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Hello, I'm an amateur 3d modeler and I can draw too, sort of. I am interested in making a manga. I am definitely making the backgrounds in 3d, because drawing in perspective is hard enough when I could just re use the same environments over and over again. The problem lies on the characters them selves. I am better at 3d modeling than in drawing. However, I believe that drawing characters on the scene, including crowds, would be much faster than modeling each and every character, not to mention rigging, texturing and posing each one as well. ( Also modeling a wardrobe for each character, lets not forget that -.- ) I believe that with enough practice, I can be moderately well at drawing, and I could start my manga, or at least illustrations I have in mind. Then again, I think I have all the time in the world, and can model, rig, texture and pose characters also. It's just as hard, just more time consuming. I haven't tried my ideas but I'm just curious about other people's opinions on this. I even went as far as buying books by Andrew Loomis. ( Don't knock em just because they're from the 40s. I've yet to see books out there that are better at teaching how to draw than hi's.) Any way, what do you guys think?
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Although I have some colleagues who use 3D-backgrounds while drawing comics in order to save time and work faster I would advise you not to do that for now. If you really want to learn drawing comics I would suggest that you learn to do it the traditional way. You have to get a feeling how to draw characters that interact with their surroundings and to learn how to use facial and bodily expressions as well as contrasts, light and shadows in order to convey feelings. A friend of mine used 3D modeling for some time in order to get a knack on difficult poses but in the end gave it up. According to her one just relies too much on it and limits oneself as an artist. Try to do the things you are not good at. Only practice will make you strong. smile
Kyousouka's avatar

Shadowy Phantom

If you feel that you're weak at drawing backgrounds, then DRAW BACKGROUNDS. You're not going to get better if you don't challenge yourself. The same goes for everything.

Only make the comic in 3D if you feel that that will suit the story better. If drawings would suit it better, then don't be lazy and get good enough at drawing to tell your story the way you want to.

If it would look better in 3D, then do what Dreamland Chronicles did: Model everything out ahead of time, after you write the comic but before you launch it (yes, this means you need to plan far ahead, but that's a good idea for drawn comics too). For crowd scenes, mix and match heads and bodies, and build them all in such a way that they can be procedurally stretched to have different proportions and body shapes (this works best with simpler models, which is good since you'll likely want your crowds to not clash with your main characters anyway).
Creating lights for each scene, posing, etc would all still take a while, but with good planning you'd be able to take advantage of repeating elements, write out impractical scenes, etc.


Unless your story is meant to be told in 3D (like if it's about characters in a virtual world, maybe), OR your 3D renders look amazing, I think you should draw the comic. You can get away with mistakes and laziness much easier in drawings, because people expect imperfections. In 3D, you get various combinations of things done well, and other things done poorly (even really good artists often have this happen), and the entire thing looks awful at worst, and square in the uncanny valley at best.

And remember, even if you choose to draw the comic, you can and should still practice 3D! You can create models of your characters and locations to use as reference to keep their designs looking consistent (some artists trace their 3D models, but that tends to look obvious and problematic, I don't recommend it).


As for combining 2D and 3D: Only do it if it looks very good together, and not just lazy. It usually looks lazy and distracting, the stylistic difference takes your readers out of the story by reminding that they're reading something someone else made. It's pretty surprising how even mediocre artwork can still get a person into a story, as long as it's stylistically consistent.
Thank you so much for your replies. This is something I'll be thinking about for a little while. It's so great to receive other people's input. I really appreciate it. Have a wonderful day both of you. : )
Nessess's avatar

Dapper Streaker

You sound like you're trying to do things backwards! In the industry, you're supposed to draw things before you model them. If you're having trouble with perspective, why not model your background in 3D, render the shot you want, and then trace it? And don't be turned off because of tracing art, you'd be tracing your own work.
Lucentas's avatar

Hygienic Humorist

Nessess
You sound like you're trying to do things backwards! In the industry, you're supposed to draw things before you model them. If you're having trouble with perspective, why not model your background in 3D, render the shot you want, and then trace it? And don't be turned off because of tracing art, you'd be tracing your own work.


This. I know a comic artist who models her environments in SketchUp and then renders and traces them, and they look great. I think that's an excellent tool for if you're feeling unsure about your architectural rendering abilities. But use it as a time-saving tool, not a crutch to replace actually learning about drawing perspective and improving your skills in that area.
Nessess's avatar

Dapper Streaker

Lucentas
Nessess
You sound like you're trying to do things backwards! In the industry, you're supposed to draw things before you model them. If you're having trouble with perspective, why not model your background in 3D, render the shot you want, and then trace it? And don't be turned off because of tracing art, you'd be tracing your own work.


This. I know a comic artist who models her environments in SketchUp and then renders and traces them, and they look great. I think that's an excellent tool for if you're feeling unsure about your architectural rendering abilities. But use it as a time-saving tool, not a crutch to replace actually learning about drawing perspective and improving your skills in that area.


Preach, sista!

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