AiM: Behind the scenes

I was working on the next Adventures in Monopoly comic, and thought it would be fun to show how I created the first panel.

I wanted a boat going over an ocean, and I wanted the ocean to be a game board. I couldn’t find any good ocean game boards at Toys R Us despite all the wonderful ideas given by people on Twitter, so I decided I would make my own in Photoshop and render it for extra realism in a 3D ray tracer, POVRay.

First, making the pattern in Photoshop by building up layers — rendering clouds, blending them with fibers, desaturating it all so it worked nicer, adding a coloring layer and then some text. The pattern would also be used as a bump map for that paper glued over cardboard feel, so I made two, one with and one without the text. Otherwise the text would have rendered as huge letter-shaped holes in the ocean.

I photographed the Lego ship on the back of my Monopoly board so I could get an idea for how to render the image and so the shadow of the ship would be generally in the area of the right color.

Matching the angle of the light in the photograph, I rendered the board in POVRay.

I separated the ship’s shadow from the ship in Photoshop and made it a new layer using the “Hard Light” blending mode to let the board show through. I had to patch the shadow a bit to give it all the coverage it needed.

Then I added the ship itself — just need to add dialog and the first panel is done!

Elapsed time — about two hours…

Giving Monopoly the respect it deserves

Undoubtedly due to the recent upturn in Monopoly fandom due to Adventures in Monopoly, none other than Ridley Scott of “Black Rain” and “Legends” fame is planning on directing a big-screen adaptation of “Monopoly”. He has not yet contacted me on how I could work with him to write a mind-blowing Monopoly script, but I will keep you all up to date.

Adventures in Monopoly #4: Revenge

The story thus far: After an attempted coup that leaves him imprisoned, Bear escapes and rounds up a gang of ne’er-do-well tokens and takes over the entire board in a legendary crime wave that leaves trusting and lovable Scottie dead. Scottie’s friends Car and Hat, following their friend’s wishes, took his body to Germany and buried it in Frei Parken and said a mysterious, ancient Latin prayer over his body. When night fell, Scottie rose from his grave, darker, evil, thinking only of revenge.

Meanwhile, Bear tried to entice new tokens to play Monopoly, on a board under his nearly complete control, with hotels from Mediterranean to Marvin Gardens. Unfortunately for him, he was forced to mortgage the properties on the fourth side of the board to pay for the others.