Allegretto: Cybernoir Comic

Upon discovering that I’ve moderately learned how to use Blender (i.e., no longer send things into outer space), I decided to start working on a comic, and naturally I fell upon a film-noir cyberpunk setting that requires lots of dark and grim and whatnot but still a usable toon shader.

The core plot is simple; Timothy, a field operative for the biotech corporation Metamorphysis, and his colleague Anthony are forced into a variety of situations that require them to use force, skill, and world-bending powers known as Dominance to fight against a sinister conspiracy.

This is my first attempt at making something for this comic, which I’m tentatively calling Allegretto. It’s a “2050”, modeled after a fairly common type of gun (1911), but as it is designed for use by cyborgs it has been modified to eschew triggers for ergonomic grips. It’s the protagonist’s weapon, since the 1911 has certain associations with good guys, law, and justice. It’s much less complex than its modern compatriots, especially since this model in particular is nano-fabricated from carbon fiber and CNC parts. For instance, there is no slide, because the mechanism is entirely internal under the housing (due to the caseless nature, ‘2050’ model pistols are made in a cleanroom and then sealed in their casing; the only thing that opens is the chamber, and the ammunition feed). It’s supposed to be a super-modern weapon; the whole thing is entirely unsustainable in terms of modern weapons, but the high-tech means that the 2050, when charged, is entirely self-cleaning.

As far as the shaders go, the black (which is also responsible for most of the white space) is a simple toon, and the white is too (this is visible on the chamber, which is actually just a gas vent due to using caseless ammunition, but fully closes for reliability’s sake), and the front aiming bit. The wire and the aiming dot use a red Fresnel shader, made really, really, really dark.

The protagonist’s custom model will have a can silencer attached on the end, and the chamber’s opening and closing disabled, making it practically soundless when fired with subsonic rounds, as well as providing visual distinction; the can will probably be a plain black cylinder, maybe with an extruded ring of white material just to give it some pop.

For reference, I’m partially inspired by the sort of art occasionally used on some of their album covers/promo art.

My style will be more grim, more monochromatic, more bloody, more claustrophobic. The only colors will be red and a character-specific defining color (Timothy will wear a brown detective style trenchcoat, while Anthony has a beret).

I’m hoping to use MakeHuman with these sorts of custom shaders to provide most of the characters; I’ll hand-model each character’s important bits (for instance, Timothy and Anthony each wear their own dramatic longcoats-Anthony’s is black and Timothy’s is beige; his non-black object). I’d prefer to use MakeHuman, because as may be seen here my modelling skills are, at times, a little lacking, and I’d also have a horrifying time rigging up the face and such.

So yeah, basically I’d like tips, thoughts, or any feedback at all on this. This isn’t my first project, but this is the first one I’ve posted.