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1454Learning Manga from a Kat

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  • Kathryn Williams
    Nov 30, 2001
      >^_^< My little joke... ahem...

      I've just completed the finally page of my new book and will begin scanning
      this week. What I've decided to do was instead of just telling you what I do
      I'm going to show you has I put this book together (well show as best I can
      online that it) Currently I just finished well over 100+ pages all sketched
      and then gone over with a 3-4B pencil to better define my lines. I'll be
      showing what my works looks like before and after Inking.

      Something to be understood before starting this. I don't do things like
      normal. In fact as far as I know noone puts together Manga quite in the way
      I do which is one of the reasons I've been asked to teach my way at so many
      cons and now University. My way is different in the fact that I draw ever
      indavidul panel seperatly. Right now sitting before me are 435 panels all
      awaiting to be scanned in and pieced together. Here is what goes into my
      works before I scan.

      1) The story: I spend alot of time researching. Writing and re writing the
      story before beginging anything.Most of the time the story itself is
      Chapters ahead of the actual art itself whic whay I can mill over things and
      change something if need be. This version looks more like a novel then
      anything with Side note every now that then to remind myself of what I was
      planing to draw later.

      2) scripting. The basic story broken down into a basic play script with
      Scenes and Character dialoge. Every now and then I make notes about camera
      angeles and emotions but not often. I begin to visualize what I'm going to
      draw at this point.

      3) scetching... Right now I have 3 huge 14" by 18" pads of high quality
      paper which I bought during a back to school sale. I use to draw each panel
      on small 11" by 8" but I didn't like how confining the pages where (Note: I
      spent a good amount of my art schooling studing to be a muralist. I have an
      odd problem with not being able to see the edge of the page now) I read over
      a page of the script then scketch what ever comes to mind. Sometimes I can
      fit about 3 - 4 panels on a single page, others one one. I usually use a 5
      mm 2h mechanical pencil for my sketching. Also while I'm drawing I'll wrint
      small notes near the panel. Things like dialogue changes and toning note.
      Also the script is not written in stone so if I feel that I want to change
      something or suddenly have a better I dea I'll draw it and write in the new
      script along the edge of the page. I also number all the panels so they are
      in the right order and sometimes add arrows.

      4)Finalizing sketches... What this means is I go over everything with a 2 -
      4B and make sure that everything looks right. I go through alot of pencils
      during this stage. Always making sure my pencils are nice and sharp to give
      me the perfect line. (Note: I sometimes switch between Step 3 and 4 off and
      one to give myself something else to do)

      5) Paneling... Basically I take these little note pades that are about 3" by
      5" in size and draw what I want to panels to look like then put the panel
      number in the place I want it. In the end I end up with a piece of paper for
      ever page I'm going to create with small notes about things that can only be
      added in during the toning stage.sd

      6) Finalize Script... This script looks rather odd to someone who doesn't
      know what it is for. I write down the panel number and then what dialogue or
      Sound Effects will be in that panel as well as make if it is a thought or
      otherwise. This is where I correct all my changes to the original script and
      make sure everything sounds correct and in character. There are many night I
      side here scratching my head because what I orginally wrote doesn't quite
      fit the images I drew so I have to look over everything and figure out where
      I went wrong and how I can fix it. Many times what I end up with looks
      nothing like what I started with but I'm usually very happy with the end

      7) Inking... the final step before scanning. Myself I use Sakura Micron and
      Graphic Pigma pens because these are what I was taught to use while in art
      school. They took some time to get use to but are great once you do and most
      Mangaka have been using then latly. Anything works but Please PLEASE don't
      use felt tipped markers. They fade to a brownish colour and leave odd streak
      marks which do show up when your works are printed digitaly. There are alot
      of things you might not notice at first that a scanner will pick up. Mind
      you I'lll be explaining how to fixe most of this but still Markers and not

      (Note: I will note be teaching anything about these firt step other then
      showing you what my panel pages look like in comparision to the finished
      produced, Nor do I teach drawing leasons. These are things you have to learn
      for yourself... gomen)

      So what will I be teaching you all about... Well mostly how to creat Desk
      top Manga. Things like Interesting ways to put a Manga together. Leveling
      trips to make your inks black and page white. as well as Toneing tricks.
      Here will be the order in which I'll be doing this. (Note: these lessons
      will be using Adobe Photoshop 5.5 and PageMaker 7) I'll be going into
      greater details in these step as I get to them but right now here is a run
      down of things

      "The pages are completed so now what?"

      8) Scanning... As I said before I do all my panels seperatly this also means
      that I scann them seperatly. I first pull up a new file in Photoshop. Make
      it 5 x 8 300DPI geryscaled. There is my page. Now I scan the first image
      (usually at 400 DPI or higher to get more detail). Resize it so the image is
      at least fit on the page then drag the sketch over to the page as a flaoting
      layer. I do this with every sketch I want on the page arranging them and
      resizing them as I see fit. Once I'm finished I save the file (something
      like SDC1.01, which means Shadowlander's Dream Chapter 1 page 1) I then
      beging the next page... this can take hours to days depending on the
      scanners spead so I'm known to work on other project while doing this.
      (Drawing new posters. Working on a new script and what not) This is also the
      stage that I add premade citiesscapes and toners.

      9)Dialoge... Now that everything is in the computer I tranfer move to
      Pagepaker, Yes I know I havn't created to borders and anything but you'll
      understand in a moment, Here I creat my new book. Set eh number of pages and
      book size (usually Letter Half with a .25 top and bottem margin and a .10
      iner margin. This will make it possible to trim the pages after printing)
      Once all the pages are in place I begin adding the dialogue and speech
      ballowns. I make sure that all my images are in teh right spot and there is
      room for all the dialogue. If some of the ballowns don't fit right I just go
      back into photoshop and move the panels around to give more space for the
      words. Once everthing is in place and to my liking it is back to Photoshop I
      go. (Note: I usally call my editor to arrange a time to meet at this point
      As you probly noticed I'm horrible at spelling... gomen)

      10) Borders... These are relitivly simple mind you I do like to make complex
      ones from time to time. Basicall I create new layer and using a 3 - 5 pixil
      weight line I draw in the borders and fill the middles in with white This
      way I can have the borders over lap the images and not have to worry about
      cleaning up later. For Other laping borders and such I sometimes have to
      creat multipule layers and work around them (Note I'm know to sometimes do
      toning at this point depending on what it is.) Once I'm finished I flatten
      the pages (some I leave because I have something planned in the toning stage
      that need to me to leave it)

      11) This stage is broken into several smaller parts. Here is how they break
      a) Tone all the charters colothing and hair... This is simple I just clone
      the toner and fill in teh hair and clothing. I usually pick a charater, pull
      up thier tones and do everyone one of them before moving to another

      b) Special effect... This is where I add effect like spells and mystic
      power. Things like that. I'm known to add imageing trick like overlying
      maying differnt toners, Adding lens flare, or just twisting existing toners.

      c)Background. This is where I go over everything and add Trees, Bricks and
      what not.

      d)Blank panels... If you've ever noticed that most Shoujo Manga fills blank
      panels with Heart and flowers and the like. This is when I do that

      e)Speedline... Yes you can buy permade speedline... infact most Mangaka do.
      Suprised me at first but I was more then willing and ahppy to use them when
      I found some. Basically I sletct some speed line then drag them in place and
      clear off any lines that run into other panels.

      f) Shouting ballowns and sound effedts ...This isn't really toning of any
      sort but I do it at this time anyway, Pagemaker can't do some of the ballown
      I want nor creat some of the fonts I need so I draw them and add them in at
      this point.

      12) Now back to Pagemaker. Delete all those old files that I was using as
      place markers and replace them with the new toned pages. Once they are in
      place I look over everything one last time before sending everything off to
      the Print shop.

      There you have it. One Manga. All that is left is Stapling and folding which
      I do myself for the most bit then take back to print shop for trimming.

      *Blink Blink sigh* I really wish it was that easy. Well perpare for some
      lessons soo enough. Any question feel free to ask.


      A Very tired Kat who doesn't want to face this heap of pages that are
      calling out to be scanned right now.... ack
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