Comic at Ka-Blam!

I finally was able to go back and re-do the comic. The first two attempts were just too dark to see what was going on. It’s okay in the movie as it adds to the suspense, but not in a comic where clarity is key.

Issue 1, 24 pages, was rendered at 3 frames per second in order to generate more images in the off chance that I would great a better selection, but doing it at 1 frame per second was just as good, and a lot faster.

The iClone 7 Pencil filtered was used on the comic output sent as TIFFs to Ka-Blam! This is just a test to see if the filter is acceptable. If the images are unacceptable, I can trace over those a lot easier than the dark video frames where I couldn’t see what was going on.

The whole movie is completed in so far as a complete run through. I am now reloading those scenes, fixing any issues, and then re-rendering them in the iClone 7 High mode. I have done a few Iray renders, it takes too damn long to wait for it just to do 1 frame.

Once is MP4 looks good, I then turn on the Pencil filter and do a few sample renders. I also accidently added “Depth of Focus” to each camera and saw that the Pencil filter lines were minimized instead of being so prevalent, especially around the out of focus areas, which was a nice surprise.

I still have to build the rest of the comic, but all the images are pretty much there and tell a great story.

. . . d


Wrapping up Part 3 . . .

First of all, “The Bell Dimension Deux” comic is on hold as I finish up with the final part of the movie Preview. Now that it has been completed in a rough form, I’m going through and rendering in iClone’s High Render settings at 4096. Iray rendering is out of the question since it would take eons to render on my tiny 12Gb Nvidia 3060.

The primary goal of completing the 10 minute Preview, which is Part III of the whole movie, is to upload through Film Freeway and enter it into a contest. Hopefully, this will generate some interest and funding so this movie can be made with more help.

One of my biggest problems animating was getting a hand to press a button without too much fan fare. Unfortunately, and one thing I wish iClone would not do, is that it averages the motion blending in and creating unnecessary key frames that has caused me grief. Sure, you can “flatten” the keys, but it is yet another step that need not be there.

A solution I found was to create a Null box that sat just above the hand. I then used the Reach Target feature to attach the hand to the box. It was then easy as pie, almost, to get the hand down when the key was pressed.

Another solution I created was yet another box that I had off stage. I used this as a way of giving sound to a particle, for example, that does not come with Sound. Of course, you have to remember to give the damn thing a name, otherwise you’ll be hunting forever trying to remember where you put that sound.

There is a problem with the PopcornFX blast. The sound is built into the stupid particle. In order to control that sound, I render with and without the sound. I then used ShotCut to extract that audio from the rendered video. It’s a crappy work around so you can control the audio volume which is overly loud and uncontrollable in iClone.

This is a pet peeve of mind and it is only my opinion, so I hope iClone will add a sound option to everything on stage so you can really control what’s going on without having to used another program to make it work. An iClone 8 suggested improvement???

I am also planning on showing this Preview locally here in Tucson. The date is still pending as I finish up.

Total time of film: 50 mins.

ds . . . 2508

The Bell Dimension Deux Comic Book is out!

The picture in the previous post was my first attempt at turning my iClone movie into a comic book. Although I was happy with the color print, I was extremely disappointed with the grayscale version as there were too many dark images that made the publication useless.

However, I had used different looking characters, this being the 3rd, 4th, . . . I don’t remember anymore, but they’re the new Human Anatomy characters and I’ve very happy with the better realistic look. The AccuLips is a tremendous help too!

So I started looking for an easy to use Comic Book maker and I found ComicLife 3 and what a blessing I must say. Not only was I able to knock it out in a day for Part I, and then about half a day for Part II.

My first comic color print used a complete animated composite of all the scenes, each being rendered individually at 1 fps per second rather than using the default 30 fps. This kept the frame count down. If I had left the default 30fps, it would result in way too many images and it would become a nightmare to handle.

My second comic color images came directly from ShotCut after I had each part of the movie ready to go. I exported those images from the TimeLine at 1fps. This required that I create a 1fps Project file, choosing BMP as the output format.

This approach worked much better and I now have an ePub online for sale at two retailers: PayHip and Lulu Bookstore. I’ve baled on a print edition until I get enough sales.

This primary tools used with Reallusion’s iClone 7 and Character Creator 3. Two fabulous pieces of software that can’t be matched.

1407 . . . ds

The Bell Dimension Deux Preview is here!

It’s about 5 mins with credits.

These characters are inducted into a “training program” that will condition them to become something completely different. Of course, it is a flawed approach, to say the least.

To see the latest Preview, go to Vimeo through the TBD menu, or go to YouTube and search for “The Bell Dimension” where you can watch previous previews as well.

I am getting good reviews of this Preview, but now that is done, the movie production can continue!

Here’s a picture of my comic book:

This is a character I call Kerr.

Tada! …d

iClone 7 Storyboard to Comic Book is complete . . .

The new comic is called “The Bell Dimension Deux” and should be available to buy or download shortly. It’s about 77 pages and it will cost $9.99 for a paperback/download. Stay tune . . .

All of the images used in this book were created in Reallusion’s iClone 6 & 7. This originally started out as a way of visually telling a story with images rather than just animation. I used free Manga templates to layout each page using only 8 different looks, some of which I modified.

As I worked along using my first book, The Bell Dimension, Part I, as a very rough guide for Part II, I soon discovered a logical layout for each page without worrying about special effects I might apply in Krita. I did go that route in the 2nd iteration spending way too much time creating PSDs and then KRITA files where I applied a “graphic novel” effect to the page. That slowed me to a crawl and I soon abandoned that practice.

Once I concentrated on producing good images, I had to tell the story with not just images, but narration text from one of my reviewers suggested. It then took me about a month to create all of the still images for the storyboard turned comic book without bothering to use Krita.

Total file size is 21.6Gb and the PDF of the book is around 61Mb.

The Bell Dimension Deux Copyright © 2021 DAVID J SOTO FRONT COVER HALF PNG
The Bell Dimension Deux Copyright © 2021 DAVID J SOTO FRONT COVER HALF PNG

Editing still continuing . . . but Chapter 1 is complete!

I just finished Chapter 1 when I thought I’d be done with the whole book by now, but I was wrong.

I had my third review, which was excellent, mentioned that I needed a bit more narration and character text. I admit I was trying to be super efficient by not adding too much text and only what was needed.

So here is another example of a page in the comic book:

THE BELL DIMENSION Copyright 2021 DAVID J SOTO All rights reserved. Page 4 of the comic book under production.

iClone rendered Comic Storyboard . . .

I’ve had to change course, for a bit, as I work to finish the storyboard I’m turning into a comic / reference book. This will help keep my focus on doing scenes that only need to be done. I’ve probably created too many scenes, but the structure I’m using will allow me to add or subtract those scenes that just don’t work.

Here’s one page from that storyboard / comic:

Copyright © 2021 The Bell Dimension by David J Soto All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2021 The Bell Dimension by David J Soto All rights reserved.

. . . ds 0503

iClone 7 to Unreal Engine 4 . . .

I have finally achieved what I was trying to do with Unreal Engine 4. It took a little while to get use to how this game engine works. Through many trials and errors, I have finally rendered out a low end scene of Minister Bes standing near the outside thrown chair.  The shadows, trees, and burning fire looks fab!

0202 . . . d

Scene 1 of The Bell Dimension . . .

Although not perfect, this begins the story and illustrates what you can do with 2D rendered IRay backgrounds (1000/3600).

I love the LIVE FACE, but it was only applied to the Kerr character and not the slave.

Once I have create a new PREVIEW, I will re-render in IRay and hopefully that will run more efficiently using 2D backgrounds only. Of course, this has required me to re-work scenes in order to accommodate the change over.

Some clothing created by Marvelous Designer 10.

The Bell Dimension Copyright DAVID J SOTO All rights reserved MP4 on Vimeo

1701 . . . ds