Is Through His Stomach

Fri, September 04 2009 - 1:16 AM
by: Justin

That's the theory anyway.

I took strategic screen shots at various points as I was making this comic, so I could post a little tutorial/walk through of how I do it. Because I know all three of you are dying to know. I'll get it up sometime today.

That's what she said!



Today on "How it's Made"!

Fri, September 04 2009 - 7:26 PM
by: Justin

So here's the basics of how I draw the comics, once you see how easy it is, you'll be well on your way to making comics too! Internet trolls rejoice!

First of all, I use Adobe Photoshop, not for any particular reason besides that's what I started out with and that's what I know. The widest I can make comics within our current layout is 750 pixels. I draw the comics at 8 times the final size, so the space I draw in starts out at 6000 pixels wide, and at least 3000 pixels tall, usually more, at 300 dpi. However, for our purposes we only need to see a small portion of the comic:

I sketch the comic first, at a 12.5% zoom. This lets me view the comic at the size it will be when it's finished. I make a layer specifically for the sketching and use a light blue, to mimic the blue that is standard in design/animation. (The sketching is done with a round 65pt tip in pencil mode, if you were wondering.)

I try to make the expressions match the last lines of dialogue the character says in the panel. But sometimes I just put a couple lines for guides and save facial expressions for Inking:

For inking, I've tried a lot of different 'tips' over the years. Lately I've been using a 17pt to 27pt tip in pencil mode. I do the inking on a new layer on top of the sketching layer at 100% zoom, huge.

My tablet is pitiably small, and although I try to draw with my whole arm, it's hard to make nice big smooth sweeping strokes on a little 5x7 inch tablet. I use the undo button a lot.

Coloring is straight-forward. I used to do this on a separate layer, but now I just do it on the same layer as the inking. Simple point and click with the paint bucket.

I'm actually sort of color-blind, sort of. I just have a hard time telling some colors apart sometimes if they're similar shades, usually blue/purple, or brown/red/green... if that makes sense, so if a color ever seems off in a comic please tell me!

Finally, there's the shading, my half-assed backgrounds (I hate doing backgrounds), and the speech bubbles. I think shading adds a lot to the visual appeal of a comic, I used to do highlighting too, but at some point I decided that's it was more work than it was worth.

I use the magic wand tool and select the ink and the empty space that has no color, then I go to "Select Inverse" so that I now only have the colors selected, ya follow? (Also, I press ctrl+h, which removes the dotted lines of the selection from view). Then I make a new layer and lower the opacity to around 20-30%, select a 45pt-65pt tip in pencil mode, and draw shadows where I want 'em.

But here's a little trick I learned from someone else. I don't just use that layer for my shading, I select all those shadows with the magic wand, then delete the layer. Still having the spaces where the shadows were selected, I go to Hue and Saturation, increase the saturation 20, and decrease the brightness 20-30. This makes the shadows more of a darker shade of their original color, rather than just the original color with some black. It's a small difference, but I like it.

Well that's pretty much it, I don't think I need to go through how I do my backgrounds (cough gradients cough), they're crap, I know you can do better. Speech bubbles are cake, so handle it.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into the process. It takes a looong time to make these things, around 3-5 hours for a smaller comic, as long as 8-9 hours for bigger ones. It's hard work and I get next to nothing in terms of payment, but then, I guess I don't do it for the money.

I do it for the chicks.



     Masters of the Art ©2018 Justin Pixler and Patrick Johnson