I’ve now wrapped on Homebased for 2017 – my webcomic about being a stay-at-home dad. In more than one occasion, I’ve relied on Blender to create some of the sets, or props in order to streamline my creative process and keep up with an on-going three-strips-per-week schedule. Over the years, I’ve refined the process, and to date, I have a pretty simple technique from modelling and lighting assets, to compositing.
I’d like to share some of the recent examples where using 3D backgrounds has helped create some quality results:
Blending them into the style has always been a challenge. I needed to model assets which would render good linework and that can be composited to produce high contrast images to match the line drawing as closely as possible. Sometimes, I needed to tweak the compositor to brighten up the shadows:
In this example, I used a 3D model because the camara angles were going to change dramatically. I modelled the main set, as well as a modified version with cracks and damage, then rendered linework which was later edited inside of Clip Studio Pro.
The bigger the asset library gets, the more I can draw from existing props, too, and this is a huge win for getting comics out faster. Assets like cars, buildings, floors, doors, etc all get reused, imported and appended to new set files, as do the compositing noodles which I set up to achieve certain looks.
In the months to come, I’ll be utilising the Cycles renderer, which opens up some interesting possibilities for better effects, and the incorporation of lighting and shading effects and overlays that should produce some exciting new results. If you would like to learn more about how I accomplish these effects, you can subscribe to my Patreon page, where I release a monthly tutorial that explains the process. You’ll also be able to download working files and assets to use yourself.