Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Don Nichols, Trevor Harris and the CAN-AM AVS Shadow - A Comic

 A 7 page comic on an amazing CAN-AM Car and team from 1969. One of the many comic like webcomics I've done in the last few years. The later ones using a lot of Narrative Captions!

Monday, November 16, 2020

Miyazaki Hayao Inspired Watercolor Sketching - Don Nichols CAN-AM and F1 UOP SHADOW Race Team


Hayao Miyazaki published boat, plane , tank and other machine watercolor  works in Model Graphix over the years. 

They have been collected into books, such as these:

They are rough pencil sketches with hand written text that has been watercolor colored. They generally describe the development, the structure or some historic detail of the machines and use. They are cartooned and surrounded with cartoon characters and comics.  

They are quite rough in finish. They aren't polished illustrations or comics. I very much like that look and have done something similar with dry markers in the past.

Miyazaki has gone into the details of how he does his illustrations and storyboards. Holbein watercolors, a 2B pencil, a brush and the way he sets out his palette and approach to colors.

Recently I bought some new pens and watercolors and thought I would try something similar again. I have seen may people copy Miyazaki's style, or do Ghibli Studio like Japanese scenes. That isn't what I want to do though. I much appreciate the rough pencil lines and rough watercolor work as it is interesting and looks like it doesn't take much time to do.

Most of the commissions I do are for precise computer based vector illustrations. Making something "sloppy or rough" is actually quite hard to do and takes even longer. 

So as a break from that work I have done a little page here on Don Nichols and some of the Cars he produced for the 1970s CAN-AM and Formula 1 for his UOP  SHADOW race Team. He was involved with some real innovation, even if his team didn't win at first.  

He was also fluent in Japanese and was involved in spy stuff in US-Japan for years before he became a businessman, importing tires into Japan.

It was done on WATSON F4 300g/m sqr watercolor paper. Used Zebra Sign Brush pen and COPIC MULTILINERS. These are pretty rough caricatures of the cars and Don himself. This is the version with the hand written text on the illustration, the way Miyazaki does it. 
I didn't use 2B pencil as I tend to smudge that and I prefer the darker lines ink gives you. 

It has the roughness of the Miyazaki stuff, but it doesn't look like his work at all. It looks like mine, even if I was inspired by him.

We can be contacted via our Art & Technology website.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

The Helios Chronicles: Revisited - Desktop SF Production as Manga

Decades ago , with the early Desktop Video and Animation tools I wrote a fair few magazine articles on the use of the tools, and the making of the props and puppets for THE HELIOS CHRONICLES.  Published in the UK's SF&FM and Australia's SFM magazines.

Models and stop frame animation all in the time when 320x240 pixels was as big a frame as we could practically have, then could only let anyone see the result by sending an optical disc. This was before zip or DVD drives even. Adobe Premier 2.0 and 3.0 had all the features for doing stop frame animation (onion skinning) and moving and warping images and rendering them in a fast to use interface. 

Early Photoshop also had a film strip format that helped in rotoscoping.

Was also in a Japanese TV show called Super Modeller in a Chapter called "Make The Fake" in 1995. 
Issue N.317 of Hobby Japan has that show documented.

These days I'm more interested in illustration, making comics and cartooning as being a more practical "one man band" approach to achieving the same story telling. Or maybe just make a point, or tell a joke.

So the above single page joke is part of what that could be .

Have been doing vector illustrations for the last 18 years or so and multi-panel comics for the last 4 or so.  It turned out the vector tools are how you do the balloons, panels and text of comics, so those skills kind of merge to do this stuff .

What the layout looks like in outline mode.

The following is an image of some of the props we still have from the 1995 project. The space is black felt over 1m square I airbrush painted . It does need ironing. The planet is a case from a gumball toy machine brush painted with Liquitex Acrylics.

We have other miniatures and props as well. Puppets, sets and furniture as well. 

Sets and props for establishing shots and the like:

It gives a different look to comics and allows the different types of panel use that implies, even if I didn't do any of that here.

This is also fast to do for webcomic resolution, a huge plus for me. I can't ever imagine publishing anything on paper any more, even if my original pages are all 300dpi resolution. The magazine industry is pretty much dead and a ebook wouldn't sell enough to be worthwhile, as I tried that in 2012 and know my numbers. 😀

Interestingly to me, is there are now 2 Volumes of the GUNDAM MOBILE SUITE THUNDERBOLT SUPPLEMENTARY STORY that uses Photoshoped models for the mobile suits , guns and craft. Unusually for manga, this is also full color.

We can be contacted at Art & Technology.  

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Just Thinking, Comic Strip. Random stuff living in Japan in 2020

Had a need to do a short form comic strip. Just had random ideas when studying and doing commissions and putting them into these things was a release.

Have been living in Kyoto Japan since end of November 2019 , but had lived here 1987 till 2001 previously, and have various thoughts about all kinds of random things and news items.

Like my This Is Where The Smoke Comes Out,  I have used grey scale photos and simple vector cartoons. I have a collection of characters so putting together a strip is a fast process. It is more about what it wants to say, or express.

I originally posted these on Twitter, but they vanish into the stream doing that, so have made this a single place to store them. Don't know how many I will do at all. I started doing these when I stopped doing the short Twitter OBS videos...

next 2 go together

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Trying OBS for vblogging and video tutorials

Learnt about OBS a month or so ago from Twitter and have been trying it in the last couple of days.

It allows you to make videos capturing application activity, webcams and other elements. Was developed for streaming, but also produces videos that can be further edited.

Above is the first attempt at a vblog thing talking about using Japanese Environmental Sounds in a composition in Reaper. Pretty rough!

Have done little with YouTube in the last few years as their changes meant that nobody watched anything I made. I didn't have anyway of capturing what I did in CorelDraw or Illustrator before, but as that has now changed with OBS I may do a few vector illustration tutorials.

I was once asked by a signmaker if I could do classes on what I do.  A few tutorials would probably help, as I don't use many features of any of these programs, and that was their assumption that I did.

So my approach to making vector illustrations may be forth coming.

This Corona Pandemic escalated pretty quickly, so expect to have plenty of time to do these moving forward.

Made another and found cannot increase the volume of the video clip player. Maybe you can, but it only showed me video filters.  Of course me trying to find the words isn't so great either.. but it is what it is..

There isn't any point in making such a short video as far as YouTube is concerned though. It will not be referred to anyone now anyway. YouTube's only care is for minutes watched. The reason I see 40 minute videos with 2 minutes of information and lots of padding. What a low quality world they are encouraging.