So what's the best way to add color to a strip?

Think your comic can improve? Whether it's art or writing, composition or colouring, feel free to ask here! Critique and commentary welcome.

Postby SitC on Sun Nov 16, 2003 1:31 pm

I feel a bit guilty reading this thread. I should learn to use Photoshop to it's full potentiel.

I usually just have some chocolate, dance around a bit, read some fanfic and comics and somewhere between these things I get a sketch from my artist which I colour in.

I hardly remember what I do or why. I do have vague memories of using filters and layers and fiddling around with colours but it's more instinct and playfullness then planning

I do agree with some of the other posters. Layers are wonderfull wonderfull things and although I don't exactly know what they do I try to put some in anyway. At least one in the beginning which seems to help with the colouring process in some manner
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Postby SitC on Sun Nov 16, 2003 1:38 pm

LennyZ wrote:
<snip>

How I color:

scan, clean up, layers, do shadows and highlights using burn and dodge (I know, I'm a bad person), resize, and flatten.

But I'm trying to get into markers. Because color pencils look good on paper, but scanned in they're kind of blah.

By the way, I doubt the capabilities of the magic wand. It seems like a good idea, but unless your drawing is incredibly simple, don't chance it. Go with the lasso.


Oh? How are you suppose to do highlights and shadows without using dodge and burn? And what does flatten do anyway (must remember to do more research)

And I think magic wand is great.
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Postby Mr.Bob on Sun Nov 16, 2003 1:58 pm

As far as I am concerned using dodge and burn for shading is a no-no.
It usually looks really ugly.
If you want to shade, one way is to create another layer, set it to Multiply and adjust its transparency to 25% or so - then you select the areas you want to shade and use a darker colour.

Flattening is the process of flattening out all your layers into the background. You can't edit them anymore, but it saves up on memory.
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Postby Prism on Sun Nov 16, 2003 3:36 pm

YarpsDat wrote:
Phalanx wrote:
superhappygoodtimes wrote:.. all Phalanx's talk of layers gave me a headache...


Whoops. Sorry. As a few people might have noticed, I'm a layer fiend. I even use layer sets to organise my layers.

I love layers. I can't imagine doing anything without layers.


If it doesn't have layers, it's MS Paint.
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Postby Phalanx on Mon Nov 17, 2003 10:06 am

I discovered this new way of shading that doesn't use a multiply layer to shade- the effects are rather similiar to pastels (See Example Here), or so some people tell me. I call it inverse shading- instead of adding the shadows, you add the light.

Photoshop and GIMP are both very versatile tools. Most people barely scratch the surface of what they are capable of. Even people who have been using them for years learn something new about it every now and then.

For example, I just recently learnt the exact definition of Hue, Saturation and Lightness/Value; and therefore now understand how to use it better. (Yeah, I know that IS lame, learning that this late, but better late than never I say)
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Postby Mr.Bob on Mon Nov 17, 2003 10:23 am

When it comes to shading darker areas and then highlighting brighter areas I've found the use of the multiply and overlay layers to produce the most pleasing results, but still I like to hear new techniques that I can experiment with.
I suppose I'd have to start out using darker colours than normal but I think I'm going to try do bit of fiddling around with your Inverse-shading... it sounds interesting
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Postby War on Mon Nov 17, 2003 11:30 am

I love my multiply and screen layers.
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Postby LennyZ on Mon Nov 17, 2003 8:13 pm

The thing with dodge and burn is that sometimes it can look really lame. Some people look down on it because it's seen as a cheap way to shade and highlight.

Others use screen and multiply, or simply choose shades that are lighter and darker to be shadows and highlights. The screen and multiply option is probably the most accurate way to do it (in my opinion), but I'm not too well versed in the screen layer.
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Postby YarpsDat on Tue Nov 18, 2003 6:07 am

Phalanx wrote:I call it inverse shading- instead of adding the shadows, you add the light.

I'm not sure how would that work different... well, it's probably less work if majority of the drawing is shadows.

And when I do colours, I often add boths shadows and highlites.
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"1.Scan in high res 2.tweak with curves,levels or something to clean up the scan (or use channel mixer to remove blue pencil lines) 3.Add colour using a layer set to multiply. 4.Add wordbubbles and text as vector shapes. 5. Merge all layers. 6.resize to the web size. 7. Export/Save for Web" that's all I know about webcomicking.
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Postby Phalanx on Tue Nov 18, 2003 9:36 am

Well, if any of you are interested in inverse-shading here's the breakdown:

1) Colour layer with flat, original colours.
2) Adjust hue,saturation, and value settings to suit situation (outdoors daytime, indoors daytime, indoors nightime with crappy lamp etc) so it becomes darker, maybe tinted as well. These will be the shadows.
3) Decide on light source and colour background accordingly.
4) Create new opaque layer on top of flat layer and OVER line layer (you know, the layer with line art).
5) Reduce brush opacity and flow (How much depends on the light situation). Colour light areas with dabs of the original colour. The more you dab, the brighter it is, so you get some cool gradient effects if you vary your strokes. Remember to overlap the line art areas slightly, but not completely, to denote light.

I like this method better- It's more fun to do, for one. And it is faster, and that advantage alone would have been enough to make me switch styles.

It's kinda like acrylic in term of technique- you colour the dark areas first, then slowly mix bright colours in.
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jasc psp

Postby Mauri on Mon Nov 24, 2003 11:59 am

what about jasc paint shop pro? its the only art program i have and its pure evil i swear. I only have a laser mouse too and that is not the best thing and there is no lasso tool. Has anyone used this program and can give any help on using it to color my manga with it? *big eyes*
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Postby DGC on Wed Nov 26, 2003 3:18 pm

Paint Shop Pro should work fine for coloring, but it depends on what version you're on. Versions 5 (the current version is 8 ) and above have most of the tools you'd need to get started including layers. They just aren' t under the same menus and sometimes the tools have different names. You can get version 5 free in some photo magazines, usually the british ones that cost about twelve dollars.
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Postby YarpsDat on Thu Nov 27, 2003 2:10 pm

I think PSP is just as good as photoshop.
And you can get free 30-day demo fro http://www.jasc.com

Okay, PSP has less "filters" and other fancy effects, and finding PSP specyfic tutorials might be difficult, but it's not a problem, usualy.
Unless you really want to replicate some fancy photoshop effect. But why would you do that?
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"1.Scan in high res 2.tweak with curves,levels or something to clean up the scan (or use channel mixer to remove blue pencil lines) 3.Add colour using a layer set to multiply. 4.Add wordbubbles and text as vector shapes. 5. Merge all layers. 6.resize to the web size. 7. Export/Save for Web" that's all I know about webcomicking.
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Postby Difinity on Thu Dec 04, 2003 7:07 pm

Okay, I'm relatively new ( my comic is comic5d.keenspace.com if you care to look at the results), but the way I color (I use paint shop pro 6) is this:

I scan in the picture,

add a layer and trace all the lines with paint brush.

Then I use flood fill in that same layer (the original line art is down below in case I screw up, I can trace it again),

shade on third layer up with pure black and then drop opacity to around 50%,

then put my text bubbles and text on two more layers up (reducing opacity of bubbles for less interference with pictures).

The process for a whole comic from coming up with the day's idea to finally uploaded typically takes me about 5 hours. Hopefully I'll get better soon so I can speed up, and tell any more tricks I come up with.
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