Brad and Angelina in Shanghai – Kelsey, Dani, Yu

brad & angelina in Shanghai2

 

Yu Zhou’s part:

Panel 1: Brad and Angelina on plane

In this panel, Brad and Angelina travelled around the world to find a new place to adopt something cute. They family finally decided to go to Shanghai, China.

I actually made two versions of the first panel. The first one has a very strong problem that it the dialogue does not flow well: there are pieces of words all over the place. Readers can not understand it according to some instinctive order. Kelsey remind me of this very important point so I made the second version, which reduced some words and made it easier to read from left to right. This time, I also made some comic effects on the backgrounds of mini panels and on the characters. (though the effect on the character might be hard to see because the characters are too little) Because of there are two mini panels, there are so many layers to deal with that folders really helped a lot. And I am very happy that I managed to make and adjust my own speaking bubbles.

 

Panel 2: Arriving in Shanghai, china

This panel describes the family’s arrival in Shanghai. I also made two version of this panel. The first version did not see to be in comic story with the first panel. It looks very realistic. Also, the first version uses a picture of the high buildings in pudong from the view of the Bund. For the second version I chose a picture of the night view of the Bund to add more views of Shanghai into the comic(as we see in the first panel there’s the Pudong side, the third panel has the Yu Garden). In the second version I deleted the characters and some words to make it simpler and easier to read. To stay in line with the whole comic story, the same effect of the background is applied(thanks to Kelsey who taught us this!). We used filters and layers modes to to this.

 

Danielle Walsh:

I worked on the two middle panels which feature Brad, Angelina and their family sightseeing in Shanghai. The first panel depicts the family at Yu Garden looking out. I inserted a small panel within this one to zoom in on the family. My aim was to make it easier for the reader to see who the speech bubbles were coming from. The second panel features the monkey that they end up adopting and another inserted panel to show the reactions of Brad and Angelina. By doing this, I felt it was unnecessary to add in speech for the characters and the scene could be easily interpreted.

 

When I first began creating the comic, my images were very life-like and did not really have a “comic feel” to them. However, after meeting with the group again, and getting some awesome tips from Kelsey on how to make the images appear more cartoon-like, I was much more satisfied with the work. This time working with photoshop was definitely easier and I think I am beginning to become familiar with the software.

 

Kelsey Stephanides:

 

For this comic, we chose to choose a set amount of panels to divide up the work evenly. Before leaving for break, we picked a basic storyline, amount of panels, what would happen in each and who would have which panels. We came up with the story of Brad and Angelina going to China and adopting a monkey.

 

My contribution was the last two panels, where Brangelina adopts the monkey, and then a final sort of epilogue family photo. I decided to go in a very retro comic-like direction with my panels, and I found an online tutorial on how to recreate an effect similar to old comic style coloring. The first panel I used both a comic effect filter and effect lines, though I had trouble arranging the speech bubbles to both look good and flow coherently. The second was a family portrait, in which I edited a red carpet photo and named the monkey Monika.

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road? Comic – Maddie, Nancy, and Billy

Why did the chicken corss the road

Billy:

We began our comic with simple ideas, such as chickens, science-fiction, and wormholes. In the beginnning, we thought about the joke of the chicken crossing the road and spiced this joke with a bit of space and time and a mother’s natural behavior. I thought the idea was great, and Maddie made an eight-panel storyboard for this comic.

After the storyboard, I sketched the entire comic with simple, light brush strokes while transforming the lines into a figure that can be interpreted as an object. During the process, I found very intriguing the question of how can simple lines represent something complex in our brains. The different views that my group members had into my drawn lines was very fascinating, although I had a different perspective and reason of each drawn line. Afterwards, I assigned the lineart to each of our group members; Nancy made three panels, Maddie made two, and I made the rest three. I knew Maddie was new to the development of a comic, so I slightly decreased the workload for her while increasing Nancy’s and mine. I never made a comic too before, but I have certainly seen a lot of artists making them in my experience.

After finishing the linearts, I drew the background for each panel in the comic, because I used to draw a few sceneries with my ol’ tablet pal before. I always feel relaxed when drawing sceneries and ambients of all kinds (this has been going for four years!), although I kept this comic simple and brief. Then, Nancy added the character’s colors inside the comic, and Maddie placed the “sounds” and noises in it.

Finally, I checked the comic and made little changes before posting. Overall, everything went smoothly.

Maddie:

When we were brainstorming story ideas for our comic, we happened across the timeless joke, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” and decided to play off of that. We bounced the idea around and decided to create a comic that told this story of why the chicken did cross the road – but with the twist that the chicken was in fact in space and separated from his babies, and the only way to get back to them was to cross this busy road.

Billy created the original sketch of the comic, and afterwards, I was in charge of the first two panels. I took these panels and redrew the outlines of the objects in photoshop. To do this, I used a tablet and a combination of freehand curves and curves created with the pen tool. This was a very new experience for me – it was my first time using the tablet, as well as my first time translating a sketch into line art with photoshop – and it took a lot of patience, but over time it became easier to control the line. It was very interesting to see the process, however, and was definitely satisfying once I finished a panel!

After we each completed our panels, and Billy filled in the color for the background, I then added in text in each panel to represent the sounds to accompany the action. For this, I downloaded two new fonts and experimented with placement and size.

Having three people work on a single comic was a challenging task because we needed to combine three different skill levels and drawing styles into one cohesive comic. Agreeing to one storyline, style, etc was at times a process that took a lot of working out, but in the end it was only trust in one another that was necessary to create our final product.

Nancy:

When we started thinking about what kind of story we may tell, Billy said that, “chicken!” From this, everything start forming to a whole story. We combined chicken, high-tech, wormhole together and make it a real story, which may happen in another universe.:)

Billy first finished the sketch of the comic. Then i was responsible for lining three panels. It’s lucky to have my own tablet, and I tried to make fluent line. I found that it was hard for us to have the same style even when we redrew the outlines. For myself, I would like to make the brush pressure, while Billy liked pressureless line. Team cooperation is quite important here. We all tried our best to make the style similar.

Also, I filled the color of characters. This job is not as simple as I imagined. I have to first try the colors to make them fit with each other. And when i was filling the colors, small stuff like not filling color outside the line can be challenging. Therefore, after I finished it, i really felt a sense of accomplishment!

Now all of us think this comic is pretty cooooool! Thanks to our cooperation~

Comic Panels Creating Journal by Mary Kate, Angela and Stephanie

FIANL 2

(Final Version)

After today’s class, we change the order and layout of the comic panels. We know use vertical layout to demonstrate the changing of time, also making the rain dropping more naturally. Also, we change the size of the talking bubble and some background of panels. Putting all panels in a vertical do help readers read easily.

Mary Kate

The making of this “summer rain” comic panel was a very fun process that I thoroughly enjoyed and learned a lot from, especially from the heavy use of photoshop which I had no experience with before. As a group, we first decided what we wanted to do, how we wanted to show it and I think a lot was influenced from reading McCloud’s “Understanding comics”. “Summer Rain” shows how the weather changes from sunny to cloudy to rain and the effects that this has on the other elements in the text, and in addition we have a comic type character (not realistic) who is interacting directly with the audience and experiencing this change in weather. We settled upon showing traditional rectangular panels in sequence and from reading McCloud, playing with how to shows changes that happen in a day from sun to rain, and changes in time through our different panels, so the reader experiences ‘closure’. Like McCloud is talking directly to his readers, we wanted to try having our character also talk directly with the reader to increase the reader experience and make the panel more friendly. Using a cartoony character allows the reader to also identify more with the character because he is less realistic and the reader can position himself/herself in place of the cartoon character. Our choice of colours and background make it more cartoon type and less realistic to give it a more imaginary feeling. Our story not only describes time but also incorporates motion adapted from McCloud’s book.

I really enjoyed the process of finding the cartoon character and placing him in the background drew by my group mate. Although I had a lot of fun learning how to use photoshop, it was indeed a very long and time consuming process. I played with colours, adding in shadows and more colours to the original background to fit with the weather of a particular panel. I tried my best to show the shadow effects of the tree and on the character to match the sun and other elements in the background to make it a more symbiotic piece and make the panels as realistic as I could. I played a lot with the paintbrush tool, the smudge tool, the burn and dodge tool as well as the cloning tool in order to achieve the effects that I desired to see in the panel. I learnt the value of creating different layers in order to add/remove effects without affecting the rest of the layers involved. I think that adding/removing colours and playing with shadows is a very meticulous process. I also frequently consulted my group mates’ opinions and ideas to make sure we all liked the panels, which enriched the whole process. We discussed a lot as a group about the messages we wanted to convey, of the little boy wanting to play in the sun but the rain comes to take his pleasure away, and we also discussed together as a group deciding on a title for our comic.

All in all, I think it was a very fun process and I definitely learnt a lot from it and I am glad that I know more about photoshop now!

Stephanie

It has been such a great fun in creating comic panels with other people, because in the conversation and collaboration the idea that we initially started with would change into something brilliant that none of us had expected before. Nothing can be predicted and planned in the very beginning, but come along in the process of creating.

We first came up with the idea of implementing changes in the panels, after some discussion, Mary Kate and I decided to use weather change as the main background, and also added one main character. After our discussion, I used Wacom Drawing Tablet to draw the blue sky and green tree in Photoshop. This process was really fun but weary because Photoshop was not the perfect software to draw. However, I struggled to find the brushes and colors that I wanted and painted the background. Later, I used some Photoshop techniques to create the changes in the background. I changed the brightness in each different background and I added clouds to indicate the weather change. Also, I added some rain on the last two backgrounds. I only painted one background but in all created five different backgrounds to demonstrate the weather changing from sunny to rainy. I think this process of change was inspired by Scott McCloud Understanding Comics. McCloud himself demonstrates the changes in several of methods. Although we cannot see the changes with our eyes between two panels, our common sense and imagination will create the changes automatically in our mind. So I think this was the main reason that I used sun-cloud-rain to show the changing of the background.

After I created the different backgrounds, I passed the work along to Mary Kate and Angela for them to creating the main character. When we met, I found the main character resonated so well with the background. Also, the changes of the character showed the changes as well. In order to better communicate with the readers, we decided to add talking bubbles to the main character, just as McCloud does in his work. McCloud lets his main character talking directly to the readers which makes the knowledge he wants to pass along clearer. We wanted to have the same effect and we also wanted to use the language in the talking bubble to show the changes as well.

We named our panels after we had created every panel, which might seem a bit odd. We gave the panels a name Summer Rain for it represented the weather changes and it was also a common natural thing to happen. When I was combing all the panels together by Photoshop, I painted the title of our panels in the top left corner with brushed in Photoshop.

I find the process of creating comic panels really interesting but so time-consuming, thus I better understand and admire the people who work in this industry. What’s more, I better understand why McCloud would consider comics as universality, because everyone has encountered sudden rain in a sunny day. We did not use the simple color, black and white, as McCloud does in his work. But I think the color and the way of painting have added more realistic elements in our panels. In all, I really like the process of creating comic panels and like the comic panels our group has created together.

FINAL 1

(Previous Version)

Angela

The making of the panels for our “Summer Rain” comic was more of an intuitive process than one that was simply planned out. Mary Kate and Stephanie decided to use the way the change of weather elements can affect the other components of the comic. This was a good manifestation of what Scott McCloud writes of in his introductory chapters for Understanding Comics. As he explains, it’s a good way to demonstrate transition, and his can be well done by showing changing weather patterns or say, changing the centre of focus on each new panel. Later on, we all decided to include a character that could interact with the audience as the panels changed and Mary Kate found this card with a little boy in various positions. Mary Kate and I then divided the panels for labour division that each of us were working on an interaction of the boy with the audience.

I worked with the boy playing football. Using photoshop, I traced and cut him out from the original strip and then transferred him to one of the weather backgrounds created by Stephanie. Even with the previous exercises involving Photoshop, I still had trouble making a convincing shadow but I knew that my strip needed a shadow to make it more convincing since it was still sunny outside. After trying, and failing to follow a certain tutorial on the Internet about making convincing shadow effects, I realized that I could just lay around with the drop shadow settings and the Transformation settings until it looked good enough. I’m happy to say, that it was worth it, and I like the shadow I created. I’m also much more appreciative of the time and effort that creative that have to work with photoshop all the time expend. It can get very frustrating when you have to do many do-overs.

Eventually, we named our panel Summer Rain, because what else could it possibly be? We did brainstorm for a name, it’s just this was the most fitting!

Following the criticisms we received in the next class we modified our comic strip as per the suggestions we were given, and hope that this provides an overall better aesthetic experience.

I really enjoyed working with Stephanie and Mary Kate because we were almost always thinking the same thing when coming up with ideas, and everything flowed smoothly in the production process! We finished the comic 4 days early just because of that. Thank you ladies!

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How Nicholas Sanchez Understood comics

Let me begin my response by explaining what my initial understanding of comics before reading this book. Growing up in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I understood comics to be a very specific genre of graphic art, or rather, funny little illustrated books that told stories about superheroes; nothing more, and nothing less. Then, when I became a little older, I learned about comics like “Tintin” and “Calvin and Hobbes”. This was perhaps my first and only introduction into the diverse world of comics.

Because my opinion of comics was previously so shallow, the book Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud seemed quite interesting to me. This book sheds a very intense light on the subject, as Scott McCloud expands the scope of comics and illuminates the various different ways in which comics can be an art and medium. And though I did not agree with everything McCloud extrapolates, I do think many of his statements are meritorious.

I must say that I have a hard time wholly accepting that comics themselves can be a medium, as this claim comes off rather farfetched. Perhaps, as McCloud does acknowledges, this sentiment can be attributed the tunnel vision and cultural lack of understanding that I have absorbed, in conjunction with comic’s relative youth. Nevertheless, I cannot agree to this claim that comics are a self-substantiating medium, although I would agree that comics are certainly more than a mere genre.

However, I do appreciate certain aspects that McCloud identifies within the book. Namely, his working definition, the content, and the philosophy behind comics. The definition McCloud offers, “juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer” is, I think, solid and explanatory. In addition, identifications of comic’s aspects, like “closure,” “visual iconography,” and “cartoon” truly are plentiful and specific to comics. I appreciate that he points these aspects out because these crucial and pertinent aspects help elevate the status of comics by giving it form, while also helping set comics aside from visual art.

I would hence agree that comics are at least a specific art form. McCloud alludes to this with his conclusions that 1) comics are a hybrid between visual art and literary art 2) comics are various and by no means indicative of a single person or style, just like all other art forms 3) comics incorporate psychology and sensory devices and 4) have a form and structured process when being created. Because comics have all these components, I can appreciate comics as a unique art form that is truly in its infancy and dangerously undervalued.

Though I may not see comics as a medium in itself, comics truly has many characteristics which set it apart. McCloud’s deep analysis helped me reach this conclusion, as his in-depth evaluation sheds light on the overlooked merits of comics. Comic’s certainly are diverse enough to span many tastes and styles, and can be just as deep and thought provocative as many glorified art forms. For this reason, as well as those provided in the book, I hope to see Scott McCloud’s prognosis come into fruition; that is to say, I hope as time goes on, and the world of comics grows and thrives, comics will too grow to be valued  as the art form as it truly is.