Well here we are again! I feel a little different going into this website update than I have the last few couple times. Like… unconcerned about the quantity I’ve drawn. So let’s see how much we’ve done in the last nine months; stress free edition!

Scene 5 Page 2: Okay sketch, crummy initial drawing, pretty alright redraw using models to support my poor figure drawing skills.

Scene 5, Page 2: Scrapped my initial 1616 figure and redid it. Added puddles to the composition – don’t recall why exactly, but I do like it. Page complete!

Scene 5, Page 3: Got all the background peeps drawn in on panel 1. Cur some good corners and shinied up the original sketch for much of the final. Page complete!

Scene 5, Page 4: Completed panel 4, managed to do it with the most lowkey, undetailed color. Page complete!

Scene 5, Page 5: the middle panel, chock-o-block FULL of chat-designed tertiary characters, took a rather long time. But it is done. And so is the page. And I think it looks pretty sick.

Scene 5, Page 6: This page was already looking pretty good, and now it’s even better. Filled the whole thing with colorful characters; most notably, we cast the Captains second-hand man, Kris – who lent me his real, real lovely, face. I just now realized the Captain and her second are now “played” by Kristen and Kris, which sounds like a sit-com duo and I love it. This page is done!

Tis Kris!

Scene 5, Page 7: Oh gosh… this page. So… long story short, because of weird file format things, if I open any of my working files… in any other program… and save them… the image will be flattened. So I’m very careful, never to open them anywhere. But at some point in the last year, something happened… and I lost… all the layers in this file.
Now, two of the panels were totally done, so this isn’t AS bad as it could have been… but every time I look at it I feel frustrated and sad, so I haven’t had the emotional strength to make any changes to it at all. Yes, this is the first ANTI-changelog bullet point. This is a step backwards.

Scene 5, Page 8: Panel 1 is complete. I think this was the first Kris I drew actually. His physique is off in this one; this was pre visiting his stream and seeing him move around and such. His eyes aren’t really focused anywhere meaningful yet, as the Captain in this panel is still a rather incorporeal sketch.

Scene 5, Page 10: I finished all of page 4, because it’s half a trace-over of panel 4 of the previous page. I love it when I can reuse the same camera angles. Saves so much time.

Scene 5, Page 12: Okay, this one is fun. I put a lot of work into the design choices here. Kris (the real Kris, not the character.) was more or less like “Hey Thryn! Do all these people really need to be in full color? Do you really need all these people fully rendered? You seems stressed out about how long things are taking.”

I thought about it, and I was like… yeah. These people really *shouldn’t* be in focus. This scene is not about them. Not to us, and DEFINITELY not to Kaya (who is functionally our point-of-view character for the moment). So we developed a stiffer, more rigid way of eliminating details; a way of seeing the world that works as an even more abstract version of “Kaya vision”. We now have a way of showing the tunnel vision that Kaya experiences, the way her hyperfocus and lack of empathy turns those around her into simple, dull, architectural forms.

Scene 5, Page 12: Kaya’s path to her goal is blocked by the gollum-like, faceless forms of the crowd.

In contrast, we allowed Jesse’s form to become shiny and luminous; the object of desire, in a certain sense. I carefully avoided fully wreathing the head in light, however, lest we inadvertently create religious parallels visually. No halos here!

Scene 5, Page 13: Kaya plows through the crowd, for the first two panels. She remains our point-of-view character for the first two panels (panel 2 still needs to be finished, I’d like to do this on camera, for the sake of a longer video breaking down these two pages), the background characters retaining detail, only in as much as she needs to deal with them physically.

Once Kaya is confronted with what she actually wants however, Jesse’s colors have returned to their normal grays and bruised maroons. He is, in reality, neither the glowing treasure, nor a faceless clay lump.

I’m talking in a pretty flowery way right now, because I really like these pages. I think they do what I want them to do.

Scene 5, Page 14: Changed the outdoor lighting AGAIN. It’s more purple now. Boy am I tempted to redraw those two panels, but I won’t do it, there’s too much to do. I’d be redrawing everything until the cows come home. Also added some Kaya’s raised fists in panel one, to smooth the gestural transition from the last page (I hadn’t figured out what the page previous would even look like when I first drew this panel. Twenty One Pilot’s album “Scaled and Icy” had just come out. Good music makes wrist brain make spontaneous choices like that sometimes.) Page Complete!

Scene 5, Page 15: Finally pushed myself to do this panel. I was scared I’d have to redraw Breen, what with the intense use of fisheye I put on him. But I managed to build a 3d model reference for the background characters, and find the right camera angle to match. First appearances of tertiary characters: David, Verra, Sam the Unsettling, and Jose. The edges of the page have also been extended for a full bleed print.  Page Complete!

Scene 5, Page 18: Blurred out the background in Panel 2 entirely. It didn’t give any useful information, and was distracting, given how varied the colors of the characters already were. Final panel took a good while, with how many characters are there, but that’s also complete. First appearances of tertiary characters: Checkers and Mr. Gumbo, Silly Willy, Frost, and Norman.

Scene 5, Page 19: Panel 1 is complete, and the final two panels are complete. Panel 2 needs some fake paperwork drawn up: some procedures for orientation for new recruits. Panel 3 has a mostly rendered plane, a nice fence… and some bunnies that chat says are doing bunny business (I’ll accept that, sure). Still needs a better background, and foreground extras. Panel 4 has a background that’s lifted from another page, it’s a little blurry, but I think I’m okay with it. Main characters need shading, and we’re missing the dozens of background peeps that need to be carrying crates and doing other tasks.

Scene 5, Page 20: Still not quite done with all the little figures around the wide shots. But it’s potentially shippable in this state, so that’s low priority.

Scene 5, Page 21: Got a bit done on the main characters, and brightened the background. Still mostly sketches.

Scene 5, Page 22: Main characters done in all three panels. Second panel complete.

Scene 5, Page 24: Completed the whole top half of the page. I’m remembering all over again why this book is taking so long. Those were a lot of little figures for me. Established a fun prop: instead of forklifts and other machinery that might break and cause problems in this remote location; the unit uses thick straps to lift things ergonomically. When the straps wear out, they can be safely burned. If this doesn’t make sense, don’t worry about it, it will later.

Scene 5, Page 25: Brushed up the backgrounds. Panel one needs all the figures.

Scene 5, Page 26: I picked at this one in my own time for a while, it needs an intuitive, looser look; which I cannot do while hosting a livestream. However, I was able to finish up the final panel with a music/art co-stream with my buddy Esrom. In the place of the sort of radio show vibe I usually have, there was Esrom’s beautiful trippy soundscapes, which are super great for deep work.

Scene 5, Page 26, Final PanelScene 6, Page 2: Inked and Colored panel 1, with Isaac (the one with the eyeball head) and Su (the one with the sick beard).

Scene 6, Page 3: Just added semi-inked figures of Jesse and Breen to the last panel. Otherwise unchanged.

Scene 6, Page 4: Fixed Jesse’s weird face (his brows were far too long). Shaded Breen’s bits (which I could not easily do on stream for censorship reasons. Fixed the janky leg sketch, and inked and colored the 1616 at the bottom of the page.

Scene 7, Page 1: Completed the final panel. First four panels unchanged. I tried to make the panel big and square to use as a promo image, but I skipped planning steps because I was live… and it severely messed up the perspective. Oops. Shouldn’t cut corners. Even if people are watching, and making decisions is boring content.

Scene 7, Page 2: Panels 3, 4, 5 and 6 have been inked and colored… though pretty much every face bothers me still.

Scene 7, Page 4: Just need some background peeps in panels 2 and 3. Getting pretty close to done. First drawing of my buddy Chairbear (who’s an amazing artist) here! She’s got the clipboard. <3

Scene 8, Page 1 and 2: I added two pages to the scene, to help ease us into the new setting, and give a little space to our characters to just exist in the space. I set up a 3d model to help with wide shots on the whole camp; though this needs some modification. The ground shouldn’t be perfectly flat (MD Cox had some bad experiences in a military camp, where it was poorly laid out and his tent was literally in a giant puddle. I want that), and we’re missing a few buildings to the north.

Unfinished building layout for Explosive Ordinance Spec Ops. Unit NCC-3

I also took an hour or so and did some sketching about which buildings were built in what decade, which gave some hints as to the different building styles. Two of the buildings gained tin roofs as a result.

Scene 8, Page 4: Needs a little more weathering on the textures, but basically done!

Scene 8, Page 5: Jesse’s face bothered me. He had dead fish eyes. I brought them life.

Scene 8, Page 6: Added a Rubber Ducky Isopod (aka the cutest bug) after hanging out with fellow comic author, Rachel Silverstein (shoutout to her adorable gay-mer girl comic, “Renegade Rule”)

I spy the cutest bug!

Scene 8, Page 10: Made Kaya’s hands a little bigger (also made them 1% larger in her model to prevent tiny hands happening in the future) in panel 1. Jesse, Kaya and Definitely-Not-Piper are all drawn in back. Did three different takes on 1616’s expression with different levels of grumpiness. Think I’m happy with it now.

Scene 8, Page 11: Added another row to the composition, allowing an extra beat of awkward in Jesse and Kaya’s exchange, and emphasizing Kaya’s head-tilt gesture. Page complete!

Scene 8, Page 12: Woo! This whole page is just done. No complaints here. This is just a good clean page.

Scene 8, Page 13: Minor expression edits on Jesse.

Scene 8, Page 14: After much struggle, I redrew panel 2 from scratch. I needed Jesse’s head turned towards us, to make the sudden turn in the opposite direction more pronounced in the following panel. Honestly, I still don’t like it, but it does the job.

Scene 8, Page 15: Complete! Woo!

Scene 8, Page 16: Uploaded for the first time. Also complete!

Scene 8, Page 17 and 18: Uploaded for the first time. Just a sketch though.

And that’s that! Oh wait.. I didn’t update the progress chart. Shoot. Well, time to go through all the pages all over again. I’m just gonna drop this blog post without that and come back to that. Don’t let perfection get in the way of “done”, as they say!