Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thought process (Wonder Woman #4)

I wanted to share some of my thought process behind a scene from Wonder Woman #4 since it came out last week and I haven't posted about the issue yet. Hopefully what I share in this post will be helpful or insightful, and not seem utterly obvious and in no need of an explanation. :)

I want to talk about a scene in Wonder Woman #4 that was set in a night club/bar and that presented two challenges that could be addressed with color. The first is that we have our group of characters split up, and in different parts of the club, and I knew that I could use color help the reader understand which part of the bar each character occupied. There are also quite a few panels with a lot of people drawn in them, and if I were to do my job poorly the art could flatten out and become hard to read. I had to make sure that I did a good job of separating planes (foreground, middleground, background) to properly show the depth of space in the club. In this case coloring different areas of the club with different color schemes solved both problems. These different colored "pools" of light include the blue-green seating area, the yellow bar area, the red stage area, and the crowd being a transition between red (stage) and blue-green (seating area) ending up a pink-ish/purple.

One reason to choose this approach is that it's a bit of a literal interpretation of a club's lighting, as there are usually quite a few different lights/light sources in bars/clubs in real life.  The second reason was, this helps the reader quickly identify where each character is located within the club, and how those spaces relate to each other in terms of how the club is laid out.

In the second panel of the first page presented below, you can see where the seating area and the bar are in relation to the stage and the crowd even though you won't fully see those two areas until the next page. Once those two areas are shown on panel 1 of the second page, the red stage is in the background and the reader quickly gets where everyone in the scene is located, and how the bar is laid out. Another added benefit is that I often have a nice contrast between characters and background since you can usually see another section of the club in the backgrounds of most panels.

To help illustrate all of that nonsense I typed above I took each of the different areas in the club and reduced it to a single color...






In case anyone was wondering, my work files never looked like the pages above. I made these versions specifically to show this concept of creating pools of different colored light to define various areas of the club.

And to see how these ideas were used to create the final pages, here's the finished colored pages with some other notes about my thought process...

-Wonder Woman is lit by red-ish light but I needed her (and the crowd) to separate visually from the guys on stage. So I took the red from the stage, and the blue-green from the rest of the club and met in the middle (sort of) with pinks and purples...


 -You can see the red background (coming from the stage) in panel 4 acting as a nice contrast to Hermes, as well as the yellow background (coming from the bar) in panel 7...

 -This page is probably the most straight forward since it takes place entirely in the "crowd" section of the bar, with a few cooler backgrounds...

 -The warm yellow bar light brings the characters to the foreground against the blue-green seating area. Also, I choose red for the background in panel 1 because I tried the blue-green, but the panel became lost against panel 2. So I decided that the camera could just as easily be looking the other direction, with the stage in the background, and then the panel would stand off of panel 2...
  
-Cliff noted that the music should feel angry, so I picked red for the stage area. It seemed like a good idea to carry over that red to the background of the last panel where Wonder Woman is angrily stabbing Strife's hand with the broken glass...

 -Another pretty straight forward page with just the yellow bar area in the foreground and the blue-green seating area in the background...
MW

7 comments:

John B Badd said...

I like how you broke it down. Even with the solid colors pre-finished product it worked well and gave it a club feel.

Jordie Bellaire said...

Ah gosh, Matt. Great post! I'd love to see you do more breakdowns too! The way your brain works when y'color is super interesting.

saulone said...

Great article/walkthrough. I agree with John - even in the earlier stages (albeit what you developed just for this demonstration), you get the club feel immediately. Fantastic stuff!

Adam said...

thanks for sharing, do more of these please!

Nick Marino said...

Very cool! In some ways, I dig the blog-only flats more than the finished pages just because they have so much punch and basic contrast. In particular, I love how the first page of the finished colors remained so similar to the flats, with those big areas of bold color.

Anonymous said...

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=622687

Thought process is also are an American rap/hip hop duet from Rhode Island .The group consists of Neumatic impact who plays the guitar, and eclectic electronics including children’s toys. Mobius the shepherd who plays the bass, rm1x, SK1 Casio keyboard, realistic microphone held together with tape. Thought process began as separate entities. Neumatic impact aka Mark Lorette grew up listening to Weird Al, AC/DC, Beastie Boys, Run-DMC, etc. Neumatic Impact was in a hardcore punk band in 1993 called Mama Dropped Me, first appearing on the compilation cassette Mama Dropped Me live before releasing his debut solo album Astigmatic Vision in 2005. After achieving moderate local success with the release of his experimental invention, he made the transition to hip hop successfully. They are one of the longest lived obscure hip hop with concerns worldwide and continue to appreciate the underbelly of attainment in 2011, nearly 14 years since the seed was planted.

Anonymous said...

What are the top 3 songs of Thought Process - Constructed Criticism?

http://www.reverbnation.com/thoughtprocess

Thought process is an East Coast originated rap/hip hop duet from Providence Rhode Island . Thought

process began as separate entities, Neumatic impact aka Mark Lorette and Mobius the shepherd. Lyrics

that show different perspectives on everyday topics from Religion to politics and everything in between.
The idea is centered around Peaceful coexistence (or, "Peaceful co-existence ).
Their are many ways of looking at current events. We know it's important to concider all direction and Thought Processes. Hence the name, Thought Process