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Techniques and Media in webcomics (Quackcast 19)

ozoneocean at 2:37AM, March 22, 2011

Part of the transcript from Quackcast 19 where Skoolmunkee and Ozoneocean discuss comic art media

(5 star average out of 1 vote)

In Quackcast 19 we talked about some of the media and techniques people can use in their art when doing webcomics. This is just a broad overview of the subject and some of the tings we discussed, whith links to further resources.

- Digital art VS Traditional art -

This isn’t as important as it first seems, since media is media: You can just as easily separate it into brush ink Vs pen ink… the differences aren't as important as what you use to achieve with the media- comic making. Everything has inherent advantages and disadvantages and some things fit some roles and applications better than others.
Thread here.

The following is of pros and cons of the different approaches:
- Digital art shortens the work flow and ensures quality retention. Quality and time is constantly lost in Traditional work through ALL stages, from pencils to inks to colour to scanning etc.
- Digital art saves work space (on your desk etc.) and shortens setting up time.
- Storage of old work is not as much of an issue with Digital art.
- Traditional work has a higher level of intricacy and detail (messiness, variation etc) because of it’s analogue nature so will appear more visually engaging and interesting by default-and because it’s analogue, detail is far, far greater. Digital art is only as detailed as the resolution you drew it; blow it up any more and it’s always simply blurry pixels.
- Traditional is more intuitive to use, unless you were bought up using digital materials…
- You can more easily get a lot of different looks using Traditional materials… You can get all the looks you like using digital techniques, but with Traditional is as easy as sploshing paint, wetting paper and then inking, scrawling with some oil pastel
- It’s so easy to save your work at different stages and in multiple versions with digital art. At university as a painter and multimedia artist I used different techniques constantly to save my work at different stages: traditional photographs, digi photos, film, photocopy, light-boxes tracings, overhead projectors, digital projectors, protecting it during further work using fixative and plastic film…
Working digitally the whole way through cuts out the necessity for all that sort of thing.
- It’s easier to work large scale using traditional media because you’re not scrolling around a screen to see it at full size- You also work very differently on much larger scale art.
- Digital work makes it much easier to objectively analyse your art- reversing it to more easily see errors, zooming in and out to see how it works as a whole or in tiny details. To do that with non-digi art you need mirrors, photos, or tracing, and enough room and light to view your work from a distance (can be a problem at larger sizes), all takes so much longer.
- Digital art can tie you to a specific space, especially if you use something like a large Cintiq which has limited portability. You do have mobility options though, there are expensive tablet computers with high quality digitisers, cheaper tablets (like the ipad, Xoom, Tab etc) with low resolution digitisers, easily portable tablets for your laptop etc. But it’s much easier to flop anywhere with a skectchbook and get to it.
- Digital art requires a far higher initial investment in tools and programs and you lose far more if these things are damaged, stolen, or lost. but the ongoing costs are far less.

- In the end, though many will work in either way exclusively, most people use a mixture of digital and non-digital techniques anyway: Pencilling and then scanning, cleaning up the pencils digitally and digitally inking for example.

Useful threads:
Switching from scanned pages to drawing tablet
Tablet pcs
More than one type of tablet
Formats and scanners
Comic book paper size

-Colour VS black and white
]Thread for this.
-For this subject we thought Demontales summed it up best in his comment in the thread.

Colours pros:
- Attention grabber (Colour helps work pop and is very visually engaging, Easier to make an eye-catching image with colour.)
- Helps differentiate different elements (offers many more possibilities for the sorts of things you can depict- Things like blood are a lot easier to indicate with colour!)
- Easier to show time atmosphere( morning, night, etc.)
- Good to cover different types of emotional ambiances
Colors cons:
- Managing the color schemes
- Can crowd an image too much
- Depending on the level of realism and the medium, they can be extremely time consuming skill demanding
- Often more expensive
Black/White or monochrome pros:
- Can be pretty fast depending on the style
- You only have only one “color” to manage
- Good for dark and serious atmosphere
- Without colours' distraction, emotions can seem more powerful if well done
- Usually cheaper (to print with )
- Black and White is the most accepted, traditional way to work when doing most Manga.
- Black and white, line, and tonal work is easier to start out with, but does take a lot of skill to master.
Black/White cons:
- A bit harder to develop a distinct style
- Less forgiving on consistency or composition errors, everything must be extra clear
- They can seem boring(not enough contrast, action, atmosphere, etc)
- Showing the time of the day can be hard, especially with solid black and white only comics
—- It generally takes more work and/or skill to get the same sorts if ranges of effects without colour.

Useful thread:
tones or color?

-What media and techniques are best for comics?

Nothing. It’s all down to personal preference and what you have available.
Obviously there are certain materials that the majority of people use, but that doesn't mean they’re best for everyone. Most people work either with pencil drawings on paper, then inking, and colouring, usually scanning the inked work and colouring digitally or scanning the pencils and going digital from there or some variation on that. But there are no right or wrong ways to produce webcomics, whether with 3D modelling, photos of action figures, paintings, sprite art, whatever you have and whatever you're best at is what you should use.

Useful threads:
favourite medium
Skullbie’s ‘mega links thread’
Sprites discussion thread

-Training Vs no formal training
I had many years in art college and university. Yes, I have academic qualifications in fine art and art and design, among other things.
“Training” is a misnomer though. Who's trained these days? There aren't many situations where art is treated as a practical discipline… except when you're leaning techniques. What I did when I was learning doesn't much resemble what I do in my comic, but it gives me a good library of skills, techniques, and knowledge of styles and art history to draw upon.
-You do not need any training to get into webcomics, which is one of the best things about them (or worst, depending on who’s talking). Just see what other people have done and give it a try with whatever style or technique works best for you. -As I've said previously. I repeat myself a lot here but it's an important point!

Useful threads:
Self-taught or formal training



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