So I have the raw photos from Second Life, the graphic program I use to make this comic. They look fantastic, right?
They usually are too dark, or missing props, or I like the look of one pose in one picture and the face in another picture, or the sky isn’t right, or the lighting is off.
There is a whole host of reasons why I use Photoshop on these pictures. Now that I have my own half-sim I can make sure most of the props are in the right spaces, which helps, and I can move backgrounds to get the perfect composition. But as I said in the last installment, it is better to make sure you get the brightest picture you can and create the lighting in Photoshop than it is to try and get the right lighting in Second Life and hope that you can use the photo as is.
Here is an example of before and after:
As you can see, I had to crop the picture for the panel size I needed, add shadows, add the box in Talon’s arms because I couldn’t rez it on the sim itself, color adjustments and a better sky. This was on a sim that wasn’t mine, so I had to be careful to take out things that didn’t belong in the comic, like the poster on the right that says “Touch for a Landmark”.
Not exactly something you can do in the world I’m creating.
I lay out the comic in Photoshop making sure every panel is sized correctly for the page, and if any special panels are needed I work those up as well. Below is an example of a special panel. Rosabelle’s bust in the lower right hand corner is called an overlay, and requires a careful touch to get just right.
After the layout is set up I get the word bubbles set up. Laying out the words before I surround them with the bubble is an easy way to make sure they fit properly.
I use color to distinguish between characters only for artistic purposes. It is certainly not a requirement. Because I create these comics digitally I can use any font I want. I choose to keep to an easy to read comic font. You can have the best script in the world and if folks can’t read it, you are going to lose out.
I am by no means an expert when it comes to making comics, but this is my current process, and it is being refined every time I create a comic.