Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Using PS to shade vs pencils/hatching (FOR BLACK AND WHITE COMICS/GRAPHIC NOVS/MANGA!)
reflectedartist at 3:54PM, April 27, 2009
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Hey guys, this is more like me seeing out help and being curious about people's creative/decisive processes.

First, when you “add” dimensions to your page, do you use PS/illustrater/etc in half-tone to shade? Or do you use traditional tools, like pencils, ink wash or screetone? How did you decide which one you wanted to use?

I can't decide if i should use tone or pencil for my “north amera-manga”. Tone would enable easier printing (but all the tutorials i've looked at are different, and i don't have the time for it. It also looked wierd-as in the dots are really big…) but pencil would allow more things and is faster (but smudges easily, and isn't really printer friendly). Please help!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:03PM
Ryuthehedgewolf at 4:06PM, April 27, 2009
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For my comic, I use .005 microns to make small lines for shadowing/hatching, and then copic markers for shading.

I personally would NEVER EVER use pencils, because it's hard to make it clean, especially with all the smudges.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:16PM
lba at 5:28PM, April 27, 2009
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Adjust the halftone size in the halftone filter by using a higher number in the tolerances. You're also better off using gray tones to turn into halftones rather than hatching if that's what you're doing ( I get that impression from what you said. ) And it helps if you convert it to a bitmap and double the output from what you're working at. It seems counter-intuitive to scale up like that, but it produces smoother, smaller and more refined dots.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:29PM
cetriya at 6:55PM, April 28, 2009
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I use PS for toning because I find it quicker though now digital printers are really good with grey scale. I just like the clean dots, but to get those nice dots you have to use a nice lazer printer
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:39AM
Jabali at 5:20PM, May 16, 2009
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Actually I'm all digital when coloring and shading but when I started posting my web comic here at DD i was doing pencil shading and manipulating them in PS but that takes a lot of time.

I you have the time to do pencil or ink wash shades go for it but if you want to keep it simple, digital its the way to go.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
Air Raid Robertson at 3:25PM, May 20, 2009
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Cross-hatching can look wonderful, but it's also very easy for it to end up looking messy and nigh-unreadable. I went through a pretty long Robert Crumb phase and my work looked very sloppy. Cross-hatching is tough and you should make sure that you have the proper chops to undertake it.

As of now I very much don't. I decided to cheat by cross-hatching and then applying graytones or color over it. This makes the art stand out more, and it ends up looking less blurry and more defined. I'd like to use Copix markers for this, but that's definitely out of my price range. (Prismacolor ain't cheap, but it's definitely a more reasonable alternative)

Finished pencils are an even more dangerous venture than cross-hatching. I can think of maybe two comics I've read where the finished pencils didn't look awful. Coloring over uninked pencils may be a safer risk, but not by much.

You definitely need a lot of skill and artistic discipline to pull off pencils as finished comic art.

last edited on July 14, 2011 10:48AM
korosu at 7:23PM, May 21, 2009
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I used to draw everything on paper with Sakura pens and such, but now I do everything on PS. It's so much easier when it comes to editing each page. (I recently tried to ink something with a pen, just to see if I happened to be any better with it… Yeah, it still sucked. :P)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:21PM

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