How The Comic Is Made, Page 3

Now we can get into layers, and how they are used a little more. Note that the Gunships in the distance have been airbrushed lightly with blue, this simulates the scattering of light through atmosphere over distance. The further things are in an (nitrogen-oxygen type) atmosphere, the more pale, lacking in detail, and blue they become. This is why mountains at a distance seem flat and blue.

Here four layers work together to create depth. The principle is the same as painting on layers of glass, or on layered animation cels. One layer is just the blank background. Layer two is the sky, on which I painted clouds. Layer three I made just a flat gray, later it would be detailed to make the rims of the windows. Layer four is the internal hull of the Gunship. The windows were created by erasing circles in layer four, revealing the gray layer three. I then airbrushed stripes of dark and light gray to make shine on that gray layer. Next I erased smaller, and offset, round circles in that gray, to reveal layer two, which is the sky. The end result is very shiny porthole rims with a blue cloud-strewn sky seen through them. Layers make this process very easy to do, compared, say, to traditional painting on canvas. 


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By Jennifer Diane Reitz

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