Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

How long do you usually spend on making a comic?
Rutger at 6:20PM, Oct. 12, 2007
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Personally, I've found that 3 hours seems to be my average, including scripting, putting together and finalizing. I'm curious to find out how long it takes for others to do theirs, so lets hear it!

K.A.L.A.-dan! rutGAR desu!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:13PM
Evil_Snuffkin at 6:25PM, Oct. 12, 2007
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A simple sketch and inking will be around an hour but if its fully coloured it usually takes over four hours.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:24PM
JustNoPoint at 6:54PM, Oct. 12, 2007
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At 1 time it took me on average 3 hours from sketch phase to finished color.

Now I try to draw better and take more time + add more detail so it can take me 6-9 hours or more now.

Sketching and inking are the most time consuming parts for sure!

I don't figure scripting in. I script off and on and am many comics ahead in script.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:12PM
Fuzzy Modem at 8:00PM, Oct. 12, 2007
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Right now about 27 hours a page (or 9 hours per panel), but because I use CG models, once they're finished I can render them again from any angle in minutes.

This means that in the future, when all the 3D models and photoshoots are done, each page will take me only 30 minutes or so.

I've been working on it for 4 years now, and I'm about 1/3 done with all the models I need to make and photos I need to shoot.

So lets see, that means that I'm increasing in speed 1.68 hours every year.

So if you chart that out:

2008 - 25.32 hours - 1.68
2009 - 23.64 hours - 3.36
2008 - 20.28 hours - 5.04
2011 - 15.24 hours - 6.72
2012 - 06.84 hours - 8.40
2013 - 30 minutes.

-so it will be 6 more years before all I'm doing is rendering and compositing, but as you see it will get steadily faster as my pool of material to work with grows.

I have 1152 pages to finish (Thats three 288 page books and two 144 page books) so based on rate of production I've plotted-

32 pages a year
41 pages a year
53 pages a year
69 pages a year
89 pages a year
115 pages a year
Totals 399 pages and after that
115 pages a year
115 pages a year
115 pages a year
etc. for 8 more years.

I'll be 41 years old.


I've given up following my dreams. I just asked where they're going and I'm gonna meet them there.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:32PM
deletedbyrequest03 at 8:40PM, Oct. 12, 2007
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Sketching- 30 minutes
Scanning and inking- 2 hours
Backgrounds- 1 hour
Character base coloring- 2 hours
Background base coloring- approx 30 minutes to 1 hour
Character shading + lighting- approx 30 minutes to 1 hour
Background shading + lighting- approx 30 minutes to 1 hour

If I add it all up, it comes to 8 hours and 30 minutes. And all my pages look unfortunately half-assed, and I barely update because of how busy I am.

I mean, I shouldn't be in the forums right now. I should be in bed so I could get ready for another busy day.

This year, school's full of BS!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:05PM
bryan at 2:01AM, Oct. 13, 2007
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Mine varies from 4hrs to 10hrs :/

Mostly because I use an infinite vertical canvas.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:35AM
SPC at 5:07AM, Oct. 13, 2007
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Well my brother writes the scripts so I'm not sure there, but about a 6-8 hour total per page for me. From penciled roughs to a finished uploaded page. I do mine the old fashioned way - pencils, inks, then scan, photoshop, layout, etc. And I do it on lunch breaks mostly so some days are less productive than others.

–edited for typos: jeezaloo I can't even type a single paragraph without errors–

————–
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:53PM
Rutger at 8:48AM, Oct. 13, 2007
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I usually do mine after I get home from work. In about a week or two I'm getting a laptop though, so I might be able to do some of it at work.

I update daily, and due to my job I'll get home really late sometimes (I'm a cameraman for the local news), at which point I still have to do an update. My record at the moment is 3:30am! Still averaging about 3hrs a comic.

K.A.L.A.-dan! rutGAR desu!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:13PM
StaceyMontgomery at 8:49AM, Oct. 13, 2007
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It takes anywhere from 2-5 hours. Usually, it takes 2 hours because i do a daily comic, and that's all the time there is, so I move fast. I expected i would speed up over time, but of course, I get pickier over time instead of faster.

I spend about 1/3 of the time writing. i know more or less what's going to happen in every strip, but the words and pacing and rhythm take some work.

Then i spend about a third of the time “laying it out” - figuring out exact POVS, angles and perspective, trying to work out the composition, looking for reference photos and making 3d reference models, and changing my mind a lot. This is easily the largest 1/3 of my time.

Then I spend 1/3 of my time actually drawing the images. From here on it's downhill - drawing is fun, and the thinking is behind me.

Then I still have to correct the text, but in the bolded text, fix spelling, create word balloons and tails, and do other finicky things. Eventually, the illustrator file gets saved out a gif and then cropped to suit.

Of course, those “1/3s” dont add up well - but then, Im always late.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Rutger at 10:09AM, Oct. 13, 2007
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StaceyMontgomery
Then i spend about a third of the time “laying it out” - figuring out exact POVS, angles and perspective, trying to work out the composition, looking for reference photos and making 3d reference models, and changing my mind a lot. This is easily the largest 1/3 of my time.

Wow. Youdo all that in 2-5 hours? Every day? Much respect! I've got enough problems with my sprte as it is, wthout having to do all that!

K.A.L.A.-dan! rutGAR desu!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:13PM
silentkitty at 11:01AM, Oct. 13, 2007
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Depends on the page, but usually between 6-9 hours from sketch to finish. I would have no idea how to take writing into account, since that's all done way before I even touch the page. Most of that time is spent on coloring.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:37PM
Darth Mongoose at 2:07PM, Oct. 13, 2007
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Hmmm, I've never timed it,but it must be somewhere around 6 hours per page. It varies depending on background detail, number of characters in the scene and number of panels.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
CoyoteLongshot at 2:29PM, Oct. 13, 2007
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Yeah, 6 hours sounds about right. I've got college, so I can't afford to make my comic as good as I possibly can. It's like Darth Mongoose said, it depends on how many characters, detail, etc. Usually it takes about the same amount of time for me to do something like a pin-up as it does to make a normal page, because even though it's more detailed, maybe even colored, it's just one picture as opposed to five or six, which each have to be detailed separately.
I'm on the Hairway to Steven, baby!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:47AM
okamimako at 3:29PM, Oct. 13, 2007
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Well, mine top out at about 3-5 hours, usually (but that's because I do shading quickly and totally BS-ify the backgrounds…). I'm looking at all the 6-10 hour people and I'm starting to worry about how long my pages will eventually take to finish…

Reminds me of when I first started drawing comics, where I would pull out a page in anywhere between a half hour and two hours (they were really poor pages), and, now, I would blink at the clock after uploading and go “Holy shit, it's midnight?”

Oh, should I also take into consideration that it takes me almost three hours to start drawing it? I'm a horrible procrastinator even with things I like to do.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:20PM
Rutger at 3:57PM, Oct. 13, 2007
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'Midnight' eh?

Last time that happened to me I went ‘Holy shit, it’s 3:30am!' I guess you get used to it after a while…

K.A.L.A.-dan! rutGAR desu!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:13PM
crazyninny at 8:30PM, Oct. 13, 2007
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Depends on how much free time I have. After that, it depends on how much action, how many characters, and how many panals are on the page.
With that out, the shortest time can be an hour to a day or two for a big comic page.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:48AM
cartoonprofessor at 12:41AM, Oct. 14, 2007
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I am always working on 2-4 pages at one time… and jumping back and forth from Carrara (my 3D prog) to photoshop. It takes me often about three to 5 renders per panel. I ‘fuss’ a bit trying to get that angle just right.
When I am able to spend the time on it I can get 3 pages done compfortably in 3-4 days, and have started the next three, at least scripted.

I am getting steadily faster though, as I've never written and drawn a full comic before, some single pagers and a strip or three, strictly pen and ink… I am always trying to work smarter, not harder and technology-costantly-growing makes that always easier.
It won't be long when we all can make a fully animated feature by ourselves in the time it now takes to do our comics. We can do it now of course, if we can afford a rendering farm and a good few years.
It would be easier to create all my characters in complete 3d, position and render, complete with expressions, but at the moment I am allowing my main characters to develop… and hand-drawing at least their features is the only way to achieve this…
Oops… rambling again… sorry…
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
Fuzzy Modem at 11:26AM, Oct. 14, 2007
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cartoonprofessor
It would be easier to create all my characters in complete 3d, position and render, complete with expressions, but at the moment I am allowing my main characters to develop… and hand-drawing at least their features is the only way to achieve this…

Yeah. ‘s why I don’t use CG characters. Real people are just so much more… real. Likewise your hand drawing gives your characters a soul.

Don't get me wrong. You can get emotional depth with CG, it's just really hard to do. I've never been able to do it.


I've given up following my dreams. I just asked where they're going and I'm gonna meet them there.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:32PM
kyupol at 12:27PM, Oct. 14, 2007
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Depends on the page.

The amount of panels and objects in the panel make it longer to draw.

Though if its just ONE drawing of lets say… a person's face or full figure it will take me 45 mins from scratch to full color on that.

If its an establishing shot of a building it takes me about 2-3 hours on that.
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
Darwin at 6:03AM, Oct. 15, 2007
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When I first started it was taking me anywhere from 6-12 hours a page. Didn't help I was still learning my program and had no clue how to use layering.

That was also from scans for the most part.

These days I can turn them out in between 2-5 hours from scan or blue line tablet sketches to the finished framed and colored product. It will probably go up again when I make myself concentrate more on the background than the characters. (this is a slow and painful process, because I am NOT a background guru)

And yeah it depends upon a. Number of Panels, b. Number of characters per page, c. vague or detailed backgrounds, d. Color or B&W….well there are other factors like distractions, tea and bathroom runs…etc…

Yesterday I turned out three pages, Saturday I turned out one…but most of my production comes on the weekends too…I come home from ten to twelve hours at work and sometimes I don't have the energy to even work my comics!

AND I'm working on four comics at once right now…GLEH. One of them is posting daily between now and Halloween, so I have been trying very hard to get those finished up and queued so I can work on my weeklies. (I haven't failed utterly yet, but I have this feeling this weeks wednesday and friday titles are going to go on hiatus while I finish Midnight)

That got like totally off subject…heh…sorry.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
Frostflowers at 7:08AM, Oct. 15, 2007
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It depends… My comic is full colour, and I don't do cell-shading, which means it eats up a lot of time. I've never clocked myself, but I'd say it takes somewhere between 5-10 hours for every page, depending on how many panels there are, and how detailed every panel is.

The simple black-and-white linework stuff (which I do and keep for myself, as practise-pages) usually only take 2 hours of effective time, from idea to completion.
The Continued Misadventures of Bonebird - a poor bird's quest for the ever-elusive and delicious apples.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
Otamie at 4:41AM, Oct. 17, 2007
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my Aqua les paul takes up around a 2 3 hours, but i also have my main comic which i have yet to post. and that one has cell-shading in it and more background effects which take up around a 5 - 8 hours in totall XD
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
Rutger at 10:22AM, Oct. 17, 2007
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Good to know I'm not the only Dutchie wasting his time on here :p

K.A.L.A.-dan! rutGAR desu!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:13PM
Otamie at 10:36AM, Oct. 17, 2007
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we Dutchie's need to stick together 8D
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:22PM
Rutger at 12:49PM, Oct. 17, 2007
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Aye! *Thrusts one fist up in the air* RAOOH!

K.A.L.A.-dan! rutGAR desu!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:13PM
spacehamster at 2:07PM, Oct. 18, 2007
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Not counting scripting and layout sketches, I'd say on average about 12 hours per page. Generally, I like to pencil a page one day, then ink it the next. If I have the whole day to devote to nothing but drawing, I'll ink the previous day's page and pencil the next one when I need to let the ink dry or otherwise want to take a break from inking.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM
Djeinus at 3:05PM, Nov. 11, 2007
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About 1 hour to about 5, perhaps. If lazyness has overpowered me, 10-30 minutes a day
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:12PM
lucky7s76 at 7:27PM, Nov. 12, 2007
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I'd say somewhere between four and six hours… planning takes about half an hour, the sketching takes only around an hour, and the rest is spent digitally inking, coloring, and writing. It's not exactly a glorious process, but the outcome is satisfying enough.
By the time you finish this, you'll have read it. :3

deviantART
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:48PM
marine at 8:33PM, Nov. 12, 2007
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I'm going to have to put this on a notepad file so that I don't have to say it again every time this comes up.

I can take as little as ten-twenty minutes to put together a comic, but as long as five or six hours putting together ideas or artwork for the comics. If I'm creating some entirely new characters, I'll start to work on them and usually they're on the shelf for weeks and sometimes months before they actually show up. Sometimes I'll draw something and love it so much that I'm forced to use it. Writing is where I take the longest and it shows, since I was nominated for a drunk duck award for best writing and best humor. I like my comics to work on multiple levels and from several points of view all at once. I like my comics to be accessible to anyone just coming in. I like my comics to be filled with in jokes and running gags that people who are longtime readers will appreciate. I keep my stuff as balanced as I can but its tough. I'm trying to make my comics as intentionally horrible as possible. They have this lame look to them and are often filled with stupid jokes, but that can be what makes it great.

So yeah, three-four hours average. Sometimes I take longer, depends how elaborate a setup a panel is, how many times I re-draw stuff, how many times I re-write a line or a situation. I like to have the dialog be somewhat awkward and lots of typos and things written the way characters would pronounce them. I'm usually two days ahead, as well. With doing Werewolf now, I try to have them ready two days before they go up. To give me time to get everything where I want it. Still, sometimes I'm not satisfied with my work and will go back and change things.

So yes, read my daily comic penis (which hasn't missed an update since 2004)

and

Check out my new spinoff comic werewolf on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:53PM
CharleyHorse at 9:27PM, Nov. 12, 2007
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Let's see, right now it's taking me about three hours from scripting and rough sketch to sending the update for my cartoon strip. This is just black and white stuff. No color.

On the other hand it's taking me about six hours per page for my comic book work, which is in color.

I suspect that once I really get my techniques down for the comic strip this will spill over somewhat in my comic book work, letting me speed up the process.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM

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