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Questions, Discussion, Tutorials

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  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    For those of you who have printed your comics:

    In regards to text: all my comics are Photoshop files, 600dpi. I've printed some out, and been happy with the quality. Do you guys do something else for the text to improve quality? Use an Illustrator file for the text?

  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited August 2013
    @nibcrom Yea you could do that, but if you don't rasterize the text and export it as a pdf the text should stay as vector shapes.

    brokecracker on
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    @nibcrom Yea you could do that, but if you don't rasterize the text and export it as a pdf the text should stay as vector shapes.

    So you're saying to save it as a Photoshop PDF? That should preserve the text as vector, yes?

  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    edited August 2013
    Yup! EDIT: So long as it is not flattened. The text should stay in the native layer and should still be editable. Then when you save it the text will be vectors. This also works for non-rasterized vector smart objects as well.

    brokecracker on
    NibCrom
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    Yup! EDIT: So long as it is not flattened. The text should stay in the native layer and should still be editable. Then when you save it the text will be vectors. This also works for non-rasterized vector smart objects as well.

    Yeah, I figured for the print file I'd merge all the raster layers, and just leave the text as is.

  • SiegfriedSiegfried Registered User regular
    Is it okay to ask for more money after we've already agreed on pricing? I am getting paid the entirety of their graphics budget, which isn't much, but the scope of this project is wayyyyyy larger than I was led to originally believe.

    So is it kosher to say, "This project is way larger and is taking far longer than my initial estimate; I need to request more funds. My usual rate is X, I agreed to do this for Y, but under the circumstances I would like to find a compromise around Z."

    Portfolio // Twitter // Behance // Tumblr
    Kochikens wrote:
    My fav is when I can get my kiss on with other dudes.
  • ChicoBlueChicoBlue Registered User regular
    I would say, "Yes. Gosh. Yes."

    I'm sure you know this, but it's good practice to make sure that both you and the client have a very solid understanding of what the job entails before you start on it. Every little detail you can nail down should be nailed down and put in writing.

    It's good for you and it's good for them.

    If your job responsibilities are starting to creep up, then it's probably a little communication issue, and it's going to be better for both of you if you sit down and clear it up.

    NibCrom
  • SiegfriedSiegfried Registered User regular
    Okay, but what if they say, "I'm sorry, but that's all we can give you." I'm already about a 3rd of the way through the project (I think).

    Do I say I can't continue to work on it? Do I rush through it? I did technically already agree to the first amount.
    It's also a slightly weird situation because this is the first paid work I've had since December, and I got it through my girlfriend's dad's friend's ex-wife. Regardless of that relationship tree, I'm trying to handle this as professionally as possible, because they did me a favor and got me the work in the first place.

    Portfolio // Twitter // Behance // Tumblr
    Kochikens wrote:
    My fav is when I can get my kiss on with other dudes.
  • ChicoBlueChicoBlue Registered User regular
    I'd say you should sit down and do a little bit of rough figuring and estimating.

    Figure out exactly how much more work you're comfortable doing for the amount that they're currently paying you.

    If possible, you could try to make a list of specific tasks or steps that are left until the project is complete, along with how much time you think each of them will take.

    Figure out an estimate of how much more money you'd need to finish it up.

    When you're talking it over with them, you can both look over this information and discuss it. Maybe they'll agree that you should get more money to finish up. Maybe they'll find a way to trim some of the fat from the project so that there is less work.

    Anyway, if you approach respectfully and with proper information, options and patience, it probably wont hurt anything.

    Unless they're jerkwads.

  • Go! Shawn!Go! Shawn! New EnglandRegistered User regular
    Hey everyone! I have my first solo exhibit (photographs) coming up in a couple of months and I was wondering if any of you could give me a couple of tips?

    At PAX East 2014: Cosplay Noire Project:
    http://www.goshawnphotography.com/cosplay

    Dark, gritty, character centric portraits.
  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    Colouring on a 'colour' layer in PS? Is it even remotely possible to make something that doesn't look like shit? Has anyone been succesful with colouring b&w drawings in PS?

  • WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    Whenever I go from bnw to color using a color layer, I really only use it as a 'underpainting' and basically have to repaint over the entire thing to get the thing looking right. Its not a bad method - and its good for establishing values early, but I don't think its really any faster than starting with color.

    You could also start with a gradient map instead of a color layer and paint on top of that.

  • m3nacem3nace Registered User regular
    edited August 2013
    Yeah I usually either use a gradient map or twist the curves of the whole thing when I'm using cmyk. Just wondering if you could get a nice product that way, seems you can't.

    m3nace on
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    m3nace wrote: »
    Colouring on a 'colour' layer in PS? Is it even remotely possible to make something that doesn't look like shit? Has anyone been succesful with colouring b&w drawings in PS?

    DMAC is good at this. Maybe he has some tips.

  • MangoesMangoes Registered User regular
    I use the color layer method often; in fact I did it on the face I posted in the doodle thread recently. You just have to have the values right before you start coloring (I've found I had the tendency to make skin tones and such a bit too dark and flat when working in black and white), and you can't cheat past using a wide range of colors. If you don't choose your tones well, it'll end up looking like a poorly remastered photograph. Also, you generally should select a more saturated and lighter color than what you might expect, because the shading has already been applied. Think of your color selection as if there are no shadows and everything is flatly lit.

    An example of someone who makes great use of the color layer method is Tyler Jacobson. Really fantastic values and colors, and it's not obvious at all that he does the two separately.

  • The_RatThe_Rat Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    ChicoBlue wrote: »
    I'd say you should sit down and do a little bit of rough figuring and estimating.

    Figure out exactly how much more work you're comfortable doing for the amount that they're currently paying you.

    If possible, you could try to make a list of specific tasks or steps that are left until the project is complete, along with how much time you think each of them will take.

    Figure out an estimate of how much more money you'd need to finish it up.

    When you're talking it over with them, you can both look over this information and discuss it. Maybe they'll agree that you should get more money to finish up. Maybe they'll find a way to trim some of the fat from the project so that there is less work.

    Anyway, if you approach respectfully and with proper information, options and patience, it probably wont hurt anything.

    Unless they're jerkwads.

    If the current scope of the project has expanded beyond the initial written agreement you can fill out a Change Order with the new scope included and present it to the client for negotiation and implementation.

    I would highly recommend getting a recent edition from this series: amazon.com/Graphic-Artists-Handbook-Pricing-Guidelines/dp/0932102166/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376250252&sr=8-2&keywords=graphic+design+pricing+and+ethical+guidelines They cover a lot of super useful best practices.

  • The_RatThe_Rat Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    ChicoBlue wrote: »
    I'd say you should sit down and do a little bit of rough figuring and estimating.

    Figure out exactly how much more work you're comfortable doing for the amount that they're currently paying you.

    If possible, you could try to make a list of specific tasks or steps that are left until the project is complete, along with how much time you think each of them will take.

    Figure out an estimate of how much more money you'd need to finish it up.

    When you're talking it over with them, you can both look over this information and discuss it. Maybe they'll agree that you should get more money to finish up. Maybe they'll find a way to trim some of the fat from the project so that there is less work.

    Anyway, if you approach respectfully and with proper information, options and patience, it probably wont hurt anything.

    Unless they're jerkwads.

    If the current scope of the project has expanded beyond the initial written agreement you can fill out a Change Order with the new scope included and present it to the client for negotiation and implementation.

    I would highly recommend getting a recent edition from this series: amazon.com/Graphic-Artists-Handbook-Pricing-Guidelines/dp/0932102166/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376250252&sr=8-2&keywords=graphic+design+pricing+and+ethical+guidelines They cover a lot of super useful best practices.

  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    edited August 2013
    I can't for the life of me get this to work on my test site. http://masonry.desandro.com/

    Does anyone have experience with this sort of thing? Here is the test I'm doing: http://www.f.oceansend.com/masonrytest/index.html The column size isn't working and I'm not sure what's wrong. I've tried changing it up based on the little tutorial on the site but I have no idea what I'm doing really. :P

    F87 on
  • SpaceMooseSpaceMoose Registered User regular
    @F87

    First off your first js is messed up and it can't find the container. Since you're already loading jquery you might as well use it's syntax since it looks a little cleaner (or fix your original query). I got that to work by changing your js to the following:
    container = $('#gallery');
    container.masonry({
    columnWidth: 200,
    itemSelector: '.thumb'
    });

    Then you'll see it starts to work but not with all the images and I think that's because your css and classes aren't quite configured. get rid of the 'thumb.2' lines and make it like their example 'thumb w2' where w2 specifies the width you want for that type. Hopefully that should get you on the path to fixing this. If not drop me a line. I do this shit for a living so happy to help out where I can.

    For debugging stuff like this Chrome works like a charm. Just load the page and hit View->Developer Tools->Javascript console and you'll see where the error happens and can play with stuff live rather than going back and forth.

    F87
  • F87F87 So Say We All Registered User regular
    @SpaceMoose

    Ahhh, thank you so much. I was getting really frustrated with that and now I'm excited to try again. I appreciate the help!

  • SpaceMooseSpaceMoose Registered User regular
    No problem, like I said if you run into any issues just post here or DM me. Happy to help debug.

  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    What kind of sketchbook or sketchpad do you use for drawing with graphite? I've come to realise that the paper that I'm using during my figure-drawing sessions is actually complete shite, so I'm on the hunt for something better.

  • PierceNeckPierceNeck Registered User regular
    Does anyone have any recommendations for animation programs? I'm just starting out, so I'm using cheap software to get the basics and feel of animating. But eventually I want to get something good and make some quality stuff. (probably 100 years from now but whatevs)

    Anyways, I see toon boom and stuff recommended on the net, but the example animations they have all seem... choppy.

    So are these just not professional level programs? Or do the major studios use a combination of things to achieve the smoothness they get?

    steam_sig.png
  • brokecrackerbrokecracker Registered User regular
    AfterEffects is the only thing I have used. With a rigging plugin (like Duik http://duduf.net/?page_id=151 ) it works great.

    PierceNeck
  • PierceNeckPierceNeck Registered User regular
    Awesome, thanks!

    steam_sig.png
  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    It really depends on what kind of animation you want to do.

    If you were purely doing frame-by-frame animation, you could even use the most recent version of Photoshop, the timeline is pretty decent. You could also use Flash, and I've heard a lot of good things about Toon Boom too. Frame-by-frame animation in After Effects can be a pain, but it's possible too. If you want to do more motion-graphics sort of things, like kinetic typography, After Effects is a really good choice. If you wanted to 3D animation that's a whole other realm. You'll want to look in to Maya and Cinema 4D.

    Do you have any examples of the kind of stuff you're interested in?

    Flay on
  • PierceNeckPierceNeck Registered User regular
    I want to do 2d, probably frame by frame.

    Like in well done anime, specifically the fights scenes, there's this fluidity I'd like to achieve one day. I don't want to make something with the anime art style or anything, I just want to achieve that smoothness in movement.

    The reason I was hesitant about the recommendations I see for Toon Boom is because the examples they had on their site were... not that smooth/fluid. The animation looked kinda clunky.

    Does that make sense?

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  • McDMcD Registered User regular
    Hmmm, as far as animation goes, I don't know a huge amount about the 2D programs (I just did traditioinal pencil and paper animation put together in After Effects before moving onto 3D), but with frame by frame animation, it's about how you animate... For example, with digital painting, you could buy the best program and an amazing computer with a cintiq and everything... But that won't matter if you can't draw or don't have any understanding of how colour and light works. It's the same with animation, although some programs are designed with more of a certain type of animation in mind than others. If you do your animation at 12 or even 8 frames per second, it's going to look more choppy than when it's done at 24 per frames per second. You also need to ask What it is you want to achieve. Do you want to be PURELY an animator? Or do you want to be more of an all-rounder and create short films? Sometimes it's tough to know the answer to that until you get started, though...

    If you want to learn the skills to do frame by frame animation, you can even start by getting some animation paper and a pegbar, then scanning the drawings in and putting them through any program that outputs quicktimes or other movie files. There's a free piece of software called Pencil that might be useful to get you started? It is VERY basic though, so if you're working completely digitally, you might wanna do the actual drawings in photoshop then export them to there. Flash, Toon Boom, stuff like that have a lot of functionality that let you build puppet-like animation rigs, but if that's not what you want to do, then that's useless, all you need to have is something that can play back your frames.

    You've got the right idea, though. Regardless of WHAT kind of animation you want to do, those traditional frame by frame fundamentals apply, so it's great to learn the essentials before going on to learn programs that could get you work in the industry. I would also say that a must-read book is The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams. There's a TON of animation-related books out there, but that one's the bible all animators refer back to. The books of Muybridge human and animal photographs in motion are also pretty cool for reference, but there's some odd stuff in there...

    I have no idea if this is any help at all, I just got in from work and haven't had any dinner yet, so it may just be a rambling mess... If you have any other questions, just give me a shout. I was going to go on and on, but it would just turn into even more of a rambly, overloaded mess...

  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited September 2013
    Well, the thing is with Flash/Toon Boom, they're not designed to do really do full-frame, hand-drawn animation- they're designed to let you move around assets in a kind of quick, cheap way. So when you see examples demonstrating their features, that's generally what they're doing, because the reason to buy those programs is to save money, by doing cheap, reusable animation. If they put out a clip showing Disney feature film quality animation, it wouldn't give you any idea about why someone would want to buy the program, because the only real way to do that sort of animation is to painstakingly draw it all out by hand, frame by frame- there's no shortcut, there's no software trick to make it easier.

    I mean, you could do that, but it'd probably take as much, if not more time to do it in something like Flash (which doesn't have the best drawing tools in the world, and crashes all the time, and even with a Cintiq, no digital brush is going to ever be good as a decent pencil), than if you just did it with pencil and paper and ink.

    Now, there are studios that do that (or at least, try to get close- if you've ever seen Wakfu, they do their animation in Flash, and do a lot of compositing in After Effects; and the result isn't exactly Disney quality, but it does a decent job of not looking "Flash-y", most of the time. (There's still the overly smooth mechanical weirdness from time to time that clues you in, but this is the closest example of Flash/Toon Boom type programs getting what I think you're trying to achieve.



    But the thing is, every asset and part is drawn by hand, on paper, before being thrown into the computer to be inked and colored- they're saving a little bit of time going with Flash, but to my mind it seems a little pointless, because they're already having to spend so much time doing things in the traditional way to begin with, that they almost might as well just do all the animation by hand, and just color all the frames up in Photoshop.


    So if you wanna get good at smooth, traditional animation, you're going to have difficulty replacing a traditional pegbar and lighttable, doing it pencil on paper, flipping the frames to test, and just scanning them in to compile the frames in animation clips. Same way it's been done for last 100 years. Somebody might have some suggestions on the best way to do that- I forget what options there are in After Effects/Premiere/Final Cut Pro to adjust the timing of held frames in a sequence, so while it's certainly doable in programs like that (which are more compositing/editing programs than software specifically geared towards traditional animation), there may be better/cheaper options out there.

    If you absolutely positively have to do everything in a computer, @Iruka swears by TVPaint, which offers more Photoshop-like drawing tools than Flash/Toon Boom and is more similar to a traditional animator's workflow, but that's jolly expensive (and personally I'd want at least a big Cintiq (even more jolly expensive) to use it with- being precise is a big factor in getting good animation, and a non-monitor tablet can spoil that a bit). And maybe you'd get the use out of it to make that money worth it, but I'd really recommend just cutting your teeth with pencil/paper for a year or two, so you can feel more confident that dropping $700-$2700 on these things is actually a good use of your money.

    Angel_of_Bacon on
    McD
  • McDMcD Registered User regular
    Ah, yeah, TVPaint was the one I couldn't remember the name of... A traditional animator friend of mine swears by it as well, he showed me a few tests he made using it and I would have sworn they were done traditionally. After Effects is the main program I've used for traditional animation, it's super easy for that stuff. Learning on pencil and paper is absolutely the best way, but the main issue is that it would be quite time consuming to scan every drawing, then compile them in whatever program to test it... What might be a good idea is setting up some kind of basic line-tester. Off the top of my head, you could download a stop motion animation app, use a wee tripod to keep your phone in place, photograph each drawing and just use the app to play it back at the correct frame rate. It's not going to look amazing, but it would be the cheapest, quickest way to get started and see how you like it...

  • PierceNeckPierceNeck Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    Sweet I'll start out with pencil and paper then. I do have a yiynova monitor though, not as fancy as a cintiq, but I like it.

    And I definitely wasn't looking for any kind of shortcuts. I like to do things the long way whenever possible because it usually yields better results. I was just thinking that people had moved to mostly digital, that's why I was concerned over what software to use.


    Thanks!

    EDIT: I'm also going to look in to some animation classes at the local college.

    PierceNeck on
    steam_sig.png
  • Not saying you were looking for shortcuts, but companies looking to cut some corners to save on budget certainly are, and that's why those demos look the way they do. :)

    When you say, 'moved to digital', that is true- ink and paint and camera and compositing has all gone digital, but making the raw animation frames generally still is pretty traditional pencil and paper, as far as I know.

    Now, there are programs that are supposed to be good for the traditional photo/scan raw paper drawings, but I don't really have experience with them.
    Flipbook has some good reviews as a pencil test program by ex-Disney guys- but I don't know how robust or updated it is (always suspicious when the minimum requirements lists Win95, and it doesn't look like the site has been updated much since that era either). It may have been supplanted by something else by now, I dunno.

    If you're going super-pro, there are programs like Toon Boom Harmony or Toonz- which I can't even tell you a price for, because they make you request a quote for a site license rather than just listing it straight out; which makes me think the cost for these things is probably insanely steep (Grabbing this info from this internet dude that seems to know what he's talking about, 5 posts down. http://forums.awn.com/showthread.php?t=12389 ).
    So as much as you may want to 'use what the pros use', it'd be ridiculous to go license some $10k a seat program (or whatever it is) designed to handle the needs of a 90 minute feature film just to get some practice doing some pencil tests, when you can probably get just as good results from any decent off-the-shelf software that can put frames in a sequence and spit 'em out into a video format.


    Also, if you go to a class calling itself, "Animation", try to find out what they actually mean by that. I took 2 "animation" courses in college- one was basically, "Basics of how to use After Effects", and the other was "Basics of how to use Macromedia Director" (which I guess was an even shittier precursor to Flash, and had been obsolete for years even back then.) If that's what their curriculum is like, you're probably going to be better off saving your money and just reading the manual/looking up Youtube tutorials to whatever (I'm sure you've been around the internet long enough to know that a many, many idiots have managed to successfully move things around in Flash without the need for formal instruction.)

    If they actually are teaching you how to draw animation on the other hand, that's awesome, definitely take that class.

    Bonus Fake-Edit: Also if you want some animation inspiration, Andreas Deja's blog (at Disney he was the supervising animator for Jafar/Scar/Lilo/Hercules) Frame by Frame always make me want to animate some shit ferreals.

  • McDMcD Registered User regular
    It depends on the studio as far as actual animation techniques go. Some places rely more heavily on traditional pencil and paper animation, whereas some use the tools in Flash and After Effects in conjunction with traditional animation to speed things up. Regardless, the animation PRINCIPLES of cushioning, arcs of movement, anticipation, follow-through, secondary motion and all that should be applied regardless of whether you're working in 2D, 3D or whatever... It's when people don't understand the principles that you get the aforementioned idiots moving things around in Flash.

    If you are looking for a job in the industry, it's a good idea to get your head around some programs, but absolutely focus on the fundamentals first. It's much easier to get someone up to speed on a program than it is to teach them how to animate.

  • DrScientistDrScientist Registered User regular
    I have a question about shoes. Are there any good tutorials on the subject of drawing them? I can draw feet at a decent level and I've practiced drawing shoes, but I just can't seem to get it right.

  • PierceNeckPierceNeck Registered User regular
    Haha don't worry, I didn't think I was being accused of looking for short cuts. Just wanted to clarify it.

    So really, if I go with the pencil/paper. I really just need anything that can display each frame at the desired frame rate, right? As far as inking/coloring (which I'm not going to mess with for a while), can I just use manga studio, since I already have that?

    steam_sig.png
  • McDMcD Registered User regular
    Software-wise, I would say so, yup. Like I mentioned above, if you can set up some kind of basic line tester or even scan the drawings in to start learning the basics (things like the bouncing ball, flour sack animation etc... All of these exercises are mentioned in the Richard Williams book) then that's a fantastic start. Some kind of light box, punched animation paper and a pegbar are the other main essentials. Buying all those things can get kind of expensive, but if you get creative with it, there's cheap ways to go about assembling things that do a similar job.

  • Red_ArremerRed_Arremer Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    Why does adobe have the worst site ever? How can I buy the full version of Photoshop, at student price, without subscribing to it? The site's driving me crazy.

    Also, does anybody know of a good tutorial or book that guides one through the process of creating a comic or digital painting? I want to practice making my own finished works, which until now have been only sketches and physical paintings, but I have no idea what the first steps are, like what the standard size of a comic book page is before it's shrunk for publication, or the correct dpi for a commercial photoshop painting.

    Red_Arremer on
  • McDMcD Registered User regular
    I think that's just the way Adobe does things with photoshop now... I'm not sure you CAN just buy it outright any more...

    As for books, this is a pretty good guide to the technical stuff behind creating comics digitally (setting up files, action scripts, blah blah), but he does go on at length about his process, which obviously isn't going to be the best way everyone'll work. Klaus Janson's book on inking is also another pretty good one in that same series, it's really informative. Also, Jamie McKelvie recently re-posted this article he wrote for Imagine FX aaaaaages ago, which details how he sets up his files for printing, some good tips for scanning art and so on. Those handle the more technical aspects, but obviously books like Will Eisner's 'Comics and Sequential Art' and the Scott McCloud books are the other ones people always talk about (with good reason).

    Sorry I can't help with digital painting... Still trying to get my head around all that myself...

    NibCrom
  • Red_ArremerRed_Arremer Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    Thanks, that's a lot of good stuff. I'll download that workshop when I have a little more time. I'll be pretty frustrated if I can't just buy Photoshop outright. I hate any monthly payment deal if I can avoid it.

    Red_Arremer on
  • NibCromNibCrom Registered User regular
    @Red_Arremer It's an older version, but I believe CS2 is available as a free download.

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