Thursday, October 27, 2011

How to THINK you're getting work done without actually getting any work done

I love Google SketchUp. Seriously. Some purists might consider it a cheat, but I don't. I think it's using another tool to help the comic book artist. Our job is already one of the most difficult jobs there is in the storytelling world (we're the actors, the directors, the cinematographers, the editors, the set designers, the concept designers, the continuity person, etc...). Utilizing whatever tools you can to help is just smart business to me.

Anyway, I'm no 3D wiz, but I can stumble my way around SketchUp okay and I continue to learn how to be more efficient when making my models. Regardless, it's a time suck to be sure. My hope, however, is that by making models of locations that I'll come back to over and over, I save time in the long run. Oh, how I hope. Anyway, below are a few of the models I've put together for RECOVERY INCORPORATED.

This first batch is Mia's home, a penthouse loft on the upper east side of Manhattan. I built the building but cobbled together most of the other parts using all of the awesome models you can find on Google's 3D Warehouse. Mia's pad is a pretty cool place, indicative of the lifestyle she leads. It's large and open, accessible only through the regular elevator, the service elevator, and the stair well. Only her closest friends and family know the code to access the penthouse floor. The biggest part of the loft penthouse is devoted to her own in-home dojo, decked out with all the proper equipment. And to contrast that physical part of her life? A zen garden in her bedroom.

Next up is her office. She has the first two floors in a corner building off Broadway on the upper west side of Manhattan. The lobby, where her cousin Jackie works as her assistant, is lavish. It suggests to potential clients that she is good at her job, hence the ability to afford such a place. Up the stairs and to the right is her office, which is considerably more low key and sparse. It's nice but she doesn't spend an over abundance of time there. Still, it is up to date technologically. She may not be a techie but she's always on the cutting edge; it behooves her to be due to her line of work.

Last up for now is a simulation of the Mount Sinai Medical Center on 5th Ave. in Manhattan, where Mia's mother is in the hospital. I will eventually be able to use this model for other things, replacing the building but keeping the general street and traffic. This saves a ridiculous amount of time when it comes to pencilling and inking, believe me. Like I said above, it's offset by the amount of time it takes to build the model, so it's a wash at the moment, but once I get to use it on a few more occasions my time savings will creep into the positive.

And one more thing: so you can see how such a model winds up in the book, here's an inked page showing Mia at home and a page of my "pencils" showing Mia out front of Mt. Sinai.

Two posts in one day! How about that?

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