Making Planetary Rings In Blender Experiment 3

OK so I decided to use the colour ramp method from Experiment 2 and put together a simple scene with a marble textured planet.

The rings are actually made from a single disc, it’s the colour ramp texture that makes it appear as multiple rings.  Colour ramps allow you to specify transparent areas so I’ve just got a single ring with some transparent areas on it.

I then followed Reaping Fire’s YouTube tutorial on making a star field.

Here’s the result of my Making Planetary Rings In Blender Experiment 3:

Planetary Rings In Blender 5
Planetary Rings In Blender 5

Making Planetary Rings In Blender Experiment 2

Continuing from my Blender planetary ring experiments with the Wood texture type yesterday, I thought I’d try out the Blend texture type.

I created a ring mesh by extrude-scaling a circle.

It took me ages to understand the different Blend texture parameters but I’ve found the following settings yield good ring-like patterns:

  • Progression = Spherical
  • Mapping – Coordinates = Object (choose itself)
  • Mapping – Projection = doesn’t matter

I then had to play about with the Mapping – Size X and Y values.

After that I made a concerted effort to finally learn how to use the Blender Colour Ramps (they’re flippin difficult to understand to begin with but once you learn how to use them, they’ll help you to world domination!)

So here’s the result of tonight’s experiment:

Planetary Rings In Blender 3
Planetary Rings In Blender 3

Making Planetary Rings In Blender Experiment 1

I’m working on an environmental picture of the Dark Temple Of Mymosule.  It will be dusk and the planetary rings of Undomea are to be visible in the sky.

I’ve decided that I cannot draw the perfect arcs of the planetary rings by hand so I’m breaking out the heavy machinery: 3D modelling in Blender.

Firstly I created a sphere with a ring around it:

Planetary Rings in Blender 1
Planetary Rings in Blender 1

Then I positioned the camera as if it were on the surface of the planet looking up at the rings.

After that came the time consuming bit:  messing about with the Blender textures.

The following was achieved using a Wood procedural texture along with a lot of tinkering about in the Texure – Mapping section:

Planetary Rings in Blender 2
Planetary Rings in Blender 2

Lots more to do but time for bed now – I’m a bit tired after a friendly bout of food-poisoning the other night, but you probably don’t want to hear about that.

Project ADC-1: 25 September 2015

 

My digital comic project went off the rails a bit over the last 2 weeks when I decided to re-write the plot.  It didn’t reveal enough about Benevolen’s stealth abilities.

Now it does.

I’m starting do reconsider my over-riding prioritisation of timescales.  Quality is starting to matter more to me than getting this done quick.

Hmmm meditate upon this I will …

Work Completed During The Last 2 Weeks:

  1. Idea Brainstorming:
  2. Character Design: Added the Acolytes Of Mymosule.
  3. High Level Plot: Re-write.
  4. Script: Re-write.
  5. Concept Art:
  6. Storyboard:
  7. Full Art:
  8. Lettering:
  9. Package As .cbz:
  10. Testing:
  11. Publishing:

Work Planned For The Next 2 Weeks:

  1. Idea Brainstorming:
  2. Character Design:
  3. High Level Plot:
  4. Script:
  5. Concept Art:
    1. Dark Temple Of Mymosule
    2. An example Acolyte Of Mymosule
    3. Umia The Maiden
  6. Storyboard:
  7. Full Art:
  8. Lettering:
  9. Package As .cbz:
  10. Testing:
  11. Publishing:

 

Digital Comic Panel Layout

A while ago I tried reading digital comics on my 3.5 inch mobile phone and found the experience to be less than satisfactory.  Even Comixology’s Guided View technology did little to improve the experience.

That got me thinking about designing a digital comic panel layout.  So what makes a good digital comic panel layout?

I did a bit of surfing around and stumbled upon this useful article on Tapastic:

http://tapastic.com/episode/68726

After studying the above article and mulling over my mobile phone experience, here’s my take on what makes a good digital comic panel layout:

  1. The panel being viewed should fit entirely on the screen.
  2. Vertical page scrolling is preferred.
  3. For smaller mobile devices, people will probably use landscape orientation so landscape panels will work better here.
  4. Horizontal scrolling should be avoided.

So the design I came up with is just to have a column of 3 full width panels which is in line with the above list and you don’t end up with panels that are too squat.

Project ADC-1 Character Profile Sheet V2

After re-writing my plot and comic book script, I needed to update my character profiles.  I’ve included an organisation profile for The Acolytes Of Mymosule as well, they’re an unsavoury bunch!

 

First name: Sylen
Middle names:
Family name: Benevolen
Height: 184cm
Weight: 80kg
Hair Colour: Black-green
Eye Colour: Green
Skin Colour: Pale
Build: Lean
Posture:
Age: 28
Attractiveness: Attractive
Demeanor:  Sullen
Intelligence: High
Knowledge: Vast knowledge of forest-lore, Plants, Animals
Skills: Survival skills
Special Abilities:
Empathic communication with his pets (a winged panther and a moth swarm)
Empathic night vision through his moths
Empathic sensitive hearing through his moths
Moth webbing extra durable
Moth camouflage
Moth blinding swarm
Moths are resistant to heat
Strengths: A highly capable warrior (hand to hand, spear and ballistics)
Weaknesses: Socially unskilled
Religion:
Occupation: Warrior
Wealth: Poor
Attire: Black fitted light-weight body armour
Equipment: Amuthyric spear
Habits:
Hobbies: Sketching
Origin: Suborea
Father: Sydrioc Benevolen
Mother: Vydrea Benevolen
Siblings: None
History:
Motivations: Wants to forget a love interest.
Notes:

First name: Umia
Middle names:
Family name: Yulon
Height: 179cm
Weight: 63kg
Hair Colour: Blonde
Eye Colour: Blue
Skin Colour: Pale
Build: Slim
Posture:
Age: 28
Attractiveness: Attractive
Demeanor:
Intelligence: Medium
Knowledge: Forest-lore
Skills: Forest survival skills
Special Abilities:
Strengths:
Weaknesses:
Religion:
Occupation:
Wealth: Poor
Attire:
Equipment:
Habits:
Hobbies:
Origin:
Father:
Mother:
Siblings:
History:
Motivations:
Notes:  Umia Yulon is Benevolen’s unrequited love – she marries another man after Benevolen rescues her.

First name: Atonis
Middle names:
Family name: Trogade
Height: 185cm
Weight: 84kg
Hair Colour: Blonde
Eye Colour: Blue
Skin Colour: Pale
Build: Muscular
Posture:
Age: 30
Attractiveness: Attractive
Demeanor: Positive
Intelligence: Medium
Knowledge: Forest-lore
Skills: Forest survival skills
Special Abilities: Empathic communication with his pets (a winged panther and an giant eagle)
Strengths:
Weaknesses:
Religion:
Occupation:
Wealth:
Attire:
Equipment:
Habits:
Hobbies:
Origin:
Father:
Mother:
Siblings:
History:
Motivations:
Notes:

First name: Iyeon the winged panther
Middle names:
Family name:
Height:
Weight: 250kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Green
Skin Colour:
Build:
Posture:
Age:
Attractiveness:
Demeanor:
Intelligence:
Knowledge:
Skills:
Special Abilities: Can fly
Strengths:
Weaknesses:
Religion:
Occupation:
Wealth:
Attire:
Equipment: Lightweight leather armour
Habits:
Hobbies:
Origin:
Father:
Mother:
Siblings:
History:
Motivations:
Notes:

First name: Kopath
Middle names:
Family name: Sinithus
Height: 179cm
Weight: 70kg
Hair Colour: Bald
Eye Colour: Black
Skin Colour: Pale
Build: Thin
Posture:
Age: 50
Attractiveness: Ugly
Demeanor: Devious
Intelligence: High
Knowledge:
Skills: Public speaking, influencing others.
Special Abilities:
Strengths: Wealth
Weaknesses:
Religion: Worships Mymosule
Occupation: High Priest of Mymosule
Wealth: Very Wealthy
Attire: Black long coat
Equipment: Pistols, rifles, knives
Habits: Periodically will abduct a young woman to sacrifice to Mymosule.
Hobbies: Collects antique weaponry and armour.
Origin:
Father:
Mother:
Siblings:
History: Has amassed great wealth over the years as a cult leader.
Motivations: Wealth and power.
Notes:

Organisation: The Acolytes Of Mymosule.
Number of members: 107
Head Quarters: The Dark Temple Of Mymosule.
Strengths: Wealth, stolen weaponry and vehicles.
Weaknesses:
Religion: Worship of Mymosule.
Occupation: Cultists and bandits.
Wealth: Very Wealthy.
Attire: Long black leather coats.
Equipment: Weapons, air craft.
Habits: Periodically will abduct a young woman to sacrifice to Mymosule. Have a black M tattooed on their faces.
Origin: Southern Tureon on the edge of the Suborean Forest.
History: Founded by Kopath Sinithus as a way to influence others into following him and amassing wealth.
Motivations: Pleasing Mymosule. Amassing wealth through stealing and pillaging small villages and travellers.
Notes: This cult is led by Kopath, a highly charismatic leader who is good at influencing others to do what he wants.

Project ADC-1 Comic Book Script V2

I’m satisfied enough with the high level plot now so I have translated it into a comic book script.

Hopefully this time around I’ve avoided putting in any “moving panels” (comic book panels should be static snapshots in time).


Page 1

Panel 1:
It is dusk.  The planetary rings are visible in the purple cloud-streaked sky.  Captain Sylen Benevolen is standing on a cliff edge with Iyeon, his winged black panther.  Helmet in hand, he is gazing across a mist filled abyss at the Dark Temple of Mymosule.

Panel 2:
Inside, Lady Umia is being carried down a corridor in a cage by the black garbed acolytes of Mymosule.  Lighting is provided by wooden torches.  The acolytes are armed with daggers and rifles.  On a wall, a green moth is watching.
Acolytes (chanting): Mym-mo-sule Mym-mo-sule Mym-mo-sule

Panel 3:
Back outside on the cliff.  Some of Benevolen’s green moths are returning from the Dark Temple after he sent them in to do recon.  He has his arm extended towards them.


Page 2

Panel 1:
The moths have landed on Benevolen covering him everywhere except for his face.  There are two hedgehogs (mother and baby) half way up a nearby ridge.  The baby hedgehog has fallen onto it’s back and is struggling.

Panel 2:
The moths have taken off again and are swarming gently around Benevolen who is putting on his helmet.

Panel 3:
Benevolen has donned his helmet and is bending down to help the baby hedgehog.


Page 3

Panel 1:
Benevolen is flying on Iyeon out towards the tower with the swarm of moths flanking them like huge bat wings.  The mist is swirling in their wake.

Panel 2:
Inside the Dark Temple, the acolytes carrying Lady Umia have entered a circular, black altar chamber with a stone table at it’s centre.  The table has metal manacles bolted to it.  At one end of the table is a stand holding a curved black dagger.  There are around 100 acolytes surrounding the raised altar.  There are no windows and the only light comes from wooden torches on the walls and on 2 torch stands at the altar.

Panel 3:
Elsewhere in the Dark Temple, two acolytes armed with rifles are patrolling a torch-lit corridor.


Page 4

Panel 1:
The patrol enters a high-ceilinged, corridor.  There is a ledge above and behind them.

Panel 2:
The stone wall above and behind the patrol seems to be peeling away to reveal Benevolen and Iyeon as the chameleon-like moths that have been covering them disperse towards the flaming torches in the corridor.  Benevolen’s head and shoulders are visible and Iyeon’s piercing green eyes are visible amidst the dark muscular mass that is his frame.

Panel 3:
The moths have smothered a couple of the torches, it is a little darker.  Benevolen and Iyeon have launched themselves off the ledge and are about to come crashing down on the two unsuspecting acolytes.


Page 5

Panel 1:
Back in the altar chamber, Lady Umia’s cage has been set down next to the stone table.  There are two large acolytes on either side of the cage.  Kopath the High Priest of Mymosule is holding the dagger up above his head.  A green moth is flying into the cage.

Kopath: Behold the dagger of Mymosule!

Panel 2:
Lady Umia is holding out the back of her hand and the green moth has landed upon it.  A slight smile plays on her lips.

Panel 3:
The cage is open and the two large acolytes have grabbed Lady Umia by the wrists and are pulling her towards the stone table.

Kopath: You should feel honoured young woman.  There is no greater reward than to be offered to Lord Mymosule!
Lady Umia: No!


Page 6

Panel 1:
At the entrance to the altar chamber swarms of moths are spewing forth from the darkened chamber beyond.  The moths are heading towards the flaming torches in the altar chamber.

Panel 2:
A swarm of moths have smothered a torch, it now emits nothing more than a faint orange glow.  There is still light from the other torches in the chamber.

Panel 3:
At the stone table, two swarms of moths have covered the torches on either side.  The acolytes are looking bewildered.  Lady Umia is smiling.

Kopath: What is this?


Page 7

Panel 1:
The whole altar chamber is now dark except for the faint orange glowing embers on some of the torches.

Panel 2:
It is pretty close to pitch black in the chamber now.
Iyeon: ROOAAAAARRR!
SFX: CRASH!
Random acolyte: Aaieeeeee!

Panel 3:
One of the acolytes starts shooting.  The flash from his gun illuminates a small area and we can see that he has hit one of his own kind.  In the near distance Iyeon carrying Benevolen appears as a large shadow above the acolytes, swooping towards the centre of the chamber.

SFX: BLAM
Wounded acolyte: Aaaargh!


Page 8

Panel 1:
At the altar more muzzle flashes faintly reveal Benevolen and Iyeon dropping onto the two acolytes holding Umia.

SFX: BLAM
Acolyte 1: Aaaargh!
Acolyte 2: Huuuuugh!

Panel 2:
A muzzle flash from another direction then reveals Benevolen sweeping Lady Umia off her feet.

SFX: BLAM BLAM
Benevolen: It’s Sylen here, you will be safe soon Umia.

Panel 3:
Benevolen is astride Iyeon with Umia in his arms.  Iyeon is bounding down a corridor scattering the handful of acolytes in his way.  Behind them, the green moths are swarming around a couple of acolytes who are trying to take aim at Iyeon with their rifles.

Iyeon: ROOOAAARRRR!
Scattering acolytes: Aaaaaaah!


Page 9

Panel 1:
Iyeon with Benevolen and Umia on board has hurtled out of an arched window over the misty abyss.

Panel 2:
As Iyeon soars away from the Dark Temple, behind them an acolyte has appeared at the window and is taking aim with a rifle.

Panel 3:
The acolyte is suddenly enveloped by a swarm of moths.

Acolyte: Ummfff!


Page 10

Panel 1:
Flying through the purple dusk sky over forest covered ruins, Benevolen has removed his helmet.

Benevolen: It’s OK now Lady Umia, you are safe.
Umia: They were going to … I’m so glad you found me Sylen.

Panel 2:
We see a close up of Benevolen’s face.  He is looking straight ahead.

Benevolen: Your well being has always been my priority my Lady.  More than you know.

Panel 3:
Umia is looking up at Benevolen who is looking back.


Page 11

Panel 1:
Umia is looking away, Benevolen is still looking at Umia.

Umia: I am very fond of you Sylen but … you know I love Atonis.

Panel 2:
Umia is looking up at Benevolen, who is now looking straight ahead.

Benevolen: I understand my lady.  Captain Atonis is a good man.  I am sorry if I have spoken inappropriately.

Panel 3:
Umia is looking away, Benevolen is looking straight ahead.

Umia: You don’t have to apologise Captain Benevolen.


Page 12

Panel 1:
Arriving at the tree top city of Suborea, Iyeon is swooping down towards a giant bough.  Captain Atonis is running towards them.

Atonis: Umia!

Panel 2:
Benevolen stands beside Iyeon and watches Atonis carry Umia away in his arms.

Panel 3:
Atonis turns his head slightly and calls over his shoulder to Benevolen.

Atonis: Thank you Captain Benevolen.
Benevolen: Don’t mention it.


Page 13

Panel 1:
It is around noon in an open air chapel high in the Suborean tree tops.  Umia and Atonis stand facing each other with a priest stood over them.  Friends and family are stood watching the wedding ceremony.  At the back Benevolen is watching.

Priest: Do you, Lady Umia Yulon, take Captain Atonis Trogade to be your husband?
Umia: I do.

Panel 2:
Later, in his quarters, Benevolen is packing his leather saddle bags.

Panel 3:
It is again dusk, the planetary rings are visible in the purple sky as Benevolen flies on Iyeon over the forest covered ruins flanked by his green moths.

Project ADC-1: High Level Comic Book Plot V4

It didn’t feel that I’d given Benevolen enough time to camouflage himself inside the altar chamber so I’ve tried to pad out the scenes with the acolytes and Lady Umia.

Also there was no reason for Kopath to be extra scary since I’m not going to get him to fight Benevolen.  So Kopath’s not a giant any more, just a menacing high priest.

So here’s version 4 (hopefully the final version and I’ll then use this to write the revised comic book script):

It is dusk, Captain Sylen Benevolen stands on a cliff edge with Iyeon his winged panther.  He is gazing across a mist filled abyss at the Dark Temple Of Mymosule.

Inside, Lady Umia the maiden is being carried through a corridor in a cage by the black robed acolytes of Mymosule. Lighting is provided by wooden torches.  The acolytes are armed with knives and a few even have rifles.  A green moth watches.

Back outside a large swarm of Benevolen’s green moths is returning to him after he sent them in to recon.

The moths land on Benevolen, covering him everywhere except for his head.

Benevolen nods.

The moths take wing again swarming gently around him.

Two hedgehogs are crawling up a nearby ridge. A mother and baby. The baby falls onto it’s back and cannot get back up.

Benevolen puts on his helmet.

He bends down to help the baby hedgehog.

Benevolen climbs onto his winged panther and flies across towards the dark temple, his moths flanking him like huge batwings.

Inside, the acolytes have carried Lady Umia into an altar chamber with a stone table at the centre.  There are around 100 acolytes surrounding the altar.  This chamber has no windows and is lit by wooden torches.

Elsewhere in a nearby corridor, two acolytes with rifles are patrolling.  They enter long chamber.  Above and behind them on a ledge, Benevolen and Iyeon seem to materialise out of the stone walls as the camouflaging moths that have been covering them take off and swarm towards the wooden torches.

Benevolen and Iyeon drop onto the two guards, dispatching them with minimal noise.

Back in the alter chamber Lady Umia’s cage has been set down next to the stone table.

A green moth flies into Lady Umia’s cage.

She notices it and hold’s out her hand.

The moth lands on it.

She smiles.

Kopath the high priest of Mymosule moves to stand in front of Lady Umia and holds out a wickedly curved dagger saying,

“You should feel honoured young woman.  There is no greater privilege than to be offered to Lord Mymosule.”

Two large acolytes unlock Umia’s cage and grab her.

Just then a swarm of moths spews in through the entrance of the chamber which is now dark.  The swarm splits up and smother the torches in the chamber.  It goes black.

There is a terrifying roar followed by the sound of fighting.

In the dark Captain Benevolen has flown into the chamber on his winged panther and taken down the two acolytes holding Umia.  (Benevolen can see in the dark via an empathic link to his pets – he can see through their eyes).

Benevolen lifts Umia off her feet whispering,

“It’s me Sylen, you’ll be safe soon.”

Benevolen climbs onto Iyeon in the dark and the winged panther flies over to the chamber entrance and bounds down the dark corridor.

Moments later they hurtle out of a giant arched window and over the edge of a cliff.

An acolyte appears at a nearby window and takes aim with a rifle.

Suddenly a swarm of green moths envelops him and his shot misses.

Iyeon carries them high into the distant sky to safety.

Flying through the dusk sky over forest covered ruins, Benevolen removes his helmet and reassures Lady Umia.

Lady Umia thanks Captain Benevolen for rescuing her.

Benevolen is on the edge of confessing his love for her but says something that only half reveals his feelings.

Lady Umia guesses what Benevolen’s true feelings are but says that she is sorry but she loves Captain Atonis.

Benevolen apologises for speaking out of turn.

They arrive back at Suborea where Umia’s fiancee Captain Atonis rushes over and carries her away.

He thanks Benevolen over his shoulder.

A few days later Benevolen is watching at Lady Umia and Captain Atonis’ wedding.

Hurting inside, Benevolen packs his bags and leaves Suborea.

It is again dusk as he flies out over the apocalyptic ruins in the forest.

Project ADC-1: High Level Comic Book Plot V3

The original comic book plot did not reveal the things I wanted revealing about Sylen Benevolen so I’ve been reworking it.  Basically Benevolen is a stealth expert so I wanted to show some of his stealth capabilities.

This is version 3:

It is dusk, Captain Sylen Benevolen stands on a cliff edge with Iyeon his winged panther.  He is gazing across a mist filled abyss at a dark temple.

Inside, Lady Umia the maiden is being carried through a corridor in a black cage by the acolytes of Mymosule. Lighting is provided by wooden torches. A green moth watches.

Back outside a large swarm of Benevolen’s green moths is returning to him after he sent them in to recon.

Benevolen holds out the back of his hand.

The moths land on Benevolen, covering everything except for his head.

Benevolen nods.

The moths take off swarming about him.

Two hedgehogs are crawling up a nearby ridge. A mother and baby. The baby falls onto it’s back and cannot get back up.

Benevolen puts on his helmet.

He bends down to help the baby hedgehog.

Benevolen climbs onto his winged panther and flies across towards the dark temple, flanked by his moths like some huge batwing.

Inside, Lady Umia is still being carried in the cage by the acolytes of Mymosule. Kopath the high priest of Mymosule is leading them. We see how huge Kopath is (twice the height of a normal man). A green moth watches.

The acolytes are armed with knives and a few even have rifles.

A green moth flies into Lady Umia’s cage.

She notices it and hold’s out her hand.

The moth lands on it.

She smiles.

Kopath enters a large torch lit altar chamber followed by the 4 acolytes carrying Umia in the cage.

Suddenly Benevolen and Iyeon seem to materialise from a ledge above and behind the acolytes as the moths that have been camouflaging them disperse.

Some of the moths swarm around the acolytes whilst others smother the torches with their moth webs. It gets very dark and the acolytes start panicking and shouting.

Benevolen and Iyeon take down the 4 cage bearers.

In the dark the other acolytes fire their guns blindly hitting their own kind.

Benevolen (who can see in the dark via his empathic link with his moths) frees Umia and lifts her off her feet.

He climbs onto Iyeon.

<Maybe Benevolen gets wounded and has a big fight with Kopath here>

Iyeon flies them up and out of the giant arched windows above.

Flying through the dusk sky over forest covered ruins, Benevolen removes his helmet and reassures Lady Umia.

Lady Umia thanks Captain Benevolen for rescuing her.

Benevolen is on the edge of confessing his love for her but says something that only half reveals his feelings.

Lady Umia guesses what Benevolen’s true feelings are but says that she is sorry but she loves Captain Atonis.

Benevolen apologises for speaking out of turn.

They arrive back at Suborea where Umia’s fiancee Captain Atonis rushes over and carries her away.

He thanks Benevolen over his shoulder.

A few days later Benevolen is watching at Lady Umia and Captain Atonis’ wedding.

Hurting inside, Benevolen packs his bags and leaves Suborea.

It is again dusk as he flies out over the apocalyptic ruins in the forest.

Ruined Steampunk Factory Concept 1

Ruined Steampunk Factory Concept 1
Ruined Steampunk Factory Concept 1

I’ve been rolling ideas around inside my head and have settled upon a ruined steampunk factory as the site of the opening scene in my comic book project.

The next task in my comic book project is to do a concept picture of the ruined steampunk factory.  My approach so far has been as follows:

  1. Gather reference images.
  2. Watch YouTube videos of people doing ruined castle type environments.
  3. Try out a few rough digital paintings for myself (as seen above).

One thing I’ve noticed is that for environments, the pro’s seem to use many more layers.  This works pretty well when you’re going for an environment with mist and a distant background landscape.

After struggling to get a good brush stroke for the planetary rings in the painting above, I reckon I will model the rings in Blender and then combine with digital painting in Manga Studio.