1. All my lines are jagged, not smooth at all, and it’s hard to make it look clean like your drawings or like the ones on Zen Comics. They get especially jagged w/ handwritten text. Any tips? How do I go about making my comics more smooth/ crisp?
Here are some tips. Just for Photoshop for now, if you want me to go in depth with Illustrator, I can do so as well, but for now, some basic principles that also apply to Illustrator.
First off, get to know the tools of Photoshop. This includes the brush tool, eraser tool, the line tool, pen tool, paint, and pretty much all of em. You can find PDFs and tutorials that should help you understand the basics of it. There are layers which can help you arrange your inks, colors, flats, and background. It helps to know which layer has what so you can use it to your advantage say coloring underneath your linework and inking over your pencils layer. Once you acquaint yourself with how Photoshop’s tools work, this will get a lot easier. You’ll understand a lot more of what you can do and what you can’t.
Next. I’m going to talk to you about 2 things that I think will help you with your problem. They are:
Canvas Size/ Image Size
First off, Canvas/ Image Size. It helps if you work in a higher resolution than intended. How this works is basically how comics and other published pieces of illustration work. Illustrators work in dimensions relative to how much space the piece should be albeit at a higher resolution to shrink down later. Much like in comics art where the standard page size is smaller (around 7x10 inches) than the artists page size (11x17 inches). When an image is shrunk down a lot of the lines appear smoother. In your computer resolution how it works in Photoshop is it’s using anti-aliasing and pixels to give the illusion it’s a curve. For example:
As you can see from the pixels, this may be why you may have been getting jaggedy lines. If you adjust accordingly, you can have smoother lines by working at say 300dpi as opposed to 72dpi.
In your Brush settings, you may be working without some of the ‘effects’ that Photoshop is capable of. Go to Window>Brush.
This window should pop up.
For this example let’s pick a normal circle brush. As you can see a lot of the dynamics are still ‘off’ hence how the line will appear to be just that. A stubby line. By turning on Shape Dynamics
You should have a nicer brush stroke. The image above are the options for ‘Brush dynamics’. Toggle the settings til you find one that is suited to your needs and how you want it to look.
Hopefully this helps. If you have any questions feel free to ask me anything else. But these are basically how I started out messing with brushes.
2. Do you use special Brushes?
Yes. I bought brushes from FRENDEN and KYLE T WEBSTER
but you can have some basic pencil brushes from here
They’re great and easy to use. Installation instructions are there, too.
3. Is there a big diff with working on PS or AI when it comes to web comics?
Yes. Photoshop for me has its size limitations. AI uses vector files meaning you can size them as large as you want given a certain limit, where Photoshop, when resized to larger images, will get pixel-y because of its nature.
With working on Webcomics, it wholly depends on you on your intention and how comfortable you are working with either one. I work mainly with Photoshop and this other program Manga Studio when it comes to brush work. AI is a powerful tool as well, but they all have their own strengths and limitations. AI isn’t as good with coloring. Photoshop can’t have vectors be as crisp as AI. Manga Studio is Manga Studio. (Rad.)
My advice is try each one out and figure out which one works for you. I did. Again, knowing the tools and how to use them will help you find out which works for you. I can’t tell you. A lot of comics use Photoshop like Penny Arcade and say A Lesson is Learned, but other comics also use AI like Achewood.
figure it out, for yourself is all I could say. Each offers a diverse style only you can choose to use. Yeah.
Feel free to ask any more questions if you got em. Hope this was helpful.
I feel like I don’t deserve my tablet
You just started out. It’s okay to have these questions. That being said, everyone started out where you are, clueless as to how these things work. I was like that when I first started. A great thing you did was ask questions and look for answers. Which is a pretty great thing. Just keep at it and never think you don’t deserve anything because you are a fucking champion god damn it. I learned a lot of this stuff from browsing youtube tutorials with questions and people are willing to give out answers.
NEVER STOP QUESTIONING THINGS. YEAH!