Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Raster or vector??? (Photoshop or Illustrator?)
dgriff13 at 8:28PM, March 11, 2007
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I have been using PS forever for lettering and adding color/greys to my comics. I have a wacom tablet and the pen works well. But I'm always looking for new (quicker) ways to add the tones to my characters/backgrounds, instead of tediously “coloring” them in, in PS. Plus, I'd prefer to work with smaller vector files and Illustrator's type tool is better, I think.

Recently tried vectorizing my scans (inked strips) with the hopes of using the “point-click-color” method. I like the way vectorizing cleans up my lineart. Problem is, my lineart isn't “perfect”, in that all the lines don't necessarily meet where needed, therefore I can't just select an open area and *poof*, add a tone/color. It seems that if I don't want to connect all the lines to make perfect compound paths (and I don't really, I like the loose feel of my style), vectorizing and coloring in would take the same amount of time and effort, if not more, than doing it raster-style (that sounds kinky, lol). I'd have to pen-tool shapes for the colored areas anyway. Seems like a waste.

This is a bit complicated explaination- hope it makes sense to some of you Illustrator users. I'd be curious to know if anyone has found shortcuts to this situation or a tool I managed to miss in AI. Something tells me there's a way around this I haven't found yet.

Thanks all ;0)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:10PM
reconjsh at 9:17PM, March 11, 2007
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If you don't know what “Live Trace” and “Live Paint” are in Illustrator, I suggest you mess with them and learn ‘em… or find a tutorial. I know of a few if you need links… but I’m sure Google will turn up plenty.

Assuming you're using “Live Paint” in Illustrator, try:

* First: Object > Live Paint > Gap Options
* Then: Turn ON “GAP DETECTION”
* Then: mess around with “Paint Stops At”
* or: come up with a “Custom” setting if “Paint Stops At” doesn't quite get it perfect.


PQ me if this isn't the answer you were looking for or if you need additional help. I'll also try to check this thread if there's a new post in it.

Peace,
~Jerome~
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:02PM
dgriff13 at 9:45PM, March 11, 2007
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thanks, reconjsh… I have AI CS right now, and I think the Live trace comes with CS2 only (which I'm in the process of getting). I have CS2 at work, and have seen those features, but haven't played with them yet (no need to really, for the boring stuff I do at work).

To vectorize initially, I just use this lame-ass plug-in Sillouette on CS.. it's not all that great. I'm hoping once I get CS2 that live trace will work better, and I'll check out live paint, too. The “gap detection” and “paint stops here” options sounds like exactly what I'd need!

Thanks a bunch!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:10PM
reconjsh at 10:11PM, March 11, 2007
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To be honest though, I personally don't see an advantage in coloring in AI instead of PS. That's just me I guess. I ink in PS using my Cintiq, so maybe I haven't put enough thought into coloring in AI, LOL. I start and finish in the same program - I like that.

Oh, and as for letting/word bubbles, PS should have no problem doing what AI does. If you don't already know, WINDOW > CHARACTER in PS opens a nice pallette with alot of controls (kerning, etc…). And between the pen tool and “Layer Styles”, I have vector-like control over my word bubbles.

Good luck m8.
Peace,
~Jerome~
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:02PM
dgriff13 at 7:45AM, March 12, 2007
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right, right… I think I have the process in PS perfected as far as it can go, and I've pretty much mastered the PS text tool. There's just certain elements about AI that I like better, is all. Maybe I'm just bored with PS/raster and wanting to try something new. Whatever is quickest and easiest will be what I end up sticking with.

I agree tho- I like starting and ending in the same program. So, it's one or the other. I'll see what AI CS2 has to offer.. and make my decision then.

Thanks for your help. Good luck to ya!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:10PM
Roguehill at 12:13PM, March 13, 2007
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You might want to consider inking, shading and lettering in Flash as well…it's a tool I've come to love for all kinds of reasons.

As far as fixing lineart in a vector software, the only way I know how to do it is to actually do the inking in the software itself with a tablet.

I could be wrong…?

-Dave

GHOST ZERO
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:09PM
dgriff13 at 2:02PM, March 13, 2007
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thanks for the suggestion dave. I prefer Illustrator over Flash though, when it comes to initially creating vector artwork.

I'll just have to wait until I get live trace and paint in CS2 and play around with it- it'll either work the way I want or not. And if not, it's back to good ol' PS.

Thanks again to all who offered their time and advice! ;0)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:10PM
reconjsh at 2:13PM, March 13, 2007
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One thing I like about Flash over Illustrartor is that Flash has a much more intuitive way of manipulating lines. Illustrator - you gotta wiggle the bezier handles to change a curve (just like PS); Flash - you just crab the line and drag out a curve and hold ALT (I think that's right) to drag out another anchor point. Illustrator can do this too, but in a very limited and difficult to navigate-to way.

I love Flash alot… but for different reasons than print design. For overall printed media control, Illustrator wins hands down over Flash.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:02PM
dgriff13 at 5:52PM, March 13, 2007
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hmm… guess I haven't used flash enough in creating vector artwork… I usually make everything in PS and bring it into flash when creating a webpage or projector or whatever. I haven't utilized this feature yet, reconjsh. I'll take a look next time I'm playing with vector stuff in flash!

Mastering that pen tool with all the keys (option/alt/command/etc) is tough, but being a designer by day, I've got it down. I can trace anything in no time flat. I tried teaching it to my mom who's just learning PS, and it's a lot harder than it looks. She's terrified of it, lol.

Thanks again.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:10PM

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