Manga Tutorial for Beginners 13: Let’s Draw Focus/Effect Lines and Letterings
Hi, this is “ГФ”.
Today, I’ll show you the crucial part of manga production: the method of focus/effect lines and letterings.
Let’s Draw focus/effect lines
When you were reading manga, I believe you noticed there are some expressions like these.
“Focus Line” on the left gathers readers’ attention to objects on the center of lines and highlights the objects.
“Effect Line” on the right adds motions to frames or pictures.
By placing these lines effectively in the frame layout, these lines will serve as gaze guidance and you can control readers’ sight. (For further information, see “Manga Tutorial for Beginners 06 Let’s think about frame layout and screen.”).
This time, I’ll show you the way of drawing these lines in MediBang Paint!
① Draw lines using snaps
In order to draw focus lines in an analog-ish way, set the “Radial Snap” (Set “Crisscross Snap” and “Parallel Snap” for effect lines).
Having set the radial snap, then add a new layer for the snap, and start drawing lines toward the center. There’s no need to be so meticulous about lines sticking out from the frame since you will eventually erase them.
“Pen (Stroke Pressure)” will create dramatic lines that taper off at the edges towards the center.
Allow the clearance between lines with the whole image of the completed radial snap in your mind!
Continue drawing while rotating the canvas.
Having finished drawing the lines, now you will erase the unnecessary parts. You would do well to use “MagicWand Tool” rather than using the eraser tool or something.
Hide the radial snap layer, and use “MagicWand Tool” to select the part where you want to leave the lines.
Inverse the selected part.
Then, show the snap layer again, and select “Clear” from the “Layer” toolbar. Now all the lines except in the selected part are deleted at once!
Now you’ve created an amazing focus line.
As for creating effect lines, you can use “Crisscross Snap” or “Parallel Snap”. There’s no difference in its drawing method from drawing focus lines.
② Use filters
Unless you have some creative obsessions for line designs, using filters is absolutely effective!
Add a new layer for the focus lines and select “Line (Concentration)” from the “Filter” toolbar.
Then a window like this appears. Adjust the length, width and density while checking a preview image on the window. The center of lines is adjustable by moving a blue dot on the image.
In accordance with your need, the center might be out of the frame, but it’s totally fine.
After setting all the parameters, check the OK button.
Then, just like what you did in method ①, “Select”→“Inverse”→“Clear” to erase the unnecessary lines.
You can draw effect lines in the same way by adding a new layer for effect lines, selecting the outline of the frame, and then, click the “Filter”→“Line (Parallel)”.
The rest is the same too, adjusting parameters and erasing the unnecessary lines.
③ Use materials
There are several materials for focus lines or effect lines in MediBang Paint, so you can use them if you like.
Add a new layer for focus/effect lines, and open the material dialog by clicking on the material icon, select “Tone”. Then drag-drop the material you chose on the canvas.
What you need afterward is just to erase unnecessary lines.
Also, you can find materials for focus/effect lines in the cloud, so try them out!
By the way, cloud materials of MediBang Paint are permitted for commercial uses.
※See the article pertaining to the use range of contents.
Let’s design letterings
Lettering is the crucial and instrumental element for designing manga works.
Some distinctive letterings even work by themselves as marks for readers to recognize particular works at the first sight, like, “oh, this is from that manga!”.
Letterings are not just “letters” but you can think that they also have elements of “drawings” or “designs”!
Things to remember for letterings
Things to remember for letterings ①: Express the texture of sound with drawings
For example, see these three letterings for the sound “ドカッ (Doka)”, a Japanese onomatopoeic word referring to something that crashes.
The lettering ① is an ordinary lettering without any special arrangement.
The lettering ② has a cute design with a rounded shape. it’s not suitable for conveying the solid texture of the sound “ドカッ”, but it would work when adorable characters are crashing or slipping up in a funny way.
The lettering ③ has a dramatic design, which depicts well the intensity of the sound in serious scenes.
Also, the size of letterings are capable of telling the volume or distance of the sound.
Design them while pondering what kind of circumstances you are trying to convey via your painting!
Things to remember for letterings ②: Design it in perspective
Drawing a lettering in perspective can add some motion and refine its shape. If you place the lettering in frames properly, it will also work as a gaze guidance of readers.
Things to remember for letterings ③: Design it while maintaining the minimum readability
The major properties lettering have are “picture” and “design”, but lettering is nonetheless “letter”.
The lack of readability as a result of the obsession with the design that goes too far confuses your readers. If the lettering you are drawing needs to be understood, you should draw it while saving the minimum readability!
Letterings for monologues of characters, for instance lines out of speech bubbles, need to be drawn with a special care in order to be a readable letter.
Basically, there are two patterns in placing letterings.
① Letterings in front of pictures
② Letterings behind pictures
Firstly, draw a picture and a lettering on two separate layers beforehand.
① Letterings in front of pictures
In order to make it clear that the lettering is in the foreground, paint the border with white.
There are three ways to paint the border:
❶ Add a new layer under the lettering and draw with white
❷ Erase the picture around the lettering
❸ Hide the part of picture where overlaps the lettering with a mask layer
To think of the case of revision needed, ❶ and ❸ are recommended since these are easy to undo.
Read the article about how to use the mask layer.
② Letterings behind pictures
Since the lettering is behind the picture, the part of the lettering which overlaps the picture needs to be hidden.
Same as ①, there are two options: erasing the lettering itself or hiding the overlapping part with the mask layer. For the same reason, you’d better use the mask layer.
Bonus: Perfect for letterings! Complimentary brush available in MediBang Paint
※Click the name of brushes and download them!
This is the end of today’s tutorial.
Take full advantage of focus/effect lines and letterings, and create a personality of your manga work!
Next tutorial will be about “fill in a solid black”!
Click Here for Previous Tutorials.
Click here for the collection： https://medibang.com/u/seledkapodshboi/
You can read my manga here → https://medibang.com/book/0c2101280307258390018866367/
This is also a manga that I draw under a different name. → https://medibang.com/comics/official/dobs340000005872400000000000a/
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