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Mistborn Adventure Game - Action shots

More interior illustrations for The Mistborn Adventure Game, out this month from Crafty Games! Click the DL for larger, more detailed versions.

I think it's in the action illustrations where my reliance on illustrative tropes was most evident. I wanted to work in a more storybook style for this project, but when it came time to illustrate motion I can't help but fall back on modern technique. I think that the results make for cool imagery, but I'd be lying if I said it was where I wanted to go when I started out the door.

I did have fun running with another idea that I'd been wanting to use for Mistborn, using the shape of the mist to reinforce allomantic symbolism. See if you can count how many times the symbol for Steel show up in the Pushing illustration.


That's not really meant to be Vin battling the hazekillers, but I suppose it could be. I had to tone that illustration down from the original sketch, wherein the coin was blasting out of the guy's mouth instead of through his throat.

Drawn in Manga Studio EX v3 on the 21UX. These illustrations are exclusively licensed to Crafty Games, all rights reserved.
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Kalamari101's avatar
Man, I was so happy when I saw that drawing of yours at the end of the last novel. Just finished it today, and damn, those faces you draw are so expressive!
Inkthinker's avatar
In The Alloy of Law? Thank you! I'm glad you've enjoyed it.
Kalamari101's avatar
Sadly, I have not found "The Alloy of Law" yet. But regardless, I still enjoyed the drawing, especially the guy in the center!

This illustration is likely going to change my envisioning of the guards when I read "Alloy Of Law" though.
Inkthinker's avatar
Nah, Alloy is it's own whole separate awesome different thing from the trilogy.
Kalamari101's avatar
I know. It's...argh, 200 years later? Maybe more? I'm unsure.
Inkthinker's avatar
About 300, though the equivalent period in history would be about 1910.
MaximoVLorenzo's avatar
amazing work dude!!
Dadapan's avatar
I can't stop loving your designs!
superjedi003's avatar
oh snap that dude just died
pixelsama's avatar
Great work as usual man!! So much movement and great shading without looking hectic!! How do you manage it, especially in your Joe is Japanese illustrations? Amazing!! :)
Inkthinker's avatar
Loose movement that uses the whole arm (not just the wrist), and a lot of practice. It also helps that when working digitally, if you make a mistake when pulling a line you can always just Undo and try again!
pixelsama's avatar
Yeah I´m always using the undo button after most of my lines in photoshop, it´s somehow so much easier to draw downa aneat line first time with real pencils/pens than on the computer. I´ll keep those thoughts in mind, thanks Ink master!! :)
Inkthinker's avatar
I usually peg that to comfort levels. You've probably been using a pen or pencil for many years more than a tablet, and in any case they really are two different tools. They look the same, and on the surface they appear to work the same, but the interface (how your actions produce results) is different in subtle but important ways.

For instance, here's a trick: if you draw a line too slowly, it often will come out shakier than if you pull it quickly, because the tablet pen is able to capture more of the tiny motions in your hand... a quick motion reads differently than a slow motion to the tablet.

And if you work zoomed out, you get different results than if you work zoomed in, because the distance interpolation between your motion and the space on the canvas changes depending on your zoom... that is to say, if you pull a line four inches long on your tablet, that might be a foot long or a millimeter, depending on the scale of the canvas and the level to which you're zoomed into it.

Knowing how to work these things out is part of practicing with the tools. It takes a while, often years of steady practice, before that understanding becomes really ingrained.
pixelsama's avatar
Maybe, though I´ve been using the wacom tablet for a long time now and I do cntrl Z a lot, but getting that line down nicely on the first stroke I still find easier with a pen or brush pen or pencil. I do try to draw the lines quickly, you´re right, that does produe much better effects. I guess I still need to keep practising with it.I´ll try the different zoomed option out to see the difference between line quaoity. Thanks for all the advice. Hopeflly I´ll get as good as your drawings some time! :)
Bluesigma's avatar
These are awesome, are there any advantages to using manga studio over PS
Inkthinker's avatar
The toolset and canvas are already designed and set up for B&W ink-line type drawing... PS can do a lot of the same things, but you'd need to customize your brushes and work in ways that kinda nerf the power of the software. For instance, MS works in a native hi-res bitmap environment... it's all aliased, but the resolution is so high that it becomes a benefit. Hard black/white pixel date means you cannot have any discrepancies in tone (unless you want to) and you can do things like fill and transform much faster, using less resources.

Beyond that Manga Studio has a few specialized tools that Photoshop just doesn't. Things like Perspective Lock, or a great set of geometric shape tools (like the circle tool... click-drag to make ellipses of any shape and size. You can do the same thing in PS with a selection stroke, but in MS you have much greater control out of the box, and it's a one-step tool rather than a 2 or 3-step process).
Bluesigma's avatar
Interesting, yeah I hear you a lot on the tool front. You need to use a bunch of customized shortcuts, to come close to other software. That's why I feel they just need to combine illustrator and photoshop in a way so that you can share both of their great power. But I'm really interested in seeing the high resolution/bw pixel date advantages. If there are any vids of you drawing using those elements, let me know.
Kiki-Starwind's avatar
Ahh! I can't wait to play this!! :D
Kneefers's avatar
Your Mistborn stuff is epic. While I was reading the books I thought it would make a good movie, but probably wouldn't get made because of the difficulty of translating the subtleties of Allomancy to a visual medium. You do it really well. :)
Inkthinker's avatar
It's been optioned as a movie, but all along what I've been looking forward to is a video game... it's always kinda screamed "video game" to me.

And now that's in development as well, but I'm not connected to that in any way.
antimator15q's avatar
your drawing style is crazy. its allll about your amazing line quality. you must be using a cintiq?
Inkthinker's avatar
I do use a Cintiq, but I used pen and ink for more than 10 years before I made the switch. What I find the Cintiq has done more than anything is encouraged me to loosen up and experiment. That, and I work almost vertically now (like a painter at an easel) which is much better for my back.

In the end, the Cintiq is just another tool. Technique trumps tools every time.
antimator15q's avatar
true. what i was referring to was the sense of control and precision of line quality in your lines. not to mention the attention to, and execution of, detail that pervades your work. With my intuos it just doesn't feel like i'll ever be quite as precise as i would like to be. but i didn't mean to front on your skills at all. Anybody can have a cintiq, but your high drawing i.q. (if that makes sense) and inventiveness is what really sets off your stuff. i'm envious.
Inkthinker's avatar
Well, that's the practice part. I've been drawing pretty steadily for 20 years now, calling it a career for more than 15, and haven't had to go looking for a ditch-digging job to keep the lights on for almost 10.

And even digital drawing took a good amount of time to adapt to, much less get comfortable with. Dedication and the endurance to get past your own faults is one of the more important and less fun parts of this sort of thing.
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