Voice Balloons

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Fullcircle
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Voice Balloons

Post by Fullcircle »

So far, I'm still in the narrative introduction of my comic and haven't gotten to any actual dialog yet. But it isn't far off. And I've been wondering.. How does everyone else handle voice balloons? To make them so nice and neat and perfect? I like the idea of adding balloons digitally, but they tend to look ghostly and 3d and I'm not sure that's what I'm going for.

How do you guys go about nice, sharp, clear, pretty, unobtrusive voice balloons? Especially so that they're flexible and editable for every situation?

~SR
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JexKerome
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Post by JexKerome »

I fought with this for a long time. Currently, I do them with the ellipse and polygon tools. Basically, each piece of dialogue I type first in its own layer and position it where I want it. Then I make a new layer just for that dialogue's balloon. I do the balloon's body with the ellipse tool, place it behind the text so I can see how good it fits, and mess with it until I'm happy with the result. Then I add the balloon's "pointer" with the polygon tool, "erase" with white paint any polygon lines that ended inside the balloon (if I used the real eraser tool, holes would be created where the background would show through), and erase any parts that "spill" out of the panel.
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Post by Joel Fagin »

I use Photoshop and here's an example if you want to see.

1 - Make a new layer called "Speech Bubbles".

2 - Go to Layer -> Layer Style and give the layer a two pixel inside stroke, coloured black. An inside stroke will give you the nice sharp points on the pointy bits. (Edit: If you look at the example, the black speech bubbles have a slightly rounded point on the pointy bit. That's a centre stroke. An outside stroke would be even more rounded.)

3 - Draw your speech bubbles in white on the layer. Doesn't matter what shape.

4 - To create the pointy bits, use the line tool and tell Photoshop to put an arrow on the end. The settings for this allow you to tweak the width and length of the arrow. Start the line inside a bubble and stretch it out until the point is in position.

This is all pretty rough and ready so if you need any clarification, just ask.

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Post by Alaina »

I use Photoshop, and go:

1. New Layer--name it what you want

2. Using the Elliptical Marquee Tool, I make an oval for the speech bubble.

3. I click on the Polygonal Lasso Tool, hold Shift, and that allows me to add a tail to my bubble.

4. Then I fill the bubble in with black.

5. Then I go to Select-->Modify-->Contract, and put in how many pixels thick I want my speech bubble (usually 2 works fine).

6. Then I erase the inside of the new contracted bubble, and I'm left with a 2-pixel thick speech bubble!

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Post by Caduceus »

In Photoshop, you can also just add a border to any selection just like using the "stroke" option when using the pen tool. So you can first fill your balloon with white and then stroke the outline of the selection. Just right click on it. No need to do the erasure thing that way.
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Post by JinguJ »

I agree with stephen, you can use circle marquee tool and use 'stroke', it'll be much faster.
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Post by Fullcircle »

That's a huge relief :P My first attempt at balloons was for a bit of fanart, and it turned out looking a tad odd. I knew photoshop was hiding some trick from me ;) Thanks guys! I love this forum.

~SR
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Re: Voice Balloons

Post by YarpsDat »

fullcircle wrote: How do you guys go about nice, sharp, clear, pretty, unobtrusive voice balloons? Especially so that they're flexible and editable for every situation?
eww, everybody use marquees...

Use vector shapes. Theyare overall flexible, and stay editable.
You can move pointy thingies without affecting the bubbles, or resize the bubbles without ruining the pointy thingies.
Moving the bubles WITH TEXT is no problem (if you use vector text). As is editing the text, and tweaking the bubble to match it.


I use PSP7 so it might be a bit different in Photoshop, but I gues it should be close 'nuff.

1) draw elipses (white filling, black outline) around your text. On one layer. (vector layer of course)
2) draw pointy thingies, pointing to your characters, on another layer. Use point-to-point vector tool, or whatever it's called. I mean the thing that lets you draw polygons.
Make sure they are filled with white, _not_ transparent!
3) duplicate the elipses layer, set it to "screen" and place it above "pointy thingies layer"
4) profit!: you can now resize the wordbubbles to your heart content without quality loss!

also, I think it gives neat thought bubbles too- just add some random elipses floating around the text to the layer with pointy thingies.

BTW, make sure you work in, ie. tripple resolution, and use ie. 5-6 pixel wide black outlines. Then merge the layers _before_ resizing.
Alternatively, you could just check the "anti alias" (I think) box on the vector objects.
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"1.Scan in high res 2.tweak with curves,levels or something to clean up the scan (or use channel mixer to remove blue pencil lines) 3.Add colour using a layer set to multiply. 4.Add wordbubbles and text as vector shapes. 5. Merge all layers. 6.resize to the web size. 7. Export/Save for Web" that's all I know about webcomicking.

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Post by Christwriter »

Here's an even easier Marquee Photoshop trick.

1. Type in text.

2. Make new layer

3. Make your word bubbles around the text. I use the circle marquee for the bubble part and the angle lasso (insert the official term if you know it) to join double-bubbles and make the arrow-indicator

4. Fill with white, or whatever color you use. Make sure all of your word bubble is selected before you go on to the next step. Just use the Wand tool.

5. Go to Select>Modify>Border. You get a prompt asking you how many pixels you want selected. 3-8 will probably work. I use 5. Choose a number and click OK.

6. You should now see the outline of your word bubble selected. Half of it is off the bubble, half of it is the bubble. Fill however you like.

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Post by Kris X »

Personally? I avoid bubbles. Though I do not mind the occassional thought bubbles sometimes... But it's good to know should I ever choose to do so.
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Post by Toxic »

http://waterguy.keenspace.com/d/20040629.html

In that comic, I did the speech bubble in Adobe Illustrator. Just a simple oval and pointy thingy.
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Post by Jigglyman »

Even easier: use Flash. You don't have to worry about stroke or anything like that.

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Post by [AOD] »

I just draw boxes and squiggly ovals around my ugly, handwritten text, and my maybe... five readers seem to be okay with that, and so am I.

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Post by Anywherebuthere »

Sounds like I make life hard for myself...

I use the same Photoshop marque trick. But I use multiple layers

All of my text layers are "above" the baloons. Each balloon is a seperate layer which I use an oval marque tool or a box marquie tool..or freehand depending on the person, animal, plant, or mineral speaking or thinking.

Then I fill that with white, or whichever color I need...

THEN I go to my layers menu, and I select "outer glow", from there I change the glow setting from "screen" to "normal", I change the color of the glow to black, and change the size of the glow to "1" and the spread of the glow to "100".





....ah ha...ha...ha...er...

Remind me to clean my glasses and check the dates on these things.

er....
Viola, instant, custom, editable, word baloons.

The reason why I do seperate layers "linked" to each text is that it enables me to quickly and effefectivly move text around in case I don't like where it winds up.

If I need to do double baloons, or connected baloons, I just use a brush tool with a hard edge and connect them. I've also had some decent results using various techniques on each baloon. I can create "icy" baloons by using a brush tool and freehanding icecicles. I can create "thought" baloons by simply using a larger hard edged brush and "splotching" around the oval filled layer.

Now to speed up the process...I just have 1 "set" layer which already has the outer glow preset to "outline" whatever I paint on there. For each text layer, I just create a copy of my "outline" layer...otherwise I spend more time setting the outlines then I do creating the baloons.

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Post by Meljen »

I have a GREAT solution for this (hopefully it will help you), as I have troubles with creating balloons, too.

Follow this link:
<a href="http://blambot.com/menu.html">http://bl ... nu.html</a>

There you will find TONS of free things for comic-strip design, such as fonts for nearly every occasion (sound FX, general lettering and symbol fonts) as well as <b>balloons</b> and pre-designed sound FX designs. Pretty nifty!

Please note, though...you need Photoshop or Illustrator to be able to read the Ballon and SFX files. They're in EPS format. :)

HAVE FUN!!!!

-meljen

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Post by Sopheia »

I made a tutorial a while ago, and though I use a different method now, it might still be useful. Especially useful are probably the two links to another speech bubbles tutorial aaaaaaaall the way down... scroll scroll... that method certainly worked for me in the end! Anyway, here's the linky: -click-
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Post by K-Dawg »

Alaina wrote:I use Photoshop, and go:

1. New Layer--name it what you want

2. Using the Elliptical Marquee Tool, I make an oval for the speech bubble.

3. I click on the Polygonal Lasso Tool, hold Shift, and that allows me to add a tail to my bubble.

4. Then I fill the bubble in with black.

5. Then I go to Select-->Modify-->Contract, and put in how many pixels thick I want my speech bubble (usually 2 works fine).

6. Then I erase the inside of the new contracted bubble, and I'm left with a 2-pixel thick speech bubble!
I do mine this way too. But instead of erasing the inside, just fill it with whatever colour you want.
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Post by ChaosBurnFlame »

I use Illustrator and the Pen Tool

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Post by [geoduck] »

Paint Shop Pro has a "Preset Shape Tool" which can create.. um.. preset shapes like rounded rectangles. The outlines of those shapes can then edited with a Pen Tool, to give them Those Little Pointy Things. Sooper quick n' easy.
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