I wanted to reuse an unfinished, but promising, panel from my aborted short version of the Uccello comic from Semester 1. It had been too small in the original at approx 5 cm square, however to make it larger in my three rows/two columns page grid required it to be roughly four times the original area, and the original (Figure 1 below) was insufficient quality for that and needed to be reworked.
As it featured three figures, I decided to use Manga Studio's 3D models. As the figures in the panel were drawing on paper on the walls, a source figure called 'drawing on a blackboard' was a useful starting point. Using my original line drawing, made less opaque and coloured orange to help distinguish different components (Figure 2) as a starting point, I was able to manipulate that into two of the desired poses, using a different 3D model for the kneeling one.
Having achieved suitable poses, the next stage was to reduce the opacity of the model figures, which let me draw my character in costume over the top straight into 'ink', i.e. without any additional pencilling (Figure 3).
Finally, I created an opaque background (Figure 4) behind the figures. I find this has advantages over deleting parts of the background: it leaves them intact and able to reused, for example pasting into other panels, or using in other media. I benefitted from having done this, for example, in an earlier comic I adapted into a Madefire motion comic.
I had struggled to use the 3D modules over the earlier semesters, and was sufficiently time-pressured to decide not to pursue this at that time. I still haven't fully mastered them: there were some aspects of the posing I could not manage to control, for example, in the first figure, I was able to drag specific hands into place, but with subsequent figures whenever I tried to drag a selected hand in, it added a whole extra figure.
However, I am convinced they can be a useful tool for me, (especially on this story where I want realistic figures), and worth persevering with.
All original Images copyright Graham Johnstone, or, where applicable, their respective creators.