Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chapter 1 layout completed

After some very busy two weeks and nearly 25 hours of work I've finally finished my first draft of the layout of chapter one of the Wormworld Saga OGN. It consists of 71 panels and will be 1024 pixels wide and 20000 (!) Pixels high. On my screen that's 5,4 meters! Or to put it in other words:

That's a whole lot of work in front of me! Creating the layout was a fantastic experience though. To be honest, I was a bit afraid of my own courage when I announced the graphic novel project. But now I'm very happy that I have finally started. Telling stories with pictures is just great and I'm feeling a bit like a movie director. I'm totally getting into the flow when I'm working on the panels. Here are some sneak peek panels from the layout for you:

As you can see, I've gotten relatively specific in the layout. Basically I have already planned the major lighting idea for each panel in tonal values. I became douptful in the middle of the process if it's worth the effort at this stage but I think this detailed layout will come in handy when I'm going to create the final art. Another advantage of the approach definitely is, that the layout already reads like a real comic and that the mood of every scene communicates quite well.

I yet have no idea how long it will take me to create the finished art for the first chapter. I'm quite intimidated by the sheer size of it. I've already thought about cutting it in half. There would be a nice opportunity right in the middle of the chapter that would make for a clean cut. On the other hand, that would leave the first chapter with a lot of exposition and little story progress. I want the first chapter to be really good and satisfying for the reader in order to raise the appetite for more. Therefore I think that I will keep the long version and just live with it.

At the moment I manage to work at least two hours every day on the project and I try to do between 8 and 12 hours at the weekend. That this doesn't quite work out I can gather from the ToDoList software I mentioned in the last post. There I have counted 35 hours of work on the graphic novel in two weeks. This little program is really helpful for keeping track of your effort. I was even able to estimate the finishing point when I was half through with the layout. As soon as I have started to create the finished art I will watch my progress closely and hope to be able to estimate the completion date of the first chapter soon.

I would love to start with the finished art for the first chapter right away but I have to do some work for another project first. That one is also very interesting and I hope to be able to make an announcement during the next few weeks.

Thanks for your interest and stay tuned!


  1. You did this in two weeks. My mind is officially blown. You're on fire, man. This thing is going to be spectacular. The images you've shown here are amazing. I can't wait. I really can't wait!

  2. This "Kidding"-Illustration is genius! :D
    Reminds me of Scott McLoud.

    Sorry for german; its hard for me to get the right feeling out of english:

    Ich muß wirklich gestehen, dass ich dich um dieses Projekt beneide!
    Wie es sich anfühlt sich jeden Tag aufs neue für eine Sache begeistern zu können, durfte ich schon erfahren ... allerdings ist das bei mir nie ein so greifbares Schaffenswerk gewesen.
    Synonym dafür: wenn ich Gitarre lerne, kann ich Stunde um Stunde Tonleitern rauf und runterleiern, aber nicht ein einfaches Lied habe ich in den 3 Jahren gelernt.
    Ich verfolge dich hier auf Schritt und Tritt und vielleicht bleibt ja die ein oder andere Einsicht auch bei mir hängen. ;)

    In jedem Fall aber wirst du ein tolles Werk schaffen!
    Da bin ich mir sicher so sehr ich daran glaube, dass dieser innere Antrieb das ist, was einen zu Höchstleistungen befähigt.

  3. Awesome! Looking forward to reading it!

  4. One of the best ideas in digital painting, I've ever heard! I've just found this blog in your hp, after a long time of one or two years that I had you in my interesting-link-list on my blog. And now I am reading just blog by blog, in order to enjoy your project finally in the end. I'm so looking forward, now that your first three chapters are ready, it is like a timelapse through the last two or three years :))) Good luck for Chapter 4!