Saturday, May 3, 2008

How-To: Creating a Comic Panel with Inkscape
Using Inkscape I created the Comic panel pictured above, which can also be used to arrange artwork for Blogger Postings. I will use Schhoch Yaller Dawg Comics and various Open Source Tools to show how.

The Schooch drawing was done freehand with Inkscape and exported as a bitmap (PNG). The CAM Picture was culled from Engadget's website (a favorite of mine).

Opening Inkscape in 1024 x 768 mode I imported the Schooch bitmap (PNG) and placed it roughly on the top right quad of the drawing workspace. Next I grabbed the camera picture and placed it in the top left quad.

The picture was a Jpeg (jpg). Using Inkscape I arranged the two pictures and resized to personal preferences. Next, I used the eyedropper to grab the background color of the Schooch drawing, a pink. Using the rectangle tool I created an overlay over the entire workspace, and lowered it's layer to the back but still with control arrows showing. Using the control arrows I resize the pink background to allow room for a shadow border of a different color, black at first, later changed to a dark gray. This gray background layer was also dropped to the back, leaving the pink on top of it and the Schooch Drawing and Cam picture on top.

Next I used the Text Tool to create the Title and Subtitle TEXT.

Center and resize the Text before adding the 3D effect. This has to be done at this point of the sequence.

The 3D effect is created by grabbing the text group and duplicating it. Change the color by clicking on another color. Next grab the Text with your mouse button (left click and hold) and move it slightly right and either up or down). The move will reveal the bottom copied text in a different color and form a nice shadow (3D) effect.

Do the same for the Subtitle.

Now the important trick in Inkscape:

If you save now all you will get is the last item you worked with, probably the text move rectangle.

Get the arrow pointer first and make a large rectangle around the complete picture (too big is better than too small),

You will see dash rectangles around each individual part of the drawing. Each one is a separate entity, you need to group them into ONE. On the tool bar is drop down menu for Object. Click it and select the group choice. The dash rectangles will disappear because the parts have been joined into one whole.

Now, you can save your masterpiece.

I exported the Bitmap drawing above as a PNG (almost as popular as jpegs on the Web).

That's it. Pretty easy with tools like Inkscape and The Gimp.

Keep Drawing, the Yaller Dawg is Watching.

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