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Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Process - How I make a comic strip.

Feel like sharing a tutorial of sorts.  


When working on a new strip each week, I do a thumbnail/rough using the chisel marker in Sketchbook Pro 2011.  I mainly use the chisel marker because it forces me to work with less details and focus more on the overall composition/layout.

The Thumbnails

If I'm happy with the thumbnails/roughs, I general go straight to inks.  Since the process is generally all digital in Sketchbook Pro, I tend to use new layers for each panel when inking.  I use a custom brush with settings set so the brush will taper like a real ink brush.  Most of the time, I won't get the line weights correct in the first go, so I'll go back in and double up/thicken ink lines to get a certain aspects of each panel to pop out more (like the spoon in panel 2 or the 2 figures in the last panel).

The Inks

Flat Grays

Back when I was doing 3 strips a week, I would basically call the Inks done and go into Photoshop to do lettering/Panel lines.  Since they've added Text Layers/shape tools to Sketchbook Pro 2011, I only really go into Photoshop for lettering or special effects such as the screen tone look of strip 0018.  Anyway, here we have the flat grays.  I general use this to bring out silhouettes and determine how I'm going to go about adding gray tones to the strip.  Sketchbook Pro 2011 has a new fill bucket that allows you to have a new layer use the layer above it as a mask.  So if I wanted to fill in the background of Panel 2 with a gray, the old paint bucket needed to fill it in the same layer as the inks (something I don't like to do).  With the new paint bucket tool, I can use a completely seperate layer and get the same result.

Flat grays

Just creating a new layer and adding shadows/highlights where needed.

Detail grays/shadows

Additional Colors/Finish

Since they've added layer effects into the latest Sketchbook Pro, I just color pick the brown for the Burrito/Messy Platypus from a older strip and layer it on top of the shadows (usually a multiply layer).  Then I sign my signature and add the site url on seperate layers.
additional colors/finish

I hope this was informative.  I'm a bit new to writing tutorials/work in progresses, so feel free to comment.

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