Cover, and publication design.
Having completed the last panel (actually, I have a further 'Uccello drawing' to create and paste into several panels), I am now turning to the cover and publication design.
The course is thoughtfully organised in terms of having all this work be part of semester 2's Comics Production module. Unfortunately for me, after designing that material, based on my major project being a continuation of semester 1's comic about Vermeer, I refocussed my project to a series of comics about different artists, ultimately deciding on Uccello for my semester 3 Major Project changed tack. I'm getting the proverbial 'deja vu all over again' since I spent much of the time in the Production module finishing of my comic from semester 1. Had I not had to do that I would have time, I would have had time over semester 2 to do the revised design work, that I'm now having to do in semester 3! I hope I get some recognition of having to do a whole extra design/production job as well as my major project.
That said, I'm not totally starting from scratch, as I did some basic design/concept work earlier in semester 3, as shown below.
Below is my sketch for the back cover - essentially takes some of the panels from the interior, and sets up the story: the commission, and the fact that it is a challenge, and a step up from his previous work.
I imported the images into Manga Studio, and took them slightly further, as shown below.
I don't have a lot of time at this stage, as I still have some texture/toning/lettering work to do on the interior pages, ands some final work on my business plan. To get the cover done, and leave enough time for the rest of the work, I've put the cover together by cutting and pasting elements from the interior pages: Uccello sitting drawing from page 1; Rocco brandishing his sword at Uccello from page 17; and Uccello at work on ht big drawing from page 21; background from pages 20-21; and the armour and props on the floor from page 12. For the Uccello/Rocco one that 'shot' was cropped in the interior, but having saved the 3D models I was able to add the legs accurately, and fairly easily - the 3D models won't resize with the rest of the drawing using the Transform function, but it wasn't that much more difficult to do this using the 3D model manipulation tools. I think the result is pretty convincing - I did anyone (without closely comparing it to the interior) would guess I'd done this.
I've also started on some of the design elements. The top have design is based on classic Marvel comics with the inset bow identifying the character, the horizontal band for the company nam, and the mixture of typeset and hand-lettered text. I think my combination of type and hand-lettered style fonts works quite well, though the spacing/composition could probably be finessed. I like the left alignment on the PAOLO UCCELLO 'logo', with the two 'LO's left aligned. I placed the text 'This perspective..' to fill that space - it's to be a word balloon, as shown on my sketch. I might be able to fit it into the inset box. My original plan had been to fill that space with an image/silhouette of a rider, from one of Uccello's paintings - the rider in the painting to be seen (in my rendition) on the back cover.
I've just been doing this in Manga Studio as I find it helps me to be working on the picture and design elements together. I may take it into InDesign to finalise, MS isn't very clever with, for example, getting the different bits of text aligned to centre. I'm not sure if it will let me import (after outputting from MS as aPSD) the text in editable form - I'll make some enquiries.
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Graham Johnstone ~ Master of Design - Comics and Graphic Novels student 2016-17