Friday, December 5, 2008

Memorybot Part 3

Here's page three. Not much to say about this so let's take the opportunity to listen to Ptoing about the coloring process!

Hello, ptoing here. I'll have to write some words about the colouring of Memorybot, seeing as how Helm said I would without me knowing. Since we are awesome friends he knew tho I would do it, so here we go.

Memorybot is the first (and so far only) comic I finished colouring and it was a very interesting experience. It's not like I am a huge defender of literal colour, as in everything gets the colour it would have in real life, but Helm pushed me when it came to using emotional colours. He constantly poked me about it and it was a very fruitful outcome for me which I learned a lot from. So here goes thanks to you Helm, cheers for poking my brain.

The most interesting thing was to come to a colouring style which worked and respected the lineart, without being too simple (Straight colourfills Helm could have done himself :P). When I was exploring at first I thought about and tried colouring all the lines, like the trees and clouds in the first panel of page one. This turned out to be extremely tedious as well as taking away power from the nice lineart, making things mushy.

So in this regard using it here and there for background elements was a good choice I think, clouds with black outlines would have looked odd - or at least I think so. Tho black outlines for clouds are fine in a strictly black and white comic as soon as you add colour I think it looks wrong in most cases.

I will go on about the 3 pages in a bit more detail now, who knows, perhaps someone will find it interesting. Page one was the hardest to colour for me, simply because it was the first and it also has the most touchups from Helm. He adjusted the colours in the last panel and also tweaked some other things. This was great learning for me and it is also notable to be said that this collab worked so well because of the mutual respect for each others work. I had no problem with Helm going over my colouring as he also had no problem with me editing some of his lineart, mainly for cleanups.

Helm did welcome my cleanups tho he thinks that in some cases I am too anal about stuff like this, and who knows, perhaps I am, I have some compulsions when it comes to art (especially digital art) and small details jump into my eye and cling onto my brain, I can't help it. A perfect example of this is the wandering poster on the first page. The green one which is just above ZX's head in the first panel - it moves down during the course of the page. Actually looking at it I just realised that the whole bench seems to be moving in the last 2 panels, if you look where it is in comparison to the wall behind it.

But enough of me rambling about how Helm does not care for consistencies like this a lot. It's his right, it's not like they have an impact on the storytelling. So as far as emotional colours go, page one does not have much going on, apart from the last 2 panels, which were partly (mainly) Helms work as far as colour adjustments go.

On page two things get a lot less literal, more emotional, with the first panel, the establishing shot, being coloured in the colours that actually represent the actual surfaces they are (does that sentence make sense?) Then especially from panel three onwards things get purely emotional. Here one very important thing to note is that not many of the decisions made were conscious, I just did what looked good to me and made sense to me in the context of the comic.

The cold blue on the robot to show the distancing from the girl, who in panel three is an odd cold pink, no clue why, but the colour somehow works for me as far as some rests of hope as well as anxiety about what is to come, what ZX is going to say to her. Then in the next panel her face is turned to sad blue tones, followed by their hands, which I coloured as if it was a statue made from stone. A gentle touch of lovers not to be made eternal, or something.

In the last panel ZX turns is shown as a harsh, abstract monolith to finalize his statement, and show it's severity. This is what I think Helm was trying here, and I think it works. The colouring here is held simple and the red, well, to add some dreadful atmosphere.

Helm did some minor adjustments on this page as well, nothing as major as on the first tho.

Onto page three, my personal favorite. It is a very intimate scene in my opinion - the closest the two get to each other. I really liked the stark contrast of the bottom bit and I felt the page needed just as stark colouring. There is really not much more to say here, I just did what my instinct told me to, zero rationalization here.

(to be concluded)

Thank you Ptoing, for being forced to comment on my blog. I will let your family & dog go unhurt now.

Ptoing wrote more about page 4 but I'll post that section along with his final thoughts next time, when Memorybot concludes. Here's the b&w pervert version for those of you that share my kinks.

I think this page is good. I rushed a few bits here and there on the big panel, but the end result holds up well enough and is pretty astounding in color. Ptoing is right on the money above where he says this is the closest they'd ever get. A sin against nature, such a wrong way to love, please take me apart, put me back together again.

-Helm & Ptoing

P.S. This page is signed ''07" so it was as I thought. I started this comic in the last days of 2006 and continued it in January.


Trevor said...

Merely beautifull. In both, art and meaning. Really not much more to say about it. It was pretty interesting to read about the colouring process, I myself don't work with colours generally (mainly becaue I only work with pencils and graphite when drawing). Only in pixelart I tend to, but then there's not much attention to feeling or emotion, it just has to look right.

Otto Mustermann said...

That's one of the most beautiful things I've seen from you.

That and that night in that motel in Ohio back in 1966.

But, oh, should I ever wanna spoil it for me, how many sexist thoughts can be fit in the panel? =p

Solar said...

Sorry for posting so late, been busy this weekend.

You do like to swing the pace between pages Helm. Whatever memorybot said it must have been serious. The lack of words gives this page a quiet purpose, the lady clearly cares enough to want to make a change but what exactly... (haven't turned the page yet). A few questions still on my mind: whether memorybot was letting this happen, if he was still online/awake while his lady continued her 'repair' (the first panel I can imagine him shivering) and if the lady had created him originally.

Going over Ptoing's points, I hadn't noticed the spacial inconsistencies of the first page. I can only imagine the compromising discussions you too must have had with your touch ups. Regardless the genesis of a fuller piece of work from collaboration can't be denied in this comic. It's definitely working for me as a reader so far. Great work Ptoing, I'm enjoying the colour themes and emotions.

Right now I'm going to turn the page now :)