Wednesday 23 December 2009

Cloud 109 - In 3-D!!! A Quick Guide to Making 3-D Comics

Monday's posting on those halcyon days of 3-D comics made me think about the processes involved in creating the artwork and how close they were to the way images are generated in Illustrator. The difference between working in Illustrator and Photoshop is best summed up by using the analogy of creating a picture through paper cutouts (Illustrator) as opposed to working with a programme (Photoshop)that in many ways emulates the experience of drawing and painting with pencil and brush, albeit cybernetically with multiple undos and layers to boot.

So I tiddled around with the first page of Cloud 109 created a new file and started shunting various elements in their own respective layers to the right (I'll do a more fulsome tutorial in the New Year) whilst retaining my original file. Thereby creating two slightly different views replicating the kind of stereo impression of the characters as they wander through the alien landscape.

I then imported the files into Photoshop and via some more technical wizardry (tutorial in January) created a green file for the right eye and a red file for the left eye using a genuine 3-D comic as my template and guide.

Then I dragged one file in a transparent layer on top of the other and "By George!" there was my page looking not unlike those fabulous EC 3-D comics from 1954!

The only downside to all this being that I can't supply you readers with the red/green or blue glasses that you need to wear. But you might still have some lurking around the house from the recent Channel 4 3-D extravaganza. If you have make sure you look at this page with the red lens over the left eye and then it should work.

"What about all of us that haven't got those fershlugginer 3-D glasses?" I hear you ask. Ahhh ... Well I've thought about that too and you guys are even luckier as you can look at the page in 3-D AND colour!!! Here's the page, just download it and open it up on your desktop and then gaze at it for a bit, let your eyes relax and gradually let them cross - at this stage you should start to be aware that there is a third "cross-eyed" image starting to happen between the two original images. At this point just hang in there and after a while this image will start to come into focus, it's a bit like looking at those old fashioned stereoscopic photos but without the aid of a viewer but it does work.

O.K that's enough technical wizardry for today, in the meantime David and I have temporarily relased Gina, Cary and Rabby from the confines of the dungeon so they can get wasted over Christmas but we will bung them back in time for you to pick up on their exploits from Wednesday January 6th.

Meantime here's a Richard Corben Santa story from Creepy, plus a one page bio which appeared around the same time.


  1. I'm going to have to get out some cardboard and cellophane now :) (Tried the cross-eyed effect but I can't get it right... Should I be close to the screen or sitting back?)

    Creepy was in colour? I never knew. Great work from Corben as always - the sheer ferocity of that axe striking the cop made me cringe.

  2. Just hang in there with it a bit Dave. I'm sitting about a couple of feet away from the screen which is comfortable viewing distance on a 24inch IMac. But really it's whatever distance is comfortable for you.

    I tried it out last night and it did take a little while to get my eyes settled down but once you've cracked it it's dead easy.

    There was a whole slew of this sort of stuff published about ten years ago or so under various titles of Magic Eye. If all else fails just skin up and gently imbibe those herbal vapors and the whole thing will gently manifest itself unto you. Either that or a glass or five of sherry.

    Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella all carried colour sections for a while. The best ones were the provenance of Richard Corben while others such as Estaban Maroto had colour applied by the studio.

    Corben's colour comics were collected into five squarebound Warren colour comic magazines titled Comix International. The first one of which was always very hard to get hold of.

    I'm going to run a really stunning Corben/ Bruce Jones collaboration early in the New Year. It's another of those stories that once you've encountered it you can't get out of your head - just amazing!