Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Halftones? How do you do them?
junkyb at 12:31PM, May 30, 2007
posts: 21
joined: 5-6-2007
So, I'm learning a lot about comics/manga, but I'm still quite lost when it comes to halftone coloring. I used photoshop; is there a place where I can download halftone pattern/swatches? Is there a free manga program that does it well? This is just a hobby for me and I can't afford to dish out $300 for a program T_T.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:11PM
Hijuda at 1:31PM, May 30, 2007
posts: 460
joined: 4-12-2007
Manga Studio, to my knowledge, works well with toning and all that jazz. Unfortunately, it's not free, but Manga Studio Debut only costs $50. I don't know of any good freeware art programs (besides GIMP, I think- but I've never used it), so unless you know how to use BitTorrent, you're gonna have to shell out some cash no matter what.
It's a comic!

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:48PM
Darth Mongoose at 3:37PM, May 30, 2007
posts: 488
joined: 1-7-2006
Buy the books from the series ‘How to draw manga: Screentones’. Each book comes with a CD of digital screentones suitable for pro use that works as a photoshop plugin, and instructions on how to use them. You can get the books on amazon, they're not too pricey.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
junkyb at 8:34PM, May 30, 2007
posts: 21
joined: 5-6-2007
awesome:) thanks
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:11PM
subcultured at 7:52AM, May 31, 2007
posts: 5,392
joined: 1-7-2006
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:02PM
junkyb at 10:22AM, May 31, 2007
posts: 21
joined: 5-6-2007
holy poo! That's the holy grail i've been looking for. That tut and link in the tut is really great; I bookmarked the screentones site. Thanks:)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:11PM
cs3ink at 11:40AM, June 26, 2007
posts: 282
joined: 5-11-2007
Let's see if I can make this easy to follow…

I work in Photoshop in Layers.

*My linework is in one layer.

*On a separate layer I airbrush the area I want tones in, creating the fade and area I want halftoned.

*Once I'm satisfied with the tonal quality of my airbrush work for the area in question, I use the information in that layer as a selection, create a new channel in my Channels pallette, and fill that channel with the info from the selected layer.

*While still in the newly-created channel, I “select all”, and copy.

*I create a new document. Since I did so *after* copying from the channel, the new document should be the exact proportions as my working page.

*I paste into a channel within the new document. By this point, the airbrushed tones first created should be in in the new document.

*Go to “Mode”, and change the mode to bitmap. In the window that pops up, select the “Method” as “Halftone Screen…”. Click “OK”, then set the frequency, angle, and shape of the halftone (round, line, etc.).

*Copy the newly halftoned info by selecting all & copying, & paste into a channel in your original document.

*Use the channel as a selection, & load the new halftone into a new layer.

I know it sounds confusing, but I'm a tech idiot, & I invented this method. If I can come up with it myself, anyone should be able to walk through my instructions & work it out.

This approach works best when the dpi is *over* 300 (I prefer 600).

You'll need to play around with your halftone settings to find the angle and linescreen you want, but this method gives you a good deal more creative control over what you create halftone-wise. Instead of a flat halftone with no variation, you can create ones that fade and change intensity. You can also create lined halftones.

You can see numerous examples in my comic, Terran Sandz.

If you have any questions, feel free to let me know.

Creator of Terran Sandz and Broken Things, and now Dead. Check 'em out.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:55AM
Blackmoon at 9:15PM, July 1, 2007
posts: 60
joined: 2-24-2006
Hm. I always just took my lineart layer, set the blending mode to Multiply, and then created a new layer for each screen tone under that and added in the tones with the Pattern Stamp tool. Always worked well for me, but then, it tends to get a little sloppy if I'm not paying attention.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:23AM
Faliat at 6:59AM, July 9, 2007
posts: 582
joined: 10-17-2006
I tried making my own several times but they always ended up being rotten.

So I scanned some real tone paper and made the white transparent.

I haven't had the chance to use them in my comics yet because somebody took psp8 and won't give it back and I can't afford to get it again.

Ne ways, I tested out my tones on some other lineart and they weem to work really well, so I guess I could pass them on to other people if they want them.

But whoever has them will need some way of tiling them as they work best when tiled.

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

- Rekkiy (NerveWire)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
albone at 7:49PM, July 10, 2007
posts: 413
joined: 10-27-2006
Better late then never I say……

I do believe you will like this:
You are part of the rebel alliance and a traitor!
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:48AM
junkyb at 2:35PM, July 13, 2007
posts: 21
joined: 5-6-2007

Thx to fluffybunnies for scannings these and posting to share with the DD community. I thought I'd add your link here since apparently this thread was stickied hehe.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:11PM
BMAN at 2:18PM, July 18, 2007
posts: 4
joined: 6-27-2007
Here is how I make halftones in Photoshop:

See samples of my work as you read:
Soul Chaser Betty @ WebComicsNation

DPI: 300 to 600

1. Lineart is on its own layer.
2. Add a multiply layer named Grays. Use this layer to create your gray effects using the photoshop tools.
3. When ready for print: Flatten all of the Gray layers into one layer, select all, copy and paste into a new document, then change the mode on that document to bitmap, with round dots at a 45 degree angle. Select all again, copy and paste it back into your original document, set that layer to multiplu, then delete the original gray layer. (making an action for this is a good way to shorten the entire process into one click!).

Remember to keep your original grays as a separate version. The gray version is the one you can go back to and modify. make all changes there and only halftone it when ready for print.

After experimenting with dot density and darkness of initial grays, I created a pallette of grays to choose from when painting. Starting with these grays allows me to stay consistent throughout a book.

I prefer to use the pencill (no antialising) and the drop fill / gradient to create the grays. I stay away from too many airbrushed effects, simply because I want the final product to look like it was created with actual, old fashioned tone sheets, cut and pasted to the art, and not like a painting that has been halftoned (Although there are times I find that appropriate). I usually separate the grays for forground and backgrounds into two separate layers for ease of editing. I prefer to fill a section with gray and then use the selection tool to select areas of light that will then be deleted out to create highlights.

For other effects I used a photoshop plugin called Andromeda Screens, which is excellent for mezzotints (often used for clothing in Manga), as well as fabric effects like wool, jeans and burlap. Its reasonably priced.

Finally, I researched and purchased a handful of screen effects (such as explosions, lightning and speedlines) from a japanese importer. I then scanned these images in, cleaned them up and used them as textures when appropriate.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:29AM

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