Thursday, April 13, 2006
Here are some of the rules I had given myself from the very beginning (please keep in mind these are just for the R&I books. The next project may have an entirely different set of rules!):
1. Greyscale only -- although B&W can be very challenging, it's nowhere near as difficult as color (for me).
2. No rendering -- the greys must be flat color or simple gradients. At the very most I allowed myself a drop shadow or rim light.
3. No brushes smaller that 10 pixels -- to keep myself from noodling or getting too detail oriented. OK, I'll admit on some panels I went to an 8 pixel brush, but it was very rare.
4. No fancy brushes or textures -- again, to keep myself from noodling or rendering.
5. No zoom in past 25% of actual size -- again, a few minor departures here, but not too many. I only went in to 50% to draw balloons and some important expressions. nothing was drawn at 100% size of the 600 dpi files.
6. Keep Moving -- if a drawing isn't right (and there are many I'm not totally happy with) I have to keep going. I'll take a few whacks at it, but then move on. If it really bothers me, I'll try to come back to it later.
7. Come up with a schedule and stick to it -- this is absolutely essential. Know how much work you need to do and how much time you have to do it. Comics are great for time management cause you can break them down by pages. You can assign X number of pages per month, week, day, etc. If you fall behind or get ahead it's easy to adjust that number.
8. Everything doesn't have to be 100% historically accurate - of course Civil War buffs out there will want to string me up for some of the mistakes I made, but the truth is I did quite a bit of research but I could never hope to get everything right. And if I did, there would be no book because Amazons didn't fight in the Civil War. Everything is in service of the story. Story comes first, so omissions, changes and contunuity burps had to be made for that reason.
These are just some of the rules that made a project of this magnitude doable in the time I've given myself. I hope his helps those of you out there who are starting projects of your own!