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What part of your process takes up the mos time?
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Duuude



Joined: 08 Jul 2011
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:15 am    Post subject: What part of your process takes up the mos time? Reply with quote

Duudes, I was just like reading a couple of the comics I find to be the raddest wave and like a Geraldo there were two separate authors who gnarlied about their like processes and let me say this like you dudes can understand.

I was reading two of my favorite comics and two of them happened to talk about what part of their artistry takes up most of their time. One said it was his clean up that takes up most of his time. The other said it was shading she hated as a time consumer. One updated really quickly, the other was rather more normal paced.

And this led me to thinking what different artists consider to be the slowest part of their work? And if there is anything to be learned from hearing of it?

Me personal problem dudes is since I draw things of a more 'erotic' nature. I get... distracted. More distracted then a Judie seeing her first jar of sex wax.
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Metruis
Postpostpostpostpost!


Joined: 14 Oct 2008
Posts: 1019
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing

You get distracted. Well, love what you work, that's what I always say!

I hate inking. I hate it so much I stopped inking. Problem solved? If there's any lesson I'd say to be learned from this is, don't do what you don't like doing. It shows when you're doing what you love. Of course I haven't updated my comic in like a good year now, so I'd say right now the longest part is trying to get over the part of my brain that goes 'aahhhhh alfaflgjkfglkka YOU'RE NOT DOING IT RIGHT THE WRITING IS BAD THINK OF THE CHILDREN'.

Otherwise, the rest of what I do flows pretty fast! I used to take 3-4 hours to a finished page. Sometimes less. It would have doubled if I was inking.
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Marscaleb



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 258

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Before I started I was watching tutorials on how to color. I went out of my mind watching how these people did it, and I can't possibly fathom why they would waste their time like that. They wound up drawing everything three times over.

That WOULD take up most of my time if I didn't use the fuzzy select tool and paint-bucket.
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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 317

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The slowest part for me is inking. I don't hate it, it's still a lot of fun for me, but I can spend quite a bit of time getting the pose/angle right. It's hard to find something I'm satisfied with.

Marscaleb wrote:
That WOULD take up most of my time if I didn't use the fuzzy select tool and paint-bucket.


That's what I do too, haha. I definitely know some techniques to make my coloring look a lot better, but unless I can get the line art process to go faster, I'm not interested in jazzing up the coloring. Maybe once I get the hang of things I can beef it up. Or maybe once someone starts putting more hours in a day I can.
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Lavenderbard
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Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 845
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Modelling 3D digital objects.

It used to be rendering, but I've got a newer faster machine with updated system software, so now rendering is much faster, but none of the modelling programs I've purchased work anymore, and I'm back to using freeware.

My last project (not actually intended for use in a comic, but whatever) took me about a month.

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nsanelilmunky



Joined: 12 Nov 2012
Posts: 120

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Longest for me is finding a damn scanner. I might just switch to all digital to avoid this honestly.

I also cringed a little reading that fill-bucket bit. That really only works when there's nothing but black and white to begin with and if all areas are enclosed. I find layers, brushes, varying opacity, and pressure sensitivity give a much better final picture than fuzz-and-fill. The extra time spent on it is worth it.
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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 317

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nsanelilmunky wrote:
I also cringed a little reading that fill-bucket bit. That really only works when there's nothing but black and white to begin with and if all areas are enclosed.


Not necessarily true. Selection tools generally have a "Grow" option that increases the selection size by x pixels. This gives you the color overlap you need with the lines so there isn't that fuzzy pixel look. Then put the fill color on a new layer. I still touch up the edges if needed, but for the most part, they look fine.

I guess should mention that I'm working in Manga Studio EX 4, so I am actually working with pure black lines to begin with. But back when I used Photoshop Elements, I never had a problem with this method.

If I'm working with an area that isn't closed then sure, I'll use a different method, but most of what I do is completely closed off.

Also, since I do my shading on my ink layer, the selection tool sometimes doesn't grab everything the way I want. So around shaded parts, I usually have to take the marker tool to fill that in. But there's no reason to go stroke by stroke when a good chunk is just going to be a solid color anyway.
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AndToBeLoved



Joined: 17 Mar 2011
Posts: 116

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing that takes me longest is PROMOTING! Lately, it seems to be consuming my life in its entirety. And yes, promoting is definitely part of the process unless you're doing work for hire for someone else. But as far as actually producing pages is concerned, it kind of depends on the project. With my regular webcomics, inking probably takes the longest because I omit a lot of details when I pencil. But when I'm doing freelance work, penciling takes the longest because the client needs a clear image of the illustrations prior to inking. I hate coloring the most. Probably more than lettering, even.

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mcmasters



Joined: 28 Jun 2012
Posts: 436

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone else have the experience that for non-writing aspects, the time remains the same, but for writing, it can be wildly different?

Maybe I'm stating the obvious. Webcomic Pete, basic as it is, takes about two hours to sketch, ink, scan, correct fucked up ink, letter, and finalize. Assuming I've already written it. that's the catch. Sometimes I can write five in a stretch, sometimes I sit there wondering for hours what comes next.

---

www.mcmasterscomics.com
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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 317

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcmasters wrote:
Does anyone else have the experience that for non-writing aspects, the time remains the same, but for writing, it can be wildly different?

Maybe I'm stating the obvious. Webcomic Pete, basic as it is, takes about two hours to sketch, ink, scan, correct fucked up ink, letter, and finalize. Assuming I've already written it. that's the catch. Sometimes I can write five in a stretch, sometimes I sit there wondering for hours what comes next.

---

www.mcmasterscomics.com

My time actually can vary a lot with the art aspect. Sometimes I can get one out in 3-4 hours, and other times it takes me 12. Typically 6-8 for a page for me, but the range is really huge, and I'm not actually sure what affects it. Sometimes the really complicated pages go faster than the really simple ones. *shrug*

Anyway, my writing process is probably completely different from yours mcmasters since our comics aren't even remotely the same. I'm currently half way through chapter two but I have the first three chapters written out, the fourth is mostly written, and I have several scenes that are much later down the road ready to be put into a more defined chapter script file. I also have a large spreadsheet with a huge portion of the story vaguely planned out, and it guides the whole process.

The writing part is the most fun for me, since I typically will just shell out everything that comes to mind, then come back later and revise it.

I am working on a page right now though, and I decided I didn't like the dialogue I had planned for the last panel so I'm a bit stuck for what to put there. But I think it's better to do something else for a while and come back later than sit and dwell on it.

Since yours is more of a slice-of-life comic, I would carry around a small notebook with me and jot down ideas when I get them. I dislike the idea of sitting and trying to force myself to come up with an idea, because I don't think the best inspiration comes that way. If I don't know, I do something else.
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katastrophe



Joined: 19 Aug 2008
Posts: 287

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Casual Notice wrote:

10 hrsódicking around, perfecting my workspace, doing "research", warming coffee, other means of avoiding work.


AYUP. I think the technical term is cat-vacuuming. Probably my biggest time sink too. Razz

Other than that... hrm. My process is hugely different than most because I'm doing 3D. So what I generally have is a very large amount of time doing setup and a relatively easy time with any subsequent work.

At the moment, for example, I'm prepping for a set of four strips that take place in a new setting, using two established characters and introducing four more. The two established characters simply needed new outfits, which took me about half an hour each at most. The four characters I need to create each took most of an evening's work, so... three or four hours each, I'm guessing? I'm not yet sure how long the setting is going to take because I'm still working on it, but I've spent 3 evenings on it so far. 12 hours probably by the end.

Once all this is done, though, the actual pages don't take long. Probably an hour per panel, where I run 3-6 panels a page; less if it's a simple talking-heads scenario, more if I'm doing something like action shots or hand poses (I hate fiddly damn hand poses). Then there's an hour or two getting the dialogue in and the page tidied up, and I'm done.

And then there's the writing. Like mcmasters, this takes me a variable amount of time. If the words are flowing I can pop off a script in half an hour while I'm waiting for my toddler to go to sleep. If it's not... I can sit staring into space for hours, or write a thousand words of brainstorming to get two measly lines of dialogue. And then there's the times when I spend weeks digging up plot ideas and gnawing on them and burying them again, waiting for that moment when it all clicks, knowing that if I force it I'll end up with crap. I'm not sure that's the longest part of the process, but it sure as hell feels it.

*sigh* Stupid writer brain.
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nsanelilmunky



Joined: 12 Nov 2012
Posts: 120

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MindChimera wrote:
Not necessarily true. Selection tools generally have a "Grow" option that increases the selection size by x pixels. This gives you the color overlap you need with the lines so there isn't that fuzzy pixel look. Then put the fill color on a new layer. I still touch up the edges if needed, but for the most part, they look fine.

I guess should mention that I'm working in Manga Studio EX 4, so I am actually working with pure black lines to begin with. But back when I used Photoshop Elements, I never had a problem with this method.

If I'm working with an area that isn't closed then sure, I'll use a different method, but most of what I do is completely closed off.

Also, since I do my shading on my ink layer, the selection tool sometimes doesn't grab everything the way I want. So around shaded parts, I usually have to take the marker tool to fill that in. But there's no reason to go stroke by stroke when a good chunk is just going to be a solid color anyway.


Going this route though pretty much limits you to somewhat flat pictures though. Using a layer and switching it from normal to multiply, I can get my picture to keep any of the original shading that I light have in said picture. It also allows you to try things out in a picture with out having to worry about the backgrounds before you decide on a finished design. It also allows for a lot of variation if you use pressure sensitivity. Using different layers and the sensitivity pictures just look a little more life like.

You're also a bit screwed if you get somewhat far along and then notice you screwed up. Not all programs let you 'undo' until there's nothing left.

I know I'm not the best at this but even the big comics like Dresden Codak and (I'm pretty sure) artists like Qinni do this. I'm a bit of a fan girl for the well painted comics, but I still think the story looses something when it's so flat colourwise. No matter how much time someone puts into a picture with flat colour and shading, it just looks like they didn't put as much time into the art as those who paint/colour it in detail- even if these pages take longer than the week that Elsa Kroese needs to make a Spindrift page.
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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 317

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nsanelilmunky wrote:
Going this route though pretty much limits you to somewhat flat pictures though. Using a layer and switching it from normal to multiply, I can get my picture to keep any of the original shading that I light have in said picture. It also allows you to try things out in a picture with out having to worry about the backgrounds before you decide on a finished design. It also allows for a lot of variation if you use pressure sensitivity. Using different layers and the sensitivity pictures just look a little more life like.

I think we have a misunderstanding. I'm getting the impression that you think I'm doing all my coloring on the same layer? Or even put my color on the same layer as my ink. I don't. All of my work is digital so I think you're posing problems that just don't exist for me. Highlights and mixing colors never go on the same layer as my base color layer.

I use the selection tool with the fill to create a base color layer. Then if I want more depth, I add extra layers. I'm not familiar with what "multiply" does, but I also don't use Photoshop.

nsanelilmunky wrote:
You're also a bit screwed if you get somewhat far along and then notice you screwed up. Not all programs let you 'undo' until there's nothing left.

I'm not sure how I would be screwed more than I would with any other method. I've had no problems correcting mistakes.

nsanelilmunky wrote:
I know I'm not the best at this but even the big comics like Dresden Codak and (I'm pretty sure) artists like Qinni do this. I'm a bit of a fan girl for the well painted comics, but I still think the story looses something when it's so flat colourwise. No matter how much time someone puts into a picture with flat colour and shading, it just looks like they didn't put as much time into the art as those who paint/colour it in detail- even if these pages take longer than the week that Elsa Kroese needs to make a Spindrift page.


I understand my coloring looks more flat than one that has more detail in the painting, but I'm also going for a cartoony style. I do intend to make my coloring more interesting down the road, but I want to get the hang of my ink first, since it takes the longest and I have a lot of time constraints.

What I'd really like to do is something along these lines, which is really more of a comic book feel, but I'm just not that good. I know how to paint and I'm not worried about that. Once I get my ink where I want, I'll start shifting my painting, but I feel the flat color works better for my thick outline style right now.
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Marscaleb



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 258

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MindChimera wrote:
but unless I can get the line art process to go faster, I'm not interested in jazzing up the coloring. Maybe once I get the hang of things I can beef it up. Or maybe once someone starts putting more hours in a day I can.


I largely agree, but it's just not cut-and-dry. Most of the extra work I could perform just isn't going to show up to any noticeable degree, so why bother? But if I could put in some more time to make an honestly better picture, who says it isn't worth it?
It's one of those... "find a balance" things.

nsanelilmunky wrote:

I also cringed a little reading that fill-bucket bit. That really only works when there's nothing but black and white to begin with and if all areas are enclosed. I find layers, brushes, varying opacity, and pressure sensitivity give a much better final picture than fuzz-and-fill. The extra time spent on it is worth it.


Well, a lot of that is going to depend upon the style you're going for. But even so, don't you have color flats in your more detailed paintings? That's how I see most people work; a layer of flat color and then they have other layers of shading and gradients and highlights and so on.

When I talk about select-and-fill, I am stating this as an alternative to grabbing your paintbrush tool and filling in all the colors by scribbling and stroking. This is the way people are doing it in 96% of the tutorials and speed-paints I have seen. That takes up a lot of time, and you have to trace each color in each segment, so you wind up drawing the whole picture again two, three, or even more times. What a waste.

Here's the tiny details that help a lot:
0) Color on a layer beneath your linework. Should be obvious, should be what you're already doing, but I just want to be clear on that.
1) After selecting everything, grow the selection by about 75% of the line thickness of your lines, then fill.
2) Have your selection tool set to "sample merged." This way you don't need to jump between layers.
3) Have the paint-bucket set to fill whole selection; otherwise you can miss parts and have to wait for the program to calculate what you are filling.

When you have sections that don't have lines completely around them, draw some in! I just draw the border of what I want, right there on my color flats layer. Since the selection tool is set to sample a merged image, it treats that new line as if it were one of the outlines on my ink line layer.

Even if you are adding in extra detail and effects that you will draw by hand, that's a good way to set a selection layer. Actually, a selection layer for the whole object is even easier because you can select the negative space around your object and then invert the selection.

MindChimera wrote:
I'm not familiar with what "multiply" does, but I also don't use Photoshop.


Multiply is great for shading layers.
It exists in GIMP, too, if that's what you are using. There's a bunch of options for how to handle your layers; instead of it just being a pure image, you can change how it is viewed, which changes the look of layers beneath it. You can have it set to only add the the value of what is seen beneath it, or subtract, or just effect hues, or saturation... There's a big list of options,and I honestly don't understand them all. But multiply gives me much better shadows than drawing on another color.

Casual Notice wrote:
I'm going to have to say the largest part of my process is work avoidance.


Lolololololol! Also, that reminds me... I need to be drawing!
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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 317

PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marscaleb wrote:
I largely agree, but it's just not cut-and-dry. Most of the extra work I could perform just isn't going to show up to any noticeable degree, so why bother? But if I could put in some more time to make an honestly better picture, who says it isn't worth it?
It's one of those... "find a balance" things.

Ah, I see. In my case, I know I can do a better job on the coloring, but I don't think it would fit the ink style and the time sink isn't worth it. If I felt that the coloring was really holding me back, I would put more time into it. When my ink reaches where I want it to, I'll start incorporating more advanced coloring, because it should match better.

I just really don't like the suggestion that a story is somehow weaker based on the coloring alone. nsanelilmunky, I feel you may be focusing on the detail that's most important to you and ignoring the work that goes into the rest. Some of my favorite webcomics are black and white with flat shading, and they do a fantastic job with their ink and their story. If you really think the story is suffering because of the painting, my guess is it's actually weak writing.

Marscaleb wrote:
Multiply is great for shading layers.
It exists in GIMP, too, if that's what you are using. There's a bunch of options for how to handle your layers; instead of it just being a pure image, you can change how it is viewed, which changes the look of layers beneath it. You can have it set to only add the the value of what is seen beneath it, or subtract, or just effect hues, or saturation... There's a big list of options,and I honestly don't understand them all. But multiply gives me much better shadows than drawing on another color.

Okay, thanks for letting me know. I do all my comics in Manga Studio EX 4 though, and only use GIMP for things like banners and ads where I need to be able to resize the canvas. I struggle a bit with GIMP's interface since for years I used Photoshop Elements 3, but that version's too old for Windows 7, so I've been forced to move on. GIMP can pretty much do everything PE3 could, but the techniques to do so are often different and seem more complicated to me. Shocked Haha.
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