Here are the redesigns that we will be using starting February 1. This image will be painted in the future. We are taking a toon route because it is more expressive and easier to draw. I haven’t decided if we will make 3d versions of these characters. I have finished concept art for the all the main characters in the story segments. The gag segments will continue and will be uploaded every sun-mon. The story segments will be uploaded on Wednesdays and eventually Fridays (We are starting small to get used to the process). It will be easy to tell which comics are the gag segments because Alex and Cruz will be animals. I will upload images of the story characters.
Recently I have been messing around with two popular tools used for machinma. SFM and GMOD. SFM reminds me a little of Adobe after effects. Posing characters is awkward because you have to hold on to control to move the joints. It could be a very useful tool for animation because it has both live movement tools and lip sync. Getting you own characters into the engine is another story. It’s very complicated.
And then there is GMOD. I am addicted to it at the moment. While I had a blast playing around int the sandbox and doing stupid things, posing a ragdoll with the gravity gun is one of the most frustrating things ever. I found a plug in that makes posing easier. similar to how you would move joints in a 3d modeling program. GMod is fine if you want to make silly, choppy, and YTP animations. SFM is the tool I will use if I can get my models in to the freaking program.
For the last couple weeks I have been playing Destiny with Cruz and a dear friend that moved away a few months earlier. I feel torn about the game, it’s a blast with friends but it’s mind numbly boring when your alone. And it has one of the most disappointing final boss fights I’ve ever experienced. Not to mention that the ending was shallow, like bungie just gave up halfway though production and said ” lets just package it as-is.” It also suffers form Halo-itis. 343 Guilty Spark = Ghost. The Covenant = The Fallen. The Flood = The Hive, etc. The game play itself is like Borderlands and Halo had a baby, which IMO is completely fine. I love the art design and the open world environments. It’s just a shame that the game is so repetitive. I can’t stop play it though, which is oddly ironic.
I am currently in the process of creating new models for Alex and Cruz. I did this painting to see where I could push the character. I painted over a render of the older model. The original model I had created was difficult to animate. I had a load of trouble with getting expressions on the face to read accurately. Alex’s white skin made it difficult to stand out in many scenes. It was also very boring color for a dragon. I changed it to yellow. I love frills on a dragon, so I finally put them on Alex’s model, something I wanted to do in the first place. The face is more blunt and pointed, this is done so his expressions a more readable. I removed the horns on the artwork but added them back on the model. I thought little wings would be cool, but then realized how dorky they look. So I didn’t add them.
I didn’t make concept art for Cruz. JD was at my house the other day, he basically watched me for 3 hours creating the model’s face, giving me input on what he wanted (A very bad way to design I must admit, its better to do concept art and sketches first)
The new WIP versions of Alex and Cruz are good enough to began using in the comic. Also I will be uploading my first lip sync animation that was animated by hand.
As I mentioned, Alex and Cruz is a big project and is constantly evolving.
The irony of this comic is…. how would a dragon be able to wear a hat?
In our own glorious stupidity.. we forgot to do a comic last week. So with my brilliant wisdom (I was hit in the head) we decided to do four comics ahead of time and then the next week we will do four more, rinse and repeat. -Alex the dragon
Earlier, Cruz and I talked about what it would be like a bird flying in the sky, and if we could become a bird would we do so? (very deep philosophical stuff). I personally would not give up my hands for wings, nor give up my highly flexible mouth for a beak. And lets not even talk about the gizzards.
As with many Alex and Cruz comics, this is based on a conversation we had about a shirt Cruz was wearing. Due to reasons beyond our control we where unable to produce a comic last sunday. We apollogise for the delay. We are playing catchup and uploaded two this weekend for this reason. We will be making comics in advance so this doesn’t happen again.
-Alex the Dragon