Thursday, March 3, 2011

Photo Thursdays - Creating a Comic Strip with Your Photos

Be sure to check out Lorene's awesome purse organizer giveaway here! Hurry quick it ends tomorrow!

Everybody loves comics. What if you could make a comic strip with your very own pictures? That's exactly what we'll explore today.

If you missed last week's discussion on SuperLame, you'll want to check that out by clicking here.

To begin, you'll want to select a few related photos for your comic strip. Most basic comic strips have only a few panels. The more panels you choose to do, the more complex your design will become. For this demo, I decided to do a three-panel comic strip using the theme of Gummi Bears.

I brought each image into SuperLame and created a separate file for each image. The result is as follows:

Now that you have your panels, it's time to put your comic strip together. You can use any number of programs to do this. I chose because it's free and everyone can access it. You can apply these same steps using Photoshop.

Step 1: Create a New Image. This will bring up a dialog box that asks you to select the dimensions. This can be a bit tricky. To start with, you'll need to go to the folder where you saved your panels and see what the width and height is for each panel. This can be done by clicking on the image and leaving your mouse hovering over the image. At the bottom of the little window that pops up there will be a number like 571x482. This means the image is 571 pixels across and 482 pixels high.

Unless all your images are a standard size to begin with, you will want to select the image with the largest width and multiply by 3. This will be the width of your comic strip. For the height, select the image with the largest height and add at least 100 pixels. This will be the height of your comic strip. For my strip, I did 2400x620.

Step 2: You will now have a long, narrow strip. It's time to place your first image. You do this by going to the File option and selecting "Open image..." Find the first panel you saved from SuperLame. Once this file is open, select your Marquee tool on your toolbar. This looks like a little square with dashed lines.

Step 3: With your Marquee Tool selected, go to the Edit menu and click on "Select All." Then return to the Edit menu and select "Copy."

Step 4: Click over to the blank comic strip canvas you previously created. Go to the Edit menu one more time and select "Paste." Your first panel should have pasted itself in the middle of your canvas. You will probably want to move it. To do this, select the arrow tool from the toolbar and click and drag your image to the desired location. Remember to leave some space at the top for the title of your comic strip.

Step 5: Repeat steps 2-4 for the remaining panels of your comic strip.

When you are finished, you should have all your panels on one strip. If you look to the right at your Layers pallet, you will notice each panel is on a separate level, which is great because you can manipulate each panel independent of the others.

Step 6: Now we're ready to add the details like typing. To type, click on the large, capital A. Then click in the top-left corner to begin typing the title of you comic strip. You can change the font, size and color of the font in the window that pops up.

You may need to reposition your typing, but once you're done, your finished product should look a little something like this. (You may want to click the image to see a larger version...)

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