This week’s SMA MASTER CLASS, the future manga stars from SILENT MANGA AUDITION®, member is the twin duo from Thailand, DosDrive ☆
The twins may be in design school right now, but they’ve got dreams of being a double threat: manga pros, animators, film makers …and more!?
They told us how they see common techniques in all those mediums, and how they’d like to apply the combined wisdom to the world of mixed media creation.
Good Morning DosDrive!
INTERVIEW WITH DosDrive.
“When we talk to each other, it sometimes feels like we are talking to ourselves.”
1. Tell us about where you live?
We both live in Bangkok, the capital city in Thailand. In our city there are a lot of Buddhist temples, especially the landmarks like Phra Kaew Temple and Pho Temple. The thing that is really special is our Thai cuisine. It is well known for spicy and strong flavor, is delicious, and many people including foreign people love trying it!
I did internship at The Monk Studio. They had taken responsibility for character animating and also cloth simulation for character in “Final Fantasy 15 Kingsglaive.” In their server I found a lot of production process videos and I saw some footages of the beginning scene.
I did intern at Igloo Studio. I had to become a DJ at the studio and to choose the songs and soundtrack to keep everyone relaxed. One day, I chose Jiban, GaoGaiGar, Doraemon, and Digimon theme songs. Everyone felt nostalgia. XD
When we talk to each other, sometimes it feels like we are talking to ourselves LOL. As twins, we have similar pictures in our head while having a discussion. Because we were together since we were young we mostly have the same experiences. Watching the same films and reading the same manga that we recommend to each other. So it is quite easier for drawing like we both want it to be, though some panels one of us might not do anything.
4. What kind of tools do you use and which is your favorite? Let us see it!
Our favorite tools are Clip Studio Paint Ex and Photoshop, using for all processes from sketching to screen-toning. We use to do the traditional way, inking on B4 papers. But, it’s difficult finding B4 papers in Thailand. We wanted to add much more details in every panels, including lighting, and shading to make dramatic emotion, so we purchased the program for making our work and found it’s very efficient.
Right now we live in our collage’s dorm so there’s no problem losing contact.
We start from brainstorming then dividing specific processes for each of us. Drive usually takes responsibility for storyboarding, drawing background and screen-toning. Dos mostly does all the designing, pencilling, and inking in every panels.
6. Tell us how long it takes to finish creating a manga? Which step is your favorite and least favorite?
Actually it depends on the scale of each work. For SMA Round 03 it took about 4 months for doing artwork. We worked on it after finishing college classes everyday.
Drawing facial expression is our most favorite. We love spending time getting the appropriate emotion that’s not too much or too subtle. It’s hard to say for us what is the least, probably drawing background because we spend too much time in some panels.
7. Tell us about your preferences when creating manga?
Before drawing we try to take a lot of reference photos from real location and people around us so we can make the artwork feel more spontaneous and touchable.
Scenery is what we like most. We could use some details in pictures to add in our manga background to make the atmosphere feel more real. It’s difficult recreating in manga, but if we make the background feel more touchable we think it will be better for the readers to absorb the emotion.
We personally think learning and noticing from real people is the best way to create character’s personality. You might get inspired from one of your friend’s subtle activity and how they act or respond the situation.
Thinking like a movie on papers is super-effective. Learning film language is also what we recommend because it will help you a lot about why you should use each camera-works for consequence continuity and emotion. Like manga NAME is like a key script for storytelling. Before learning about the key script we just thought only one picture without continuity in our head and that lacked so much storytelling. Now we think of the NAME like a movie in our head and then just choose one frame of them to use for one panel.
“Thinking like a movie on papers is super-effective.”
9. Which manga or manga creator influenced your creative style? What impressed you about those works?
We’ve gotten real inspiration from Naoki Urasawa’s psychological-thriller works (“MONSTER,” “20th Century Boys,” “Pluto,” and “Billy Bat”), Katsuhiro Otomo’s “AKIRA,” and Satoshi Kon’s anime (“Paprika” and “Millennium Actress”). We really admire their works and we got a great cinematic-storytelling influence from them. We love the detaile that they put in for every panel and every frame. The facial expressions and camerawork made us feet like we were watching spectacular film through papers. And that’s also what we want to make readers feel like when they read our work.
We mostly practice from life drawing and quick sketches. We also use Pinterest to find inspiration and reference source.
11. Where do you get your ideas from?
Besides getting ideas from all around us in daily life we both find a lot of inspiration from watching movies. Our favorites are Christopher Nolan films, especially “THE DARK KNIGHT” trilogy, “INCEPTION,” “INTERSTELLAR,” and “THE PRESTIGE;” the Wachowski’s including “The Matrix” and “Cloud Atlas;” and Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s list;” and we adore all of PIXAR’s works. We are always amazed every time we rewatch them.
We watch some older films to study what they did as well. Like “Blade Runner” and Chalie Chappin’s works for learning caricatured pose, the movement, and character’s personality for animation :D. Now a days creators must find a lot of reference from films before doing their own works. For example, you got a scene that character talks angrily. So, you must find the reference for knowing the right facial muscle change. We think “There Will be Blood” or “Magnolia” by Paul Thomas Anderson are great references for that.
12. What other skills or experiences help you create manga?
Currently, we are studying 3D animation in undergraduate program. Leaning 3D CGI helps us a lot about knowing perspective and dimensions in every panels, including lighting and shading.
We also learned about the 12 Principle of Animation. Some rules we don’t use because they only use for motion media. But, the Exaggeration rule we use in gesture and facial expression to push the emotion more. The Exaggeration rule is not about over acting it’s about make it clear. Like, in one panel from our SMA Round 03 work, “Without You,” we use line of action to design the facial expression by squashing the girl’s eyebrows and mouth shape to make the expression feel more touchable
They advised us to focus more on story and also decrease unnecessary details in the artwork, for giving more space and comfortable feeling to the readers. We think that’s true for us because we usually concern about the detail too much.
14. What are the specific areas you do focus on when creating comics for SMA?
In every work, we try to focus on facial expression as much as possible. For SMA Round 03, we’d like to do some kind of experiment with lighting and tone. Using the same lighting source and direction, like real filmmaking, to express the variety of characters’ emotion. So in storyboarding process, we did blocking (set the key pose for character for main key frame) where each character walks from one position to next position to get the light shape and movement we wanted.
“We try to focus on facial expression as much as possible.”
When we saw the SMA Round 03 result and had the chance to meet SMAC! editor team, other SMA Master Class, and professional mangakas. They all were talented and inspired us a lot. And this competition gave us a real opportunity to challenge ourselves. So we’re really glad to have enter this contest.
And when we achieve Grand-Prix Runner-up in SMA Round 03. We rarely go back home while we are in collage so we used this opportunity to celebrate with our family. Our mom knows we both love spicy food and cooked traditional Thai food for us like Tom Yum Kung. She ordinarily just adds shrimp, but that day she added a lot of seafood for us like squids and snapper fish. We hadn’t had her meal since we both moved to collage dorm so it was such a great time for us and one of the best meal we ever had from mom.
We both plan to work as mangaka’s for SMAC! and also as animators for an animation studio in our country at the same time.
With SMAC! we’d really like to do a Sci-Fi noir series or maybe drama slice-of-life. For Sci-Fi noir, we want to adapt a one-shot that we published in Thailand. The story is about judging criminals to prove that they become a better person or not by using simulation program from a mother computer.
For the drama slice-of-life we think a story about a loser musician who play guitar for living. But no one wants to hear any from him until he meets a person who quite like his music. That makes him want to improve himself. The point of the story we like to tell is you don’t have make everyone like what you do just some whom you really care.
For animation we’d like to work in our country at The Monk Studio. We are interested in their international production quality and they also use a render plugin called RenderMan. It is use in plenty of block buster movies like Marvel Comic feature films and “Star Wars.” You could say it is the first render plugin engine in the world that many major studios use and we want to use it too.
Thank you for your time DosDrive senpai’s!
We wish you the best of luck with you studies and can’t wait to read your Sci-Fi noir or drama slice-of-life series.
Thailand seems to have a galore of creative talents, like DosDrive senpais! Who will be the next creator from Thailand to join the SMA MASTERCLASS, to succeed as a Manga creator? 😁
Please show your worth, by joining & start creating for SILENT MANGA AUDITION® today!