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Translating Volume 6’s transparency effects to print

Translating Volume 6’s transparency effects to print published on 15 Comments on Translating Volume 6’s transparency effects to print

With the printing of Leif & Thorn Volume 6 funded, I’ve been getting the book files ready to go. (If you missed the campaign, you can still get books through the official BackerKit preorder store! It puts all the order info in the same place, making it that much easier for me to fulfill.)

Volume 6 is the one where, for plot reasons, a bunch of the comic images have effects that do not work in paperback.

So I thought I would share some of the alternate ideas I’m looking at for the print version, and ask which ones y’all like best.

Spoilers for Volume 6 ahead! If you’re not caught up with the strip online, don’t read ahead here.

The time-loop arc shows reality starting to crack, until eventually the Woman in Black ends up floating in a semi-transparent void. Which looks very cool online, since a reader can actively switch site themes, and see the different backgrounds showing through!

The void also has a white “more cracks” effect. On white backgrounds, you don’t see those at all, but they show up in dark mode.

…Paper doesn’t have dark mode.

And I don’t just want to paste in a solid black background, because the feeling of “you can’t tell exactly where the image stops and the blank page begins” is important.

Here are the options I’m looking at instead.

(The general grunginess of the art/text isn’t part of the effect — that’s just because these are low-resolution previews.)

1: Blank page. Not overthinking it, just keeping things simple.

2: Extra fade effect. There’s an extra feathering effect around the figures, and the speech bubbles, making the edges fade into transparency. Nice and eerie.

3: Subtle color-tinted background. The figures in Nowhere Voidspace already have a subtle color-tinted foreground layer — you can see it with the transparency turned off in this portrait of Acai. So it’s on-theme to put similar hues in the background. Just enough to show off the crack effect, before fading to nothing at the edges.

4: Extra fade effect + color-tinted background. The “why not both?” option. Instead of the figures and bubbles fading to let the blank white page show through, they let the subtle background show through.

…so from here, readers, I throw it to you. What do you like or dislike about each option? Got a clear favorite? Let me know what you think!

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15 Comments

On the one hand, a plain white background is a easy and effective way to show “no where”. On the other, the fade with cracks in really pretty!

having cracks when you are already in void space implies they are cracks back out. Which would be forshadowing for the current book.

I personally vote AGAINST the fade effect–to my eyes, it makes everything look blurry in a way that is visually unpleasant and kind of painful. The color tint background looks cool to me, though! I really enjoyed the cracks and the way they showed up on the various backgrounds, so I’m a big fan of preserving that.

I read the webcomic on the Rose Garden theme, so I got used to thinking of the void as just plain white. Thus the blue background feels weird. I think the blur around the edges could work. It makes the white background seem really bright though, and I’m not sure if that’s what you were going for.

Here’s another idea though – you know that glossy effect that is sometimes used to highlight specific parts of a page, mostly on book covers? Can your printer do that for the cracks? Both the page and the cracks would be white, but I think them being glossy would make them feel as something unusual.

Sadly, any kind of fancy printing effect on random interior pages is probably out of my price range! (Making the actual paper translucent would be the coolest version of this, but I’m not even gonna ask how much something that specialized would cost…)

When I first saw those comics and realised that they would eventually be going to print, I expected the transparent parts to look like un-bleached paper, since that’s sort of what the background of a book is.

Ooh, that’s an amazing idea! Kind of a grey-beige, I think?

Would be cooler for those of us who first saw it in webcomic form, unless Erin was *very* good at making it clear what was going on. Sadly, changing the texture would be way over-budget, so it would just have to be colour and pattern.

I kind of like the fade effect when she’s further in the background, but it feels more wrong when she’s foregrounded (The way fog blurs things rather than just everything blurry).

I also agree with Al above that the fact that her body/coat cut off sharply in the top right and at the bottom where it was framed sort of ruins the whole thing. My vote; fade effect ONLY on the 2 further away figures — and on the two sharp page-edges parts of the more foregrounded figures.

I like the subtle colour in the background to keep showing the cracks, but I’d want it *even more* subtle.

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