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The Making of a Comic
This comic was created in winter of 2002, and a lot of how I create comics has changed. But to give you an idea of what I did to create comics back in, this is how I did it.

Alright, for your viewing pleasure, I present, the making of Creature.

First things first, this is all started in my little red notebook, which carries all my notes and any potential stories. I pull the dialog and organize it and try to figure out how to position my characters.

This is not demonstrated in this demonstration.

Next I sketch it out. And then I ink it. The sketch is not available, but my inking, before coloration, is.

I use Micron pens, the best thing I've discovered so far for doing this. I finally found the right paper as well, my ink would run on the other stuff, that and it's not to transparent. Some papers you can see drawings three layers deep through them. What a pain.

Anyway, I scan it to Photoshop, and every other piece I have inked and ready for coloration in that series of comic. And then I chose a character in the picture and begin coloring them first, moving onto the next image and coloring each color at the same time.

Once that is done, I begin shading. Photoshop has lot's of cool nifty tools to use to get the shading affect, some I wish I knew when I first bought this program but have only stumbled on after I played on it for who knows how long. I will not bore you with exactly what commands I use to do this, I just basically bring the opacity down to about 6% and start layering over them to give them those nice shadows. When I'm in a real hurry, I skip this process, which is apparant on the Third of this month, but honestly it doesn't always need it (I think that comic looks fine.)

Now I put the copy and past mechanism to work. In case you haven't noticed, every background on this world looks the same. It took me bloody long enough to put it together, however the background consists of many many many different layers, so all the trees and plants can be moved around or deleted if I don't want them there. The background, before I insert Creature and Splash, looks basically like this.

So anyway, I copy the image onto the background and walah, I get this nifty little affect.

Obviously, the finished product doesn't look like this. HOwever, this is done in layers so guess what? I erase any part of the new image over the old one by using the Magic Wand and Erasing. If that makes any sense. The image then looks like this.

I continue to crop it until I get my characters right where I want them, along with other things, as you can see in the above image 'Creature's' horn is not firmly planted into the tree. I can do this because I'm still working in Layers.

I also have to adjust the dragon's position, and that can be done by putting a magic window (marquee tool) around him, thus selecting only him out of the images and therefore moving him only. I really like this tool, those of you familiar with Photoshop undoubtedly understand how it works. Of course, once you place one image over another, your stuck. That's why they have a handy dandy back button.

Well, there's my image for the most part. I crop it how I want and then I select the nifty Copy Merged tool and copy the image. I then paste it and all the other images for the comic onto a background and walah!

I do several processes in this that I haven't shown the sequance for. Each panel is a seperate layer, and each layer I give the Stroke effect. One thing you may notice that I have a slight addiction for is overlapping one panel into another. This has come in handy. How I do that is taking the layer from the image I had originally worked with and copy the one layer, putting it over the other. Here is a handy place to demonstrate this affect at work.

Honestly, it's not as hard as it looks, I have come to grow quite fond of this technique because it is quick and easy, and the effect is kind of cool, if used in moderation. I find it helps me to condense the size of the comic meanwhile leaving me with the ability to display the entire image as I want to.

Mainly, at this point I use lot's of layers. My technique for the little bubbles is odd, but I have found them a lot handier, and cleaner, then my bubbles that I have used in the past that were hand drawn and looked like dog doodoo. Well, anyway, basically what is left is the finished product, which is best viewed on its page but here it is for your pleasure. Click on it to see the larger picture.

Well, anyway basically there you have it. If you want me to go into further detail on any of the techniques used above, you'll have to email me, or ask a question with the comment button. But basically, that's what I do. I just went over it vaguely so as to not bore the living begesus out of everyone.

All characters and contents © 1996 to Present Kami Erickson Donnelly, aka Risawn.
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