Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Self-Publishing
Author_Ninja at 5:13PM, Oct. 25, 2009
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I have been trying to get a book out. Like a Trade Paperback with my comic. I was trying to use Lulu but I couldn't get the page sizes right.

A lot of the older comics have been resized for the web, so it's difficult to get them big enough for a comic. How can I increase their size without losing much quality?

Just, in general, does anyone have any experience with this that they could share? This is all brand new to me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:11AM
elektro at 10:01PM, Oct. 25, 2009
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Unfortunately, there isn't much I can tell you. Resizing an image to make it larger results in pixelated, crap-quality images. The only way I can think of to resize your images without a loss of quality would be to put them in a program like Illustrator and using the Live Trace function to make them a Vector image, but that doesn't work very well for a color image, I don't think.

I'm not sure what else to say. Does anyone know more?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:21PM
Skullbie at 2:21AM, Oct. 26, 2009
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Yeah if it's web size you're probably going to have to re-draw over all the pages at print size, and remember to draw them at a printable size for your latest pages.

Eletro's idea might work, but nothing spells sour fans like paying for a webcomic book and finding out it has worse art then the online version :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:47PM
elektro at 2:11PM, Oct. 26, 2009
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Like I said, it's something I've never tried, so I don't recommend it. This is why I always save a large file along with the file I'm uploading online.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:21PM
ShadowsMyst at 3:33PM, Oct. 28, 2009
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I work professionally in print and I can tell you the following.

To create a decent quality print on offset (big traditional press) even a digital press (like lulu, ka-blam.com, or comixpress.com uses primarily)your files MUST have a resolution of 300 DPI/PPI ( dots per inch/pixels per inch). A file for the web, in contrast, is usually around 72 dpi/ppi, and most people reduce the resolution of the original drawing to web size. Once this is done, there is NO going back. You cannot ‘rez up’ and image without making it look blurry and crappy. the reason for this is that the computer is stupid and when it tries to put the pixels back that you threw out (when reducing the resolution), its guessing, and not very good at it. You can sometimes get away with 250 DPI, but printers might complain and after about 200 or less, you'll see visible pixelation or blurriness.

The only way to get decent images for print is to rescan the original lineart at 300DPI or better (lineart should be scanned at 600 DPI actually for best results). If all you have is the web copies of your image, as far is printing is concerned, you are screwed. You will have to redraw, rescan/retrace(in something like illustrator live trace), or otherwise properly recreate the art for the express purpose of printing.

What I suggest, in the future, is that you work with your originals, when you make your comic at 300DPI at slightly larger size than finished. My finished comics are always 1" smaller than the size I work on them. Save a ‘high-rez’ version (unlettered I suggest, as good typography on paper is different than on screen), separate from the web version copy you save for putting up in your webcomic.

I ended up myself having to go and redraw my entire comic for the purposes of print as I didn't realize this stuff above when I got into webcomics originally, so if you have to redo yours to print, you probably are far from alone.


_____________________________________________________
I have a webcomic making blog! Check it out.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:32PM
Author_Ninja at 1:46PM, Oct. 30, 2009
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ShadowsMyst
I work professionally in print and I can tell you the following.

To create a decent quality print on offset (big traditional press) even a digital press (like lulu, ka-blam.com, or comixpress.com uses primarily)your files MUST have a resolution of 300 DPI/PPI ( dots per inch/pixels per inch). A file for the web, in contrast, is usually around 72 dpi/ppi, and most people reduce the resolution of the original drawing to web size. Once this is done, there is NO going back. You cannot ‘rez up’ and image without making it look blurry and crappy. the reason for this is that the computer is stupid and when it tries to put the pixels back that you threw out (when reducing the resolution), its guessing, and not very good at it. You can sometimes get away with 250 DPI, but printers might complain and after about 200 or less, you'll see visible pixelation or blurriness.

The only way to get decent images for print is to rescan the original lineart at 300DPI or better (lineart should be scanned at 600 DPI actually for best results). If all you have is the web copies of your image, as far is printing is concerned, you are screwed. You will have to redraw, rescan/retrace(in something like illustrator live trace), or otherwise properly recreate the art for the express purpose of printing.

What I suggest, in the future, is that you work with your originals, when you make your comic at 300DPI at slightly larger size than finished. My finished comics are always 1" smaller than the size I work on them. Save a ‘high-rez’ version (unlettered I suggest, as good typography on paper is different than on screen), separate from the web version copy you save for putting up in your webcomic.

I ended up myself having to go and redraw my entire comic for the purposes of print as I didn't realize this stuff above when I got into webcomics originally, so if you have to redo yours to print, you probably are far from alone.



Ah, well, I'm not too worried then. I always posted my comics at 300dpi. I only recently started doing them at higher rez 450 and saving a big copy like that. I wonder what I would have to do to make it the right size tho. The rez is 300dpi, but the inches and whatnot make them teeny tiny. Would you have any suggestions for my earlier stuff?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:11AM
Gillespie at 7:16PM, Oct. 30, 2009
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Thanks for the info. I've always wondered what you have to do to get a good looking comic onto paper (from printing).
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:36PM
ShadowsMyst at 1:34PM, Nov. 4, 2009
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@Author_Ninja
You need to have 300DPI ‘at size’. Which means if you open up photoshop and look under Edit-> Image size, it should be the proper physical size ( so for manga say 5“w X 7.5”h) AND at 300DPI at that size. If you posted them to the web in that format they would look HUGE on screen. Not to mention the file size would be enormous.. like several mbs. If you kept them at 300DPI but reduced the physical size, (to say a certain pixel width for example) the DPI might be at 300, but the physical size is too small, there's still not enough data for printing. To verify your resolution, in the Image Size box turn OFF the “Resample image” box, and then type in the proper physical size in inches of the comic and watch how the resolution changes. That will give you your real resolution (which will probably be around 72 dpi). If you have the full resolution versions stored away, great. But if you need to restore old comics, the only way to do much with them is to redo them. You could try livetrace in illustrator (to convert them to a vector) if they are fairly simple, but it may still mangle the artwork somewhat. Its nearly impossible to get back old artwork if it wasn't created properly in the first place. This is a big reason that a lot webcomic artists end up redoing large portions of their early work is specifically to go to print. Unless they did it on paper, and can just rescan it, they have to recreate the artwork at the proper size.

I'm a veteran of print, and I still ended up doing that myself because my old artwork was largely destroyed after 10 years of storage, and the originals were not created or saved with printing in mind.


_____________________________________________________
I have a webcomic making blog! Check it out.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:32PM
DrLuck at 11:48AM, Nov. 21, 2009
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posts: 134
joined: 1-4-2009
ShadowsMyst
@Author_Ninja
You need to have 300DPI ‘at size’. Which means if you open up photoshop and look under Edit-> Image size, it should be the proper physical size ( so for manga say 5“w X 7.5”h) AND at 300DPI at that size. If you posted them to the web in that format they would look HUGE on screen. Not to mention the file size would be enormous.. like several mbs. If you kept them at 300DPI but reduced the physical size, (to say a certain pixel width for example) the DPI might be at 300, but the physical size is too small, there's still not enough data for printing. To verify your resolution, in the Image Size box turn OFF the “Resample image” box, and then type in the proper physical size in inches of the comic and watch how the resolution changes. That will give you your real resolution (which will probably be around 72 dpi). If you have the full resolution versions stored away, great. But if you need to restore old comics, the only way to do much with them is to redo them. You could try livetrace in illustrator (to convert them to a vector) if they are fairly simple, but it may still mangle the artwork somewhat. Its nearly impossible to get back old artwork if it wasn't created properly in the first place. This is a big reason that a lot webcomic artists end up redoing large portions of their early work is specifically to go to print. Unless they did it on paper, and can just rescan it, they have to recreate the artwork at the proper size.

I'm a veteran of print, and I still ended up doing that myself because my old artwork was largely destroyed after 10 years of storage, and the originals were not created or saved with printing in mind.

This is completely right. 300 dpi at size that's only an inch or so big is an issue you can't really solve. It has to be both 300 dpi AND the proper paper size. If you really want to print, you'll either have to rescan or redo the old art. I had art that was too small for print from years ago. I had the original art so I could just scan it in, but I'm missing two pages. I'll have to go back and redo those pages before I can print the comic.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:17PM
ShadowsMyst at 11:38AM, Nov. 24, 2009
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joined: 1-9-2006
In the course of my graphic design work, I have discovered a HIGHLY useful and extremely cool plugin for Photoshop that resizes photo and artwork to stupidly large sizes without losing much in the way of resolution and detail.

Its called ‘Blow up 2’ by Alien Skin. And does it work like a hot DAMN. (least on photos). I haven't tried it on artwork yet, but provided your artwork is clean and doesn't have any JPG artifacts in it, you potentially could ‘rez up’ your art using this plugin.

While it isn't ‘free’ per se, it does have a 30 Day unlimited free trial. So if you already have all your pages and want to give it a go, you can download the installer from here: http://www.alienskin.com/blowup/index.aspx

_____________________________________________________
I have a webcomic making blog! Check it out.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:32PM
Shriah at 10:05PM, July 6, 2010
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posts: 1
joined: 5-23-2010
I don't know much about this, but I have a friend who attempted to do this with an illistrated story they had finished.

I'm blurry with the details, like I was never told the publisher and such, but my friend was getting everything ready to submit their stuff to them and hell broke loose.

She found some bad spots in the story line and wanted to redo a good 67+ pages. As a result, deadline came up and she didn't have anything worth shit to give them, so they closed the offer and gave it to someone else.

My advice: Make sure all is well in the world BEFORE you set the deadlines. Don't be a blonde, Arty. :P
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:35PM
LOOKIS at 8:21PM, July 11, 2010
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joined: 1-4-2010
Newer monitors are closer to 100dpi than 72dpi.

A good rule of thumb is that it takes 3 inches of monitor to equal 1 inch of paper.

A 900x1200 pixel image will be about 9x12 inches on your monitor but only 3x4 inches on paper (at 300dpi printing resolution).

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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM

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