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No. 398:

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Decoded from alien signals by: Drachefly

The author writes:

It's hard when writing a fight scene in a static medium to convey motion properly. Drawing swoosh lines only gets you so far. One can include dozens of panels, but that takes all the work of dozens of panels; and if you don't animate it, it takes up a lot of room, and if you do, you're no longer in a static medium and face all of the difficulties that brings.

In this case, I built a full motion choreography of this scene using my standard CG models, which you can view here with the proper renderers; forgive the jerkiness, I didn't really worry about the time axis since I knew it was going to end up in a static medium eventually. Okay, now how do I represent this?

I tried a variety of methods, and as you can see, each panel required a different solution. Panel 1's face punch came out very nicely by integrating the image over a short duration with a linearly increasing weight.

Panel 2's gymnastics just couldn't come out nicely that way, so I sampled the interval at artistically chosen times to give the right effect, each new image overwriting the old. That looks fairly conventional.

Panel 3, swoosh lines were adequate.

Panel 4 with its lunge parry riposte was the most confusing, which is why it actually has arrows in it. I hope the shading on the arrow makes it clear that the blue channel is the earliest time point, green the middle, and red the latest. Susan thought it was clear, but she watched me make it.

Panel 5 is basically an expression of pain, which my CG is not great at. I felt I should make it more expressionistic. So I replaced the red colour channel with the Fourier transform of the real part of its own Fourier transform (which produces something that at least looks vaguely reminiscent of an image). That in itself didn't seem particularly exciting, so I took the green channel, Fourier transformed it, median filtered and speckled the transform, and reversed the transform normally. As you can see, it came out blurred and wavy. The blue channel was left untouched to indicate that Blackdrip (whose only on-panel colour channel worthy of note was blue) was not the one feeling it.

I'm not sure how well I conveyed anything with that except perhaps that it hurts to look at, like one of those comic books from ages past when they couldn't bother to align the colours properly.