Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Kitty's Process - Tut (Warning: Big ol' Loading Time)
silentkitty at 11:43AM, June 6, 2007
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(I suppose I should mention that there's some blood in the second file, so… don't scroll down if you don't want to see it. D: )

Alright, well, I slapped this together while I was working on a page, because a few people had asked me to do something like this. :s I thought I'd post it here because it might be useful to someone, somewhere.. maybe.

In order for this to be helpful at all, it assumes that you have a) Photoshop, b) a working knowledge of Photoshop, and c) a drawing tablet of some kind. I didn't really go into any great detail, I was mostly just showing my process, so if you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I'll be happy to clarify.

(I should mention that the image I used as a sample is just one panel of a larger page. The times listed are for the whole page, not that one panel.)

:kitty:

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:37PM
silentkitty at 11:44AM, June 6, 2007
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Whoops, it cut off step 2: *-*

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:37PM
FAL at 1:18PM, June 6, 2007
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Great guide! I love seeing how other people do their art.
It's really awesome you took the time to make this, I really appreciate it!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
ozoneocean at 11:27PM, June 6, 2007
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My fave version is the third stage of the “penciling”!
Ha!
But I know how much better it is to colour with minimal linework (ie. inking)

Great looking stuff. I work mostly the same what but your “hours” are more like my days… My drawing stage is quite a bit simpler and my colouring is a bit more complicated, but all in all it's not too different a method.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Deviant Lynx at 4:29AM, June 7, 2007
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very very nice :3 I work the same way only without line art =D

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:10PM
Roguehill at 7:27AM, June 7, 2007
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Aha! Now I know all your secrets! All of them!! Muh-ha-ha-ha-ha!!
*cough*
That's a great tutorial, Kitty! Lots and lots o' hard work….and I must say that I've never gotten the hang of inking digitally…..thank heavens for scanners!)

Good show!

-Dave

GHOST ZERO
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:09PM
D0m at 8:23AM, June 7, 2007
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I needed this! Thanks kitty!

Nadya- a tale about what happens to SOME of us when we die.

Currently: Nadya is awake and asking more relevant questions.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:02PM
silentkitty at 7:38PM, June 7, 2007
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Thanks guys, I'm glad it helped.

Ian - For the longest time, I had no idea what people meant when I saw they were looking for someone to do flats. Now that I know, all those help wanted ads make so much more sense. *-* And yessssss come over to the dark side of swatches. They are wonderful~

Roguehill - Your traditional inking is so beautiful! Your comic just wouldn't be the same if it was done digitally, I think.

OO, yeah, I can imagine your pages take a long time, haha. Coloring without outlines is an entirely different beast, I can't imagine doing a whole comic that way. Kudos to you. :3
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:37PM
ozoneocean at 9:16PM, June 7, 2007
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I rarely colour without outlines… But that's a quicker way to work actually. Lines are much harder, delicate, and careful work. I had no idea about “flats” either! :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
Eunice P at 6:37AM, June 8, 2007
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8 hours for this small piece of pic? Wow… o_o;
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:23PM
JustNoPoint at 6:40AM, June 8, 2007
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Which photoshop are you using? My swatches look totally different than yours. I'm using CS2. In mine all the colors are clumped together and not laid out in layers like your pic looks.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:12PM
silentkitty at 8:23AM, June 8, 2007
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Eunice - No, eight hours for the whole page, not the one panel. =p Eight hours for a panel would be painful, lol.

JustNoPoint - Yeah, I'm using CS2. :kitty: If you click on the little > arrow at the top of the menu, you can choose “small list” which lists the names next to them instead of lumping them all together like that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:37PM
JustNoPoint at 10:02AM, June 8, 2007
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Ah, *hits head*

Thanks a lot!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:12PM
ozoneocean at 1:26AM, June 9, 2007
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8 hours over a single panel sounds fine to me :)
I've done that before…mebbe longer. But somehow I don't think my brain must have been actually thinking about it all that time, must have been distracted?
Damn internet… Wikipedia, porn, forums…
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
silentkitty at 6:09AM, June 9, 2007
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Hahaha, well, if I counted distraction time, that number would probably be a lot higher.. lol!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:37PM
Mattski at 10:18AM, Oct. 9, 2007
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Interesting! 11x17 at 300-dpi saved down to 600 x 930 pixels?!?! I would never have thought of working that large; what made you decide on those sizes?

Love the comic, by the way; great sequentials!

Mattski
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:56PM
mlai at 1:14PM, Oct. 9, 2007
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What's the point of dividing “penciling” and “inking” if your work is entirely tablet? I would have thought the point of tablet is so you can skip the pencils, seeing as how you can always erase even the most solid black lines with ease.

So what's the reason?

And if you're gonna have to pencil anyways, why don't you just pencil on paper, then scan it in and then “ink” it via tablet?

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
kyupol at 2:05PM, Oct. 9, 2007
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God… 8 hours!!! :(

I can crank out a page from scratch to full color in 45 minutes or less.

Maybe if I spend 8 hours on my pages, quality would be much much better. (I wish I had time lol!)
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
silentkitty at 2:07PM, Oct. 9, 2007
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Mattski: I work that large so that I can print it if I need or want to. =) Working in web resolution means that it would only be able to be displayed on the web - working larger gives me the freedom to do either.

Mlai: I “pencil” and then “ink” because I work, as you can see, VERY sloppily. It would be an absolute nightmare for me to try to sit down and erase all the little lines around my pencils to make them clean, even adjusting layers. It's easier for me, and I am happier with the results, if I just make a new layer and draw clean lines on top of my pencils (or, if you prefer, my sketches) instead of having to deal with the headache of cleaning everything up. I also often make anatomy adjustments during the inking step.

Um, as for penciling on paper and then inking, yes, I could do that, and do, on occasion, but.. I don't find one easier than the other, and by penciling digitally, there is no scanning step. It's also easier for me to erase, cut and paste, and make adjustments to my sketches when I am doing them digitally.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:37PM
mlai at 4:43PM, Oct. 9, 2007
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OK I see.

It must have taken some time to become so comfortable with displacement drawing. Reminds me of laparoscopic surgery.

I assume you have the largest sized tablet money can buy?

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:05PM
silentkitty at 4:52PM, Oct. 9, 2007
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Yeah, it took me a while to get comfortable enough with the tablet to move fully digital (that's actually part of the reason that I initially started PT - to practice doing it). I have a 6x8 Intuos, and had a 4x6 Graphire before that. I tend to work with little strokes, so I don't really need one of the massive ones (and don't have room for anything bigger than a 6x8 on my desk anyway, lol).
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:37PM
Mattski at 6:26PM, Oct. 9, 2007
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Kitty:

You actually don't need to go that large, unless you plan on printing at 11x17“. Letter size (or 9 x 12, or 10 x 12, or…, or… whichever size is your preference) at 300-dpi is plenty of resolution for print. Most printers' prepress departments are going to downsize files that large anyway, so it doesn't clog the RIP (raster image processor). Otherwise, it'll take hours to process the file. So you don't have to work as large as 11x17 for the sake of print unless you like working at that size.

(I worked several years in prepress, then went on to become a production manager at an ad agency.)

I was wondering if you worked that large to get better detail. Back in ”the day" when I did newspaper illustrations, we used to draw something at about twice the size it needed to be, then reduce it 50% in the stat camera (Ooo, dating myself…). Reducing an illustration 50-75% makes even the crummiest, rushed illos look good, and they were almost always rushed! :)

Mattski
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:56PM
silentkitty at 6:44PM, Oct. 9, 2007
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11x17 is just the correct proportion. When the files get sent to the printer, they get trimmed and cut down to 67% and put into a PDF (or whatever file type the printer prefers) so that they don't need to deal with giant files and resizing. =3 And yeah, being able to get more detail in is a big part of the reason I work larger than it will actually be printed.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:37PM
Mattski at 5:39PM, Oct. 10, 2007
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Smarter than the average bear, eh? :)

I'm going to try working at that size with my tablet and see what I can do. Thanks for the tutorial, the discussion, and the info!

Ciao,
Mattski
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:56PM
Bellar at 6:27PM, Jan. 11, 2008
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I noticed you worked on a gray background for your initial sketching and linework, then changed to your base color. Is there any specific reason you recomend to avoid working on a white background?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:20AM
Frostflowers at 2:35AM, Jan. 12, 2008
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Bellar
I noticed you worked on a gray background for your initial sketching and linework, then changed to your base color. Is there any specific reason you recomend to avoid working on a white background?
I'm not silentkitty, and I don't really know why she inks on grey, but it's usually a good thing to avoid working on a purely white background. If you do, you see the colours differently than you would if working on a coloured background, with the result that you might get a skewed contrast. Also, a coloured background usually helps with unifying the colour-scheme.

IMHO, of course.
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

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