Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Better drawn with a mouse?
miniebunny at 12:27PM, Nov. 10, 2009
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Ok, so i have a Wacom Bamboo Tablet. I feel like when i try to draw with it, everything comes out “squiggly” and i can't control it as easily then just using the mouse.

The sensitivity is to the minimum on the tablet and the mouse i use is jsut the typical wireless mouse.

am i not doing something right that the mouse is easier than the tablet? or is it just me?

also, anyone use Adobe illustrator? if so, better than Photoshop? (i have photoshop Cs2)
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:02PM
BlkKnight at 2:24PM, Nov. 10, 2009
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It's all a matter of practice to get the jitter out of the line, but they're usually more apparent on a straight line rather than a curve.

Illustrator creates vector-based lines and produces a smoother, cleaner end result. Depending on the version it can cover most of your drawing needs, but you'll still want Photoshop on hand for finishing touches (such as shading or placing the image in a proper size and file format). Also keep in mind that Illustrator has a steeper learning curve and requires a slightly different way of thinking (as does any vector program).
That's “Dr. BlkKnight” to all of you.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:26AM
Meechi at 2:26PM, Nov. 10, 2009
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Tablets generally take a while, depending on the person, to really get the hang of it. It took me at least a month to try and get things looking like how I draw on paper. If you just recently got it, it may take some time. Also depends on the size of the tablet, especially in the case of your squiggly lines. Smaller active areas can make it hard to get fluid lines sometimes. I have 2 sizes, a small Graphire for on the go, or sometimes I take my 9x12 Intuos with me as well. What I'm getting at is that with a bigger area you can do longer sweeping strokes to get a smoother line.

Just keep practicing!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:58PM
jaex at 7:05PM, Nov. 10, 2009
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I agree with both of the other posters.

One thing you can do that might help with the squiggly lines is zooming in more on your PS canvas while you draw. It works with me but then again my tablet is a 9x12 so I'm not sure how it'll be if you have a smaller tablet.

If you think the squiggles might be coming from the tablet surface being slippery, try taping a thin piece of paper on top of it. It should give you a little more traction.

I know it took me a while before my tablet skills surpassed my mouse skills– I'd been drawing with the mouse for so long(and more often than pencil/paper drawing) that it was weird for me to use a tablet.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
elektro at 8:01PM, Nov. 10, 2009
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I have been drawing with a tablet for a little while, and it takes a little getting used to before you can draw well with it. However, since I've always drawn with pencil before, it did not take me very long to get used to. For the record, I suck with drawing with a mouse, so that helped to.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:21PM
lothar at 3:26AM, Nov. 13, 2009
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tablets are just a fad. i used to use one back in 2005. but then it broke and i went back to paper. i like paper.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
mattchee at 8:33AM, Nov. 13, 2009
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In photoshop, zoom into 100% and watch how much steadier your lines will become.

I also suggest getting your hands on Manga Studio (debut is $50 cheap), which has setting to compensate for that jitter so you can draw without having to be totally zoomed in.

I use illustrator all day long, but not for drawing. Plenty of people do, but its a whole other enchilada, and a bit of a learning curve if you're not familiar with vector graphics.


last edited on July 14, 2011 1:55PM
sakebento at 9:20AM, Nov. 13, 2009
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I also have a Bamboo, that is still an issue for me sometimes. It takes practice to get rid of it, but there are two main things I do. First, practice drawing lines faster. If you can use quicker strokes, there's less jiggle. And second, draw much larger than you intend your final image to be. When you shrink it down, a lot of the flaws will disappear.

I've heard that Paint Tool SAI is great for vector lines that look much smoother and nicer than anything in Photoshop. I've never tried it myself, though, so I can't guarantee much.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:17PM
Aurora Borealis at 3:35PM, Nov. 14, 2009
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sakebento
I've heard that Paint Tool SAI is great for vector lines that look much smoother and nicer than anything in Photoshop. I've never tried it myself, though, so I can't guarantee much.

I've been using SAI since a couple of months now. It seems much smoother than Photoshop (which lags slightly on my pc so my lines get angular when I draw fast).
Example below…

lothar
tablets are just a fad. i used to use one back in 2005. but then it broke and i went back to paper. i like paper.
It's a nice fad then cause it allows me to reach a much higher level of details than I ever could on paper.

A comic page inked and detailed (that is anything beyond the raw sketch) in SAI:


and a comic page inked traditionally on paper (speedlines added in photoshop):


I think there IS a difference, right? :D
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:08AM
sakebento at 2:23PM, Nov. 15, 2009
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Wow! There's a huge difference. Paint Tool SAI really does make some incredible lineart (with a talented artist at the wheel). I think the vectored version looks much cleaner and more detailed than the ink.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:17PM
Aurora Borealis at 3:32AM, Nov. 16, 2009
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sakebento
Wow! There's a huge difference. Paint Tool SAI really does make some incredible lineart (with a talented artist at the wheel). I think the vectored version looks much cleaner and more detailed than the ink.
ah, but that's the thing. It's almost all standard SAI brushes (in this case the “pencil” brush which I prefer), the only vectors are the straight lines on columns and on the ground.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:08AM
sakebento at 9:12AM, Nov. 16, 2009
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Aurora Borealis
sakebento
Wow! There's a huge difference. Paint Tool SAI really does make some incredible lineart (with a talented artist at the wheel). I think the vectored version looks much cleaner and more detailed than the ink.
ah, but that's the thing. It's almost all standard SAI brushes (in this case the “pencil” brush which I prefer), the only vectors are the straight lines on columns and on the ground.
D: Even better! Hm…I should really consider investing.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:17PM
lothar at 8:33AM, Nov. 18, 2009
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who ever said more detail is always better ?
i like the bottom one better, despite the fact that they are 2 tottaly different scenes , the bottom one has more feeling and expression. the top one looks more sterile and overworked.
if you're drawing something , you want to get the feeling of the thing ,
isn't that the whole point of drawing something rather than using CG or photography ?
thats why i say say its a fad , people get caught up in the crafting. look what i can do in such n such program … with suchn such tablet . if a tablet works for you thats great , but i have found that paper is just as good and sometimes better . whatever the medium , it shouldnt define the process of creating .
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
Darth Mongoose at 1:34PM, Nov. 18, 2009
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lothar
who ever said more detail is always better ?
i like the bottom one better, despite the fact that they are 2 tottaly different scenes , the bottom one has more feeling and expression. the top one looks more sterile and overworked.
if you're drawing something , you want to get the feeling of the thing ,
isn't that the whole point of drawing something rather than using CG or photography ?
thats why i say say its a fad , people get caught up in the crafting. look what i can do in such n such program … with suchn such tablet . if a tablet works for you thats great , but i have found that paper is just as good and sometimes better . whatever the medium , it shouldnt define the process of creating .

A tablet is ultimately merely a tool. How much a person gets out of any given medium depends on how they use it. It's not a fad, that would be like saying ‘scanning art and putting it on the internet is just a fad’. Here in the UK, tablets are pretty much standard equipment for professional comics artists. A tablet is just a special mouse that's pressure sensitive and a more comfortable shape to hold. They're not just used for ‘drawing on the computer’, they make CG colouring and screentones easier too, not to mention digital painting, like the stunning examples seen in a lot of modern Game and Fantasy artwork!
Personally, I use traditional media AND digital. I use whatever works for the project in question. I used to naively dismiss digital media myself, saying they're cold and unfeeling, but really, I was making excuses, just because I wasn't good at using them and didn't want to admit that it was outside my comfort zone. The problem wasn't the tablet. The problem was me. These days I use whatever medium or style I think will suit the comic I'm drawing and the time and money I have available to spend on it.

For my webcomic, I ink digitally over hand drawn pencils. I use ‘Manga Studio’ for the inking. The ‘debut’ version is a steal at £35 or so, and it comes with line smoothing that makes it a lot easier to get the look you want from digital drawing and inking. I then export to Photoshop to colour, where my tablet is very useful for filling in those hard-to-reach areas a mouse would have trouble with, as well as painting in all the shadows and highlights.

Don't dismiss an entire medium. Instead see what you can make that medium do for you. Experiment! I make custom pen and brush tools for Manga Studio to get my inks looking exactly how I want them. A tablet doesn't do all the work for you any more than a pen or pencil does. You have to work and practice and find your way of doing things to use them effectively.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
ozoneocean at 4:44PM, Nov. 18, 2009
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Darth Mongoose
A tablet is ultimately merely a tool.
Heh, remember years ago when we had a fight about that in the forums where I was pro-digital art and you were anti? :)
Man, that was fierce… But we made up in the end, as I recall.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:35PM
sakebento at 6:15PM, Nov. 18, 2009
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Darth Mongoose
A tablet doesn't do all the work for you any more than a pen or pencil does. You have to work and practice and find your way of doing things to use them effectively.
Agreed! I don't think tablets are something that should be avoided. I think they should be considered part of an artist's toolbox. All my art has traditional and digital parts (traditional inks, digital coloring). Before I had a tablet, I would use that little joystick in the middle of my laptop keyboard to color things. It took hours and I didn't have nearly as much control when I shaded things. Now my coloring is faster and prettier thanks to my tablet.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:17PM
Aurora Borealis at 7:46PM, Nov. 18, 2009
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lothar
who ever said more detail is always better ?
More detail is not necessarily better, but if it helps to better convey your ideas then it is.
The bottom one would be much more detailed with better line weight variety too if I wasn't constrained by small page size (working in A4) and cheapest tools (inking with gelpens).

lothar
i like the bottom one better, despite the fact that they are 2 tottaly different scenes , the bottom one has more feeling and expression. the top one looks more sterile and overworked.
if you're drawing something , you want to get the feeling of the thing ,
isn't that the whole point of drawing something rather than using CG or photography ?
thats why i say say its a fad , people get caught up in the crafting. look what i can do in such n such program … with suchn such tablet . if a tablet works for you thats great , but i have found that paper is just as good and sometimes better . whatever the medium , it shouldnt define the process of creating .

I'll put it this way. This is how I look at my art.

Me on paper = meh, it'll do.
Me inking digitally = Yay, that looks closer to what I wanted.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:08AM
Darth Mongoose at 1:20AM, Nov. 19, 2009
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ozoneocean
Darth Mongoose
A tablet is ultimately merely a tool.
Heh, remember years ago when we had a fight about that in the forums where I was pro-digital art and you were anti? :)
Man, that was fierce… But we made up in the end, as I recall.

Yeah. Oh gawd, that was awful ¬_¬;

Rating digital or traditional media as though one is ‘better’ than the other isn't a good way of thinking. I learned this from experience. In the end, it's the result that matters, and what that tool can do for you. I can't really say I like digital or traditional better nowadays. If you don't like the cold look of digital art, then you should experiment and find a way to bring texture and life into your digital work rather than just dismissing a tool that can make your life much easier.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
lothar at 2:03AM, Nov. 19, 2009
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but i like working on A4 paper with gel pens
i did a lot of stuff on the tablet. so much that i wore down the pen and broke the tablet.
i wish i had a tablet.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM

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