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Experimental Webcomic Woes

Thursday, December 1, 2011
Random Bonus Ramble webcomic coming soon...

Slowly but surely making progress on my next experimental Rambles webcomic. I emphasize “experimental” this time because it’s the first comic I’m attempting to illustrate entirely in the computer (as opposed to drawing and inking traditionally with pen and paper).

In order to achieve this goal I dedicated the better part of last week familiarizing myself with new comic illustration software (Manga Studio EX 4) and was able to use the program to digitally pencil the first few panels of the latest comic. I was very impressed with the results but unfortunately I didn’t get much further in the production process before the program started crashing due to memory issues. Convinced that my “memory hog” operating system known as Vista was at least partially to blame I went ahead and upgraded to Windows 7. When that didn’t solve the problem I jumped ship and started to learn ANOTHER illustration program instead (Corel Painter 11).

When attempting to digitally pencil the next set of comic panels in Painter I was initially impressed solely by the fact that the program seemed much more stable than Manga Studio (ie no crashes). After extended use though I found Painter to be lacking the features I’m looking for in an illustration program (it’s focus is on painting and my focus is on pencil and ink). I particularly found the Painter pencil tool to lack a natural look and feel, especially when compared to the one in Manga Studio.

After deciding that the penciling process was taking longer than necessary with undesirable results in Painter I decided to jump ship BACK to the more appealing interface/toolset (and more buggy) Manga Studio EX 4. Determined, once again, to fix the memory crash issue I did some in-depth googling, document file size reducing and extensive computer cleaning/defragging and ultimately, finally (hopefully, fingers crossed) solved the problem. Phew.

Anyway, sorry for the tangent. Like I said before I’m slowly but surely making progress. The first major hurdle (setting up my computer for digital comic illustration) is behind me and I’ve just cleared the second hurdle (finished the digital pencils). Next hurdle: digital inking, which I’ve already had some experience with so I don’t anticipate any major issues (double fingers crossed). Wish me luck and stay tuned for the new webcomic later this month (double fingers and toes crossed). :P

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