How feasable would it be to turn your novel into a visual or graphic novel?

#1
I have almost 15 years of experience as a video game modder, so I already have plenty of experience working with 3D and texturing tools. I also know some coding as well. There are also some engines like Ren Py that I believe specifically dedicate themselves towards making visual novels.

But what I cannot do, is character modeling/drawing. I just suck at it. Simple as that.

But I was thinking...how hard (or expensive rather) would it be to just outsource the character design? I believe there are sites like fiverr for this?

While the idea is for the graphics to be 2D, even 2D comics these days use 3D models to set up their scenes, and merely render and/or edit them to make them 2D. In theory, I could hire a 3D artist and have him make the characters for me, and then I could just use them in the scenes how I wanted.

But the problem is...I can't imagine this being cheap.

Note that we aren't talking shitty low poly video game shit. We are talking fully rigged characters with complex enough facial rigs that they can exhibit emotions. I imagine this would get expensive quickly for even just a single character.

How realistic of an idea is this?

Re: How feasable would it be to turn your novel into a visual or graphic novel?

#2
From what I know dabbling in Renpy, you don't usually use rigged characters, you get a sprite sheet with expressions that can go on bodies, and you get bodies in a handful of poses you need. It's not cheap, but it's not as insanely expensive as you may think. You're probably putting more extra layers of effort into this than necessary.


If what you're looking for is inexpensive characters that you can render, you might look into things like daz3d or renderosity or similar resources. You don't need a 100% custom mesh, you can buy a base mesh that's pretty close, edit the textures to better fit your vision, pose and render to your heart's content. Daz is one I use a lot, and has everything from realism to anime to anthro available. If you already know how to set up scenes and render and such, you could probably get some decent results for quite cheap.

Re: How feasable would it be to turn your novel into a visual or graphic novel?

#3
Yeah a fully rigged character isn't going to be very cheap. But do you really need that? If your characters are human, you could just buy some already rigged 3D models and commission someone to customize their clothes or something. And if you need art for a visual novel, then it might just be cheaper to commission 2D art. It also depends on the quality of art, ofc. 

Comics are a different beast. For a 2D comic of reasonable quality, I'd say around $100 a page is the absolute minimum. And that's cheap, cheaper than I'd work for if I'm honest. But yes you can keep the cost down if you can provide 3D models. Blender has some pretty nice add-ons for this where you can draw on top of a character model, so you could theoretically get a rough doll-like base and draw expressions on top instead of modeling them. Lots of solutions exist. 

But yes, if you want a ton of art, expect to pay for.. a ton of art. Especially if you're looking for well-rendered stuff. Anime is common for a reason.

Re: How feasable would it be to turn your novel into a visual or graphic novel?

#8
For financial reasons, I won't ever turn my story into a manga or ln, but I've seen several writers here who commissioned illustrations for their stories, and over time, acquired quite a few of them. 
This is currently my goal, I'm saving my money to commission artists to draw characters, locations, and key scenes from my story, I think it would be pretty cool.

Once, when I was reading VNs obsessively, I wanted to write a vn, but gave up on the idea just as my interest in the medium waned. Besides, VNs shine most in first person perspective type of stories, and I'm writing in 3rd now.

Re: How feasable would it be to turn your novel into a visual or graphic novel?

#11
Your average graphic novel is not actually a novel-lrngth story, it's somewhere in the 1/3 to 1/2 of a novel range.  Just something to keep in mind if you arevtrying to estimate the conversion of one to the other.  Graphic novels usually aren't larger than 200 pages, and that 200 pages will cover maybe 30k words of novel; less if you have any movement-by-movement fight scenes or that sort of thing.