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i WANT to start posting comics in COLOR but i need some input!

PlusThirtyOne

What DOES my username mean...?
For the last few weeks, i've been colorizing my comic. Originally the plan was to save time by coloring only certain pages, either to emphasize importance or show off something special. As it turns out, trying to make gray scale elements that work together and balance contrast is actually a real pain in the ass!! it actually takes me MORE time to tweak and balance things to keep them from being too dark, too light or keeping objects from bleeding together. For FULL PAGES, i've decided to start coloring them completely (no uploads yet), both for fun and practice AND for printing purposes. Color comics just...look better. i want to print books of my comics in the future, if not for profit, than for FUN!!

However, for comic STRiPS, i wanted to take a different approach.

-Which is why i'm hear to ask...​

D8j6k1s.jpg

also, just in case, these pages are out of order so there's no real reason to read them. These are pre-editted images too so there may even be typos...

Does this really make a difference in the product? The sample above is a slapped-together Photoshop effect in just a few minutes so the edges are a bit sloppy. The final product will be much more defined without color bleeding. Black and white looks professional print i guess but by sticking with gray scale i'm robbing myself of lighting effects, tones, personality and -let's face it- easy of reading. By simply coloring characters and their respective elements like text dialogue and onomatopoeia, i can guarantee that eyes are reading the proper bubbles with the correct internal voice and effects are coming from the correct sources. Backgrounds and foregrounds elements can be properly differentiated from characters and other objects and best of all, i can keep drawing short strips in black and white quickly and mask over finished strips and pages with appropriate masks afterwards. ironically, i've been trying to streamline things but i still only upload once every couple of weeks! (or in the case of recent, once in two months...) i'll be saving time as intended AND making a prettier, more professional product!

So here's the problem :
i just don't have the time or the patience to backpedal and re-do each and every upload of mine without neglecting further work as much as i have. i'm MONTHS behind on my goals and the overwhelming amount of files and projects on my plate are killing morale. i don't know what to do or who to ask for help at this point -or if it's even worth my time. i can't pay anyone to help with the colorization but going forward i'll be using the new color scheme if readers seem to like it. i may even start implementing small animated elements if i can get some things settled!!

Tips? Questions? Palette suggestions? Offers to help? Jokes at my expense? Anything at this point would help me immensely. At the very least, i might know what steps to take next. Thanks in advance for ANY assistance; even just words of encouragement.
 
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Zamietka

Well-Known Member
imo the pastel colours look the best and I would definitely prefer reading that one over the greyscale, for me it seems more professional too because it's easier to read, and that's what professionals should strive for :v You can also have some fun with picking colors that match the character's personalities and all that. Also lots of people change colouring method in the middle of a comic and nobody usually seems to mind.
You can also consider redoing a few first pages, to give a glimpse of how the pages will look in the future for new readers.
 

Flumpor

Active Member
Well, a lot of them do have their charm, personally I pefer it in black and white. While the colors are nice to look at, the expressions pop more off the page and it doesn't seem so full of stuff, which actually helps clarity. That's also the reason that if you want to color it, I think the pastel colors would be the right choice, because some stuff gets drowned out, that is actually good, helps with orientation. The darker one may look nicer on the first view, but it actually makes it harder to read.

Now if you just have problems with readablity, well this is a bit of high level criticism, but if you want to keep it paneled like this, eyeline is even more important then in other comics. Changing your layout could help. I quickly did an analysis of where my eyes are drawn to and here it is
why_tho.png

With the second to third panel trasition your eyes have to search for the page twice, this is because we usually focus on eyes and eyelines (180 degree rule in film for example). Because she is staring into nothingness, we will also stare into nothing and then search for the next bubble to read. So we draw our eyes to the bottom right, but unfortunately there are eyes in the panel below and we draw a mental line, having to reorientate to the left panel again. Which messes with the timing of the comic. The rest however is done really, really well. The phones perspective pointing to the next panel, the small buildup from her looking in the phone, the eyeline of the picture in the phone to the character on the right. That is top notch stuff.
The fix for this is however simple, move the speech bubble to the left, if you want to go the extra mile, center your character and have her look at the counter.
Now I can't speak for your whole work as a whole, especially because most of it is so clearly defined, but drawing characters staring blankly off-screen regularly can lead to undesired effects.

Just a quick comment and criticism.

edit: Sorry, for some reason the image wasn't embeded.
 
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DrWumblr

New Member
Personally I like the characters get their own colors like that and the mood feels more suited to your genre and appealing to the eyes. Easy to recognize the characters too! Another benefit is I don't think I've ever seen other comic using similar method and you should use this technique as your 'trademark' So when ppl browsing on net and saw this type of technique, im sure they'll say "hey I know this artist". Definitely gain more views than black and white style
As for deciding for the background, it is up to you to find middle ground
 

PlusThirtyOne

What DOES my username mean...?
Just a quick comment and criticism.

Great analysis! Thanks!
Page flow is my fetish. (SFW link)

My biggest pet-peeve in film is lazy editing. Shot-reverse-shot dialogue is my single most hated trope in bad cinematography, so i go out of my way to avoid it. in the case of comics gripes, i'm trying to avoid the same kind of shot-reverse-shot back'n'forth dialogue typically seen in the Sunday funnies. if i really wanted to save some time, i could just copy and paste the same ol' character shots over and over and slap on some speech bubbles and call it a day! Since i'm transitioning from full pages to strips for quicker laughs and shorter stories unfit for full pages, i'm trying to avoid the comics equivalent. Think 'Azumanga Daioh' VS 'Garfield'. i want dynamic poses, establishing shots, backgrounds and to avoid duplicate shots of characters unless the joke calls for it. i'm working with a lot less space too which makes for some cramped panels.
i've honestly never thought about where characters themselves were looking. i'll keep that one in mind. in the case of most of my pages and strips, iF EVER there's any visual confusion regarding which bubble to read first or last, i can promise the reader that it doesn't really matter which one is read first. Questions are ALWAYS on the left and top and answers are ALWAYS on the right and bottom or in a later panel.

Thanks for your input!
 
Personally, I’m thinking the pastel background is easiest to read here, and if you want you could also use the higher contrast characters to make them stand out even more there.

The only thing you need to make sure of is that you don’t rely *only* on color, as it may be hard for colorblind people to then read the comics. I don’t think you have that problem yet, but it’s always good to keep in mind.


Here are also two tips from an environments for comics class I took if you’re looking to help with readability and ease of creation:

1 - Create small page thumbnails to work out dialogue and panels / shots layouts before going into pencils. (You may already do this)

2 - Use free 3D software like Google Sketchup to create 3D scenes / mockups to draw over for when you don’t already have a background. It’s easier to work out spacing and you can reuse the models for different angles and shots as needed. (Not sure if it’s super necessary given that you work with photo backgrounds, but in case you need it, it’s a good tool to have around.)
 

PlusThirtyOne

What DOES my username mean...?
make sure of is that you don’t rely *only* on color ... Create small page thumbnails to work out dialogue and panels ... (You may already do this) ... create 3D scenes / mockups to draw over for when you don’t already have a background

i still plan on making and shading strips in black and white regardless so no, i won't be relying on colors to differentiate characters or whatever. in fact i think i may just do BOTH. The method i went with to colorizing the comics above was just a simple new photoshop layer. On future uploads, i may just post mono and colored. it doesn't take long to colorize one strip before upload; it's colorizing all 100+ older pages and strips that are going to kill my time.

As much as roughing pages and strips would help me immensely, i'm constantly editing and changing things too often to adhere to a rough draft. (i edit, re-edit and re-re-edit far more than i should... ) i DO make rough drafts on some comics but if i mess up or change my mind on something/someone i've already drawn and inked up, i'll find another place for 'em. Unused characters, elements, backgrounds and whatevers that get tossed out will always be repurposed for later comics. it helps i suppose that my characters spend an awful lot of time in the same rooms, apartments and stores. Also, 99% of my background photos are original and were shot on location with specific angles in mind. i actually do A LOT of work on my backgrounds. it's too bad that so many readers think they're just lazily filtered Google images with photoshop; they're not. But uhh, *AHEM*... -that's not what we're talking about.

Thanks for the tippage and critique!
 

fralea

Well-Known Member
I personally find the b/w easiest to read, but that just may be me. Maybe if you made the text a little darker it would be better. I agree you should consider colorblindness ... they do have websites that will filter images to simulate different types I believe.
 
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