InDesign What I Love About It As A Comic Artist


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.

 

Happy Blogging!!

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RPG maker VX: Bigger Sprites Tutorial


RPG Maker VX

Image via Wikipedia

Please go here for a visual tutorial. Today this one is words only.

  1. For bigger sprites in RPG Maker VX you will need to export one of the sprite sets provided as a sizing guide and in order for it to work properly when you import your own set.
  2. After you export, take it to photoshop or GIMP.
  3. Set up some guides based on the position of the original set to give you a size to work within without errors later when you import
  4. Change to RBG mode to use layers. Either make a new layer and discard the sprites so you can make your own or edit the current ones if you can’t draw very well though I recommend trying to make your own.
  5. Keeping constraint proportions ON resize the sprites.
  6. Save as PNG!!
  7. Import your larger sprites
  8. Change your character sprite to the larger one you imported
  9. In the editor preview the head will appear squished but don’t worry it is working.
  10. Test run the game to see your larger sprite in action.
  11. make sure to run up, down, left and right to make sure you did align it properly. If not then you will have little extras like the hair under the feet when it runs and you may have to go back and forth etc
  12. Enjoy!
And that’s all. Very brief I know but I don’t want to over explain it. Take it slow, you will get use to it. Have fun making new sized sprites and enemies of all heights.

How To Outline Text In GIMP


GIMP Icon

Image via Wikipedia

I found this link that some may find helpful. It’s how to outline text in GIMP. The reason I am sharing this is because some of us don’t and can’t afford photoshop for that feature and if you make comic’s or manga, it’s something the becomes necessary when you need to put black text over a black background.

http://gimpology.com/submission/view/how_to_outline_text

Enjoy and happy drawing guys!

Huge Tutorial


Any questions, just comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

how to make screentones using photoshop elements 7

This is for Photoshop Elements 7.0

Writing is huuuuge because I didn’t know what it would be like when it got downsized

Mostly random tips and very short in description. Quite possibly not helpful… hope not. But if you have questions or want a better explanation please ask in a comment. If you need a picture to go with it I will grab a screenshot no worries!!

If you have scanned in your lineart please go to the gimp video link below and separate your line art to make it easier for you. If it’s to complicated for you, change the layer blending mode to Multiply and keep it at the top.


I was watching this video and now I use the plugin in the youtube description rather than colourhalftone simply because it’s better, easier and has a wider range of tone sizes that you can create and takes out a lot of tediousness:
[link]

If I don’t do it there then I go to GIMP and use newsprint in distorts under the filters tab. I wrote a tutorial here on how to do that: [link]


How to install the plugin:
Go to C: drive, Programs, find the folder Adobe, go to the version of photoshop you have, I have photoshop elements 7.0 so that’s the folder I go into. This plugin works in pse7. When you are in go to the folder labelled plugins open, go to filters folder, open and paste the plug-ins there. If you have photoshop open already, save your work, close, re-open and it will be working and located all the way down the bottom of the filters list.


How to seperate your lineart in just a few clicks using GIMP:
[link]


It’s VERY IMPORTANT TO CHANGE IMAGE TO GREYSCALE!! The tones will NOT work if you don’t change the image mode to greyscale!!


If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments below :heart:


This is the same process and technique I used for all of these:
Digital Media > Manga (comics) > Pages 

Digital Media > Manga (comics) > Pages

Digital Media > Manga (comics) > Pages

Digital Media > Manga (comics) > Pages

Toning In GIMP


Very sorry I have been away for so long but I’ve been working on things and have found an abandonded baby rat which I am taking care of and nursing. I’m a sucker for baby animals. Anyway I thought that since CamStudio and windows movie maker hate me so much that I could screen cap how to screentone in gimp.

When you have finished and inked your work change the image mode to Greyscale. This step is very important! It’s so the tones will work properly later. The above image is one of my inked works.

Next colour in grey tones in a layer underneath the lineart layer and label it tones. Colour where you’d liked shadows to be. Add patterns to it if you like or pattern stamp in the background. Keep it on the tone layer. If you have to use a sperate layer for some parts, remember to merge them at the end. Later if you want tones of differnt sizes just repeat the process on a new layer.

When you’re done with your lighting and shading and are ready to tone go to, Filter >> Distort >> Newsprint. (Just a little note, using gradient tool will give you gradient tones which is what I did to the character to the left as an example.)

This control panel type of thing (I forget the term) will pop up. Play with Input and cell size to get the tones you want. You will have to go by the preview box. If the preview is blank don’t worry, click hold and drag in the preview area until you find your coloured area which will show it as tones. Leave the angel at 45 for now. When you have the size you think it right, click ok and you will have digital screentones. (also you can choose more than just dots, you can have lines or diamonds, it’s up to you with what you use. You can do this by looking through the spot function.)

It’s that simple. After you get use to it and judging the dot sizes, play around with the angel and dots to get other effects. When in a small view the tones will look distorted so be sure to check them with the image zoomed in at actual size or actual pixels. Also printing them out can often be the best test. You can do similar in photoshop. I’ll post a new post on how to do it in ps7. It’s almost the same process but slightly more complicated.

SPECIAL NOTE:

In GIMP it doesn’t seem to matter as much if you chose a paper size. The newsprint feature seems to be unaffected and works the same way in most resolutions. Photoshop on the other hand, if you choose to screentone in photoshop with the colour halftone feature then your image MUST be AT LEAST 300 resolution (or dpi). You can work from either 300, 600 or 1200 in any paper size eg A4, A5, A6, B4 etc. These are the main used resolutions or dpi for manga/comic’s and in order for colour halftone to work best you MUST have your image set to greyscale when you are ready to tone and you will find similar controls to what GIMP uses. Halftone doesn’t work as well so you’ll have to use the colour halftone filter in greyscale mode for the best results. I’ve found paper size B4 set to a resolution of 600 works quite well.

CLICK THIS LINK TO SEE A COLOUR HALF TONE SCREENTONED WORK DONE IN PHOTOSHOP.

Next post I will give screen caps on how to do it along with a small repeat of the previous paragraph.

GIMP: Pen Tool


GIMP Icon

Image via Wikipedia

So through my daily deviantart rumaging I came across some tutorials. I need to get some inking done but I don’t have all the supplies yet. I am considering using the pen or path tool in GIMP. Usually I am opposed to using it but frankly, it hurts my hand after a while and it is quicker and the more flawless the lines the better the presentation. Unfortunately I wish to ink traditionally meaning good ol’ fashioned pen and paper or calligraphy pen and ink well in my case. Anyway, I found this great tutorial for it and I remembered to share it here with you guys ^^

GIMP Path Tool (aka Pentool) Tutorial

More Concept Art Coming plus REVEIWS! (But mostly ramblings)


Adobe Photoshop Elements icon

Image via Wikipedia

So I’ve been thinking about putting together a bit of concept art video’s together. So basically more than one artwork in one video, but that’s IF movie maker doesn’t crash as much as it has been doing lately.

I am however going to record an event file sometime in the week just to avoid using movie maker. Speaking of which I have two freeware programs to suggest OTHER THAN GIMP! I know GIMP can be quite good, but these two are a lot better suited to anime/manga and various cartoon art and just about anything you want to draw with a paint feel to it. Google search Project Dogwaffle. I am certain it is one word. Now becareful with downloading it because of all the ads, but it is very good, quite easy and if you really like it the upgrade is cheap but the free version stays free. The other is opencanvas 1.1 if you haven’t already heard of it which would be a bit odd by now but some people don’t know of it. It’s really awsome to watch your art replay in the even file later ^^ I love to watch my sketches replay but it’s an excellent way to spot where I went wrong.

I really loved project Dogwaffle but I have such a heavy arsenal of digital art programs already that I really didn’t need it but I went through a phase of trying to find a program that go that wonderfully soft watercolour look that I loved so much. In the end, I settled for Opencanvas, paint tool sai and eventually I learned how to watercolour in photoshop though it is very hard and time consuming. I have tried Corel painter, was not for me and thankfully I tested the trial before considering buying it because it is expensive! So my last bit of advice, download the trial before you buy! I bought Photoshop Elements 7 convinced it was the one I needed… how very wrong I was, I needed CS for the art I do but silly me took the advice of the sales man who doesn’t do digital painting and went by the pictures on the back. I did however find a painting technique in ps7 but what I am saying is, you shouldn’t have to adapt to the wrong program. Now I’ve learned my mistake, I will get the trials first. It’s saved me a lot of money.

Like one time I used the Trail of Manga Studio and omg after 2weeks into it, it used up soooo much ram it lagged and crashed and I was considering buying it after the first two weeks but the fact of the matter is, I’m not a big time comic artist and don’t have an industry standard working station and I was heartbroken after that because the tones were so beautiful and clean. Then I saw illuststudio and I tried the out of date english trial, saw the video’s on youtube and now I am saving up to buy it from akadot retail because it does the same thing without eating your pc, plus the coloured tones has me rather interested. I’ve found out opencanvas, the newer ones also have toning capabilities but illuststudio is a lot better for it since it’s made to create manga. My main reason is that it’s a japanese software specifically made to make manga so they’ve thought of EVERYTHING! And it’s so much cheaper to buy that Manga Studio. I don’t know how successful people think most comic’s artists are these days because most of us just make webcomic’s now in the hopes that someone will read and enjoy it.

Anyway I am getting side tracked now so to sum everything up, I will be posting a drawing video soon. Remember that just because my art turns out nice in a program doesn’t mean it will be the same for you because we all make art differently so, try before you buy. And have a great time drawing!