Hello, this time I’m going to write a short essay. (Yes, I apologize in advance.)
This was my entry for the 2nd round of MT Knockout 2014, where the theme was "looking forward, looking back".
When I read about the theme I immediately thought of this scan. It needed a little editing to literally make the
characters look forward and back but since it’s also the same character twice, I had a feeling it’s a perfect image
to show his evolution.
So, the character’s name is Ken Kaneki. He went through some horrible events in his life thanks to which his hair
turned from black to white (among other things). If you’re interested in reading the manga but aren’t very fond of
extremely tragic stories, please reconsider. *mysterious creepy voice* You’ve been
In my wall, Kaneki’s black-haired self from the beginning of the story is "looking forward" into the future,
and his more developed white-haired self is "looking back" into the past. At least that was my initial and
not-that-complex idea. I’m like 99% sure about who wrote the super long critique and holy church grounds, you were
thinking about the theme in such details! It made me reflect on my own thoughts and I’m now not sure myself whether my
own idea was good or bad because I can now fell the “present” part there, too.
In regard to the vector – it’s only partly a vector. I still prefer to draw shorter or overly curved lines with
brushes and only use vectors for the longer ones to make them smoother. And as the above-mentioned judge correctly
observed - yes, I stroke vector lines instead of filling them. It’s closer to my favorite technique (drawing/painting
with brushes) so I guess my problem is being unable to give up the brushes entirely and mixing them with vectors as
well. On the other hand, I used vectors almost exclusively for shadowing and to be honest, at first I did try to use
more gradients but the result always became too pixelated after some color and light adjustments, so after I pasted the
character on the BG, I actually painted over like all of the gradients to get rid of the pixelation and in the end,
always covered them entirely with more or less one color shade only. (“The artist has done really well on making sure
there are no technical errors like bleeds and pixelations.” <---- You seem to have an extremely good eye, dear
judge.) Pixelation was my worst enemy in this wall. I did everything I could to avoid it. And to both my anger and
amusement, only the kagune (the red tentacles) always stayed pretty clean despite the fact they’re bright red. Thanks
to the texture, I suppose. -_____- I’m so sorry. I’m still lame at this sort of thing when it comes to using
lighting effects. D:
At first, I had no idea what kind of BG I want to have in the wall. I was considering a dark night sky with a huge moon
but believe me or not, I decided for a wallpaper toned in a lot of orange and red just because I wanted to reserve dark
blue sky and a pale moon for a different character… After all, Kaneki’s kagune is red and I said to myself that a
nice sunset will fit its bright red color. Plus, the manga/anime takes place in Tokyo so I went for a BG depicting a
city. I’m really happy that it turned out so “pro” and that the elements blend together. I was worried, for
example, that I placed too many individual clouds there or that the flying leaves were too much. The buildings in the BG
are originally from here and here. I just re-painted/vectored some parts to
make them less pixelated again. The clouds are from here, if I remember correctly. (They are used in some other official
art images as well and I remember searching for them through Google, too.) I added some fading stars in the upper right
corner. Don’t know if it helps fill the empty space much.
Yes, yes, the Dutch angle. Valuna commented on my previous
wall and said I should have used the Dutch angle. I said I would in my next wall and I didn’t even mean this one but I
still managed to keep my word lol. Somehow, I couldn’t imagine Kaneki from that scan not being rotated by 45°
degrees; I thought he would not draw enough attention the way he was in the scan.
I know I was also asking about ghosting in the contest thread because I wanted to make the white-haired Kaneki (okay,
“shiro Kaneki”) seem more like an illusion, but in the end, I decided not to go for it. I like the wall better when
both Kanekis are fully visible. I actually added the kagune on shiro Kaneki’s back because it became a part of him, he
accepted it as a part of his ghoul self, and I just wanted it there to emphasize how much he changed even though not
everyone might understand that.
It’s similar with the title. I guess it needs some explanation. The wall is called “Tragedy” simply because the
manga is one huge tragedy. If you read it, you’ll find out Kaneki’s foreshadowing it almost at the very beginning,
saying that if he were a protagonist of a story, that story would certainly be a tragedy.
“Then there is the thing that who made this wallpaper should start putting more time and effort in those outlines and
colouring. This really gives away the creator, but it is definitely one of the artist's better works.” <---- Well,
I guess I’ll have to try to experiment some more. Zix
observed as well that my walls my easily recognizable. *sobs*
That's it! Congratulations if you read till the end! I bow down to you for your patience.
Please don't repost anywhere.
Reblog here on tumblr.
Work in progress:
(doesn't show entirely everything since I've already deleted some files such as the one with Kaneki re-colored with the