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Here’s an update I guess.

Avoiding color for now because it burns my wrist. Still considering using some of the Patreon money to have someone else help me out with it.

Finally, I’m still not sure what tablet monitor I’m going to buy. There’s like 3 or 4 new models from various manufacturers coming out really soon. Seems to be a good idea to hold off on buying one for now.

God damn.

Earlier I wrote about my health issues and the fact that at least some of them are probably caused by bad posture due to crappy setup, or at least they are exacerbated by it. In response a few readers have donated money, to help me afford something that might make for a more ergonomic setup. I mentioned looking at the Yiynova MVP22U as one possibility.

One reader in particular (who wishes to remain anonymous) dropped quite the bomb on me, which means I’m now well on my way to being able to afford it! That actually made me cry a little… I didn’t even ask for donations! You guys are great ;_;

If any of you want to donate, you can, but please be aware that even if I am able to afford a super ergonomic setup right now, I still won’t be able to draw right away because of my health. Still need some time to recover. My recent visit to a doctor was completely fruitless by the way…

So, now that I am well on my way to afford something nice, it might be a good idea to step back and explore my options a little. The MVP22 is nice, but apparently Yiynova will release three new models really soon. It might be a good idea to hold on to the money until then.

It also might be an idea to investigate some tablet-pcs like the Surface Pro or the Cintiq Companion etc. I recently un-retired my old EP121 and drew a thing with it.

mina1

Here, have a sporty watercolor Mina!

The thing I really like about tablet-pcs is the ability to move them anywhere. They’re not tied to a desktop because there’s a computer in there, but that’s also one of the drawbacks. The only reason I retired my EP121 in the first place is because it’s getting old. It only has 4gb ram and can’t be upgraded beyond that. I need at least 8gb now that I work in color. Newer tablet-pcs are roughly twice as powerful as the EP121 and should be able to handle my workload without problems.

I’ll compile a list of options I’m considering soon. I did a lot of research into Cintiqs and their alternatives in the past few months and hopefully it might benefit others as well.

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Therapy Session 1

I wrote a bit about my depression and other medical issues before, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt as bad as I do now. It’s gotten to the point where I feel like I’ll never be able to lead a happy life, that everything I’m doing is futile.

The only positive thing about my life is the comics I’m drawing and that’s it. But… those comics aren’t doing so well either, my inability to update them reliably is really taking it’s toll on me.

I started AHS to get some practice with comics, be done with it in a few years and move on to the next project. So much for that pipe-dream, because now I feel like I wont even finish AHS in my lifetime, let alone the other comics I wanted to do. I can’t just ignore this anymore like I could a few years ago, when I didn’t have as much to worry about. It fucking kills me that after all this time I’m still not at any of the remotely exciting parts of AHS. The pacing of my comics totally werks guise.

So, in order to try and preserve the only good thing I have left in this miserable existence, I’m going to take a step back for a while and take a hiatus from the comic to re-examine things.
(Kinda shooting myself in the foot a bit because no more Patreon funds during the hiatus, but I feel it’s necessary.)

I’ll need to focus not just on improving my art, but on working more quickly. If the pain in my arm is here to stay, I’ll have to find a way to be more efficient with it at least.

And while I’m practicing, maybe draw a few things I’ve always wanted to, to hopefully cheer me up a bit. Like this one:

Session 1: Some demons I guess?

Session 1: Some demons I guess?

Demons consume humans and absorb their life force. They also have a complete disregard for human life and are incredibly cruel, never trust them! Though they don’t normally have sentient tails.
I want so badly to be at the point in the story where these guys start appearing, but you know…

So, did this feel good drawing make me feel better? Did this “therapy session” work out?

I came down with the flu while drawing it, so no.
Good night.

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Not doing too well.

I don’t really want to post about stuff like this, but I think you guys should know.

I’m not feeling very good right now, neither physically nor mentally. One thing might be related to the other, healthy body, healthy mind and all that.
I just don’t have any energy. Sitting in front of an empty canvas and I can’t even bring myself to pick up a pen.

Depression sucks, especially if you try to ignore it your whole life. A big reason for this: depression and anxiety make you reluctant to talk about it. Hell, even writing this post is hard, it’s not a lot of words but it took days.
It’s called the invisible disease for a reason, and if you don’t let people know, nobody’s going to help you. It took me a long time to learn this.

Basically, I’ve tried to completely ignore everything and just focused on making the comic.
“I’ll never be happy, but maybe this comic will brighten other people’s days.”
Not a healthy outlook on life.

Sorry for taking another break from the AHS, but I’ll need a while to sort a few things out. Hopefully I’ll be feeling better in a week or two.

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Curved Frames with Manga Studio 5

One thing Manga Studio makes infinitely easier than other programs, or working traditionally, is frame borders.
But how about curved frames?

Round BordersThe first time I ever used a curved frame border was on this page. This was when I was still doing the comic with traditional media and I used a bottle to trace the outline. (Did I ever mention that I hate my old art?)
The second time I used a round frame was here. I was still drawing on paper, but this time I added the round frames with Paintshop. There has to be an easier way, right?

While MS makes frames super easy, it trades some flexibility for it. The ‘cut frame border’ tool can only be used as a line, poly line, or a spline. Good luck getting perfect circles with that. Or maybe there’s a way and I’m just not seeing it? While I consider myself pretty well versed with Manga Studio by now, I still discover new things on a regular basis, so leave a comment if I am being dumb.

I didn’t really feel the need to use round frames since then, but maybe I just didn’t want to deal with the hassle…

Looks like other people are thinking about this as well.

So I sat down and tried the best way I could think of to do a curved frame with Manga Studio, while recording the process.

That’s what I came up with and I think it’s okay. As it turns out, even with Manga Studio, you still have to do some manual labor.
An alternative to the “whiteout” I used would probably be a layer mask, that way I could still keep all the layers separate and not deal with the magic wand hassle I encountered near the end of the video.

Apropos magic wand.

The tool I used to delete everything outside the panel borders refers only to certain layers set as ‘reference layers’. You can have multiple reference layers and they are marked with what appears to be a lighthouse… I guess?

reference1

You can also use reference layers for the paint-bucket tool, to easily color in lineart while keeping the layers seperate.

reference2 reference3

These are the settings I used in this case, but I change them a lot, depending on the resolution of the image and the types of lines I’m working with.

Anyway, this was my first sorta kinda tutorial, let me know if you’d be interested in more of this.

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