Layering Artwork

As I work to inform everyone about the backstory of the motion comic; how it came to be, what problems I have encountered, where I am at now and some of the work that has already been created.

However, today I want to share one of the issues that I have encountered and my proposed plan to solve the problem. So, the basics of my current workflow goes something like the following. I draw out a frame that is planned out in our storyboard. (if you are unfamiliar with these terms I will explain them later on a bit more in depth). One of the main things I want to accomplish in this motion comic is to provide a sense of depth and space, and I want to accomplish that by using what is called a 2.5 or fake 3D effect. This effect works well by overlapping different image planes. So the frames when characters are talking and such, we only have to draw the image out and place it into our environment. Now the problem surfaced when I came to our first image of our first fight sequence.

The first time I encountered something similar to this problem, was when I was animating a shot where our main character (Zeth, his character sheet is up in the gallery) is tightening up his boot. When I originally solved this problem, I essentially drew both his feet and both of his hands and some extra. By that I mean that I drew his whole hand that is farthest from the camera so when I animated it, I had extra artwork to use and avoid a gap in artwork. The problem with this solution was that when I came to inking and layering the artwork, things got a little messy.

I learned from this shot that I needed a better solution and one had evaded me for a while until now. My new plan of attack is to utilize tracing paper for the foreground layer. I had thought of this earlier but was a little hesitant to use it because when I scan the art in, I will still have it as one image and will still have a little bit of a mess when trying to determine which line art goes with what character/ layer. I have now decided that I am going to use something I learned from After Effects and that is using a tracker.

On my paper and also the tracing paper I have created marks away from the characters. So I will have to scan in each piece of art separately but when I import them both into Photoshop for coloring, I can match up the tracking marks I made so the artwork will lay out the way I originally wanted. I will also be able to shut layers off to keep my files clean and easier to ink. I will keep you posted on how this process works.

*Reminder> (Be sure to check out Zeth in the character gallery)

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