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What are you using to create your comic?
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topjimcomics



Joined: 10 Sep 2012
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ttallan wrote:
The next step is also important to getting your scanned art nice and crisp: use the Threshold adjustment, which turns all the greyish pixels around the edges black, so your image ends up pure black and white. You can set the threshold (how dark those greyish pixels need to be before PS considers them "black") to whatever level suits your art.


Thanks for the answers every one. Can someone tell me, does Manga Studio EX 4 have the same threshold setting?
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iaviv



Joined: 03 Sep 2011
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

topjimcomics wrote:
Thanks for the answers every one. Can someone tell me, does Manga Studio EX 4 have the same threshold setting?


Yes it does. If you scan it separately (using a scanner specific software or whatever) you can import it into Manga Studio (File > Import) and then choose in the Properties window that pops up (Image Adjust, in that window) either "Black (1 bit)" or "Black And White (2 bit)" (the difference is literally what it says - only the black color is available in the first option, black and white - no gray or anything else - in the latter). If you import it straight from the scanner, then again choose File > Import> but this time choose your scanner. This one doesn't work for me, but if it works it should have that same Image Adjust options to choose from. You can change any layer like that by right clicking it in the Layers window and then choosing "Change Layer Type" (Ctrl+Alt+E) and then changing the Color Model to either of the two options I mentioned already.
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James Sawatsky
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Joined: 09 May 2006
Posts: 1270
Location: Vancouver Island

PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use Bitstrips. I became so burned-out that everytime I picked up a pencil I almost had an anxiety attack so I stopped making comics. Then my wife read about Bitstrips in a parenting magazine, I tried it out, and I began creating again. I started with little jokes here and there but now I'm customizing more and really making it personal.

I have 2 comics now.

No Experience Necessary and a reboot of 67th Avenue.

It feels good to be back!
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JuleaKinslayer



Joined: 13 Feb 2013
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Metruis wrote:
CS2 and a Wacom Graphire4. It's near its deathbed, I think, and I've been very, veryyyy close to buying a new tablet a couple of times, only I don't like the feel of the new Intuos tablets (too rough with this 'stimulating paper' feeling) and my desk isn't wide enough for my keyboard and tablet as is... wouldn't fit the widescreen tablets, so I'm going to need some kind of space mod at the right height... hmmm.

But yeah, 100% digital creation here, except for the odd page I pencil by hand.


I started using my keyboard on the retractable keyboard thingy under the desk and my wacom sits atop my desk. They don't interfere with each other then and once I got used to it, I found it worked really well for me.

I use an old Graphire 3 tablet and Photoshop CS4. All digital, baby. I do sketches in my sketchpad sometimes and I scan them in, but that's pretty rare.
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smbhax.com
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Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 2862
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just recently switched from using a 0.5 mm drafting pencil (the Platinum Pro-Use II from Jetpens) to good ol' woodcase pencils. Tried some from Caran d'Arache (777) and Mitsubishi (Hi-Uni)--oh and Cretacolor's woodless "Monolith" pencils--but have finally settled on Japanese company Tombow's "Mono," which just feels really nice, and seems to draw several grades darker than Western equivalents in my favored "H" lead grade.

While you can import the "Mono 100" from Japan, I found that Tombow USA sells something they call just plain "Mono" or "Professional Drawing Pencil" here in the States, and it uses the exact same lead as the imported 100s, so you can basically get the same super nice pencil for nearly 1/3rd the imported price. I wrote more about the comparison here.

A couple photos of both versions--the US model has the white cuff near the end:




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Uncle Greedy



Joined: 02 Jun 2011
Posts: 285

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Uncle Greedy wrote:
I used some Faber-Castell felt pens for the shading some time, and they are used up by now. I looked up what they do cost now, and I find them way to expensive. And, they are disposable, the same problem like the pentel-brush (or large parts of it) and many others. You could probably power a rare classic car with the oil thrown away in plastic pens over some years. I renember I had a nice Mars-pen with a flexible tip in the nineties, sadly it didn't work long and was disposable, too. I wondered if I could refill it with syringe, but that would be quite messy and unreliable. I found a better solution:

1. I still kept the pen, and had an empty glass (real glass) from a vanilla pod.
2. I cut up the pen, and fixed the tip and the felt inside to the cork, and sealed it with glue.
3. I cut the cap into size size. Openeing and filling should be no problem.
4. I mixed some cheap black drawing ink with water and filled the glass. It's not even leaking so far.

The pen worked in a first test. I can refill it any time, and mix the right amount of grey I need. I just have to build a proper holder for it next.



I have the use of these pen and the 1950ies Graphos recorded in action on video now:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcGmGq2BN8k&feature=em-upload_owner#action=share
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smbhax.com
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Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 2862
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Dug back a ways for this quote :)

ttallan wrote:
@smbhax, I was flummoxed when they discontinued selling those Mono erasers, because I'd just fallen in love with them and had bought several to keep me going. (And they are. A year and a half later I'm still only halfway through the first large-size one.) They're environmentally unfriendly, or something. OK, I get that. I'll use up my supply and then move on to something else. So the last time I placed an order with JetPens I picked up this eraser on a whim. The thing seemed kind of ridiculous-- a specialized eraser for 2B leads?-- but you know what, I think I like it even better than the Mono. It just does a really good job, somehow!

I found a tiny stockpile of the "small" size original Mono here, and managed to snag one before they were all gone. It really is a surprisingly good eraser! I've been doing big eraser comparison tests lately since I'm now working all in pencil and my old Staedtler Mars eraser just wasn't able to handle all the graphite I was kicking up--I ordered samples of all the decent-looking block erasers on Jetpens for starters, and picked up a few more here and there. The first thing I found was that the Mars is an awful eraser by comparison to what's out there. ;)

And you're right, the Campus 2B is a really good eraser! It came in #2 in my tests with H-grade lead (#1 was the Pentel Ain Dust-Gathering--*but* Jetpens just got the Campus B/HB back in stock, which could potentially unseat the Ain--I'll have a little follow-up on that soon), and #1 in tests on 4B lead. My only problem with the Campus 2B is that it can split after prolonged heavy use, but it is so good at erasing, gathering shavings together into a big roll, and most of all not smudging on soft lead that I can deal with a split tip now and then.

My eraser round-up blog entries so far are here for part 1



and now there's part 2



Sample of one of the initial messy 4B tests, the Mono and Campus are in this one:


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iaviv



Joined: 03 Sep 2011
Posts: 279

PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only use kneaded erasers. They don't leave any mark whatsoever. Just be sure to clean them a little before you erase something.
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smbhax.com
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Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 2862
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've tried a kneaded eraser (Prismacolor's), and it didn't get the paper as clean as any of the PVC block erasers. The advantage to kneaded erasers, as far as I can tell from my own testing and watching them in action on YouTube, is not so much their cleaning power as their resistance to smudging; they are particularly useful, it appears, for blending and gentle adjustments when working with very subtle tones. And it is difficult to damage paper with them, although the soft PVC erasers they have these days are pretty gentle too. Oh, and a couple other kneaded eraser pluses: and you can sculpt them into, say, a little point for fine work, whereas you'd need a block eraser with a fresh edge (or paired with an eraser shield) for that, and they don't leave eraser shavings behind, so you don't have anything to brush off and risk mussing your delicate gray tones.

My primary concern when it comes to erasing in my current comic is to get a white surface that will scan cleanly (I dislike the damaging effects of Threshold to accomplish that after the fact), and my pencil current style is more a hacking and slashing of hard values than subtle grey tones, so for that the kneaded erasers aren't as effective as the block erasers. I probably *should* keep one handy for spot use but I like the simplicity of sticking to one pencil and one eraser at a time.
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ttallan
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Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 1128
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome, I love reading your art tool round-ups, smbhax!

I'll have to try the Ain eraser you recommended next time I order some more block erasers. I'm still well stocked with Tombow Monos, actually. I haven't even gone through my first (large-size) eraser yet, even after several years of use. They're certainly good erasers; I'll miss them when they're gone.

But these days I use kneaded erasers more than any other type. They don't clean the page as well, but I value the way they keep the pencil lines from smudging. I also value the lack of eraser dust, but it's really that first thing that keeps me using it as my primary tool. If I need to clean up an area better, then I turn to another eraser, usually a pencil-sized one like the Mars Plastic Eraser Holder. The big block ones tend not to come out until I'm cleaning the whole page before scanning, or other times when I'm erasing a large area.

Another erasing tool that I've come to appreciate recently is the Tombow Mono Zero, which is a tiny little long thin thing only 2.3mm wide. I thought this was ridiculous when I first saw it, but when you're trying to correct some small detail on a page without erasing everything else around it, it is brilliant. I think I had better stock up on that one soon, in case JetPens yanks that one, too.
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smbhax.com
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Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 2862
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know why, but I figured the Zero was relatively new, and would be a different formulation of the eraser that didn't have whatever import-banning problem the original Mono had--'cause didn't the Mono get pulled years ago?

I probably should have got a Zero just to try one out in one of my Jetpens must-get-to-$25-for-free-shipping sprees. I found a Paper Mate "Tuff Stuff" eraser stick at the local store and that was baaaaad. ;) I'm sure the Zero's better than that. I guess I was a little afraid that it would be like their PVC-Free eraser, though, which isn't very good. Hm but it doesn't look like it says PVC-Free on it, so maybe it is different (but hopefully completely legal : o).

Oh yeah also I couldn't decide if I'd get the circular Zero, or the rectangular one. : P Oh yeah and refills could add up price wise.

Ooh and actually I found that Kokuyo's Campus B/HB is better at erasing hard leads (I use an H sometimes) than the Ain--it's less smudgy, in particular. So I guess I'm all about Kokuyo these days. That was in the new part three of my little round-up. I also threw in a kneaded eraser. They definitely don't smudge! I'm fanatic about erasing clean, though, especially since I'm going pencil-only on a lot of stuff these days.
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Kristy



Joined: 30 Nov 1999
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use a Fujitsu Lifebook Tablet PC. I draw my panels and pencils in Manga Studio, ink in Paint Tool Sai, and then tone and letter in Manga Studio.
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Varethane



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 557

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Desire to order from Jetpens....... increasing...... (I still haven't ordered that kuretake brush pen yet, either, even though I've wanted to for over a year). Does the free-shipping deal apply to Canada? I've been using a Staedtler for ages now due to laziness after losing my Pilot, resulting in a lot of cleanup in Photoshop/stray marks to be found all over.... I did a cursory check at my local art supply stores to see if I could locate one of those Faber-Castell Art Erasers, but it looks like it's not domestically available in Canada, so Jetpens it'll be I guess! (When I get off my butt and actually start ordering)

I'd probably go for the Campus 2B... the 0.7 mechanical lead I use claims to be HB, but it tends to be on the soft side and I suspect it's functionally a little closer to B.

...Also, I love the product description for that Zero eraser. 'the correction tool should be an eraser that is shaped similarly to its nemesis'-- it's an action hero!
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ttallan
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Joined: 28 Feb 2008
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Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, the free shipping does not apply to Canada. Sad I tend to order from JetPens when I'm visiting relatives or friends in the US, and I have the order shipped to them and waiting for me when I arrive. On occasion when I am desperate I have had orders sent directly to me, though, and it wasn't too bad. They don't use UPS or some other shipping service that more often than not results in an annoying brokerage fee.

The Tombow Mono Zero eraser is indeed small and expensive for the amount of eraser you are getting, which is why I turned up my nose at it for so long. But now that I own one... yeah, I gotta admit, it's a great tool. As long as you save it for the really small erasing jobs it was designed for, it won't run out too quickly. FWIW, I have the round one. If anyone wants to compare the two-- rectangular vs. round-- I'd be interested in hearing if it makes a difference!
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Varethane



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 557

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ttallan wrote:
No, the free shipping does not apply to Canada. Sad
Sad indeed! Now, who do I know who lives in the US..........

(I think that's what stopped me from ordering the kuretake months ago, come to think of it. I do remember putting it (and a few other things) in my cart and getting as far as their checkout page, and then stopping cold-- probably from seeing how much shipping charges added to my already $100+ order, haha)
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