Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Beginning Drawer (what tool should I use?)
Vegejor at 11:58AM, April 11, 2011
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Hey everyone,

Before I start I must point out I am an absolute noob regarding drawing on the pc. I mostly just used to draw images during class making fun off the teacher. They weren't incredibly good, but most people thought they were pretty funny.

I dunno what came next; stumbling upon DD or wanting to do something a bit more serious. Anyway it took me still over a year to get the courage to really start something. (am rather insecure ;p)

I believe I've got a nice character, a basic cast and a decent plot written out over the last two months.

That is when I hit a barrier; trying to draw something on the computer. I am really not tech savy and the only program I have available is ms paint. Which is not a program that suits me as it lacks… subtlety.

So not wanting to begin my comic with stick figures, but do it right the first time I have come to thou; what would be a good program for a beginning “artist” to use?

Everyone thanks in advance,
Vegejor
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:40PM
ShadowsMyst at 12:54PM, April 11, 2011
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Hi Vegejor,

If you are genuinely serious about drawing directly on the computer, you are going to have to probably invest in either one of two things.

Option one is to get a digital tablet. Wacom is a popular and quality brand, although there are other tablets that you might find that are cheaper. If you want to work 100% digital, this is going to be an absolute necessity.

Option 2 is to buy a scanner, and draw your pages by hand, scan them in and fix/color them up in an appropriate digital program. You can do a little retouching with a mouse, but it requires more traditional pencil/ink and pen skills on paper. This is only if you don't want to learn the tablet.

The second part you will need to do for either option is acquiring a decent drawing/painting program. MS paint just doesn't really cut it. Depending on what you can spend there are different options. MangaStudio is popular, as it has a lot of features and is one of the few that has real layout functionality and does pretty nice inking, but there's a lot of other programs people use. You will probably want to look into them, but some you might want to check out is The Gimp (free), Adobe Photoshop, Inkscape (free), Paint Tool Sai, Pixia (free), Art Rage, Corel Painter or Open Canvas. Just google for their respective websites. Most of these are available in demos for free, so I suggest, once you get your tablet, you download the demos and try a few out to see what you find comfortable.


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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:32PM
Vegejor at 1:41PM, April 11, 2011
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Thnx ShadowMyst,

I will do that. I am not sure how much a digital tablet is, but considering being a student I might be forced to pick up a cheap version.

Still I really apreciate your reply and I am genuinely serious about the drawing. I have a story in mind that I really want to share and I do like to draw. I think it might be best to try one off the drawing/painting programs first though. See how I like it and if it is something I believe is worth investing money in.

So Shadowmyst thank you for your response. I'll try to see if I can find MangaStudio here. Don't know how big the drawing market is in The Netherlands, but I presume I could always find it somewhere else.

Anyway even when I get the program it will be some time to get the quality and vibe I want. But when I do, can I post examples/trials here?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:40PM
Tim Wellman at 11:28PM, April 11, 2011
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Don't worry about buying a cheap tablet… I've had around a dozen comics published, and drawn around 20 or so, including a couple of top 100 comics on DD… all on a tablet that cost me 49.99 U.S. about 6 years ago. Check out tigerdirect… you can find something usable for the same price. And don't worry, all tablets are the same except for packaged software and name badges… they all work exactly the same.

But, with a tablet, you'll need drawing software… one of the best (and cheapest) is Paint Tool SAI… it's around 50 dollars when you buy it online… it will do automatic line smoothing, line tails, you can re-adjust line widths, etc… actually, you can draw pretty good comics just using a mouse with Paint Tool SAI

For example, the linework (inking) for this was done entirely using SAI and a mouse
http://www.drunkduck.com/Time_Girls/gfx/NagiandTakakoFanart.jpg

SAI can be found here
http://www.systemax.jp/en/sai/
and you can download a 30 day free trial version. BTW, most of those great anime and hentai CG pinups you see from Japanese artists are done using SAI.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
ShadowsMyst at 11:43AM, April 12, 2011
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posts: 218
joined: 1-9-2006
Tablet prices range anywhere from 39$-1200$. For example, this economy model on newegg is only 39$. This is the smallest entry level wacom, and its about 69$. If you want to buy locally, you'll probably have to hunt about for a deal, but they are out there to be had. You just gotta look for them.

You might also ask what software comes with the tablet. Some will come with watered down versions of Corel Painter, or Adobe Elements.

I would agree with Tim that Paint Tool Sai is awesome and is well worth checking out. Although it is definitely an illustration program and has no layout tools. That's one of the things MangaStudio does have over almost all of the other painting programs. It can do comic layouts with specialized tools to make paneling easy and handle multiple pages in a single document. Manga Studio does offer a free trial as well. You can get that here. I think its definitely worth trying both out and seeing what you like best.

_____________________________________________________
I have a webcomic making blog! Check it out.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:32PM
Tim Wellman at 7:57PM, April 12, 2011
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joined: 1-14-2007
I actually use Manga Studio EX 4 for all my inking (then color or tone in Photoshop), but that costs 250 dollars. I haven't tried Manga Studio Debut 4, which is the same price as SAI… but, I do know Debut doesn't offer any color and no vector lines, but does have some builtin screentones and layout tools. Those just never mattered to me because I pencil on paper, then scan it in to do digital inking.

So, I agree, it's probably a tossup between SAI and Manga Studio Debut (same price, although I have seen Manga Studio Debut for under 30 dollars on ebay in sealed box), just depending on whether you want to work in color or not.

But agreed, Manga Studio EX is the very best digital inking software in the world… by a long shot.

Tablet-wise, this is the one I have
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823102007
though it had a different manufacturer's name when I bought it years ago. You can be drawn-in by larger tablets, but since the proper way to use one is to zoom in on sections of your drawing anyway. a smaller size is fine.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
kyupol at 9:27PM, April 12, 2011
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posts: 3,712
joined: 1-12-2006
1)pencil (HB dollar store type)
2)paper
3)eraser
4)scanner
5)photoshop

Kid you not. Thats what I used on this page:
http://www.drunkduck.com/MAG_ISA/index.php?p=777008
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:27PM
Vegejor at 9:02AM, April 14, 2011
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posts: 6
joined: 12-10-2010
I would like to thank everyone for their kind words and advise. I won't say I never know how easy it was to draw on the pc, but I want to thank you for making it possible for me.

I think I am going to try Manga Studio Ex 4 and have been looking around for a tablet. So far I haven't been able to find one, but I am sure with your instructions I will find something.

So everyone thnx again and hopefully I'll be able to repay you in the future somehow.

Vegejor
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:40PM
Tim Wellman at 6:03PM, April 14, 2011
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posts: 164
joined: 1-14-2007
Just don't pay full retail price for Manga Studio EX 4. You can find it on eBay, sealed box, for $150 (academic versions, if you're a student, are 99 dollars on eBay).
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM

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