Salford City CollegeEccles Sixth Form CentreBTec Level 3Extended Diploma in Creative Media ProductionGames DesignFinal Major ProjectProduction LogName John ForrestDate CommentsWednesday07.02.13Finalized Assignment Brief, decided that I would create a manga comic as my media product alongside a short animation to advertise.Sunday17.02.13Updated my project schedule up to the week of the 04.03.12, put an initial production deadline.Tuesday19.02.13Started market research into Manga and Anime trends in the western and European market. Including basic manga demographics, gaps in the market and defining what ismarketable.Wednesday20.02.13Updated Schedule and Production log. Had first meeting with project manager set to have an appointment every Wednesday at 1:15pm. Continued manga and anime research.Started to compile survey.Some of my main targets were to put together and take a survey to Forbidden Planet to carry out market research as well as generating some primary resource drawings fromurban environments relating to settings for my comic. I was to also gather a diverse range of artists and illustrators to take inspiration fromFriday22.02.13Had a second meeting with Mandy reviewing my FMP to see if I needed to make altercations to my proposal in terms of broadening it from just a manga based comic but to alsoinclude illustration influences.Sunday24.02.13Updated production log and schedule. I Bought an A3 sketch book with brown parcel paper to start a mini design pack for my media product. I started to researched illustratorssuch as Varshesh Joshi, gathering some imagery from secondary sources like illustration NOW book.Tuesday26.02.13Went to Manchester to talk to staff at Forbidden Planet, Travellers Tale books to see what manga sold well and any trends in the market. I also went with the intention to handout surveys to customers but understandably during a work week customers were far and few between so I will go on another day.Thursday28.02.13Started some rough character sketches and some artist reproduction from my illustrator print outs. I intend to go back to Manchester on Saturday to have another go at handingout surveys. Handed out surveys in college to the right demographic.Saturday02.03.12Went out to Manchester to hand out surveys. Forbidden Planet wouldn’t allow surveys hand out in their store but travellers tale books were fine however people were reluctantso although I had moderate success I will also do it through an online survey.I found this part of the FMP particularly challenging as it meant disturbing shoppers and take them away from their business and it was hard to approach them I think overallinterpersonal skills is something I have to improve to make doing these tasks a lot more effective as I missed a lot of opportunities to ask people out of fear on how to approachthem. This also becomes apparent during pitches when my fear of talking in a formal setting blocks my enthusiasm for the idea I am trying to sell.Tuesday05.03.13Compiled all primary and secondary primary research into a report which I posted on to a blog the web address ishttp://jffmp.blogspot.co.uk/
I do believe I delivered what I had intended to with a little bit on manga approaching western shores. I explained some of the major demographics found within manga and animewhich I found to be surprisingly specific. I found the results of my primary research to be very disappointing and limited but speaking only with the survey in mind as previouslystated I found it quite difficult to engage with shoppers. On the other side of the coin however going around and asking the staff at places such as Forbidden Planet and TravellersTales Books meant I got a good in-sight into what was very popular and it helped me form an idea of how my book would be published.Wednesday06.03.13Told that my pitch will happen on Friday the 8thof March instead of the following Wednesday which I had put down on my schedule. Started a presentation for my pitch includinga description the idea for my graphic novel and moodboards on some of the featured characters.Friday08.03.13Finished creating my presentation and some prompt paragraphs which included my findings after carrying out market research and my final target audience. After some personalconcerns over what I had prepared and after sharing these with my project manager I asked if it was okay to postpone my pitch until the following Wednesday so I could amendmy presentation and put more emphasis on the market research and target audience as well as generating more visual research as well.Monday11.03.13Because of some personal commitments over the weekend I have updated my schedule and production log today, started to make amendments to my presentation.Tuesday12.03.13Looked at Artists like Camilla D’erricco and Metal Hanzo to solidify my research for the presentation I found these in a very interesting website called Illustration Daily which hadthousands of illustrators to look at ranging from many specific styles and subjects including artists specialized in the manga style, re arranged my presentation to create more of afocus on market research and target audience than overall idea and plot.Wednesday13.03.13Did my pitch and proposal to project manager Amanda Panesh. Feedback included that I needed to come across more enthusiastic and animated while speaking and polishoverall presentation however I implemented and understood a lot of subject terminology.Friday15.03.13Had a discussion with Harry Arnold to clarify where I was going with my idea and how to progress in terms of creating a style for my graphic novel. Through this discussion it wasdecided that I should continue creating character designs and other assets for my idea and a style would develop through doing this.Started to draw some first drafts for character design and started to write a basic plotline for how the story will develop in the graphic novel. To preserve as much time aspossible I will only create very limited imagery for each character and will only concentrate in the ones that will probably appear in the comic pages I will produce this doesn’tmean that I don’t have a bigger scopeTuesday19.03.13Started my pre-production post on blogger. Researched contracts between authors and book publishers to applied that to my own contract. I looked at release schedules forother manga’s and discovered that especially in Japan they release an anthology magazine every one to two weeks with a couple of chapters of each of their major projects thanevery two to three month each project releases a volume. From this I worked out that it usually takes about two months to create a 100 to 200 page volume of manga. I alsoApplied some health and safety agreements in regards to health and safety in the classroom and on the computer.Wednesday20.03.13Continued pre-production planning including working out a budget which included living cost, time limitation and an advance on royalties while the graphic novel is still inproduction. It was difficult to think of these circumstances in a hypothetical setting as you can never exactly guess what costs you will have to face however just estimatingroughly general costs made it much easier. I also drafted up an ethical contract to make sure all of my material was suitable to be created and defined what resources I wouldneed for production using a contract used in a previous project.Thursday21.03.13Tidied up any artist research and inspiration as well as generate some more character artwork. Also worked on story plot line for graphic novel decided I would create thestoryboard for the graphic novel when I was into the production of the graphic novel so I could have a clearer idea of what artwork would be included.Easter Break25.03.13 –01.04.13Over the Easter Holidays I have not managed to achieve as much as I had planned to do regarding the FMP. This is partly due to me concentrating on finishing other assignmentsbut I have also hit some technical problems where my at home version of Photoshop stopped working and I had no working scanner in my house. Despite this I have managed tocreate some rough artwork for the cover and for a few of the pages for the actual graphic novel. I also found starting the graphic novel extremely difficult as I felt I had not givenmyself enough to base my panels off in terms of additional artwork.09.04.13 Scanned Images for front cover at College and began to draw out the outlines and create a rough composition of how it will look also began to digitally colour some of theimages. Not very happy with how it is turning out on Photoshop. Updated production log with issues I faced over the holidays.10.04.13 Discovered the art program Paint tool SAI which has been said to be more appropriate for manga based artwork.Updated* Discovered that it wasn’t possible to download Paint Tool SAI as it was a paid program now have decided just to produce the comic in Photoshop.11.04.13 Completed Front Cover which will overall take longer than the actual graphic novel pages as it needed to be coloured. Started to create thumbnails for the graphic novels as it iseasier to plan the layout.
Overall I am pleased with how this turned out. I initially couldn’t decide whether to produce this is illustrator which would give it a smoother look or photoshop which I have a lot more experience in. I chose the latter as I felt more comfortable and it didn’t come with as much of a learning curveWhat really concerned me about this was the time it took to create and although I know it is one of three pages within the graphic novel that will needcolouring I still felt it was too much time compared to what I needed to complete the whole twenty five to thirty pages.12.04.13 Worked on sketching out the graphic novel panels. Will hope to have a chapter finished by 18thof April at least have them sketched out.Found program that specializes in creating comics which may help when finalizing the actual comic.Update* I have struggled immensely to produce the amount of pages I had initially set myself, even though it takes several more months than I have for13.04.13 Created the inside cover page for Aberrant no Exile sketched up some pages that need more character design art as reference. Will create some antagonist artwork and furtherartwork for main characters. Realistically although the antagonists will appear in the front cover I probably not be able to get up to the section of the story where they willactually appear.16.04.13 Finished editing and colouring the inside cover page spread.I understand that this page is going to be printed in grayscale and it seemed unnecessary to colour it but when I was looking through other manga volumes for inspiration mostinside covers had depth of shade and hue that could only mean they had been coloured and then turned to grayscale which is why I did the sameAlthough I am quite happy with this page I feel I did panic and rush some of the editing on the graphic which makes it look a little messythis mainly down to my realisation that the time remaining compared to the workload still left to do is very uneven and I am starting topanic about the completion of the graphic novel.17.04.13 –21.04.13During this time I have mainly been creating panel pages for the graphic novel. I have been finding the process of creating these pages to be very slow and I think this down tovariety of subjects I have to draw. As a lot of these like environments and scenery are way out of my comfort zone it is taking me a lot longer than usual to churn them out andthis concerning me in terms of getting to a good point to stop.I also have to give myself time to scan the pages and edit them via comic maker or photo shop, as well as giving myself time to print. Also with the animation still looming overme I might have to have a review with my project manager to really prioritise what should take all my concentration.22.04.13 Over the weekend I decided to do carry out some impromptu research which involved looking through a lot of manga graphic novels and looking to see if I was on the right pagewith the style and look of my own graphic novel. By doing this I noticed that most of the panels in a manga volume consisted of various action shots of characters and there werevery little panels with a lot of details on scenery and environment apart from maybe one or two to give the reader a sense of the setting. Backgrounds mainly consisted of various
screen tones and comic effects which overall would be much easier for me to achieve and would take considerably less time to draw.23.04.13 I had a discussion with my PM over some of my pressing concerns in terms of getting the graphic novel to a level of completion. After some re-assurance over the quality of thepages already completed we discussed the prospect of the animation and whether I should now be putting all my efforts towards that or just to concentrate solely on the graphicnovel. We decided to that I should discuss with Harry about the animation and then report back.28.04.13 I reviewed where I was up to in terms of production of my graphic novel page and decided to change the cut-off point and will create a cliff hanger which the readership will thenhave to invest in the full volume to discover what happens next. This will take me to around a fifteen page limit which I feel at this point is manageable. Next week I will start toscan and edit images including outlining, the addition of screen tones, effects and of course speech.29.04.13 –05.05.13This week was a major in the production process due to personal issues that meant concentrating and getting the work done felt really difficult. This put me under a lot of stressas I now feel even more concerned about reaching the deadline of the project. The week’s setback has also but me in a back log of written evidence like production logs andschedules. Currently having drawn ten pages at this point was not acceptable to me.07.05.13 I discussed with Harry about the idea of not producing the animation and we agreed as it was essentially just an accompaniment to the comic it was not necessary. In terms of amanga publishing deal they usually wouldn’t agree to an animation deal until they feel the manga has taken off. Now I can just concentrate on the comic book pages. Thisimmediately took a lot of stress off of me as I was already struggling to produce the amount of pages suitable to really give a good idea of the concept.09.05.13 Drew out some sketches to apply to the back page and began to edit immediately. This way I would have the front cover, back cover, inside cover and all the big pages to hand in.I chose to prioritise these as they would give a better idea of the whole concept as the actually comic would be progressive and people might not immediately get the whole ideafrom the pages I produce so doing the main pages would be more beneficial.I tried to keep the design of the back page to a similar style of the front cover so I used the same black leathery background with the featured red chain. The only thing I have yetto complete is the blurb as I am not quite sure where I will get up to with my comic in terms of pages.14.05.13 I started to scan all the comic pages I had drawn out so I could start to edit them digitally. To do this I initially planned to use the comic book creator software which would giveme access to a range of speech bubbles and screen tones as well as an easy layout system. However I came across some technical issues while trying to install it on the collegecomputers as well as on my own. With this in mind and the ever impending deadline I decided to edit them through Photoshop. I also found a handy guide for laying out a comicpage and it is software I am quite familiar with.16.05.13 To define the panels on my comic I created a red box on a new layer for each panel and set the layer types to multiply. I then went to layer style and blending options andenabled stroke setting it inside the red box to give them their outline. Using this method would make it a lot easier to change and alter the layout of my comic if needed. Using ared box would also help the outline show up a lot better while editing making it easier for me to spot mistakes.17.05.13 Throughout editing a page today I realised the process of redrawing the outlines, toning, adding effects and speech is a much longer process than anticipated meaning I haveunderestimated the time I would need for editing. This could be down to the fact I am resorting to my contingency plan of using Photoshop rather than Comic Book Creator but Idon’t feel this is the case because although Comic Book Creator offers all the speech bubbles and effects in one place as well as a tidy masking layout system I am more familiarwith Photoshop and have never really had any experience with Comic Book Creator before this project.During editing to apply shading to my panels I have blocked shaded using a grey brush than duplicated a layer to a new document I then set it to grayscale than to bitmap where Iset it to halftones with a frequency of 50 lines/inches and at a rotation of 45 degrees. I then pasted it back into the page document and set the layer to multiply. In hindsight Iwish I had used this method for the inside cover. I knew the inside was going to be grayscale but for the depth of shade and colouring I thought colouring it first then converting itto grayscale would be better but this was very time consuming.20.05.13 After spending another day editing pages I realised I have made a huge mistake in terms of how much time I have spent on things. I essentially have wasted to much timesketching out pages and have left myself with next to nothing for editing. I underestimated how long it would edit a panel page. This required me to re-draw the outlines, refineany mistakes, and apply shading, screen tones and effects as well as adding speech. The last one also gave me a lot of issues as I hadn’t really created an exact clear script tofollow with only bullet pointed major plot points to follow.21.05.13 Had a discussion with my PM Mandy over concerns that I wasn’t going to meet the deadline as at this point I had only drawn out about fourteen pages and edited even less thanthat. It was discussed that due to some personal issues during production that there might be some additional support for me. After a discussion with Harry it was decided itwould be best if I just submitted what I had produced for the deadline and than refine it as what I had produced was what was needed to complete the assignment as it gave theconcept for my comic with enough sample pages.