Colorist Commentary

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Commentary pages 19-31

Hullo, all my adoring fans (shurrup, let me dream ;3). As I sit here with an apple for a snack and a short break from working on page 45 (yonks ahead, yet, but far, far from the end), I'm going through online pages 19-31 to list a few thoughts as they come to me.

For What It's Worth, I don't mind "giving away secrets of the trade"- honestly, I'm so new to this I don't think I know any secrets, so any tips I give away will really just be my way of doing things at the moment. There's no substitute for artistic talent, no matter how many tips you pick up. I'm grateful to all the other artists I've learned from with tuturials and such, so if any of my hints help you out, I'm happy to do it!

Okay, on with the prattlings.

P.19 (this is actually the top of page 6.)

BTW, pages 3, 5, 6, 8, and 9 (print pages, refer to my notes for what online pages they cover) were touched up quite a bit by Scott- highlights brightened, shadows emphasised, etc. As I've mentioned, this is my very first coloring job- I've never done anything quite like this before (heck, I'd barely attempted anything above 72 res before!), so aside from all the "Make the shadows more extreme!" over and over, Scott went a head and made the necessary adjustments himself. (He still had to tell me to go back and make the shadows stronger/highlights brighter a few more times, but lately I haven't been getting so many lighting notes, so I must have improved!)

Okay, page 19. Bill's hat was originally a smooth dome top, but I guess Neil decided it should look different (I didn't see those e-mails, but I think it was Neil's note), so Scott also changed the hat. That's probably why the shading/lighting on it looks so swanky. Now that I look back at the old one (I still have a copy on my 'puter), I say the new hat is definitely an improvement.

(btw, you can tell-.. .or, I can tell, anyway- that I'm still using Photoshop 5.5 because of the crystalize texture on the cork board. I think CS has the texture too, but nowadays I'd probably hit it with a scatter brush rather than try to mess with filters.)

P.20 (mid p.6)

Jo Baker's face blocked by word bubble... s'okay, it wasn't that labor-intensive to color. (On my own little comics I usually use semi-transparent word bubbles because I hate blocking out all the work I do on the backgrounds, lol- s'just my own style.)

"Aw, Gee, Captain..."

Adorable. Apparantly his appearance is based off of that guy from Highlander. (Stan Kirsch)

P.21 (bottom p.6)

I like Bill's shirt. I did that little western-cut-yolk detail with vector paths. SWANKY. I like his bolo tie.

p.22 (top p.7)

OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS. When I saw this plane, I thought, "shit."

Big shiny metal vehicles are not my friends. So I'm extremely proud of how awesome it looks. GO ME. (Scott said he adjusted the grass and sky color... I can't find my original color file, so I can't check and see how much.)

I used this
online tutorial for highlighted chrome to do the UFO- I'd gotten CS at this point, and was having too much fun dinking with it. I also used the technique on the plane a little bit, with some touch-ups by hand. I really like how the yellow dome looks. Fancy little thing. I'm not sure I'd bother with all the layers and filters that it took to do it now, lol. I'd probably figure some other way.

P.23(bottom p.7)

I really like how those black and white photos turned out. I suppose the grainyness is really more of a digital thing, but... I think it still works. Looks like something right off a supermarket tabloid!

P. 24 (top P.8)

"Why is that rock all funny half-colored?"

"Aliens."

P. 25 (mid. P.8)

Not much to sayyy... I like the folds in Malcom's shirt. Bill's shirt also shows well here.

P.26 (bot. P.8)

More shading adjustment made by Scott.

P.27 (top P.9)

OH NO, MORE VEHICLES.

Dang, these bikes!! I swear, this must've been the first time I ever attempted coloring any kind of motorcycle.

I got to choose the colors for the Ranger's civvies- sorta. The note (or the script) said they were wearing jeans and leather vests, except for Bill, as well as brightly colored western shirts. I was a little bit uncertain about giving Bill a purple shirt- I thought, "Oh, no, is it manly enough?" Yes. Yes it is. It is manly purple. I did my research online, too- western cut shirts come in purple. It's got sequins on it!

The bikes were also a bit of a sticky issue- I was thinking dark-ish cadet blue, or a mix of dark-ish standard colors (blue, green, maybe a burgundy) because the script said they were different colors. They were to be the official Ranger bikes, though- Neil wanted them blue and yellow with a yellow star on the gas tank (like the Texas flag), and Scott suggested blue and yellow also. I did a test one of the flag blue and yellow (minus the star, which would've been too obvious to give them away as Rangers, imho... plus I wasn't sure how to manage a star yet. I've figured it out now, but it still would've been a pain to do every time)... anyway, the flag colors looked sorta like a carnival ride on the bike (especially with the sidecar), so we went with the darker blue (my original color choice, in fact), with dull-gold highlights. Snazzy!

P 28 (bottom p. 9)

Hey! I finally figured out how to do grass better! (CS upgrade, yey.)

P 29 (top P. 10)

A gorgeous sweeping prarie. I like my clouds, too. And the Texas Longhorns, with spots! Adorable. (The road looks way flat, though. Heh. Later I end up doing a texture on it that looks more like blacktop- I guess the excuse could just be different stretches of highway were re-paved? I guess!)

P 30 (mid P. 10)

I really like this close-up of the bikes. This time I didn't use the chrome effect, I made a gradient (that I really haven't used since, but it worked well this time) for it. So very shiny. And copy-pasted headlights.

P 31 (bottom p. 10)

YEE HAW, the final page until tomorrow!

That looks like some nice healthy grass. Originally I'd had a different color for the diner, the sign, and that green semi. Scott didn't like it, so I changed it. You can still see a little of the peach behing "Dalhousie's"- I'd made it a peach gradient and blue letters. The building was also slightly peach-y, in my mind a redwood ceder color- but, really, there's not a lot of redwoods in Texas, are there? Silly me.

Okiedokie, that's all for now, folks! From now on there won't be quite so many pages each week, so my commentary posts will likely be shorter.

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