Saturday, March 20, 2010

Making Customized Manga Sketching Sheets

Given the ease that we can now take multiple digital pictures and quickly select individual elements from them with graphic programs like CS3 Photoshop, I have taken lately to digitally assemble and customize individual manga sketching sheets for each student during my cartooning classes.
Whenever possible it is helpful to photograph the subjects against a light background to speed out the process of selecting them with the Quick Selection tool and deleting the extraneous photo elements. After adjusting the Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast, I typically use Filter>Artistic>Cutout to flatten and simplify the image so that it fits more harmoniously with the hand drawn elements.
With this particular comic page layout, two parallel characters' stories could be shown side by side in the two vertical rectangular panels. The horizontal rectangular panel could be used to portray the set up of their impending meeting which would be covered in the following pages.
Used a photo of Camila holding a Sparkler to create a picture of a moment of magical discovery surrounded by imaginary buddies.
The first panels portray a fantasy background to inspire a possible whimsical setting, and the second panels were left blank to allow for some freehand sketching of the next step in their story lines.
The idea was to suggest possible compositions for each panel, so assorted fantasy elements were penciled around the photo selections which could then be inked or erased according to each child's decisions before the coloring stage.

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