Wednesday, May 27, 2009

FAMILY part 4

No bloggage yesterday as it was Memorial day weekend and I found myself kidnapped in my girlfriend's bed and checking email and blogging was the last thing on my mind. We're powering through the 2004 ALCS World Series with the Red Sox vs. the New York Yankees. She's a huge Red Sox fan and wanted me to see their greatest moment of victory in 86 years. Being the accommodating boyfriend, and more importantly wanting to share something that means so much to her, I said, "yes".

Then I heard the beeping as a massive truck reversed up the driveway. It's chassis sat low and its suspension rebeled under the weight of its cargo. The doors swung opened and from within the darkness thunder echoed. Flashing lights cut the darkness and a huge robotic hydraulic cargo machine that I recognised as the one that Ripley used to fight the mother alien at the end of Aliens came teetering out.

Its 15 foot frame reeled under the 12 disc box set of baseball that it carried. Setting it down on a specially reinforced concrete frame I checked the side of the box to see that it was 33 hours of baseball! Dear god! What the hell had I got myself into?!

And the game I watched yesterday was 5 hours. Even Heather was starting to wilt. The next one is 6 hours. If you don't hear from me it's cos I chewed my own wrists out trying to be a good boyfriend.

But lets get onto this HEROES story. Again, you can find it HERE.

The biggest technical difference in this story is that I used the inestimable Paul Caggegi (check out his site, THE PROCESS DIARY - don't worry I will chuck another link further down) to help me out with the backgrounds. You may remember Paul. He used to do the 3HEROES podcast and he was my very first interview. Since that time we've struck up a great friendship and even had the chance to meet up over lunch.

The formula in comics is (effort + talent) x time = result.

So the more time you have, the better the result. It basically means that anyone no matter how mediocre can take years on a project and rival the best professional. The trick to being a professional is that your effort and talent multiplier is much bigger so you can spend less time on a piece. But at the end of the day, time is the deciding factor. It's a matter of doing as much work as you can before the deadline.

I'm either:

a. Lazy

b. A team player

c. All of the above

So what I did is you looked for help. Now, at the end of the day, I prefer to draw everything. But that doesn't mean I can't ask Paul Caggegi to help be my interior decorator and set builder. And that's exactly what he did! Paul went above and beyond the call of duty to create a beautiful living room for this scene. He made it a believable home. I sent him an overhead map and the layouts of the pages (see left) and he took it from there. He built the room in 3d and then rendered out the angles that I needed. I pasted his renders in behind the figures and basically traced over his lines for perspective and structure. Because he made this stage so quick, I was able to concentrate on lighting, texture and distressing the room from Sparrow's antics. It made for what I think was in incredibly effortless amazing result. I've included the page of renders so you can see the effort that Paul went to that unfortunately got covered up by my figures and later, lettering. Damn writers getting in the way of the artwork!

I can't recommend and praise Paul enough. He was so efficient it was ridiculous. If his turn around times were any faster he would have sent them before I'd sent my requests! His models were perfect and detailed enough to give me character and a great base to work from, but also sparse enough that he let me put my own stamp on things. It was one of the best working partnerships I've ever had. We're teaming up again on the next part. He's not just helping me out this time, he's helping me achieve the impossible.

Again, the link to his site is THE PROCESS DIARY. He has all sorts of tutorials, thoughts, videos and generally runs the sort of blog that I can only envy at. If you think you'd like to hire Paul for freelance work or something bigger please chuck me an email at or wander around his site for some contact details.

NEXT: Wednesday: Page 5. Colouring in all its glory and how I learned to cheat from Frank Quitely.


Alexandre Togeiro said...

That partnership works very well, keep it going! If I may ask, what program Paul used to render it?

Claude looks particularly incredible in this page! Its nice that he has an imposing, bad-ass stance in panel 2 and then a sort of tender moment with Abby on panel 3. Great artwork!

Ryan Stewart said...

Nice job, Paul. Now I understand the "Caggegi Interiors" reference.

Also, Jason, one of the best things about your blog is reading about (and seeing diagrams of) all the effort and thought that goes into your work. Keep it up!

Tarot said...

That is just beautiful! I know a lot of hard work goes into these and I am grateful for you sharing the stages with us.

Frank said...

I don't think it's cheating at all. It's a means to an end. You needed some help, and he was there. It all came out very nice, and no one woul dhave known the difference if you hadn't said anything. Course, you have to give credit where it's deserved.

jasonb said...

Alexandre: I have no idea what Paul uses. I will ask him when he gets back from Fiji. I forgot to mention how much I like drawing Claude. Here's hoping Ollie manages to sneak him back in again for me.

Ryan: Hahahaha. Yes, that's exactly what that shout out was about. Thanks man. And Heather got a huge laugh out of seeing her name on the HEROESWIKI entry. I warned her you guys don't miss a beat.

TAROT: Thanks Tarot! I hope I did Claude justice.

FRANK: Exactly! I get so angry at people that don't credit people for helping them. I was unable to give Paul formal credit in the actual credits box, but I hope I at least did him justice by acknowledging and detailing his amazing contribution here.

Flawedprefect said...

Just flew in from Fiji. Wedding - excellent. Food - the exact opposite of excellent. To reply to question above: I use Blender to do my 3D models. I render with "EDGES" on in the render settings set to about 150 (to give those nice toon edges which worked so well as guides).

The renders came out so quick cos all I really had to do was model! No texturing, minimal lighting, etc. And modeling is what I do. :D

Tarot said...

Jason, you more than did Claude justice here. In fact, I have a bit of an odd request which I'm hoping you don't mind helping me with. You don't happen to have a black and white shot of just Claude from panel 2 that you can't see through do you? I'm thinking of adding to my tattoo collection and that picture would be just perfect.