“Lost,” from the beginning

 

As promised, here’s a bit about what goes into making these comics. You can find more posts like this as well as other nonsense on my tumblr.
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Here the mess I use to get started. This rough sketch is the basis for my dialog, panels, character placement and background. It’s pretty sketchy, but if there’s a problem at this stage it usually winds up manifesting itself later on in the process. I use Manga Studio EX 4 for the drawing and inking and Photoshop CS 5 for coloring.

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Here’s an example of my entire rough, pencil, and ink process for the first panel. I begin with a very rough and loose interpretation of what’s going on. From there I create a sketch of the background and character without too much detail. This is where I sketch the character’s anatomy and make sure the pose is correct. After that’s done I sketch a “final” version of the character with clothes and facial features. I start inking with letters and word bubbles, followed by the characters and backgrounds.    

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After the first page of this comic I realized I’d be drawing the house character a lot so I created a model of it in Google SketchUp, which I import during the pencilling stage. 

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When I complete the inking I export the image from Manga Studio to Photoshop for coloring. I color on at least two separate layers (one for the characters and one for the background).  

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This is the final version of the page. With this page I actually finished the coloring stage before deciding to change the pose in the last panel. Here’s the before and after of the final panel. 

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In this case I felt like the first pose didn’t coincide with the movement I was trying to imply. You can actually see that this problem shows up even in the very first rough draft. Had I been a bit more careful I could have fixed the problem early on instead of going back to re-draw and -ink after the fact.