Go and check out today’s strip before you read on. I have an excerpt of the comic below:
Obviously the “painted” effect doesn’t actually go well with Breen. Part of his joke is that he’s both a Half-Life 2 character and a talk show host, and trying to make him look like a drawing takes the strip away from both of those ideas. But I was in the mood to play around with this stuff and so I used the art I had on hand.
I got to try it out for the first time in my recent Max Payne series, where I took photographs of a couple of industry executives and used the “watercolor” filter in Adobe Photoshop to make them match the art style of the game. (I strongly suspect this is the same filter the Max Payne game designers used.) If I’d had dark, moodily-lit photos to work with, they probably would have fit in seamlessly. But even with the bright and colorful photos, I thought they worked well enough.
I notice that the Team Fortress 2 characters look really cool in this style. Their flat color and strong outlines make them much more compatible with the faux-art idea than the photorealism of the Half-Life 2 characters. If I ever have the audacity to do a regular TF2 series, I might do this. Although, TF2 comics were all the rage when the game came out, so I’d have to have a really exciting idea to make it worth going down that road.
There are a lot of “art” styled filters I could use, but most of them are rubbish. A few are quite good. (Like Adobe’s Watercolor one that I mentioned above.) The one I use in the comic excerpt is actually a blend of a couple of different effects. For contrast, here is a random Team Fortress 2 screencap with the “Max Payne” filter applied:
Although, I could never use that filter on a regular series. I don’t own Photoshop. I’m currently halfway through my one month trial, after which Adobe will hilariously ask me for one thousand American dollars. Although to be fair, my 2003 copy of Paint Shop Pro doesn’t have anything nearly that cool. And the GIMP doesn’t have anything that can hold a candle to it, either. Adobe has many, many serious flaws when it comes to software engineering, but their image processing technology is amazing.
Anyway. I was just playing around with this stuff and thought I’d share. This Team Fortress series will run for a couple of weeks or so.
What is this silly word, why did some people get so irritated by it, and why did it fall out of use?
Good Robot Dev Blog
An ongoing series where I work on making a 2D action game from scratch.
Spec Ops: The Line
A videogame that judges its audience, criticizes its genre, and hates its premise. How did this thing get made?
Project Button Masher
I teach myself music composition by imitating the style of various videogame soundtracks. How did it turn out? Listen for yourself.
A video Let's Play series I collaborated on from 2009 to 2017.