As mentioned on my Tumblr yesterday, Roy and a few others had been asking me to do more slice of life comics. A Japanese yon koma (or 4 panel) comic might be the perfect format for such a thing! Simple and to the point. Anyway, I have a problem where if I’m about to do something more than once, I either try to a.) automate it or b.) create a template/system for it. I don’t like wasting time and energy re-inventing the wheel. So I created this downloadable Photoshop template to share with others!
→ Download Here ←
How to Use the Template
It should be self-explanatory, but just in case here is some step-by-step stuff to show how I personally use this template. Obviously you can tailor it to your own creative process, but this would be a good starting point for those suffering from decision-making paralysis (what size? what res? how do I format it for the web? etc).
If you open up the template in Photoshop, this is what you’ll see. Borders are in a separate folder which you should be able to ignore. It also contains the editable text at the bottom for your URL/name etc. I wrote mine by hand.
Click on the little eye icons to hide the arrow and red layer. At this point you can just start creating new layers in the content folder. Don’t worry about going outside of the lines – I set up a mask so it won’t matter. This will keep the borders clean.
Once you’re done with your comic, you should resize it to a web-friendly resolution. It’s originally at 300dpi in case you want to print it (not to mention lines look cleaner when you work at a bigger size!)
I try to make sure my images are at 72 dpi if I’m putting them on the web. I also resize the entire image to 50% percent.
If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen me complain about Tumblr’s weird formatting when it comes to posting comics. I’ve seen other artists separate panels to get around this, and it works great! So I included a guide in the middle that you can crop to when exporting the pictures. Is it overkill??? Maybe, but I want to spend as little time thinking about dimensions and cropping and similarly tedious things so I can put more brain power towards actual content.
Hope some of you find this useful!