Monday, May 16, 2011

Left Hanging – A Trip To Japan (Full Commentary)

I don’t normally post picture descriptions here, but this one was pretty long, so I decided to link it here if anyone wanted to read it.


Left Hanging - A Trip To Japan by ~MarkKB

This is the cover for A Trip To Japan, and part of a set of covers I sketched for my fanfics. (The last one I drew was for Starlight.)

I Don't Think You Thought This Quite Through

This picture is remarkable to me, at the very least, because most of it isn't actually based on the original sketch - and it turned out, at least to me, rather well. Okay, so people do that all the time, but I prefer to stick to my sketches (because when I don't, they sometimes get a bit wonky.)

Sure, it's laid out the same around about, but there were quite a few problems with the original, the least of which being that I'd only sketched the general shape of Tokyo Tower, and not the individual struts. (It was a small box on a page with other small boxes, and thus wasn't really intended to be a full sized pic, so there!) This meant I vastly underestimated the length required to represent the Tower at the angle I had it.

Of course, this was meant to be only a quick, fun piece so I'd have a visual representation of one of my fics in a 150-pixel-wide preview and a 400-pixel-wide contents-page-image for my website, and also for a good idea of what a proper version might look like. (Much of the small problems with this pic won't be noticable at 150px, that's for sure.)

It's, in a way, a concept drawing - I'll probably do a proper version later.

Accurate To A Point

Speaking of which, Tokyo Tower is actually a lot taller than it is in the picture. I did it the way I did because I didn't feel comfortable putting it at much more of an oblique angle, but I wanted to keep the picture within a certain size (and the Tower within the box.)

However, rest assured I took pains to make sure everything else was accurate, including some Flickr photos for the view straight down from the observation tower and Google Maps for the sides of the buildings. A big thanks to the people who for whatever reason took those photos! (And if you want to check them out, they're in the references section below.)

The Tower itself was modelled using beizer curves in what I thought approximated what it would look like under that perspective. After I thought it looked OK, I drew the lineart around it. It was all done by eye (thank you second computer!) so I probably messed up a bit (especially since, naturally, there are no photos of the tower in the perspective I would have needed. Eh, oh well.)

Drat You Perspective!

I'm quite sure I committed about a bazillion sins when it came to laying out the perspective for this piece. I'm fairly sure, for example, that Nani's not quite aligned with the direction of the window (toward the camera) and that the buliding below is not quite angled right with the tower. And I think the focal point is a little messed up.


Eh, I don't think anyone will notice. *gets a hundred angry comments*

But, as I said, it's concept drawing really, not a "proper" piece.

(Speaking of Nani, I was never really good at drawing her, and I think she's a little... I dunno, off in this pic. Still better than I've ever drawn her, though...

And speaking of people not looking right, Lilo had to be redrawn quite a few times before I was satisfied. It was kinda hard getting the perspective looking more-or-less how I wanted it.)

How could you be so heartless?

Huh? I'm not quite sure what you're talki- oooh, right, the picture content.

Let it be said that I'm sure no-one likes Lilo Pelekai being in mortal peril, least of all myself. Oh, I may write stories where she *is* in mortal peril, but I write them because they make good stories, not because I like it. Writers shouldn't be afraid to free their characters from the padded box, just because the reaction might be bad.

That, and it's all my muse's fault. Go blame him.

Now, I'm sure you're wondering how Lilo got in such a position. Well, normally I'd direct you to my fanfic, but the funny thing is, much like another picture I drew, I haven't actually gotten to this point in the story. So this is all :iconriversongplz: spoilers!.

Hmm, I need to stop doing that.

Eh, well, go read A Trip To Japan anyway. Be warned, the first few chapters are a little narmy because I wrote them a while back and stuffs. I'm in the middle of rewriting them anyway, so eh.

One last thing: I really wanna support Paint.Net, I really do, but Paint Shop Pro is, quite frankly, sooooo much better. Which is why I switched when it came to really doing this picture, and why I'll be sticking with it for the forseeable future.

Whew, that was pretty long...


Tokyo Tower
Looking Straight Down from Tokyo Tower by crispyteriyaki (Flickr)
Temple and Tokyo Tower by crispyteriyaki (Flickr)
straight down from tokyo tower (2) by jacquelynyoung (Flickr)
And special thanks to Google Maps and Street View.

Observation Tower
Tokyo Tower by returntoasia (Flickr)
A cel from the Cardcaptor Sakura episode A Trip To Tokyo Tower, collected by Rallihir.

This still from Lilo & Stitch.

Sketch: 6 November 2009
Initial lineart (foreground - Paint.Net): 27 December 2009
Lineart (background): 9-10 May 2011
Lineart (foreground), Paint (background): 10 May 2011
Paint (foreground): 10, 16 May 2011
App: Except where specified, Paint Shop Pro 8.10