I’ve been drawing basically my entire life, probably the height of which was between discovering anime in 4th grade and joining Comix and Animation Club in high school. After that, I got out of practice and, though I occasionally tried to maintain what skills I had, I noticed a marked decrease in quality.
That’s why my first trials for Lotus War characters looked like this:
To be fair, all I had were Photoshop and, no lie, a mouse. Or a laptop touch pad. Either way, looking at it from that perspective – not a bad effort, right? (Except that MC – that’s just awful).
You can see a marked improvement when I got MangaStudio 4 and a Wacom tablet, though there was a learning curve.
And it improved even more when we started to use the wonderfully scripted Yanfly Message system
But coming back in to practice saw a lot of stages of development – especially for the main cast.
Though Taya, one of two love interests, was my first character drawn, she actually didn’t go through many stages (I’ve always been better at drawing girls. Especially the sassy-sweet quiet-type like her).
Arinnel, the other love interest, was a little more difficult. I wanted a distinct look for elves. Elvish features, if you will. Larger eyes, slighter noses – more classic anime, is what I’m saying.
The problem is that it wasn’t really my style any more. I kinda fell away from the ultra-shojo, big-eyed Sailor Moon style over the years. That took some adjustment, but I think I got it.
I’m proud of the incremental improvements. And that’s what made this process a pain-
I’d draw the hero and be happy with him:
Then, after drawing a few others, practicing, gaining exp, I’d draw a secondary character that looks better:
We almost switched characters – prompting me to update the MC to the Ren you see today (I just get so attached).
Not to mention that then I’d have to go back and create six different emotions for every update I made.
So all the time that Justin spends coding and creating the world, dialog and events, I’ve just been drawing and perfecting. I sometimes feel like I haven’t done as much – but the results are worth the effort. I exceeded the limits I placed on my abilities. I’ve leveled up!
What about you guys? Any tales of meeting a learning curve?