Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Making your superheroes pop up!
Pulse at 8:19PM, Dec. 4, 2007
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How do I make the pop out in my illustration? I want to give my readers a great expierence but I dont know how to make my superheroes come right at the reader…How can I do this Check out my comic Positive!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:56PM
Frostflowers at 1:19AM, Dec. 5, 2007
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You're doing it in pencil, I see. One tip is to ink it, and when you ink it, give your superheroes a thicker outline than other things - that helps shapes stand out on a page. :)
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
CharleyHorse at 4:50AM, Dec. 5, 2007
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Hello Pulse. Now Frostflowers is correct as to how to make your heroes stand out. Do take note that Frostflowers is talking about outlining your superhero in a thicker line, not about making all of the lines on the super hero thicker. So you would make most of your lines in your background thinner than things that are nearer to the viewer, and you will make the outline around your super hero thicker than the lines marking the superhero's nose and cheekbones and stuff that is on the INSIDE area of the hero's art work lines.

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Okay? Now I read where you admitted to having problems inking. I have a cheat method of fixing that problem using your software application. I learned this method from another DrunkDuck artist, and I'm going to share it with you. I use the GIMP software application to do this, but it should be the same process whether or not you are using PhotoShop or something else to process your art work:

Just after scanning in your work you want to use your Gaussian Blur function. If you don't know where it is on your particular software application then use your help feature and search for the name.

You set your Gaussian Blur function to a pixel setting of between three and five pixels; and you'll have to experiment to see which pixel width setting works best for your art style.

Okay, the page of artwork or the panel - depending on how you scan things into your computer - is going to blur. Don't panic, it is supposed to blur.

NOW you save you save your Gaussian Blur changes and then select your Levels function. Again, if you don't know where that is then use your help feature. When the tool panel for LEVELS pops up, slide the far right slide beneath the image, just a little bit, and maybe only a quarter of an inch or less, to the left. THEN slide the far right slide way, waaaaay over to the right. If you have your preview box checked while you do this you will see your blurred artwork become inked! Just that simple.

Okay, now that you have it inked you go back with your brush selected and white ink selected and carefully paint over anything that's too thick, or just wrong looking. You paint over stray line in white to make the flaws disappear.

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Okay, if you can't follow those instructions or just think it's too much work or too strange, then your only other choice is to start learn how to ink either by hand - the old fashioned way - or by using the inking feature on your software application. You CAN learn how to ink, but it will take time.

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You are showing a good feel for dramatic use of camera angles and your anatomy is darn good for your age. Your perspective on your architecture could be better, but that should improve with time. Just remember to keep the outlines around your heroes a bit thicker than the lines around nearly everything else. It's line contrast and camera angles and unusual poses and placement of objects that draws the eyes. Once you learn these specific techniques, you will be able to trick or force the reader to look at and to concentrate on nearly anything you want in every panel.

I am going to recommend that you avoid using color until you start to really feel comfortable with the requirements I listed in the paragraph above. Coloring is cool, yes, but it is also time consuming, and it would be better to spend time mastering line work at this stage than working on the entirely separate field of color theory.

I am also going to recommend that you look at and study some of the other good superhero art work available on Drunk Duck. Study each panel with an eye to figuring out why things are or are-not visually appealing, why things that the artist tries either does or does not work.

Good luck! I wish that my art work had been as good as yours back when I was your age!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
Ziffy88 at 8:36PM, Dec. 10, 2007
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draw the hero separately and use photoshop
last edited on July 14, 2011 5:01PM
spacehamster at 1:50AM, Dec. 14, 2007
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posts: 504
joined: 8-3-2007
You're on the right track as far as the costume designs go - simple, iconic stuff that uses stark b/w contrast to stand out. One thing you don't seem to be doing that really helps giving superhero comics that extra “oomph” is exaggerated foreshortening; make objects closer to the viewer appear larger than they normally would.


Panel one of the current page of the comic linked in my sig is an example of using exaggerated foreshortening to create dynamics.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM

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