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Joe is Japanese - pg 159 by Inkthinker Joe is Japanese - pg 159 by Inkthinker
Recently got approval to share a few pages from the Joe is Japanese graphic novel that I've been drawing for Humoring the Fates (that's the 2D animation studio where I spend my days) this past year.

This (scene, not this page. By this point I'd been at it for a dozen pages or so) is really the first time I've tried doing super-dramatic lighting like this, and I think in retrospect I should not have gone for such dense framing in the window, 'cause it makes for this annoying conflict between consistency and clarity. I gotta have the shadow of the framing cast across the figures, but too much cast shadows muddy the contours and create tangents. It's also a pain in the ass to track consistently.

Lesson learned about casting window shadows, you bet. Next time, ultra-modern minimalist high-ceiling frameless plexi. Thankfully, in the final art they're reduced in opacity somewhat to let the figures come through, but I know that width bounces all over the damn place from page to page.

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Drawn in Manga Studio EX v3 on the Cintiq 18SX. ©2010 Humoring the Fates. Each page is averaging a pretty steady 6-8 hours from layout to finish line. The final pages are in color.
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Pietroigor Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2010
Beautiful inks here...
pixelsama Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2010  Professional Filmographer
Wow, this complexity looks like it could get tiring to keep up after the first page. Good results though, gives the characters a more 3d feel.
Inkthinker Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
The linework here is no more complex than the rest of the book. These pages were mostly a pain 'cause I had to draw that linework beneath the shadows, rather than plotting it out ahead of time and just dropping mass-fills. The lines and the solid shadows were kept separate so that the painter could play with the opacity and masking more effectively.

It basically adds an extra step that I don't usually have to do, but it's only this scene that includes these heavy shadows. Most of the linework in the book is lit more neutrally, with a spattering of spotted blacks to separate planes but not a lot of indicators for source. We've got some really good painters at Fates, so it's better for me to let them do their thing unless there's a narrative purpose in directing the lighting like I did here.
pixelsama Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2010  Professional Filmographer
I see, something learnt for next time :).

Still looks tricky though, it must test your knowledge of anatomy wrapping the shadows over the figure, but you've pulled it off nicely though.

All these pages are looking great, I'm actually getting quite interested in this. Good choice of your boss to let you upload a few, it's working as a promo. I wouldn't have known about this comic otherwise.
Inkthinker Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
It's not the way I'd recommend doing heavy shadows unless specifically requested, it's a real time-sink.

I'll keep trying to get some of the action pages uploaded, those were my favorites. :D
pixelsama Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2010  Professional Filmographer
Oooh, action pages :D that sounds great! Good luck with that, will be looking out for them. :)
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Submitted on
March 17, 2010
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