Creating a graphic novel using computer software
Which type should you use?
Programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Painter X, Corel Draw and Paintshop Pro will enable you to design and edit digital images which are used in composing your cartoons or graphic novels.
Using a graphic tablet and pen such as the Wacom Intuos will make it easy to design and draw characters in a natural way. Alternatively, you can draw them on white paper and scan them into your computer using a scanning device.
Graphic software can also make it easy to resize and crop images, as well as correcting brightness and contrast, color balance, adding superimpositions, special effects, speech bubbles, captions and more.
A digital camera can also be of great use to provide reference material, including buildings, bridges, trees, sky, landscapes, textures, patterns, character poses, color references and much more, which you can easily store and build a library from in a designated folder on your hard drive.
The choice of software used can be influenced by the way you prefer to work. There are two main types of graphic design software. You can choose from software which produces either raster graphics or vector graphics. Raster graphics creates images in a bitmap format. This is a good choice for detailed images but can become pixelated when enlarged, and this is particularly noticeable in line drawings. Therefore, a high resolution is recommended when using this method to reduce this effect. Vector graphics on the other hand can be enlarged without any loss in quality, so are particularly good for line art but are used less for highly detailed and photographic imagery.
Software that produces raster graphics include Adobe Photoshop, Paintshop Pro and Painter X. For 3D work there’s also Maya, Studio Max, Lightwave, Bryce and Vue6 amongst others. The Software that is geared towards vector graphics include Adobe illustrator, Corel Draw and Xara Extreme. However, many of the best programs can now use both formats in the design process. Adobe Live Motion and Macromedia Flash are also worth a mention for those who are interested in producing animated vector graphics as well as incorporating raster graphics too.
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