Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Coloring the hard way?
Mondenkind at 1:19PM, July 21, 2010
posts: 91
joined: 7-14-2010
Okay, well if I'm coming here it's pretty obvious I'm working on a comic, so I'll go ahead and get straight to the point. I bought Manga Studio EX for a lot of money, and I have no other programs availible because buying that one pretty much broke me. I bought a tablet but I can't seem to make it work, and because I'm broke I can't get a new one….so that leaves me having to use my mouse or else trying in vain to get my tablet to download right…

What I'm wanting is a solution to my problem, when:

a) I have to use Manga Studio EX as my coloring program.
b) Manga Studio does not allow me to switch up my layers to “multiply” or things like that…which I need for doing Cel Shading.
c) More often than not I'm restricted to the burn and dodge tools because of this.
d) I have no tablet and have to use a mouse…making my color shading blocky at best.

Do you have any tips and tricks for me when I'm stuck in this situation? Or have I been doing something wrong all along and there's actually an easy (good looking) way to color in manga studio out there (using a mouse) that I've not discovered yet?

P.S. >.< I am NOT dissing Manga Studio EX, in fact I LOVE this program…it's turned my otherwise mundane comic into something that looks somewhat professional. It's just the coloring my cover and other special “color” pages thats getting me down. For black and white and tone it's incredible. ^^
Run along with Captian Jack!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
skoolmunkee at 1:27PM, July 21, 2010
posts: 7,058
joined: 1-2-2006
Do you need to use multiply? I'm not sure that's a very popular coloring option. Most of the digital artists I know use opacity controls rather than multiply. Say if you're shading a skin tone, you have that on one layer, then a layer above that will be the shading. Choose the complimentary color like blue or purple, and set the opacity to something low which looks about right. Multiply often messes up your tonal range or contrast, it doesn't add any depth to the color, just darkens it.

No idea on the tablet unfortunately, if reinstalling something doesn't work I usually don't know what to do (unless I can find things to try via google.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:43PM
Mondenkind at 1:33PM, July 21, 2010
posts: 91
joined: 7-14-2010
*facepalm* THANK YOU! That was FAST!

I think I've tried messing with the opacity before, but when I have it always ended up bleeding or else making it literally purple or something when I just wanted to shade…but you are probably right. Using opacity settings does sound logical. I probably have been doing that wrong and it IS that easy. Maybe I just need to keep trying things like that and stop giving up on the first few tries!

Run along with Captian Jack!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
Friedenmann at 4:22AM, July 23, 2010
posts: 87
joined: 11-26-2006
For the tablet - download newest driver from manufacturer's website, check system compatibility, also remove previous driver before installing the new one, try plugging into a different USB slot (because I know from experience they sometimes don't work right).
If nothing helps, try plugging it into another computer - if it works, then it's probably a system issue (you might need to reinstall your OS then). If it doesn't work - is it on warranty? If everything fails, WACOM has pen tablets for as little as 100 bucks, it shouldn't be hard to collect this amount of money (part-time summer job?).

I'm pretty sure Manga Studio has multiply option, because I've seen a guy use it in coloring. Maybe it goes by a different name?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
Mondenkind at 2:34PM, July 23, 2010
posts: 91
joined: 7-14-2010
Thank you! I did not think of actually going to the manufacturer's! =D Sounds like a great idea. And if that doesn't help I'll go ahead and try those other things you said. With a working tablet, coloring will be soo much easier…and I've searched and searched for something like the multiply option but I can't find it. Perhaps I must dig deeper. XP
Run along with Captian Jack!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
Ironscarf at 2:08AM, July 28, 2010
posts: 1,341
joined: 9-9-2008
I've searched and searched for something like the multiply option but I can't find it. Perhaps I must dig deeper. XP

You won't find it - it's not there! Manga Studio is designed for linework and tones etc and is very good at what it does but for colour, you'd probably be better taking your finished linework to another program.

Having no more cash to spend is not an issue, since there are plenty of free downloads that will do the job. I do my comic almost entirely in Gimp which is a kind of free Photoshop substitute. You'll need to read the online manual to use that one though!
For a free Corel Painter ripoff, you might also try Artweaver. Either of these will give you all the multiply you want.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:02PM
Mondenkind at 12:28AM, Aug. 5, 2010
posts: 91
joined: 7-14-2010
Thanks, Ironscarf. :3 Following your advice, I searched and found another program called Sumo Paint which is an excellent alternative for the way I color if I ever need it. ^^ GIMP also looks very useful. From what I saw, it looks great for doing my cell shading work when I need to.

Also, just by getting up off of my lazy butt and doing a search I found several helpful videos of people who speed paint using the Manga Studio program. It appears as though I have simply been going about coloring on the computer wrong this entire time. I did it wrong back when I was using photoshop too. All you have to do is use a different layer for every single color and shade like you were doing it on paper, with a darker color. Then you just erase when a color goes out of the lines.

Why oh why did I not discover these speedpainting videos before? If I had been using their method (so easy!) to color this whole time, all of my colored work would have looked so much better.

Anyway, I think my problem is solved! (well except for the whole my tablet doesn't work thing, but I'm perfectly fine with a mouse T.T….that, and like Friedenmann said, I can just buy another eventually.)Now I know how to do natural color on Manga Studio, and I have GIMP for when I need cell color.

Thank you, everyone. ^.^
Run along with Captian Jack!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
Giratinasaur at 7:50AM, Aug. 9, 2010
posts: 38
joined: 8-6-2010
Well, if you are going to go ahead with coloring on another program and/or you despise an excess of layers like I do, you can always do one layer for all the base colors in the panel and then another for the shaded colors in the panel. You may need a couple of extra layers if you're paranoid about bleeding, but it's better than having sixty layers a folder or somesuch. XD Then again, since I work in black and white, I always just run around with various Gray Use markers for most of my shading.

The House of Jirachi: the only webcomic that has static rats and ebony felines working together in tandem.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:36PM
Genejoke at 12:29AM, Aug. 14, 2010
posts: 3,481
joined: 4-9-2010
I never use a tablet… maybe it shows in my art.

There are so many different ways of colouring and shading I don;'t think there is a wrong are right way just the way yo find best. experiment. try out different tools and programs etc.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
tiki_carol at 6:23PM, Aug. 18, 2010
posts: 61
joined: 5-12-2010
I've been using the airbrush tool in photoshop to do my shading.
I remembered this from back when I airbrushed Tee shirts.
Just an idea for ya :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
nsterken7983 at 12:13PM, Sept. 10, 2010
posts: 17
joined: 12-16-2009
this is how i color and draw, try this, it may not be for all and some may find it useful but i love the effect. i have manga studio EX and love it! it keeps me up for days sometimes! anyway, i ink my drawings in Manga EX. i ink on a vector layer but turn the anti-aliasing view on. this makes for a more pleasant drawing experience.

at the same time, i frequently go back and forth between the anti-aliasing view and the non view so i can see where there are holes in the vector's line. u can also turn on SEE VECTOR CENTER LINE from the VIEW menu to help u see where there are holes in ure ink lines. i do basic inks of evrything. by this i mean that i do all the most basic of lines, outlining body and limbs only. then, on a second vector layer, i will do the details. do this. ill tell u why in a second.

okay. now all of my inks are done and im ready to color. first, to color, use ur wand tool on ur vector layer of BASIC inks. make sure PAINT TO VECTOR CENTER LINE is activated on ur WAND tool. select INSIDE the outline of whatever ur coloring.

then, make a new layer, (i create a seperate folder for the color of each individual element on the page). Make a new RASTER layer in 32-bit color and place it BENEATH the vector INKS layer.

whatever ur coloring (lets say blue hair). Blue hair will have shades of darker and lighter BLUES in the end. so choose the middle or neutral, basic color for the hair. call this layer the flat color.

use your paint FILL tool and fill the entire selection on the RASTER color layer. make sure PAINT TO VECTOR CENTER LINE is activated on ur FILL tool. this is ur flat.

when ur done with that step, clear the selection, zoom in and carefully color in the parts that didnt fill with color on the raster COLOR layer. this will be tedious but worth it (ull see why).

when ur flat rastER COLOR layer is done, lock it and create another raster COLOR layer. label this SHADOW or SHADE. now, take ur wand selector tool. go to the COLOR flat layer. click anywhere OUTSIDE or AWAY from the color on this layer. this will make a selection of everything BUT where the color is. now, go to the SELECTION menu. click on INVERT SELECTION. this will choose ALL the areas on the layer containing the mono color flat. once the selection is made, i like to go to the VIEW menu and turn off the visibilty of the SELECTION launcher and the SELECTION itself.

once this is all done, go back to ur SHADOW layer and use the eye drop tool to sample the flat color. double click on the color in the COLOR SET window to bring up the spectrum analyzer window and choose a darker shade of the flat. start shading on the SHADOW layer, manipulating ur brushes and their opacity as needed to obtain the proper effect. repeat this process for depth, making a new layer for EACH color, including the lighter shades as well.

using this method, u never color outside of the lines because the selection makes sure ur only coloring on the FLAT. ur not coloring inside the inks, ur coloring on the flat which was drawn within the boundaries of the inks AND is located underneath the INKS. if this works for anyone else, plaz let me know in this thread. if anyone has a critique or criticism or a way to do this more efficiently, plz post this too. plz note, this is a really fun way to color becuz if u dont like something, having all colors on seperate layers, editing is super easy!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:19PM

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