Friday, April 23, 2010

How It's Done

At the risk of spoiling any notions that anyone might have about me actually being an artist, I decided to post this little demo of how I make my comics. It's actually incredibly easy and though I like to think it takes some creativity to put together an actual composition, anyone can do it.

STEP 1: Take an interesting photo. It doesn't even have to be a good photo. It just needs to illustrate whatever is going on in this frame of the comic. It's a good idea to take several similar shots so you have options in the following steps. It also helps if there is a good deal of contrast in the photo as far as lighting and color, but even that can be adjusted later. Once you've got some photos, the rest of the process is really really easy.

STEP 2: Using a iPhone app called PhotoPaint (available on iPhone and iPad - there is a PC version but it's worthless) convert the photo into a black and white drawing. There are some simple settings to help fine tune the image, but essentially you just hit a button and the program does the rest. At this point you have the option of coloring the image yourself in PhotoPaint, but for some really fantastic results go on to the next step.

STEP 3: Here I use another iPhone app called Montage to lay the drawing over the original photo. Adjust the drawing's transparency just enough for the color to come through a little, and now you have a color illustration.

STEP 4: You can take it a step further if you want and fine tune the colors with your favorite photo editing app (I used an app called Format 126 on this one) and the all that's left is to lay it out in your strip and add text. I use Strip Design and Montage depending on what I need. Pretty easy stuff. The strip above took probably about 15 minutes to make.

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