A friend asked me to post my opinions and my views on OCTs. This will probably be in multiple parts since OCTs were a big part of 3 years of my life. Personally, it's how I first learned how to manage my time and process with a deadline. I never had to deal with the 2 week deadlines like how it was in Endzone but 4 weeks, while a blessing, was still a trial to have things done. In this installment, I'm going to just say about my progress in quality and organization made. In retrospect, I should have used an entry piece instead of the audition pieces but WHATEVER.
My first OCT was survivor and it was.. it was an experience. I never thought I could lose twice in the same OCT but somehow I did it. I started out with greyscale and I was obsessed with doing everything handdrawn. Not so much obsessed than I just didn't know how to do it. I probably lost a lot of time doing all of that when I could have used the marquis tool. The organization wasn't too bad but it was usually everything popping out of the panels. It's a good tactic but I used it far too much without having anything to fill on the outsides. Absolutely no backgrounds. Also slanted text is horrible.
And ahhaaaa, the format got smaller here and somehow I thought that was a good thing. This is Infractus Fatality. It turned out to be a bad idea but at least I learned about the ellipse tool. And I got to the point of colours! Sometimes I think that was a bad idea. Colours in my rounds turn out to be a lot of work and I learned not to do that again. At least, not with my own lines. My own lines are crap when it comes to OCTs. There was little organization with the text bubbles. I'm improving on backgrounds but I think this is the point where I tried drawing on paper and then scanning. I won't be doing that anymore.
This is the Colosseum! This is the first OCT that I've actually passed the first round in. I've actually given a crap about backgrounds (to an extent at least that I'll texture it. I should have gotten brushes for it or something). Somehow bubbles went back to being handdrawn and the text is typed. I went ass-backwards for this tournament but hey, maybe that's a good thing. I went overboard with shading and it ended up not working too well. It took me a long time to work with it when I could have just worked with darker shades instead of opacities. Anatomy was better though. At least in these panels. (Don't look at the other panels.)
Heyyy Law of Talos. Even though the tournament itself was really awkward (more to see in the next post), I really had fun attempting backgrounds and panel views variations. Didn't pop out of the panels like I used to (didn't do it in Colosseum either) but shading was ok! It was pretty weird how I did solids for the shading instead... Oh well. I think the major improvement here is that I tried more with the effects of steam and water and that sort of thing. Again, it was still within the timelimit (4 weeks, I'd cry if I worked on anything for a longer period of time). This work wasn't so bad if it wasn't for the weird anatomy I had in the first part of this audition. Panel organization wasn't really all that creative which I regret because fun things could have been done. I was still lazy and cut out squares for panels instead of drawing them out.
Escape from Nevara is probably my most well known OCT and I do like this one more. It took place 6 months after my fall from the previous OCT and hey, I actually like how I handled this one. The panels were more organized in a fashion that was somewhat creative and it didn't look as messy as my previous stuff. Since this actually got towards the finals, I can actually talk about the plot. I did have an initial plot but to be honest, I didn't expect myself to get far in this tournament since my previous attempts have been fruitless so after round 3 or so, I felt conflicted about what the hell I was going to do with my story. Roz's story wasn't all that developed sadly so I unfortunately had to pull something out of thin air. Needless to say, I wasn't too content with how the plot went but other people seemed to have enjoyed it.
And I did join another tournament and attempted another one but the first was a collaboration so it doesn't really count in this OCT post and the second, I withdrew so that doesn't count. I do think that OCTs helped me improve my art within a time limit and they are pretty helpful for developing characters and potential stories. Things to look out for are GOOD OCTs that will actually allow you to do that. There are a few that are iffy and I'll be talking about management and rules to OCTs that I've learned over the years.