Marshall Art Studio:

Web Development + Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Comic Book Art

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Marshall Art Studio: Blogmatic

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When working digitally, these are the steps to producing finished art. Instead of working on paper then scanning, I work directly with the Wacom drawing tablet. While this technique's has limitations (mainly speed, lack of peripheral vision, having the tactile and visual results on two different planes), the production benefits outweight the drawbacks. For instance, paper art has to be scanned, usually by an overworked production artist. Scanning operators sometimes produce dozens of high-resolution images, guaranteeing some loss of subtle elements. Going digital shifts all the production accountability where it should be ... to the artist.

Marshall Art Studio - Comic Book Artist + Writer: Info graphic of digital comics-making process

The process, from Photoshop to Acrobat in 5 life-draining steps.

Adobe Photoshop: Pencilling The selection, resizing, layers and "soft pencil" tools are the closest things to my traditional drawing methods (tracing paper, Xerox, scaled copies) I've found so far. Using paths to control perspective is an added bonus.

Corel Painter: Inking The anti-aliasing is "tighter" than Photoshop's, making a much cleaner ink stroke. Painter X, the latest version, has terrific brush and texture controls. The page rotation tool's a life-saver! Inking happens quickly, brushing way outside the planned borders.

Adobe Illustrator: Lettering + Bordering This is where all the vector stuff happens. The first step is importing the final inked Painter TIF in Illustrator, then sticking it in a compound path of the panels. I then letter with Blambot fonts (Letter-o-matic) in custom word balloons. Once everything's set, each page is saved as an individual EPS.

Adobe InDesign: Pagination A collection of the final EPS files. Page numbering and common elements are controlled in the Master pages. This file is used to generate the PDF.

Adobe Acrobat: Final Art Optimized for print, web and email.

Thanks for reading. Goodnight and good luck.


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