This is another piece I digitally inked in Manga Studio. Again, the pencil art was by Jim Lee. It’s nice to be able to spin the canvas and work on different areas without getting ink on my hand! With a Wacom tablet, the simulated crow quill points and brushes are amazing. There are also markers and tonal dot patterns to simulate the old Zip-a-tone looks.
Here’s a piece I inked a while back. For years, I inked with a quill or a brush, but more recently, I’ve started using a program called Manga Studio. The line work I can get out of it is very clean, very precise, and very detailed. Almost anything I can do with a pen, I can do in here. It’s not an auto-trace program. Every line is drawn with my Wacom tablet.
It just starts to make sense when you look at how art for comics are handled today. In years past, I would get a box Fed-Exed to me, ink the paper pages, then ship them back to the editor, or the letterer. For the most recent job I did, I downloaded high-res scans from DC’s FTP site, printed them out on bristol board, inked them, scanned them back in, and uploaded them. If I leave it all in the computer, then I save quite a bit on steps, and there’s nothing lost in the printing and scanning. There are no original pages to sell later, but it’s a commercial job, so my goal is to be efficient. I can also ink in layers, so my finished product is much more useful to the colorist afterward.
This particular piece was inked over a scan of Jim Lee’s pencil art, which I downloaded from somewhere on the net. It was not very high resolution, but I had enough to work with, and I was very pleased at how it turned out.
I’ve been working more with my Wacom tablet in Photoshop, and am getting back into doing more hand drawn comics. The 3D stuff is fun, but it’s never really been something I appreciate as much as traditional art. I’m trying to move forward and progress into the digital age, though, so it’s all paperless. The sketches were done in Photoshop with the pencil tool, inking is done in Manga Studio, and then back into Photoshop for coloring.
I’m re-writing the Shanghai storyline now, as I’m not bound my with 3D models and characters I own in my library. The hand drawn stuff allows me to do anything I can imagine, so we’ll see where that takes me.