Digital Inking a Graphic Novel



this is a lesson from our making a graphic novel course to get the full course go to bloom animation comm slash making a graphic novel so now we're back in Photoshop and we're going to look at how we inked the spread that we're doing digitally now just like we had to get the right tools to do our traditional inking we need to set up some tools to do our digital inking as well specifically we want to set up a couple brushes to use now there are lots of places online that you can get good brushes for inking comics one of my favorite places where you can buy brush packs is a site called friend in they have a nice set of tool presets for inking in Photoshop but we're actually going to start by using a set of brushes that's free and even easier to get I'm just going to pull out the brush palette so that it'll stay open now if you go over to the corner menu of the brush palette you can see there's a link here for get more brushes now that will take you to Adobe site where they offer packs of brushes for free we're going to get these the manga brushes that's going to download an ABR file we'll save that and then back on our brush palette we'll go back to the corner menu and do import brushes find that ABR file open it and you see it made a new group here called manga and here are all our brushes now there's really only a couple here that I find useful these first six or so brushes here are the ones that are actually for doing ink lines some of them are smooth and some of them have a textured edge the one I like for this project is going to be this crisp one it has just a little bit of texture along the edge now one thing I don't like about these brushes is that every time you select it it defaults back to a very small size and it sets your smoothing option back to zero so I'm actually going to adjust the settings on these and save my own presets I'm going to start by adjusting the size it looks like 45 pixels is going to be good as the default then I'm going to turn the smoothing feature up to 10% this feature smooths out your stroke so Photoshop doesn't pick up as much of a wobble like you normally get when drawing with the tablet then in the brush palette I'm going to click the new brush preset option I'll give it a name and these default settings are fine and then I've got my brush at the right size and smoothing whenever I need it now the only other brush that I want to make is a larger brush more like a paintbrush for filling in spot blacks so I'm just going to start with photoshop's built in hard round brush and I'm going to set it fairly large then I'm going to go ahead and make a new preset for that as well so now I've got a brush for doing outlines and for filling them in now there is something other than the brush itself that's going to affect the quality of your lines and that's the system settings for your drawing tablet here in the settings for my Wacom Cintiq there's this tip field setting that I can set to various levels of firmness this changes how hard you have to push to get a maximum pressure reading in Photoshop you're going to have to play around with this yourself and find the setting that works best for you and you may even want to come back here and change this for different tasks like outlining versus cross hatching so now that we've got our brushes let's go over to our spread and do our final ink lines I'm going to start by hiding the lettering layer and all of our front panels and I'm going to start by working on our background image so I'm going to create a new layer inside that folder called ink and then I'm going to lower the opacity of our clean pencil layer now I'm just going to zoom in and start inking from here the process is very similar to our traditional inking though of course we have the benefit of the undo command and we can use our eraser to erase our ink lines perfectly one big similarity with traditional inking is that you want to be constantly rotating the page so that you can get the most comfortable stroke to lay down the most accurate line in Photoshop you rotate by holding the R key and dragging the canvas you now one thing you'll notice about how I'm inking this four-wheeler is that whenever I do hatching like I'm doing down here on this wheel I'm going to do them all parallel in the same direction this helps emphasize the motion of the four-wheeler as it's jumping I'm eventually going to add those motion lines onto the four-wheeler to further enhance that sense of direction you on the second four-wheeler I'm going to do a lot of spot Lacs along the bottom that's going to help it stand out and give it a nice silhouette against that big open white sky you now this third four-wheeler is way off in the distance and a lot smaller than the other two something you might be tempted to do is shrink your brush way down so that you can get a lot of detail into smaller parts of the drawing like this but you generally don't want to do that try to keep your brush generally the same size smaller elements particularly ones in the distance like this guy are going to look better if they have less detail since we're outside we've got this very organic background there's a lot of texture here but I'm trying to keep the lines a little thinner and less detailed so that the background doesn't pull attention from the more important elements of the image and with these cars I'm not too worried about detail either because they're mostly going to be covered up by our front panels anyway so that's the background splash image done now let's turn our front panels back on and do the inking inside of those for each of these I'm going to create an ink layer and lower the opacity of the clean pencil line and this overhead shot of the cars is another good example of letting your image have less detail it wouldn't make sense to shrink down my brush and try to get these cars as detailed as the large ones I just drew so you'll notice that one of Jackie's friends here has black hair that I'm painting in with a spot black then to add the highlights and the detail lines I actually just used the eraser to carve away the black you so that's our inking done next we need to deal with our lettering we still have the issue of this sound effect going over top of the four wheelers when we want it behind them I thought about putting them on a separate layer above the sound effect but then I'd have to add an extra layer in between of white to actually block out the sound effect so what's actually going to be easier is just to use a layer mask on our lettering layer first I'm going to right click on the layer and rasterize it which is going to break the link to the adobe illustrator file where we made the lettering and now it's just a regular Photoshop layer I'm going to click the layer mask button down here to add a layer mask then I'm going to lower the opacity of our lettering layer slightly so that I can distinguish the black of the lettering from the black of our inks then I'm just going to paint with black on our layer mask to block out the portions of that sound effect that we don't want to be shown and now as a finishing touch I'm going to add in those speed lines on our four-wheelers you and also let's put some on these dollar bills that are flying away and there we have it this spread is all inked and ready to be screen toned or colored in this course is truly a one-stop-shop for learning everything you need to get started making your own graphic novel so what are you waiting for you

3 thoughts on “Digital Inking a Graphic Novel

  1. Is photoshop CC 2018 better than CS6 Extended? Because I have CS6 Extended

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