Questions, Discussion, and Tutorials

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  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    AoB had some good notes about portfolio's in travistravis' thread (here: http://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/147236/censored#Item_9 ). This got me thinking about my portfolio and what I could do to better it. What do companies generally look for in a portfolio? How do you convey you're the right artist for the job in only 10-15 images? How do you select which images you'll use? Are there any resources out there for portfolio building?

    nakirush on
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    Okay, so I've got 30 strips that I want to make into a little book for this con I'm getting a table at in October. Thing is, I've never made a book before. I'm also working on a graphic novel and I wanted to make a little four page intro comic to maybe just give away.

    Is there any freaking resource online on how to do this? I went to Kablams site and apparently comics are like 7x10, I always assumed they were 8.5x11 for some reason, and I have no idea how to size things and put them in a book for a standard comic page. I also have no idea how to take an 11x17 sheet of paper and set up proper guides for spill and bleed area, etc so that when I scan it, I can shrink it down to comic size.

    any help our resource would be appreciated. I've got photoshop CS5 so I can make a pdf or I guess save to .tiff, even though I have no idea how that works.

    I'm completely lost here. I've got art, I just have no idea how to put it into something I can sell or offer.


    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    You're gonna need Adobe InDesign for this.

    Don't freak out, we can help. Let's just take it a step at a time. What is the physical size if the comics you have?

  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    You're gonna need Adobe InDesign for this.

    Don't freak out, we can help. Let's just take it a step at a time. What is the physical size if the comics you have?

  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    Some of them are 900x300 at 72dpi and some are 950x340 at 72dpi, and I've got all of the source files at 600 dpi.


    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    Well, keep in mind that pixel dimension and dpi do not have a physical conversion. That is, you can make a 12in or 12ft image that could be 900px x 300px at 72dpi.

    To actually print something, you'll need to save the images at 300dpi and in CMYK. In adition to this, you might have to adjust the physical size of the canvas. But what size? Well, that's up to you and how big and what kind of format your book is gonna be.

    What I always do with this kind of project is I take a bunch of tabloid paper, which I cut and fold in different sizes. When I find one that is interesting to me, I go with it. If you need inspiration, just go to a book store or comic shop and see what kind of formats are out there! This is gonna be crutial in determining the final phisical size of your comics.

    My suggestion is not to go over tabloid size because printing prices will quadruple.

    Start with the book size, the rest will design itself. Once you've decided, put your decision here and I'll guide you as to how to set up your document.

  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    Amateurhour, are you specifically having KaBlam print these? If so:

    A) they have a Photoshop template you can download with live/bleed/etc areas demarcated already and you can just drop your strips into those.

    B) If you're doing color, despite MT being 100% right about CMYK as a general rule, I swear KaBlam likes to get files in RGB and do their own color conversion. I do not know why; I have never understood why -- it's worked out on the 3 things I've had them print, though. (If you're doing B/W your files should all be Grayscale).

    C) If this is a simple book AND, again, KaBlam is printing these, don't sweat not having InDesign -- they explicitly would rather receive TIFs with filenames indicating page number than assembled PDFs, presumably because they work with a lot of amateurs (no pun intended) who don't understand how to make a print-ready PDF.

    Not to be a pedant (but this is important): Comic books aren't 7x10. They're very specifically 6.75x10.25" trimmed; print files with bleeds should be at least 7x10.5". Again, not trying to be a smartass, but the devil is in the details.

    header_image_sm.jpg
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    EDIT: Whoa there board. Multipost. :/ Wishing we could still delete our own.

    squidbunny on
    header_image_sm.jpg
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    Thanks for the help so far guys. Going to PAX this weekend but when I get back I'll download those templates and see what I can put together. Seriously, thanks!


    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    squidbunny wrote:
    I swear KaBlam likes to get files in RGB and do their own color conversion. I do not know why; I have never understood why -- it's worked out on the 3 things I've had them print, though.

    In this case, I think they do the conversion for you as part of their book assembly.

  • JMDeenJMDeen Registered User
    To get a firm grasp on anatomy, do I just need to keep practicing figure drawing? Sometimes I feel like all I'm doing is looking a picture and copying it without learning anything. I've been at it for a about two months, and I'm getting better at drawing what I'm looking at, but I'm worried I'm just becoming a better copy machine rather than learning anything.

  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    No, figure drawing can give you a strong feeling for what looks right or wrong but it isn't going to give you a deep knowledge of anatomy. For that you are going to have to specifically study anatomy.

    But becoming a 'copy machine' isn't a matter of not learning anything. Just learning to make judgments about spatial and value relationships will go a long ways towards making you a better artist in just about any field.

    skype: rtschutter
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    squidbunny wrote:
    Amateurhour, are you specifically having KaBlam print these? If so:

    A) they have a Photoshop template you can download with live/bleed/etc areas demarcated already and you can just drop your strips into those.

    B) If you're doing color, despite MT being 100% right about CMYK as a general rule, I swear KaBlam likes to get files in RGB and do their own color conversion. I do not know why; I have never understood why -- it's worked out on the 3 things I've had them print, though. (If you're doing B/W your files should all be Grayscale).

    C) If this is a simple book AND, again, KaBlam is printing these, don't sweat not having InDesign -- they explicitly would rather receive TIFs with filenames indicating page number than assembled PDFs, presumably because they work with a lot of amateurs (no pun intended) who don't understand how to make a print-ready PDF.

    Not to be a pedant (but this is important): Comic books aren't 7x10. They're very specifically 6.75x10.25" trimmed; print files with bleeds should be at least 7x10.5". Again, not trying to be a smartass, but the devil is in the details.

    Okay, so I've got some basic stuff down and it's not as overwhelming as I thought. I do have a few more questions though and the KaBlam FAQ is kind of useless.

    1) I noticed that I can get a mini comic with four full color interior pages for about 1.86 an issue. Does that mean two double sided pages or four double sided pages?

    2) I downloaded the standard comic template and was able to fit 3 comics per page, but the text is very, very small. If I flip the template horizontally I can get two comics per page and they look great, but can/how do I tell KaBlam to do that? I don't see an option to enter a custom size.

    Thanks again!


    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited August 2011
    triple post

    amateurhour on

    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    Seriously, try InDesign! Its not bad and you can set it up like you want!

  • TamTam Registered User regular
    if someone could help me find a picture of a chicken's head with the viewer looking down on it from above, that'd be most swell

  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    How important/valuable is ZBrush and/or Google SketchUp skills? Is one preferred over the other?

  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Tam wrote:
    if someone could help me find a picture of a chicken's head with the viewer looking down on it from above, that'd be most swell

    I tried to find one on some stock photo Web sites. Couldn't find one, but maybe you'll have better luck.
    http://www.istockphoto.com
    http://www.thinkstockphotos.com
    http://www.gettyimages.com

    NibCrom on
  • squidbunnysquidbunny Registered User regular
    squidbunny wrote:
    Amateurhour, are you specifically having KaBlam print these? If so:

    A) they have a Photoshop template you can download with live/bleed/etc areas demarcated already and you can just drop your strips into those.

    B) If you're doing color, despite MT being 100% right about CMYK as a general rule, I swear KaBlam likes to get files in RGB and do their own color conversion. I do not know why; I have never understood why -- it's worked out on the 3 things I've had them print, though. (If you're doing B/W your files should all be Grayscale).

    C) If this is a simple book AND, again, KaBlam is printing these, don't sweat not having InDesign -- they explicitly would rather receive TIFs with filenames indicating page number than assembled PDFs, presumably because they work with a lot of amateurs (no pun intended) who don't understand how to make a print-ready PDF.

    Not to be a pedant (but this is important): Comic books aren't 7x10. They're very specifically 6.75x10.25" trimmed; print files with bleeds should be at least 7x10.5". Again, not trying to be a smartass, but the devil is in the details.

    Okay, so I've got some basic stuff down and it's not as overwhelming as I thought. I do have a few more questions though and the KaBlam FAQ is kind of useless.

    1) I noticed that I can get a mini comic with four full color interior pages for about 1.86 an issue. Does that mean two double sided pages or four double sided pages?

    2) I downloaded the standard comic template and was able to fit 3 comics per page, but the text is very, very small. If I flip the template horizontally I can get two comics per page and they look great, but can/how do I tell KaBlam to do that? I don't see an option to enter a custom size.

    Thanks again!

    I totally missed this, sorry. Hopefully this is still helpful?

    1) They mean 2 double sided pages. That's one interior sheet, folded. Remember that your total number of pages has to be divisable by 4. This is something that's obvious to some but not to everyone.

    2) It makes zero difference to KaBlam how you orient your shit. Just flip them back vertical when you're done. Probably do your cover horizontally as well; you'll still be doing a standard sized book but be aware it'll open calendar style.

    header_image_sm.jpg
  • nakirush wrote:
    How important/valuable is ZBrush and/or Google SketchUp skills? Is one preferred over the other?

    Uh, important/valuable for what? Those are both extremely different programs that don't overlap functionality in any meaningful way.

    If you want to do high-end character modeling, ZBrush or Mudbox experience is a must. If you want to mock up quick architectural models to paint over in concept work or as temp level geometry, Sketchup is valuable for that. But Sketchup is worthless for non-architectural modeling and ZBrush is worthless for mocking up level geometry, because that's not what they're designed to do.

  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    squidbunny wrote:
    A lot of helpful answers to my questions

    Thanks! I think just for con purposes, and because my strips are black and white, I'm just gonna print them myself on 11x17 paper and make some mini comics for pennies apiece and give them out for free, with a sketch page on the back to sign and draw on and stuff.


    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • ninjaininjai Registered User regular
    Looking for some charcoal tutorials. I know there have been some posted but I can't find them.

  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    hey, does anyone know some up to date Photoshop tutorial for importing and editing scanned hand-drawn sketches?

  • tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    I've gone and rehosted the tutorials from the old TSO site, since quite a few people were asking. Some images have been lost to the ravages of time, but the inking and greyscale tutorials are still basically intact (they're the best ones anyway).

    they can now be found here: http://smokinghippo.com/TSOtutes/tutorial_main.html

  • JMDeenJMDeen Registered User
    Can anyone share any tips or point me in the direction for learning how to use box forms for figure sketching?

  • hadokenhadoken Registered User regular
    I've been looking for the same thing as you, JM, and the Vilppu exercises are the best/only I've found http://www.awn.com/articles/tutorials/vilppu-drawing-online-box/page/2,1 . There are more on the OP if you are interested.

  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    So I tried to draw my comic completely by hand and I love the way it turned out, but hate the way it scanned. I used some pitt greyscale brush pens and it didn't look half bad, but I can't figure out the best way to scan it or adjust levels (because I have no idea how to do that)

    here's what I ended up with..

    2011-09-12_032.jpg

    any ideas on how to scan the core image better or do something after scanning so that the white areas look a little brighter and the greys look a little more noticeable? or am I just insane?


    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    Have you tried…

    Image > Adjustments > Levels (Cmd + L)

    Or

    Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels

  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    NibCrom wrote:
    Have you tried…

    Image > Adjustments > Levels (Cmd + L)

    Or

    Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels

    I have not, I did not know that either one of those was an option. : ) Thanks! Going to try that out now


    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • templewulftemplewulf The Team Chump USARegistered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Hey all, I searched through the OP and skimmed some pages, but I couldn't find any details about starting with digital tablets. The problem I'm having is very scenario-specific, but any links or general guidance would be much appreciated too.

    I bought a Wacom Bamboo (not in deep enough to justify an Intuos yet), and it worked fine on Win7. I reinstalled Windows 7 because I got a license for Ultimate. Now, whenever the Photoshop Elements (pack-in software, don't look down on me!) program has focus, the mapping is changed drastically. With any other app, my tablet correctly maps to monitor 1 (which I have on the right side). With PSE focused, the mapping changes to a small area within monitor 1.

    My questions are what to do about it, really.
    • Is there a setting in PSE that changes how tablets are mapped? Are there any articles on changing this in standard PS that might be related?
    • Is there some arrangement of OS settings (like setting up the monitors differently) that impacts this?
    • Am I missing a setting in the Wacom preferences? I have the entire tablet mapped to monitor 1 with Force Proportions checked.

    templewulf on
    Twitch.tv/FiercePunchStudios | PSN | Steam | Discord | SFV CFN: templewulf
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited September 2011
    Double posting.

    Iruka on
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Make sure there isn't a program profile in your wacom settings that's throwing it off (the "application" bar in the Tablet Properties window) If there isn't one, make one for PS specifically and see if you can override whats going on. I use CS2 so there very well could be some weirdness going on with elements. When in doubt with tablets, reinstall your drivers, reset your computer and see where you end up.

  • templewulftemplewulf The Team Chump USARegistered User regular
    edited September 2011
    Iruka wrote:
    Make sure there isn't a program profile in your wacom settings that's throwing it off (the "application" bar in the Tablet Properties window) If there isn't one, make one for PS specifically and see if you can override whats going on. I use CS2 so there very well could be some weirdness going on with elements. When in doubt with tablets, reinstall your drivers, reset your computer and see where you end up.

    I don't see anything available for program-specific settings. I wonder if this is an intentional deficiency of the lower tier model. (Edit: Yes, it appears that this is the case. I should google these things before posting the first time, but here we are.)

    Still, I think you're onto something, since literally no other application causes me this kind of consternation. Thanks for the tip!

    templewulf on
    Twitch.tv/FiercePunchStudios | PSN | Steam | Discord | SFV CFN: templewulf
  • uk_lokisuk_lokis Registered User
    Riddle you this! Following the rap battle of legend PA put forth to the world (I entered late but carried on writing), I decided to create my Nerdcore homage to 'VideogameZ' myself (And i'm a lil' bit proud) The question is where can I post this without seeming like a big ol' douche???

  • uk_lokisuk_lokis Registered User
    Riddle you this! Following the rap battle of legend PA put forth to the world (I entered late but carried on writing), I decided to create my Nerdcore homage to 'VideogameZ' myself (And i'm a lil' bit proud) The question is where can I post this without seeming like a big ol' douche???

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    templewulf wrote:
    Iruka wrote:
    Make sure there isn't a program profile in your wacom settings that's throwing it off (the "application" bar in the Tablet Properties window) If there isn't one, make one for PS specifically and see if you can override whats going on. I use CS2 so there very well could be some weirdness going on with elements. When in doubt with tablets, reinstall your drivers, reset your computer and see where you end up.

    I don't see anything available for program-specific settings. I wonder if this is an intentional deficiency of the lower tier model. (Edit: Yes, it appears that this is the case. I should google these things before posting the first time, but here we are.)

    Still, I think you're onto something, since literally no other application causes me this kind of consternation. Thanks for the tip!

    wow I didn't realize the bamboos are inhibited in that way, what balls. If you are working with the drivers shipped with the tablet, it may be worth it to download them from wacom and try it that way, they do update them from time to time. It sounds like the bambo is trying to make a proportionality correct space on the screen, but that's something you should be able to control.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    templewulf wrote:
    Iruka wrote:
    Make sure there isn't a program profile in your wacom settings that's throwing it off (the "application" bar in the Tablet Properties window) If there isn't one, make one for PS specifically and see if you can override whats going on. I use CS2 so there very well could be some weirdness going on with elements. When in doubt with tablets, reinstall your drivers, reset your computer and see where you end up.

    I don't see anything available for program-specific settings. I wonder if this is an intentional deficiency of the lower tier model. (Edit: Yes, it appears that this is the case. I should google these things before posting the first time, but here we are.)

    Still, I think you're onto something, since literally no other application causes me this kind of consternation. Thanks for the tip!

    wow I didn't realize the bamboos are inhibited in that way, what balls. If you are working with the drivers shipped with the tablet, it may be worth it to download them from wacom and try it that way, they do update them from time to time. It sounds like the bambo is trying to make a proportionality correct space on the screen, but that's something you should be able to control.

  • templewulftemplewulf The Team Chump USARegistered User regular
    Iruka wrote:
    templewulf wrote:
    Iruka wrote:
    Make sure there isn't a program profile in your wacom settings that's throwing it off (the "application" bar in the Tablet Properties window) If there isn't one, make one for PS specifically and see if you can override whats going on. I use CS2 so there very well could be some weirdness going on with elements. When in doubt with tablets, reinstall your drivers, reset your computer and see where you end up.

    I don't see anything available for program-specific settings. I wonder if this is an intentional deficiency of the lower tier model. (Edit: Yes, it appears that this is the case. I should google these things before posting the first time, but here we are.)

    Still, I think you're onto something, since literally no other application causes me this kind of consternation. Thanks for the tip!

    wow I didn't realize the bamboos are inhibited in that way, what balls. If you are working with the drivers shipped with the tablet, it may be worth it to download them from wacom and try it that way, they do update them from time to time. It sounds like the bambo is trying to make a proportionality correct space on the screen, but that's something you should be able to control.

    Okay, so I re-installed GIMP, and it's giving me the same problem. I had already installed Wacom's latest drivers last time, so I tried an earlier version. It worked briefly before I tried to set it to map to a single monitor.

    I'll try the Wacom support dudes and report back what I find.

    Twitch.tv/FiercePunchStudios | PSN | Steam | Discord | SFV CFN: templewulf
  • templewulftemplewulf The Team Chump USARegistered User regular
    I actually found a thread on the adobe forums that described precisely my problem.

    The upshot is that you need to disable the Tablet PC Input Service in any edition of Windows that has it. This may be why lesser (or older) editions didn't have this problem. Afterward, I had to uninstall, reboot, reinstall my Wacom stuff, and now it's fine.

    Twitch.tv/FiercePunchStudios | PSN | Steam | Discord | SFV CFN: templewulf
This discussion has been closed.