3D Models to help with layouts.

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I.Newman
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3D Models to help with layouts.

Post by I.Newman »

Does anyone here use them? How do you create them? I've spent the bulk of this week working out how to use Blender and I've barely scratched the surface. I made a basic space ship shape and an interior corridor and have them in a condition where I can import them into clip studio, get them to the angle I want and convert to a line drawing to trace over.

Does anyone have any particular advice, tips, or even questions regarding 3D modeling for comics?

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E-V4NE
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Re: 3D Models to help with layouts.

Post by E-V4NE »

I use sketchup because it used to be free and easy to learn. Now they've changed to a subscription business model but I still use my old version from time to time. I tend to use 3d for complex object (vehicle, buildings), screenshot them, do a little bit of filter/levels on Photoshop to get a cleaner look and then I pencil over it on an above layer.

I.Newman
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Re: 3D Models to help with layouts.

Post by I.Newman »

Yeah, the good thing about Blender is it's free. I think you can go really complex on it or just play around with basic shapes. It's fun to think in three dimensions. A learning curve to deal with the commands and YouTube tutorials are pitched at various levels.

Moving to Clip Studio I've found that even with LT conversion (something I picked up from PJ's video where he shows taking a model of a tank and converting it to blue line) the lighting is very basic and can get too dark in places. I end up switching the tones off so that I have line art and nothing else, but then I'm just guessing when I spot the blacks.

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chip-fork
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Re: 3D Models to help with layouts.

Post by chip-fork »

i've been modeling reference models for my comics for a long time. 3d packages are very complex and modeling and uv unwraping is a real pain. so i reuse the same primitive shapes over and over. the key for me was discovering alpha channels used in video games to make parts of an image see through. this means that I can copy an object which already has a texture and draw a new image to alter the shape of the object. and build up a scene like that. i recommend learning about alpha channels. a few textured planes at different angles to each other might be all you need to get the ref model you need.

https://twitter.com/s_daly/status/1004484982751055877

in the example of a cafe interior in the above link. the benches that the characters are sitting on are a series of planes stacked on top of each other. i only need to draw the profile to create the new object. one strength of this approach is that drawing style is retained in the 3d version. 3d software tends to pull you towards having very rigid straight lines everywhere which i find kind of dead. the character models don't hold up but this is for setting out where they are in relationship to each other and which bit of scenery would be behind them. i didn't use the tablecloth because it was adding too much unnecessary details to the panels. but you can see how much of a pain it would be to draw in perspective by hand. i''m not interested in lighting and strong shadows everywhere which this approach isn't so helpful for.


https://twitter.com/s_daly/status/829469712782389251

learning any 3d program takes a while. you need to put time aside for this, follow tutorials. I should put a word in for physical models. Herge had one for the spaceship in tintin on the moon. and Frank Hampson had one for dan dare also i believe. you might want to consider building a real model out of paper. and shoot it with camera. no tutorials needed you already know how to do it.

link to James Gurney showing models he used in illustrating buildings
https://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2007 ... ettes.html
and model of flying pterosaur
https://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2007 ... model.html

its important to consider the time you need to sink into making the model verses how much it will actually feature in the comic. if its an establishing shot of a building exterior and then the characters going through the door. you might want to fudge it, maybe with a bit of reference.
once you have a model it does help you go for dynamic angles that you might not have tried without it. and the relationships between everything becomes solid adding a reality even with crude models. but you can also be locked into poor compositions because you think your model is "right".
drawing from your head you may place a background detail further in the distance making it smaller in relation to a foreground character. you might make an alleyway slightly longer so it fits with the shape of the panel better. this is stuff that would look right on the page but your model would steer you away from.
I should say that the comic my models are from has been on hiatus for about 5 years as i slowly chip away at it. and try and work out another way of living. if cranking out pages and finishing your comic is your goal. then learning 3d and building reference models might be more of a road block than a help.

I.Newman
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Re: 3D Models to help with layouts.

Post by I.Newman »

Great response, thanks. I'll dig into those links. For me it's paying off in terms of quality. I think I'll keep the models as basic as I can and for locations that will feature a lot. I think the more basic the model the more reason to improvise and fit the panel better. I'm re-working a page just now using models. I'll post a comparison when I'm done. So far so good.

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Ste Pickford
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Re: 3D Models to help with layouts.

Post by Ste Pickford »

I've only tried this once. I'm reasonably comfortable with making 3D models, although I find it quite time consuming, so for me at least this wouldn't be a time saver, only a way of improving quality. I had an object that was appearing multiple times in a strip, so I figured it would be worth the time to make a 3D model as I'd get a lot of re-use out of it. I'm using Blender, which it is a pain in the arse to learn, but good software.

The problem I had was that I found the tools to move and position the imported model in Clip Studio felt utterly confusing and incredibly annoying. I felt like I was fighting with the software to get the model where I needed it to be, and the whole process was really dispiriting. Not sure if I was just misunderstanding the controls in Clip Studio, or doing it wrong, but I really struggled. I couldn't find a good online explanation or tutorial for positioning models, so maybe I was just coming at it from the wrong angle.

On another job I needed a very simple model of a building with perspective, and I ended up positioning the camera in Blender and importing a rendered image to Clip studio, instead of the model itself, just to avoid the hassle of using Clip Studio's model controls, which is far from ideal.
Twitter: @stepickford

I.Newman
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:46 pm

Re: 3D Models to help with layouts.

Post by I.Newman »

The rendered image may well be the way to go, thanks. I'm having trouble moving things around in Clip Studio the way I want them too. I get the controls sort of but it seems to mess up the planes. I will investigate.

I.Newman
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Re: 3D Models to help with layouts.

Post by I.Newman »

https://www.instagram.com/p/CCWPWZjhznO ... 6eqpwxjzj1

The above is a wee video I made of me playing with my spaceship.

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Ste Pickford
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Re: 3D Models to help with layouts.

Post by Ste Pickford »

Love your added spaceship sound effects.
Twitter: @stepickford

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