Hi-Fi Color for Comics

Hi-Fi’s Brian & Kristy Miller to appear at Phoenix Comic Fest 2018

Hi-Fi colour design founders Brian & Kristy Miller will be appearing at Phoenix Comic fest 2018.

Dates: Thursday, May 24th – Sunday, May 27th

Location: Booth 769

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Brian & Kristy Miller are the founders of digital color studio Hi-Fi Colour Design. The team at Hi-Fi colors comics like Doctor Who, Supergirl, Harley Quinn, Batman VS. Superman, SpongeBob, and more. As the authors of several art-instruction books including; Hi-Fi Color for Comics, the creative duo is also focused on art education. They created Hi-Fi Academy as an outreach program where they visit schools and art galleries to share comic art education with the public. Hi-Fi Academy also offers three-day workshops for aspiring creators who want learn professional skills fast. In addition to his work coloring comics, Brian is also a respected illustrator known for his work for Star Wars, The X-Files, and Doctor Who as well as his pop culture and gallery artwork.



Available at Phoenix Comic Fest

Femme Magnifique: Brian & Kristy will have a limited copies available

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Hi-Fi Color for Comics: Learn how to color with step-by-step tutorials from the pro’s at Hi-Fi

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Officially Licensed STAR WARS artwork by Oktopolis Illustrator Brian Miller

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Lady Death: Hellraiders #1: Retro Edition featuring cover art by Brian Miller

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Official SDCC 2015 Schedule

Did you know Hi-Fi will be at SDCC? Stop by booth 5560 and chat with us about Doctor Who, GI Joe, Anime, Superheroes, and all things pop culture. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle… the other half is nachos, lots of cheesy nachos.  See below for our SDCC schedule, panel info, convention maps and more!

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 As you can see above World Famous Comics, booth 5560, will be home to Hi-Fi and other talented creators for SDCC 2015. Don’t miss legendary sci-fi illustrator Joe Corroney who will have prints available from Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, X-Files, True Blood, and more all featuring color by Hi-Fi. Oktopolis will be out in full force with the best pop culture propaganda posters and prints you’ve ever seen including brand new Rocky Horror and GI Joe prints.  Hi-Fi Color for Comics & How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad authors Brian & Kristy Miller will be at SDCC booth 5560 all weekend and don’t miss their art instruction panels on Thursday and Friday!

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Thursday, July 9 • 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Digital Color for Comics

Learn about the creative art of comic book coloring as Hi-Fi’s Brian Miller (DC’s Starfire) and Kristy Miller(SpongeBob Comics) demonstrate the step-by-step transformation of a comic book page from black and white to full color. Learn the basics of flatting, rendering, color holds, and special effects, along with top digital coloring tips. The panel will include a Q&A session.
Thursday July 9, 2015 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Room 30CDE

Register for this panel FREE at: http://sched.co/3kSL

 

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Friday, July 10 • 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Creating Comics with the iPad

The iPad has transformed the way you read comics, but did you know you can create comic art on the iPad too? See a comic book character come to life as Brian Miller (Star Wars: Crush the Rebellion) and Kristy Miller (Doctor Who) demonstrate step by step how to pencil, ink, and paint comics on the iPad. Learn the basic tools and techniques, including which apps work best and how you can transform your iPad into a portable art studio. The panel will include a Q&A session.
Friday July 10, 2015 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Room 30CDE

Register for this panel FREE at: http://sched.co/3kqP

MAPS

Need help finding booth 5560 at comic-con? Use this map to find World Famous Comics amongst the sea of fans and don’t miss one moment of the action at SDCC! Booth 5560 is on the corner near entrance G to the main convention hall.

 

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Hi-Fi’s art instruction panels on Thursday and Friday will be held UPSTAIRS in room 30CDE. Panels are FREE with your comic-con badge.

 

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Get hands on with Hi-Fi Color for Comics! Visit booth #5560 for a sneak peek at Hi-Fi Color for Comics: Revised and Updated Edition.

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New for SDCC 2015 Oktopolis illustrator Brian Miller will be signing his latest Star Wars fine-art print, Defend the Death Star at ACME Archives Sunday from 2:00-4:00PM. Do not miss your chance to own one of these officially licensed limited edition Star Wars prints.

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See you at SDCC 2015!

What the Heck is a Gamut?

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© DC Comics

You’ve just finished coloring this amazing Superman cover and couldn’t be more proud of your work. There’s Sup’s vibrant blue suit and his iconic bright red cape. Looks amazing on screen, right? You finished your work, saved it as a CMYK TIF and sent it off to your editor of approval and 15 minutes later your get a frantic email back saying the suit looks like mud and the cape is a weird, drab color and you may have to re-color the whole thing! Oh, and your deadline is 30 minutes from now. ZOIKS! What the heck happened!? It looked amazing while you were coloring it and now it looks terrible. Why did your colors get turned into mud? Because the colors you chose or created were outside the CMYK Gamut your computer converted them and the result was terrible.

I can see you staring blankly at the screen asking, “What the heck is a gamut?” Allow me to explain a little.

VisibleLightSpectrum

So let’s start this by talking a little bit about the science of color. What we perceive as color is our brains interpreting different wavelengths of light emanating from, or bouncing off of, objects in space. If we look at the color spectrum we see that long wavelengths appear as red warm colors while shorter wavelengths appears a blue, cooler colors. As those wavelengths get longer (moving to the left on the chart) we move into infrared colors, microwaves and various other electrical waves. As they get shorter (moving to the right on the chart) we get into Xrays, Gamma rays (our favorite!!) and other harmful radiations.

What we can actually see, however, is just a very small portion of that spectrum which we call visible light.

Visible Color Gamut

If we pull out that visible portion of light, simplify it and twist it into a circle we get every artists BFF, the color wheel.

But if we take that entire spectrum of visible light and twist is into a circle we see what is called the visible color gamut. Keep in mind…this example you see here isn’t ACTUALLY the full visible color gamut because you are looking at it on a computer screen which presents color to you in an RGB color space…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

RGB variation

 

This visible color gamut represents all variations of every visible color. So in this example the black arrow over the blue indicates every possible variation of the color blue. Very bright and intense colors exist at the outside edges of the circle while less intense, desaturated colors exist at the center. In order to make this a little easier for you to see, I’m going to replace our circle with one that has an exaggerated difference in saturation level from outside to the middle.

RGB Circle

So nature produces an innumerable amount of wavelengths of light, most of which we can’t see, but we create our artwork using technology that has yet to be able to reproduce all the colors of visible light. Specifically our computer monitors reproduce color in what is called the RGB Color space. This sort of bloated triangle shape over the visible color gamut indicates which colors are actually reproducible in the RGB Color Space. Using red, green and blue your monitor can recreate MOST of the colors in the visible light gamut, but not all. You’ll notice that it has trouble with some of the more vibrant orange, teals and violet colors. This is why your photos of those gorgeous sunsets never look quite right. Your camera is translating those natural lights into RGB and a little something gets lost.

CMYK Circle

However, when our artwork is complete it has to go to print. Modern printing presses mix 4 inks (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black) to create “Full Color” your prints. As you can see the CMYK Color space is REALLY small compared to the RGB Color space and encompasses most of that drab, desaturated area in the middle of out circle.

CMYK-RGB Color Circle

You can really see the difference here when we lay the RGB and CMYK color spaces on the same graphic. By now you’re probably asking, “what does this mean to me, the comic book colorist?” MOST colorists, including those of you using the Hi-Fi method, render their work in RGB so while we’re working we have to always be aware that before each page is finalized it will have to be converted to CMYK.

When you color an image in RGB and the color you choose (or create inadvertently) falls outside of that CMYK color space it will have to be converted before it goes to press. Maybe I’ll cover how your computer makes those decisions (Relative Colorimetric vs Perceptual conversions) in a later article but suffice it to say your computer will select each pixel containing color outside the CMYK color gamut and changes it to a color that it thinks best represents the original color.

Just a note: I have again exaggerated the colors in the following example so you can better see the way the colors change.

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Let’s take a look at your Superman from earlier and find out what happened. If we pull out the blue and red from the image and roughly plot them on the RGB color gamut you can see that they fall well outside of the CMYK gamut.

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When you convert that file from RGB to CMYK your computer decides what those new colors should be.

Now instead of those nice bright colors…they are muted and kind of dead.

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And if we look at them side-by-side you can really tell the difference in the color. So what can we learn from this exercise? First of all, when you’re coloring try to avoid selecting colors that are TOO vibrant and over-saturated. That’s your first clue that you may be heading down the path to conversion trouble later on.  Also, make sure you are using the View/Proof Colors option in Photoshop. That will allow you to color in RGB but have a CMYK preview on your screen while you work. You’ll immediately know if a color is going to end up looking gross.

At this point you’re probably asking, “Well why don’t we just skip this whole mess and color right in CMYK? Wouldn’t that avoid this whole problem in the first place?”

Well, yeah…but it leads to some other issues that are not as easy to overcome than coloring in RGB but being mindful of a future need to convert. We color in RGB because that is how Photoshop was intended to work. It was designed as a digital space for creating and editing images and digital space means RGB. Because of this in CMYK there are a LOT of tools that aren’t available to you at all. You will find that those tools that are available to you will give you a drab, gray-ish color when used in a CMYK color space instead of the rich, full colors you would get were you attempting the same process in RGB.

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Also, your files can be SIGNIFICANTLY larger. These two files are the EXACT same PSD except one is RGB and the other is CMYK. The CMYK file is almost twice the size. So, yes…you could avoid all the RGB to CMYK conversion problems entirely by coloring straight in CMYK but at a cost of lack of tools, lower functionality of some of Photoshop’s tools and potentially gargantuan file sizes.

Proof ColorsProTip: when coloring in RGB make sure you have the View/Proof Colors (Ctrl+Y) option active in Photoshop. This will allow you to color in RGB but see what the file will look like when it converts to CMYK. You’ll know instantly if a color you are creating is going to look like mud.

 

Eric White is a graphic designer and artist with 15 years of experience in the printing industry. He’s been working with Hi-Fi since 2008 as a consultant, web-guy, go-get-er, flatter and colorist. You can find more of his work at his website www.geekywhiteguy.com or follow along on twitter @Geekywhiteguy

What will I learn with Hi-Fi Color for Comics?

 You probably have a few art instruction books in your collection and I bet you found some more useful than others. Some books talk at great length about art and can be quite interesting. Other books show the author creating amazing illustrations but don’t always give you the information you need to achieve similar results. The most helpful art instruction books don’t merely talk about art or show you art they teach you how to create something you could not have achieved before purchasing the book. Hi-Fi Color for Comics provides you with step-by-step tutorials with artwork teaching you to color comic book illustrations from start to finish.

What exactly will you learn in the book?

IMPORTING and FORMATTING artwork
Learn how to scan comic artwork, combine multiple scans into one large image, and how to format artwork to fit a comic book page template. NEW: Learn how to import artwork created digitally and prepare it for coloring. Whether you want to scan and color traditional artwork or color artwork created digitally this section of the book will show you exactly how to prep your pages for color using the provided template.

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES
New to computer coloring? You will learn how to use the tools and techniques needed to complete the tutorials in the book.
HI-Fi 1-2-3 AUTOMATION makes it easy.
The included Hi-Fi scripts & actions simplify the technical aspects of coloring so you can focus on being creative.
• Automated page set-up. You start coloring quickly
• Magically prep your page for special effects
• Push button color separations with trapping for professional results

FLATS
Step-by-step tutorials show you how how to easily break down images into flat color. Learn tool tricks that will save you time and learn how to use Photoshop Channels to give you unlimited undo’s when coloring. You can even follow along with the provided comic book artwork.

RENDERING
Tutorials teaching you how to render backgrounds, exteriors and interiors, ground & sky, vehicles, and figures using cut-n-grad and cut-n-brush techniques. You will learn how to Paint with light the Hi-Fi way.

 

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 NEW: All new rendering tutorial featuring artwork by legendary comic creator J. Scott Campbell that you can follow along with and color yourself.

 

COLOR HOLDS
Knockout color holds quickly using the included Hi-Fi actions and easy to learn techniques. Learn how to apply color holds to add depth and dimension to your artwork.

SPECIAL EFFECTS
Make fire effects, flares, sparkles, glows, muzzle blasts, warp effects, and more. Learn how you can make effects once to use over and over again. See special effects applied to actual published artwork. Most of these special effects are all new for the updated edition of Hi-Fi Color for Comics

COLOR SEPARATIONS
Need to convert to CMYK color for commercial printing? The included Hi-Fi color settings and 1-2-3 Automation™ scripts make it easier than ever to achieve professional results.

BONUS CONTENT: BREAK INTO THE COMIC BOOK INDUSTRY
Get advice about creating your portfolio, attending comic conventions, and submitting samples. Discover how the comic industry handles invoicing and payment. Learn the secret to getting started and making a great impression.

If you are ready to learn how to color comic books like a pro be sure to sign up for the Hi-Fi Color for Comics email list below to be alerted when the Kickstarter for the new book goes live. Come back for the next installment to learn about NEW & BONUS content planned for Hi-Fi Color for Comics.

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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

Let’s get Hi-Fi Color for Comics back in print!

Six years ago Hi-Fi Color for Comics revealed the secret tips, tricks, and techniques of digital comic book coloring in a way that made it fast and easy to learn how to color comic book art the way professional colorists do. In the years since its release, Hi-Fi Color for Comics found its way into the hands of over 10,000 enthusiastic fans, students, and aspiring comic book creators around the world. By Fall 2012 every copy of Hi-Fi Color for Comics the publisher had printed were sold out. With the book out of print used copies of Hi-Fi Color for Comics started trading at double, triple, even quadruple the original $25 cover price. Clearly demand for Hi-Fi Color for Comics existed but with the entire book industry in peril the original publisher was not in a position to green light additional printings of the book.

Flash forward to 2014, Kristy and I have now obtained the publishing rights to Hi-Fi Color for Comics and we are looking at our best options for getting the book back in print. Several publishers have shown real interest but sadly too, a lack of vision wanting to simply reprint the existing book and shuffle it off to schools and libraries to make a quick buck. In the past six years much has changed in the world of digital color and comic books. The current version of Adobe Photoshop dwarfs Photoshop CS2 which was new when we wrote Hi-Fi Color for Comics and in our minds a reprinting of the book just won’t do. Kristy and I want to bring you a fully revised and updated version of Hi-Fi Color for Comics.

We have chosen to walk away from the old way of publishing books and to team up with you, our readers, to build a new and better Hi-Fi Color for Comics. We plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign in March to fund the printing of the revised and updated Hi-Fi Color for Comics. We have reached out to Original Hi-Fi Color for Comics editor, Amy Jeynes, who has agreed to come an board to ensure the new and updated tutorials give you clear direction while challenging you to push beyond your comfort zone. Eric White (HueDoo.com forums moderator and creator of the Hi-Fi Color for Comics Facebook Group) working behind the scenes with content delivery and printing companies to bring you the highest quality book and bonus content. We are also working with friends in the industry like Comicraft and Comixology to lend their expertise to this project. Whether you choose the print version, digital version, or both the new Hi-Fi Color for Comics will be best resource for learning the art of digital comic book coloring.

Without the resources of a large publisher our biggest challenge will be alerting supporters about Hi-Fi Color for Comics. This is where you can help now, before the Kickstarter Campaign launches. This project will be of interest to everyone with a passion for comic book coloring and we invite you to spread the word. Share this blog post and sign up for e-mail updates below to receive updates leading up to and during the Kickstarter campaign for Hi-Fi Color for Comics.

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Stay tuned for new information including news about new art and artist for tutorials, what you can expect from the new Hi-Fi Color for Comics, and of course how you can get involved and ensure the success of the campaign to get Hi-Fi Color for Comics back in print.

Let’s do this!

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

Hi-Fi panels at SDCC

Going to SDCC? Do not miss Hi-Fi’s panels.Thursday 3:00-4:00 Comics: Digital Color for Comics— Every month your favorite comic books must be colored before going to press, but just how are they colored? Learn about the creative art of comic book coloring as Hi-Fi’s Brian Miller (World’s Finest) and Kristy Miller (SpongeBob SquarePants) demonstrate the step-by-step transformation of a comic book page from black and white to full color. Learn the basics of flatting, rendering, color holds, and special effects, along with top digital coloring tips. Q&A session. Room 11AB

Friday, 2:00-3:00 Comics: Painting Comics on the iPad— The iPad has transformed the way you read comics, but did you know you can create comic art on the iPad too? See a comic book character come to life as Hi-Fi’s Brian Miller (The Mighty Avengers) and Kristy Miller (The Amazing Spider-Man Storybook Collection) demonstrate step-by-step how to paint comics on the iPad. Learn the basic tools and techniques, including which apps work best and how you too can transform your iPad into a portable art studio. Q&A session Room 11AB