How do you make comics?

Discussion in 'Comic Discussion' started by Bakertoons, May 25, 2017.

  1. JamieMe

    JamieMe Administrator Staff Member

    Ha ha, great film.
  2. Terminus

    Terminus 4-Stripe White Belt

    With short (less than 40 page) stories, I tend to jump right into the thumbnailing/scripting stage. With longer stories, I make an outline of all the notable plot events and thumbnail/script one chapter at a time (making sure each chapter includes or relates to at least one of the events in the outline).

    I tend to plan my thumbnails and dialogue at the same time, writing dialogue in Word and drawing rough, tiny thumbnails on paper. I then make larger thumbnail sketches and scan them into my computer to set up the chapters in Clip. All the text and panels get placed before any line art is finished.
  3. Cleo-San

    Cleo-San Blue Belt

    Thank you for the explanation about the non-photo-blue! =)

    And what an awesome video, thank you for sharing your work process with us, I really enjoyed watching it - it's amazing to see a whole page emerge from blank paper! <3
  4. witchthrone

    witchthrone White Belt

    My process is half trad and then half digital.
    I don't really write scripts but do a mix of thumbnailing and scripting together.

    The rest is done on 11x17 pages in which I ink and below is a little progress gif I made awhile back :D


    After that I scan it.
    Colour it and letter it.

    I hand draw my word bubbles digitally because I think stock bubbles or real clean crisps ones like in cape comics clash too hard with my greasy style. I do use a font thow for my lettering but I am looking to create a font from my own handwriting at some point
  5. Tony Cooper

    Tony Cooper White Belt

    For my first two comics I designed the characters and some key panels on paper, then went digital (via Manga Studio) to do rough panel layouts and art thumbnails. I did tiny thumbnails, several to a page, which I then copy+pasted+scaled up to actual page size then did the 'blue pencil' rough over the top.

    TBH, for my next comics I think I might skip the 'tiny thumbnail' stage and just go straight to the blue rough stage - it adds a lot of time (especially when sorting out 70+ pages worth of thumbs) and I already have in my head how I want the layouts to look. I can easily adjust the panel layouts on the full size page thanks to MS panels functions.

    Oh yes, and before I do any of the art I write an 80% finished script and get the dialogue in balloons right in there with the roughs - that way I know how much space to leave, and I can make sure it looks OK. Once the art is finished, I then do another dialogue pass and finish it off. I like to do a second pass as for me, the dialogue informs the art at the start of the process, but at the end it's the art informing the dialogue.
  6. yondoloki

    yondoloki White Belt

    I start out with thumbnailing in a sketchbook, making the scenes and finding the dialogue, which usually is what takes the longest for me. I tried using a script, but I usually get pictures in my head that I then have to "translate" to words, so I ended up just skipping that step.

    After thumbnailing I move to digital and sketch out the layout of the pages in Photoshop CS6, using a Cintiq 13HD. For environments I build a crude scene in Sketch Up to use as perspective reference. I then refine the sketch, do lineart, colouring, and lettering, all in Ps.

    There was a similar thread on Tapas forum, where I made a more in depth explanation, if you are interested :)
  7. I feel a little out of place since I don't do much preplanning(scripts/thumbnails/etc...). I have a general idea in my head and I get it down on paper. I do my illustrating traditionally with pen/pencil and so on. Then I scan it in and do the layout in the freeware program Paint.Net. Once that's done I upload it haha. Annnnnddd that's about it XD
    DLF likes this.
  8. ZTG

    ZTG 4-Stripe White Belt

    I am probably doing comics in one of the most unconventional ways possible, because don't really "thumbnail" in the traditional sense, I have zero scripts, and no one proof reading it, I just ride by the seat of my pants. I have the general idea for the story, and ideas for episodes/issues. What I usually do is marathon a lot of cartoons and anime, namely Samurai Jack, JoJo and OPM, and then storyboard pages, line then color, and work on dialogue and sound effects last.
    DLF likes this.
  9. *Fist Bump*
    DLF and ZTG like this.
  10. mathtans

    mathtans White Belt

    Oh look, a post by me. (I breeze by these forums every couple weeks, when I find time, but it's been months since I posted.) Just thought I'd add support for the "unconventional". I came to comics via serial writing, so half the time I'm coming up with a script for next week after the previous week already posted.

    Granted, most of my stuff is 4-panel gags, but it IS in the context of a larger arc... and I never really know where that plot's going until I'm at least halfway there. So (for example) when I actually got a comment (I know!) last January, and from it I realized I could spin something out into a few extra weeks of material, I ran with that. Put my "I guess I'll do this" idea on the back burner for a while. (One thing I've learned, always have "I guess" ideas in the back pocket, even if they're only vague thoughts. 95% of the time that's what gets used.)

    That said, I do "script". Having a simple text file I can search later helps for tracking who said what, and keeps me from making any one panel too dialogue heavy. The last post I made about my process was back in 2015:

    Changes since then, in the last 18 months, include:
    -My thumbnails are now 2x2 to match the final product, and even less detailed.
    -I no longer write out the text, as I've gained a decent sense of how much space it'll take, and if I'm not sure I put it into the online GIMP file before drawing. Plus I find myself using synonyms anyway, to make things fit the space.
    -Related, I do a scan in to check lettering before going over with black ink, and then scanning again. To catch any egregious errors in the placement of speech bubbles before inking.
    -I no longer have to transfer stuff between computers, as I've bought (well, was gifted) a new scanner which is compatible with my current laptop.

    @Bakertoons: I never even thought about printing the drawings and inking from there, found that kind of fascinating. Thanks for starting the topic.
  11. DLF

    DLF Blue Belt

    @BluRaven C. Houvener and @ZTG I do the same thing. I have a pretty good idea of where I want to take a story but I rarely have any hard script written.
    BluRaven C. Houvener likes this.
  12. Shanny8

    Shanny8 Blue Belt

    Brainstorm, throw out plots, and see what resonates with me.
    Start stringing plotlines together, try to build on something and roll with it. At this point, this where some of the cohesive stuff between the main story bits occur; I piece this together and move to the next phase: writing.

    Short of lately I dont even do thumbnails anymore. I'll fiddle around with layouts on the actual page(especially since I'm now working digitally); once I figure a layout I like, I pencil it out right there...I usually square up all the panel layouts for the page so when doing the pencils I actually have page design/scheme/idea in mind of how I want it to look overall. Sometimes I will throw on another layer & tighten the pencils; other times I will tighten only the figure layouts...then there are times where I will go directly from rough vague pencils to inks. I tend to add a LOT of my details during the inking stage; I've worked this way since switching to blue line pencil when I worked traditionally.

    Once I'm done inking, move on to colors, then lettering...and done.

    Last year was awesome coz I would pencil, ink, color, & letter about 4 pages every 3 weeks. This year, I've been moving rather slow, cranking out a page a week. I have to admit Ive been letting other stuff get in the way of production; my body isnt responding as well as it was last year, so I'm trying not to drive myself to fatigue & sickness again.

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