Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

crazyduck at 4:10PM, June 2, 2007
posts: 46
joined: 1-11-2006
Does any one have any advice or tips or tricks or directions for how to color something on the computer?

I do a black and white comic strip (which I draw by hand and then scan in) and I've been told by several people that it would look more..I dunno..dynamic if it was in color. The problem is, the only way I know how to color on a computer is on Paint where it leaves white pixels in a lot of certain areas, or to open it in a program like Flash and trace over every line I've drawn with the paint tool. The Flash thing works but it takes forever (there'd be no way I could stick with my Monday-Saturday schedule if I did it this way), and the traced over lineart doesn't look nearly as good as the original.

I thought about just erasing the traced lines, but since the traced lines are never exactly on tune with the original lines, it leaves the comics looking a little weird…plus, as I said before, tracing the lines takes forever.

I have Paint, Flash, and Photoshop…that's really about it. Is there any faster, simpler way that I could add colour to my comic?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:48AM
Hijuda at 6:56PM, June 2, 2007
posts: 460
joined: 4-12-2007
An easy way I used to color heavily involved the bucket tool in Photoshop CS2. I'm not exactly sure how to work with scanned images, but I think it should go something like this…

1) After the image is scanned, open it in Photoshop CS2. I'm not sure how scanned images are saved, but when it's opened, you should see the scanned image on the Background layer.

2) Right click the background layer, and click ‘Duplicate Layer’ twice, creating two new duplicates of the background. Now, go back to the Background layer and erase everything on it (an easy way is to press Ctrl+A to select all, then press Delete to erase it).

3) Of the two duplicates, one should be on top, and one should be on the bottom. Set the top one's mode to Multiply, and use the Sharpen tool on the bottom one once.

4) Now for the fun part. On the lower layer, take the bucket tool and fill in any empty space you can find.

And that's it! It's a lot easier than it sounds. The reason I stopped using this method is that it's difficult to edit the inklines after you start coloring. But since you seem to do all your inking on paper, this shouldn't be a problem.

Have fun! :D
It's a comic!

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:48PM
glenfx at 8:32PM, June 5, 2007
posts: 64
joined: 5-25-2007
A few steps.. much easyer than duplicating and all that.

.-Scan your image at about 600dpi in gray, itll take a bit more time to scan but youll get much more pixels in your image… meaning more quality.

.-Then you go about cleaning the image by adjusting the Brightness and Contrast levels so the white gets pure and the black gets pure as well.
Youll notice the black line will look pixelated.. and that is OK because that IS what you want to work with.

.-Then change the image mode to RGB and use the fill tool to apply the colors. Have to make shure the "Anti-Alias is turned off or is unchecked"

I have to explain about the pixelated blacks, when we have a pure black its easyer to fill because there are no gray tones that gets in the way for the color to touch it.
If the fill has Anti-Alias turned on, the fill smoothes the color with the black, damaging your line work, that is why you have to turn it Off.

Now, we scanned at 600 dpi because we work at a much bigger size that when resized to the final size itll mantain a high quality and those pixelated lines will get smoothed and making it look great.

BTW: Save your original files in PSD. And saved the resized final version on a separate JPG file. Allways keep your original files safe.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:37PM
lunamoon_3 at 8:22PM, June 6, 2007
posts: 11
joined: 1-9-2006
Heh, I usually go on Deviant art or google and type “coloring tutorial” and I get pretty good results! I do mostly black and white too, but I tried doing a color page too, it's up right now if you wanna take a look
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:49PM
Kohdok at 9:43PM, June 6, 2007
posts: 776
joined: 5-18-2007
I usually take my inks and apply a little adjustment in Photoshop known as “Threshold”. It intensely sharpens the lines and makes them devoid of color variation and any surrounding pixel cloud with enough work. Just make sure your lines are dark enough and are solidly closed. Then, simply use paint bucket. You get your flat colors on in about 5 minutes.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:19PM

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