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Old 07-15-2008, 10:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Otispq View Post
Photoshop Index

Speech Bubbles/Text
Since dialog plays an important role in drawing readers into your comic, its important to make sure how its presented has the right impact. The following example is generally something you'll want to avoid:

Kinda sending the wrong message, isn't it? The script font and bright yellow against the white background make it difficult to read. Feel free to personalize the font or color as you like. Just make sure it remains readable. Otherwise you might find readers leaving in frustration because they spend more time deciphering than enjoying.

Now my easy peasy way of making utilitarian speech bubbles.

Step One: Pick a font and set its specifics. I generally use Times New Roman in black at 18 pts.

Step Two: Create a text layer and type out the dialog.

Step Three: Create a new layer using the pallett well's drop down menu (click the round arrow button in right corner for access). This will be for the bubble's shape. Make sure its below the text layer. Otherwise it will appear on top and block the text from view.

Step Four: Select the shape tool of your choice. I prefer ellipses. Draw around your dialog to enclose it.

Step Five: Finally, go back to the drop down menu in the pallett well and select either merge visible or flatten image. This will combine the three layers into one to cut down the file size before saving.

And you're done! Repeat the process for as many characters that appear in the panel. There are other techniques you can use to add distinctive flourishes too. This just gives a basic idea to get started.
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:16 PM   #12
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Here's a little tutorial I posted way back when on how to make explosions in GIMP. My technique has gotten somewhat more refined since then, but the basic process remains the same.

Now, by no means is this the only way to do things, or even the best. I fully hope someone can take what I post and improve upon it. I only ask that if my techniques help, use them, improve them, and share your improvements with the rest of us.

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Old 07-19-2008, 01:20 AM   #13
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Z.U.D.O.N's Fire Tutorial For Photoshop Users :D

Hi. I'd like to share this effect with the members of TFW2005 . As the title says, it's a "Fire" tutorial, and with the use of Adobe Photoshop. I'm using the CS2 version, so those using earlier versions will have to tweak/modify what I'm about to explain.

NOTE: For those using the 6.0 version, look for Krem. He's read my tutorial and modified it for the 6.0 version.

I'd like every reader to know that this tutorial is a slight modification of Chaos Incarnate's Explosion Tutorial, so he deserves almost all the credit here.



Get an image ready, and open it in Adobe Photoshop. And may I introduce my assistant: KO Cybertron Scourge. XD


Set the colours on your TOOLS pallete to what I call "black overlap white", or simply press "D".

Second, create a new layer. It's the button 2nd from right at the bottom of your LAYERS pallete.

Next, select the "Paint Bucket" tool (or press G) and click anywhere on your photo to fill the new layer BLACK.

For impatient people: Just press "Alt+Backspace", instead of selecting the paint bucket tool and then clicking anywhere on the photo.


Create another new layer. (You might want to label your layers to avoid confusion)

This time, get what Chaos calls a "fuzzy" brush, or an AIRBRUSH. Hopefully this image below helps you to locate the airbrushes.

Select a reasonably BIG brush size, say 300 pixels (as seen in the image above). Of course, you are the one to determine how big you want the brush to be.


(You may want to hide your black layer. This will make it easier for you to do this step. To hide a layer, click the "eye" next to the layer. )

Outline your flame with RED. Flames move in RANDOM manner, sorta. So, make your outline a little "wavy". XD

Now, choose a Yellow brush and fill up the remaining uncoloured space. By the way, you're still "painting" on the same "red brush" layer, so don't select another layer.

Also, using a white brush, fill up some of the yellow-coloured region. Below is an example.


Go to Filter --> Blur --> Gaussian Blur.

Now, increase the pixel radius till you get something like this .

The number of pixels may vary depending on how big or small your flame is. Just don't overdo or "underdo" it XD.

Now, go to the LAYERS pallete. At the bottom of the pallete, there's a half-white-half-black circle. Click it.

A list comes out. Click Hue/Saturation. Now, DO NOT click anything, except Ok .

One last action for this step: Press Ctrl+Alt+G so that the Hue/Saturation layer will only affect the layer right below it.

Create a new layer and Press D.

Now, go to Filter --> Render --> Clouds.

WOW!! Ugly!! But worry not.

Look for a box that says Normal at the top left of your LAYERS pallete. Click it, and a list will drop. Select Color Dodge.


Enjoy the view momentarily . Lovely, isn't it? Okay, back to work.

Click the half-black-half-white circle again. This time click Levels. Again, DO NOT touch anything. Click Ok, and then Ctrl+Alt+G.


Select the Levels layer. Hold SHIFT and then select the Black layer.

Now, time to group them by pressing Ctrl+G. After that, go back to the box that used to say "Normal". Now for this group of layers, the box says "Pass Through". Click it, and select Screen.


Now, if you'd like to modify the flames, go to the Hue/Saturation and Levels layers. Double click one of the layers to open up a box with "scrolling bars". Modifying saturation and the levels will make your flame look nicer, if you think the finalized flame in Step 9 isn't satisfactory.


That's all for the Fire Tutorial. Hope you liked it.
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Old 07-19-2008, 03:27 AM   #14
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Z.U.D.O.N's Eye Glow Tutorial for Photoshop Users :D

Hi again. This time I'm giving an Eye Glow tutorial. Not the best way to do it, but the easiest and the only one I know of. XD

NOTE: This tutorial is not applicable for Photoshop versions earlier than CS2. So, sorry about that...



As usual, get a picture ready and open it in Photoshop. My assistant this time is Tengu.


Now, Zoom the picture till you have the face covering most or the whole of your picture. This makes things easier.

(Press Z to use it. Now, click on a region on your photo to zoom into that place . You might need to click a few times.. There's a faster way to zoom, and it's also using this tool. I'll let you figure it out! )

Create a new layer. (Go to your LAYERS pallete. At the bottom, 2nd button from right)

Please don't be confused. The New Layer is Layer 2 in the picture. I accidentally made another new layer, i.e. Layer 1. For the next few steps, I'll be referring to Layer 2, not Layer 1.


Using the Pen Tool (Press P) and outline the eyes of the character. If you know how to curve the lines, then all the better!

The eye on your left is an example of the "curve" I'm talking about. The eye on your right is only outlined using straight lines..


After you've finished outlining the eyes, right-click and select Make Selection....

Set the feather radius to 0 pixels. Then click Ok.


Now there's a marquee surrounding the eyes. Next, Right click and select Fill.

Now, there's a box next to the word 'Use:'. Click that, and select Color....

Tengu's eyes are green, so I'll select green. You know the colour of your character's eyes, so you choose the correct colour!

Next, click Ok till both boxes disappear.


Voila! First part of the job done. Now, click anywhere to remove the marquee, then label this layer. I've labelled it as "Eye". Then Zoom out a little bit.

Why zoom out? So you can see from far how the next effect will look like.

Okay, copy the "Eye" layer, and go to Filter --> Blur --> Shape Blur.

A box will appear. Select an image that looks like an explosion and labeled Starburst. Set the pixel radius to 20. Then Click Ok.


Second part done! Nice, isn't it? Now, the eye glow isn't very striking, so what you can do is copy the "Eye copy" layer to add more glow to it!

Zoom out till you can see the whole photo so you can see how well the glow looks. And if the 2nd glow is too striking, you can adjust the opacity of the three layers to suit your liking.

That's the Eye Glow Tutorial. Hope it helps! ^^
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Old 07-19-2008, 11:09 AM   #15
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i just wanted to add to DA's speech bubble tutorial.... in case anyone wants to know how to make the text fit into a bubble shape instead of a square one.

in order to keep my colors for the speech bubbles, i have a little "palette" of swatches i use, which i find really helpful. i pick the color i want for the text.

then i open a text box up, and type within the box the text i want.

to get the text to look round, i make sure the text is set to "centered", and shrink up the box until it breaks within the box and looks rounded. you can also eyeball it, and pick around the third word (depending on word size) and push enter to move the text down within the box. this also makes the round effect for the text.

then i select an oval around the text. after that i then make the speech bubble connect to the mouth of the speaker using the polygonal lasso tool and pressing shift to add the selection to the bubble. so it is one shape to fill in.

then i add a blank layer between the image & the text layers, and fill in with the paint bucket. that's it!

i know this is sort of basic...but i figure it might be helpful for new comic makers...
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Old 07-19-2008, 02:19 PM   #16
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Ripclaw's Laserbeam Tutorial for GIMP


im going to give a tutorial on how to make lasers with gimp

this is the way i do it, you dont have to do it this way


first choose the pic you want to add a laser to

then open it with gimp

then, choose the paths tool and make sure that it will make polygonal shapes

then you can make the general shape of the laser

then go to select, select from path

it will select and close from the path

then you should go to select, feather and depending on the size of the pic, and the selected area, make the feathering anywhere between 5-40

for this one i chose 20

should look like this or something like that

then you use the paintbrush tool using the largest size brush, and any color you want (i used blue)

fill in the selected area

then cut that area out without changing anything about it

the end result should be this

hope this helps anyone

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Old 07-19-2008, 05:14 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Otispq View Post
Photoshop Index
Building Actions/Macros

This is an EXTREMELY useful trick, one which will save you so much time it's not even funny.

Now, all of us deal with repetitive actions when we build comics. Probably the most common one for all of us is speech bubbles, but there are other things, such as resizing, applying sets of filters, or automating effects, that we do them, but we just want to, I dunno, build a robot or something to do it for us. Well, it just so happens that the folks at Adobe built such a robot right into Photoshop!

To start off, we need to open our picture. Today, I just pulled a recent picture off my HDD, Saber, from my Figma Saber review. Open the Actions Palette, which can be found under the Windows menu.

This will bring up the Actions Palette, which was probably right under your nose, shared with the History Palette.

It's important to realize that not everything can be automated. And some things that can be automated, if you try, it won't turn out the way you expect. Also, it's very helpful for you to be very familiar with the action you want to automate. Today I'm am going to show you how to build an Action to automate speech bubbles. I can't automate the text, and since the text isn't always the same size and in the same place, I need to make the selection as well. Once I have that selection made, I'm going to select the layer below the text layer, so that my speech bubble doesn't cover the text.

Now, I'm ready to start recording an Action. I'm going to select a Hotkey for this action as well. The Hotkey I select from a list. I'm using F10, without using Ctrl or Shift.

Now, sadly, I couldn't take screenshots while recording the Action, because then when I played it later, it would be doing screenshots and new files and all the jazz. So after I made the Action, I expanded it to show you what steps I took.

An Action should be made to work at any point, so my first step was to make a new layer. New layers always go on top of the current layer, which is why I selected the layer beneath the text layer, so now my speech bubble is right under the text. Next, I hit D to revert the colors to default. I know they were at default already, but if I were working with some other color, like pink, and I didn't add this step, then when I made bubbles they'd all be pink. Next I exchanged swatches, so that white was my foreground color. I selected my Paint Bucket tool, and clicked to fill the selection. It doesn't matter where you click the Paint bucket tool, because as long as you have a selection, it will only fill that selection. Next, I went into the Layer Styles and added my outline and hit okay. Then I Deselected, and restored the swatches to default.

Now, with this set up the way it is, any time you have a selection, you can hit F10 and automatically turn that selection into a speech bubble.

You can also use the Actions to automate filters and effects. For anyone familiar with my comic, for one dream sequence, I wanted a dark, gritty, horror film look. I applied a clouds filter, fiber filter, grain filter, changed the blending modes, and applied an adjustment layer to darken and desaturate the picture. A lot of work, but when I made my Action, I could do it in one click.

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Old 07-22-2008, 05:46 AM   #18
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Flaming GIMP- How to burn down your comics.

So, fire. Perhaps the cast of your comics have been shooting off flame-throwers all willy-nilly, or maybe they just want something to toast marshmallows with, but whatever the reason, you find yourself needing to burn stuff. No problem. Here’s a way to make pretty flames without spending years slaving away at each panel.

(This tutorial assumes a basic working knowledge of GIMP. If you have any questions as to things like Layers or brush tools, search this thread index for explanations, or Google “GIMP Layer” or suchlike.)

So we have our picture.

First of all, were going to make the basic shape of the fire. Create a new layer called flame by going to Layer/New Layer and typing “flame” into the layer name.

Now make sure that this is the layer you’re working on. (Either go to Dialogues/Layers and make sure “flame” is the highlighted layer, or hit Ctl-tab until “flame” pops up. Now select the paint tool, and then click on the brush selection button. From here, select the “sparks” brush. (The fuzzy orange circle.) Now build up the basic shape of the flame you want. Remember, fire tends to burn upwards unless there is wind, and to keep things simple we’ll assume it’s a nice windless day.

Now we’ve got our shape. The next step is to smudge it a bit. Select the smudge tool (the hand with the pointing finger) and select the circle brush. Now start to smudge the flame upwards. See how the sparks all blend and smear together to look like fire? And how the edges sort of fade and flicker like real flame? Now, this is the bit that’s going to have a lot of personal preference to it. Play about with the smudge. Don’t be afraid to Ctl-Z to undo what you’ve just done, because it’s the sort of thing that you just kinda have to mess about with until you’ve got something you like. If you smear the sparks too thin and the background starts to show, just whack some more sparks over the top and get back to smudging. In the end, you’ll have something like this.

Nice, huh? Now, the thing with fire is that it burns stuff, and we need to make it look like the flames are actually having an effect on the environment, otherwise they look a bit detached from the picture. So….

Create a new layer called charring. Make certain that it is below the flame layer (Dialogues/Layers, and drag the “charring” layer below “flame”, so that the burns sit UNDER the fire effect and not OVER it, which would look…well...dumb.)

Now select the airbrush tool, set the foreground colour to be black, and select the “galaxy, big” brush (the square black cloud). Now just airbrush over the edges of the base of the fire, just enough so that we can see that it’s burning.

Groovy, huh?
We need smoke too, though.

Create a new Layer called “Smoke.”
Use the airbrush tool and the galaxy brush with a light grey colour, and just waft in the basic shape of your smoke. I tend to find that tapping the mouse button repeatedly rather than keeping it held down generates a better looking smoke effect. But, like the fire, play with it.

Got it? Right. Now for a bit of smudging. I find a nice way to get a good smoke effect is to select smudge tool with the "galaxy,big brush" on quite a large settings and sort of rub it back and forth across the smoke to break it up and spread it out. It’s yet another “play about and undo until you like the way it looks” thing.
And that’s it.

Advanced fire!

Well, not really. But here you can see a second fire effect that I’ve added. Because it’s not on the ground, I’ve added falling embers just to simulate burning and disintegrating material. All they are is the paint tool with the sparks brush, and just a hint of smudge to give them a sense of motion. It’s not much, but it does help sell the illusion a little better.
Now, you might like to try blurring your fire layer a little bit to soften the flames, or maybe altering the layer opacity to make them a bit more see-through. It’s the kind of effect that you can mess about with no end, and a lot of it is down to personal preference, but you now have all the basic tools you need to indulge in some pyromania.

So what are you waiting for? Load up GIMP and and start playing with matches...

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Old 07-31-2008, 09:12 AM   #19
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Z.U.D.O.N's Super Salvo Tutorial (For Photoshop Users) :D

This tutorial was suggested by a friend of mine on TFW2005.

The final result of this tutorial is:

First of all, "Super Salvo" is the name of a powerful skill used by one of the main characters in my comic, i.e. The Life of Camshaft. This dude's name is Slayer, and he'll be assisting me in this tutorial. ^^


Get a photo ready as usual. ^^


Go to Filter -->Render --> Lens Flare.


Adjust the brightness to about 140-150%. The brightness varies 'cuz it depends on how small/wide my photo is, and how "blinding" or not the photo gets after everything's done.

Anyway, once you've set the brightness, set the flare type to 105mm Prime. This will give the lens flare a "white-blue" glow.


Add more lens flares around Slayer. Normally Slayer shoots 6 laser missiles (the super salvo missiles). But 'cuz the photo is rather "tight", I have to reduce it to 4. There're 2 lens flares at the top of the photo. They're not very visible 'cuz of the background colour..


Select the Smudge Tool. The default tool might be a BLUR tool. Click it, or right-click it so that a list of 3 different tools appear. Choose the "Smudge Tool" from there (if you can't find the tool itself on your TOOL pallete).


Set the Master Diameter to about 80% the size of your flare. I chose 155 pixels this time.


Set the Mode to Lighten (optional), and the opacity to 75-80%.

Now, place your cursor ON one of the flares, hold down the left mouse key, and make a curvy pattern in such a way that the flare is coming OUT of Slayer's BACK.

Because you've set the opacity to 75%, the "tail" of the flare is reasonably short. If you'd like a longer "tail", increase the opacity of the "smudge brush".


Repeat Step 7 for the other flares, and there you have it! Slayer performing SUPER SALVO!!

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Old 08-07-2008, 06:24 AM   #20
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Glowing with pride in GIMP

So, eyeglows.
Making a Transformers’ eye's glow can add a great deal to the impact and realism of a photocomic. Some artists choose to give their characters a constant eyeglow, others use the use the glow sparingly to highlight intense emotions such as anger or eeevvil! But either way, a good eyeglow can be very quick and simple to create.

(This tutorial assumes a basic working knowledge of GIMP. If you have any questions as to things like Layers or brush tools, search this thread index for explanations, or Google “GIMP Layer” or suchlike.)

Here is our subject: Silverstreak.

First of all, we create a new layer (Layer/New Layer) called eyecore. This enables us to work on the eyes without effecting the rest of the image.

Next we, we use the zoom tool to get a closer look at the eyes. Then select the path tool and outline the shape of the eye. One thing you’ll notice is that your outline is boxy whereas the area we want to cover is curved. Don’t worry-we’ll sort that out in a second. Just get a rough outline.

Now, to sort those curves out, click and hold the left mouse button on the line you wish to bend and drag the line. See it curve? You can mess about with the curve feature a bit until you get something like this.

Now press enter to select the area and the “marching ants” dots will show you your selection. Fill with the colour of your choice (you can just drag and drop the colour from the palette in GIMP)

Now for glows! Keeping the marching ants in place, go to the feather tool (Select/Feather)

The feather tool makes an effect or colour bleed out into the surrounding area, the greater the feather, the greater the bleed. Basically, this bleeding of colour is what makes the object look like it’s glowing. The exact amount will vary on the effect you want and the actual size of the glowing object in the photo. You kinda just have to play with it. Too much and the glow is too defuse. Too little and the glow isn’t “big” enough to look real. As a rough guide for eyes, I find that once you’ve applied a feather, if the marching ants shrink down to about half the size of the original selection, like this:

then your glow should look about right. (This glow was done to a feather of 40, because the eye in this image is quite big. Usually, I use about 15-20)

Now we need to create another layer and call it eyeglow. Now select the glow colour of your choice and drag it once into the selection. Now do it again. See how every time you fill the selection, the glow becomes a bit more intense? I usually use about 3 or four fills for eyes.

But the problem is, the glow has obscured the white core…ah, not really a problem. Open the layers dialogue box (Dialogues/Layers) and now simply drag the eyeglow layer so that it is beneath the eyecore layer (in other words, make the eyecore sit on top of the eye glow.)

Now repeat the process for the other eye…et voila!

You can also use this effect for lighsabers, laser beams, ANYTHING that needs to glow. Have fun, mess about with the effect, and I’m sure you can improve on it no end.

Advanced glow tip:
You might be doing a glow for a character who is a little out of focus, and maybe the eyeglow looks a bit too sharp and out of place. Simply apply a blur effect to the eyecore layer and see how the glow suddenly “fits” with the blurred character.

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