2.08 - Angel’s Vision

Title of Battle Angel Alita, Last Order, volume 8.
[Cover title: Vampires or Vampire combat force]
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In the form of avatars, Alita, Porta Nova and Ping Wu finally succeed is penetrating Camelot, Melchizedek’s core. Here, Alita will find Merlin, a virtual stone statue that guards a message from Caerula Sanguis. We will finally learn what happened to the most beautiful of the planets.

In the Sputnik calendar 55th year (actually 2011 in Gregorian calendar), a planetoid (later to be named Ixchel) crashed the Earth. The impact shook the entire planet, dispersed the ozone layer and distorted the planet’s axis. An enormous tsunami laid waste for hundred of kilometers. Sand particles clouded the atmosphere, covering the Earth, and the ground became frozen. There was no more sunlight, and the long impact winter came. All forms of government collapsed.

In the 65th year, a group of vampires, the cognites, is hunting in New York City. Their leader is Victor Byron, a man of notable cruelty. His wife is Vilma Fachiri. The cognites are only interested in food. Food, to them, is simply humans beings.

Years later, in St. Louis, Missouri,Vilma Fachiri encounters a group of mutants and is seriously injured, being saved by John Farrell, a young boy who takes her to the shelter where he lives. Collin Farrell, John’s father, invites Vilma to bring her group to a visit. According to him, ordinary humans and cognites do not need to be enemies. Actually, it is only a trap, as he intends to exterminate the vampires. Victor Byron orders the destruction of the shelter and the death of all humans and animals. As he had promised Vilma that he would not kill John, he mutilates the boy, cutting  his right arm out.

Fifty years pass and the cognites meet Arthur Farrell, who takes Vilma to Bloody Shelter to see his moribund grandfather, John. The old man asks her to protect his people. Vilma also meets Haruka, Arthur’s fiancée, a character of especial beauty who will be mercilessly killed by Vilma’s edacious husband.

The cover:
Software: Painter IX & Photoshop CS2

This is the cover illustration for Gunnm Last Order volume 8.
As to  other characters  besides Gally, this cover is the second character after Sechs in volume 5.

Because this was an episode in the glacial age of the deep past, I decided the composition beforehand as follows. Color of black and white or monotone without color, and the composition like the souvenir picture.

In our office, Miss Vilma and they were called Vampire combat force Byron 5. A Japanese title became Vampire combat force by the remaining influences. (Annotation by the original translator: This is a parody of the special-effects television series in Japan.)

Because this picture made a fair copy of the line drawing by the crow quill, a main line has terribly become thin. I scanned the line drawing in 600dpi gray, and, after it, corrected the level and the garbage removing was corrected, reduced to 300dpi. It is because a detailed nuance collapses when scanning as it is with 300dpi. Precise anti-alias processing can be obtained by this work.

Coloring uses the gray of monotone. Software uses Painter. It is easy, because it is not necessary to pay attention to hue and the chroma. Chiefly, I was using Tint-brush of Painter until the present time. However, I searched for a different brush because I had felt the doubt in its touch and efficiency. In that case, the manual of Painter IX (Painter’s handbook) became a great reference. The part of the latter half of this booklet is a production article on professional artists. It is concretely described in this article which brush was used and how the illustration was produced.

I referred to the tutorial, and I decided to produce the illustration with a digital-airbrush, a square-chalk, and a brush of the change. First of all, it makes it more attractive to the entire scenery in a thin gray. I made the color of gray that made four stages brightness (bright-dark), and I painted it roughly with a digital airbrush. In that case, I took care not to make a 100%-black color, and I also made a black part a color of about 80%-gray.

Afterwards, I exchanged the square-chalk, and described the detail, increasing the variation of gray-color if necessary. I wanted to depict softly in the part where the fur was shaggy. Therefore, the line drawing was erased and the layer was drawn with the square-chalk on the erased line drawing. The snow of clothes was drawn in the layer in the line drawing with the square-chalk, and it shaded it with a digital airbrush. I saw the photograph of an actual Polar Regions exploration. A lot of snows adhere on the surface of the clothes.

As the person cannot be distinguished when I faithfully simulate it, the amount of the snow has been moderately decreased. After the description is completed with Painter, color tone is adjusted by Photoshop. I colored the bloodstain under the left of the screen red of low-chroma. I also changed a little the entire illustration in blue.

I operated it so that only Miss Vilma might stand out. It depends on having slightly raised a blue chroma about her upper-body. At last, her eyes were colored yellow, and the illustration was completed.

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