A lot of people have been asking me lately, “How do you make comics?”. It’s an easy question to ask but not so easy for me to answer. So instead of addressing everyone individually, I figured it would be the best answer all those questions in the following series of blog posts.
I’ll start by describing my process for creating the artwork. I’ll get into storytelling in another post because storytelling and script writing is a whole beast unto itself.
If you’ve ever had the idea to create your comic book, you can look at what I do and hopefully be inspired to go out and make your own.
My comic art creation process can be boiled down to 3 steps In each of those steps, I use a different piece of software to get the job done.
3D Character & Scene Creation in DAZ Studio
Black Sun is all done digitally and that digital process begins in a software program named DAZ Studio. I use DAZ Studio to create virtual characters and sets.
DAZ Studio gives me the ability to customize my characters and make them look exactly the way I need them to. I can then add my custom characters to virtual sets and position and pose them so that they fit the action in any given scene.
The way I make comics is more of a photographic process. The only difference is I’m “photographing” virtual people on virtual sets instead of real ones.
Image Editing in Photoshop
Even though I use 3D scene creation software as the basis for creating my images I’m not the biggest fan of 3D art. The vast majority of 3D comics that I’ve seen tend to look boring and lifeless. I didn’t want Black Sun to suffer from this so I decided to go with a stylized look rather than the typical 3D look that’s so common.
I wanted to mimic as close to a hand-drawn look as possible.
This is where Photoshop comes in. This is also where the majority of my work is done. I use a series of Photoshop Actions and custom filters to give the base render from DAZ Studio a more traditional comic book look.
c) In Photoshop I make the image black and white to fit the mood of my comic.
d) I use a combination of photo retouching and digital painting to create the backgrounds and fix any errors in the characters.
Page Layout & Lettering in Comic Life
Comic Life is the weapon of choice for page layout and lettering. It’s inexpensive and very easy to use. I know that it’s not as advanced as a page layout program like Adobe InDesign, but what it lacks in features it more than makes up for in ease of use. It does what I need it to do and it does it quickly, with no headaches and with results that look good.
Join me for my next post where I will explore the reasons why I use DAZ Studio to make comics as opposed to a more traditional method.