Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

ATTN Inkers: Pitching Blacks on Paper vs Digitally
spacehamster at 7:01AM, April 19, 2008
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I'm curious to hear some opinions on this. I ink my stuff on paper with a Kolinsky brush and an array of technical pens, but I fill in most of the black areas after scanning in Photoshop. Reading what other inkers say online, it always sounds like everyone completes their inks on paper, so… what do you guys do and why? My thoughts are about these:

Advantages of pitching blacks on the computer:
-it saves time. Like one or two hours per page, minimum, if not more (that alone is reason enough for me, really)
-when I do it manually, I inevitably end up smudging something because I'm an idiot
-there is NO difference in the way it looks in the end because I convert everything to black/white monochrome in the end anyway
-manually pitched black areas always end up with white spots that need to be touched up
-good ink is expensive, and the tools get worn down too.

Advantages of pitching blacks on paper:
-you actually have a nice-looking finished physical product in the end - my original art isn't much to look at because so much of the black is missing
-you can see what the result looks like - pitching blacks after the fact is always a bit of a gamble because you don't know if something will work. When I do fill in black areas on paper, this is always the reason
-“closing” the outlines around the blacks and filling them in in Photoshop is an incredibly dull and boring process, but then so is doing it on paper
-theoretically, there's no need to convert the scan to monochrome, so you could keep it in greyscale, which would have a smoother look if that ever worked, but… it never does, and if you're going to color, that point is moot.

Thoughts?
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM
Ryuthehedgewolf at 8:43AM, April 19, 2008
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Well, since I'm cheap and whatnot, I do all the blacks before I scan. Just for the fact that I would probably forget what would be a solid black, and I could just clean it up in Photoshop.

But I do my blacks with a sharpie. Kinda cheesy, but it works.
Sometimes I do make a mistake.
But again, what's Photoshop for?

Pretty much that :]
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:15PM
Frostflowers at 9:08AM, April 19, 2008
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I use Painter, not Photoshop, and these days, my pages are all digital - sketch to finished product.

I prefer inking digitally, because I can work in different layers, and if something looks really, really awful, or if my hand slips, or whatever, I can simply press “Undo”, and do it over again. Since I am probably the messiest sketcher/inker I know of, this is a huge advantage to me, which pretty much balances out all the positives with inking by hand.
The Continued Misadventures of Bonebird - a poor bird's quest for the ever-elusive and delicious apples.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
lba at 11:39AM, April 19, 2008
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For me, inking by hand is much faster. I can zip right through it, where if I did it digitally it would take me longer and the results would be no where near as good. It's also fairly cheap for me because I have the supplies that I keep for other projects and I use sharpie on the filled areas instead of a brush. There's no point in using up good india ink on something nobody could ever tell the difference. And I can't really say my physical product looks all that great either though. It's alway covered in blue pencil from my sketching.

I leave my comic in grayscale when I colour it, I just set it to multiply and go over the gray areas with the brush tool set to white. I switch it over to RGB after I've done that and change the contrast to get my blacks.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:29PM
RentAThug at 12:36PM, April 19, 2008
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I do my inks on paper. I attempted to ink and fill in blacks on my old computer when I had Photoshop but it took a lot longer and didn't really look any better so I switched back to inking by hand. A full page only takes me a half hour to an hour anyway so I'm not really desperate to find a time-saver.


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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:05PM
spacehamster at 1:05PM, April 19, 2008
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Part of the reason why I still ink on paper is that it goes faster for me too, yeah. I've tried inking digitally, but it takes longer and I feel like I'm faking the effect of the inking tools, which is, well, it's stupid. But filling in blacks on paper takes forever.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM
mlai at 3:02PM, April 19, 2008
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The only things I do digitally are… bucketing solid black areas, most lettering, and Photoshop tricks/filters. All inking and most gray shading are done via pens/markers.

I see absolutely zero reason to hand-marker solid black areas when you can do it with a bucket. If you draw with that in mind, you won't have open lines that you have to close, either.

Some artists prefer a finished-looking page, and the act of markering probably becomes a relaxing habit.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:06PM
Skullbie at 4:10PM, April 19, 2008
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I do mine on paper then clean in GIMP. Most prefer that natural look to it, not the easy/cheesy computer ink look.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:45PM
mousetrap at 10:46PM, April 19, 2008
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i like colouring in black spaces manually. then, i can show people my pages without going on the pooter :)
that and i don't worry about wasting ink filling in the spaces, i use dollar store markers. even my sharpies are no-name brand. hahaha.

the only thing i add on digitally is the text, because my handwriting is nasty.
i never posted here.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
tohoscope at 10:15AM, April 21, 2008
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spacehamster
Part of the reason why I still ink on paper is that it goes faster for me too, yeah. I've tried inking digitally, but it takes longer and I feel like I'm faking the effect of the inking tools, which is, well, it's stupid. But filling in blacks on paper takes forever.
That's why you should get an assistant to fill in the blacks for you. And do all the paneling and borders, too. And while they're at it, ink all those annoying backgrounds.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:32PM
spacehamster at 2:18PM, April 21, 2008
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tohoscope
That's why you should get an assistant to fill in the blacks for you. And do all the paneling and borders, too. And while they're at it, ink all those annoying backgrounds.

Hahaha. Well, SEND ME MONEY then.

Seriously though, it would be nice to have a flatter. Maybe then I'd actually go back to coloring. But flatting, more than anything… drives me insane. Ten times worse than inking skyscrapers.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM
Jabali at 12:30PM, May 28, 2008
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I know this thread may be old but since I'm kind of new here and I'm ink junkie I wanted to throw my 2 cents in the topic.

I love inking manually my work, even fill the black areas (with sharpies since ink has become expensive). I do this mostly for the selling potential of finished art-work. I tried everything from rotring pens, disposable pen brushes, micron pigmas but I'm back to regular brushes and crowquills dip pens.

I even do some of the gray or color tones using a regular pencil and then scanning and manipulations in photoshop. It's not that I'm a computer hater it's that I can't afford a tablet and using the computer mouse it's a pain in the neck.

I haven't seen a digital “inked” work that i like, in my opinion they look too flat and lifeless maybe it's just me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM

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