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Digital Vs. Traditional Artwork
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Alohilani



Joined: 02 Dec 2009
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:06 pm    Post subject: Digital Vs. Traditional Artwork Reply with quote

I'm starting up my first webcomic. I have the first 'issue' (really only a prologue-ical half-issue) sketched out; and I'm ready to begin lineart/coloring.

However, I find myself facing a dilemma. I am more comfortable using traditional media than digital due to more familiarity with traditional and time constraints I have on using the computer, but digital seems to be the 'it' thing these days. In fact, I'm worried that if I color my comics with markers instead of the GIMP I'll lack visual appeal and people won't read it. Another point for digital is the fact that it's so much more customizable; you have infinite options for coloring, line style, etc. And pretty effects. And the ever-essential undo button.

But, on the other hand- a lot of webcomics ARE digital. Therefore, if mine is not, it is *ahem* 'different' and 'unique', which can be eye-catching. (It can also be used as a polite synonym for 'sucks' but that's not how we're using it here.) And, since I feel more comfortable with the traditional medium, perhaps now is not the time to experiment?

Traditional comics would be a lot easier on me the artist, meaning I have a better chance of Updating On Time. (In case anyone's wondering, this is what my traditional art looks like as opposed to my digital art. Those are characters from the webcomic in question as well.)

Of course, there are compromises; I can do the comic in markers and then fix errors and maybe add a few effects on the computer. I could do traditional lineart and color it digitally, or I could do the lineart digitally, then print it out and color it traditionally. I could only do 'flat' colors with the markers and shade digitally, etc.

But my question to you is, does using traditional or digital art have a major effect on how many people read a comic? What do you, personally, prefer- if you have a preference?

I know there's really no 'right or wrong' way to do a comic; but I'm curious.

Also, forgive me if I just said something stupid and/or rehashed an old issue; I'm new. I scouted though, say, the first three or four pages of old topics in this section and couldn't find a topic like this so I figured if someone HAD brought it up before, it would be more annoying to ressurect an oldtopic than to make a new one.
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jaygee
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Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 1224
Location: A swamp called The Fens

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guess any comic works as a package - if it's entertaining it is gonna be read. Don't think people really care whether it's done digitally or traditionally. I'd suggest you do what suits you best. If you feel more comfy with pen on paper, I'd say keep it this way. If you are worried about being totally trad, what about moving gradually from trad to dig i.e. pencil as usual but ink and colour in GIMP/PS?....
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FallenKitten



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not alot of webcomics are colored by hand and if your willing to do so, more power to you. Just make sure you have a high quality scanner. Many a beautiful coloring job has been marred by an imperfect scanner.
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ttallan
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Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 1128
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with jaygee-- whether a comic has digital or traditional art has nothing to do with why they choose to read it. Do what you enjoy. Smile
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Luke



Joined: 15 Jul 2009
Posts: 753
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More comics are done traditionally than you might think. They can look fantastic if done right, but can easily turn into disasters.

I'd advise going with traditional if you're more comfortable with it.

You could always practice digital work on the side if you don't want to run into a decision like this in the future. It's always nice to have options.
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nothinghappenedtoday



Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 569
Location: Richmond Va

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just switched to digital about 3 weeks ago, and honestly, my strip looks exactly the same. Digital comics don't have to look digital, and traditional comics don't have to look traditional. So it really doesn't matter which one you use as long as you can get the look you want.
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joeychips



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 298
Location: North Riverside, IL. USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I color some stuff digital and some by hand, and have been doing so for many years. I love marker coloring and digital too. The great thing about webcomics is, you don't have to pick one over the other. If I were you I would try both and see which one is most productive and gets what you are looking for. You don't have to be locked into anything.

By the way, with coloring comics on paper, you have one more item to sell as original art.
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munkymu
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Joined: 30 Nov 1999
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"But my question to you is, does using traditional or digital art have a major effect on how many people read a comic? What do you, personally, prefer- if you have a preference?"

Good Lord, no. I switched from traditional with digital cleanup to all-digital halfway through and no one said a thing. I'm not sure anyone even noticed.

Lots of comic artists do some sort of combination of traditional and digital.
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henspacecwb



Joined: 19 Sep 2009
Posts: 106

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2009 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go with what makes you feel comfortable and what you enjoy most. I don't think people will really worry about whether you go traditional or digital.

As an aside and as an example of mixing it up, David Lloyd, has an interesting technique on his Kickback book. He scans in his black and white artwork and then colours it in with coloured pencils. He then scans that back in, applies a filter in photoshop to smooth it out and then puts the black lines back on top. Gives a really interesting look. http://www.lforlloyd.com/kickback/interview_en.htm
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swankivy



Joined: 14 May 2006
Posts: 121
Location: Tampa, Florida

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hell, I don't even ink mine. I post mine on the 'Net in PENCIL. And while I don't think people really read mine because they appreciate the art--and while I don't think it'd survive in print media--the people who follow my kind of story care a lot more about the storytelling. . . .

I'll second what people are saying here about how you should do what you have time for, do what WON'T make you go "oh GOD, time to do THIS CRAP again" come update day, and do what you're most comfortable with. Maybe do something groovy with textures and digital stuff if and when you've got special issues or particular panels that need special attention.
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Prestwick



Joined: 10 Jan 2007
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

German does his traditionally and takes his work round to our go-between, Matias in Buenos Ares for it to be scanned and sent over. Its wonderful to see first the sketches then the initial inks before the finals get sent over.

I believe this is German's preference. He has a Mac, he does do digital work if requested but he feels more at home doing it the old fashioned way and if that makes him feel better thats great Smile
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Varethane



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 559

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:53 am    Post subject: Re: Digital Vs. Traditional Artwork Reply with quote

Alohilani wrote:
In fact, I'm worried that if I color my comics with markers instead of the GIMP I'll lack visual appeal and people won't read it.


8'C
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Metruis
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Joined: 14 Oct 2008
Posts: 1019
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

henspacecwb wrote:
Go with what makes you feel comfortable and what you enjoy most.

That.

People don't care what your medium is. But people can see if you're not enjoying it. I digitally inked the first few of my pages and traditionally inked the next few. I didn't enjoy it. It was only after I stopped inking and started doing my art in the way I felt most comfortable--a very non-traditional comic look--that my art really started to stand out. I wasn't having fun when I was doing something I didn't like doing (inking) and it showed in my comic work.

Do something you will enjoy doing. That's the thing with webcomics: not one looks the same.

Do I have a preference? My preference is good art that suits the style of the story. If manga screentones suit the style, so be it. If digital paint suits the style, so be it. If colored pencils suit the story, so be it. Of the comics I follow, every one has their own individual art style that suits the artist and the story they're telling.

Myself, I do digital art without lines. Because that's what I like. Yeah, maybe I lose a few people because my art doesn't look comicky and it doesn't have lines so it's more blurry. But I enjoy doing my pages and am more inclined to put them out on time when I'm doing a style of art I enjoy.

Well done traditional art looks good. Just because most comics ink and then digitally color doesn't mean you have to. That just means that's what that creator likes doing. Smile

Experiment. Find out what makes you go AUGH I NEVER WANT TO DO THIS AGAIN--and then don't do your comic that way. Razz
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Alohilani



Joined: 02 Dec 2009
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, thanks, guys. This is the most helpful, informative and friendly forum I've been on.

Well, then it's settled, I'll use my old friends the markers. Thank you, everyone!!!
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Varethane



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 559

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heck man, my comic is not only all-traditional but black and white, and it's doing all right. You should be fine.
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