What I Did Today 05/21/15

  • On May 21, 2015 ·
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Slept in today as I mentioned I would. It was nice to sleep uninterrupted by an alarm. The plan tonight is to get in bed once I’m done posting and hopefully get up early tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes. I have the most energy to work in the morning. When I wake up later it seems I get less done. I’d really like that to just be a psychosomatic thing so I can train myself to work all day. I think what it is is striking the balance between enjoying what I’m making and finishing something quantifiable. When I’m enjoying myself I’m left with doodles. When I’m working to finish something I get anxious I’m not going to finish on time and I lose the fun of making. It’s a delicate balance I’ve posted about before on the blog. It’s hard to talk to people about it because often they’ll either think I’m making excuses or tell me I don’t have anything to worry about. Neither of those is good to hear. Nobody wants to be told, “Oh please, you don’t have real problems…” I think it’s good to address we all have insecurities, they matter to us because we’re all human beings with thoughts and feelings, and sometimes they take up more brain space than they should. That’s the best way to get over them, I find.

Today I decided to resize the font for the pages I’ve worked on so far to a size that will scale better. (33.2, to be exact) I also looked at a model sheet I made and realized I’d been drawing my main character’s teeth wrong. That’s a good thing to catch before pages go live, I’d say. I did some experimenting with different brushes and I’ll be doing some more later. Hopefully I’ll have a good play with them tomorrow.

What I Did Today 05/20/15

  • On May 21, 2015 ·
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Today was mostly spent testing out a workflow. I need to place text and block in panels at reduced size. Then I can increase resolution for tighter penciling and inking. I’ve been using Frenden’s hairpin sable since it’s the most natural looking inker. I should probably test out some others, though. It’s good practice for somebody who draws as heavy handed as I do but a more consistent line width would probably fit my art better.

I’m going to sleep in tomorrow. I usually set my alarm for 5 but I’ve had a hard time getting up to it this week. I think the drop in temperature lately has made me lethargic. That and the fact that it’s already 1:30 in the morning means I’m just going to try to recharge tomorrow.

What I Did Today 05/19/15

  • On May 19, 2015 ·
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Spent today doing some more penciling and inking. Adjusted the kerning on the font so I had to move words around. It’s legible at print and high res but when it shrinks down to dashboard size it’s too small. Bumping it up so it scales better makes it harder to work around. I should probably be drawing the roughs at the smallest size first just to make sure it all reads. Still bouncing between Manga Studio and Photoshop with the lettering and drawing. Of course I’ve been drawing in vector which doesn’t save to .psd but allows me to switch sizes so it’s important for these first few pages until I work things out. Also confused why a vector layer can’t have a fill but whatever.

Stylistically I’m a little conflicted. I like when things flow and look clean. This results in simple lines. My brain keeps telling me that’s wrong, that these are illustrations not animations, so they need to be more detailed. I might be stressing too much over it. I just need to get in the zone while drawing and cut anything that gets in the way. Maybe if I take more frequent breaks.

What I Did Today 05/18/15

  • On May 18, 2015 ·
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Today I went back to penciling. The template changes I made last week meant the page I penciled needed some reworking. I also started another page rather than inking. I’m trying to get used to Manga Studio’s lettering tool which is different from Photoshop’s but not hard to understand. I just keep accidentally clicking wrong and dragging. I tend to marque a square for text in Photoshop since it lets you control the area the font runs into. Manga Studio acts more like when you click and type with creating a string of text. It’s also really easy to accidentally resize text because it gets surrounded by scaling dots I keep hitting while trying to edit. As I’m writing/lettering pages I’m stress testing the font. It needs to stay at the different sizes I’m zoomed to. This led to redrawing the “e” so it’s not mistaken for a “c” as well as scaling the period and comma. I think kerning’s going to be next on the fix agenda though I want to get more art done before I fiddle with that.

Saw Age of Ultron yesterday. I found it fun just like Avengers was. It had a lot of plot threads running together but it is kind of the spoke for the Marvel movie wheel so that’s to be expected. As the movie started I was trying to plot out some coming pages of the new comic but my brain immediately pushed ideas for another project out. This just reinforces my claim that if you want to generate a lot of ideas just try to work on something else. Set a deadline for something and ideas will come crawling out of the woodwork, “You could be working on me instead!”

What I Did Today 05/15/15

  • On May 15, 2015 ·
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I’d made 2 fonts using MyScriptFont.com and though they looked nice they still required more tweaking. I decided to buy FontCreator since it’s on sale. Though the line “FontCreator Home Edition can NOT be used for commercial purposes. You have to buy the Standard or Professional Edition instead” still bothers me. I mean, what’s the justification for that? It just feels arbitrary to say, “No, you don’t have the right to sell something you make with this version.” It’s like deciding amongst the different versions of Windows that exist largely so they can charge you more for them.

I also installed it in a Wine Wrapper to cut down on programs running at once.

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The only issue I ran into was the Preview window wouldn’t respond to the mouse. I disabled it since I can run a tester that generates lorem ipsum and various other things as well as letting you type. Now I can revise this font and make variants should the need arise. I’ll probably be offering fonts in the future as they’d be perfect weekend projects to take on.

What I Did Today 05/14/15

  • On May 14, 2015 ·
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Today I planned for an art day after spending 2 days working on fonts. I was thinking about the layout for my next webcomic. I’d been moving towards a horizontal design but I realized vertical works better for the format. The templates I’d made so far looked bunched up especially when I resized them for the web. I spent most of the day working out the max and min sizes and from there extrapolated a working print size to draw in. (Of course I’ll probably end up resizing things should I print them later but it’s good to just have a working standard for now.)

The evening’s been busy. Got a haircut, grabbed Taco Bell, bought groceries, and worked on travel plans. I’d like to spend tomorrow actually doing some drawing and inking. I think I’ll sit down with the new drawing size and see how I like working in it. It feels more spacious so I’ll have more room for the words. I just need to make sure I use the space well. Have to resist the urge to stretch panels out instead of drawing anything new. I may end up cropping it down if it feels too big.

What I Did Today 05/13/15

  • On May 13, 2015 ·
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Spent the morning importing glyphs, drawing some I was missing, and fiddling with the spacing in FontCreator. Then I discovered the trial version doesn’t allow exporting.

Yeah, that’s a limitation I’d rather have known up front.

This evening I downloaded the trial for Glyphs. I’ve also been tinkering with Birdfont. I tried FontForge but it’s pretty confusing. I’ll probably go back to FontCreator eventually since it supports importing more easily. The others want you to redraw everything in their editor, which I could understand if I didn’t spend my design time in programs I’m more used to.

What I Did Today 05/12/15

  • On May 12, 2015 ·
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Today I worked on building a new font out of my handwriting. I’d previously downloaded a template from MyScriptFont.com to practice sizing and consistency. I’ve been drawing vector letters in Manga Studio using a lettering nib from Ray Frenden’s brush set. I decided to try FontCreator again as I’d used it in the past. It’s Windows-only but I got it running in CrossOver. Also been considering FontLab Studio since they have a Mac version but figured I’d see how useful my previous experience is.

Thus far I’ve imported both upper and lower case glyphs. I’ve saved files for other characters but haven’t added them yet. Once I’ve got them all in and sized relatively the same I can fiddle with spacing, kerning, ligatures, and other fancy font terms. I’ll probably make a few variations as I refine things. It’s a little weird making a font because I’m trying to draw ideal versions of what letters look like when I write them. It’s more noticeable on the lower case, which for dialogue shouldn’t matter much since caps read better, but I want to make the font full for multiple uses. I’m just having flashbacks of grammar school writing rows of letters.