P.O. Box 2363, Bellingham, WA 98227-2363 - (360) 223-2486 - Jonathan W. Sodt


Bellingham Dog

These are the works of Grass Dog Studio of Bellingham, Washington.

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Character Designs
(05 Oct 2007)

Here are a couple character designs for one of my projects that has been sitting on the backburner for about a year now:

Some of you who have been following my work will recognize at least one of these characters. These designs are as much about style as about characterization. I very much doubt that I'll use the dramatic shading entirely throughout the comic, but it'll be my primary method. As much as I love the look of stippling, for both speed and the health of my drawing arm, I'm going to stay away from it or from intensive hatching.

I'll probably also use flat greyscale for "coloring," which I didn't do here.

Stay tuned for more updates on this as the month progresses.

I hope to have a website up for it by November. I hope.

Posted by Fenmere

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The Book
(02 Oct 2007)

I have a new book out! Mind you, I'm going to wait to really advertise it until after I've got my first copy of it in hand. I want to make sure the printing is good.

But if you are an intrepid comic reader, and don't mind sending me money for something that might be a little flawed, you can buy it right now!

The Advanced Edition of The Dragon & the Radical is available for purchase from Lulu.com for $12.46.

It is 32 pages of black and white artwork, three panels per page, and complete. If you order it now, you'll be able to read to the end of the comic before anyone else! It's also handy for indoctrinating other people. For instance, with cunning, you can leave it in front of your toilet where guests are likely to pick it up. Or, you can simply use a friend or enemy's house for the shipping address!

Me? I'm taking my copy to Con.

Posted by Fenmere

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What a Fool I am!
(01 Oct 2007)

So, here I make this big post with graphics about scanning and using Photoshop to control contrast and prep an image for use online (and perhaps in print). And I learn the hard way that it doesn't matter what you're doing if you don't realize that your monitor sucks!

I did that exercise using my computer at home. When I looked at the file at work this morning, it was butt ugly.

I'm going to have to redo that experiment, eliminating the monitor as a variable.

Posted by Fenmere

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On Scanning
(30 Sep 2007)

I have a confession to make. I've been sloppy. If you look at the background image to my LiveJournal, you can see that I do not always present my best work in the best way. It is fuzzy.

This has drawn some unsolicited advice from more than one of my friends who are rightly concerned about my draftsmanship. I really do need to improve my presentation, especially if I want to attract the kind of business I'd like to do.

Now, I think I know what I'm actually doing wrong, but the key bit of advice I have been getting has been to do a better job of scanning my artwork.

The advice is to scan my inked drawings in straight-up b/w at a very high resolution (600 minimum) and then convert it to greyscale before downsampling it to my desired resolution. The idea being that the blue pencil I use to do my underdrawing is designed to be filtered out by the b/w setting of the scanner.

The way that I have been treating my artwork is to scan at my desired resolution in RGB, and to then in PhotoShop select the Blue Channel and copy it into the other channels, thus magically filtering out the blue pencil. Then convert to greyscale before saving it.

I've decided to perform an experiment to see which method works best on my own equipment. Here are the results:

click on the above image to see it at the original resolution. It is a 256 color png.

Keep in mind that I'm using a SCSI AGFA SnapScan 1236 that I purchased in 1998. It has an optical resolution of 1200 dpi, and it's driver software hasn't changed much since Windows 98 SE. In my experience, the quality of scanning software varies incredibly from make and model as well as from company to company. While the AGFA SnapScan software is the best I've ever used, I still find that I have more control editing the image in PhotoShop after a good clean RGB scan.

Your results may vary. If you are using a cheaper or more expensive scanner, or simply one created in the last four years, you may find that scanning as LineArt or straight B/W still is best for you.

It's certainly faster to do it that way. But if you are concerned about quality, you should probably try both methods, because they are clearly both viable, and you should use the one that is best for you.


Posted by Fenmere

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You know what I need?
(28 Sep 2007)

I need a php script that takes any given image and makes a good 100px by 100px thumbnail of it. I want the script to find just the right dramatic content to show, blow it up or shrink it to the right scale, and crop the heck out of it. And then, I want it to post it to all of my journals, blogs and RSS feeds with the words, "Hey you! Come read my new damn comic!"

That'd be really cool.

Posted by Fenmere

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