Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Inking ur comic with ur computer
Corvin at 2:30AM, Dec. 20, 2006
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i got my tablet about two weeks ago. it's been a pretty interesting experience so far, and im pretty used to working with it now, but the results im getting digitally are way less pleasing than ive been aiming for.

what do you folks do with your lineart to make it less pixelated, for one thing? i scan in at 300 dpi, and that usually produces a picture a few thousand pixels by a few thousand pixels, which is good for going over the pencils. gives me room to work with the little space i have on the tablet.

but when i resize down to 600 pixels wide, i lose the smooth look i see in other people's work, like Acadia's. the artwork is scanned in as a bitmap while the finished product is posted as a jpeg, but i hear i should switch from jpeg's to png's. does that work for other people? should i skip the bitmap and go straight to jpeg?

my next comic will probably demonstrate what i mean, if none of my previous ones do.

Corvin
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:46AM
acadia at 4:12AM, Dec. 20, 2006
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Well, to speed things up for myself (i finish a comic completely in about 3 hours- sketch to finished product) i work in 72 dpi. I've got all the pressure settings at default and I'm using default hard round brushes in Photoshop. If you have any specific questions just send me a PQ and I'll be happy to answer them. Maybe you have the brush settings weird, or you're working at too high a resolution so the lines are squigglier than you think. Large scale is hard to stand back and look at. When I ink, i ink a body part or a certain line, then go to the size that it will be seen by you, to see what it will look like, if it doesn't look smooth, I try again. There's alot of ctrl+z going on during my drawings, haha.

last edited on July 14, 2011 10:45AM
Corvin at 1:38AM, Dec. 21, 2006
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it's not so hard to look at it. i mean, i can zoom out and it looks just fine, but if i actually resize the image, lots of crap appears that really affects the quality of the finished product.

Corvin
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:46AM
Warspritecomic at 2:47AM, Dec. 21, 2006
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I always wanted a tablet, but I don't really have any image editing programs at home apart from paint ^_^
I stick to using a good scanner and inking by hand, Or maybe I'm just rubbish at using Paint shop pro at school.

How many people here actually don't edit their work on the computer anyway, apart from speech bubbles?
FIGHTSPLOSION 5!!! IT HAS 2 ALIENS, A PIRATE, A HORNY NINJA AND A HOMOCIDAL FIRE PRODUCING PENGUIN! AND A BIRD WOMAN AND A CAT WOMAN!

Also a mute that reminds me of Johnny Bravo and Samuel L Jackson at the same time!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:48PM
Corvin at 4:10AM, Dec. 21, 2006
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bumming around on some of my favorite comics, i notice some of them seem to be posting at 200,000 pixels per inch or higher. applegeeks does their's around 72k, but the flip side to that, i suppose, is that their artwork is pretty detailed and high quality, and they use a whole page to produce their work.

my scans are somewhere around 118,000 or so. maybe if i upped the pixels per inch, i can produce something far less pixelated. on a side note, several of those comics still seem to use jpeg's.

Corvin
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:46AM
lothar at 11:23AM, Dec. 25, 2006
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why does everybuddy say tablets are expensive ? i only paid 150 US for mine and its the size of my whole monitor , i think thats the trick , you gotta get one thats the same size as your monitor, but dont get a Wacom cuz that'll cost like 500$ just get a fake one!
BTW , i would realy like to find a program that can automaticaly pencil my comic , that would be BADASS !
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
Warspritecomic at 1:13PM, Dec. 25, 2006
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meh. $150, £80. Still expensive to the average person (ie me and quite a few other people)
FIGHTSPLOSION 5!!! IT HAS 2 ALIENS, A PIRATE, A HORNY NINJA AND A HOMOCIDAL FIRE PRODUCING PENGUIN! AND A BIRD WOMAN AND A CAT WOMAN!

Also a mute that reminds me of Johnny Bravo and Samuel L Jackson at the same time!
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:48PM
Corvin at 7:18PM, Dec. 25, 2006
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lothar
why does everybuddy say tablets are expensive ? i only paid 150 US for mine and its the size of my whole monitor , i think thats the trick , you gotta get one thats the same size as your monitor, but dont get a Wacom cuz that'll cost like 500$ just get a fake one!
BTW , i would realy like to find a program that can automaticaly pencil my comic , that would be BADASS !

i paid $70 for mine, and im having trouble making rent by about that much next month. id call that expensive.

Corvin
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:46AM
WingNut at 12:08PM, Dec. 26, 2006
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I'm with Tangerine. Tablets, no matter how good you are with pencil and pen take at least 2 weeks for you to have any sembalance of usefulness with it.

I've found that while I can color fine with the tablet, by drawing skill is at least 6 or so months behind on the tablet then what I can do with hand. It's the fine muscle control, and the lack of being able to look down, or rotate your page. Also, the lack of resistance with the tablet is confusing, especially if you're used to drawing with pencil or charcoal.

You feel like Hellen Keller for those first few weeks, but it does get much easier with practice.

-Wing
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:50PM
Beaums at 2:43PM, Dec. 26, 2006
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I just received an Intuos 3 Wacom Tablet for Christmas, and its already proven itself as quite the lion to tame. It's hella tight and I love it, don't get me wrong on that, but it's a big adjustment. I've been fiddling around with it and experimenting, but I'm still miles behind my drawing on paper. (I actually received one of the smaller tablets, so adjusting to a smaller canvas will be the main challenge.) Today I'm going to try scanning in some of my pencils, then inking them with my tablet. (Because so far I've just been drawing off the top of my head.) I also want to try colouring some of my drawings with my tablet, but I don't know… I'll see how it all works out. I guess I really just need more practice, because I really do want to master the tablet. Scanning can be quite a hassle for me at times, so drawing straight onto the computer would save me a lot of time. Maybe I just have to master Photoshop more effectively… I don't know…

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:15AM
lothar at 8:32PM, Dec. 29, 2006
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i am surprised you're drawing that with a mouse , i would say definetly go with the tablet, any tablet is better than a mouse
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
mykill at 11:31AM, Jan. 6, 2007
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joined: 1-11-2006
The entry level wacom is $100, not cheap but inexpensive enough you should be able to work, beg, borrow or steal to obtain one.

No one mentioned that it may be unnecessary to ink a comic. The original reason for inking comics relates to printing the artwork, the unambiguous black line reproduces the most faithfully. To print a pencil line is like printing a grayscale photograph, there's many nuances of shade that must be reproduced yet defy the limitations of one color printing.

The ‘ben day’ or ‘zip a tone’ shading, especially popular in Manga, is actually an imitation of a technique for transforming grayscale images into single color printable black and whyite image: Half toning. Most of us are familiar with half tones, look at any grayscale photos printed in any newspaper. In Halftoning, the grayscale is transformed into a field of black and white dots that, when viewed from a distance, suggest a wealth of subtle gray scale information.

If you have Photoshop, and you are a brilliant artist with the pencil alone - inking may be an unnecessary step (you may have to ‘finish’ your pencils in a way similar to inking them, however - to get a ‘finished’ look to the art).

To create a half tone from pencil art, scan the pencils into photoshop as a grayscale ‘photo’ image without any sharpening or auto adjustment. Do any last minute image cleaning or adjustments once the art is in photoshop.

Now, for web comics, DO NOT GENERATE HALFTONE. Ignore the manga inspired types whop attempt halftones anyway, they are fools. Halftones are for PRINTING. Web images can preview FULL Grayscale. So Simply save for web, 500 pixels wide, as a jpeg or (my preferance as it preserves fine detail and features no compression image artefacts) PNG8.

To print the pencil pages you will need a ha;lf tone. this is easy in photoshop. Transform image to grayscale if it isn't already, and flatten, if it isn't flattened already. Now convert the image to BITMAP! This will produce a dialog box allowing you to specify a halftone option. Standard option is 45degrees oval. The resolution of the half tone and the frequency of the halftone a very distinct elements. The resolution should be very very high (so the smallest oval looks more like an oval than a cube), and the frequency of the screen/halftone should be more moderate. Most manga is published at 600dpi so that limits how fine the screen is. You need to decide if you want the look of a half tone screen, with visable ovals, familiar from newspapers and manga. Or if you want to maintain the look of the pencils with a very fine field of ovals that tend to dissapear. Know the limitations of your printing process. Silkscreen prints are fun for example, but require a large dot for half tones, or the ink may not stick or print true.

If you are going to work in pencil alone, I reccomend loosely pencilling your pages first. Then carefully render your pages on a fresh sheet, using a lightbox or heavyweight vellum tracing paper so you can use the loose pages and not figure out the drawing all over again. Use a variety of pencil weights. Soft pencils are great for getting dark areas to be DARK, and they blend/smudge very easily as well, for tonal work. Use kneaded rubber erasers, they don't damage paper and can used as an art tool unto itself.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:09PM

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