#10 – “Run Run Away”


So after some *ahem*shameless plugging on my part, Blizzard was kind enough to provide a link to Beyond the Tree, so to everyone here first time: Welcome, hope you find it interesting enough to stick around!

The one question I’ve been asked is defenately the how – it’s a step different from the normal screenshot and/or modelviewer approach most not-drawn World of Warcraft-based comics take. While a detailed explaination is a little too long for just this news post, in simple terms it’s really that where most people settle for exporting images from the modelviewer application, I ask it to export the actual models. By then importing them in a complete 3D editing environment, I can modify and light them in a whole lot of ways that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. The main cast have a whole array of bones and morph targets set up to allow a wide range of poses and facial expressions. If there’s interest, I might put together a page explaining it more in detail, though to some extent people will likely need to know how 3D applications work to make sense of it.

So, comic last. The rain effect in the last pane didn’t become as visible as it was to me while putting it together, I might have to use more contrast on it in the future. I tried to emulate wind with Hani’s lovely ponytail, but I’m not sure it came across well enough! If anything however, using motion blur for movement in a scene seems to have worked great.


8 Responses to “#10 – “Run Run Away””

  1. 1 Marcus
    May 5, 2008 at 16:35

    Hi there,

    i have been reading your comics for a while and im wondering, how do you make hani and tiny do those actions, im gonna make a video and id like to thanks,


  2. 2 Kompi
    May 5, 2008 at 22:15

    Well, as I tried to explain it, I basically just render the characters – even the standins with standard poses – using a full 3D graphics app (3D studio in my case). I only use World of Warcraft for screenshot backgrounds and graphic assets, and only use modelviewer to export the actual 3D models so I can later import them into 3D studio (using Milkshape as an intermediary between the formats).

    Once in 3D studio, I’ve added a biped skeletal system and morph targets to both Hani and Tiny to make them poseable and give them facial expressions. Once they’re set up to that extent, they’re fairly easy to pose – setting them up takes significant time and work however, which’s why only the core cast has that level of expressions.

    That said, once you get up to that point, animating isn’t all that hard – atleast not in 3D studio (animating WELL on the other hand..). I’m not good at it, which’s why I’m sticking to still frames. Appart from that though, the hard part is really getting up to that level, especially without any prior experience.

    There’s a wealth of tutorials available for all of the major 3D graphic apps on the internet though that might get you set off in the right direction.

  3. 3 Gerbert
    May 5, 2008 at 23:35

    I can only say that I’m truly impressed with the detail of this comic. the back pack is a nice touch and it explains where one would leave the sword when it isn’t used.

    I am wondering however what class I’m looking at. Hani seems to be a warrior if I look at her fighting style, it is bold, quick and precise. (It at least seems that way in the few comics made.)But she’s wearing leather clothing. which is a bit strange for a warrior, a class that relies on good armor for protection. If she had a bow she cold very well be a hunter without an animal companion. (Or tiny could be the companion.) Of course it is possible to forgo a class altogether in favor af a story oriented character.

    maybe adding a biography for Hani and Tiny would work well. It can answer a few questions that newcomers might have too. like why is Tiny so tiny, why doesn’t she want to go past the temple when they leave and how did this duo meet up, stuff like that.

    In remark to the ponytail, it is noticable but, if posible, a few loose strands of hair would put emphasis on it.

    definitely a comic to bookmark, hope to see more.


  4. 4 Kompi
    May 6, 2008 at 09:49

    I actually do have some kind of character profiles – see the cast link under the top banner image. That said, they’re not very extensive and hardly answers that many questions; the idea being that seeing the characters talk and interact would be far more interesting. That said, I might extend the cast pages with more information as we learn more, to make it easier for people jumping into it some chapters in to aquaint themselves.

    As for Hani, as a character she more or less transcends the class system – the character she’s lightly based on is actually a rogue, though Hani herself shares traits with both rogue and warrior classes. Her choice in armour was something I picked on look more than anything – it along with the low ponytail and the backpack provides her with a unique look that makes her easy to recognize.

    Good suggestions on the ponytail, too. Not something I think is easilly possible YET – the models I use are fairly simple to make them quick and easy to handle and render. Come time and experience I might upgrade the models so they’re capable of more, but that’s for the future.

  5. May 7, 2008 at 12:57

    I must say, I am impressed with the level of detail in this comic. Exporting the models to 3D Studio to allow for custom poses and facial expressions is a nice touch. I am looking foward to seeing how this comic (and the resulting story) develop.

  6. August 29, 2009 at 08:15

    One of my LEAST favorite word substitutions crops up in this comic:

    you use
    LOOSE: opposite of TIGHT
    when you should use
    LOSE: opposite of FOUND.

    To remind you in the future:
    LOOSE shirt: http://museumreplicas.com/popup.aspx?src=images/product/large/358_1_.jpg

    LOSE shirt: http://wetmen.provocateuse.com/images/photos/fabio_01.jpg

  7. 7 Ronin
    December 14, 2009 at 01:19

    The motion blur in the first two panels worked very, very well! As for adding strands of loose hair to the pony tail, that’s something you could’ve done to the panel with photo-editing tools after you were finished with the modeling, it seems to me.

    While the rain is not that visible in the final panel, you did a good job of indicating that it’s getting dark and rainy, so I don’t think anything was lost there.

    The atmospheric changes from panel to panel are really quite good!

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Essential box of legalities

Beyond the Tree is based on (when not directly using) the art resources and story setting of World of Warcraft by Blizzard Entertainment.

That and all related and/or registered trademarks are the property of Blizzard Entertainment and Beyond the Tree claims no ownership of these or any affiliation with Blizzard Entertainment but hopes they'll have a sense of humour and appreciate it all the same ;)


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