Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Let's get this started! Photoshop tips for the modern man
Giandroid at 6:54PM, Dec. 12, 2005
(offline)
posts: 74
joined: 1-7-2006
I wanna do my part for Drunk Duck and let you in on some Photoshop basics. I just started using it, and it's a great program. So, let's get this started!
By the way, my comic is located at http://www.divisiblebyzerocomics.com/

1 ) When you scan your comic, make sure you scan it with a resolution of 200-300 DPI, BLACK AND WHITE ONLY. This is my personal preference, but if you want the gray parts around the lines that's coo.

2 ) Open your scanned image with Photoshop, make sure it's at least 1500 pixels wide. This will mean that if you DO have any little holes in your fills or lines they will magically vanish when you resize the comic

3 ) Use the select>color range tool to cut the black lines from the background and paste it as a new layer. Avoid that initial background like the plague. Make sure that when you cut the pixels, the background color you've selected is the same color as the background. So, in the end, if you decide to change the background color you can do it all at once.

4) FILL! Use a color wheel, people! Make sure the colors don't clash, like some of my earlier ones. USE A COLOR WHEEL, DAMMIT!

5 ) After filling, make a new layer for backgrounds. Improvise! Backgrounds can be simple like this or complex like this
USE A COLOR WHEEL.

6 ) Make a new layer for shading. I suggest a black pencil tool, and setting the layer to 20% opacity. This will do nicely.

7 ) Next create a layer SET for text. Shape your text… unfortunately Photoshop doesn't have a decent text box for shaping so use the enter/delete button liberally to create new lines. There's a window for things like bold and italics.

8 ) BALLOONS are damn near impossible. But it can be done! New layer of course. Now, here comes the Pen tool! Select the elipse tool and make those circles! The next part took me FOREVER to figure out, but GET THIS. Take the pen tool and make two points. Fiddle with the handles and make the first curved line. Then make a third point and adjust it. OH NO! Plot Twist! the new line is going the opposite direction you want it to! An easy fix, though. Grab hold of the point convert tool and grab the handle. Swing it around and VOILA! Perfect speech pointy thingy, just like I like it. Now grab the point convert tool and select both the balloon and the curved lines. Next go to the layers/channels/paths tab and select paths. Right click, and select stroke subpath. Stroke it like a comb! Or something you stroke, like dogs.

9 ) OKAY. Finally save your work, and select image>image size change it to the size the comic will be on the web, I always do 700 pixels, it seems to work. Eggbert does the same. DON'T SAVE IT WHEN YOU CHANGE THE SIZE. You never know when you want to edit it again, and if you do, you want to do it in mondo-super-large mode. Lastly, select file>SAVE FOR WEB (as opposed to SAVE!) adjust the size of the completed file, I suggest 60%. It looks great, and compresses it REALLY WELL. Photoshop is good with compressing.

10 ) Close! Since you didn't save the small image size, it'll ask you to save. Refuse! You want it in super large mode. Your PSD file should be about 50-100 MEGA bytes, and your comic should be 100-800 Kilobytes. My comics are HUGE, and are often 300-700KB on the web. My largest is 145 MEGABYTES LARGE when it is finished, but that's how I like it. Now I can edit it. Online it's 900KB large. Makes those 56k kids go packin'!

Okay, I've done what I've wanted to do. Ask me questions! But I'd rather you just read my comic. That's thanks enough.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:35PM
Anonymous at 12:05AM, Dec. 13, 2005
(offline)
posts: 678
joined: 4-22-2006
~Just stares at you dryly~ Generally speaking…when one wishes to be helpful they tend not to be…insulting. Though to be honest I may simply just not like you on a completely instinctual level. None the less, helpful information so long as people can actually afford to buy photoshop. A union of the two programs would make ballons simpler and be more appealing to the eye, however I also do not like you so I'll not bother say much more other then Paint is not a bad program to work with, any program can produce foul work even your beloved Paintshop. It's a matter of tallent, time and effort.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:53AM
Giandroid at 7:42AM, Dec. 13, 2005
(offline)
posts: 74
joined: 1-7-2006
Hey, I came to offer advice. That's my experience in photoshop, I thought others could use it.
Paint is NOT a good program. NO editable text, NO layers, NO transparency, NO large save file sizes. There are plenty of other free programs out there if you can't afford photoshop… ANYTHING is better than Paint. ANYTHING.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:35PM
Ian Jay at 8:09AM, Dec. 13, 2005
(offline)
posts: 720
joined: 1-4-2006
Giandroid
Hey, I came to offer advice. That's my experience in photoshop, I thought others could use it.
Paint is NOT a good program. NO editable text, NO layers, NO transparency, NO large save file sizes. There are plenty of other free programs out there if you can't afford photoshop… ANYTHING is better than Paint. ANYTHING.

Sir… I wholeheartedly agree.

Let this be the beginning of the Association of Web Comic Artists Who Can't Really Ever Respect MS Paint As A Viable Digital Art Medium (AWCAWCRERMSPAAVDAM). First meeting next Thursday. Bring Chee-tos.

~IJ
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
Anonymous at 10:16AM, Dec. 13, 2005
(offline)
posts: 678
joined: 4-22-2006
Paint really can't produce anything. Anything created with it and saved as JPEG will look horribly pixleated. Get Photoshop, or at least GIMP.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:53AM
zactheninja at 4:20PM, Dec. 13, 2005
(online)
posts: 79
joined: 1-2-2006
Hopping into this thread.

Paint sucks.
Anythings better.

A couple of things that might make the process go along faster or easier.
1) If you didn't know about drawing in blue (construction lines and most people do), you should try it it. After you ink a comic and scan in black and white, the blue lines don't show up. AMAZING
2) You can download text bubbles from THE INTERNET for photoshop. It makes life 1000 times easier.

I have a major background question though.
Can someone do a more in depth tutorial on making backgrounds on Photoshop. That's the only thing I can't figure out.

Thanks
-zac
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:54PM
Giandroid at 4:37PM, Dec. 13, 2005
(offline)
posts: 74
joined: 1-7-2006
Hmmm….

When you make your panels, make sure that you use the LINE TOOL and the SHIFT KEY, The box tool DOES NOT WORK.
SO, when you're done with this, use select>color range and select the black line art. Copy, paste. These will create borders for the backgrounds exactly even with the borders in the foreground. Saves heartache.

Using black for the background is not reccommended. It screws with the foreground.

COLOR SCHEME! Use a color wheel like this one to make your color scheme. Use lighter colors. Perspective is hard. I think my best background is this one.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:35PM
zactheninja at 4:40PM, Dec. 13, 2005
(online)
posts: 79
joined: 1-2-2006
oh dear god…
It's so simple!

Thanks a ton
Gian

I know you're old post had most of that info, but the little extra bit helped out a lot.

-zac
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:54PM
Giandroid at 11:32AM, Dec. 16, 2005
(offline)
posts: 74
joined: 1-7-2006
You think my manner is a tad uncouth? There's a better way to approaching the subject than to counter with an even MORE elevated level of attitude. Suggestions, rather than sarcasm, would have worked just as well.

On the subject of illustrator, I have it, but I really don't have the desire to run both programs at once when using photoshop works just as well. It gets my job done, why mess with success? I tried using more than one program to make my comics, but it only tacked an hour or so onto the process. This is how I do it! It works! Countering it with “this is better” doesn't really help much, especially since you brought the subject of illegally dowloaded programs into the fray. That's even more insulting. Also: a little tip… sarcasm is obnoxious.

Speech bubbles can be done with the pen tool if you want the lines to curve. I did stroke the balloons before, but the lines were purely straight and had more of a rounded tip, rather than a pointy one. Besides, does it really hurt to try and learn new things? They'll have to use the pen tool someday, why not start now?

On the subject of PNG's, yes they are a great way of compressing the comic, but like you said, the file size is larger. I like keeping it where it is at, which is arond 600KB. In addition, the PHP program I'm using only recognizes JPEG's as comic files. ALSO in addition, not every browser can see PNG's.

If someone can draw well enough to make a comic, maybe their eye for color is good. But if it isn't? That's why I linked to the color wheel. Is there a problem with that? It's one more thing that I use that could certainly help. Why take it out? Why even consider it? I want to offer all the help I can. Saying “your eye for color should be good” is not helpful in the slightest, contrary to your belief.

I honestly can't believe you think I have an “attitude”. The first thing I said was that I just started using this program, and that these are TIPS, while yours has an air of forced “theres no other way to do this” attitude. Drunkduck is for nice, friendly people around here, I highly suggest you cut the crap. You could argue that I'm being an asshole now, and I'll be the first to admit it, but I'm merely countering your breach in ethics.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:35PM
mykill at 11:05PM, Dec. 18, 2005
(online)
posts: 194
joined: 1-11-2006
Just say NO to bitmaps! If you don't use at least greyscale, there can be no antialiasing and your circles and curves will have all kinds of ‘stepping’. Greyscale is still just one channel.

Ignore CMYK. If you make a cmyk jpeg - it cannot be previewed in a web browser. CMYK is only important if you are PRINTING full color copies of your comic.

To learn photoshop: here's a checklist

1 learn the tools and menu options

2 learn the different modes for layers and type tools, what they do, how they are useful.

3 layer effects is a wonderful substitute for many filters.

4. Alpha channels, learn what they are, use them, save your selections, paint your selections.

5. Save for web menu option is golden. I prefer png 8 - it has better detail fidelity than jpeg or gif, and real alpha channel transparancy (alas its only 8 bit color). PNG 24 is as good as original quality and may be your only option for full color image to be previewed over multiple background colors with no ghosting - it makes a file too large for an entire comic page tho. 500 pixels wide is a good compromise for most monitor and browsers.

image size for comic page should be less than 200k. Png is a little larger than gif or jpeg - but if image is 500 - 600 pixels wide it shouldn't be a problem. Any browser that counts (IE, Mozilla, Safari, Opera, Konquerer, Firefox) supports .png perfectly well.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:09PM
SpANG at 9:45AM, Dec. 19, 2005
(online)
posts: 3,105
joined: 1-1-2006
Giandroid
There are plenty of other free programs out there if you can't afford photoshop… ANYTHING is better than Paint. ANYTHING.
Ccs
Paint really can't produce anything. Anything created with it and saved as JPEG will look horribly pixleated.

I must admit that I too use Photoshop. But it's not to say if you have the talent and the time you can't make fantastic art in MS Paint:
http://www.livingwithstyle.com/images/BOTB/t57307/Alirockingon.gif
http://fs5.deviantart.com/i/2005/123/0/8/powerdraw_by_Diamonster.jpg
http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/nikki/mspaint.html
http://community.webshots.com/album/504592603jHCsyZ

Like it or not, MS Paint (or pixel art) is TRUE computer art. It starts and ends on the computer. It's limitations make it all the more amazing when someone creates something worthwile from it, because not many people can. You pretty much can't say that that about any other artform. And if pixel art is done well, I would say you have to respect that as well.




But do I use it? Hell no!

.: SpANG! :.
“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:51PM
Ian Jay at 11:44AM, Dec. 19, 2005
(offline)
posts: 720
joined: 1-4-2006
Huh. Impressive. Especially that second one.

I still don't freakin' like MSPaint, though. Nyaaah.

~IJ
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
gigatwo at 12:15PM, Dec. 19, 2005
(online)
posts: 308
joined: 1-6-2006
I would also like to point out that going over artwork with the beizer curves (pen) tool may be useful to those who have “not so perfect” lines in their drawings. Of course, this could also kill certain artistic styles, so it might not be a good idea.

I'm a cheapass, so I use the gimp.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:35PM
ccs1989 at 7:48PM, Dec. 23, 2005
(online)
posts: 2,656
joined: 1-2-2006
You know, I should have known better than to say that. I've seen the guy who drew Eliada do some amazing stuff with MS Paint. It just takes…patience. And the ability to work with a much inferior program.

So I suppose I stand corrected.
http://ccs1989.deviantart.com

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:37AM
Giandroid at 3:21PM, Dec. 25, 2005
(offline)
posts: 74
joined: 1-7-2006
Sure! What do you need help with?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:35PM
Anonymous at 5:53PM, Dec. 25, 2005
(offline)
posts: 678
joined: 4-22-2006
It's also the pen tool. Great for making curved lines. Make sure and use the Point Convert tool if you think the lines are going the wrong way.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:53AM
Mazoo at 1:13PM, Dec. 26, 2005
(offline)
posts: 601
joined: 1-2-2006
Hm. I don't see what all this animosity towards one another has anything to do with tips, but to each their own I suppose. :?

I personally just draw in the speech bubbles when I originally pencil the comic on paper. I could never quite grasp how to make them in a computer program, Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro. I find doing them on your original artwork gives you much flexiblity for shape and so forth. For beginners, I admit though, it might not be the best option, since when I started I didn't have that great of sense of space, so the speech bubbles tended to be kind of weird shaped or not big enough for the text I wanted in.

So now I thumbnail and pencil the bubbles in first before I even start the art, but that doesn't really relate to this thread so I'll save that bit for some other thread. :wink:

I also don't use layers (except for text) when I make my comics ( I just use the “wand” tool) since I don't really know how to get the lineart off of the original background image. However, I love using layers when drawing something completey on the computer. It helps amazingly!

MS Paint… just gets its own category. I could never use it, but kudos to those who can!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:56PM
Anonymous at 9:52AM, Dec. 27, 2005
(offline)
posts: 678
joined: 4-22-2006
Yeah… sorry for getting mad, folks. I have to keep it down anyway cuz now I'm a mod.

So yeah, I can't work with one layer, I've tried. Then again, I NEVER draw my background art, I should probably try, because that's the longest part of my process.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:53AM
Anonymous at 11:08AM, Dec. 28, 2005
(offline)
posts: 678
joined: 4-22-2006
Can someone help me i need help?
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:53AM
mykill at 12:41PM, Dec. 28, 2005
(online)
posts: 194
joined: 1-11-2006
JD
Can someone help me i need help?

No, we cannot help you unless you can phrase your question with a little more specificity.

First, do you need help with regards to knowledge, spirituality or materiality?
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:09PM

Forgot Password
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved