What’s NEW in the updated Hi-Fi Color for Comics?

If you read the last few blog post you know Kristy and I are planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign to get Hi-Fi Color for Comics back in print. You also know about the Hi-Fi creative coloring process and what you can expect to learn using the book. Now I want to share with you some of the new and bonus content we have planned for Hi-Fi Color for Comics and how you can help ensure all of these new sections are included in the new Hi-Fi Color for Comics.

 Quite a bit has changed since the original Hi-Fi Color for Comics was released. Adobe Photoshop has gone through several revisions, comic books are now available in-print and digitally, and many more comic book pencillers and inkers are also working with digital tools. The revised and updated Hi-Fi Color for Comics will start with everything that was great about the original book and build on that foundation with new and updated tutorials and info. Every chapter of the book contains major updates including:

  • Importing art
  • Setting up pages with a comic book template
  • Coloring as a creative process
  • Working with pencil and grayscale artwork
  • Updated RGB & CMYK coloring info
  • Using layers and channels
  • How to mix and choose colors in Adobe Photoshop
  • How to select Screen colors for painting with light
  • Updated styles and techniques
  • All new coloring tutorials featuring artwork by J. Scott Campbell that you can color too
  • Using Photoshop’s transparency to save time and HD space
  • Updated for Adobe Creative cloud
  • New and improved special effects tutorials
  • Updated section on color separations

 The above list includes only a few of the elements we have chosen to update for the new version of Hi-Fi Color for Comics. All supporters will receive all of this updated info automatically. When fully funded we have more new info and tutorials in the stretch goals below.

Stretch Goal: IN BRIGHTEST DAY & DARKEST NIGHT

  • A completely new section on light & shadow
  • Learn the basic concepts of lighting backgrounds and figures
  • Learn the the difference between various types of shadows and how to utilize each of them in your own work
  • Learn about single and multiple light sources
  • Learn about ambient and colored lighting
  • Learn how to read the light and shadow information drawn into comic book art and visualize your rendering

Stretch Goal: WHY THE VILLAIN WEARS PURPLE

  • An all new section on color theory for comic book colorist
  • Learn about designing color schemes for different types of characters like heroes, villains, monsters, armored knights, and more.
  • Learn how to employ warm and cool color values in your compositions to create depth and clarity of action
  • Learn how to choose colors for cityscapes, landscapes, and indoor settings as well
  • Learn how to quickly adjust colors and test a variety of color looks without re-rendering your pages

Stretch Goal: UNLOCKING YOUR OWN PERSONAL COLOR STYLE

  • This new section tackles the concepts of style and how you can discover and create your own personal style
  • What is a color style and do you need one?
  • Learn why many common styles work and what you can do to bring a unique look to your pages
  • Discovering your own signature style and how not to fall into the “style over substance” trap
  • Learn how to use Hi-Fi techniques to bring your own personal vision to life

Stretch Goal: BANISH MUDDY COLORS FOREVER

  • Tired of results that differ wildly than what you had hoped for? Learn how to control color values in this all new section
  • Learn visual tests to know if your colors are muddy or pure
  • Understanding color gamut and how to use it to your advantage
  • Learn to understand and control ink levels
  • Learn to select colors for your flats that will produce best results when printed
  • Learn how to control the amount of black ink in your colors before and after color separation
  • Learn how contrast and saturation can spoil your colors and how to avoid this common mistake
  • Learn how to use Hi-Fi’s color preferences and how to custom calibrate your own for advanced users

Stretch Goal: BUILD YOUR OWN BRUSHES

  • Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud offers an unprecedented ability to create unique and useful brushes for coloring, this section will teach you how to master brush creation in Photoshop.
  • Learn the ins and outs of the brush palette
  • Learn how to create brushes and brush presets
  • Learn step-by-step how to design and make brushes
  • Color an image using brushes made with the tutorials and your own brushes
  • Learn how to use the Mixer Brush, Pencil Tool, and Eraser to bring new functionality to all your brushes
  • Learn how to save and export brushes

Stretch Goal: BEYOND BLACK AND WHITE

  • When Hi-Fi Color for Comics was first created the majority of comic book artwork was inked black and white art. Since that time many comic book artist have started adding gray values to their artwork including texture, shading, and effects… some with traditional tools and some with digital tools. This section cover best practices for working with GRAYSCALE ART as a comic book colorist.
  • Learn to spot the differences between continuous tone art and halftone art and how to approach each time of comic book art
  • Learn how working with grayscale art can affect your page set-up and what to do to accommodate this
  • Learn how rendering grayscale art, especially pencil art can present new challenges and how to adapt
  • Learn new ways to apply color holds when working with grayscale art to avoid stray gray pixels mixing with your color holds
  • Learn how to app special effects to grayscale artwork
  • Learn how to create beautiful color separations with grayscale artwork that don’t darken or muddy the colors

Stretch Goal: COMICS ON SCREEN

  • Over 50% of new comics are purchased by people reading their comics on a computer or tablet. This section will teach you how to optimize your colors for on screen viewing
  • Learn about color gamut and how more colors are visible on screen than in print
  • Learn about colors and effects that can only be achieved on screen
  • Learn tips and tricks for coloring web comics and digital comics
  • Learn how colors reproduce on Comixoology, iBooks, Kindle, and other popular platforms

Stretch Goal: OLD SCHOOL COOL

  • An all new section that poses the question, When is it a good idea to work in CMYK color mode?
  • Learn why and when you might want to color directly in CMYK color
  • Learn how to set-up pages for coloring in CMYK color mode using all new Hi-Fi scripts and actions exclusively for CMYK
  • Learn how to mix and select CMYK color values (including colors with no black ink)
  • Learn which photoshop tools, filters, and settings do NOT work properly in CMYK and how to adapt to these limitations
  • Learn why working in CMYK does not guarantee a clean color separation and how to avoid common CMYK mistakes
  • Learn how to make and save beautiful color separations

Stretch Goal: DON’T CALL ME A TRACER

  • There are times in every colorists life when they will be asked to create the look and feel of inked artwork from pencilled artwork. This section teaches you how to simulate the look of inks with Adobe Photoshop
  • Learn to create simulated inks over tight pencils using Hi-Fi actions and adjustment layers
  • Learn to create solid black fills for shadows
  • Learn to create BWS (Black with Stars)
  • Learn to save the final inked art and prep it for color
  • NOTE: This technique is in no way meant to be a replacement for traditional inking by a skilled professional inker. It is better than no inks at all and I have found it a lifesaver on many occasions.

If we hit all the stretch goals the book will more than double in size to over 300 pages! How can you get your hands on all this new content? Sign up for the Hi-Fi Color for Comics email list below to be notified when the Kickstarter for the new book goes live.

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Brian Miller is the founder of comic book color studio Hi-Fi colour deisgn and the co-author of Hi-Fi Color For Comics