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Twitter Topic: Color

Twitter Topic: Color published on 1 Comment on Twitter Topic: Color

I asked my twitter followers for a topic for a blog post. Rachel asked about color.


I mostly pick colors by experimenting, so this will be tricky to put into words.

The blue – greenish steel blue, or grayish sea blue – started as part of Nwain’s early design. The blue for her clothes and the black for her armor, I wanted these to reflect her connection to the night. She travels by night and is comfortable with darkness and shadows. Her skin, hair, and necklace are warmer hues, oranges, browns, and reds, to contrast with the blue and black. She is a complex character with a full range of emotion, most of which she keeps to herself. I wanted her color scheme to show that tension and mystery.

The setting is bright and oversaturated. It’s like a dreamworld, more color than solid. I want it to feel unreal. It’s vivid, alive, and a little abstract. So the colors are exaggerated. The sunrise on Page 4, for example, is red, orange, magenta, blue, and purple. That particular page is a turning point in the story, so it’s especially intense. The colors loudly fight for attention, like day is intruding on the night. It’s a sunrise, but it’s not a peaceful one. On that page, the colors are a clue there’s trouble ahead. The colors are part of the story.

That’s how it happens. The colors grow with the story.

Frame Process

Frame Process published on No Comments on Frame Process


Here’s the process I use for each frame.

1. Rough:  I’ll scribble some lines to get things in place.  I do this step for all frames and check the animation.  Sometimes I have to scrap frames because they don’t add to the overall motion.

2. Background: A separate layer from the frames. The frames all go on top of the background.  If the background is busy, I have to check that the animation doesn’t get lost in it.

3. Tie-down: Next, I hone the placement of the lines.  I try as hard as possible to keep the sense of life that’s in the rough, and nearly always fail.  It happens.

4. Color: Once reasonably satisfied with the tie-down, I add color and lighting.  The colors are informed by the background and the panels preceding this one–where is the character in the scene, where’s the camera, where’s the light source, what time of day is it? And so on.

These steps don’t include the page thumbnail, the page animatic, or the actual animating.  It’s just the steps I go through when making one frame within one panel.

I’ll talk more about my process for page thumbnails and page animatics next week.

Update Schedule Poll Results

Update Schedule Poll Results published on No Comments on Update Schedule Poll Results


Baby Nwain wants to wish you a Happy New Year!

The results of the update schedule are in.  9 people wanted monthly updates, compared to 7 who wanted every two weeks.  It was close.  Nobody wanted to wait longer than a month.  That’s good to know!

Nwain will update on the last Tuesday of each month.

If you’re so inclined, mark your calendars for:

  • January 28
  • February 25
  • March 25
  • …and so on

This is still a lot of work, so we’ll see how long I can keep the pace up.  Nwain’s story will take me years to complete.  I can’t guarantee I’ll stay 100% on schedule during that time, because life is messy.  I’ll try.

Other Animated Comics

Other Animated Comics published on No Comments on Other Animated Comics

While you’re waiting for the next Nwain updates in January, you can take a look at some other animated comics…


Niko and the Sword of Light –  By Imaginism Studios, for iPad

Niko uses his magic sword and the power within himself to defeat monsters and save his world.  Features full animation, sound, music and voice acting. The first 3 chapters are available for free.

Bottom of the Ninth – By Ryan Woodward, on iPad and Web (web version)

Candy Cunningham pitches for her baseball team in a futuristic world.  Features 2D/3D animation, sound, music, and extensive voice acting.  Both the web and ipad versions are free.


On the Web:

Spidderelli – By Clay “Harpeaux” L

“Odd world. Odder residents.”  Features Flash animation, sound, music, and voice acting.

 Saint For Rent – By RU

“Saint runs an inn for Time Travelers, which leaves him little time to write his trashy romance novels.”  Features minimal, atmospheric animation.


The field of animated comics is growing!  If you know about more of them, please share them in the comments.