Part 4: Flat Colors
After I get the inks cleaned up then I can proceed with the colors. I use Photoshop and a lot of layers for colors. I put the lineart on top, set it to multiply and then create a layer for each color under it. This keeps the lineart visible and helps the colors bleed through the white. That might not make sense to those who don’t use digital imaging software but I’ll show you how it looks. I will try to do a more detailed description of how I do coloring in a future blog entry.
This is what we call flat colors. What that means is all of the colors without any shading. For me this is the most time consuming part. Since I have all the colors on different layers I can select each individual color and change it if I don’t feel like it looks well at the end. I usually end up playing with the colors during the whole process.
For Undead Norm and Undead Nom, I use a very, very simple process for the shading. I don’t do this with my other comic work since I require more control over the colors. This way is quick and easy and helps with the look of the comic. I just create a lighting layer over the colors but under the lineart layer, color the lighting with white, blur it, and change the layer mode to Vivid Light. Sometimes I adjust the layer’s opacity to get it the right amount of light. For the shading it’s the same but I color it with black and keep the layer’s mode at Normal. For the most part I don’t blur the shading unless it’s a wide area like the last two panels.
When lettering I prefer to use Illustrator since the vectors make it easier to create the word bubbles but I did this page quickly in Photoshop. Just added some text and drew a bubble for the SLAM sound effect in panel 5. It was easy in Photoshop since there wasn’t any dialog. If there is dialog, I use Illustrator. There are a lot of really talented letters out there that can give you better advice than I can.
There’s the basic overview of how I created the page. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask me. In the future I may do some more detailed tutorials of how I create my comics. Hope that this was helpful and that you enjoyed it! Be sure to check out Undead Norm and Undead Nom!