Finished - more or less - around 0330 this morning, with a little more cleanup post-wakeup. Went to bed with the last render of the next page running, having spent several hours noodling with minor adjustments to this one. Several small fixes and tweaks post-shading, and a good chunk of time running through shirt options for Jesse. I went through a few iterations - front and back - before deciding on a back-only tour shirt. We'll see more of that on the next page.
Sixteen character illustrations! A CRAPLOAD of silhouettes! With that kind of volume, fixes and adjustments were a given. I've mentioned this several times previously - the more art there is on a page, the greater the likelihood that some of it will come out of the pen with issues. The crowd silhouettes are an evolution over the "stencil box" used earlier in the comic - a toolkit of roughly drawn assets first seen in detail early in DCR.1 and most recently near the end of DCR.2. The method used for this page and the next is quite a bit different - the shots are populated with a large number of dummies (the same type as the characters) and the silhouettes are created on the fly using the dummy crowd as a reference. This page was a LOT of work. Less work than pencilling and inking every single extra would have been, but a lot of work nonetheless. This crowd looks a hell of a lot better than the old crowd kit. It's also great practice for the rest of the scene.
We haven't seen the girl with the pigtails since Whitehouse -24-. This is her last planned appearance. As hallucination/regression "bookends," I think it works. I'd planned on the first three panels of this page being a cavalcade of era faces, but ultimately abandoned the idea. The silhouettes work better - there's people there and they don't matter. They're extras. Filler. As detailed as they are relevant.
The environment is not entirely accurate. It's based on twelve year old memories and outside-only photo reference, and favors a general idea over accurate details. The space is thematically accurate, and contains all the detail a two-page crowd-heavy environment needs. The elevator gates were cannibalized from Bedlam and the lights from the classroom scene. The rest is fresh, single-use geometry. As of this writing the next page is fully rendered, putting 3D squarely in a support role for the bulk of the scene.
The next page will be a couple of days - while it's rendered, I still have to do the assembly, create the crowd (which is quite a bit denser), match to this page... that's a day at least, given other obligations. Oh, and I gotta draw it, too - enough line art to kill a moose.
Speaking of obligations and moose-killing... I've been on the wagon for a week. I'll spare you the lead-up or detail it elsewhere eventually. One week of hermit work is easy. Rebuilding my social life, rewiring my writing process... well, that's where it gets difficult.
In the meantime... waking up sucks a hell of a lot more, but the suck clears in minutes instead of hours (or days, in some cases). I've clocked one dream this week, my first in awhile. It was a wake-up-screaming nightmare about Doing Stupid Shit While Drunk, and thinking back on it still creeps me the hell out. That's item four on the Cracked.com list. At this point, it's the most noteworthy. A shot attention span and perpetual irritability are also on the list (under #2, The Urge to Murder), but that's been business as usual since I hit puberty.
Right. Lock down the metadata, process the page, post. Nuke some breakfast, then play some EVE while various work-related assets finish downloading. Then, work. Then work on the comic.