Jan 092013
 

How-To Tips: Layout Techniques for Dorse and Doose Book

Many have asked about my techniques for creating the Dorse and Doose books so I wanted to share some things about how I layout my pages. This will work in Photoshop, Manga Studio, Gimp, Flash, or any other painting program that uses layers. I’m working in Mirage what is the old version of TV Paint.

1. Lets Do this!

I first draw out every page on 11×17 cardstock paper in pencil.

Then I ink the characters only. Leave the background in pencil because you are going to paint it in later.

Find a scanner, scan your drawing, and load it into a program of choice.

How-To Tips: Layout Techniques for Dorse and Doose Book

This is the scanned drawing with characters inked and background still in pencil.

2. Remove the white background (This step can be done anyway you like)

If you’re working in Photoshop then choose the Magic Wand. Uncheck the ‘Contiguous’ function so that the wand can select similar colored pixels.
Make sure the Tolerance is set to 100%
Click(Select) the black inked lines and it will select all the black.
From there you can, Invert the Selection from the Select menu up top or hit Ctrl+Shift+ I (shortcut to invert selection)
Once the selection is inverted then hit Delete.

3. Coloring the characters.

The white bg is deleted so now you can duplicate that layer so you’ll have a backup copy.

Using your pen you can go in an clean up some of the inked lines that may not have came out to your liking.

Using the fill tool make sure the behavior is set to ‘Behind’ and fill. I always fill behind the lines because its cleaner and it preserves the line quality.

How-To Tips: Layout Techniques for Dorse and Doose Book

Characters are inked and Colored on a separate layer from the background.

4. Coloring the Midground

Create a new layer and paint in the background using the  pencil outlines as your guide. I like to start with the base color and gradually add the medium and dark tones for the grass. Note that there aren’t any outlined objects. The reason why is because those objects (foreground objects) will be layered over this Background layer. 😉

How-To Tips: Layout Techniques for Dorse and Doose Book

Midground painted in on a separate layer. Curry is happy!!

5. Paint in the distant Background

When painting in the distance I don’t use outlines so I can get the softer look  and feel without any added blurring techniques. All of this should be done on a separate layer underneath the Midground Layer.

How-To Tips: Layout Techniques for Dorse and Doose Book

Background is painted in with no outlines.

6. Adding the Foreground Objects

You can draw all of these in individually or you can draw a few of them and duplicate them. Notice that they all have an outline.

How-To Tips: Layout Techniques for Dorse and Doose Book

Now we have painted a Meadow!!

7. Paint the Sky

Getcho Paint on and paint a sky anyway you like. I prefer the gradually painted sky. I don’t use the gradient tool cause it has no artistic touch.

How-To Tips: Layout Techniques for Dorse and Doose Book

The Sky has been painted with an Airbrush setting. NO GRADIENT TOOL please, or Curry will be upset. 😀

8. Finished

Hide the penciled layer and that’s that!

How-To Tips: Layout Techniques for Dorse and Doose Book

The finished layout to the page.

Layers should be stacked in this order:
Layer 1. Characters Inked (Outline with Pencil – this is the guide so it will be hidden in the end)
Layer 2. Characters Colored
Layer 3. Flowers (Foreground objects)
Layer 4. Midground (The grassy hill)
Layer 5. Background (Objects in the distance)
Layer 6. Sky

Please ask me any questions below. Thanks for reading.

~AJ Moore

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