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General Chat => Creative Common => : Jim_Campbell 06 October, 2009, 01:55:52 PM

: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Jim_Campbell 06 October, 2009, 01:55:52 PM
In light of my ongoing failure to get a web version of the tutorial up, I've compiled all six posts into a 40-page (3Mb) PDF document and tidied them up slightly.

You can download this document here. (http://db.tt/cPOvpitz)

I shall un-sticky the previous thread, and sticky this one instead. Any further questions, stick 'em up here.

Cheers!

Jim
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: SuperSurfer 06 October, 2009, 02:08:42 PM
That's brilliant, Jim.

What a gent, giving away all your trade secrets (well, expert knowledge) for a better comics world.
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Mike Gloady 06 October, 2009, 04:24:31 PM
What kindness.

I feel I may almost owe you a pint now......  GRRRRR!

Ok ok.  Get that pencil out, "Mike Gloady - 1"
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: bluemeanie 06 October, 2009, 04:32:25 PM
Awesome, thanks for this!
Got a possible thing coming off soon and I've been pegged as letterer as its all being done on the cheap and nasty. Sure this will be loads of help and dont worry, I wont credit your help when my crappy efforts are done  :)
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Bouwel 06 October, 2009, 05:59:52 PM
Nice one. Appreciate you doing this.

-Bouwel-
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: TordelBack 06 October, 2009, 06:05:53 PM
And then there was the day Jim Campbell began to be worshipped as a minor deity. 
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Bouwel 06 October, 2009, 06:08:16 PM
And then there was the day Jim Campbell began to be worshipped as a minor deity. 

Only if he helps the crops to grow...

-Bouwel-
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Jim_Campbell 06 October, 2009, 06:09:02 PM
And then there was the day Jim Campbell began to be worshipped as a minor deity. 

Away now, and fetch my tributes. I'll still be here when you get back.

Cheers!

Jim
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: JAMESCOR 05 November, 2009, 06:21:11 AM
Thanks for sharing this Jim, I'm doing a strip just now and  my lettering on the first three pages is amateur at best. This will be a great help on the rest of it.

james-corcoran.blogspot.com (http://james-corcoran.blogspot.com)
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Jim_Campbell 05 November, 2009, 09:27:32 AM
You're most welcome, James. Anything in there that's not clear, or any additional questions, please feel free to post 'em here and I'll do my best to answer them.

Cheers!

Jim
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: radiator 05 November, 2009, 10:27:19 AM
Cheers, Jim. I've downloaded the file, and I'm sure it will come in handy at some point.
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: planetmirth 05 November, 2009, 01:46:08 PM
Cheers Jim - looks good.
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: mygrimmbrother 05 November, 2009, 04:51:37 PM
Finally tackling illustrator now, and using this guide as a starting point. Thanks again Jim.
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Jim_Campbell 05 November, 2009, 04:56:51 PM
Just in case it's not obvious in the text of the tutorial, my piece should really be considered a companion to Nate Piekos' article (http://www.blambot.com/grammar.shtml), which tells you where and why to use the various things that I only show how to do ...

Cheers!

Jim
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: pauljholden 05 November, 2009, 11:21:30 PM
This is a great guide, which I've only just spotted. I shall endeavour to get more eyes to it...

-pj
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Jim_Campbell 05 November, 2009, 11:35:22 PM
Thank you, Mr Holden! Means a lot.

Put a good word in with Garth for me, eh? I could use the work ... :-)

Cheers

Jim
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Proudhuff 07 November, 2009, 11:00:20 PM
bumpity bump
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Jim_Campbell 07 November, 2009, 11:13:37 PM
bumpity bump

This thread's stickied -- I don't think there's any need to bump it ... (?)

Cheers!

Jim
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Emperor 07 February, 2010, 04:11:08 PM
Just throwing it out as an idea but you could easily make this available on the Kindle and/or iPhone, even bung it through a POD service lie Lulu for those who'd prefer to have it in paper form....
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: CrazyFoxMachine 09 May, 2010, 08:13:24 PM
Oh brilliant I definitely need this cheers a ton Mr C - if anyone has seen my abysmal Crabcake comic you'll know I can't letter for toffee.

AND I LOVE TOFFEE
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: HdE 09 May, 2010, 09:26:23 PM
Having just been handed two 22-page comic books to letter, I decided to printoff Mr. Campbell's guide.

It's some seriously useful stuff. Many thanks, once again, jim!
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Jim_Campbell 09 May, 2010, 09:50:04 PM
It's some seriously useful stuff. Many thanks, once again, jim!

Ta! I would --once again-- also direct everyone's attention to this Blambot article (http://www.blambot.com/grammar.shtml) which I purposely avoided duplicating because it covers the so many of the major aspects of the letterer's craft that it's easier just to link to it!

As ever, if something is unclear in my document, or if you need any extra info, just chuck a post on this thread and I'll do my best to answer it.

Cheers!

Jim
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: CrazyFoxMachine 10 May, 2010, 01:00:02 PM
Ta again Jim I gave it a go last night and Crabcake is looking vaguely acceptable now - ! It's not polished enough to warrant a showing yet but NEVER YOU FEAR, you'll get full props when it does.
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: chilipenguin 08 June, 2010, 10:17:29 PM
Downloaded this as well. Cheers Jim.

I asked this over on the Millarworld forums as well, but does anyway have any unlettered sequentials with the corresponding script that I could have a copy of? I'm trying to practice some lettering but really want to have a go at a complete package.
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Jim_Campbell 08 June, 2010, 10:28:38 PM
I asked this over on the Millarworld forums as well, but does anyway have any unlettered sequentials with the corresponding script that I could have a copy of? I'm trying to practice some lettering but really want to have a go at a complete package.

The Digital Webbing forums are down at the moment, but their lettering forum has several practice pages, plus sample scripts -- they should be stickied at the top of the forum. If you want serious feedback, post the results up there: Nate Piekos, Clem Robins and Tom Orzechowski all post regularly, as do a fair number of other professional letterers. Be ready for some fairly, errm, bracing criticism but it's all constructive.

When the forum is back up, you should be able to check it out at this link (http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=17).

Cheers

Jim
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Jim_Campbell 08 June, 2010, 10:46:57 PM
The Digital Webbing forums are down at the moment, but their lettering forum has several practice pages, plus sample scripts -- they should be stickied at the top of the forum.

The forum's back up, and the 'Activities' thread is here (http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums/showthread.php?t=129182).

Cheers!

Jim
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: chilipenguin 09 June, 2010, 12:58:44 PM
You are legend! Cheers Jim.
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: HdE 21 June, 2010, 03:29:23 AM
Got a question - help me Obi - Jim - Kenobi, you're my only hope!

I've started on a new project this week which requires that I use rounded rectangles for speech bubbles and captions. As standard, these need to be double outlined.

Following the standard practice for creating double outlined balloons - drawing a shape, copying it, then alt-shift dragging it - I've noticed that the rounded corners of the two shapes don't look quite right - as if they're thicker in the curved parts.

Is there a simple way to fix this, or am I using the wrong approach entirely here?
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Jim_Campbell 21 June, 2010, 08:10:28 AM
Is there a simple way to fix this, or am I using the wrong approach entirely here?

That's never going to look exactly right unless you draw each separately and tweak the corner radius manually, which would be a right pain in the arse.

Fortunately, there's another way.

Draw your rounded rectangle. Increase the stroke weight until the thickness of the stroke is about the distance you want between your double outline.

Then go Object -> Outline Stroke.

Ungroup the result with CTRL-SHIFT-G and you have two separate shapes, one is the original fill for the rectangle, but your stroke is now a double path. Change the fill to whatever colour you want the gap between the double stroke to have, and then add a stroke colour.

Cheers!

Jim
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: HdE 21 June, 2010, 02:05:12 PM
Cheers Jim! That's a big help!
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: chilipenguin 02 July, 2010, 01:22:28 PM
Jim, any chance you could answer a quick question for me?

When lettering FX, should each of the different styles (standard, sharp and soft sounds) retain the same fill or gradient colours or should they be changed to suit the art? I am working on pages that are uncoloured so obviously don't know which colours will be best for each instance.
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Jim_Campbell 02 July, 2010, 01:30:58 PM
Jim, any chance you could answer a quick question for me?

When lettering FX, should each of the different styles (standard, sharp and soft sounds) retain the same fill or gradient colours or should they be changed to suit the art? I am working on pages that are uncoloured so obviously don't know which colours will be best for each instance.

I've done whole books with nothing but black outlines and white fills for the FX. If you don't know what colours are going to be on the final artwork, I'd honestly suggest sticking with that -- otherwise your colour choices might clash horribly, or be so close to the rest of the panel that the SFX disappear completely.

On pages that are already coloured, I vary the colours depending on the kind of the sound effect. Fiery KABOOMs are red, yellow, orange, watery SPLOOSHs are blue-green, and so on. I like to use a radial gradient and start the gradient at the centre of the impact/explosion/gunshot.

Cheers!

Jim
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: chilipenguin 02 July, 2010, 01:47:56 PM
Cheers Jim. Yeah, I kinda figured on the elemental colours (fire, water etc) but just wasn't sure about uncoloured art. It's not gonna make much difference really (it's one of the sample scripts that was done by one of the members here, so won't be coloured at any point), just for future reference.
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Jim_Campbell 16 August, 2010, 10:50:46 PM
When lettering FX, should each of the different styles (standard, sharp and soft sounds) retain the same fill or gradient colours or should they be changed to suit the art?

Here's my new thing… I'm leaving my FX with a white fill, and I'm using the eyedropper to pick up the darkest non-black colour from the artwork in the panel, and I'm using that for the stroke colour. It seems to make the SFX sit more naturally with the art.

(http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb36/jimcampbell2000/N_Land_Pg08.jpg)

Cheers!

Jim
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Danbo 28 April, 2012, 09:49:53 AM
Utter novice here and can I apologize first because I'm not sure what it is exactly called what I'm after(dumb I know,the link at the start of the thread didn't work so instead of trawling I just thought I would ask :))
I want to be able to put text on my drawing,not speech bubbles but say if I was doing a pic of Dredd and I wanted to put 'He is the Law' on there,how do i do it?
If you could point me to a tutorial on youtube or something it would make my day.
I got asked to do a fanzine cover but I don't have a clue how to put the things title on there so had to decline.
Thanks and again sorry for asking what I'm sure is pretty obvious beginer stuff that still seems like witchcraft to me.

(I have photoshop and manga studio if that helps)
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Jim_Campbell 01 August, 2012, 09:19:01 AM
the link at the start of the thread didn't work so instead of trawling I just thought I would ask

Ack. I forgot that this thread links to the now defunct MobileMe version of that PDF. I've asked if a Mod can edit the link on Pg1, but in the meantime, you can download the PDF here:

http://db.tt/cPOvpitz

That refers almost exclusively to Illustrator but if you have to letter in another package, do it in Photoshop -- MangaStudio is pretty much useless for lettering, IME. You should find some of what I describe in there, particularly about balloons, can be applied to Photoshop, using the vector shapes and pen tool.

Cheers

Jim
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Danbo 30 August, 2012, 01:31:24 PM
Cheers for that Sir,I will have a good butchers this weekend.
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Jim_Campbell 30 August, 2012, 02:30:35 PM
Cheers for that Sir,I will have a good butchers this weekend.

No worries. Feel free to post any questions you may have here, and I'll do my best to give you a helpful answer!

Cheers

Jim
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Danbo 30 August, 2012, 06:58:50 PM
Thanks again,no doubt I will have a few :D
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Mike Gallagher 27 October, 2012, 12:04:45 AM
awesome
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Jim_Campbell 21 June, 2013, 01:35:30 PM
Dash it all!

(http://i211.photobucket.com/albums/bb36/jimcampbell2000/Dash_Sample_zpsce64a279.jpg)

Quick, but hopefully informative, blog post about giving your SFX a dashed outline for extra emphasis and a bit of an old-school vibe… :-)

No, really, it IS a new blog post! (http://clintflickerlettering.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/dashing-sfx-old-school-look.html)

Cheers

Jim
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Professor Bear 25 July, 2013, 11:47:31 AM
I have to do several panels of characters talking Pashtun and I'm tempted to just put the word "gibberish" in each balloon, but have concerns that this might break the fourth wall for readers, and obviously it doesn't convey tone of voice* - so does anyone have thoughts on methods of portraying someone talking in another language?  I have seen panels where the text in the balloons is presented fully as untranslated text - or pictograms - and then subtitles pasted along the bottom of the panel, but this seems like it might be an unnecessary waste of space to me unless you have specific aims of replicating a filmic quality to the stroytelling, as it arguably forces the scene into a particular pacing.




* tellingly, "cultural insensitivity" is not on my list of concerns.
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Jim_Campbell 25 July, 2013, 12:24:02 PM
I have to do several panels of characters talking Pashtun and I'm tempted to just put the word "gibberish" in each balloon, but have concerns that this might break the fourth wall for readers, and obviously it doesn't convey tone of voice* - so does anyone have thoughts on methods of portraying someone talking in another language?

Blambot has a very nice selection of 'gibberish' fonts (http://www.blambot.com/fonts_symbol.shtml) that I've frequently deployed for dialogue that's supposed to be unintelligible for any reason…

Cheers!

Jim
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Hawkmumbler 12 September, 2015, 06:41:00 AM
Thanks Jim, this'll come in handy when I can finally start my webcomic. :D
: Re: Lettering with Illustrator: A Guide to Download!
: Jim_Campbell 12 September, 2015, 10:51:37 AM
Just as a follow-up to Bear's two-year-old question about dialogue in a foreign language, on the (really rather good) Burning Fields for BOOM, I was asked to mimic Deron Bennett's approach from Hacktivist, which looks like this:

(http://multiversitystatic.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2014/12/Burning-Fields_01_13.jpg)

Cheers

Jim