Friday, July 7, 2017

Noir Style Tutorial, Pt. 2 - Tools of the Trade

The technique I am using to create my noir comic look requires the use of Poser 11. I'm sorry to say, I have not been able to replicate this approach with Daz Studio. I think this might work with Carrara, but I have not tested it sufficiently, so I cannot attest to that.

Even so, many of the general principles I will discuss can be used with Daz Studio. But if you are intent on using Daz Studio, I strongly suggest you subscribe to John Garrett's YouTube Channel and sit through his incredibly detailed, and very thoughtful video on what he calls "The Ambient Method." There is also a text write-up here. He gets very solid results, and he uses entirely free software. My method uses software that is purchased.

Required Software:- Poser 11 (pro or base)
- Photoshop CC (any version will do)
- Manga Studio 5 (base or EX, also called Clip Studio)

A few words about the software: Either version of the most current version of Poser will work. It just needs to list "Live Comic Book Preview" under its features. If you're not familiar with Poser, I urge you to get the less-expensive version until you find out if this is something you're going to use on a frequent basis. The Pro version has neat features, but we don't need them for this technique. You can get the base version of Poser 11 for $80 - $130. They have frequent sales, and even though the retail price is $130, you can almost always find it on Amazon for $99. Their main site is

I've been using Photoshop professionally since the 1990s. I have no interest in learning how to use GiMP. That being said, GiMP is a great tool and if you're on a budget (or just a fan of open-source software) then you should get it. As you'll see, almost any image editing software will do the small job I require of it.

The Bargains shall be MINE!"
© 2017 Mike Mitchell
You can use almost any version of Manga Studio (it is also called Clip Studio). There is a debut (simple) version and an EX ('extended) version. The biggest difference between them is that the EX version lets you build books, whereas the other version limits you to one page at a time. Honestly, this is not a very important distinction because you can make each page separately (including 2-page spreads) and then combine them in another program, or just save the pages as TIFFs and email them to your printer. This is another Smith Micro product, and retails between $50-$210. There are frequent sales, though, and you can get this for $40-$130 pretty easily.  BTW: When I started this, I only had Manga Studio 4, and it worked perfectly. I only upgraded because I wanted to make sure it would work with my new Windows 10 computer. A friend of mine was interested in digital inking and I found a copy of version 4 (which will work perfectly with this tutorial, by the way!) for only $20. MORAL OF THE STORY: Shop around.

NEXT TIME: Figures & Textures

No comments:

Post a Comment