View Full Version : webcomic help

08-03-2003, 06:08 PM
Alright, I've searched this part of the forums for a bit with different search terms and have come up with nothing. I'm looking for a way to clean up the look of my comic (http://www.hotbutteredfunk.com/comic.php) and possibly do more of it on the computer. Can anyone give me advice on streamlining my process? As of now, it takes me quite a while (not a big deal) but I'm still not as happy as I could be with the results.

Help, please!

08-03-2003, 06:39 PM
I can think of a couple of ways, off the top of my head...

First, scan in the pencils (or even just layouts) and use a vector-based drawing program (Flash is easier to pick up and use, but Illustrator is more versatile) to 'ink' the strip. This will lead to a better thickness of line, and with a few clicks, you can change line weights if they make the picture look cluttered.

If you use Illustrator for the inking process, it also means you can letter it easily using the 'shape fill type' tool, which makes for better lettering. Remember to save it all to seperate layers, so in case something goes wrong you don't have to start over again.

You can then take the layered document into Photoshop for coloring. All in all, the process takes a while, but after a while you'll get so used to doing it that you'll get faster and faster.

Hope that helps.

08-03-2003, 06:46 PM
Well, I use a method quite like that now - I scan into Streamline, import to Illustrator to put overtop of the panel template, then color in Photoshop.

I'm looking for a way to give it a bit more machined, clean look like PvP and such. Any tutorials around like that?

08-03-2003, 06:55 PM
Well, Penny Arcade (http://www.penny-arcade.com) had a .wmv a while back, showing how Gabe 'inked' his work... what it boiled down to was he used a tablet and Photoshop to draw out smooth, clean lines of a fixed width over scans of his layouts, using specific line weights for each part of the picture.

Try a thick contour line round the outside of each character, then pick an appropriate weight for different internal feature such as mouth, nose, etc.

And as for Streamline... I've been experimenting with that program for a while, and have rarely found a result that pleases me. It's way too picky, and the original scan has to be obscenely clean to get the smoothness of line you want.

And if you really want a machined look, manually inking (either by hand, followed by cleanup digitally, or just straight-out digital inking) is really the only way to go... trusting a program to convert the lines just doesn't work in my experience.

There are some tuts over at PolyKarbon (http://www.polykarbon.com) that may be of help.

I'll shut up now and let other people help you :D
Good luck, mate.