Photoshop Gurus?

momgamer wrote:

I used to pay $15 a piece for them.

That's not too far off for a print copy of a Photoshop/web design/3D design magazine these days.

Citizen86 wrote:
momgamer wrote:

I used to pay $15 a piece for them.

That's not too far off for a print copy of a Photoshop/web design/3D design magazine these days.

Yeah, but according to their website the price has gone down to $90 for a dozen issues, and that's with shipping to the US from the UK. They are only quarterly, though. I'll have to wait until I get one to see if the print quality is like the old ones. They were like buying a soft-cover book, not a magazine.

Sadly, I couldn't find the right fonts or a more suitable Ellen-face... Oh well...



Oooh, I forgot another one of my favorite sites! I've loved for a long time because of their long-running Blender tutorials, but the Concept Cookie section has some real interesting drawing tutorials, they're good for both drawing tutorials and digital art tutorials. The vast majority of tutorials are free as well.

I found this boring stock image of a train, and tried to make it more interesting.


So based on the recommendation of someone here that I am too forgetful to remember and too lazy to look up, I downloaded the trial for Manga Studio Debut 4. Thus far it's a pretty interesting program and definitely requires a learning curve, but in the long run I think it could make doing a comic, especially one I would love to have printed one day just in case, easier.

The real issue is in coloring. See, for some reason even though the $300 Manga Studio EX4 has an eyedropper tool, Manga Studio Debut 4 lacks one. This means I cannot simply grab colors I've already been using or from a proper color palette made up of a character's colors.

Fortunately it has a really nice exporting system that allows me to export all the layers into photoshop to modify there. I'm starting to learn shortcut keys as well, so at some point I should have it down. W (Magic Wand), then I (Eyedropper), then G (Paint Bucket). Rinse and repeat.

But even in this easy way I must confess, I just cannot stand coloring. Don't know why. So I think I'm going to give grayscale a shot as well, as that might more resemble how I'm used to shading my black and white sketch art. We'll see.

I'll have something to post for you guys soon so you can give feedback.

Glad you liked it ccesarano. I have heard of people exporting the line art to Photoshop for coloring, so you aren't off-base there.

I see that Amazon has EX4 for $85. It's not the $50 I paid for it, but it's a lot cheaper than $300. If you watch, you might be able to grab it for about the price I got it for.

I didn't even think of buying the physical software, just digitally directly from their website. That's a good idea. I'll give it a look, then, if I decide to buy it.

EDIT: So even though I blog my progress, I figured I'd just share the four images of my combination Manga Studio/Adobe Photoshop adventure in developing a single comic page.

Turns out I hate coloring!





I don't like how any of those backgrounds turned out. Sketching is one of my strengths, so I think I'm going to attempt to get the background from the blue sketch and create a new layer using the #2 Pencil brush in Photoshop (or maybe just the regular brush, who knows) and sketch the different objects in dark color outlines. Dark brown for trees, dark green for leaves, etc. This will allow me to create more defined objects with detail without taking the careful time required for ink, and then I can create a new layer to add color. Hopefully I can find a nice shortcut similar to using paint-bucket for foreground color.

EDIT AGAIN: And here's the result with that "sketch" attempt. I kind of like it better, but it's too flat looking. Might need to figure out how to add some lighter colors to provide contrast.


If it's still troubling you, have you tried carrying your character line quality into the background? Looking at your work I was reminded a little of Bone, with the clean shapes and varying line widths. Jeff Smith's colouring is likewise clean and shape based, and it's really handy for reference:


I like that the second, sketchier version is a little more desaturated. It really helps the characters pop a little more.

I remember reading a couple of Bone from Disney Adventures back in the day, and I remember liking it. It has been on my "to get" list for some time now.

That "pop" is definitely something I was going for, so that's at least a relief. Looking at it now I'm actually starting to like it a bit more. We'll see what happens as time progresses, but I think I'm going to settle on that as the style I take for the comic.

ccessarano; Your line work is very good! I do believe you should look at shading next. Try to imagine where the light is coming from and where the object would be in shade, use a darker color. The way I do it is the ctrl click the layer that has the color in it, make a new layer on top of it, select a darker color and start painting.

Doug Tennapel is super great in his use of light and shade:

Notice how he picks a direction, puts a highlight of where the lightest point would be and then starts shading / highlighting.

I don't have experience personally with shading my own art, but there are quite a few things you could do to make life easier in Photoshop.
1. Dodge and Burn tools, although this would affect the actual color, and could make future edits more difficult.
2. What Fredrik_S suggested, a new layer and picking a darker color

What I would do:
3. New Layer, for shading, pick black as my color, set layer to multiply (or play around with it after you've done the shading), and depending on the style, either a soft-edged brush or a hard edge, 5-10% opacity, and start drawing it in. Having a tablet with pressure sensitivity would work even better. Obviously for highlights use white or a very light shade, set the layer to Screen or Lighten, and do the same.

You can also do it more heavily and then play with the opacity of the layer, and possibly the blending modes to see what works best.

Will post some photoshop work later, nice thread so far.

Normally I don't like to double post, but no one else is posting and I wanted these to get their own post. I "completed" the first four pages of the comic. I threw in some gradient to try and keep the background from looking so flat. I am probably going to go back and reduce the font. I wasn't sure how large it would be in the resized version, and...well, that's pretty damn huge. Plus, I'm not completely pleased with the placement of the text boxes.





Thus far I've only done shading on t-shirt designs, the two of which I posted.

Which reminds me, I might be working on a new t-shirt design I came up with. I just gotta remember to get a sketch done (this one on paper). I'll share line work with you guys when I get that far.

In any case, shading will take additional time to get right, so I'm holding off on that for now.



I don't have a functioning scanner at the moment, so that's what you get for version 1 of my t-shirt concept. I've told friends that I plan on one with the boy and one with the girl, and if it is popular I'll do one with each of the starter pokemon.

One girl suggested I make the female version say "Bring it on, bitch". Not sure that would do well.

D-D-D-Double Edit!:

So I got the first page of my comic "done". I should have double checked some of the borders as there is still some erasing and cleaning up to be done, and I might have to be more careful with backgrounds than I had originally intended.

In fact, I might give up this "sketched background" idea, or have to do a lot more work in Manga Studio than I originally considered. I dunno. I figure I'll leave it to others to decide. I will still do the next four pages in this style, though, see how it turns out.

*Image removed because a newer version of it can be viewed below.*

I think it's great, man! Although I don't know what she did to him... is he still a man?

The whole background-foreground of comics is rather difficult I imagine. Something you really have to examine what others have done and see what works and what will work with your style. I don't mind the softer lines in the background though, it makes the foreground black lines more prominent.

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