components. Thus, with a single definition for an object, we can obtain an infinite number of different instances, with random components for natural elements and variables such as the number of floors for a building.
And the last peculiarity will be in the proposed renderings. As this is about making comics (especially in black and white in my case), I'm developing a whole bunch of shaders to generate lines, screentones and other hatchings automatically with the possibility to use patterns generated in the existing vector module as textures! :D
What are shaders?
Well, you see the principle of post-production in cinema... (Editing, sound effects, various corrections, special effects... all the finishing work after shooting).
Well, shaders are about the same principle. They are programs executed just after the calculation of the 3D object as it should appear on the screen. They allow to apply patches, deformations, effects, filters... As long as you are not angry with mathematics, there is only limit to your imagination! :D
When you enter a normal vector in a color variable it gives funny results.
Yes! It's really with math that you can display all these things. :D
Now when you hear a smart guy tell you that math is cold, it's the opposite of art or incompatible with art... it's dry toast, you'll know it's ignorance. :p
Math is a tool just like the brush, it's all about knowing how to use it. :D
In truth, science is a representation of reality in the same way as a painting. It is photorealistic in the extreme, but it is nevertheless a human construction used to describe nature.
It remains an approximation of reality that continually escapes us and we try to fill in the margins of error over the centuries... Just like classical painting did.
But by the way? Aren't there a bunch of great painters who were also scholars, mathematicians? Yes, there are! Look hard! The Renaissance is a good breeding ground. x)
In short! Physics is a painting and mathematics is its brush.
But in painting, we don't only do figurative, not only realism, we can give free rein to our inspiration to stylize our representation of the world or make it abstract.
Well like any good brush, mathematics allows the same fantasy! All it takes is a little imagination for that.
Hold, for example, the good old Spirograph from our childhood. We all had one! Well, these pretty patterns drawn with the bic are nothing else than... parametric equations that make the students of math sup/math spe suffer. 8D
Even the famous celtic triskelion can be calculated from parametric equations.
Well, I digress, I digress, but let's get back to our shaders.
Since you can do whatever you want with it, I worked on typical manga effects. By combining the Dot Pattern Generator and the Hatch Generator but display them in white, I was able to simulate a scratch effect on screentones.
In the traditional way it is an effect that is obtained by scraping the screentones with a cutter or similar tool.
Péguy will therefore be able to calculate this effect alone on a 3D scene. :D
I extended this effect with a pattern calculated in SVG. So it will be possible to use the patterns created in the vector module as textures for the 3D module!
Here it is a pattern of dots distributed according to a Fibonacci spiral (I used a similar pattern in Tarkhan to make stone textures, very commonly used in manga).
So this is where things get really interesting. We stay in the shaders but we're going to give an extra dimension to our rendering.
Basically, bump mapping consists in creating a bas-relief effect from a high map. And it gives this kind of result.
The defined object is always a simple cylinder (with 2 radii). It is the shaders that apply the pixel shift and recalculate the lighting thanks to the high map that looks like this.
This texture has also been calculated automatically in SVG. Thus we can dynamically set the number of bricks.
Well, this bas-relief story is very nice, but here we have a relatively realistic lighting, and we would like it to look like a drawing.
So by applying a threshold to have an area lit in white, a second threshold to have shadow areas in black, by applying the screentone pattern to the rest and by adding the hatching that simulates the scraped screentone, here is the result!
It's like a manga from the 80's! :D
I tested this rendering with other screentone patterns: Fibonnacci spiral dots, parallel lines or lines that follow the shape of the object.
Now we know what Péguy can do.
I think I can enrich this rendering a bit more with the shaders but the next time I work on this project the biggest part of the job will be to create what we call primitives, basic geometric objects.
After that I can start assembling them.
The concept of drawing while coding is so much fun that I'm starting to think about trying to make complete illustrations like this or making the backgrounds for some comic book projects only with Péguy just for the artistic process.
Finding tricks to generate organic objects, especially plants should be fun too.
That's all for today.
Next time we'll talk about drawing!
Have a nice week-end and see you soon! :D
Published by Suisei at 01/02/2021 à 15h45
A few months ago I announced that I was starting to develop an online platform for publishing and reading webcomics and webtoons named TGCM Comics. So I give you here some news about the progress of the project.
The development blog
To start, note that I've opened a development blog that I update as often as possible (in French). It is accessible at this address: https://tgcm-comics.blogspot.com.
My schedule being very busy, I won't be able to put all these news on Tipeee and Patreon with all the translation work involved, so feel free to have a look at this blog from time to time to keep you informed about the progress of the project.
Note that it has a suggestion box, so if you have suggestions to make in terms of features or ergonomics, do not hesitate to share them in the comments of this section, this does not require any registration.
Reminder about the concept
The last time I mentioned it in news I made a very brief presentation of the project.
I'll give you a more complete briefing here.
The idea is to propose a platform that takes the opposite of what currently exists, in particular 2 flaws that make the despair of independent webcomic authors.
Popularity rankings: they are based on the number of cumulative views per page, the number of comments, the number of likes and mathematically favor the authors who arrived first on the platform and/or who post in large quantities and this at the expense of the quality.
In addition, about half of the Internet traffic is due to bots and not real visitors, so these statistics are skewed by default.
Icing on the cake. Such a system is easy to hack from both inside and outside. So, it's unfair in more than one way and it creates an unhealthy competitive atmosphere.
This kind of mechanism will therefore not exist on TGCM Comics and will be replaced by the random playlist principle in order to guarantee an equal rate of visibility for all comics and leave the reader the real choice to read/discover what he or she wants.
Most creators/developers of webcomic platforms try to make a living out of it and create a business project around it.
The problem is that webcomics, especially in the French-speaking world, are not profitable, therefore to try to make ends meet, these platforms sometimes use questionable methods of financing and obviously to the disadvantage of the authors and which cost them more money than their art brings them (paying to appear on the front page of the site, paying to be able to display links to crowdfunding pages and other support systems).
For my part, I'm developing TGCM Comics on a volunteer basis and I'll take care of the financing of the hosting. I have enough means with my dayjob for that. At the very least, I might place a small rectangle of ads to try to amortize the cost just for the principle, but that's all. The income will surely be derisory, let's be realistic.
The objective is not to make the platform financially profitable but to allow authors who are struggling to build an audience elsewhere to do so while publishing their comics at their own pace, without stress. I would like it to be a small garden for them and for them to feel good there. If this goal is achieved then that's where the victory will be. :)
So I want to develop an interface as pleasant and efficient as possible for everyone, take care of accessibility and also make a platform as eco-responsible as possible by choosing a green hoster and optimizing my code so that it consumes as little energy as possible and does not load unnecessary data to your browser.
So, the idea is to offer a platform where both authors and readers will feel at home.
Progress of the project
Now that you know what it's all about, I'll give you some news about the progress of the project.
Blog and author details
I started with the spaces that will allow the authors to express themselves and give their news.
Each author will have a presentation sheet which will contain a short biography, the list of the publications on the platform as well as all the external links.
Each author will also have a blog where he will be able to enter his news either with the good old BB code from the 2000's or by using an WYSIWYG interface. His external links will be recalled in small at the top of the blog.
Private messages and friend system
As I'm going to need it to contact the authors to let them know when their comics will be validated I also developed the private message system that will look like this.
It comes with a system of friends. Far from me wanting to imitate social networks (I hate these platforms) this system will be used mainly to choose who you allow to send you private messages. Only members of the site with whom you will be friends and the administrators will be able to send you private messages. In short, it is an anti-spam and anti-harassment security system.
Submit a comic
I don't expect to be very demanding about the level of quality required to post a comic, but I don't want TGCM Comics to become hyper-saturated either. To submit your comic book, you will have to go through this form which, once sent, will notify me by email. Don't worry, I won't ask you to be the new Alan Moore or the new Jim Lee. If the art is correct, the layout is clear and the text readable (and interpretable by the machine translation system) it will do the job. :)
The list of genres is currently not complete. It will be enriched by the time the first version of the site is online.
The comic settings
Once your comic is approved, you will automatically get the author status and you can edit various settings at your convenience.
One of the setup screens allows you to change some of the information that you have already entered in the submit form.
The following will allow you to indicate if you want the publication to be automatic or not and if yes, to set the days and hours of publication of your pages.
Then you have the translation settings. On this screen, you will be able to translate the title as well as the synopsis of your webcomic and also ask for your pages to be translated automatically or not. The automatic translation will not start at the same time depending on whether you send pages with text or empty pages.
And finally, I also developed the chapter manager for a series. If you chose to publish a one-shot or an extract, a single chapter will be created and instead of the chapter list the pages manager will be displayed directly.
So, everything I have just presented to you is already developed.
Currently I'm working on the pages manager and this is the biggest piece of the whole project at least the most complex one.
That's all for today!
I still have a lot of things to show and tell you, so we'll meet again very soon!
Have a nice week! :D
Queen Mera, Poseïdon and Drink'N'Draw online
Published by Suisei at 27/01/2021 à 15h45
I haven't given news for a while. I was lost in Star Trek Deep Space Nine, coding and drawings. :p
So to begin with, happy new year to everyone, hoping that it will be more positive than 2020, which was a very strange year.
Now that I have a little time it's time to tell you all about it in some news.
Today I will talk about illustration and in particular Drink'N'Draw.
In November 2020 we had a theme on Queen Mera, a comic character from DC Comics. I've been wanting to try digital painting for a while and I also wanted to redraw some Knights of the Zodiac. Mera being the queen of the seas in the DC Comics universe, I thought it might be nice to associate her with the Saint Seiya's Poseidon.
So this time I didn't use Aggie.io, I did a high definition illustration apart. And here is the result!
It took a lot of hours of work, but I'm happy with the result. The colors related to sea inspire me a lot. :D
I still have to study solutions to be faster.
Speaking of Aggie.io, it's been months since I've shown you anything, yet every Wednesday we continued to draw as a group on this online application. It's really interesting these online drawing sessions because I've been able to test a lot of methods and styles for color. :D
Here is a small compilation. Just click on each image to see a larger version.
Collective contribution with
That's all for today !
To avoid you big compilations like this it would be nice if I post each of my participation to the Drink'N'Draw immediately after finishing it and then like this I could give news in a more regular way. x)
I still have a bunch of news overdue, so I'll see you soon!
Tarkhan in bookstores!
Published by Suisei at 09/12/2020 à 16h00
Christmas is coming, it's almost holiday time, we will soon be able to exchange our germs. :p
For the occasion, and also for those who missed the Ulule crowdfunding in 2019, I announce that the comic book Tarkhan Skullkiller is available for sale here on the suiseipark.com store, or by contacting Marialexie, and also in a bookstore! \o/
I'm not kidding you, you can get Tarkhan at the Parisian bookstore Les Mots à la Bouche! :D
So you'll be able to put the comic under your Christmas tree!
Don't dawdle, there are not many copies left. First come, first served! :p
For the contributors who were waiting for their comics in person, since the usual Drink'N'Draw Paris brasserie had to close as fast as it reopened and the situation doesn't seem to be close to get better, I'm going to contact you by private message to ask you if you still want to wait until we can meet around a drink or if you prefer that I finally send it to you by post.
Otherwise, apart from Tarkhan, I have made good progress on the comics platform project TGCM Comics. You can see the detailed progress of the project on this blog which serves as a development journal. I've also taken an illustration break for the last 2 weeks so I don't become a complete weirdo by doing only code. x)
I'm going to detail all this in future news dedicated to all this in order not to pollute the news feed of Tarkhan.
That's all for the news!
Have a nice day and see you soon! :D
Tipeee and Patreon pages updated
Published by Suisei at 14/10/2020 à 15h45
Updated by Suisei at 14/10/2020 à 08h41
Today I'm here to announce that I've finally been able to update my Tipeee and Patreon home pages. :D
For those who are discovering, these are patronage platforms where one can support the activity of an artist/author by giving a small obole monthly or punctually.
On Tipeee you can even help for free by watching promotional videos.
These two pages have been existed for 2 years now and I thank all the patrons who have helped. It doesn't allow me to live from my creations but it give me a boost of self-confidence knowing that there are people who believe in me and my skills.
So, thank you all! :)
Like many artists, I got a bit fooled by proposing content that required extra work (illustrations, tutorials, graphic resources...) that glanced at my usual activities (i.e. my comics and software development) to try to make these pages attractive.
I couldn't do everything when I was unemployed, so now that I've found a full-time job to fill the fridge, it's going to be even more complicated. Plus, this bonus content didn't seem to really inspire much enthusiasm.
So I've concocted something simpler for you.
Today I'm here to present you the changes I've made to these pages:
What will remain
Obviously, the comics will remain since they are the main content and the reason why I opened these pages. ^^
I'm going to stay on the free web comic formula (because you have to publish content on the Internet regularly to attract new readers) with one month advance access and no watermark for patrons for serial projects.
I also add Dragon Cat's Galaxia 1/2. Although this comic book features licenced characters, this one remains in the register of parody and humor.
I also have non parodic fan comics ideas. Those will obviously not be financed via these platforms.
On the other hand, for one-shot projects I'll do the same as for Tarkhan: the first pages published for free to give a preview, but the rest accessible exclusively to patrons and purchasers of the comicbook (because publishing content regularly on the Internet is useless if it's limited in time).
The HD illustrations will remain as well. I have some in stock and I create new ones regularly, so I shouldn't find myself on a tight stream anytime soon.
What will disappear
Exit the NSFW illustrations. I like to draw nudes of beautiful males from time to time, but unlike the other illustrations, I don't have a stock in advance, so I'm on a tight stream. It annoys me to have to force myself to do this kind of illustrations when I don't feel like it and especially when I don't have an interesting idea in mind instead of working on the main content.
Moreover, the audience that supports me on Tipeee and Patreon is not the most interested in this kind of content (as far as I know), so if I ever propose this again, it might be elsewhere, on a different account or on another platform. For the moment I put it aside.
No more tutos. It's long to write and format, it's never read, and since there are lots of free tutos on YouTube, nobody wants to pay for it. I'd rather share and answer questions about my tips and tricks in person during meetings or on my live Twitch.
Exit the graphic resource pack (brushes, patterns, color catalog...). As for NSFW illustrations, I don't necessarily have one every month to offer. It is important to know that I produce these graphic resources according to my needs when I work on my comics, so I don't get them out on a regular basis. Moreover, the resources in question don't necessarily correspond to your needs every month.
People interested in my brush and screentone packs to use in their own comics made it clear to me that they preferred to buy them occasionally according to their needs on my own online store even if it meant paying the price and that going through Tipeee and Patreon for that bothered them.
They see these platforms as a patronage system but not as buying platforms.
So I'm simply going to remove that and I'll modify my online store to add the possibility to buy dematerialized goods.
What will be new?
Well, I'm going to incorporate into the main content my other activity that I had ignored in the rewards even though it occupies a huge part of my work: software development.
Obviously all this is related.
This activity includes, in addition to the evolution and maintenance of suiseipark.com, the development of the Péguy project, my games projects, as well as a comic platform project.
TGCM Comics (Website - in dev)
TGCM Comics is a web platform project dedicated to web comics and webtoons where budding or experienced authors will be able to publish their stories and exchange directly with their audience without technical knowledge on the web.
Here's a mock-up that gives an idea of what it will look like.
As soon as the main functionalities are ready the site will be made available in beta test for patrons.
Why this project?
Many other such platforms have emerged in recent years. So I hesitated for a while before launching this project, but seeing that all of them impose trending algorithms that give headaches to many authors of the web, I recently decided to propose a project where this type of algorithm will simply be inexistent.
The default display on the home page will be based on the principle of the random playlist guaranteeing an equal rate of visibility for all comics and a real freedom of choice for the readers, allowing authors to create at their own pace without mess up thair health to go up any rankings.
This is this fall's priority project.
So I will post news regularly and soon to keep you informed of its progress and present you little by little the proposed features. I've opened a development blog (French) for this purpose that I will feed about once a week. It has a suggestion box (French) if you want to ask questions or suggest features.
Péguy (Web application - in dev)
Péguy is a web application that since 2018 allows me to automatically generate certain graphic effects, patterns and scenery elements for my comics. It has brought me a huge gain in productivity.
As it is beginning to take a form that can be used by laymen in programming and mathematics, I will soon put it online.
Initially, this will be an early access reserved for patrons. Then, I will propose a small subscription system for non-patrons with a trial period. Naturally, the patrons will keep their access during this second phase. :D
Wizeknight Brotherhood (Online game - in dev)
Wizeknight Brotherhood is an online RPG project with a slightly unusual format.
Basically, take World of Warcraft and put a visual novel interface on it, and you'll get an idea of the final result.
In this game you will explore the world of Tellura, a Tolkian fantasy world, and conduct quests that will make you conclude 'we are not alone in the universe'. :p
In the spring of 2020 I developed a small prototype called A l’Aventure Compagnons which gives a vague idea of the principle.
I am tempted to keep this pencil rendering for Wizeknight Brotherhood.
A l’Aventure Compagnons is playable, just download the client from this page. Don't hesitate to come and pull my ears on Discord if you see that I forgot to switch on the server. :p
For the moment the engine of Wizeknight Brotherhood is under development and the first test phases will take place in pure text mode.
This good old scary UNIX console. The MUDs, the ancestors of MMORPGs, looked like this and they still exist with active communities. :D
You can find them here.
As for the rewards, here again I decided to simplify things so that I could concentrate on the projects I have just listed. The basic reward will give you access to the content I just mentioned. I'm not going to make different levels of access, otherwise I think that some content will have no audience or too little. The higher counterpart levels will give access to HD scans of my artwork.
I'm way behind on the old formula's rewards. I'll try to deliver all the promised content in the coming weeks, except for the NSFW illustrations, I might get stuck doing only that. x)
That's all for today!
Have a nice week and see you soon! :D
Categories : News and chitchat,
Dragon Cat's Galaxia 1/2 - Gonakin
Published by Suisei at 03/09/2020 à 15h45
Updated by Suisei at 03/09/2020 à 19h39
It's been a while since I gave you news about Dragon Cat's Galaxia 1/2, well let's fix that! :D
Last year was the third edition of the Ki-oon mangaka contest. I participated and, since the rules don't explicitly forbid parody, I decided to play the provocation card by sending them a little Dragon Cat's one-shot.
In spite of the absence of any feedback, I had the satisfaction of succeeding in making a 20-page comic in the space of 10 days, from the first line of script to the coloring of the cover and posting it 15 minutes before the end of the contest. There was a little aspect not quite finished compared to what I usually do (the screentones were missing, the FX and the colors of the cover were flat), but still, it's a not bad performance. I will soon be as fast as I was in my teens. x)
Pages without screentones or FX.
A cover with flat colors, 1h30 watch in hand.
At the beginning of the summer of 2020 the buddy JD came to warn me that the emblematic Japanese magazine of manga prepublication, the Shonen Jump, was opening the hundredth edition of its famous Tezuka contest for the search of young talents internationally! And that Akira Toriyama, the Dragon Ball creator, himself, was part of the jury! :D
The perfect opportunity to send my joke.
So last week I finished the screentones and colors of the cover to participate.
The comic is available in English and Japanese reading way on the website hosting the contest.
I will post it in better resolution and in French as well as in English on my website in the coming days, so feel free to have a look from time to time or simply subscribe to Dragon Cat's here to be notified of the pages publication by email.
I'll take this opportunity to put it back in a western reading way to harmonize with the other episodes of the comic so that you won't get lost when reading it. =)
Looks better when it's finished, doesn't it? x)
I'm planning to print this comic, but 20 pages is pretty thin, so I'm going to combine it with another short (very short) story that I plan to do in the next few months.
I can already announce you that it will be entitled The crottin's war!
You're not dreaming, we'll talk about cheese in Dragon Cat's. And good cheese! :p
I will tell you more about this little project later.
Otherwise, for the record, this one-shot, Gonakin, is actually the remake of the Dragon Cat's prototype of which I drew the very first pages in 1998, when I was 12 years old.
Without retouching, it looked like this. The pages were drawn on both sides. It certainly does not make us feel any younger!
This old version is available online here if you enjoy reading it.
I'll have to think about finishing cleaning and posting the rest, it's still fun all this old stuff.
That's all for today!
Have a nice day and see you soon! :D
Comic Artist for Rent has its website!
Published by Suisei at 19/08/2020 à 15h45
For those who discover Comic Artist for Rent it is a humorous comic book relating anecdotes that I lived or witnessed as a young comic artist in the process of professionalization. I made it in early summer 2019 within ten days.
100% of lived experience!
On this new section extracts of the comic are available for free reading. If you're a budding scriptwriter and you're planning to approach artists, don't hesitate to take a look at it in order to be well-armed in your quest. x)
The patrons of Tipeee and Patreon will receive an access code in a few moments to be able to read the entire comic online.
That's all for today!
Have a nice day and see you soon! :D