How I create the pages

4/11/2010

I haven’t been asked how i work, but i thought i could show anyway.

I start by drawing the page in pencil, then i import it in Manga Studio for the ink work. I use a guide so the most important art and text doesn’t get cut away if i ever print it, so i have this guide on (blue box) and arrange everything important inside it.


Then I start inking, although its done digital i never use vectors, i get best results by inking it as if i where doing it by hand, this way i get the imperfections i would have by doing it on paper, what i like about digital inking is that it gets much cleaner and i just export and color without problems. (Click the image to see the inked lines I work with, note the image was zoomed 500%, it was worked at 600dpi)
Most importantly I ink every silhouette or shape complete so i can fill the colors easily later without the colors filling more than they need to.





Then I start the coloring process, I work at 600dpi and since the ink is 100% black (pixelated) i duplicate the ink layer for safe keeping and add the colors inside the ink lines. Here is an example of the file i work with at 500% so you can see how the color fills next to the blak lines, click to enlarge.
(for the fill color to work i uncheck the anti alias on the fill bucket options in photoshop, this will fill the color next to the black line without leaving a white halo in between)
I quickly fill in all the base colors, and if i want i can use the duplicate ink layer, lock the transparency and color the lines.


Since the color is locked inside the ink lines i can select (also uncheck the anti alias option of the tool) the color areas i want to shade, create a new layer and shade as i want.


Since this page had lots of dialogue I made a very simple background, but I added it under the color layer.


And to give it some mood i add a new layer with a graded yellowish color in screen or overlay mode. This also helps separate the character from the background.


As this comic is written on the go I constantly change the dialogues though is very rare that i change something at the end of coloring, but i had in mind i could make changes when i started drawing. So i changed the panel’s positions for a better flow and added all the dialogues inside the guide (shown in blue).
The bubbles are made under the test layers with a filled shape and the layer has a "stroke" effect on it.


Check the web comic at http://dirtvex.blogspot.com/

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