Jeph Jacques's comics discussion forums

Fun Stuff => MAKE => Topic started by: YourBuddyBill on 20 Apr 2015, 14:20

Title: Wanting to start digital art
Post by: YourBuddyBill on 20 Apr 2015, 14:20
So I used to do a lot of doodles back when I was younger, but nowadays analogue just isn't going to cut it, for plenty of reasons only one of which is my inability to color things properly with paper.
This digital thing is where I run into a lot of problems.
First off, I have no tablet or fancy touch-monitor. I'll be able to buy a cheap tablet in a few months, maybe, if I'm lucky, but it's sort of out of the question right now.
I have a god-awful problem with shaky hands. The only way I mitigate that in my paper drawings is the paper's resistance and redrawing half my lines like five times over. Since tablets don't tend to have that level of resistance (as far as I've heard) this may screw me over considerably. I can't draw a straight line or a smooth curve to save my life.
I can't afford any fancy image editing programs. Right now, I'm stuck with GIMP 2.6.
I don't have access to a functioning scanner, and buying one is also out of the question for the forseeable future.
What do I do?
I don't want to just take the hack's way out and vector everything, though vectoring stuff like text is probably a necessity.
Suggestions would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Wanting to start digital art
Post by: Pilchard123 on 20 Apr 2015, 14:43
I found Krita ( a while back. I have no idea if it's any good or not.
Title: Re: Wanting to start digital art
Post by: YourBuddyBill on 20 Apr 2015, 15:03
Downloaded, installed, it appears that my computer is too slow to actually do anything with Krita at large image sizes; it takes more than a second for it to process any change on the image (including using the basic brush tool).
Title: Re: Wanting to start digital art
Post by: YourBuddyBill on 20 Apr 2015, 15:16
I figured a quick printscreen would help people figure out how to help me solve this shaky hand issue (if there's a way to do that within a particular program, that is).
See that wobble? It's present no matter what detail level or line size I work at. Shaky hand problem. I hate it I hate it I hate it. Make this wobble fall down pls.
Edit: I can minimize the wobble a bit more if I increase to ungodly levels of zoom, but at that point I tend to lose track of the bigger picture (and i can't pan while the tool is held down, which makes continuous lines harder)
Title: Re: Wanting to start digital art
Post by: tragic_pizza on 20 Apr 2015, 20:10
Autodesk Sketchbook comes with a "smooth line" tool that helps me. The Pro version is under $25 USD per year, but there is a free version as well.
Title: Re: Wanting to start digital art
Post by: YourBuddyBill on 21 Apr 2015, 08:59
While I'm at it, I'll just post some scripts for some comic ideas I sketched out over the past few weeks. They feature four divers in full-body diving suits and weird helmets (which serve some practical purpose) and also have weapons. They do salvage stuff in some deep waters just off the coast.
Four characters so far. Jekyll, Span, Nick, and Lou. All four are implied to be male visually at the beginning (although Jekyll acts kind of childish), though Nick is actually a gal and the other three take a bit to notice that.
Also only Nick and Lou already know each other when the comic starts (although Jekyll had runins with Nick and Lou in the past, they don't know each other).

01-1   Span walking alone through neighborhood of sorts. Angle: ?
01-2   Span walking past Jekyll. Jekyll: "Hey, are you going to the diving center?" Span: "/No, I suit up for all my morning walks!/ Yes, I am." Side shot, Jekyll is leaning on a wall as Span walks past.
01-3   Front shot, Jekyll walking behind Span, holding hands up. "I dive too! We should be diving buddies!" Span: "We'll see."
01-4   Front diagonal shot or side shot. Jekyll clapping behind Span while doing some sort of happy hop. "Yay! I'm Jekyll! ~~" text bubble fills the background as Jekyll prattles on about himself. Span looks on irritated. (edit: also Span turns and walks up some steps or something?)
   (text could probably include some inside jokes. something ridiculous but vaguely plausible?)

02-1      Diving Center shot. Span and Jekyll look at the assembled lines of divers and whatnot. Jekyll: "Well. Here we are." Nick and Lou are visible in line (they're important later).
02-2      Waiting in line. Jekyll: "This is gonna be fun! Diving buddies!" Span: "I didn't say yes." Jekyll: "Aww, but why not?"
02-3      Close-up of Span sort of looming over Jekyll. Span: "I work alone."
02-4      Jekyll: "By choice, or just 'cause people can't stand you?" Span is silent, and Nick turns around and says, "Burn, dude." Lou is out of the frame.

03-1   At the counter, Nick and Lou are stopped up a bit. "Congratulations, you have been selected to participate in the beta test of our new Zero-Space storage units. These bags will allow you to carry far more haul with less weight and space restrictions. The only stipulation is that you must deliver some to the Center's deeper outposts." "For safety reasons, groups must have at least four members past the first outpost." Nick: "Ah, bullshit."
03-2   Lou: "Nick, the news did say that another Violet Cloud had crossed above Outpost 2 yesterday." Nick: "Fine."
03-3   Closeup on Nick. "But who else do we know who we could invite along? We really don't know anyone else who we could..."
03-4   Nick turns around to Jekyll and Span. "You two lugs wanna join me n' Lou?" Jekyll: "Yay! More diving buddies!" Span puts his hand on his helmet. "Ergh, fine." Nick: "Great. Haul ass."

04-1   The four divers are getting prepped. Nick: "So, not sure who you two piss-swimmers are. I'm Nick, this is Lou." Lou: "Hey." Span: "I'm Span, this is Jekyll." Jekyll: "I'll be right back, gotta grab my bubblegun."
04-2   Span: "So you two work together before?" Nick: "Yeah, not very much though. Lou's pretty quiet, usually doesn't talk unless he feels like he has something to say."
04-3   Span: "Nice. I ran into Jekyll on my way here. Normally I work alone, but he seemed... insistent." Nick: "I noticed." Lou shrugs. Lou: "Those who walk alone, die alone. Those who walk with friends, live with friends."
04-4   Span: "Wow. That was morbid." Nick: "You get used to it."

05-1   Jekyll: "Hey, what'd I miss?" Span: "Just an old proverb." Nick: "Heh. Your gun shoots bubbles. Real intimidating."
05-2   Jekyll: "Hey, now. I did it so I can help people who are struggling." Span: "Whether they want it or not, I take it."
05-3   Jekyll: "Yeah. The pocket helm is good for pressure handling, so I can get people out of tough spots faster. What about you guys? What'd you all pick?"
05-4   Span: "Hoo boy. More talking about ourselves." Nick: "Look, if you don't wanna talk, you don't have to." "I'll just give you shit about it." Span: "/Great./"

06-1   Span: "I picked the C-Rifle and the Lancer helm. When you work alone, you have to take out problems before they can get close enough to be problems." Nick: "Fair. Fair."
06-2   Nick: "I took the Fishfin helm and the Thundervolt, shotgun mod. Works well together, what with the turn control." Span: "Nice. I never could figure out how people controlled it." Nick: "Lotsa practice."
06-3   Nick: "How 'bout you, Lou?" Lou: "Well... there's not really much to it." Lou: "I picked the Seismica and the Feeder helmet 'cause my hands shake a lot."
06-4   Jekyll: "I've always wondered if you can eat with a Feeder helmet." Lou: "Yeah. I don't suggest trying, though. Tastes like metal ass." Nick: "Heh. You bit shiny metal ass."
(of note is that, unlike the one-handed Bubblegun and the two-handed C-Rifle and Thundervolt, the Seismica is a massive thing that winds up going over most of your arm)

07-1   Group starts their dive. Jekyll: "Man, this is gonna be so much fun! We can haul so much more stuff around with these new pockets!" Span: "Don't get carried away, now." Nick: "Yeah. Chill."
07-2   Jekyll: "That reminds me. What's Nick short for? Nicholas? Nickelob?" Nick: "Nicole."
07-3   Span: "Wait. You're a girl?" Nick: "What? Couldn't you tell?" Jekyll: "That helmet voice filter totally hides it."
07-4   Lou: "Nick, were you ever gonna tell me you were a gal?" Nick: "I thought you'd figure out on your own eventually. If you three were any denser, they'd put you in the core to stabilize the planet." Jekyll: "I'd like to go to the core."

08-1   Group continues diving. Span: "I see a wreck. Looks fresh." Nick: "Fuck yeah! Let's raid!" Lou: "Careful."
08-2   Lou locks the Seismica onto the hull, as the other three detatch small parts of it. Jekyll: "So how do these wrecks end up here, anyway? And how do they show up newly-sunken?" Span: "Beats me. It pays good."
08-3   Lou's seismica is focusing. Nick: "Yeah, if the pay is good, I don't ask questions." Span: "Exactly. Can't afford to lose out. Especially since I'm getting evicted soon." Jekyll: "Aw heck, man, you could live with me!" Span: "I barely know you."
08-4   Lou's seismica punches a massive hole in the hull, and the group moves in. Jekyll: "Standing offer. Take your time." Span: "I'll think about it." Nick: "Hey, I'm actually getting evicted soon, too. Fired my Thundervolt indoors."

#-1      Nick: "Holy fuckdaisies that's a thick hull." Lou: "I'm guessing this ship dealt with a lot of enemy cannons."
#-2      Lou: "This is soft wood. Soft, like the kind that cannonballs just sorta thunk against. Would make it a lot harder to sink." Span (in background): "In theory, at least."
#-3      Nick: "Well, shit. Do you think cannons will actually sink something like this?" Jekyll: "Well, Nick..."
#-4      Jekyll: "They WOOD IF THEY COULD!" Span: "I'm going to slap you." Nick: "Way ahead of you."

09-1   Jekyll: "Look at this, guys. This coin's dated to 2401." Nick: "Shit, dude, that's from before they started using standard dating." Lou: "It's from before we got things sorted out here."
09-2   Span: "Hmmm. Looks shiny, but gold doesn't tarnish in water, does it?" Jekyll: "I wonder how this wreck got here."
09-3   Lou: "Oh, yeah. Sometimes stuff just sort of emerges from the ruins. It's kinda weird." Nick: "Fuck, that's creepy. Imagine if that happened on the surface."
09-4   Nick: "You'd be all hangin' back home after your date havin' sexy times and then suddenly BOOM! Fuckin' Titanic smashes through your floor!" Lou: "That WOULD be pretty creepy."

10-1   Nick: "Looks like we got everything worth getting here. You wanna haul ass or what?" Span: "Gimme a minute."
10-2   Nick: "What the fuck is holding you guys up? You retarded or something?"
10-3   Jekyll and Span are examining a glass casing. Span: "Ready with the bubbles, Jekyll?" Jekyll: "Ready!" Nick: "What are you chucklefucks doing?"
10-4   Nick: "Woah." Jekyll has released a large rush of air as Span smashes through the casing and retrieves a map, adding it into a watertight pocket amidst the air bubbles.
(Nick's dialogue will probably need to be changed)

11-1   Nick: "So what the fuck was that?" Span: "It looked like a map. Might be interesting."
11-2   Nick: "Yeah, but what was the bubble?" Span: "Map wasn't exposed to water yet. I didn't want to ruin it."
11-3   Span: "After all, this could be worth a lot of dosh. You don't see maps this old very often, and one in not-shit condition is even rarer." Jekyll (in background, reabsorbing his air bubbles): "I'm helpful!"
11-4   Span: "Besides, I feel kinda bad just leaving history to rot." Nick: "Your name is now nerd-burger." Jekyll: "Aw, now I'm hungry."

12-1   Nick: "Still can't believe you held us up for an old map." Jekyll: "Hey, guys?" Lou: "He's got a point, though. Could be valuable."
12-2   Jekyll: "Uh, guys?" Lou: "Now that storage space is less of an issue, we can probably be a bit less stingy about what we grab." Nick: "Fuck it, it's a sheet of paper."
12-3   Jekyll: "Guys... you're swimming right into..." Span: "It's a sheet of paper in decent condition written many years ago. Could be worth a lot."
12-4   Jekyll grabs all three divers and yanks them back just as some freakish-looking jaws and claws emerge from a bluish cloud in the water and snap at them.

Anyway I'll look into Autodesk Sketchbook.
Title: Re: Wanting to start digital art
Post by: ReindeerFlotilla on 30 May 2015, 17:02
I am not a digital artist, exactly. Though I do do digital art.

Have you considered the path tool?

I pretty much only use it to draw word bubbles, but I can see it being useful for doing something more complex. You could free hand sketch your layouts and then "ink" them with paths.
Title: Re: Wanting to start digital art
Post by: Akima on 31 May 2015, 01:02
GIMP is good, but I think the current release is 2.8.14. Since it is free, you might as well update. For speech-bubbles etc. I recommend a product called Comic Life (, but it is not free. I'm not a comic-creator, I hasten to add; I just use Comic Life to label pictures, diagrams etc. in documentation.

Title: Re: Wanting to start digital art
Post by: LeeC on 16 Jul 2015, 11:53
Anyone ever heard of or used Inkscape ( ?
Title: Re: Wanting to start digital art
Post by: cesium133 on 16 Jul 2015, 12:02
Anyone ever heard of or used Inkscape ( ?
I've used it pretty extensively. It's a very useful program, but buggy (save often).