Another runner in the night - extra bonus 2 : WIP

Accueil > Le Sixième Monde > Webcomic > Another Runner in the Night - Chapter One (english) > Another runner in the night - extra bonus 2 : WIP

1. Planning

Of course, you have to know what you want.
When I started the webcomic, I didn’t have the whole story planned. I gradually got the idea of the base story and it took me some more weeks to plan the whole thing.
For the pages themselves, most of the time I’ve got a more or less precise idea of how it will look like, but it often changes during the process.

2. Taking the pictures

This depends on what I want to do. When I was in Hong-Kong I took a lot of pictures in order to have a library of shots I can use. But sometimes I need a specific picture and I need to go looking for the place.
Most of the time, I just shoot the pictures myself, which can be a bit tough, especially when I need to be on the picture. I spent more than ten minutes to shoot this picture :

On the opposite side was the beautiful Hong Kong skyline. Some Passers-were wondering what I was up to.

I’m also terrible at directing actors, thanks again to those who beared with me (if they happen to read this).

On the technical side, there’s not much to mention if I don’t want to get too deep into it. Most of the time, it’s better to turn the flash off, even if there’s not much light. It’s not a problem if the picture is blurry, because of the postprocessing, but it gives a different output. Sometimes it’s even better to have a blurry picture, sometimes not.
Lightning is quite important too. Even if I often add some kind of yellow filter when processing the image, it’s better to start with an image with natural colors (where white is really white).

3. Processing the pictures

The biggest part of the whole process. Here is a step-by-step example :

The base picture, taken somewhere in Whampoa Garden, Hung-Hom, Kowloon, Hong-Kong :

I first do the big changes, such as modifying or removing elements, "goblinizing", "elfying" or "dwarfing".

Then, if necessary, I add new elements to the image. When I need new elements I don’t have (for example the tiger, the dragon and other details in this picture), I search the internet for public domain pictures.
I also prepare the picture to receive the filters. Most of the time the filters darken the image, so I have to lighten the darkest parts. For this one, I had to lighten the left hand side, but not the right hand side (which would have become much too bright). It’s possible to find the good values so that you won’t see the difference between both parts, but experience has taught me that the filtering and resizing hide most of it. So I just use some tools to make it less obvious.

I then apply the filters. Most of the time, I use the "watercolor" and "grain" filters in Photoshop. The settings and order of the filters depend on the image and sometimes on the part of the image. Sometimes I only use one of the filters, sometimes I use a totally different filter... It’s not just about clicking a button. The filtering often hides some elements of the picture. For example in this case the yellow haired punk in the background became nearly invisible while the green hair of the guy in the middle became too dark to be seen. That’s why I decided to repaint them. I just mixed up the colors in the process.

During the next step, I modify the coloring of the image. This depends a lot on the picture. Most of the time, though, I enhance the yellow and lightly enhance the red. Sometimes I need to enhance or lower the brightness and contrast and sometimes I need to lower the saturation. For this picture, it didn’t change much.

Finally, I add the AR overlay on top of everything.

As the image is then resized to fit in the page, I often lose some details. For example in this picture, I tried to make the punk in the back more visible by highlighting him on the AR display, but after resizing you don’t see him much anyway.

4. Putting it all together

I won’t go into details here because I suck at organizing the layout. I just create a new page with a black background, try to put the panels to fit the idea I had of the page, realize that it won’t work, change it all, sometimes add or remove a panel... And stop when I get something that feels ok.

I finally add the textboxes and the text.


That’s it for today. Next time, I’ll show you all the details and references you might have missed.