Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Comic Work Flow
cyberdog at 11:32AM, July 28, 2009
posts: 61
joined: 2-10-2008

Hey guys, I've been here for over a year now, and making some good head way with my comic WarriorBorn. Does anybody have a good suggestion on Work Flow? Is it better to do all the pencils on all the comic pages in the story, then move to inks and colors? Or is it better to just consentrate on just one page at a time going through the pencils, inks, and colors on that one page. I'm trying to get a good work flow going so that I can provide great content for my readers, but not take a month to do it, LOL.

Thanks for your help,
CyberDog out.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:02PM
zaymac at 1:54PM, July 28, 2009
posts: 396
joined: 12-29-2008
I don't think there is a right or wrong way to do things.

Personally, I go from pencils, to inks to color one page at a time. But that is just the way that I work.

I also don't work with a buffer. Some webcomic artists claim that having a buffer is a must, but personally I just don't like having a buffer.

I think you should try out a few different ways to doing things, and then decide on what you're most comfortable with.

It's a Grizzly Bear battling Zombies. Do you need to know more?
DOLLAR STORE HAIRCUTA daily webcomic of unfunny.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:55PM
Skullbie at 2:14PM, July 28, 2009
posts: 4,805
joined: 12-9-2007
Like Zaymac says there's no right or wrong way, i do every panel scene separately in pencil and arrange the page in photoshop for inking, i usually do one page at a time. I'd recommend doing colors in batches though, you can save a lot of time just carrying over the process.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:47PM
NickGuy at 2:37PM, July 28, 2009
posts: 988
joined: 2-22-2007
i do it all in chunks myself…ill layout the whole story, then go back and pencil 5 or 6 pages, then lay in flat blacks on those pages, then pencil another 5 or 6 pages, then lay in flat blacks, then go back and do more of the fine lines, then dialogue across the whole board so it flows better.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:16PM
cyberdog at 4:50PM, July 28, 2009
posts: 61
joined: 2-10-2008
Awesome, thank you very much. You all put out comics on a regular so I can trust your advice.

Back to the drawing board.
CyberDog out.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:02PM
Kristen Gudsnuk at 4:59PM, July 28, 2009
posts: 1,340
joined: 10-4-2006
I'd recommend doing colors in batches though, you can save a lot of time just carrying over the process.

the only problem I'd have with this idea is that it's exhausting. Color is the most tedious part (you're not doing the exciting “decide how to frame this etc” part) and so I would probably lose my will to live if I had to do more than one page of coloring at a time.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:23PM
Aurora Borealis at 7:31AM, July 29, 2009
posts: 1,289
joined: 3-2-2008
I usually do my coloring in batches cause the moment I'm done I HAVE to take a break. Which means I'm not going to get started on pencilling the next page (or pages) for at least couple of days.

Makes more sense to do an intense week long coloring session and then take a week off (and as a result get 30 pages colored) than do a page a day and then a day off (which gives me one page every two days).

- - -

As for the overall workflow other than coloring… it changes.

In the beginning of Din Krakatau I managed to work daily in a specific pattern:
let's say on monday I was pencilling a new page, inking the page I did on Sunday and coloring and lettering the page from Saturday, so I did all three things during that day. That worked for about a month after which the coloring started to really get to me and in chapter 2 I switched for batches (and dropped inking). So I pencilled 2-5 pages and then colored them afterwards.

Chapters 3 and 4 were entirely pencilled and colored afterwards.

The second comic I was working on (which sadly is on hold right now) I was doing in b&w, so I was pencilling and inking only… in a somewhat chaotic fashion.

For example page has 6 panels. I pencilled 1-2 and 6, then inked 2, then pencilled 3 and inked it and 1 and finally pencilled panels 4-5 and inked them but starting with 6 and finishing on 4. (Panel sizes and placement were already worked out so it wasn't a problem).

Worked great until I had to stop drawing as “life” got in the way and now I find it difficult to get back to it :P

…Good that I didn't start uploading it yet, haha.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:08AM
Ryuthehedgewolf at 8:27PM, July 29, 2009
posts: 1,340
joined: 9-2-2007
It's really just based on how you work, and all that.

For me, personally, I only really work on one page at a time. I like having one more page being filled up in my portfolio, than just having a bunch of 1/3 done pages. I tried working in batches before (of about 5 pages) and it was chaotic. I was always rushing to get things done. It seems like if I work on a page at a time, I won't hurry anything up.

It's all really personal choice and all that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:16PM
Redemption at 12:51AM, July 31, 2009
posts: 139
joined: 5-22-2007
Aurora Borealis
I usually do my coloring in batches cause the moment I'm done I HAVE to take a break. Which means I'm not going to get started on pencilling the next page (or pages) for at least couple of days.
Aye. I tend to need a wee bit of a stop after I finished colours, too. Interesting to see that happens to someone else as well. :]

I found doing page batches a good workflow, but hard to maintain. You have to be a bit diligent or you'll be left with a bunch of half-finished pages the day before you update, I think.

Updates Thursdays.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:03PM
Phillby at 9:11PM, Aug. 1, 2009
posts: 195
joined: 3-12-2009
One page at a time seems to work well enough for me. I hate colouring, so the idea of having more than one inked page on my hardrivew at a time is disheartening.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:43PM
oneGemini at 2:19AM, Aug. 2, 2009
posts: 21
joined: 12-12-2008
Like a few others have said, there's no real right or wrong when your working by yourself. Find your own flow that feels right. Worry about “right and wrong” when someone else is paying for your work and gives you a team to work with.

Unlike many others, I have no problem with coloring I love playing with palettes and lighting to enhance the mood of a page. I'm not great at it, mind you, but with my simplified style, I can can do about a page and a half to two pages of color a day. When doing my own thing, I usually “pencil” and “ink” all in one day, then when I have about five or so pages of lines, I color until the batch is complete – unless I'm on a real exciting or interesting sequence, then I go on with linework until the sequence ends, so as to keep the energy up.

Granted, with IDW, I won't be coloring my own stuff, so I can spend more time just drawing (though I still plan to do 3/4 to a full page each day (depending on the page content).
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:21PM
SomaX at 4:43PM, Aug. 2, 2009
posts: 271
joined: 2-8-2007
I'll pencil like 5 pages at a time, then scan those to my computer. From there, I ink and tone and upload one at a time, but I'll finish the group before pencilling some more.

I've found that if I pencil, ink, tone, upload one page and then start a new one, my art loses any sense of continuity. I like to randomly change some element of my art from time to time, see how it looks, then either keep it or toss it because it looks weird. Now, while the eyes completely changing style or the background going from super detailed to utter simplicity will be noticed and seem rather strange at first, it'll be more out of place if it's just one random page, as opposed to several.

I think that this approach also keeps me motivated. I can get into a groove and just crank out a bunch of pages without interrupting my rhythm by running across the room to the computer to do the digital stuff and then back to my work space to start a new page of the trad stuff when that's done.

Maybe I'm weirder than I think I am…but that's the basic method of my madness. ^_^
#253 in Comic Book/Story #344 Overall ~*~ #383 in Comic Book/Story #517 Overall
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM
cyberdog at 12:13PM, Aug. 3, 2009
posts: 61
joined: 2-10-2008
Wow, thanks for all the info. I'm workin' a batch of pages right now. I hope to finish them up soon and close you the current story at WarriorBorn. I'm going to use the info you guys gave me to get the next story done faster.

Thanks again,
CyberDog out.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:02PM

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