Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

The Programs You Work With
acadia at 4:16AM, Dec. 20, 2006
posts: 374
joined: 12-18-2006
Photoshop CS works for me.

last edited on July 14, 2011 10:45AM
Jimeth at 8:34AM, Dec. 20, 2006
posts: 128
joined: 3-13-2006
Serif Drawplus 7.0

Unorthadox, but I know it well.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:08PM
CharleyHorse at 7:48AM, Dec. 22, 2006
posts: 627
joined: 12-7-2006
I'm currently using and also using ArcSoft Photostudio, which was bundled with my scanner software. I've got other freeware programs as well, Gimp and GimpShop, but I haven't yet cracked open either one of those applications to see what they can do for me.

I'm only beginning to experiment with software driven art tools, as I have been using the traditional approach for - well - for forever. Basically I am still composing/creating with old fashioned pencil on paper, cleaning up the result with my software - making it blue-lineart, printing it, tracing it onto Bristol using my light-table, inking that with real pen/brush and ink, re-scanning that result, fixing my inevitable errors, and then doing whatever with the results from that point onwards; i.e., using just the software tools approach.

On the other hand, I AM beginning to experiment with going straight from the hand sketched stage to the software art approach, skipping the intermediate light-table tracing and ink-by-hand stage. No hurry though . . . and no worries about it either. It's all good. B)

: for what it's worth I tried Gimpshop for windows, but found it too unstable to work well on my desktop system. Reluctantly, I gave Gimp itself a try - reluctant because it is supposed to be the more difficult system to learn and master - and while I am finding it rough sledding I am making progress. The thing about Gimp is that it is a professional quality application and so once a user gets used to its quirks the sky is the limit for productivity . . . or so I keep assuring myself.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
Frostflowers at 12:08PM, Dec. 28, 2006
posts: 689
joined: 10-8-2006
It used to be a combination of Photoshop CS and Painter IX, but now I only use Painter IX. I scan my comics and then go to work directly in Painter - I like the little colour-wheel and the traditional-media-brushes (even though I don't use a lot of them).

It's nice, on the whole.
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
Anubis at 8:14AM, Jan. 11, 2007
posts: 101
joined: 12-29-2006
hmmm I cheat lots
I cant draw at all (manual dexterity problems) so I use Daz Studio, with material file I created to do a sort of black white and shades of grey (rather than flesh tone or texturemaps) then render it as toon
then take it into photoshop to composite the images into a page add text and bubbles and any colour or effects that need to be done
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:54AM
hat at 2:04PM, Jan. 13, 2007
posts: 449
joined: 8-27-2006
Macromedia Flash MX.

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:45PM
7384395948urhfdjfrueruieieueue at 3:46PM, Jan. 14, 2007
posts: 6,921
joined: 8-5-2006
I scan with HP Director and then use Ultimate Paint. Un-paid Ultimate Paint. I still use the effects because they're idiots and it was easy to still save images with filters.
i will also like to know you the more
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:03AM
Tim Wellman at 7:32AM, Jan. 25, 2007
posts: 164
joined: 1-14-2007
I scan in using Irfanview… it's faster than photoshop, then I save the files as bitmaps (I draw on 11x17 inch paper, so it takes a couple of scans for a full page). Then, that gets opened in Photoshop 7 (CS runs slower than 7 on my computer so I don't use it). In photoshop I splice together the pieces, color or tone, clean up inks, and set my page sizes. After saving that as a psd, I import into my Illustrator CS lettering template and letter it, then it's saved as a full-sized tif. THEN, I open the big tif in Irfanview again, and reduce the size for viewing online, and save as a jpg (Irfanview creates jpg files that are as clean looking as photoshop, but are almost half the file size (ps adds a lot of text and junk to jpg files that isn't needed).
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
insanelysane at 1:10AM, Jan. 27, 2007
posts: 52
joined: 9-9-2006
Alias Sketchbook Pro 2.0

O.o … has anyone heard of it? Anyway, i do my sketch, ink and shading with Alias Sketchbook. Then I hop over to Adobe Photoshop 7.0 to do my screentoning, effects (if need be) and the bubbles + lettering. Sometimes I use Painter IX too. ^-^;
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:01PM
silentkitty at 8:16PM, Jan. 28, 2007
posts: 620
joined: 1-15-2007
Photoshop for drawing, inking, and coloring. Illustrator for lettering.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:37PM
spaceyoshix at 11:20AM, Jan. 31, 2007
posts: 4
joined: 7-25-2006
I use paint for all my drawing, text and coloring. I use Microsoft Works for wordart text and I use Game Maker's image editor for any special effects.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM
CharleyHorse at 7:27AM, Feb. 3, 2007
posts: 627
joined: 12-7-2006
If it is of interest, I am slowly making progress in both understanding the features of Gimp and in using the program for cartooning.

I've found gigatwo's ‘GIMPAGE’
site on DrunkDuck quite useful for Gimp related cartooning tutorials and also Diviantart's Gimp tutorial search feature. Then, of course, there are the official Gimp help organizations and tutorials.

Still . . . I'm not going to try and kid people about the program. Probably many people can just leap in and use it from day one to get their work done in a timely manner, but It definitely has a steep learning curve where my poor li'l brain is concerned. This may just be because I am only lately trying my hand at digital art after years of doing things the old-fashioned way, or it could be that I am just unusually dense. Anyway, Gimp is a radically powerful and versatile, professional-level program that allows people to do just about everything cartooning-related that's likely to be necessary for most of us.

Truth be told, I'd rather work with Photoshop - but only because there's tons of tutorials and help organizations on the ‘net that are specifically crafted with the needs and expectations of cartoonists in mind. In a one-to-one comparison, however, I don’t think that either application is the superior program. Yes, I'd switch to Photoshop just for the massive information data base available for it, but I am not going to shell out big bucks for the program and I'm not comfortable with using an illegal copy. But then that's just me. I have found that some Photoshop tutorials can be used for Gimp work without having too many of my brain cells fry from frustration.

Probably the best solution in my case would be to use the GIMP/Photoshop hybrid application which simply rearranges Gimp's menu system and name tags to Photoshop standards. Oh yeah . . . that application is called Gimpshop. As I understand it about ninety-five percent or so of Photoshop tutorials can be used with Gimpshop; but, alas, the application turns out to be very unstable on my desktop system. Weird, isn't it, since technically Gimpshop is the Gimp with just a few cosmetic changes?

To bring things back to the discussion topic, As I am still struggling with that learning curve I find myself still occasionally resorting to a few other freeware applications that are vastly simpler to understand and utilize: XnView for swift resizing and tinkering with ‘make ready for the web’ necessities and Paint-Net, which is a very high quality freeware replacement for Microsoft's Paint application - and is quite nice for general work when I don't want to struggle with Gimp's countless commands and menu systems.

Okay, now I'm going to go see if I can edge a bit closer to getting my cartoon ready for a DrunkDuck debut. I've lost count of how many times I have started over from scratch. Oh the wastage of paper, pencils, and the frying smell of brain cells getting overheated! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:40AM
thebeansontoast1 at 8:49AM, Feb. 3, 2007
posts: 2
joined: 7-20-2006
does anyone know where you can get a program where it has excactly the same brush tool as macromedia proffesional 8's? because my trail has expired and i don't have $600
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:16PM
edinmiami at 9:51AM, Feb. 4, 2007
posts: 9
joined: 1-8-2007
One of my friends swears by Adobe Illustrator for page layout, text bubbles, and fonts… Anyone using Illustrator? I've been using Photoshop 7.0 to clean up the drawings and for text, but it's too clunky for text bubbles, and I can't seem to load up decent fonts for the text… I'm looking for a program that can do text bubbles a little more smoothly, along w/ page layout…
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:19PM
Friedenmann at 3:48AM, Feb. 18, 2007
posts: 87
joined: 11-26-2006
Ok, so I use these:

Angel Effect is mainly traditional. I scan it into PhotoImpact 8, correct mistakes, resize and add all black fillings. I save into bmp and open in Photoshop where I add speech boxes.

In a short time I'll be workin' on Jackdaw (full-color) and halftones to Calisto Koldsten, all with Photoshop.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
Priest_Revan at 11:45PM, Feb. 18, 2007
posts: 2,339
joined: 12-31-2006
GIMP does its job for me.
Updates Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday's (depends).


Offering Project Wonderful Ad space on my website.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:48PM
Rydel6 at 3:59PM, Feb. 19, 2007
posts: 120
joined: 4-18-2006
Corel Paint Shop Pro XI for me. I used to use Flash to trace, but I decided real ink was alot faster.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:15PM
Eunice P at 7:40AM, Feb. 20, 2007
posts: 792
joined: 2-8-2006
I think I have way too many in my laptop… Some programs just sit in my PC only to accumulate dusts.

Manga Studio EX
Photoshop CS
Illustrator CS
Painter 7
CorelDraw Graphic Suite 12
Deleter CG Illust 2
Open Canvas 4
Open Canvas 1 (Antique!)
EasyToon (Antique!)
Delineate (lineart conversion software)
Ulead iPhoto Plus 4 (Antique!)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:23PM
Friedenmann at 12:00AM, Feb. 21, 2007
posts: 87
joined: 11-26-2006
Eunice P
Open Canvas 1 (Antique!)

I have version 1.08 on my comp^^

Eunice P
Ulead iPhoto Plus 4 (Antique!)

It's like eleven years old now. But my dad still uses it for scannin' at work.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:31PM
Eunice P at 6:08AM, Feb. 23, 2007
posts: 792
joined: 2-8-2006
It's like eleven years old now. But my dad still uses it for scannin' at work.

The reason I still keep this old software was because of the random pattern generator. Other than that, I no longer use any of the functions in this old program.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:23PM
roma at 9:24PM, Feb. 28, 2007
posts: 56
joined: 4-5-2006
Open Canvas 1.1

Corel Painter Essentials 2

Adobe illustrator 8

Art Rage for Natural Stuff. And Fun.

Photoshop 5.0 I haven't done anything important with it. I had Adobe Photoshop CS2 but that program has gotten ridiculously huge! It take forever for me to do things in it. Especially with tons of layers. So I just switched to the older one. In my opinion its much more stable.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Senretsu at 2:02AM, March 3, 2007
posts: 21
joined: 5-13-2006
I make all my graphics in MSpaint kinda strictly. Though nowadays I find it easier to put it all together and add the special effects in with Photoshop, so my MSpaint-only comics are usually more dialogue-oriented.
I wear a mean dark pair of shades… And you can't see my eyes, unless my head is bent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:27PM
FAL at 10:35AM, March 5, 2007
posts: 139
joined: 2-21-2007
I draw everything directly in Flash with a Wacom tablet (I like to have everything vectorized so I can move parts, resize at will etc… without worrying about resolution).

Then I export the page in TIFF format and import in Photoshop for resizing and adding my magical pink tint!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
Lace at 7:36PM, March 5, 2007
posts: 49
joined: 12-6-2006
it depends for me on what i want to do. i do all of my digital drawings inside of manga studio. if i want to draw on paper and scan in, i will do that in manga studio too to prepare it for inking. for all of my print manga i am practicing using manga studio. but for my webcomics, i am using photoshop cs 2 beucase my toning method in there is so much quicker and i can finish my pages faster on there. my webcomic, digital desire is inked in manga studio but toned in photoshop. my 2nd one that i am going to do, which will be crossposted with digital desire is called Spirit of the Samurai. its going to be toned completely in manga studio because of its better toning capabilities.

so in short heres my method:

a. draw digitally in manga studio or draw with pencil and scan into manga studio
b. ink everything in manga studio. its inking capabilties are better than other programs becuase of its auto line fix feature!
c. for just web manga, i tone in photoshop cs 2 becuase my method for toning there is fast and precise. for print manga i will just tone in manga studio.

im still learning manga studio tho, but this is my method <3

For coloring, I usually use painter 8 becuase of its blending tools. it gives you that option to paint like youre using traditional media. Of course, before I take my pictures to painter 8 I ink in manga studion ;). Im starting to become addicted to inking in that program. Its so easy and fast!


Believe in your dreams and your determination will last you a lifetime…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:27PM
No_Parking at 6:15PM, March 27, 2007
posts: 15
joined: 3-22-2007
I have been using Gimp Shop (the price was right, FREE!) but I've been using Fireworks at work and I'm starting to like that better since it's better for creating images for the web. I don't do much in the way of really complicated coloring or layering like some people (who's skills put me shame), but I'm slowly learning to do stuff with these programs.

I met a guy over the weekend at I-Con 26 (I was speaking on panels about web comics) who does Crap Comics, or that's what I believe he calls it. He does the whole thing in MS Paint!?! To each their own I guess.

No Parking Web Comic
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:19PM
endlessbouncing at 11:07PM, April 16, 2007
posts: 14
joined: 4-10-2007
I use MS-Paint.

I use a black ballpoint pen in rl.

My laptop does not have a mouse attached to it. I use my force of will to get the images up on the page.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:22PM
sniper jedi at 9:11PM, April 17, 2007
posts: 20
joined: 2-19-2007
I am in LOVE with Paint.Net!
I still don't grasp all of the features, but I know enough to do what I do.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:49PM
nightlight at 10:19AM, April 18, 2007
posts: 17
joined: 4-4-2007
For my comic I only need to use PhotoshopCS, because I work with paper,
but as an animator I have a lot of other neat programs laying around.
Photoshot is sometimes… well, it just has so many things you can do with it, and you'll probably never even use half of those :D.
it's not really user friendly because of that, so I see why a lot of people prefer more compact programs.. It's just what suits your needs :) It's easy to be able to do everything in one program though…

Oh yeah I sometimes use a lighttable. It's really usefull when you have trouble working clean (like me) or want to ink, work with backgrounds, put things together…… it's easy to make one too!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:16PM
tiff15 at 9:20PM, April 24, 2007
posts: 15
joined: 4-27-2006
I use Artrage for the comic itself, then I add in text and speech bubbles with MSpaint. rarely, I'll use Lexmark Imaging Studio (came with my printer/scanner/copier) for special effects.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
Kristen Gudsnuk at 9:46AM, April 25, 2007
posts: 1,340
joined: 10-4-2006
HAHA OMG– I was just looking through my archive and I found this in one of my Author's Notes:
a long time ago, I
“I just drew this picture not long ago… the computery stuff didn't come out like I wanted it (I used Kodak Easyshare Photo Editor's ”Fun Effects!“ to put a spotlight on it, but the spotlight cut out part of Tom's head… oh well…”
XD!!! what a noob!!! that was before I had photoshop… before I had a tablet… before I had a mouse. yup. the dark ages.

now I generally edit and fix up in opencanvas, and then tone and letter and add boxes in photoshop.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:22PM

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