Book 5 - Prologue 20

Trophy Wifequeen

Book 5 - Prologue 20
Comic - Book 5 - Page 20

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Excellion wrote:

Book 4, Page 41 for example. There are four different wheels of fortune in it, that were never reused in other pages. For a 2D artist it is a matter of just drawing the image, whereas 3D modelling would take a lot more time. There is always the question of "Will we invest time in creating a model for something that we never use again?", which limits creative freedom.


This also illustrates just how good the old art style was (and I think this applies to books 1-3 too). While I can see how the 3D modeling would help with milestone 5 stuff (ie "tablet apps, animated shorts, the board game...") and with the landscapes and architecture, I am pretty skeptical it is going to maintain the overall quality of the comic.

Personally I would rather have the artistic quality of the old stuff, even if it meant some dwagons had the wrong eye color. The art and parson metagaming is what really brought me to the comic.
Thinking about the art from a totally different angle, I worry what will happen when they are showing linkups. Personally, I think the high point was uncroaking the volcano (which I really liked). As the art has become increasingly realistic, I have found scenes like these increasingly awkward to look at. At times, Erfworld is starting to feel outright pornographic.

I know I am in a minority here. But I also know that one of the benefits of joining the Toolbox is being allowed to see the pin-ups, which are pictures of the characters wearing next to nothing. If the comic itself starts including that kind of image, this could cut into the incentive for people to become Tools. And that would cut into funding, which I know is a perennial problem.
Hmm, just brainstorming on ideas to make the characters look erfly cheaper

1. You could rig up the simplest doll possible, it doesn't have to look much like the character, maybe close in build and height, no real hands or face or anything. I'm picturing like 15 cyllanders a character, just for blocking the scene. Then draw over it completely, rotoscoping a little but ad-libbing the face, raiment, etc.

2. You could keep the detailed dolls you have, but plan on drawing the face separately. Zoom in and draw in broad lines a portrait, that readers don't get to see except in low res. Maybe save 'em for the Toolshed.

3. Do like The Dreamland Chronicles originally did. Lots of pages in one place, 2-4 panels per page, a few facial models for each main character for different expressions, but you tilt the head at a different angle to imply subtle facial expressions that just aren't really there...

Oh awhile ago you gave away units and you plan to sell them. OK. Going to need at least 1 good face per saleable unit then. Aww man why does my decrypted stabber have a better face than Paige here? You already did #2 without zooming in enough to inject her with character didn't you. :mrgreen: Using these sorts of models for the rank and file's art probably speeds things up, actually, though you might want to recolor the humans often. It would be a big pain to model all the interesting casters and warlords, though.
I think you guys are jumping the gun on worrying about the 3D art. It'll take time for this method to find its style, but there are a LOT of options. With an edge detection shader, what you're seeing here is only the tip of the top of the tip of the iceberg as far as what's possible. It's really just a matter of finding the aesthetic that matches Erfworld best. I guarantee it's there, it's just a matter of figuring it out. And I don't see anything wrong with using the prologue to experiment in that direction.
zbeeblebrox wrote:
I think you guys are jumping the gun on worrying about the 3D art. It'll take time for this method to find its style .... I don't see anything wrong with using the prologue to experiment in that direction.

+1 here. Text updates with experimental, in-progress art, are a win-win-win-win for me. I'm happy to read some Erfworld (though I'm way too emotionally invested in Noah and Paige for them to be on the wrong side of Fate :cry: ), I'm happy that Rob is getting to publish some writing in any form, I'm happy that the text updates give them a place to post some work-in-progress art experiments, and I'm happy that my tiny little Tool membership is being billed to chip in for it and support the effort.
gchristopher wrote:
zbeeblebrox wrote:
I think you guys are jumping the gun on worrying about the 3D art. It'll take time for this method to find its style .... I don't see anything wrong with using the prologue to experiment in that direction.

+1 here. Text updates with experimental, in-progress art, are a win-win-win-win for me. I'm happy to read some Erfworld (though I'm way too emotionally invested in Noah and Paige for them to be on the wrong side of Fate :cry: ), I'm happy that Rob is getting to publish some writing in any form, I'm happy that the text updates give them a place to post some work-in-progress art experiments, and I'm happy that my tiny little Tool membership is being billed to chip in for it and support the effort.


Agreed. Every time the art style has changed there has been controversy. People adjust.
zbeeblebrox wrote:
I think you guys are jumping the gun on worrying about the 3D art. It'll take time for this method to find its style, but there are a LOT of options. With an edge detection shader, what you're seeing here is only the tip of the top of the tip of the iceberg as far as what's possible. It's really just a matter of finding the aesthetic that matches Erfworld best. I guarantee it's there, it's just a matter of figuring it out. And I don't see anything wrong with using the prologue to experiment in that direction.

But...
Titan wrote:
So here we go with one approach to character art. Everybody on the team will be interested to hear your feedback.

Rob and team were asking for feedback. We gave it. It wasn't jumping the gun. Unless you are worrying about our worrying tone. Then forget my worrying about you worrying about our worrying tone it's okay. My bad, I have no willpower when it comes to having meta-conversations online. Especially since I've run out of things to talk about on the comic itself.
The art is quite unappealing. If it were my first exposure to the comic, it would probably be my last exposure too: I would write off the imagry as too ugly for me to waste my time with. There is plenty of really great art in the world I have yet to see. There are entire lifetimes of amazing art to experience and I just get the one life. Wasting my time on this doesn't seem like a good return. Encouraging Balder and whoever else is working on this 3D approach to keep wasting their time on this particular project seems selfish at best to me.

Balder had a winning formula with book 1. Work on a tightly scoped story with good art. That's all he's ever had to do. What he's doing right now is a waste.
The title of the page is "Prologue 20" but the image has 19. This threw me and I thought I missed 20 when 21 came out.
Unlurking to welcome the newest presentation!

The narration is a very alone-in-the-world wary sort of approach. Does that solitude show up in the art? Yeah, but in its own way.

I think the first picture mostly washes out Paige's wrinkles, and her face looks more neutral than afraid -- but hey, her narration sounds like she isn't all that afraid, or at least that she's dealing with it. The housecoat is properly ludicrously pink, standing out to show off the impromptu nature of her maneuver. The quick-line art works very well for a sword as slender as that. The leaves are an innocuous mish-mosh, and the ground looks aquatically rippled, though I suppose that's the sidewalk-glow-moss that Noah cultivated.

Regardless of background, Paige stands out -- alone indeed -- in her picture, but I didn't notice her at all in the second picture until quite a while later. In that one, the matted treetops dominate the canopy (helpful for a hidden city, I should think) save for that... face. Or most of a face -- it's as amorphous as a piece of clay squeezed in a hand, but still shaped just enough that one is sure that this is a deliberately-made face. It has a good aesthetic for Nestly -- low-tech but still standing intact.

But its lack of expression makes me wonder just what kind of mood it will have...