The Art Process

[Left] Inked spread from chapter 2.

Technically our artwork for Argent Starr: Tales From The Archives would be constructed more like animation cells than a regular flat comic page. On the larger panels, backgrounds, foregrounds, individual or groups of characters, are all on separate layer sets in Photoshop. This allows for easy modifications to the pages, and makes producing assets for multiplane animations very easy.

The line art style evolved over time and the project has always been envisioned as combining drawing with photographic elements and images derived or based on 3D models. To get the detail I wanted, everything is produced at 600 DPI. With 100 layers plus this lead to files that approach 2 Gigabytes in size, requiring powerful computers to manipulate them.

[Left] Inked spread, including the “lighting”.

Our work-flow is not quite traditional either. In addition to the layout and line work, I do what I call ‘lighting’. I drop in about five gray tones per drawing which builds the mood, then Lyn colors the pages restricting her colors so that they match the values I have created. We arrived at a color palette we thought worked with the Sci-noir look we were going for after some experimentation. Lyn also does her paint-work, shading, and what I call hair and make-up, which end up making the females gorgeous, and all of my work look that much better.

[Below Left] Final colored spread, including painting as well as the “hair and makeup” work.