Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Anyone willing to help out a n00b?
silver fox_104 at 3:04PM, Dec. 5, 2008
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hey all.

I'm a total n00b at comic strip making. I hand draw very well and I have a scanner, but I only have MS paint, so putting it in panels make it look uniform in style is really hard for me.

If I had Photoshop, could I get around this?
Even if the majority agrees on a stupid idea, it is still a stupid idea!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:37PM
Ironscarfs Ghost at 3:16PM, Dec. 5, 2008
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Hi silver fox_104, PS would certainly give you more control than MS Paint, but are you aware of the Gimp? It's freeware and offers many of the features of photoshop.
I hear it's not as good with graphic tablets, but if you're scanning hand drawn work it may meet your needs. You'll spend nothing to find out - always a good selling point!
Er……..boo!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:03PM
n_y_japlander at 3:21PM, Dec. 5, 2008
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silver fox_104
hey all.

I'm a total n00b at comic strip making. I hand draw very well and I have a scanner, but I only have MS paint, so putting it in panels make it look uniform in style is really hard for me.

If I had Photoshop, could I get around this?

Yes, and no… the problem with Photoshop that I have is two fold, the program it's self is a RAM hog, it is always hungry for it, never stops eating it. And the killer of it is the price!!!!! Yes you can get your hands on a pirated version, but who wants to be a thief and not pay the developers?

There are many cheaper and less hungry alternatives out there, many of which have a trial period. I started with RealDraw Pro, Got the free download, and paid around $25 US for it. It asks to resize all imports before it imports them.

So, hunt around… I heard that Gimp is widely used, and it's free!

last edited on July 14, 2011 2:19PM
mattchee at 3:27PM, Dec. 5, 2008
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I'm assuming what you're saying is that you draw your stuff out, and then want to scan it in and chop it up into panels (vs. hand drawing the comic paneled out, and then scanning it?).

I don't think I've used MS paint since the 90s, so I don't know what its like/capable of, but I doubt it has any kind of layering system, which would probably be beneficial, and I'm not sure how good it is at cutting and pasting from other documents, which you'll also probably want to do.

Photoshop, of course, is excellent for this. I can't really imagine life WITHOUT photoshop, personally… but.. that's just me.

Its expensive, so if you're not sure, or don't plan on using it for anything besides just this, there are plenty of programs that are excellent AND free. GIMP and paint.NET are the first that come to mind. Both handle layers, and should also do all the basic things you need to get your strip going. Probably paint.NET would be the most intuitive if you're used to MSpaint.

That's my answer to the software question… BUT REALLY:

My biggest suggestion, though, would be to go out and get HOW TO MAKE WEBCOMICS. Its written by the Halfpixel guys and published by image, and its really one of the best resources on the subject of everything from drawing your strip, to getting it on your computer, to marketing your strip. Excellent. Can't recommend it enough!

If you can't find it at your book store, go to either webcomics.com or halfpixel.com and there should (hopefully) be some obvious links to getting your hands on a copy.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:55PM
CharleyHorse at 10:59PM, Dec. 5, 2008
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silver fox_104, everybody has offered up excellent advice. I use the GIMP because it is freeware and because it rivals Photoshop in its versatility, at least as far as using it for cartooning goes. I've also used the freeware program Paint.net in the past and it worked just fine. In neither case, however, did I use a graphics tablet with these programs, and so I don't know how well they work with those.

To an extent it depends on how fancy you want to get with your art work. Photoshop and the Gimp are graphic powerhouses but they also have rather steep learning curves. On the plus side, however, there are tons of Internet tutorials available for doing cartooning with Photoshop. There are far fewer available for The Gimp, but there are enough to get you up and running with the program in a reasonable amount of time. Both Photoshop and Gimp can be memory hogs.

If you are going to do simplistic cartooning then just about any freeware graphics package will work just fine for you. Just make sure that whatever you do use it allows you to work with levels.

What I wanted to say, though, was that, yes, graphics packages do help you achieve consistency in creating panels because – just like with a word processor – you have the ability to cut and paste. You can also isolate sections of your work and do anything you want to it without contaminating the rest of the panel.

Ahem! There is that nasty old learning curve, however. Be prepared to put in some serious time and skull sweat working through tutorials. Be aware that Drunk Duck have a nice section of tutorials that you should look over.

Best of good fortune.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
Puff_Of_Smoke at 1:26PM, Dec. 7, 2008
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Paint.NET will solve your need of a decent art program.

MS Paint but faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar better.
I
I have a gun. It's really powerful. Especially against living things.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:56PM
silver fox_104 at 6:25AM, Dec. 8, 2008
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Thanks for the advice everyone! I'll try out some of the free software ASAP!
Even if the majority agrees on a stupid idea, it is still a stupid idea!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:37PM

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