Figured I would do another Making of a Comic Post, since pretty much every single step has changed since the last one two years ago.
When I write scripts, I usually do quick outlines for pages in chunks of 6-10 or so, or however long the scene lasts. I'll then break those down into quick 1-2 sentence descriptions of each panel along with dialog. This is the starting reference I look at when it's time to draw.
Once I get a scene fleshed out in script format, I will make a quick layout diagram of each page. These look like the following
I'll usually hammer out one of these per (weekend) day until I've done one for every page in the script. At any given moment, I have between 4 and maybe 12 or so of these on-hand. (So in addition to the five comic buffer, I'm always between 9-17 pages ahead of the current comic, planning-wise.) Once my pool of these gets down to 4, then it's time to start working on the script for the next scene and make more of these. Rinse, and repeat.
For anyone thinking about doing a webcomic, I really recommend planning pages out like this. It makes the following steps much easier when you know where you're going. Scribbling out quick layouts like the above really helps me decide placements and such, especially for more action oriented pages.
The above is what I generally call "script work". If I'm late to the chat on the weekend, it's probably because I was working on the above. (I avoid the chat during the planning stages, because I have to enter a deep meditative state with no distractions.
Anyway! We are talking about a single page here. So total time invested on page 134 so far is 30-60 minutes.
The next step is sketching! I generally do this on Wednesdays. I'll pull the scheduled comic's layout diagram out of the pool, and sketch right over the top of it, using the diagram as a guide.
One of the problems I've noticed since I started drawing the comic myself was I've been using the layout diagrams as skeletons *too* much, and it was making the comic characters' propotions turn out weird, since the layouts are supposed to be really quick and I don't put much effort into them. Lately I've been forcing myself to just use the layouts for *layout-ing*, and redraw the skeletons from scratch when it's time to draw for real. I think stuff is starting to turn out better.
(I did fall into it a little with this page here. But this page was made about when I made the revelation five weeks ago. He he he)
Total time so far: 3.5 - 5 hours.
If you watch me stream art, the rest of the steps should be familiar. Inking is next!
I usually ink on Thursdays after getting home from work. Since it's easy and about all I'm good for on those days.
(It's getting warmer though, so I'm slowly regaining post-work energy.
Total time: 4.5 - 6.5 hours
Flat colors! If I get to this point by dinner time on Fridays, I'm happy. This of course depends on how busy a work day it was.
Total time: 6.5 - 9 hours (I should note that distractions while chatting bring this time up.
This is what the comic looks like when I've done all I can do in SAI. I used to paint effects in photoshop using filters, but I'm beginning to understand them enough to paint them in SAI using normal brushes. I think they look better now. Yay!
Total time: 8 - 11 hours
Finally, I import the image into Photoshop and add some gradient effects, crazy backgrounds, and text. Lately I've been doing the text portion on Saturday mornings, though sometimes I can finish the whole thing late Friday night.
Total time: 10 - 14 hours
Thanks for reading.