One of the things about fan-made comics like “Furia and the Guardians” is that it takes an incredible amount of time to put an issue together from start-to-finish, especially when it’s done by one person.
Big publishing companies like DC and Marvel have whole teams of writer and artists that handle all of the elements that make up an issue. Fan-made comics usually just have one person doing all of that.
It helps tremendously when you are using source material from an MMO like the now-defunct “City of Heroes” game, because the graphical portion is mostly done. But sometimes you need to create elements that do not exist, and that requires some creative work.
To show you how difficult it can get with a fan-made comic, we’ve broken down the steps used to create just one custom frame in the upcoming Issue 16 of “Furia and the Guardians”.
First we get the source material, which in this case comes from either a program called Titan Icon or Paragon Chat, which only uses the City of Heroes MMO game that was previously installed on the computer. (Just so you know, this is the “i23 Beta” version, which the developers were testing and were about to release before their bosses stopped all work in 2012.) Here is the original screencapture of the scene.
As you can see, Galatea Powers is flying towards the side of a building. The story calls for her to fly through a window that was shattered during a structure fire. Obviously that isn’t possible in the system, so we have to add it.
It’s usually good to create a copy of file that you’re planning on changing so in case you have to start from scratch, you still have the original image.
Next, we open up an open-source image editing program called GIMP. GIMP is the closest thing you can get to using Adobe’s Photoshop without having to pay them all of that money.
We need to “break” all of those windows, but obviously we can’t do that with Galatea’s backside in the way.
So once we open the image in GIMP, we create a duplicate layer of the image and then “hide” the original layer. Then we use the eraser tool to cut out everything in the layer except Galatea. With the original layer hidden from view, all we see is just Galatea.
Then we “hide” this layer and bring the original one back to view. Now that we’ve preserved an image of Galatea, we can work on the original layer without worrying about her.
So we use the lasso tool to highlight the window frames…
And we use the “fill-in” tool to turn all of the selected items black.
We remove the “select” borders, and then add in the “smoke” above the frames to show smoke damage from the fire.
We’re almost finished… now all we need to do is bring the frame of Galatea back into view.
And now we can save the finished work.
And now we have a modified image that we can use for the issue itself.
All of that work… just for one panel of one page of one issue.
And we haven’t even gotten into all of the coding in demorecording!
Well, you can check out the finished work when “Furia and the Guardians” #16 goes online later this month.