Hello there comrades,
So yeah, last few months I’ve been (once again) trying to get back into the groove. So far, I'm cautiously optimistic. I didn't want to just openly declare that I was restarting the comic since... well, some of you know how that went the last few times.
I've managed to add 8 completely new pages to the comic, as well as edit a few of the older ones and the new run of Vreakerz is currently 26 pages long. Furthermore, I've made some changes to my drawing process. As some of you might still know, I used to to draw both traditionally and digitally.
My old process looked like this (excluding the writing process):
1) sketch a few rough versions of the page based on the script on paper;
2) pencil and ink the page;
3) clean the page;
4) scan the page;
5) try to fix some of the errors;
6) colour the page;
7) add the dialogue and finishing touches.
Then, once I started using the new Cathedral 3D model, it changed a bit:
1) sketch a few rough versions of the page based on the script in Photoshop
2) add in 3D scenes from Blender;
3) Print the page with the 3D elements in blue colour (to filter out later);
4) sketch the rest on the printed paper;
5) pencil and ink the page;
6) scan the page;
7) try to fix some of the errors;
8) colour the page;
9) add dialogue and finishing touches.
While this did improve the architecture in each shot as I intended, it added some rather cumbersome extra steps. Furthermore, I often find myself disagreeing with an earlier layout choice once I put the dialogue in and I sometimes just suddenly think of a moreinteresting focalpoint for a panel, meaning I want to move the 3D scenes around as well. This of course is rather difficult when you’re working on actual paper with printed out scenes.
In short, this approach was on the right track, but it still included too manydrawbacks of my old approach.
So, Since the latest page (http://vreakerz.angrykitten.nl/Stories/read/26),I've gone completely digital. It was quite a step for an Indian Ink lover like me, and I still have to figure a few things out, but overall I'm very happy with the result. I was especially concerned that I would not be able to capture the slightly jittery ink lines I get when inking traditionally, but I think I'm on the right track.
My process has become considerably quicker and having everything digital has the -huge- advantage that you can change things around while already past the sketching phase. Of course, I still enjoy drawing traditionally, so although I’ll be doing Vreakerz entirely digitally from now on, I’ll probably still draw some pen and paper pieces every now and then.
So, that’s pretty much it for the update. Follow me on Twitter if you want to keep up to date with what I’m doing. Check out vreakerz.com for new pages. I’ll also try to upload stuff to Deviantart and Tumblr as I go.
Actually, let’s be honest, more than a while since my last blog post on Deviantart was in May 2016. At the time, I mentioned that I was working on a new site and trying to fight the feature creep. The creep being me, as my endless overthinking and redesigning turned a simple implementation into a development quagmire. Long story short, in the end I survived this self-inflicted gauntlet and I can safely say that by the end of 2016, the site mechanics and layout were done.
Finishing the technical side of things freed up head-space to think about the actual goal of all this work again. You know, the story. So for the last few months I’ve been working on (re)writing the story and expanding the setting.
If you follow my nearly vegetative twitter, you might have noticed I’ve been doing some 3D modelling, starting with the Cathedral (because why start with something simple). I’ve been thinking about the use of 3D models for years and I’ve tried some half-hearted modelling a few years back, but now I’ve gotten into the swing of things with Blender, and I must say I am really liking the results.
However, I don’t intend to use the 3D models in the comic directly. Although I have seen this being done successfully in manga before (for instance in Ken Akamatsu’s work) I feel it would not be a good choice for Vreakerz. Rather than using the models directly, I’m going to use them in scene planning. Having an actual model makes it much easier to find fitting camera angles.
The 3D model for the cathedral is coming along nicely and I’m going to start sharing some of my progress here on Deviantart and Twitter.
Aside from learning to work with Blender, I’m also trying to switch from Photoshop to Clip Studio Paint, as Adobe’s software-as-a-service approach just isn’t my cup of tea. I’ll probably upload some horrible first tries in the coming weeks.
So, that’s about it.
Oh, and I’m still amazed that some of you remember Vreakerz, even after a decade.
Recently, I started on developing a new site for you-know-what. The thing I always seem to struggle with is keeping the feature list at a reasonable size. You start creating the front page, and the reading mechanism, and then you think: "you know what this needs? a journal." and you set out programming a journal. Then you think: "but people need to be able to comment", so you also build a comment system. But then you realize that you need to create some editorial mechanism to prevent your comments section from spiralling into an unstoppable shouting fest. And then you think, “maybe people should be able to start their own discussion, so we’ll build a forum!”. And a links section, and…
Well, you get the picture.
This time around, I’ve decided to just go with the basic reading mechanism and just add a small text box to serve as a ‘journal’ and combine that with an existing comment system like Disqus and leave it at that.
So here’s to keeping the feature creep out.
Hello there,It's been quite a while since I last posted something. Pretty much four years, actually. The last Vreakerz page I did was in 2009 and the comic has been sitting there idly ever since. In the meantime, I have been working as a software engineer while trying to get a masters degree, the latter of which did not go as smoothly as it should have, but I somehow managed to finish it.
It's been about a year since then and I feel it's about time I started doing some creative work again. Of course, after all this time I have become rather rusty, so it's going to take some time to get up to speed again. For those wondering: Vreakerz will not return until I feel I've sufficiently regained my drawing skills. Instead, I'll be doing a short story which I started years ago but never finished: most of it is badly written and has horrible panel layout, so I'm rewriting and redrawing parts of it.
I'll be uploading the story on my Tumblr and Deviantart every Sunday, as well as some other stuff.
So yeah, I guess I'm back? Nice to see you again.