Sometimes I’ve got notes with questions that potentially could benefit more people besides the person looking for advice. Though I always reply privately, this time I decided to answer here (with permission of course).
I would like to learn how to draw comics for fun and maybe for sale, but I have a lot of learning to do.
I love the style of this series: agnidevi.deviantart.com/art/As…
Can you direct me to get started? My hope is to use 3D drawings as my base and turn them into an art style that looks like the referenced page. Is that possible?
Absolutely. You can use whatever tools you like to do your stories. Some artists like to work digitally, some prefer traditional approach and some just combine the strength of both worlds.
When drawing comics you should remember that story comes first. Great art helps to attract reader’s attention but it won’t last long if your story is boring. A great deal of modern cinema suffers from it. Lots of money spend on effects and technology while stories are often clichéd or just plain dull resulting in poor box office performance.
However there is a specific genre that doesn’t require any storytelling at all. You know what I’m talking about. If you decide to go that way, well that’s fine just keep in mind that many 2D/3D adult comics are just poorly done. 3D allows you to quickly slam any kind of characters into crazy poses and actions and that’s it. Some creators walk an extra mile and study lighting & composition so their renders doesn’t look generic. But they are still miles away from, let’s say Paolo Serpieri’s Druuna. Another thing to note is that many modern hentai and ecchi manga have a very specific framing, focusing mainly on various body parts. Like 20+ pages of butts and tits. Again, study masterpieces like City Hunter by Hojo Tsukasa. Adult works could be both fun and entertaining if done properly.
If you are into ‘normal’ stories, then pick something that resonates with you and study it. Literally frame by frame. Don’t just drool over the pages, try to understand the story rhytm and beats, the decisions behind each panel. In order to get started you need to feed you visual library first.
Remember, there would be a huge resistance in the beginning. Everything will break, fall apart, looks bad and so forth. In the other words, your resolution will be constantly tested. Are you that serious or just fooling around? How much it will take to knock you out? One punch? Two? Three more? I've seen young artists giving up, falling back or go easy, comfy road instead of fighting back.
On a technical side, 3D could be used ‘as is’ or as a base for further rendering. I usually block out a scene to test camera angles and lighting in some cases. Then I can trace it down, paint over it or use like a reference. mldoxy have a great bunch of tips that will help you with the basics. Software wise there are programs like Poser, DAZ, XNA, DesignDoll, Blender, ClipStudio, Shade etc. either for free or fairly resonable price. The problem with 3D though, and especially with 3D characters is that it looks stiff. It takes a great deal of time and effort to get the expressiveness and emotions out of polygons and subdivs. Take a look at all the work that Pixar and Disney guys are doing on their movies.
In conclusion, learn the storytelling basics first. Study other comics, books, games, movies etc. to fill up your own visual library and spark your imagination. Know what you want. Every little step counts. Keep going and consider obstacles as your friends. Without them you’ll get rusted.