Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

patrickdevine at 3:06PM, June 2, 2007
posts: 759
joined: 4-26-2007
I'm a strong advocate of DIY lightboxes. Lightboxes cost way too much for what they are. Mine was made by my dad out of scrap wood, a pane of frosted plexiglass, flourecent tubes and reflective tape. My art teacher had a few similar ones that were less complicated (these ones had no switches, you unplugged them to turn them off) and had no reflective inner surface, very effective and very reliable though. If you can wire a simple lamp and build a crude box you can build a lightbox.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
Alexis at 12:00AM, June 3, 2007
posts: 314
joined: 1-15-2007
I have a little bink lightbulb in a box that says “Barbie Fashion Design” on it. I think it's from about 1967. I honestly try not to use it all too much, though. There has been some scandal lately in the comic book world about the overuse of lightboxes. Apparently some people were creating backgrounds with lightboxes, tracing real buildings for city scenes, and there was some noise made about it. It's also never good to NEED the lightbox.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:49AM
skoolmunkee at 5:16AM, June 3, 2007
posts: 7,058
joined: 1-2-2006
It's also never good to NEED the lightbox.
I think that depends on what you use it for. If you're incapable of drawing backgrounds and always rely on tracing cityscapes, etc, then yeah you should probably work on your art skills so you aren't so reliant on outside sources.

For some people though (like me), lightboxes are a really important step in getting the image done. My pencil work looks terrible and I need to use the lightbox to make a clean inked copy. I'm tracing, but it's my own work. I'd never get anything done without a lightbox.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:40PM
patrickdevine at 5:12PM, June 4, 2007
posts: 759
joined: 4-26-2007
Oh! Another good trick is to tape whatever you want to trace onto a window and put your tracing paper on top of that. As long as there's light coming in through the window, voila! Lightbox!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
Ninja Krow at 3:40AM, Sept. 9, 2007
posts: 29
joined: 8-18-2007
You know I've always been more of a Carpentry/Sculpture sort of guy. My little brother who just recently graduated from High School had mentioned that he really wanted get into Comic book and Illistration as a possable career field, before he graduated.

I spent like 3 month working on a Art Station for my brother. My dad funded the whole thing however and it far to exspencive for my poorboy self.

I basicly build a desk that could pitch forward 45 degreed or lay completely flat. in side the 36“x40” top I built a 3" deep void which I coated with highly reflective paint and installed 3 flourecent lights with a switch at the front of the desk. The High tempred frosted glass costed a pretty penny I'm sure but I never piched that up. My dad bought that.

With the Glass set in to a 2 inch frame and bound with silicon to lay flush with the frames surface we fired her up and almost went blind.i then made a lid that would be able to prop it self up so that when not in use he had another surface to draw on.

The whole dang table costed nearly $500.00(USD) and after filling the tool cups and the shelves i made for it I had it in his room and assembled before he gon home from graduation.

Now I feel really silly for not taking any pictures of the giant lightbox/desk. I'll call my brother up and see if hell email me some photo of this moster.

Maybe I'll see if I can GIMP up some Spec Drawing and/or a plan to build one youself. but it's not exactly on the cheap. how ever it it tough. I dropped the desk top sevral time bringing into his room and it didn't even scare the glass one bit. from what I was told the glass can take a bit of a beating before its even at risk of chipping.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:17PM

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