This is what I have currently been up to lately. I’ve been reviving a webcomic, catching up on old webcomics and still studying and practising 2D animation. Mostly I’m taking some time off learning to paint and do webcomics. Software used was Clip Paint Studio EX. In all 3 videos.
I know what some of you might be thinking. But it is one of the best programs that I ever subscribed to. Some of you know or a little while I was self publishing on Lulu.com and during that year I spent almost a year trying to get it to upload correctly until one day I’d had enough and subscribed to InDesign. Later I upgraded my adobe package to all apps. But it was the best thing I ever did.
I no longer have the bleed issues I once had and for those of you that publish comics, you will know the exact pain and annoyance I am talking about. I tried with everything to alleviate it but nothing worked. I tried OpenOffice, Word, Photoshop and even GIMP but nothing was going right. I still had major issues with the bleed being to thick, to short or my art getting cut off in the spine or off the page edges.
The main problems I was having was when it came to resizing. As a comic artist I have to work at 1200dpi for various reasons the main one being quality and screentone range. That’s usually around 8000px by 12000 px or so per page. When I finally started using InDesign my headaches (literally) we far less. Being able to set up the perfect template bleed, drag and drop and not loose image quality was by far the best part for me.
Aligning, numbering, watermarking and exporting became a breeze. These are all the reasons as to why I have come to love it. If it wasn’t so hard to get the perfect bleed for publishing in Photoshop and loosing image quality then I probably wouldn’t have found or needed it but it’s so important that it’s almost critical.
I can’t even begin to describe the hell I went through plus the money in carbon copies. I have such good faith in InDesign that I only buy one carbon copy knowing that it’s going to be perfect anyway. And I recommend it to anyone that is a writer or comic artist or any other desktop publishing career. It’s absolutely worth it and worth learning.
The only downside for me was the inital learning curve. At first it wasn’t too bad since I had learned Adobe Illustrator the prior to using InDesign but it was hard for me (as an artist) to get use to all the new tools and terminology. But it was worth it. It’s a program that keeps paying off. Not only that but since it’s so widely use you can always acquire a job or freelancing work with inDesign.
Overall it’s a great tool. If you have something else that you use that you think is better or just as good please do leave your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you and I’m sure others would as well.
Just a few days ago I started up a new webcomic but this one is special because it’s open for co-authors. All artists are accepted. The only requirement is the be registered with smackjeeves.com to make it easier to message rather than email and so you can upload yourself. I toned all of it myself in photoshop. It was a lot of work and I am currently re-working the cover art.
The webcomic is called Lavender Project. I chose that name since most of the main characters have purple hair. It’s manga style and drawing and inked entirely in photoshop. No scanning in, just flat out work in photoshop. I’ve tried the whole scan and edit and it was so frustrating and tedious. That’s all for now. I will give out links later though. I am going to post it to drunkduck.com when I have enough pages because drunkduck.com offers a forum for your webcomic which I think is pretty neat.
Ok so here it is as promised. I will babble on a bit but I’ll do my best to keep it short and sweet. I’ve practically pulled my hair out trying to find a good method and in the end I found a plug-in that does the screentoning better… except it’s in Japanese… anyway moving on. This is a different way other than using the pattern stamp tool. I like this way better but that’s just a personal preference.
So, when you start your new drawing make sure the resolution is either 300, 600 or 1200. Mine is set to a res or dpi of 600. Just like in the GIMP screentoning tutorial I wrote, make sure to change the image mode to greyscale. You can do so by going to Image>> Mode>> Greyscale.
Like in the gimp tutorial, add a new layer under your lineart and colour in greyscale the lighting that you would like your tones to be in. Use gradient to achieve gradient tones. If you want tones of different sizes then you will need to make a separate layer for the other sizes.
When you are ready to create your screentones go to filters>> Pixelate>> Colour Halftone. Use the default settins and adjust the first box to a number like 4 or 8 for small dots and a larger number for larger tones. Some like to change the the other numbers to one number eg 10 others just like to change the angel from 45 to something else but I really don’t know enough about it. You’d be better off looking up more information about how to use the colour halftone filter.
I have mine on the default settings, first box filled with the number 8. Hit ok and you will have screentones.
Your tones should look something like this. Remember if the image is not in greyscale then this will not work properly!
You can make all sorts of tones in photoshop. My personal favourite is grain. I use it in a lot of things. Anyway, go to filters>> Pixilate>> Mezzotint… and you will have a variety of choices from lines to dots and you can get a lot more vareity. Combine this with half tone and you’ll create yet another type of screentone. I like using Mezzotint for clothing textures and wall textures though it can be a bit fiddly.
And that’s it. All I can really say is try combining filters and see what great textures you can make. Diffuse is the other common one to use and make tones. I see a lot of people use custom brushes like stars or strawberry prints and then use the colour halftone like have to create interesting screentones for their backgrounds etc.
Hope this has helped someone!
- Vlog- Inking and Screentoning (draconianrain.wordpress.com)