I recently began doing a weekly online comic strip called the Punksters.net comic strip. It features punk rock characters and can obviously be viewed on the Punksters.net website. All of it is put together on the computer and some have asked me what software I use to put it together. So that's what this article is about.
The first thing I did was create the characters. I created them all in Daz Studio. If you are not familiar with Daz Studio, it is a similar program to Poser but I kind of prefer it over Poser. You can find out more about Daz Studio by going to their website, Daz3d.com.
I basically set up each scene in Daz Studio first, using the characters I have already created. The beauty of the whole thing is that once you create the characters, you can use them over and over again in as many images you desire. I prefer to do each frame 800 x 800 pixels. That's larger than the end product but I prefer to lay it out in a larger size. It seems easier to do that way.
I try to make sure I create an image that allows enough room for the captions I plan to use for each frame. My preferred format is basically three frames to set it up for the punchline in frame four; which makes for four frames for each comic strip.
I use a program called Manga Studio from Smith Micro (same company that does Poser) for the captions. Manga Studio can be used to create comics from scratch if you want to do it all in one program. I will be honest and say that I am not very good at the program and I really only use it to add the captions to the images I create in other programs. After I add the captions to a frame, I export the image as a jpeg.
After I create the jpeg with the caption, I just import it into the G.I.M.P image manipulation program. It is an open source program and is available for free download. I use it to resize each frame from 800 x 800 pixels to 360 x 360 pixels.
Then I go into Windows Paint and create a blank image that is 740 x 740 pixels. After that I put in each frame. Then I add my signature, Punksters.net, on the bottom left and add the release date on the frame on the bottom right. So there you have the final product like the one displayed above.
It took some playing around and experimentation to develop a system but once I developed it, it became quite easy to do after a while. The 740 x 740 image size works perfect for adding a new strip to my website. It fits perfectly on the pages of the site. The only thing I do is just a slight reduction in size in the web development program, Microsoft Expression Web, which is available now for free download as well. I resize it in that program to 730 x 730 pixels.
So that's how I do it, for those of you who were wondering and for those of you who care.