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What are you using to create your comic?
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OnlyTheGhosts



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

achaziel wrote:
Quote:
I still use a Wacom Bamboo Manga, the medium-sized one. Probably slightly different as I'm in Japan. Love the thing, but the Intuos is kind of too large. Japanese homes are small, and my desk space is limited. Maybe one day...


There are various wireless variants of wacom tablets around, so the desk space shouldn't be too much of an issue, or am I wrong?
But just to let you know, bigger does not mean better (no pun intended),many people are more comfortable with smaller tablets. Switching from a medium sized bamboo to a large intuos 4 wasn't easy for me, since I was so used to the smaller one.


I found awhile ago that wireless for the Wacom seems to have a lot of problems in my house. The frequency is probably overlapping with some other device(s). Drawing becomes sloooooow. I had to buy a 2 metre cable for it instead of relying on the WiFi because the original cable is ridiculously short to being near useless. Other than that, later realised that I'm more comfortable drawing with the Wacom on a desk or table, than on my lap, and less inclined to become lazy as well. The main problem was the weird slowness and unreliability of the WiFi; whenever I drew, it would be irritatingly delayed before anything moved on the screen. If I moved too fast, it would take ages to catch up - then do other unwanted stuff too. Typical Japanese house, I suppose, with kids with WiFi games, and the neighbours too. Apparently, a lot of things here use similar frequencies.
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egypturnash



Joined: 12 May 2012
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm on my second and third Wacom tablets. I started out with a 3x5 Graphire2 and used it for something like eight years until the cord got bent enough to start glitching out. Now I've got an 8x6.5 Intuos3 that lives on my computer desk next to my monitor, as well as a 7x4.5 Intuos4 that lives in the bag for when I unplug the laptop from the monitor and go out somewhere.

Like the park. Today I just finished page 100 of my comic while sitting out on a shady bridge across a local park.
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egypturnash



Joined: 12 May 2012
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[double post, deleted]


Last edited by egypturnash on Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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egypturnash



Joined: 12 May 2012
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yeah, and there's one other part of the process for my comic lately: 3D reference models. I designed a swoopy little car in Silo, and use Photoshop's 3D tools to position the model on top of a rough page, then dump a PNG of just the model into Illustrator and draw over it. Sometimes I'll do a couple overlapping car reference images and merge them together when I draw, to keep things more lively and organic.

This has been really, really helpful in the latest chapter, which is all about driving around in a fast car.

Full list of steps here. I dunno if I'll be making more 3D models for other parts of the story - I'm very much a 2D gal at heart - but I'm certainly going to keep this process in mind for the future.
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nsanelilmunky



Joined: 12 Nov 2012
Posts: 120

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any reason why you use Illustrator instead of photoshop? Is there any pros/cons of drawing your stuff as vector instead of raster?
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egypturnash



Joined: 12 May 2012
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nsanelilmunky wrote:
Any reason why you use Illustrator instead of photoshop? Is there any pros/cons of drawing your stuff as vector instead of raster?


I always say that the best medium for making comics is the one you don't have to think about at all. I've been using AI as my main medium since 2000, so it's just sort of what I reach for; Photoshop is frustratingly alien to me.

The main reason I started using Illustrator is "global color swatches" - I change a swatch and everything draw using it changes. This let me keep the same color workflow I was used to from using Deluxe Paint back on my Amiga, where I sometimes radically change a drawing's colors at the very end with very little work. Everything else is lagniappe. And NOTHING ELSE that I've ever seen offers that, not even other vector apps.

Pros:

- infinite scalability/rotatability without losing any quality

- tiny file sizes - the heaviest page in my current project is 34m, the median is more like 2-5m.

- you can casually scrawl off the edge of the canvas and keep drawing, then resize the canvas later to fit the composition if needed. I'm not changing page size in the middle of my comic, but I've got lots of pages that have notes and rough sketches for the next few pages off to the side!

- it's great for doing flat colors and super-smooth gradients

- everything is very editable, I can go back and reshape any bit of the drawing anywhere in the process and it seamlessly adjusts. I can even stack things - for instance, I drew a magic circle head on, then used a distortion mesh to put it in perspective. Then I went "inside" the distortion mesh and was able to edit the flat art, without having to keep a spare copy of the flat image around and re-do the transformation when I edited it.

Cons:

- if you love lots and lots of texture Illustrator is really not for you, you can kinda do it but it's awkward. Same with faking natural media. (There was one vector app, Expression, that did an amazing job of simulating natural media, but then Microsoft bought the company and ate it.)

- infinite scalability means it's easy to get lost in microscopic details that render as less than one pixel on the screen (I've trained habits into myself to counter this one)

- very complicated images with lots of effects get quite sluggish to work on, as those effects have to be re-rendered every time you zoom in or out

- you have to learn a very different way of thinking than bitmap paint programs. I usually describe it with the physical analogy of "cut paper".

- probably other cons that I can't see because I never really use other programs, my style is definitely shaped by my choice of tool.

(Illustrator can do much more subtle coloration than I'm doing in Decrypting Rita; I deliberately chose a super-limited color style for this project.)
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smbhax.com
No! Don't post it there!


Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 3020
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

egypturnash wrote:
Yeah, I remember seeing A* a while back and enjoying all the starkness. But now you are a dirty-handed traitor to the land of shading! HEATHEN

but seriously the pencils look pretty good too and if you have more fun with them then they are the Right Medium!


I didn't plan on the shading when I started in pencil, it just seems like they want to shade things. Tricky devils. : P
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Mbeast



Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow - I feel so clueless trying to read this thread. Right now I do initial pencils in blue, do a trace over in just whatever regular lead pencil I have handy (usually just a #2), then scan and do inks with a cheap Bamboo tablet in Manga Art Studio. I've been doing the inks on a different layer (and hide the original, pencil layer). I kind of figured that the quality of paper would never be a factor, since everything gets scanned.

I only ever doodled before deciding to tackle art duties for Mark of the Beast myself and have been trying to learn as quickly as I can. Once I have the money for it, I'm going to sign up for a class or two at the community college, but in the meantime any recommendations or advice to help me out? Or is it really just a matter of experimenting with as many different materials, papers, and processes before settling on something I like?
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Metruis
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 14 Oct 2008
Posts: 1019
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mbeast wrote:
Wow - I feel so clueless trying to read this thread. Right now I do initial pencils in blue, do a trace over in just whatever regular lead pencil I have handy (usually just a #2), then scan and do inks with a cheap Bamboo tablet in Manga Art Studio. I've been doing the inks on a different layer (and hide the original, pencil layer). I kind of figured that the quality of paper would never be a factor, since everything gets scanned.

Well, you're inking digitally, so yeah, the quality of the paper doesn't matter at all. Mostly fancy papers seem to come in handy for traditional inking and coloring, or anything where you're going to be preserving some of the traditional art in the final product. You're not, I take it... so much like me, why bother with expensive materials?

For Between Places, I usually sketched my pencils with whatever pencil I could find, usually a mechanical pencil, .5 lead, HB or whatever, on printer paper. If I didn't feel like scanning (I got better detail when I did traditional pencils, I found) I just sketched in Photoshop and then did my work on top of that.

I've been messing around with different processes for my upcoming comic, though, and found I like the look when I use a marker to ink... I use a light blue marker that works like a non-photo pencil for the "pencils", a brown marker for the actual lineart, and use alpha channels to clean it up. I don't know if I'll maintain this process because I'm a fairly strictly digital artist, but because I'm taking so much concept art commissions, it's nice to do something other than paint.
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Mbeast



Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Metruis wrote:

I've been messing around with different processes for my upcoming comic, though, and found I like the look when I use a marker to ink... I use a light blue marker that works like a non-photo pencil for the "pencils", a brown marker for the actual lineart, and use alpha channels to clean it up. I don't know if I'll maintain this process because I'm a fairly strictly digital artist, but because I'm taking so much concept art commissions, it's nice to do something other than paint.


Thanks for the insight into what your process is and what you've been trying. It's a little overwhelming trying to get started without much prior knowledge. The things you've mentioned have given me a few ideas that I'll try out. Need to just remind myself that I'm in this for the long term and expecting great, instant results isn't fair to myself.
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smbhax.com
No! Don't post it there!


Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 3020
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm impressed by how together your comic looks, particularly considering that this is your first real go at drawing.

I'd caution against using fuzzy brushes or blurs for shadows--to my eye, at least, they immediately jump out as looking artificial.

Taking some drawing courses is an excellent idea. It doesn't hurt also just to get a sketchbook and draw...whatever. But particularly just look for little things around you that you can draw from life. If you want a real challenge, practice drawing your hand, or even your face in a mirror (or anyone you can get to sit still for you :).

There are loads of books that could be helpful for drawing tips; two that I've found helpful in various ways have been the old "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way"--although that is particularly skewed toward exaggerated superhero-style illustration--and the even older "Figure Drawing for All It's Worth" by Andrew Loomis. If you want something on human anatomy in particular, one of the classics is George Bridgeman's "Constructive Anatomy" which is pretty easy to find in digital form by googling.

Of course, another important thing to do is to find comics whose art you like, and figure out why you like it. : ) Aside from webcomics, deviantART and tumblr are good places for exploring art--comic and otherwise--online.
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Mbeast



Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

smbhax.com wrote:
I'm impressed by how together your comic looks, particularly considering that this is your first real go at drawing.

I'd caution against using fuzzy brushes or blurs for shadows--to my eye, at least, they immediately jump out as looking artificial.

Taking some drawing courses is an excellent idea. It doesn't hurt also just to get a sketchbook and draw...whatever. But particularly just look for little things around you that you can draw from life. If you want a real challenge, practice drawing your hand, or even your face in a mirror (or anyone you can get to sit still for you Smile.

There are loads of books that could be helpful for drawing tips; two that I've found helpful in various ways have been the old "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way"--although that is particularly skewed toward exaggerated superhero-style illustration--and the even older "Figure Drawing for All It's Worth" by Andrew Loomis. If you want something on human anatomy in particular, one of the classics is George Bridgeman's "Constructive Anatomy" which is pretty easy to find in digital form by googling.

Of course, another important thing to do is to find comics whose art you like, and figure out why you like it. : ) Aside from webcomics, deviantART and tumblr are good places for exploring art--comic and otherwise--online.


Thanks for the advice and kind words on the comic! I know I definitely need to put in more time just practicing - I'm really bad at that. So far I've used books by Ben Caldwell and Jack Hamm to help me get started, but will definitely look into the ones you mentioned once some funds clear up. I've heard really good things about the Marvel book before. Thanks again for the feedback![/url]
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egypturnash



Joined: 12 May 2012
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

smbhax.com wrote:
I didn't plan on the shading when I started in pencil, it just seems like they want to shade things. Tricky devils. : P


Each medium has a thing it wants to do. You can do drastically different things in any medium, but you'll have to spend a looooot more time fighting it!

It's mostly best to actually go to a place your medium kinda wants to go.

(says the girl whose next comic is going to be scratchy and painterly, yet drawn in Illustrator. PHYSICIAN HEAL THYSELF.)
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egypturnash



Joined: 12 May 2012
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And re Mbeast wanting drawing advice?

Go here, get the Preston Blair book, and start doing these exercises. You will get a lot better, a lot faster.
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Kiwihopper



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm using Photoshop CS6 with a Wacom Bamboo, drawing everything digitally. I think it would annoy me to have to scan strips in!
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