Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

That antiquated "look"...
Kristen Gudsnuk at 12:58PM, June 30, 2009
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hey guys…

You know how some pictures have a special old-fashioned “look” to them? How about we exchange tips on how to do that.

like this picture, from deviantart:



I love it, and was wondering if some of you more seasoned artists have tips on how to get these kinds of effects (color schemes, references, etc?)

Or other little tips on adding that “something extra” to a picture.

Here's a tip from me: One time I did that “leave a piece of paper crumpled in a cup of coffee for a while” thing, and then imposed it over a picture and it looked okay. Any other ideas?

Also, feel free to post examples of pictures that look neat!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:23PM
crazyduck at 12:30PM, July 3, 2009
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I have no idea how to do stuff like that, but wow, that picture is awesome! Could you link to the person's page for me? :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:48AM
JoeL_CQB at 6:04PM, July 3, 2009
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flats, half-tone pattern for shading, and grunge texture over the rest?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:10PM
Speck at 3:33AM, July 4, 2009
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Color-wise, it looks like most of the flat colors are a bit warmer and lighter than you might expect them to be. It's almost as if the image has been sitting in direct sunlight for some time. Either that, or the
Add some texture and half-tone pattern shading (as JoeL_CQB points out), and I think you're good to go.

I think the main trick for making an image look old is to observe what time does to older, non-archival pieces of artwork. Colors fade, and become duller. Pieces of paper turn a brown-ish yellow, from either acid or the sun (or a combination of both!). Artwork even gets crumpled, ripped/torn, creased, scratched. (Notice how the artist here has made it look as though this image has been folded in half, then flattened out. There also seems to be a bit of acid-damage around the edges of the image.)

In addition to the “crumpled, coffee-soaked paper” method, you might also try imposing other forms of damaged paper. Instead of the coffee-soaked paper, try using ripped pieces of paper, or heavier, creased paper. Maybe even water-damaged paper.

I hope this helps!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:54PM
megan_rose at 3:52PM, Aug. 14, 2009
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I made a tutorial on how I do it here.

Some of what I talk about:

It's done in Photoshop, but involves lots of old-school techniques, like separating colors into a cyan layer, a magenta layer, a yellow layer, and a black layer, all with halftone dots. Then you bump the layers left/right/up/down to get the effect of old-style printers that didn't always line their inks up quite right. (Actually, lots of papers today still end up doing that.)

Go for a limited palate, i.e., basic colors. A few blues, a few reds, a few greens, etc. Make things a bit lighter and brighter than you want them to turn out, because the process tends to dull them out a bit.

The white smudges (where it looks like the ink wore off) is just a black and white “grunge” layer on top of all the “ink” colors with the blend mode set to “screen”. The black parts of that layer become invisible, and the white parts stand out. Play with the levels/contrast of this layer if you want more/less fading.

The old-paper look is achieved by taking some stock images of old, yellowed paper, and putting them on a top layer with the blend mode set to “multiply”. (The same way you did the coffee stain thing, I bet.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:59PM
cetriya at 8:02PM, Aug. 14, 2009
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also, the ink work and drawings where done for simple ‘swoosh’ motion with the brush. I've seen indy comics with line work like that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:39AM
Kristen Gudsnuk at 10:46PM, Aug. 14, 2009
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posts: 1,340
joined: 10-4-2006
megan_rose
I made a tutorial on how I do it here.

Some of what I talk about:

It's done in Photoshop, but involves lots of old-school techniques, like separating colors into a cyan layer, a magenta layer, a yellow layer, and a black layer, all with halftone dots. Then you bump the layers left/right/up/down to get the effect of old-style printers that didn't always line their inks up quite right. (Actually, lots of papers today still end up doing that.)

Go for a limited palate, i.e., basic colors. A few blues, a few reds, a few greens, etc. Make things a bit lighter and brighter than you want them to turn out, because the process tends to dull them out a bit.

The white smudges (where it looks like the ink wore off) is just a black and white “grunge” layer on top of all the “ink” colors with the blend mode set to “screen”. The black parts of that layer become invisible, and the white parts stand out. Play with the levels/contrast of this layer if you want more/less fading.

The old-paper look is achieved by taking some stock images of old, yellowed paper, and putting them on a top layer with the blend mode set to “multiply”. (The same way you did the coffee stain thing, I bet.)

oooohhh~!!!

omg thanks. that tutorial is really helpful… and a cool end-result picture too!!! I'm definitely going to use this all (for the cover of my comic, I'm thinking of going for something kinda old looking.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:23PM
Metruis at 9:08PM, Aug. 15, 2009
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Here's a couple tutorials on texturizing that entertain me. Though the one already posted is great!

http://princendymion.deviantart.com/art/Texturizing-Tutorial-55584362
http://princendymion.deviantart.com/art/Old-Paper-Look-Tutorial-22692899

On this texurizing note, I remember a tutorial from a few years ago that dealt with wrapping a texture around folds of a fabric, anyone know where I might find that? o_O
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:59PM

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