Monday, April 20, 2015

Justice League Locker Room - Free Comic Book Day 2015

Finally finished!  I really went back and forth on this one.  Adding things, cutting things, rearranging things, and pushing myself to exhaustion.  Luckily, I called it finished at 3 in the morning Friday night... and then I woke up at 7 in the morning and noticed something I didn't like.  Fixed it and sent it to be fixed.  Usually takes a deadline to get me to work that hard on something.  I definitely haven't worked on that many characters since last years Free Comic Book Day.  I should probably do stuff like this more often.

If you'd like to see this up close and personal (and maybe even buy a print of it), you can come to Free Comic Book Day at Carol and John's Comic Shop in Cleveland.  The last few years have been amazing.  Any fan of comics should do themselves a favor and attend.

Till next time,


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ladies of the Justice League WIP 2

Took some time to render out Power Girl and try painting over the lines.  It seems to be working for the most part but clashes a bit with the almost-gradient look my rendering had before.  I was using a large soft brush for most of the shading.  Now I'm using a textured, more natural brush over the lines.  I've gone and done some blending with that brush and I think I'm getting closer to a look that I like.  The clock is ticking though.  I need to make some real headway tonight.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Ladies of the Justice League WIP

Busy, busy, busy.  I've got a deadline at the end of the week and this project has taken a few extra turns on me.  My original plan was to just render the hell out of it and do without the lines.  I guess I'm not that good because looks like I'm going to need them.  I might have to take it back into Manga Studio and ink it after coloring which seems kind of ridiculous.  My first test will probably be doing some kind of Painted Line in Photoshop.  Either way, it has to be done by Saturday. Tick Tock.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Taught By A Pro - The Bancroft Method

Boy have I been away for a while...well, not a real long time.  But a week can seem like forever.  I'm drawing at Free Comic Book Day at Carol and John's Comic Shop and wanted to upgrade my skills.  I really struggle with drawing girls and thought it was time for some serious tutorial.  Luckily, the website is a seriously affordable option with a bunch of industry pros.  I already enjoyed Tom Bancroft's "Animation Mentor" book and thought I would give his courses a chance.  I'm not sure exactly what it was that he said, but seeing him break down the process and combining it with what I already knew seemed to help.

I did some quick sketches to try it out and am happy with the results.  I still want to work more on my faces and try some different techniques for eyes, but I think I'm getting there.  I highly recommend his videos and books.

-Ben Hale

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


I haven't drawn anything outside of my computer in a while.  It felt good to pick up the  pencil and copic markers after so long.  I threw this together on my lunch break for my cousin's little boy that is becoming quite the good artist.  Its on the inside cover of "How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way".  It was the first book I even bought and I carried it everywhere.  Looking at it now, it seems so very small.  I still think it is a really good starting out point.  Hope he likes it.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Lift Animation Working

I have been gone, but still very busy.  Well, busy and sick.  I had a weird stomach bug/flu thing last week that kind of caught me off guard.  I was, however, able to get some work done.  I put the lift animation in and got it to lift some boxes.  The tricky part was that the box sprite needed to travel along an object point on the Armiger art work until the Lift animation finishes.  Then the overlay art (Head, Arms, Chest) pop on top of the Armiger art and the box sprite transfers to that.  I basically took me putting a couple of Every Tick events inside of groups and switching from Armiger art to Overlay art when the Lift animation ends.

And exhale.  Still so much to do.  I'm starting to itch to get the second set of flight animations in there, but I'm got a few things that need tweaking that are already in.  Also, I'm sure the best idea would be to work a bit on a Grey Box prototype for actually playing the game.  I need something I can show people so they know whats in my head.  Now, if I could just find the time.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Holding Loop Animations Almost Finished

I went through and updated the "holding" animations in the looping state tonight.  I'm pretty happy with the results, but will probably have to redraw a bit of the capes and redo the flying down animation.

Just when I thought I could pat myself on the back, I realized something terrible.  My original plan was to just place the object art for what the player was carrying behind the player art.  Seemed easy enough, and then I realized that the cape is in the way when you're flying down.  Ugh.

The way I see it, I have 2 options.

1) Change the object art perspective a bit and have it possibly cover the player's face.  I could overlap the player art and not worry about the cape then.  Like I said, I'm cutting off some of the player art.

2) I can make a version of the object when the art is held with the hand area strategically cut out.  It will look the way I want, but lining it up might be a bit of a pain.  I think I can just set up a Photoshop file as a template.  I would have a designated "mask" to cut out the hand area the same every and a dot to help me plat the origin point in all of them.

This is all very fresh in my mind.  I need to do some test though.  That and fix that down flying animation.  The cape just looks too wonky.