Just In Time For Stumptown: Immersive Comics!

This is a momentous blog post, for I have the honor of announcing the birth of a new art form: Immersive Comics. The parents are a bit of a May-December match: the venerable comic strip, which first appeared in newspapers over a century ago, but may be far older (Scott McCloud, for one, dates its first appearance to Ancient Egypt), and the immersive panorama, which has its roots in wide-angle photography, but only took on its modern form with the development of online photo sites in the 21st Century.

David Chelsea is watching:
Case Histories

For those of you unfamiliar with the Immersive Panorama, it is an image displayed on a computer screen which encompasses 360° of the visual field, which a viewer can scan through in all directions by scrolling with a mouse. The original image is a large photograph in a type of curvilinear perspective known as equirectangular projection (mathematically equivalent to a world map projection also called equirectangular), which is typically assembled from a number of photographs taken from a single spot using special stitching software.

Immersive Panoramas have become popular on sites like Flickr. Almost all of them are photographic, but my friend Tom Lechner (whose collection of panoramas can be viewed here) has done panoramic adaptations of a number of my spherical paintings, like this one, and this one and this one.

I included an equirectangular perspective on the disc of grids which comes with my latest book Extreme Perspective! I’ve used it to create a few drawings which, once mounted on Flickr, actually work as Immersive Panoramas. Here’s one. Here’s another.

This new drawing uses the same method but adds word balloons to make the whole immersive scene into a seamless comics panel. The setting is a typical comics convention, loosely based on the Stumptown Comics Fest. Since all the dialogue is rhymed, this panel is the latest in my Anapest series.

Many of the figures come from this previous curvilinear sketch done at Stumptown a few years ago. I learned from viewing that drawing on Flickr that figures which look natural on the page can look skinny and distended the closer they are to the bottom of the picture; I therefore compressed the figures somewhat in Photoshop to compensate and left the bottom mostly empty. The top is distorted in the same way; the gray bar at the top of the picture becomes a circular plate when viewed immersively.

View the drawing big on Flickr.

View the drawing immersively.

Don’t forget! I’ll be at Stumptown this Saturday and Sunday.

Stumptown Comics Fest 2012

Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE ML King Blvd. Portland, OR 97232

Sat, Apr. 28, 2012 – Sun, Apr. 29, 2012

Sat. 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sun 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

David Chelsea: Extreme Perspective for Artists Drawing Demonstration

Room B111 • 1-1:45pm