Recently, strip commentary has been written along with page commentary, with the page freshly completed. This time, that ain’t the case – this page (and the next two) are a righteous bitch in the assembly department, much like The Strips Of Old. As such, the writeup is being laid down in two installments – this paragraph and initial bits of strip commentary are night of environment assembly, and the rest of the entry will be fleshed out when the line art is complete.
Strip 222 – Ferociously innacurate, though somewhat consistent in the context of DCR. Blurred for depth of field, blurred also to pull focus away from the marked lack of accurate background detail. This scene is something of a mirror of the first scene of DCR.1, so, well… minimal and/or “good enough” photoshop work actually fits the bill.
Strip 223 – Panels one and two are Crazy Render Sammich, deliberately recycled in three panels of the next page. Given the volume of work involved I felt it made sense to re-use rather than re-produce. Panel three is the last panel of the page to get a background, and is actually the second attempt – after doing the photoshop work for the next two strips, I gibbered at the sight of the original reference renders and promptly went back into Max, tightening the camera FOV from 45 to 15 degrees. The end result is a lot less work on the environment and a lot more detail on Emily and Raven.
Strip 224 – The background is a multi-level flashback for production – first, the far back was ripped from an earlier page of the chapter, and rather than re-do the rear and get the perspective Exactly Right, I figured “hell, it works.” The moving trucks covered some of the more questionable bits, and the careful placement of the tree smoothed over the rest. The crowd is a straight pull from the 2005 crowd files, with some minor tweaks, the truck interior was winged, and overall the whole thing is just one hell of a mess that pulls me back to the 2d days of The Dualist. Which is somewhat appropriate, as the 2d era was the first production appearance of 90’s-era Raven.
Strip 225 – Panel one was a cinch, and still looks pretty good – stylistically, a cross between the actual building and the “paper model” technique used with the vehicles and surrounding area. Panel two was fairly easy (and panel three of strip 223 was matched to it). Panel three could certainly do with more detail, though the dialogue and character line art certainly fills the space well.
Speaking of dialogue.
Name-dropping isn’t something I do often. Or much. Or at all, if I can possibly avoid it. I’m bad with real-world names, I use them rarely, and the likelihood of (me) addressing a specific person by name in a one-on-one conversation is infinitesimal. The decision to have Raven and Emily name-drop each other was a conscious one. While Raven is a fairly major character in The Dualist, she only has a couple of scenes in DCR, and introductions are just not the order of the day for future appearances. Emily gets a proper for-real introduction in chapter three, however. It works well, and dammit she’s earned one – Emily’s one of the older, more developed, and un-deservedly underused cast members, the sole survivor of a 1998 development exercise that (at the time) ran parallel to ATC.
Actual post-production blurb:
Whew! Tons of work and as usual not without issues, but overall I’m pretty happy with how this page turned out – though as always I could find myself going back and doing some tweaks at a later date, specifically to panels three and seven, as there’s a bit of roughness there.
Also, Emily is short – Raven and Jesse are roughly the same height (5’5″-5’7″ or thereabouts), whereas Emily is maybe 5’2″, tops. And yes, Raven manages to lose something like 100lbs in five years – a bit of backstory that I’m sure will be mentioned at some point in or after Transitional Voices.
Two pages left of the chapter, with three strips of the next page ready for line art. More love to follow Sunday or Monday, I hope!
22:57 < jensechu> solios: I love how real you characters are
22:57 < solios> O_o
22:58 < jensechu> Yeah well, I particularly like the style of the woman with the mohawk
22:59 < solios> somewhere between DCR and The Dualist she grows her hair out and loses some weight
22:59 < solios> fun to draw! ^_^
22:59 < jensechu> 😀
23:01 < solios> 😀