Thursday, January 31 at 11am PST - Watch Part 2 of this FREE 1-hour webinar with Judge Dredd and X-Men comic artist PJ Holden. PJ will take you through more advanced Clip Studio Techniques, including round robin trips from analogue to digital medium, understanding the advantages of a Draft Layer, using Reference Layers and colourising line art, with a special focus on time saving tips and workflow improvements. Whether you’re all digital or a traditional artist using Clip Studio Paint as part of your creation process, there will be a lot to learn.
Watch the webinar recording here
About the Presenter
PJ Holden is a Belfast based comic artist, who has drawn Judge Dredd for 2000AD, X-Men for Marvel Comics, James Bond for Dynamite and World of Tanks for Dark Horse and Wargaming.net as well as many other titles. His background is in IT and Software Engineering, working as the IT Manager for a major Northern Ireland charity until he gave it up to draw futuristic judges punching people.
He’s written articles on Clip Studio Paint for ImagineFX, and regularly posts online advice on drawing/digital drawing on his twitter feed at twitter.com/pauljholden
Questions that PJ answered post-webinar:
Do you design the lettering balloon when sketching or just intuitively make it when inking is done? thank you
At the layout stage I work out how much room I need. Then, if I'm lettering myself, I add the text first and try and get a pleasant shape for the text before adding a balloon that I try to get a nice organic shape from.
Where is the splatter effect on the toolbar?
I created a splatter effect brush by scanning in some splatter that I'd made with a tooth brush and then registering the splatter as an image (Edit->Register Material->Image) and then adding that as a brush type on one of the air brush effects.
What quality scanner does PJ use? I notice distortions if I scan and piece together a large drawing on a small, economy scanner. Is there something to calibrate for this? (please disregard if he answers)
I scan on an A3 Brother scanner. I did previously use an A4 and I had two techniques, one was to try and stitch the art together, this was never perfect. The other solution was to scan the page in panel by panel - unless the panels are larger than A4 it's doable, though it often means scanning three/four times for a single page.
What inspires you as an artist?
Other, better artists! (And the ability to forget that I'm not as good as them)
What other fonts do you use to give that hand lettering feel?
Fonts from Blambot.com and ComicBookLettering.com
In terms of creating panels, how to you know what would be the right panel to use for a situation?
It all comes down to the script; read it and understand it and then figure out what you need to do to convey that information in an image.
How do you know what colors to use? Like when to probably use bright colors during an intense situation, or dark colors in an otherwise bright and happy situation. Like a sense of day and night I suppose. Sorry if this sounds like gibberish.
There's a lot of great books on colour theory, but a good way is to look at a film you enjoy and pick a screen shot of a scene that you want your scene to be like and colour pick colours from that!
Hello PJ, do you feel more comfortable using the standard inking pencils provided with CSP Ex or do you have a set of brushes you customized for yourself?
Yeah, the Real Pencil tool is pretty good though I've been using Frendens 6B pencil for years now!
Do you do your colouring, or do you consider the colourist as you ink/storyboard?
Usually I leave colouring for others, but I enjoy colouring pinups or covers.
How to create border without creating new layer for it, over and over again?
There are two tools for creating a border - one called Divide Frame Border and the other Divide Frame Folder. You want Divide Frame Border.
Will Celsys add a button/hot key to make the canvas completely full screen? I draw on a tablet and my screen real estate is very valuable. This function, I feel, is sorely missed.
I maximize my drawing area by hitting [TAB] to hide the toolbars, and it leaves the command bar visible which I use a lot.
Here is another suggestion for your team from a working storyboard artist: Create a fast and easy way to create and manipulate geometric shapes in 3D: boxes, spheres, cones. This way perspective of buildings and props can quickly be determined as a guide. Thanks for listening.
You can drop any 3d object on to the page, and it'll create a 3d layer. You can either create those objects in a free to use tool like Blender, or you can pick them up online.
Q for PJ: Is there an easy way to center an object on the canvas? I always wind up 'eyeballing' using the grid view.
Nothing automatic springs to mind, but if you turn on Rulers [View->Ruler] (or CTRL R) you can drag a ruler out to the centre which might make that easier.
What did it take you to get you out there recognized as artist? Since there are countless of wonderful artist.
I worked and worked and worked and tried to be someone people want to work with. My background in IT means I'm also someone who enjoys learning and teaching software, which has put me in an unusual position of being many peoples go-to for tech support. Find the thing about you that's unique and work it as hard as you can!
Is there a method to warp an area like the transform tool in ps? thx
Yes! There's Edit->Transform->Free Transform, if you press the CTRL when selecting the squares of the selection then you'll be able to warp it. Alternatively Edit->Transform->Mesh Transform will give you a grid you can substantially warp an image with (plus you can add more points to the grid in the subtool option)
Is the digital paper size the same size as print size. If not, do you need to adjust the font size? Meaning if digital paper size is larger, would you use a larger font size? How do you figure out what size to use? Thanks
I work same size and eye-ball the font size, though I've been working the same size for decades,
In the panel Frame Layer, can the panels over lap one another, or is it strictly a stacked frame? In the final drawing here, the first panel is overlapped by the second panel. How do you do that?
Panels are drawn in a strict order and if you place one to overlap the other the way it overlaps will depend on that order. The quickest way to change the order is to cut the panel you want to be on top, and then after cutting it simply paste it back in - this will move this to the top of the pile.
What do you recommend for people that are just starting with digital drawing?
Draw things you enjoy!
What is the shortcut to hide the selection (the marching ants) while working on it?
You can see the option in View->Selection Border, by default it doesn't have a shortcut, but you can add one in shortcut settings.
Do you usually work with bitmap layers or do you use vector layers instead for your line arts?
Just to clarify, you go sketch digitally, turn your lines to that light blue, then print, ink by hand, and then scan your work back into the computer for final effects and filling in blacks? Do you ever do inking digitally? What are the pros and cons of each method?
I find it more satisfying to ink traditionally, but digital inking is so much faster to start because you're less reliant on the physical tools behaving themselves (sometimes the ink is too gloopy, the brush isn't handling right, the pen nib has split, etc)
A couple of questions, which have been bugging me recently: 1. Is there a way to create drop shadows - for examplon Balloons?, 2. Can I move a line art graphic, which exists on one layer to be a mask for another layer?
1- Yes, easiest thing is to duplicate the layer, place it below and give it a layer colour of black.
2- Select from Colour Gamut - pick black (the lineart colour) you'll have a selection that is, basically, the lineart. Go to the layer you want that to apply to, then create a mask on that layer from your selection.
A lot of writers though prefer to have characters in the page respect the 180 rule, instead of having the first to speak in the left always. how are your thoughts about it?
The 180 rule is a great visual rule for cinema. The 180 rule is often broken in comics, the left-to-right reading order in comics is largely sacrosanct, but can be broken if neccessary. I try and obey both (they don't have to be mutually exclusive!)
Is there an option for multiple pages for web comic format?
If you have Clip Studio EX you can simply create multiple page documents set to be the size of a webcomic.
Otro excelente webinar, aprendí muchas cosas. Se agradece, sigan así.
Thank you PJ, you’ve explained buttons in the layer palette that I’ve noticed but never tried using – such as the tone settings and the pencil only layer. The brief introduction to speech balloons was useful, I’ve struggled to get balloons to look neat but not too regular.
Your work flow, from pencil paper to frame tool in Clip Studio, then back to pen on paper (with process cyan tinted pencils) was a real surprise, but one that I’m going to have to try for myself: do you print on standard 90 gsm colour copy paper for the final inking? Do you find that you need to do much digital inking when you scan the inks back into Clip Studio?