the first panel's the worst

SHARING SATURDAY: How automation affects your art’s quality

    When I first started boarding “Choices” I was a little bit bummed about how my first batch of panels looked like. And the worst part is that whatever I could think of to make them better,  meant an extra time investment per panel, something that I couldn’t afford.

    It was a case of  the never ending nag  "you need to practice" ‘good work takes time"… you will find it on 90% of the art advice out there, and if you don’t, the back of your head will give you the memo because is common knowledge.

So what happens is that you know that you “need to work on improving your art”, but you guilt trip on never doing that. Because you only have “20 mins per panel”, and no matter how many you make, there is no dramatic improvement. That is called “grinding” and it  is  beyond frustrating. Will it take you years to see an improvement that way? yes, yes it will.

The only way out is to focus on the core skills, and that takes a little extra time and energy that you don’t have.

So here is a different concept: redistribute that time.

In the “Choices” project, 20 minutes per panel was my breaking point, and very likely, there was something slowing  things down, and I needed a solution that didn’t involve shaving quality of the visual look to push the core skills (In this case,posing and drawing on model).

I needed automation.

After observing a recording of my own work, I noticed that I spent about 10 to 15 minutes blocking the characters with the lasso tool.  That made no sense, and it had to go.

Fast forward over the research process, and what I found out is that Photoshop has something called QUICK SELECTION.  

It even selects open lines, and all you have to do is brush over your character very lightly.

This was one of the three things that I did to automate my process, and here you can see the end result:

I recommend you to give Quick Selection a shot and see if it speeds you up like it did for me, so you can focus your energy on what really matters and still make your art the way you want it to look like.

Check the following video with specific instructions on how to use it if you wish to add it to your tool stash.

Fairy Tail Ch 485

There was no “grandstanding”, no clever word play…The Reaper was greeted with a chest-full of steel rods. He didn’t even get a proper introduction like the other 12. Gajeel snuck on panel and attacked him first; no questions asked, no boasting.

His worst nightmare, the one thing he’s fought hardest against to forget, has been thrown back in his face (and with Levy standing right THERE) and he is 100% D O N E.

Mashima is setting up the most EPIC Gajeel fight of the series (and Levy’s at the very heart of it) and I’m SO HERE for this.