If you are a webcomic artist, you might be interested in reading this. Some thoughts I thought I should share that might be useful to some.
You know, years just pass quickly. I've been playing with flash to make animated comics in the past 15 years. Not claiming that I am the best at it or even that I've improved that much, but that's kinda really long time with Flash comics!
I think my first attempt at making an animated web comic was the one I made for Eunice-P
back when she was very active at making webcomics.
Ghost Hunters by Eunice-P
Those were the years when webcomics were hard to find, and only few of them had such good quality as Eunice-P
. Even when I made that little Flash, I've received a lot of inspiring feedbacks. Maybe when I did this was the time I realized how shaking effect gives an exciting feeling to the video.
I've made the music in MIDI format, and then stole sfx from megamanX4 I think. I'm not sure which year that was, but I suppose it is before 2002.
The fans of that webcomic started making voice acting of some of the pages. I decided to try my Flash hobby again so I made a new MIDI music and put everything together in flash with simple motion. You'll notice the fading to white effect used. It gives a very calm feeling to it along with the sattel motion.
This amazing artist have totally disappeared! But when I saw her work, I couldn't stop myself from making an animated version of her work. And I was really into making musics those years. I've composed a music for this and put lotsa motion there. I think that one marks my first attempt to over-animate a comic. There are a lot of effects there that I think I should learn from now. Yeah, now I am trying to learn from my old self XD
Amazing Agent Luna by nekoshiei
This might be my first animated comic I upload directly to deviantart. It was when Seven Seas was concentrating on making their own comics. The music in there is for another comic, I put it together and tried to redraw the comic and animate it at the same time. That was my first attempt at doing that.
One of the stories that I was trying to make where the viewer could affect. If you ever played "The Walking Dead" game, you'd know what I mean. I wasn't successful as I couldn't find a way to make an SWF read from a different SWF file save. I ended up cancelling the idea because of that, plus drawing with mouse was a torture!
Call Me Miss Pikkiebum by Eunice-P
Second time redrawing a comic and adding small animations to it. It is rather simple, but the idea of making a comic into an interactive flash has always been fun to try.
I think after that, I was more into programming. Then, in 2008... Unknown-person
happened! I watched his video for SDL. I got so excited! Then I've watched all of his videos for the end zone OCT and got surprised that one man could do all that work in such a small period of time. That made me come back to my ol' drawing hobby, and started my journey with OCTs. Well, the first wasn't an OCT. It was
. That year, I've bought Cintiq 12" and have made at least 6 animations with it in the same year!
But, I'm trying to keep that blog related to Flash comics.
Kimura Sasuke VS Drunk
That was my first duel in the SDL. At that time, I noticed how comics were difficult to view as each page has to reload. So, I made it into flash and added navigation to it. That time, I realized how bad it is to put the navigation buttons too small. Also, I realized that making a big page will only make the reader annoyed by going back up again and again. That's why I decided to make a smaller comic size:
It looked nicer with its very small frame, easier to navigate, and the SFX and fade effect gave it more life.
A return to normal comic size, but this time I decided to improve the navigation buttons by making them take the entire edge. Well, I kinda think I am the first one to do that. Do I enter the history if I say that? XD
10 VS 1 challenge
It was an epic challenge. Although it ended up by everyone forfeiting except for me, it was still exciting. The problem with making comic bubbles in an animation is that the reader ends up reading either too fast and end up waiting, or too slow and end up missing what happened. It really felt impossible to make a comic with lotsa people in it, so I decided to utilize my time well and make duplicatable images. But since it is flash, even motions are duplicatable, so I decided to make it into an animation. You'll notice that I am no longer making my own music. It is time consuming, and I've left that hobby long ago.
Yes.. OCTs.. a special time of my life. IDD was probably the first OCT I join. It was made by the talented artist CyrilTheWizard
. In this comic, I came back to the trick of clicking on the edges to navigate, and at the same time kept the dimensions small. Also, first appearance of my character Iris. So, Iris is there in the first OCT I join and the first OCT I create. Which is TheExperimentOCT
by Endling Unknown-person
were an amazing recipe for me that year. 2008 was the year where Law Of Talos started. Unfortunately, the only one of them who advanced in that tournament was Unknown-person
, and he made an epic show till the end! I was so hoping Zeurel would face Unknown-Person at that time.
I've took one of Endling's comic pages, put music and SFX and animated the comic. I've had fun putting some effects there, and I think I've never tried any of them anywhere else. I sometimes get surprised at the result I created myself. Sometimes it feels they are the skills of my luck, not my art XD
IDD first round
Only difference is that the comic size is made the default Flash size. The size is good, but I feel it is a bit small. Also, there is a small animation at the end.
That was my first and only attempt at doing a 3D comic. If you have NumPad on your keyboard, you can navigate the environment and take the comic from many different angles. It was a crazy idea, but I might return to it one day
Ryuuen was one of the guys who made a lot of high quality comics for SDL. He even made his own tournament called SDLT. This comic was his duel as a judge against a contestant lushan
. I asked El-Jayyed
to do the voice acting for both and tried to make it feel like an animation. It is amazing what those simple motions alongside with music and SFX could do to a comic. This one in particular might be the best one I've ever made. There are a lot of motions and effects there that I could think of using again.
That was the first interactive comic I try to add animation at the middle and at the same time navigable through edges.
And aren't comments from other contestant fun to read XDLeaglem
: "And OMFG the animation in the middle is greaaaaaat asdgsfskdsjd"
This interactive comic has turned later to animation, but this interactive comic version contains some animations in the middle. This small animations do give a better feel than watching a fully static comic I guess.
2011 by MirChuChu
I brought Carlos again to the OCT world in that one. Same navigation plus animation in the middle.
tsukikage-ryu :"The camera hitter moments are done well. They're quick and don't slow down the comic, but they still add that little something extra."
2011 Tower Tournament Round 1
I've also included some animations in the middle. The good thing about not animating the whole thing is that you get do to more and yet keep it interesting.
Frario "What I mostly like is how you go from still frames to an animated event. Kinda feels like rewarding cutscenes in videogames, or visual novels "
And here is an interesting feedback from the judges:
clickmon "And one small note: If it isn't too much, but could you add arrows to your entry to tell us when to click to the next page since there is no indication when a page or animation is over. You wouldn't want us to accidentally skip over anything important."
That comment made me realize that I should do something so that the watcher could tell that there is an animation coming and he shouldn't hit next so he doesn't skip it. What I did was making animated scenes not have bubbles there. So, if you are not reading, you are watching. Also, if it is animated, the animation start at the beginning. You can see this here in my next round:
2011 Tower Tournament Round 2
I tried to make this round feel like an animation somehow. Some animations are really frame by frame. That's because I was going against very skilled people ( dragol and Raxion ) and knew I'd lose. I ended up submitting an incomplete story that I continued later. It is really time consuming and exhausting to make full animations.
@Nightsky82 "Guzu, the main point that gave you leverage over dragol and raxion was that your round was intriguing and epic to watch!"
And here I rise a question. Is the frame by frame animation the only thing that makes the entry more interesting than making it as a static comic?
This was made using the story part of my flash game engine. It does feel to some extent as an animated comic. Yet, I kind of don't like the navigation in there. People watching a comic (Even watching videos) sometimes get interested in some parts and wish to go back. Having a one way navigation let the people with the only choice of watching the whole thing, and end up making them just leave.
I really have enjoyed reading all the comics made for my tournament. Yet, I kinda had a wish all contestants could do flash comics even if they don't have Flash. I feel that if they were able to add small effects like shaking and maybe some sound effects or even voice over, their comics would get more attention from deviantart community. And even the weakest story would become a strong story.
These are some attempts from me to add motion to the comics. I wonder if everyone agrees with me that adding music and simple motions do help catch the attention of people.
So, what do you get from reading guzu's flash comic history?
Guess after all these years with making animated Flash Comics, I decided to make it possible for everyone to make interesting Flash Comics without much trouble. Have a look at this:
In this Flash Comic, there are the following possible features:
1-Navigation through the edges
2-Easy navigation to any part of the comic
3-Visual and audio effects
4-Simple non-time-consuming animations
5-Animation Skip block so you don't miss animation (unless you click again)
And I share this program that I've made with everyone
With this, you don't even need Flash installed. You can even just visit the application page and start using it even without downloading it. And it becomes possible to add all those features to the comic, even including voice overs (Which is of the most interesting)
I am not sure how possible this ambition is, but I am trying to make all forms of webcomics possible using this and without much knowledge.
Also, I tried adding Flash Advertisement in it. This way, you can even gain some money if someone visit your comic. Am I overdoing it with that? XD
Let me know if you try it
In the conclusion, I'd like to mention people who inspired me through their work to make this application.
I've really visited several flash webcomics and asked myself: Is it possible to do it with my tool?
Usually, the answer is yes as most of them are just static images. But when the answer is no, I start developing new tool and add it to the application.
Anyways, I really hope someone is reading this. It took me so long to write