Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Noir Style Tutorial, Pt. 7 - Step 2: Turn on Live Comic Book Preview

IMPORTANT: This tutorial only works with Poser 11 and up.
It will NOT work with Daz Studio or earlier versions of Poser.

Now that I've got the figure loaded and have some of the various morphs applied, it's time to see what she'll look like in the Live Comic Book Preview Mode. First, locate the Comic Book Preview icon at the bottom of the preview window and click it.

BTW: All the examples in this article, unless otherwise indicated, are completed using the Document Display Style of Texture Shaded.

Click the icon to open the Comic Book Preview Options pane.
The panel will open and you will see a surprisingly small number of options.
[Checkbox]: Geometic Edge Lines (turns edge lines on/off)
[Dial]: Multiplier (set the default line width)
    [Checkbox]: Weld (modifies how seams are handled)
Comic Book Filer (three options)
    [ ] None
    [ ] Black And White
    [ ] Color
[Dial]: Threshold (big number = darker, small number = lighter)

Turning on the Geometric Edge does exactly
what you think it will do: it outlines all geometry.

You can play around with the settings and quickly get a good idea of what they do. Keep in mind, out of the box, the default settings are rough and you're going to get very bad results. You'll need to explore and experiment a little to find something that works for you.

Selecting Black and White has predictable results.

Here's an example of a thinner line combined with color and a significantly lower threshold.

For this image, Geometric Edges are turned on, the line Modifier is set to 0.450000
Color is selected, and the Threshold is set to 0.370000

If you've ever used the Threshold Adjustment in Photoshop (or GiMP), then the dial in the control panel shouldn't come as a surprise. It converts the image to, essentially, a 2-tone graphic, turning grays white when they fall below the threshold setting you select, and simultaneously turning the darker colors black.

You can get an almost pure outline (little shading) simply by adjusting
Threshold setting. Here, we see it set to 0.10000. As you can see,
Poser 11 does a pretty good job of giving you clean, simple outlines.
Something else to remember, this uses the OpenGL drivers on your computer. That means you can combine it with all of the other Document Display modes, such as the wireframe, as seen below.
Geometric Edge Lines are on, Multiplier = 0.660000
Comic Book Filter is set to Color, Threshold = 0.400000

TIP: The line settings use very small numbers. I usually select something between 0.45 and 0.65. Although sometimes I do go as high as 0.80 as my default Geometric Edge thickness.

Keep in mind, you can override this setting in the Materials Room,
as we'll see in the next part of this tutorial.

One of my favorites, especially when I don't want to do a lot of editing on the materials, is to combine Comic Book Preview with Cartoon w/Line. This creates very dramatic shadows. This is my fallback for when I'm in a hurry. Also, remember that you can use the menu settings to adjust whether you see one tone, two tones, three tones, three tones+highlight, etc. You can access these settings under menu: Display > Cartoon Settings.

To summarize the effects of the display settings: 

  • Texture Shaded: Use this if you want to see textures/materials. If you choose any other display setting, you will lose the texture maps.
  • Smooth Shaded: Nice, soft edges to the shadows, but not textures.
  • Cartoon with Line: Adds a little extra thickness to the outer edges; great choice for small models or for when you are having trouble with the edges washing out.
  • Cartoon: Useful if you want to quickly knock out the texture maps and want a cleaner, simpler render.
  • All Other Settings: Wireframes and Hidden Line are fun for when you want a sci-fi look, but in general I don't find them to be useful for making comics.

Close the Comic Book Preview Options window
by clicking on the "X" in the upper-right corner.

The Comic Book Preview Options window does not close automatically when you click on another item in the interface (such as when you try to adjust lights or Document Display Style). To close this pane, you must click on the "X" in the upper-right corner.

NOTE: There is a Poser video that also covers this. It's worth checking out: 

NEXT TIME: Step 3: Edit Materials

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