How to Paint Comics

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Hi-Fi Color for Comics 100% Funded on Kickstarter

When I started this campaign my dream was to share everything I know about coloring comic books with you. Thanks to everyone who backed this dream on Kickstarter Hi-Fi Color for Comics will be back in print before the end of 2014.

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Expect to see a new post each month between now and the time the Hi-Fi Color for Comics ships. I’ll keep you up to date with elements like the final cover design, progress on updating tutorials, and Hi-Fi Academy status updates. I’ll be sure to share special moments with you like when the updated and revised Hi-Fi Color for Comics is 100% completed, when the books arrives from the printers, and of course when they start shipping. Hi-Fi Color for Comics is the best art-instruction resource for comic coloring and I know you will be as thrilled as I am to see the book back in print.

Special thanks to Eric White who is serving as project coordinator and working behind the scenes to make so much of what you are seeing happen. Thanks to my co-author Kristy Miller and editor Amy Jeynes, and much appreciation and thanks to ALL the amazingly talented creators who contributed artwork to the book including:

  • Terry Moore – Strangers in Paradise
  • Craig Rousseau – The Perhapanauts
  • Katie Cook – Gronk
  • Mike Worley – Image’s Big Bang Comics
  • Joe Quesada & Dani Miki – Spider-Man
  • Mike Norton – Battlepug
  • Dan Jurgens – Tommi Trek
  • Mat Wagner – Grendel & Mage
  • Casey Malone & Dustin Yee – The Enigmas
  • Scott Wegener – Atomic Robo
  • Joe Corroney – Star Wars and Star Trek
  • Shawn Pryor & Martheus Wade – Young Star
  • Humberto Ramos – Fantastic Four
  • J. Scott Campbell – various Superhero art
  • Frank Quitely & Tim Townsend – New X-Men
  • John Byrne – Tommi Trek
  • Phil Hester – Sick Time
  • David Bryant – Aviatrix
  • Melinda Timpone – White Noise
  • Paige Braddock – Jane’s World
  • Tom Mandrake – Devil’s Gate
  • Val Hochberg – Mystery Babylon with Kick Girl
  • Tom Nguyen – various Superhero art
  • Steve Lightle – Tommi Trek
  • Chad Hardin & James Taylor – Fist of Justice
  • Sapphire Tricket – Solar VII

And a great big thank you to all the Kickstarter backers of Hi-Fi Color for Comics and sharing my dream of a more colorful world.

Brian

Final48

Final 48 hours on Kickstarter

Thank to all our backers, the Comics On-Screen Stretch Goal is UNLOCKED!

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Comics On-Screen is UNLOCKED

We are down to the final 48 hours of the campaign and there is still time to unlock more Stretch Goals. The next Stretch Goal is another DOUBLE Stretch Goal. Beyond Black and White and Old School Cool will both unlock when the Kickstarter campaign reaches $30,000. With your help we can unlock this DOUBLE Stretch Goal before the campaign ends.

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This DOUBLE Stretch Goal is in-progress and will UNLOCK at $30,000

Hi-Fi Color for Comics received some great press today on the CCN network. You can read all about it and share this story with others:
CCN interview with Hi-Fi’s Brian Miller about Kickstarting and art-education revolution — http://comicscreatornews.com/?p=488

Thank you for backing and sharing Hi-Fi Color for Comics. During these final 35 hours please share the campaign with everyone you can and help unlock more stretch goals.

Learn how to color comic books with Hi-Fi Color for Comics —http://kck.st/1eOUfhk

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Here come the STRETCH GOALS!

Hi-Fi Color for Comics is 100% funded but we can make it faster, stronger, better by unlocking these Stretch Goals!

The first stretch goal is SPIRAL BOUND and will unlock when the campaign reaches $19,900.

  • Spiral binding of Hi-Fi Color for Comics allowing you to lay the book open completely flat when working on the tutorials.
  • Front and back covers of Hi-Fi Color for Comics will received a brand new design treatment from the masters of lettering and design at Comicraft and will be printed on upgraded cover stock.
  • Quick reference card featuring Adobe Photoshop keyboard shortcuts on one side and a cheat sheet for the Hi-Fi Creative Coloring Process on the reverse. You can place the quick referece card near your computer while coloring and use it as a bookmark as you work through the tutorials.
  • The Folding bookstand holds your book upright so you can quickly glance from the tutorials to your computer screen.
  • Everyone who pledges a reward level with a PRINT EDITION receives this reward when the campaign reaches $19,900.
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Below you will find additional stretch goals and art packs, plus there are still more artists contributing to Hi-Fi Color for Comics yet to be revealed! Want to see these trench goals unlocked? First start by sharing the Hi-Fi Color for Comics Kickstarter campaign with all of your friends and followers. Organize a #KickstartHFC4C day at your local comic book shop, art store, or campus. You can share using this link:
Hi-Fi Color for Comics on Kickstarter — http://kck.st/1eOUfhk

Another way you can see all these stretch goals unlocked is consider upping your pledge amount by adding on whatever you think is fair for all the additional tutorials and bonus features. Right now Hi-Fi Color for Comics is fully funded at 170+ pages of content. If all the stretch goals are unlocked the book will swell to over 300 pages packed with the best comic book coloring tutorials available.

Thank you for backing Hi-Fi Color for Comics, working together we can unlock these stretch goals and make Hi-Fi Color for Comics the best resource for digital comic book colorists.

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KickstartLive

Are you ready for Hi-Fi Academy?

With Hi-Fi Color for Comics I wanted to go beyond the book and create a connection with everyone backing this project. A place for where we could share artwork, download photoshop brushes, participate in online workshops and watch video tutorials. I wanted to create a resource that you didn’t have to carry with you but you could access from anywhere.

That resource is an online companion to Hi-Fi Color for Comics called Hi-Fi Academy. When you choose a reward level of $20 or more you will automatically receive FREE enrollment in Hi-Fi Academy with your copy of Hi-Fi Color Design. Once signed-up each you will have a virtual locker where you will be able to download all the Photoshop add-ons needed to use Hi-Fi Color for Comics. And when updates are available you will have access to the latest versions.

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Hi-Fi Helpers include skies, textures, and special effects

You will also find all the files needed for each tutorial in your Hi-Fi Academy locker including Hi-Fi Helpers, video tutorials, as well as the artwork for each lesson in the book so you can follow along. You will also be the first to learn about new tutorials, workshops, and bonus content. The goal of Hi-Fi Academy is to teach people everything I know about comic book coloring.

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Photoshop add-ons like Hi-Fi’s scripts, actions, and brushes make coloring fun and easy

As a member you can access Hi-Fi Academy at home or when traveling. Hi-Fi Academy works with the print edition and the ComiXology digital edition of Hi-Fi Color for Comics. Hi-Fi Academy is just one of the new and improved elements of Hi-Fi Color for Comics and I have a feeling are going to love it.

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Access artwork, color guides, bonus videos, and more.

 

Who gets it? All backers who pledge the $20 reward level and higher. Hi-Fi Academy is included with the print edition and ComiXology digital edition of Hi-Fi Color for Comics

 

What do I get?

  • All the Photoshop add-ons you need to make coloring fun and easy including, Hi-Fi’s 1-2-3 Automation Scripts, Hi-Fi Actions, brushes, color swatches, patterns, color preferences, and more
  • Line-Art & Color Guides for every tutorial in the book as well as access to bonus videos for each chapter.
  • Hi-Fi Helpers including tons of pre-made skies, textures, special effects, and other elements you can use in all your comic coloring projects.

When can I enroll in Hi-Fi Academy? Hi-Fi Academy will open the same week Hi-Fi Color for Comics ships to you. Enrollment instructions will be included inside your copy of Hi-Fi Color for Comics.

Back Hi-Fi Color for Comics on Kickstarter here: http://kck.st/1eOUfhk 

 

KickstartLive

…and we’re back.

You probably received a notice this morning saying this campaign was frozen due to a DMCA Takedown Notice. I’m not sure what your reaction was but I can tell you my heart skipped a beat! I was worried that all our hard work would be lost over some legal dispute. The good news is there is NO Copyright dispute and the campaign is once again live and we’re only a few thousand dollars away from being fully funded.

What happened? As far as I can tell Marvel have copyright attorneys who probably monitor sites like YouTube, Kickstarter, and others for Copyright violations. They saw our campaign and immediately sent a DMCA Takedown Notice to Kickstarer. They did so even though there is a copyright notice on the Kickstarter campaign stating all art used in the book is done with permission. I’m sure these lawyers do not knowing anything about Hi-Fi, the fact that we actually color and paint projects for Marvel & Disney, or about Hi-Fi Color for Comics. They were just doing their job… even if it did almost send me into cardiac arrest!

Fortunately I was able to locate the original Hi-Fi Color for Comics release form from 2007 and send a copy to Marvel’s legal representation. Once they verified the info with the records they had on file they contacted Kickstarter and the campaign resumed.

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In the spirit of the original document I did agree with Marvel’s council not to use Marvel’s artwork in the marketing of Hi-Fi Color for Comics or on the final cover for the book. I decided to also remove DC art from our marketing for this same reason (to be clear no one from DC contacted me or asked me to do this). I do not want to do anything imply that Marvel or DC has endorsed the book or is backing the book in any way. You will see Jean Gray’s image on the cover has been painted over for the time being and I will create a revised video as well.

For everyone who is backing Hi-Fi Color for Comics please rest assured we do have release forms and permission to use artwork from companies like Marvel, Lucasfilm, IDW, Paramount, J. Scott Campbell, Mike Norton, Terry Moore, and many more. All of the art printed in Hi-Fi Color for Comics is done so only with the express written permission of the Copyright holder or their legal representative.

How can I help? Obviously the DMCA Takedown Notice hurt the campaign. Even though we were down only a few hours the impact was big. We received some negative press today because when it comes to big companies like Marvel vs little guys like Hi-Fi the people reporting tend to assume the worst and report it as such.

The best way you can help is to SHARE the campaign on your social media, to your friends and family, with schools, comic book shops, and libraries. We are only a few thousand dollars away from being funded. Lets not let a mistake by a few big corporate lawyers keep us down. I know working together we can get Hi-Fi Color for Comics FULLY FUNDED this week and move on to our incredible STRETCH GOALS!

Back Hi-Fi Color for Comics on Kickstarter here: http://kck.st/1eOUfhk 

Thank you for backing Hi-Fi Color for Comics.
Brian Miller

Battlepug

Featured artist: Mike Norton & Battlepug!

Mike Norton’s relationship with me and Hi-Fi go back to the days of Devil’s Due where Mike pencilled Voltron which was colored by Hi-Fi. Mike has also worked for DC Comics on titles like Green Arrow, Countdown to Infinite Crisis, and Blue beetle.

A few years ago Mike launched his own sword and sorcery web comic titled, Battlepug. The web series has been a huge success with some of the stories collected into print editions. You will join Moll and her dogs Mingo and Colfax, as she recounts the legend of the Warrior and the Battlepug, a tale of one fearless barbarian and his freakishly large pug. Mike won the Eisner award for Best Digital Comic for Battlepug in 2012.

As you know, it can be difficult for aspiring colorist to find sequential artwork to color. Mike was kind enough to contribute a set of truly stunning Battlepug pages for Hi-Fi Color for Comics. As par of the Stretch Goals for this campaign I will be creating a special new coloring tutorial around Battlepug. You will learn to use Photoshop Texture Brushes to create the organic backgrounds for Battlepug and more. There will be a Battlepug Art-Pack available as a download from Hi-Fi Academy as well as a Battle pug texture brush pack for Adobe Photoshop.

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Mike Norton’s Battlepug!

Want to get your hands on this amazing Battlepug art by Mike Norton? Increase your pledge, share, tweet, post flyers in your local comic shop… do whatever you have to do to push Hi-Fi Color for Comics past $14,900 and into the Stretch Goals! You can use this link, Hi-Fi Color for Comics — http://kck.st/1eOUfhk

Hopefully you have been following Revivial by Tim Seely and Mike Norton from Image comics, if not be sure to pick up a copy and see what all the buzz is about. If you are like me you will be hooked right away.

You can find out more about Mike Norton, the comics he is working on and his upcoming convention dates at: ihatemike.com

You can read Battlepug online at: battlepug.com and follow Battlepug on Facebook.

I hope you are as excited about coloring Mike Norton’s incredible Battlepug art as I am. Help get the word out and lets make it happen!  Hi-Fi Color for Comics — http://kck.st/1eOUfhk

Thank you,

Brian

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

KickstartLive

#KickstartHFC4C

It feels like we have been working and planning this for years and now the day is finally here, Hi-Fi Color for Comics is LIVE on Kickstarter.

Go now: Hi-Fi Color for Comics Kickstarter Campaign

UPDATE: Thanks you to all the amazing fans who have pledged already. Over 150 backers and more than 40% funded in the first few days! Be sure to share the campaign with everyone you know via e-mail and social media using the hashtag #KickstartHFC4C

STRETCH GOALS: Hi-Fi Color for Comics is about 190 pages worth of  amazing art instruction for $25. Can you imagine if the book weighed in at close to 400 pages including 10 new chapters? That’s what will happen after we meet the initial funding goal and start hitting the STRETCH GOALS. It’s like including a second book’s worth of content for free!

Rewards

The Rewards are coming…

The Kicstarter campaign for Hi-Fi Color for Comics is only days away and I wanted to give you a sneak peek at the rewards packages we are working on. No T-shirts, key-chains, or other hyphenated knick-knacks just a focus on creating the best art instruction book for comic coloring in the formats that work best. Hi-Fi Color for Comics will contain approximately 170-190 pages of tutorials and projects and when the campaign surges past the stretch goals the additional content will push the page count well over 350 pages giving you the ultimate bang for your buck when it comes to comic coloring instruction. In addition to the print version of Hi-Fi Color for Comics we have also teamed up with ComiXology to bring you the digital edition of the book which is fully compatible with their apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Kindle. The ComiXology edition of Hi-Fi Color for Comics makes the perfect companion to the printed book as you can take it with you anywhere you go for quick reference and not have to worry about losing or damaging your print copy of the book.

While we have done our best to keep the price of Hi-Fi Color for Comics as low as possible I urge you, the longtime reader and fan to pledge the highest reward level you can and tell all of your friends to do the same. With your help Hi-Fi Color for Comics will reach the funding goal and stretch goals quickly and become your favorite resource for learning how to color comic books.

Finally, the cover image you will see in the rewards is not the final cover art will be the promotional art we use during the campaign. When we hit our funding goal our friends at Comicraft will be designing a spectacular cover. This promo art should give you some idea of how we plan to focus on the comics, in Hi-Fi Color for Comics. And now, without further ado, the rewards:

Enthus 1 and VIP 5

MiniPrint 10

Digital 20

Print 25

Signature 35

Combo 40

Library 50

Mentor 50

TripleCombo 60

Sketch 75

PopArt 100

Retail 250

Tutor 500

Bootcamp 1000

Hi-Fi2U 2000

What do you think of these rewards packages? Let me know and be sure to sign up below 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

BrokenDiscs

The end of lost, damaged, and broken discs…

When I started writing the first draft of Hi-Fi Color for Comics I wondered what aspects of digital coloring people might find challenging. How could I eliminate technical roadblocks to allow readers to focus on being creative? Over the course of writing the book I created many Photoshop add-ons in the forms of color preference files, brushes, Hi-Fi Helpers, and Photoshop Actions. During the two years of creating the book Hi-Fi even became an official Adobe Developer and worked with an ex-Mars Pathfinder software engineer to create Hi-Fi’s 1-2-3 Automation Scripts for Photoshop. When Hi-Fi Color for Comics was published in 2008 the book was an instant success and much of the positive response was thanks to all the Photoshop add-ons doing exactly what I had hoped they would, allow every aspiring comic colorist to unleash their full creativity. But then I started receiving some disturbing emails…

Dear Mr. Miller, I dropped my copy of the book and my disc is cracked…

I lost my Hi-Fi Color for Comics CD, please help!

I purchased your book used and the disc is missing. Is there somewhere I can download the files?

I got a new computer and it doesn’t have a slot for CDs or DVDs, help me out.

Sadly, my only option was to point each of these readers to the publisher of the original book and hope for the best. I started advising everyone to make a back-up copy of the disc as soon as they purchased the book. To make matters worse the publisher started selling a Kindle version of the book with no way for readers to access any of the Photoshop add-ons or related tutorial files. Things became bleak when Hi-Fi Color for Comics sold-out and the publisher no longer had a source for replacement discs. Meanwhile the emails kept coming in from people who had lost, damaged, and broken discs. There must be a better way.

When the Kickstarter goes live for the new Hi-Fi Color for Comics you will see no mention of a bonus disc. Instead every copy of the book, print edition or ComiXology digital edition, comes with free enrollment in Hi-Fi Academy. What is Hi-Fi Academy? Hi-Fi Academy is a new website we are building as a companion to Hi-Fi Color for Comics. You will be able to download all the Photoshop add-ons needed to use Hi-Fi Color for Comics and when updates are available you will have access to the latest version. You will also find all the files you need for each tutorial at Hi-Fi Academy including Hi-Fi Helpers, video tutorials, as well as the artwork for each tutorial. You will be the first to learn about new tutorials and bonus content too. The goal of Hi-Fi Academy is to teach you everything I know about comic book coloring.

Hi-Fi Academy ensures no more lost, damaged, or broken discs. You can access Hi-Fi Academy at home or when traveling. Hi-Fi Academy works with the print edition and the ComiXology digital edition of Hi-Fi Color for Comics. And if you still want a physical copy of the files you are free to make a back-up copy onto CD/DVD after downloading from Hi-Fi Academy.

Hi-Fi Academy is just one of the new and improved elements of Hi-Fi Color for Comics and I know you are going to love it!

Want more helpful info like this? 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

WhatTools

What Tools do Comic Book Colorists Use?

   If you are new to comics and digital artwork you may look around at the computers, monitors, software, and peripherals and think to yourself, “I can’t afford the tools to become a digital artist”. If you want to outfit your home studio with a workstation like you might find at LucasFilm or Pixar then you might be right. The good news is coloring comic books no longer requires the sort of computing horsepower needed to land a Mars rover and you can equip yourself to create digital art and comic color for less than you think.

Software:

Adobe Photoshop has long been the industry standard for comic book coloring as it is one of the few applications that can accurate convert RGB color to CMYK color for commercial printing of comic books. In the past Photoshop was priced high and remained out of reach of many aspiring creators. The good news is Adobe now offers Photoshop on a subscription basis. Depending upon how many adobe applications you want the monthly rate varies from a little to a lot with the typical user spending $25-$50 per month on average. Adobe is currently running a special offer for a Photoshop & Lightroom bundle. Learn how you can get Adobe Photoshop CC for only $9.99 per month for the first year. Visit the link below before the offer ends.

PS999

https://creative.adobe.com/plans/offer/photoshop+lightroom?promoid=KHQFP

The computer:

When digital coloring was in it’s infancy you needed expensive hardware with lots of upgrades to run Adobe Photoshop. My first Macintosh cost $5,500 for an 80Mhz processor, 16MB RAM, and a 700MB HD and I paid another $500 for a 15″ Sony Trinitron CRT monitor. It was one of the fastest computers you could purchase for under $10,000 at the time and Photoshop 2.5 and then 3 ran slow as molasses on it but I was just happy to be able to use Photoshop at all to start coloring comic books. Computers have become faster and cheaper since then. Pretty much any computer made today can run Photoshop well enough to color comic books. You don’t need to spend a fortune either, a new iMac or MacBook Pro can be purchased for $1,200 – $2,000 and will run Photoshop faster than you can color (you can find used models on eBay even cheaper).  I like iMac’s because they are fast, relatively inexpensive, have large color accurate monitors, and offer higher than average reliability. That said, any Macintosh or Windows system will work so use what you are comfortable with so you can focus on being creative.

iMac

Graphics tablets:

I meet a lot of aspiring comic book creators at comic book conventions that think they can’t be comic book colorist because they can’t afford the top of the line $2,599 Wacom Cintiq. The truth is you can color comics with the $79 Wacom Intuos Pen just as well and the smaller tablet may actually make you faster (I know it does me). If you plan to do a lot of digital painting you may want to step up to the Wacom Intuos Pro for $249 as it adds tilt sensitivity but it is not required for comic book coloring. If you are just starting out the smaller, less expensive tablets will work perfectly and you won’t be missing out on any features. If you want a Wacom Cintiq or feel you will color and paint better working directly on the screen’s surface prices start at $999 for the 13″ model and go up to the $2,599 model mentioned earlier. If you can afford a Cintiq it can be a great tool, just remember you do not actually need one to color comics.

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Peripherals:

Here are some extra items you may need but none are required for coloring comic books.

Scanner: If you are working on a project that requires you to scan in hand drawn art you will need one. Hi-Fi Color For Comics teaches you how to scan and assemble 11″ x 17″ comic book pages using only an 8.5″ x 11″ sized scanner.

Printer: You may want a color printer to output your colored files. Remember, no printer can show you exactly how your art will look when printed on a commercial printing press.

Monitor Calibration Device: If you are working on professional projects for clients and publishers and find your own instincts for color are not matching what you get back from the printing company you may want to invest in a Monitor Calibration Device. These can range from $200-$500+. Not needed if you are coloring your personal web comic but you may find one useful if pursuing professional work with outside companies and publishers.

I hope this post sheds some light on the tools needed for coloring comic books. If you already own a computer you may just need to invest ten bucks a month in Adobe Photoshop and $79-$350 in a Wacom Intuos graphics tablet. Even if you want to upgrade to a newer faster computer you should be able to have your complete home coloring studio equipped for under $2,000… if you have the means and desire to spend more then the sky is the limit.

Want more helpful info like this? 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