Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday- The Wonders of Photoshop

To be honest, my writing career is in an odd kind of holding pattern right now. Things going on, but not too actively at the moment. So, I'll skip the promotional blather today, except to say that El Diablo is still coming out, and it's a really good book. Jai Nitz writes, Phil Hester pencils, and I provide the inks. Please look for it.

Now, speaking of El Diablo, today's art post is a scan from issue five of that very book. In looking for something to talk about today, I happened across this page in my studio, and thought it might have something to offer.

My art partner, Phil Hester, and I have been playing with negative effects in our work for several years now. We both like to fill the page with blacks, so I guess this was the natural end result. It became part of our style on on Marvel book, Ant-Man. Phil would indicate where he wanted this effect, and leave the method to me.

I quickly decided the the simplest way to accomplish what Phil was after was the Invert command in Photoshop. Yeah, making the selections is a hassle, and you have to occasionally add some lines to make things clear, but it beats doing it any other way... by a long shot.

Today's scan was a particularly labor-intensive example of this technique. As I mentioned above, making the selection to be inverted took a lot of time, and there was a little tweaking to do afterwards, to be sure the forms weren't getting lost. It took about an hour to do in PS, but it was time well-spent, I think. We got the effect we were after, and I didn't have to go to a copy shop or hold a brush loaded with white-out for hours.

The computer has changed my life in a number of ways in the last several years. I used to have to rush to the Fedex box to ship my pages off to the publishers. No more. Now, I simply scan the page myself and send them off electronically. This process also gives me more control over the finished product. I can tweak and clean up the pages, to be sure the scans are exactly what my penciller and I had in mind. And, of course, when I need a big, old negative effect...

That's enough outta me. Enjoy the genius, and come back for more tomorrow!



Rich Faber said...

Hi Anj,

"Yeah, making the selections is a hassle, and you have to occasionally add some lined to make things clear"

Rather than adding a line manually, to define shapes, have you considered adding a stroke to the outside edge of your white selection? It would be uniform, so you might still want to tweak a bit, but it might be cleaner than trying to draw it digitally.

For all I know, that's exactly what you're referring to, but in case you aren't, and it hadn't occurred to you, I thought I'd mention it.

Great job on the inks, by the way!


Ande Parks said...

Yeah... that's a great idea. I think I considered it once, but never actually tried it.

I think, just by virtue of how I made the selection on this page, that I got some accidental halo here that worked to my advantage.

Great to see you here!