Skip to main content

Lettering with Inkscape.

Does anyone have any links to tutorials and templates for lettering with Inkscape? (Preferably one that explains how to letter appropriately for both the web and print.) I know Illustrator is the most popular choice for lettering, but I cannot install it on my computer.

...

Shishio's picture

I see. Thank you for sharing that.

...

Shishio's picture

Normally, I would agree, but my only concern is print quality. As I said, I have heard from a number of professional letterers that raster programs are not good for lettering.

Which makes me worry that perhaps raster programs do not produce lettered pages that can be printed properly, and if I have to letter something, I would prefer to only have to do it once.

(Not that I will be printing anything anytime soon, but you never know.)

If you learn how to open non-MS files in Manga Studio, please let me know how to do this. Thanks.

Raster vs. Vector

EricMillikin's picture

For what it's worth, all the major newspaper syndicates transmit their files as raster images. As part of the printing process, all vector images are turned into raster images. They go through a RIP, which is a Raster Image Processor.

So basically, a raster image at a high enough resolution is as good as a vector image, since all vector images get turned into raster images when they're printed anyway.

--------------------------

Fetus-X is the greatest comic in the world.

It's all a matter of what

Greg Carter's picture

It's all a matter of what works for YOU. Unless you have some kind of requirement from someone you are professionally letting for, then don't sweat what program you are "supposed" to use. Keep trying and it will get easier.

I just got Manga Studio and haven't checked it out fully yet, but I think you can import and export other formats, even though you have to work with the file in their format. I hear a lot of good things about it. I'm not partial to vector graphic programs though. I'm olde skool, I guess.

I want to move away from the expensive Adobe programs because I'm tired of having to buy an upgrade every year or two. I can't really justify the expense if I can do the same thing in GIMP for free that I can do is P$. That's why I'm curious about Inkscape now. Freeeeeeeeee!

Greg Carter
Abandon
UpDown Studio

Greg Carter - Abandon: First Vampire - Online Graphic Novel

...

Shishio's picture

Well, thank you for the replies everyone.

I know that you can letter with Photoshop, but I did not want to use it as I have heard (From professional comic book letterers, no less.) that it is not a good program to letter with. The ideal programs to use are vector programs. Such as Illustrator, Inkscape, Sodipodi, etc.

I also tried Manga Studio 3, which is supposed to be a really good comic creation program, but there seems to be no way to work with .gif, .jpg, .tiff, .png, etc; files.

*Pulls hair out.*

I can't believe how complicated this turned out to be. (I suppose that sounds silly, but I am computer illiterate.)

Thanks! That's very

Greg Carter's picture

Thanks! That's very interesting! I'm going to try it out. There's a tech talk thread at The Engine that contains a post telling about how to get the curly tails. I can't find it, but maybe you'll have better luck. http://www.the-engine.net/ There's lots of good stuff there.

Greg Carter
Abandon
UpDown Studio

Greg Carter - Abandon: First Vampire - Online Graphic Novel

What is Inkscape? Can you

Greg Carter's picture

What is Inkscape? Can you drop a link to info?

I use Photoshop but I'm switching to GIMP because I don't want to pay for the annual Photoshop upgrades any more.

Here's the tutorial where I found the method I use: Making Word Balloons In Photoshop. It's soooooo easy.

Greg Carter
Abandon
UpDown Studio

Greg Carter - Abandon: First Vampire - Online Graphic Novel

www.inkscape.org

jsandas's picture

Inkscape is a free vector graphics program – the Illustrator to GIMP's Photoshop, more or less. It can be found at www.inkscape.org.

To answer the original post: I don't currently use Inkscape myself, but there's a user's guide called, suitably enough, A Guide to Inkscape, which has a pretty detailed section about text. Nothing about lettering comics specifically, but there doesn't seem to be anything you'd need to do in a word balloon that the program doesn't support.

Text done in a vector graphics program is of course resolution independent, but I don't know how that works if the rest of your comic is a bitmap image (as anything coming from a scanner will be). I use vector graphics (which, incidentally, don't actually use vectors these days. Go figure) for the whole image, myself, so I've never had to think about it. If people do it in Illustrator already it's clearly possible, though.

Another program worth keeping an eye on would be Xara, which is already a very reasonably priced vector graphics program for Windows, and is slowly turning into a free, cross-platform one.

-----
Unreal City, a Graphic Novel.

I would endorse Photoshop

I would endorse Photoshop even though it tends to be frowned on by the Adobe Illustrator community out there. I lost my letterer for The Spires recently and - whilst I don't claim to be an expert by any means - I've managed to make a good fist at lettering a page or two by myself, using a tutorial identical to the one Greg mentioned. Highly recommended.

Now ... anyone know where I can find a tutorial to make the pointers (and links between balloons) curved rather than straight?

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

Website: www.brokenvoice.co.uk
Contact: edit_bvc@yahoo.co.uk

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

This tutorial gives you a

Gordon McAlpin's picture

This tutorial gives you a basic run-down of how to use the pen tool.

Once you've done that, in Illustrator, you can use the Pathfinder palette to merge (using "Make Compound Shape" or "Add to Shape Area"), to make them act as if the pointer and the balloon are the same shape. You don't want to Expand it, or you won't be able to reposition the pointer as easily. I don't know how to do it or if you can that in Inkscape, though.

The only think you have to worry about with lettering for print and the web is colors (CMYK for print, RGB for the web) and legibility (the web sometimes needs things to be a bit larger, since it's only 72 DPI, not 300 DPI). Otherwise, it's done exactly the same.

Multiplex is a weekly webcomic revolving around the staff of the Multiplex 10 Cinemas.

Multiplex is a twice weekly humor comic about the staff of the Multiplex 10 Cinemas and the movies that play there.

Thanks. That's a great

Thanks. That's a great tutorial by the look of it.
It's the kind of thing I was looking for but I was really looking for the same sort of thing in Photoshop.
Ah well ... if anyone else out there knows ...

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids

Website: www.brokenvoice.co.uk
Contact: edit_bvc@yahoo.co.uk

Broken Voice Comics
Because comics are not just for kids