Digital verses Traditional Comic Art

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Digital verses Traditional Comic Art

Postby ladydesada » February 14th, 2016, 2:25 pm

I’m getting ready to start work on my comic project (currently brainstorming and getting ready to start scripting) and I’m weighing my options as far as how to create the actual manuscript.

So… digital or traditional?

What’s your preference for your comic artwork? Do you like to keep it all traditional, digital, or do you prefer blending the two?

What are some pros and cons you’ve run into during the creation process? I can’t seem to get my lines to look smooth in Manga Studio. Any suggestions as to size and resolution of canvas?

I plan to choose one and stick with it for the duration of this particular project and would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.
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Re: Digital verses Traditional Comic Art

Postby epicgotime » February 15th, 2016, 9:43 pm

Great... I look forward to seeing your work. You have a great question.

My preference is the blended approach. Draw the storyboard, and panels out by hand using regular construction techniques. Sometimes my best takes come from errors that are made; or adjustments to errors. Then after I get the layout where I want it Procreate, and Adobe CS4 for touch up and lettering. My comic, as it stands, would not exist if it weren't for this combo.

Here's an example of what I mean.

My old comic process was to draw everything by hand then load it solely into CS4 for touch up and lettering. Adding a tablet drawing app has drastically improved what I can do. The downside as I see it is that apps can crash and wipe out work. As for canvases I prefer to draw as big as possible then scale down to size. Maybe one day if my comics get popular people will be able to buy posters of my work.

As for lines; I've taken John K's advice it is less about getting lines straight; what you want to focus on is the shapes.
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Re: Digital verses Traditional Comic Art

Postby Kiyomi Nakamura » February 15th, 2016, 10:54 pm

I work completely digitally. Using Manga Studio as a matter of fact! (I have the old Debut 4).

Pros are I don't have to fight with photoshop getting my lines to look nice and I don't have to pray that I can actually erase all of my lines cleanly (the pressure I put on my drawing utensils is over 9000) That and I stopped using pencils entirely. They smudge and I don't like it. :) I also like being able to do the whole process in one place without having to lug out my scanner and fight with photoshop before coloring or screen toning.

Cons are, it took me a long time to get anywhere near my traditional skill level on a tablet. Like a good year or so. That and Manga Studio can be a major nightmare until you get the hang of it. I had to have it as pretty much my only option drawing wise for a while before I really got the hang of it. So there was a lot of rage quitting.

Really the only time I traditionally draw anymore, besides doodling at work, is when I'm creating a new character. For some reason I handle that better on paper than I do on the computer.

For working in manga studio, just go with the default settings size wise. It's actually pretty big believe it or not. I personally sketch my stuff out when I can see the full page, zoom in to panel size to do the details, and then zoom in so that just an eye to maybe the majority of the face take up the screen to ink. So I work with 3 layers. Sketch layer. Detail layer. Inks. (and then more for pure black areas and screen tones and etc as I need). I had a hellish time with making smooth lines too, eventually I just gave up and used short sketch lines to achieve an at least sort of clean look. (they're getting smoother too!) If you really need to, right click your line tool and change it to the curve tool (I think they're in the same spot. I don't have the program open right now) and use that to ink your work. :) that will give you super smooth clean lines and you can fiddle with the stroke ends to your liking. It works pretty well.

Personally I'm not fond of the look that the super super clean lines look in my comic artwork, but they work well when I'm doing anime screen-cap looking illustrations.

For exporting your Manga Studio pages though, export it by pixel size. Specify output size: Width: 701 px, Height: 990 px, Resolution: 72 DPI, Output Color Depth: Color (even if you're working in black and white)

From what I've read that's the best set up to have for exporting your pages.

Good luck!
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Re: Digital verses Traditional Comic Art

Postby ladydesada » February 15th, 2016, 11:19 pm

Wow! Such great advice! I'll definitely be referring back to your tips.

Thanks epicgotime and Kiyomi Nakamura!
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Re: Digital verses Traditional Comic Art

Postby Reirfin173 » February 23rd, 2016, 7:56 am

Always work as the default quality or the size of your studio Manga..First I want to say Good luck that you are the one who are going to start this ..You will have to face many challenges as I was in passed.But do not be disappoint .

And I am also want to thank the man for giving the best advise i also want to give it to you..At the starting me also was very excited but after some time I lose my interest but some buddy tell me to get in and now I am a professional artist can you believe now I am answering you... ;)
So buddy Do your work with hard work just !!
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Re: Digital verses Traditional Comic Art

Postby KawaiiYusra » March 28th, 2016, 1:08 am

I personally like digital because with a webomic consistency and output is important and digital is much faster. Also a lot cheaper in the long run because you make an initial investment in a tablet thena drawing program and you're set. With traditional you'll have to constantly buy new paper, ink etc. I've done both and I have not looked back after going 100% digital.
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Re: Digital verses Traditional Comic Art

Postby akemikae » August 6th, 2016, 3:28 am

I'm still new to making comics myself, and am actually stuck on the exact same problem as you. Traditional/Digital/both? However, I feel more comfortable right now starting traditionally (I don't have the most reliable computer right now, so that helped me decide a little bit). I mostly feel comfortable doing traditional because, as mentioned @Kiyomi Nakamura it would take me WAY too long to get as good digitally as I am on paper right now.

So really, for starting out, just do what you feel the most comfortable with, and feel you would actually get stuff done in. For me that's traditional at the moment. I do intend on practicing digitally as I release the comic however, and once I feel comfortable with digital, I may start that. It's a learning process, and as a beginner myself, I say just do what's comfortable for right now. You'll figure it out eventually. :)
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Re: Digital verses Traditional Comic Art

Postby hestia.edwards » October 26th, 2016, 9:58 pm

I prefer traditional, and I think I always will. I like the fine tips of my dip pens, and the control of the lines that I have with them. I can also put a lot of detail in the panels that I think would be bothersome to do digitally. I use Affinity Photo for clean-up and the words of the dialogue, and that's it.
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Re: Digital verses Traditional Comic Art

Postby sleepingpoppy » October 27th, 2016, 12:03 am

Both have their merits! I don't think one is inherently better than the other. It's really going to come down to some trial and error, and what you personally are most comfortable with.

My first ever comic I drew it by hand, scanned it, then cleaned and colored in Photoshop. Now I've had a few years of getting really comfortable drawing with my tablet, so I do the entire process, from initial sketches to final product, in Photoshop.

One of the things I did do between comic A and comic B was draw a TON of little never published or shared comics where I tried different techniques and styles until I felt like I wanted to comit to one thing and put all my energy into that. SO when I started Hell Hounds I already had a system down. You never stop learning, of course, so don't put off starting!

Good luck, whatever you choose!
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Re: Digital verses Traditional Comic Art

Postby kzuich » July 29th, 2017, 2:35 pm

I am a traditional artist through-and-through, but I really like having digital tools to make corrections, clean up, add tone, text, etc.
The thing about digital art, for me, is that it gives ultimate freedom to make your artwork perfect. You can spend hours and hours cleaning everything up and making it flawless.
Working traditionally has taught me to let some of my perfectionism go, since it's much harder to correct my mistakes. I let a few in and don't sweat it too much.

At the end of the day, you do what makes you most comfortable and how you can work the quickest!
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Re: Digital verses Traditional Comic Art

Postby Hirschler » November 11th, 2017, 12:29 pm

I've done digital, traditional and hybrids for my work in the past. For the story I'm publishing here I'm trying an experiment-- it's sort of duo-tone with browns and grays. I tried some sketches with a walnut ink that I made myself and added line to it with charcoal and liked the effect. I added some India ink to bring in some dense black-- and well, the scanner is a bit heavy on the contrast and the charcoal is a bit too smeary, but some folks have said that they like the look. To keep myself happy though I may start trying for a bit cleaner look.

Personally I prefer traditional media. Digital line-work tends to be rather lifeless, sterile and it generally takes a lot of extra work for me to make the brushes I have in Photoshop or Illustrator do what I want them to do. Even with a little Wacom tablet and stylus and a huge pack of extra digital brushes that I downloaded, I struggle to get a good flow to the thicks and thins in my line-work.

I think my favorite method of working for projects that will be published online is to draw with traditional brushes and/or nibs and add color or halftone digitally in a separate layer.
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Re: Digital verses Traditional Comic Art

Postby thelordbaeron » November 28th, 2017, 12:19 am

I started off sketching in traditional, then would ink/color digitally. Now I do it all digital, and it's really streamlined the process.

That said, it's been a really big adjustment figuring things out, and it's been rather learn-as-I-go.
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