Saturday, June 13, 2009

Today I'll show a little bit of the process that goes into creating one page (or frame) for Stolen Suns.

First I work out a thumbnail during the 'writing' part of the chapter. Since I'm the artist on this no need to write long description, it's better to come up with a quick drawing of the page. All this is done in Photoshop, with a Wacom Intuos 4 tablet; the whole process is digital. Why? Because it saves a lot of time.

When I draw the full page I use the thumbnail sketch in the background and I overlay on it the structure of all the objects and characters in blue (like the blue sketching Disney animators used to do to work out an animation). On top of this 'blue structure' I put another layer in Photoshop and just draw everything (without the small details) with my digital HB pencil.
I then add a layer for inking, done with a digital brush, still in Photoshop.

Now that I have the line art finished I can focus on the coloring that I usually do on one or two layers under the lineart. The coloring is extremely simple and done in an opaque digital gouache, with basically one color for shadows and one color for highlights (pretty close to an anime style of coloring).

Then come the post-pocessing in Photoshop. I like to think of the finished colored page as a raw material that I can rework in post like a movie director would. I do a lot of different things to achieve the look I like, lighting, focus effect, texture, etc. Some people could find this step unnecessay but I believe that there are certain effects you cannot paint. I have to use the digital tools for all they are worth, or I would just be missing out.

Then it's just a matter of adding speech bubbles and lettering. I keep this for the end so I can change dialogs as much as I want, change the bubbles placement, etc.
Flatten the page, resize it, save it in RGB JPEG format, and it's good to go.

No comments: