Zora wants to operate on Benne but the brains in the vat have other plans. Benne is also a bit young to be a bride.
The panels on page 18 were created entirely in Unreal Engine. Yes, some compositing in Photoshop and touch ups on my Surface Pro. This page has taken some time to cook due to working on tests for chapter 2.
Here is some work in progress. This is a village Benne happens upon. There is still lot’s to add here, like people and farm animals. Also, someone interesting sitting under the tree.
This is a character called Jonah. He may or may not be the magician from chapter 2. Working still on the various inhabitants of the village of believers. At first I was going to call it the village of cousins since the looked oddly similar. But that’s what takes so long. Characters sheets coming soon!
Next Benne escapes into the further reaches of the underground installation in search of the stairs. Stairs to where?
Bonda and Timo catch up with the Buddy who blows up the only way into the underground. Will Benne be able to get out?
This series of panels are the first rendered inside of Unreal Engine using the characters I created using Reallusion Character Creator. The last panel even has a particle explosion that was captured in a cinematic. Look forward to seeing a how to. By moving to Unreal Engine I can create the land beyond Benne’s village and animate Chapter 2.
Still need to finish Chapter 1, though. How will the explosion alter Benne’s chances of getting away? She doesn’t want to be anyone’s wife. At least not the little man who she doesn’t know might be her uncle!
Bonda and Timo are headed to entrance to the underground, but so is the Buddy! Will they get there in time?
Benne looks to be experimented on by the demonic child. Could he be the child that was sacrificed all those years ago?
The nice thing about 3d is copy and paste. Why have just one robotic arm when you can have 3. I got from the interwebs and it was not easy but I was able to give it articulation such that I could pose it in horrible ways! That in itself would be a great blog post. The articulation, not all the horrible ways.
The diorama that Bonda and Timo are walking through was a simple mesh that I took into Substance Painter to give some texture. The backgrounds are from HDRI Haven, be sure to give them money.
I switched back to using iClone for the scene composition as it is easier overall for this type of work. The iRay rendering helps create nice deep colors that are easy to then manipulate in Photoshop without too much extra work. Mostly I do some filtering and of course ink some outlines because comic books.
Chapter 1 is coming to an exciting (I hope) climax. I have already started creating some new characters I will introduce in Chapter 2 – Benne meets the Magician.
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Benne takes the time to pose with her friends and antagonists from Chapter 1. There were some mentioned that never made it into frame, such as the chief of her village and the various villagers. We may yet run into them.
Left to right, the animals who were telepathically controlled. Why did they want Benne to push to the buttons and pull the levels we she finally made it into the room with the vats full of brains? What would have happened if Zora had not entered the room?
Next we have Lokka, a Timemonk who followed the animals around. He believed the animals were up to no good. And Vatta the witch and her sidekick Atawa. We don’t much about them except that they were spooked enough about Benne talking to animals to believe she needed to go.
Behind them is the Buddy. Is the Buddy all knowing? Then how come he doesn’t know about Zora’s laboratory down below? Or does he? What is he hiding? Why is he killing?
Then Bonda, Benne’s dad, a true Timemonk . Once a sacrificial offering himself. He wasn’t able to save Benne and now he has begun a search for her.
Beside him another Timemonk . We didn’t get to learn much about him except to know he too blamed Benne for the appearance of the Buddy.
Then there was Timo. Generally a good guy but also an opportunist. He has volunteered to help Bonda find Benne. But he other motives which we will soon find out.
Far right, the most recent character, Zora. He wants to put his wife’s brain in Benne’s body. He’s waited a long time. What has he been up to all this time? He said he had spent centuries in the vat before he was able to take the body of a sacrificed child. And many years had passed since then as well. That’s some patience, but then again it seems his brain had made it to eternity but not his soul.
Up front Benne strikes a pose, the reluctant hero.
The underground laboratory begins to give up its secrets. An old man stuck in a child’s body is harassing Benne with his sinister plans.
Will Benne find a way to escape or will her dad make it in time to save her? Does Benne ever need saving? What about the robot?!
On this page there is combination of all the previous techniques plus a little Marmoset Toolbag in panel 3 which we also saw on page 13. Is a 3d diorama in store? Maybe next time.
Speaking of Marmoset and what it can do – animation. When creating artwork such as Benne and the Timemonks the artifacts are reusable and certainly animate-able. An animated short or move is completely possible. Maybe next time.
That’s also why I have posted different shading techniques since I would not be able to use Photoshop for post processing and my tablet to draw outlines. An animation would need to have the proper non-photo-realistic rendering to match the book. Or would it? Maybe next time.
Before Chapter 1 is over, I will be going over the story and rewriting some of the dialog. More than a few continuity errors. Then after that, its in the can on to the next chapter.
Testing a new look for Chapter 2. Here’s Benne in her new do sometime after she escapes the cave (spoiler!).
Chapter 1 is not over yet, still a few pages to go. We need to find the door again to get in and get out and get away from the Buddy. With the standard “to be continued . . .” because comics.
Chapter 2 will have an updated version of our heroine sporting a new scruffier hairdo. Also working on that leather outfit, it seems so impractical, but we haven’t met whoever made it for her. Maybe in Chapter 3! Hair is tougher than it looks and I was close to obsession shaping it in Maya.
This render was made in one of my favorite tools Character Creator 3 with some extra bits in Photoshop. Her skin has been updated as I noticed 10 pages in that I was using a low-res texture the entire time on her face. Her eyebrows were literally fuzzy. We won’t see this look or some other character updates until Chapter 2, so Chapter 1 can stay consistent.
However, before I wrap up Chapter 1, I will go over it and do some spell checking, script tightening and work on each of the character’s unique voices. The story won’t change and the panels won’t get re-rendered. Oh, I promise a suitable origin cover.
Benne’s dad begins the search for our missing heroine. Though, she would say she’s no hero and you’re putting words in her mouth.
While the majority of the panels on this page were done the same way as most of the other panels, the last panel was rendered in Unity with outlines by UnityChan plugin. The saturation by Unity Post Processing and just a tad of sepia in Photoshop.
Still hoping to pump out complete panels in Unity or Blender. It’s where I spend the majority of my spare time. Once I get it right, it should be quicker to release pages. With this chapter winding down, the next will probably have a slightly different style.
See you next time!
Benne seems to have found the voices in her head are brains in a vat. The metal arm hanging from the ceiling has sat Benne down and shut the voices off by placing a helmet on her head.
If there is a villain on the next page, they should certainly have a tale to tell.
We’re back after a hiatus. Hope to get back to it on a semi-weekly basis. Spent some time thinking about the story some more and where it’s going. How the past will become clear to Benne.
Also, learning some new software and getting better at ones I know. For some time I have been mainly using Reallusion iClone and Character Creator. With the recent Character Creator 3 release, it’s easy to get carried away with more realism. That’s not what a comic book is about, it’s about illusion.
However, I did spend some time reworking our protagonist for Chapter 2 where the intention will be to use NPR (non-photorealistic) rendering directly in software instead of using Photoshop to alter the rendered output. To do that, I’ve invested time in re-learning Blender since it seems the best option. More on that before Chapter 2.
For now, there are still a few more pages in Chapter 1. Does Benne escape the underground laboratory? Who is behind the mechanical arm and did they stop the voices from telling Benne something? What happened to Benne’s dad?
Come back and find out!
Took a little longer. However, did have a chance to understand where the story is going. What’s missing. What Benne is likely to be looking for. Or thinks she’s looking for. What she is likely to find.
It’s never what we desire. The things we focus on. We are bugs unaware of the large bird looming over us.
On another note, recently I noticed that on closer inspection Benne has fuzzy eyebrows and that leather she wears looks like wood. For chapter 2, I’m working on a new outfit and a new hair do. Part of working with 3d software does to you.
I’ll have a post on that process. How to post number 2. Full of Zbrushing and Substance Painting. And don’t forget to read from the beginning on the home page.
Until then, ignore the voices in your head.