Tuesday, October 22, 2013
When I found out that I had a bit of downtime, I said to myself that I would work on a personal project. I'd avoid falling into a game like Skyrim again and either make a comic, or a short film. That decided, I was faced by the overwhelming fear of starting something new.
Now, usually I squash this by diving straight in, and working out the kinks as I go. One thing that Darklight showed me is that this is, to an extent, a bad idea. I hadn't taken the time to nail the look and feel of that world, or give the script enough attention. It felt rushed, but this was more a case of patchworking problems than an overly tight turnaround.
So I'm doing things differently this time around. After doing my first serious draft, I got some help from friends that I trust- writers and content creators in their own right, and with the right mentality towards wanting to create new and original content.
Their feedback has been intrinsic to how I'm moving forward, and I'm still trying to hammer out better ways of working things based on their advice. It's not immediate though, and it can be incredibly frustrating to try and problem solve. Frustrating, and fun.
Another issue that hindered me last time was feeling weak at my figure drawing, and having worked mainly in environments for the past three years, the sense is much more acute this time. A friend commented recently that I 'wasn't really a character guy', and it set off all sorts of alarm bells when it came to beginning a personal project.
So I decided to pretend I was on a figure drawing course.
I start the day with a few warm up gestures, and try and remember what I handled the previous day. I then crack open a textbook or two, most notably George Bridgman's 'Constructive Anatomy' and go through it from start to finish. I read every word, and google anything I don't understand fully for clearer illustrations. I then draw the poses in the book, trying to understand why each mark is made instead of just copying rote.
Lastly, I attempt my own drawings, and see how they compare. If I haven't gotten it, I go back and start again.
So far, I can feel the weakness in the areas I haven't studied properly yet, and am a lot more ambitious with areas like the hands which previously I would have avoided. So that's a good start! I'm giving myself another day for studying, and maybe a half a day for just reviewing the whole lot before getting down to brass tacks on this project.
Next in terms of drawing, there'll be some style exploration and trying to peel back and cartoon enough that I won't be drawing forever when I'm in production. Then we'll have some environment design, some secondary characters and then on to the main event :)
Every aspect is difficult and terrifying, matched only by how much fun it'll all be.
My TV broke a few hours ago. I guess that's an added incentive to get work done :D