Update: graphic novel layout, character progress

I’ve begun to layout a preliminary page grid for my graphic novel. Continuing my mild obsession with the anamorphic, widescreen format ratio of somewhere around 2.40:1, and my cinematic aesthetic bent, I have created a page size of 8.5″ x 9.5″ resulting in a spread size of 8.5″ x 19″. If you plug in the margins that gives you roughly 7.5 x 17.625″ of spread image which is 2.35:1. Close enough. As of now, it has 12 panels per page, which provides ample opportunity for variety and pacing in horizontal and vertical formats.

My 12 panel grid

I’m guessing that there won’t be many 24 panel spreads in the book, but it’s too early to make that prediction. I have actually started to work on what I am thinking will be spread 1 while waiting for renders to complete.

Speaking of renders, I’m about a week behind right now on my key character renderings. Interesting things pop up in character design. For example the character I create now, is pretty much the character I have to live with for the duration of the project, so I really have to resist the tendency to “settle”. Costumes will have to live with these characters through a lot of action and exposition, so they need to be right. It is getting pricey though, because I am investing in a lot of models that are getting tweaked and modified. The perfectionist in me would like to create everything from scratch, but a.) I don’t have cadre of modelers, and b.) I have to finish this my allotted lifespan. Throughout, however, I am working hard to make this look like a non-stock project, and already I have modeled from scratch two key interiors, about a dozen exterior structures, a couple of weapons, some props, and three vehicles — plus the accompanying image maps. I’m reserving the stock for models that would simply suck up far too much project time. But believe me, there are plenty of Hollywood films rife with stock imagery and models, so I don’t feel so bad.

Back to rendering…

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