Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Hand inked or Digital inked
Mushroomcomix at 6:25PM, Sept. 24, 2008
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I have been wondering if digitally inking my comic would make it look better, as well as the script and text bubbles. I have a pretty old graphire 2 tablet and I was also wondering if I should upgrade this as well. Please let me know what you think. Some people have told me that the hand inking and text adds to the charm and gives it its look. I am just not sure though.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:08PM
lba at 10:05PM, Sept. 24, 2008
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We have a new thread on this topic about once a week.

Dig through the archives here and you should find a vast amount of discussion and knowledge to help you decide what works for you on the subject.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:29PM
mattchee at 1:09AM, Sept. 25, 2008
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lba
We have a new thread on this topic about once a week.

Dig through the archives here and you should find a vast amount of discussion and knowledge to help you decide what works for you on the subject.

ha ha so true!

Long story short. Its whatever works best for you…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:55PM
Ironscarfs Ghost at 3:49AM, Sept. 25, 2008
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Iba
We have a new thread on this topic about once a week.

A new thread every week on whether Mushroom's hand inking and lettering has charm? The poor guy must be getting more than a little self conscious!

I think the hand inking does lend it something but there's no reason you couldn't get the same effect with the right digital set up (others are better qualified to recommend hard/software) if you wanted to try it.

Personally, I would try the look of digitally lettering because it's usually more consistent unless you're really skilled at hand lettering. You'd need to find the right font. If it doesn't work out, you can always change it back.

You could even create a font from your own lettering in one of those font creation packages, to preserve the look. What I wouldn't want to loose would be your larger and ‘3D’ titles and lettering - they look really… Mushroomy! Again, you could create and save them with the appropriate software, or just keep up the handiwork.

Do they have charm? I would say so, but then I haven't read those two hundred other threads!
Er……..boo!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:03PM
Mushroomcomix at 11:17AM, Sept. 25, 2008
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Thanks Ironscarf! I think I am going to try out digital lettering in issue 4 and see how it works.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:08PM
json at 7:57PM, Sept. 30, 2008
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i'm not gonna read the other 200 threads either….

but i swear by hand inking. it preserves the pure artform of the black and white ashcan book…but that is just me. it is what works best for you.

usuing a program lime photoshop or what have you can help to redefine your final scans and smoothe out any unfortunate wrinkles in the paper, that one clump of white out that just didn't dry right, or that brown spot where your f***ing room mate spilled coffee on the edge of you page.

as for lettering…..unless your handwriting is immaculate….i'm all for digital lettering. as artists, we can draw real purty, but writing legibly…not so much. there are some great fonts available to suit you needs for word bubbles.

i do say, however, by all means….keep hand drawing those titles. it shows the character of your strip.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:11PM
json at 8:20PM, Sept. 30, 2008
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oh yeah….i almost forgot!! super important!

if you DO decide to use digital text…..keep a hand-writen copy of the script! i switched to digital lettering in the 4th chapter of my book. i was up to chapter 7 (30+ pages per chapter) and i only kept the original script for like HALF of those chapters. needless to say, worm virus raped my hard drive and ate almost all of those images…..

now that i am re-writing and working that story, i have to wracj my brain to try and remember some of the dialog writen for MANY scenes. NOT fun.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:11PM
NickGuy at 9:04PM, Sept. 30, 2008
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IMO, I like the hand letters because they look so…well…WRONG. I like the raw trashy quality of hand letters. Obviously if you want a super slick look go digital, but theres no reason why you cant do the inking by hand and the letters on computer

“Kung Fu Komix IS…hardcore martial art action all the way. 8/10” -Harkovast
“Kung Fu Komix is that rare comic that is made with heart and love of the medium, and it delivers” -Zenstrive
“Kung Fu Komix is…so awesome” -threeeyeswurm
“Kung Fu Komix is..told with all the stupid exuberance of the genre it parodies” -The Real Macabre
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:15PM
Mushroomcomix at 9:08PM, Oct. 1, 2008
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Thank you guys for all your help, I have the originals of all my issues still with lettering and all. I will always hand draw all my covers so their is nothing to worry about there. I think I will stick to inking by hand and switch to digital lettering, at least as an experiment. Thank you all again!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:08PM
Ironscarfs Ghost at 4:21AM, Oct. 2, 2008
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Json
i'm not gonna read the other 200 threads either….

Hey, this guy gets better and better!

I take back what I said about the dreads - I'm just jealous. You can tag my shirt later!
Er……..boo!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:03PM
ozoneocean at 6:43AM, Oct. 2, 2008
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If in your digital art you use a raster graphics program and a tablet, it's still “hand” inking. Only vector programs make it easier and then not that much really.

The only thing is that it's easier to get a rougher look (if that's what you want) by using actual ink. :)
You do digitally almost whatever you can do with real ink, but going for a rougher look is harder to get going and to make it look as natural and energetic with a digital setup.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
subcultured at 9:11PM, Oct. 2, 2008
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use painter to ink, ps doesn't get that result that i want.
some of my digital inks

messy


clean
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:03PM
Mushroomcomix at 1:41PM, Oct. 4, 2008
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WOW, thats a big difference between the two. I have never even thought about using paint to ink.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:08PM
thoththegrey at 4:32AM, Oct. 31, 2008
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I've found that, when doing digital inking, using a vector program like Adobe Illustrator leaves much cleaner lines than inking in a raster program like Photoshop. Don't use Inkscape, though (a free vector program). While it is a great program (I love it) it doesn't work well with tablets.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:29PM
NickGuy at 10:54AM, Oct. 31, 2008
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I think that no matter what tool you are using, your real skill will show through. I mean, heres what i do “traditionally” inking over other peoples pencils…







now, Ive never inked digitally, but im sure that if i did, it would look close to what i already do on paper. one way is not going to make you a “better” artist.

“Kung Fu Komix IS…hardcore martial art action all the way. 8/10” -Harkovast
“Kung Fu Komix is that rare comic that is made with heart and love of the medium, and it delivers” -Zenstrive
“Kung Fu Komix is…so awesome” -threeeyeswurm
“Kung Fu Komix is..told with all the stupid exuberance of the genre it parodies” -The Real Macabre
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:15PM
cartoonprofessor at 10:55PM, Oct. 31, 2008
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For me, it depends on what you are using.
I simply find it impossible to digitally ink with a normal tablet, but with my Cintiq it's exactly like hand inking on paper or card (once you get used to the slight ‘slipperyness’ of the screen).

Only of course I have the power and control of photoshop directly on the page.
The drawings in my tag were done on the Cintiq, whereas my avatar was hand-inked, scanned and tidied up in PS.
As you can see…. no noticeable difference.

(Of course, scanning etc is much more time consuming than working directly on screen)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
NickGuy at 8:43AM, Nov. 1, 2008
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cartoonprofessor
(Of course, scanning etc is much more time consuming than working directly on screen)

due, what kind of scanner do you have? mine scans in literally 3 seconds.

“Kung Fu Komix IS…hardcore martial art action all the way. 8/10” -Harkovast
“Kung Fu Komix is that rare comic that is made with heart and love of the medium, and it delivers” -Zenstrive
“Kung Fu Komix is…so awesome” -threeeyeswurm
“Kung Fu Komix is..told with all the stupid exuberance of the genre it parodies” -The Real Macabre
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:15PM
cartoonprofessor at 5:24PM, Nov. 1, 2008
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NickGuy
cartoonprofessor
(Of course, scanning etc is much more time consuming than working directly on screen)

due, what kind of scanner do you have? mine scans in literally 3 seconds.
It's not the speed of the scanner.
It's drawing in pencil, inking, then rubbing out all the pencil lines, then scanning, then often tidying up the image,… as opposed to drawing directly on screen ('pencils' or roughs on one layer, then ink on another, then hiding the roughs layer).
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
Jabali at 12:25PM, Nov. 3, 2008
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I love good ‘ol school brush inking, I recently purchase a wacom tablet but i don’t see myself doing inks digitally but I respect the artists that had taken the time to master that new medium… maybe that's one of the reasons that I don't change to digital ink, it took me a lot of time, practice, effort and finding the proper brush to change to digital.

My 2cents.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
mattchee at 11:12AM, Nov. 5, 2008
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cartoonprofessor
[It's not the speed of the scanner.
It's drawing in pencil, inking, then rubbing out all the pencil lines, then scanning, then often tidying up the image,… as opposed to drawing directly on screen ('pencils' or roughs on one layer, then ink on another, then hiding the roughs layer).

I must concur. It would probably take me 4 times as long to produce the final product traditionally vs. digitally.

nickguy
now, Ive never inked digitally, but im sure that if i did, it would look close to what i already do on paper. one way is not going to make you a “better” artist.

100%… the end product is still a digital file. Its really just a different tool…

jabali
I love good ‘ol school brush inking, I recently purchase a wacom tablet but i don’t see myself doing inks digitally but I respect the artists that had taken the time to master that new medium… maybe that's one of the reasons that I don't change to digital ink, it took me a lot of time, practice, effort and finding the proper brush to change to digital.

And your inks are beautiful, by the way! If it works… keep it up.

For me… I bought a wacom tablet, used it a bit.. wasn't totally happy with it, and put it away for about a year. After that time, I was becoming frustrated with the time it took to produce a page, and I experimented with the tablet again…. with a little determination… I became acclimated to the whole thing pretty quickly to the point where I'd rather be drawing digitally than anything else. I really do, though, try and keep it having that “traditional” look.

blah…

I miss working traditionally, though….. just no time.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:55PM
Jabali at 6:35AM, Nov. 7, 2008
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mattchee
For me… I bought a wacom tablet, used it a bit.. wasn't totally happy with it, and put it away for about a year. After that time, I was becoming frustrated with the time it took to produce a page, and I experimented with the tablet again…. with a little determination… I became acclimated to the whole thing pretty quickly to the point where I'd rather be drawing digitally than anything else. I really do, though, try and keep it having that “traditional” look.

blah…

I miss working traditionally, though….. just no time.



It's funny because the day I installed the tablet, for a moment I felt that the money spend for the tablet… was a waste… but later kept trying, surprisingly I got used to it quickly. I do, want to experiment doing some “digital-inking” but as an alternative.

Another surprise was the fact that I was able to work with the new wacom on my old computer (a G3 Mac on MacOS 9.5). I'm happy I can use the tablet at work on a G5 and home with my “old-school” Mac LOL.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
mattchee at 8:58AM, Nov. 7, 2008
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Jabali
It's funny because the day I installed the tablet, for a moment I felt that the money spend for the tablet… was a waste…

That's pretty much the feeling I had at first. I was thinking “why did I spend the money on THIS?”

I think there's something about it that SEEMS like, “this is supposed to make drawing on my computer EASIER,” and out of the box its a whole new experience– which can leave you frustrated (as I was). I think it becomes pretty natural pretty quickly, though, if you keep at it….

I'll tell you… Mastorism is the first thing I've digitally inked, starting with page one (well I practiced up to that point)– so…. i think you can see a huge difference from there and where I'm at now.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:55PM
Mushroomcomix at 10:34AM, Nov. 8, 2008
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I have been experimenting with digital inking a lot lately, but it still takes me more time to do that then traditional brush inking. I to have a Wacom tablet that I have been experimenting with, it's really old but seems to work great. Its a graphire two or something like that. I am getting a lot better the more I use it though.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:08PM
Jabali at 7:55AM, Nov. 10, 2008
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Mushroomcomix
I have been experimenting with digital inking a lot lately, but it still takes me more time to do that then traditional brush inking. I to have a Wacom tablet that I have been experimenting with, it's really old but seems to work great. Its a graphire two or something like that. I am getting a lot better the more I use it though.

Same here, I tried doing some inks in one of my comics but I noticed that I was taking too much time. It's funny because every time I ink I'm very ritualistic about it, still it takes less time (for me at the moment) to ink traditionally.

… Now, doing colors, that's another thing. It feels a lot more natural to color with pen & Tablet than with a mouse and a lot more faster than using tracing paper.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
Jabali at 8:03AM, Nov. 10, 2008
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mattchee
…I'll tell you… Mastorism is the first thing I've digitally inked, starting with page one (well I practiced up to that point)– so…. i think you can see a huge difference from there and where I'm at now.


Matt, your Inking is great! What I like about it is that it doesn't look flat or the dead it looks so organic and tight at the same time.

Great digital inks.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
cartoonprofessor at 3:48AM, Nov. 11, 2008
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I disliked the instant learning curve of a tablet. You know, eyes up there on the screen, pen down there somewhere…

But then I discovered the Wacom Cintiq! Woohoo!

When I was younger I used to dream of one day using a ‘magic’ sketchbook that would enable me to ‘paintbucket’, airbrush, cut and paste, type, etc etc etc…

The Cintiqs are exactly that. My productivity instantly doubled!

I strongly urge everyone that can afford one to get one. You will never look back, I didn't. I couldn't live without mine now. I use it for literally everything, photoshop, 3D design, Video editing, etc.

They pay for themselves very fast… and they're cheaper now too. (I bought mine for just under $4000AU, now they well under $3k)

(Any aussies out there? PQ me and I will tell you how you can get one cheaper than the RRP)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
Jabali at 8:59AM, Nov. 14, 2008
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Yep the Cintiq sure its dreamy. I remember the first one I saw at a local graphic show and expo, but spending $800 to $1000 (U.S) might be out the budget for some (including me, LOL). I do agree, that it must be more time efficient.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
Mushroomcomix at 11:11PM, Nov. 18, 2008
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I have dreamed of having something like that as well, but that is waaaaay out of my budget. Unless you know someone who would trade one for some pets, I have plenty of those and am willing to trade ;)
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:08PM
mattchee at 8:57AM, Nov. 19, 2008
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Jabali
mattchee
…I'll tell you… Mastorism is the first thing I've digitally inked, starting with page one (well I practiced up to that point)– so…. i think you can see a huge difference from there and where I'm at now.


Matt, your Inking is great! What I like about it is that it doesn't look flat or the dead it looks so organic and tight at the same time.

Great digital inks.

Thanks! My goal is to really try and keep it looking as traditional as possible. I don't want people to look at what I do and think about how I make it. I don't want the process to compete with the story.

And yeah… cintiqs make me drool! SOMEDAY!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:55PM
n_y_japlander at 8:59AM, Dec. 3, 2008
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I may not have the full page and story production going on as the rest who have given their input, but I'm an old guy who has transitioned from one (hand drawn and inked) to the other (total digital).
As many have said that the digital can not do exactly what the trusty old pen brush can, I must agree… I have been looking High and low to get that “just right” look, and I just found it today.
I have been using OpenCanvas for over a year, first to ink my scanned pencils, then totally, pencil and inking… but it just did not give me that crisp look that I got from the pen. I switched over because of lack of space and time to draw, not to say the mess of hand inking was nerve racking enough. But, that is it's own story all together…
I literally found and downloaded “PaintTool SAI” today. This will be my new work horse! It is wonderful… total control of the brushes, from the look, act and feel.
But, taking our advice is good, you will have to find what is the best for you… Good luck, and hope it does not take as long for you, as it did for me!

Corey

last edited on July 14, 2011 2:19PM

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