Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Suggestions at sprite comic making
Egnio at 8:02PM, Sept. 7, 2006
posts: 47
joined: 8-28-2006
If people actually read tutorials and such, there would not be so many bad sprite comics, and there would be no need for me to post this. Whatever, I just feel like making some suggestions, or at least what I expect to see on sprite comics. This in not really a tutorial, since I won't explain with details how to do everything. I'm just comparing how things can be done when sprite comic making. And, if time allows me to, I think that I'll make more of this in the future (in this thread)

Common mistake #1: Backgrounds.

Here's the image. Look, and cry.

First one (Seizure-tastic): Believe me, there's no worse thing as a background for a comic than extremely brighty colors. This things may hurt your eyes (and it's worse when people don't use speech bubbles)
Second one (horrible): Having no background at all is better than having brighty backgrounds. But it's still bad. Where is Agumon standing? I dunno.
Third one (bad): These are 2 colored backgrounds. The fact that these colors arent' that brighty makes it better, and it almost look like if Agumon was standing somewhere. Still, it's too plain and simple.
Fourth one (good): Well, this is a background, and one that you can actually use, and depending on which one you use, it could end up looking good, but this is a SPRITE COMIC DAMMIT!
Fifth comic (very good): This one is fine. Good background, sprited background, there's no problems at all.

Suggestions when using backgrounds:
No bittage mixing. I don't know how much you like Skull man's stage from Megaman. It's not a reason to put Mario from M&L SS Saga eating Kirby from a GB game.
Try to look for backgrounds that look almost like your character's style.

Speech bubbles.

First one (horrible): That black dots on the background are supposed to be what Crypto is saying… can't read it at all, right?
Second one (Very bad): That's better. Still, when using other backgrounds you won't be able to read it, and that sucks.
Third one (bad): So, you made a square, and put text on it. Not centered, empty space, no border… is that supposed to be a speech bubble? NEXT!
Fourth one (good): Well, that's better. It's an addecuate speech bubble. But, let's say that you have 2 characters with similar colors. What would you do?
Firfth one (very good): This one works for all occasions. Weeding, birthdays, trips to Mars. Still, I dislike looking at only white thingies. Let's look deeper.
Sixth one (Awesometastic): Combining the last 2 ones you can make something that looks more alive.

Suggestions for making speech bubbles:
If all your characters look almost the same (like in my comic), it would be better to use the Very good one instead of the Awesometastic, because… well, I just dislike working with only pink.
NEVER place the speech bubbles covering your character's head, specially if your character have emotions.


Panel size

First one (Horrible): There's so much empty space that I spelled the word "HORRIBLE" Using size 55 and there's still much empty space. FTW?
Second one (Good): (I'm sorry if the yankee thingy looks bad. It was made with the sprites' double size, so when rezising it, it looks bad) Well, it looks better. The panel is smaller, and the speech bubbles use the empty space. But this way, people need to get nearer the screen to look at the character's expressions. Give the people what the people want.
Third one (Very good): It fits 100% fine. Don't you think so?

Suggestions for making panels:
If you need more space, consider making bigger panels. Yet, not too big.
For starters, try to make all your panels the same size. Once you get more experience, you will know when to change sizes to make more dynamic comics without much empty space that looks cool, not only rectangles.



First one (Horrible): See that yellow circle in Tail's chest? It's supposed to be an electric bullet. Repeat. It's SUPPOSED to be an electric bullet. And apparently it have one of those things that prevent it from making noises. Wait. The pistol isn't equiped with that. REJECTED!
Second one (bad): Using the spray tool will never give you good results. NEXT!
Third one (almost good): Well, it looks more like if Tails was getting electryfied, and that's our objective. Look! There's a little *Zap* sound effect. With less noisy sounds it works great, but ZAP!!! Isn't the same a s zap. Okay?
Fourth one (Very good): This one actually shows electricity. And the ZAP onomatopeia makes it look as if Tails was really having a slow and painful death.

Suggestions for making effects:
For really noisy sounds, look for an onomatopeia. If it's not, use words that people can read. Don't worry, this time there's no need for speech bubbles. It's only a small word.
Don't abuse and put 5 or 6 sound effects for a little shot. Dammit.
NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER use the spray tool to simulate blood. It will never look great.


What may come next?
* Expressions
* Grammar
* Panel placing
* Whatever people suggest or comes to my mind later.

Comments, suggestions, requests, everything else (but people suggesting to stop making sprite comics or ranting about them) is welcome.

General thinks that you muct know:
* If you don't accept suggestions for your comics, you will stop and won't advance further.
* If you think that you need fancy programs like Photoshop to make excelent comics, you're wrong. When I got photoshop, it took me a week to almost learn how to use some effects on photoshop, and I don't make my comics directly there, since it's so hard. The effects that I know how to make sometimes I forget how to make them. Besides, Irfanview sometimes makes the effects for me easier and faster than photoshop. Want it? Google it.
* Think about your own ideas. Yeah, there are lots of comics. Yeah, there are lots of jokes and plots. But why did you choose to choose the one where Mario is a drugs addict or Sonic looks for the Chaos emeralds? Come on! The human brain's capacity knows no liimits. Think a bit and you'll come with an original idea (unless you're making fun of those plots, it would be more original… nevermind, people already make fun of those plots)
* God Modding characters will guide you soon to your doom.
* "Hi, I'm the author. Everyone here hates me. I can make anything that I want. Everyone, put attention on me and forget about all the other characters". Typical comic author. I have never used one because it's pretty common. But if I wanted to represent myself, I'd represent myself as I AM. I don't have super powers, I can't delete people with mental powers, I can do nothing. I'm a person, not a super hero. In fact, the nearest thing I've had to an author was talking with the characters as a narrator (War of the worms), or sending them letters to mention what happened with whatever was happening (Adventures of a hedgehog, one of my old comics. Not on drunkduck)
* Give your comics the time they diserve. Don't update daily if your going to make 4 panels with no background and bad speech bubbles. In fact, most good comic makers I know spend more than a week between updates. I know that they could update daily, but they are not computer slaves, neither they are payed to make their comics.
* Gay jokes, religion jokes and such should be avoided. I mean, if your comic have gay people on it, it's alright if they act as if they're supposed to act. BUT if you, for example, say "Look. That house is pink. It's too gay. Gays are assholes", then you're dead. With religion is the same. You could mention it or something, but I saw a comic about a Jewish that wanted to kill priests and such to become a pope. Believe me, after the first comic it got canceled.
* I guess that using recolors is good for starters. One you're used to them you can try to edit them, or at least give them clothes. Now that it's done, you could use major edits. If you're too confident of your skills, you could try making custom sprites, but these usually aren't really good. Only some people make sprites that they're proud of using. Example: I don't really like my human sprite's look, but I wanted to represent myself. That's why I have them. But I think that my worms sprites are the best ones I've ever made, and I use them for 2 reasons. One: I'm proud of them. Two: Worms World Party sprites for GBA are just too small to make them have expressions.
* A guy with the nickname of UZ said once: "The first comic is never good". It's up to you to understand that and say if that's right or wrong.
* As I said once "People should not rate comics taking in mind only what's wrong, but it's good aspects too". I mean, lots of people rated sprite comics really bad because they lacked quality. But I started rating them, after a while, taking in mind what they actually put effort on. I mean, people gave 2/10 to some comics, but I gave those 4-5/10, because, even if it wasn't that good, there was an attempt of making speech bubbles and grammar was acceptable, it's borders were okay and such small details.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:19PM
Egnio at 7:43PM, Sept. 8, 2006
posts: 47
joined: 8-28-2006
There are many styles. this is just a mere suggestion. You could use the almost square tool (I dunno how it was called), or transparent speech bubbles or so. These are just suggestions of which kind of speech bubbles people actually can read.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:19PM
Titch at 11:02AM, Sept. 9, 2006
posts: 137
joined: 1-15-2006
You covered the basics pretty well…perhaps I will write some kind of advanced sprite -> pixel art tutorial….
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
Dan at 8:25PM, Sept. 9, 2006
posts: 749
joined: 3-16-2006
But… but… Photoshop was what I grew up with. Paint wasn't good enough. I need my advanced programs. Sure, things can be hard to do at first, but when you get hang of it, then prepare to dish out some awsomeness. Just take a look at some of the works I've done with this.

This is probably my first try at custom backgrounds. Of course, this is kinda plain and obvious. But who can possibly resist multiple doors and random appearance combos?

An old work of B-52 Stateofortess I did a while ago. Unlike others, who color directly from the image, I first trace the image and then start coloring. I found out that doing so gives better result.

This is one of the finest work I've done using sprite-Photoshop combo. However, I wasn't aware of the dodge tool function but still, I really loved how this came out. You can see a couple of errors, like not blurring the moon a bit (Which is obviously a part of sprite background) and crappy explosion.

This is the part where I mainly focused on the shadows and lighting. The muzzle flash is its main error.

These are one of my most favorite backgrounds I've made. The interior was made 100% from scratch with Photoshop and the backgrounds were from Border Down. Notice how each background has its very own lighting.

One of my sprite comic panels. Notice how the background is toned to match the dark sky and blue-ish city. There's also dirt flying about on the bullet impact point, a bit of particle effects on ICBM engine exhaust and laser. I also use a separate copied layer of background in case I need to recycle it, which I seem to do a lot.

So as you can see, although having such programs is optional for most people, you can pull off some really amazing quality images with these. There are some occasions where some of my sprite pages needed to be saved in jpeg to meet Drunkduck's file size limit.

All it takes is a patience. This Dan from CNN News Live. Not.
“I like shooting, but I sure as hell don't like being shot at.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
Titch at 11:58AM, Sept. 10, 2006
posts: 137
joined: 1-15-2006
Because I'm a picky bitch…

With the custom background, you really really need to add some variance on the gradients or it looks super artificial. Noise helps. Overall you still have a problem with the sprites clashing with the background. You can cut that by artificialy reducing the number of colours in photoshop so it looks like you drew it with a limited pallet (like the sprite).

The Stateofotress…isn't a sprite. If the anti-aliasing (that is, putting dots of colour in to make it blend smoothly) isn't done by hand, it isn't a sprite. Not to mention the lines are waaay to thick to give the level of detail needed.

The next two images…awesome. The whole thing looks nicely intergrated. I would appreciat some more detailed tutorials on how you achived it.

Aaand, the same problem as above with your custom background. The photoshop gradiants look artificial and wrong.

Now how about this:

Took me, oh, about 6 hours from scratch. After reading a couple of pixel art tutorials.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
evilplushie at 3:57PM, Sept. 10, 2006
posts: 21
joined: 3-3-2006
Holy crap, I'm so stealing that word. O:
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:23PM
Hawk at 4:44PM, Sept. 10, 2006
posts: 2,760
joined: 1-2-2006
It's a pity that not enough sprite comic makers will read this and make use of it. Because it's right.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:45PM
deletedbyrequest03 at 6:39PM, Sept. 10, 2006
posts: 815
joined: 8-13-2006
Wow, this is really awesome, guys!!! You make spriting a form of art! I truly like that. Keep it up! This is awesome! I wanna learn how to make something like that!!! ^_^

This year, school's full of BS!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
Egnio at 4:33AM, Sept. 11, 2006
posts: 47
joined: 8-28-2006
I never said that people could use this thread to show their art skills. DeviantART was made for that reason. Whatever, those are just too awesome to be mad at them. Whatever (I just love that word), I may update today this thingy. I have been forgetting about this. If anyone wants to put something too, or explain how they make theirs, feel free to.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:19PM
deletedbyrequest03 at 3:06PM, Sept. 11, 2006
posts: 815
joined: 8-13-2006
Oh. I was just… complimenting… you…

Oh well…

This year, school's full of BS!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
hat at 3:20PM, Sept. 11, 2006
posts: 449
joined: 8-27-2006
This makes me want to jump up and make a sprite comic right now!

But I won't…
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:45PM
Titch at 9:44PM, Sept. 11, 2006
posts: 137
joined: 1-15-2006
I never said that people could use this thread to show their art skills. DeviantART was made for that reason. Whatever, those are just too awesome to be mad at them. Whatever (I just love that word), I may update today this thingy. I have been forgetting about this. If anyone wants to put something too, or explain how they make theirs, feel free to.

I explained how I made mine. I read a pixel art tutorial and followed it. Then I made that. Unless you want a relapse of the "How to look up tutorials on google" tutorial, I don't see how I could go into much more detail without writing one from scratch, which would be redundent, there are pleanty of free, good ones avalible to anyone with the capacity to use google.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
Egnio at 3:55AM, Sept. 12, 2006
posts: 47
joined: 8-28-2006
Yes, I already know that. I looked at about 4 different tutorials a few days after making my own sprite comics, and slightly improved. It wasn't until I started getting advice until I really improved. And once I saw comics that were way better than mine I started to correct the errors I could find on mine.

And I was also complimenting the ones that made those images, since they are kick@$$. But as I said, most people don't buy photoshop for being expensive or, here, hard to find. Photoshop is a great tool, once you get to know it. But the fact of having photoshop doesn't mean that your comics will be the best of this world's. If a person can't really make something productive with paint, do you really think that photoshop will help?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:19PM
Egnio at 5:15PM, Sept. 12, 2006
posts: 47
joined: 8-28-2006
Well, since there's just too much text, I'll just post this here (sorry for keeping you waiting)

Different kind of sprites:

Well, this time, I can't really consider some of this good or bad, horrible or wonderful. That depends on how you use them. I'll just explain a bit of what they are, how they are used and how they should be used, even though that's kind of obvious.

Regular sprite: It's a sprite that was ripped from a game. They are used on most sprite comics. Some of them are good to have them, other are just seen too many times. For example, Sonic comics are seen almost everywhere. Try to use more original sprites, unless you are making a good fan comic. No, not Mario being a stoner or Sonic looking for the emeralds are considered good.
Rrecolor: It's just a regular sprite with different colors. Personally, I'm not mad at people who use them I'm mad at people who over use them. I mean, if you are a starter, it's okay. But if you don't edit them, or fill your comic with these characters, and even put the original character and give these ones more importance, or worse, you make this your author incarnation, you're doing wrong, my friend. After some time, it's good to start by adding clothes to them and then major edits, once you're more familiar with editting sprites.
Inverted colors: No, not a recolor. This is just for lazy people who think that this is a recolor. All of these ones suck. Avoid using them at all costs.
Pseudo-sprites: *Sigh*. I'll just quote a comment I saw on a comic once (one about pseudo sprites trying to be accepted, called "The worthless", by BBsman5): "now I need to make sure the guys who think this is awsome and use it give me credit because it took five minutes of time i could have been browsing myspace!". Seriously, people who make this kind of stuff needs help. Patience, the correct tools and appropiate knowledge about drawing programs make better sprites. Yet, sometimes, it's also funny to see this kind of stuff, as long as most of the poses of these kind f characters is almost the same as the others, just like sprites.
Recolors with clothes: Next step towards originality after the recolor. This one is better, since it's easier to find a comic with plain recolors than one with recolors AND clothes. The fact is, most clothes (or hair styles) are a bit easy to make, and there's not much difference. Also, these ones tend to be used more as authors, since people are more proud of them (this one was the main character of one of my comics, which I already canceled. His name was Egnio, but he wasn't an interpretation of myself, neither an author)
Edited sprite: Way better. As you can see, this one have different clothes, a kind of edited tail and a new hair style. I'd be proud if more people made this kind of stuff. (Thanks to freshprince, freshman. Tay the fox… damn. Just the guy who made it, who likes changing his nickname)
Custom sprite: Guess. This one is for spriters. Usually, the owners of custom sprites put them on comics that are well done. What does it means? That, in order to make a good sprite, you need to have good knowledge of, let's say, MS paint. And, if you could make a good custom sprite, it'd be rare to don't be able to make a good sprite comic. How to make one? Try and error, my friend. Try and error (Cryptosporidum-137, another of my custom sprites, main character of Destroy All Humans! I JUSt had to made him. And his sheet, even though it's short, took more than an hour to make)

Suggestions when using sprites:
* No matter which kind of sprite you use, if you want to make them bigger, NEVER resize them with the rezising tool of MS Paint manually. Right click, Stretch/Skew, and stretch it to 50%, 200%, 300% and such, both horizontal and vertical. Never use 34%, 453% or such. Try and you'll see why I'm saying this.
* I suggest you to credit the spriter who made the sprites, edited them or ripped them (I do all of those). Don't do it on every comic. I suggest you to have a page or such where you write everyone that you want to credit.

And for those who haven't noticed, on the first post I wrote some suggestions for making sprite comics. No images, though. I may post some tutorials that I've found and read. Newbies will learn and those who know how to make good comics can aim a bit nearer of perfection. Remember, always aim for perfection, even if you don't get to it. It's better to say "At least I tried it" than limiting yourself by saying "It won't look good. I'll stick with no backgrounds"
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:19PM
Comicmasta at 5:20PM, Sept. 12, 2006
posts: 1,338
joined: 6-4-2006
Let the hate flow in in about ….



i have been brought back….The Boanitia..grrrrr…..Must find Super Jesus!!!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:43AM
subcultured at 6:21PM, Sept. 14, 2006
posts: 5,392
joined: 1-7-2006
the original sprites are pretty cool :D
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:00PM
The mediocre one at 6:49PM, Sept. 21, 2006
posts: 846
joined: 1-15-2006
wow, reading that motivated me to go into mspaint and gimp and mess around and I made a pretty good sprite-making system.
Thanks, man.
Paper Mache Cataclysm
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:15PM

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