One of the most common questions is how do I make Genuine Draft. With LEGO® Brand Bricks is a common answer, but really it’s a bit more technicle than that. This is the basic of how I create Genuine Draft.

For starters I use Macs running Adobe Creative Suite 2, a Wacom Graphire 4 tablet, and a Samsung Digital point and shoot camera. I also use the cheapest spiral notebooks I can find, Wal-Mart durring back to school season is a great place to get many supplies.

First I start off by plotting out the story. Sometimes it’s a paragraph or more detailed outline. Scripting comes next. Then I build the set or use an existing one. Film it using a Samsung 7.2 megapixel camera with the macro setting turned on and the flash off. Import the pics to the computer and go from there to the detailed pictures.

Start by opening the template. I use Adobe Illustrator. Change the dates and comic number as needed. Everything is ready to go.

This is the script. Simple. Some have more detail than others. I also have a shooting script which is the same as the one you see here but printed out and I write the picture numbers next to each panel so I know what goes where. I usually film 4 – 30 comics at a time, so organization is key.

I will highlight the comic I’m working on and copy the text. It’s typed once, why type it again?

So I know which comics have been made, I strikeout the script and turn it a different color.

I then paste the text in to the template, I have a line of text which is formatted to the font, color, and size. (not shown)

In Adobe Photoshop, I open the picture from the camera. I use an Action, which is a preset of instructions that will automatically do the processing. I take whatever size the camera has and make it 300 dpi, 6 x 4.5 inches. I won’t get in to the pixel, print, doesn’t matter thing here. It’s just the settings I use. I’m currently set up to do 50 pics at one time with a push of a button.

Once the processing is done, I drag the pics from their folder in to the comic template. I will arrange them in order per the script. I use the Photoshop files in case I need to adjust something, like the color or I forgot an effect, it will update the image automatically.

The next step is to copy the text as many time as needed. For this comic it’s 6 times. I then delete any text that isn’t needed. And move it to position it’s also adjusted to fit the panel.

Time to make the balloons. One of the reasons I use Illustrator is the time saving in making balloons.

A quick how to make the balloons. You can also choose squares, elipses, change colors, and tweek as needed from the basic balloons.

By adding more points you can do all sorts of vocal inflections. Have multiple people saying something. It’s real simple once you get the hang of it.

For thought bubbles I just make circles using the same tool as the box. Add more points and move them around you can do the “radio” voice lighting bolt looking tail.

The Save For Web settings. It’s simple. I use a premade setting for image quality. I use alot of photos for various websites, and this is the one that works for those and comics. The comic is 958 pixels wide. The reason is this, the site is 1000 pixels wide. The average monitor used is 1024 pixels wide. That’s it. As for the height, it can vary depending on panels. I’ve never made a 6 panel comic, I’ve had guest comics that did and varied in size, but 958 is the standard width. So there’s no scrolling.

That’s the basics for making Genuine Draft. I’ve been doing comics for years and using Photoshop since 1995 and Illustrator since 2006. I also use a tablet instead of a mouse, it makes it less painful on my wrist and I’m really comfortable using one. Other actions I use are will correct for yellow pictures, where the lights didn’t work right. I also have a set of Styles that with one click, I can get various effects.

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