Creating Comics In Procreate For iPad Pro | David Miller | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (38m)
    • 1. Procreate Intro

    • 2. Basic Tools

    • 3. Enhancing Drawings With Blurs and Textures

    • 4. Resolution + Color Space

    • 5. Creating Panels

    • 6. Word Balloons And Lettering In Procreate

    • 7. Procreate Wrap Up

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About This Class

Welcome to Creating Comics In Procreate!  In this class we take our iPad Pro and Apple Pencil and turn it into a cartoonist's studio using the amazing tools inherent in the app Procreate.  You'll see a variety of methods to build panels for your comics pages, apply effects to your line art to pump up the storytelling, do hand-drawn letters in custom word balloons, and so much more.  See you in class!

Meet Your Teacher

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David Miller

Multimedia Artist For Primordial Creative studio


I'm David, a multimedia artist in Phoenix, and my studio is Primordial Creative.  


I have always been interested in the visual arts from an early age- drawing, painting, and clay- but around my high school years I became interested in photography for the social aspect of involving other people, the adventure inherent in seeking out pictures, and the presentation of reality that wasn't limited by my drawing skills.


One thing in my work that has stayed consistent over the decades since then is I have an equal interest in the reality of the lens next to the fictions we can create in drawing, painting, animation, graphic design, and sound design.  As cameras have incorporated video and audio features, and as Adobe's Creative Clou... See full profile

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1. Procreate Intro: Hello out there I am David Miller, Phoenix, Arizona and multimedia artist. I want to welcome you to this course on creating comics in procreate. And procreate is an application on iPads, is accessible on iPhones, iPads and iPad Pros. But to get the most out of procreate, I feel like you need to use an iPad Pro because that connects to the Apple pencil. And the great thing about procreate is it's very naturalistic in a way that a lot of digital drawing tools aren't. Prior to the iPad Pro and procreate and the Apple Pencil, your options were sin TQ, they were way calm or whack them on tablets depending on how you want to say it. And certainly scanning your artwork or doing things with a mouse on a computer. There's a lot of iterations of digital comics art. But procreate has a lot of the tools of Photoshop and has a lot of really unique calligraphy, painting, nature, textures inherent in them that look really, really good. And it has a lot of the functionality that you'd find in something like Adobe Photoshop, creating grids and selections, cut and paste, so on and so forth. As a drawing application. I think is the best drawing application I've ever used. And I've used quite a few of them, tried to create comics throughout. Paper 53 and so on and so forth. And didn't quite find what I wanted. Within procreate. I feel like I've really gotten somewhere. So I want to share a lot of what I've learned with you guys out there. And if you want to follow along, then by all means, get an iPad Pro Apple Pencil and procreate. And we can begin. If you don't have those tools available to you, then, you know, I suggest watching the course, seeing if it looks like something that you're interested in. By all means you can create comics with a standard pencil and any old piece of paper. I mean, that's one of the wonderful things about creating comics anyways. But I do want to showcase just what is available with procreates and hopefully give you a little bit of encouragement towards using it as a tool in your own comics. Making a quick word about making digital comics. There are a lot of reasons to stick with traditional media. Number one being, I think that if you're a fan of comics, are in comics history, you often want to do what your heroes did and work like very traditionally. Same with a lot of painters and photographers and so on and so forth. If they have a hero like Ansel Adams as their photographic hero than a photographer might want to go to the same places as him, shoot the same way, work in a dark room, make prints and all that stuff. I totally understand that digital tools are the kind of thing that you need to buy once. And then you have access to it over and over. You don't need to keep buying new brushes and paper. It's a lot faster than working in traditional media. Certainly like the drying time is the same. But the ability to apply textures or just the fact that you already have it as a digital file to send off, to be printed or showcase on social media or however you want to mess with it. That saves you all at time of scanning and cleaning up artwork in whatever you clean up artwork in once it's scanned into the computer. And then with a lot of these digital tools, there's the ability to correct your line work and maybe have it look a little more polished and professional when you put the line on paper as opposed to say if we had a traditional piece of paper and you drew something, instead of having the undo button available to you, you've got to erase it. You gotta patch it up with white out, so on and so forth. And then your line work itself might have less of a Polish than if you had something turned on that corrected a lot of your hand flaws in procreate. So there's some reasons why you might want to use this tool. But I think the best way to show you how it's done is to simply do it. So let's dive right in. 2. Basic Tools: So in this introduction to creating comics and procreate, I wanna take a moment and actually do a little bit of drawing and procreate. It is totally up to you how you want to draw when you make your comics. I'm not here to tell you one way or another if you wanna do color black and white, something that conforms to standards, super heroics, things that are more comic stripy, things that are very realistic, things that are like manga. It's a 100% up to you. That's not what this course is about, but I want to show you where the tools are and few of fun tips and tricks that I have. So first of all, the thing that you're gonna notice is immediately selected is the brush library. My brush library has a few more things than the normal procreate brush library has because you can import brushes. And the brushes that you import might be free. They might cost a little bit of money. I have this set of chinese brushes and comics, half tone brushes, things that sort of ape the printing techniques of the past. And then I have these stippled brushes here. Everything else I have is something that came naturally in procreate. So I'm gonna go ahead and hit sketching. And there's a procreate pencil by default. Hop out of that. And I'm going to be drawing in black, but just in case you don't know where that is, there's a color swatch library in the upper right corner. And you can not only select colors, but you can save them for whatever projects you might have. So we'll get into color palette a little bit later. I'm just gonna go ahead and pick the black tap that to get out of it. On the right-hand side, you have a brush size and brush opacity. So at the smallest size, at the fullest capacity, this is the line that I am getting. I can undo my marks with this reverse arrow underneath brush capacity, like so. And I can change my brush size and opacity to get something that's a little bit softer. Everything I'm procreate is touch sensitive. The Apple pencil responds to pressure. It also responds to like side motions that you might make with a pencil. I'm gonna go ahead and check these backups so you can see what I'm talking about. This is me brushing with my pencil sideways. And then this is me doing it directly without changing any of these parameters here. So really cool, really powerful with just the one procreate pencil that I chose. It a 100% emulates a regular pencil. So I'm gonna go ahead and draw a character. This is my character, Maddie. She's a angry version of my daughter, Maggie. And now I'm going to pinch and zoom in to refine some details. Like on an I might do something like add the iris. This is one of the main ways that digital art has transformed comics art in that you can really zoom in and get some tight details on whatever it is that you're working with. Some of these areas where I sketched, went over lines, her teeth, went there, go ahead and bounce over to the eraser. Now the Eraser tool is something that you can set up to have its own brush. It doesn't have to be just a generic eraser. So right now I have mindset to charcoal block. I did that by tapping the eraser. And if I go too far, if I have a two large just undo any area that doesn't quite conform to what I wanted to. I'm gonna go ahead and clean those edges. Ok. So nothing overlaps except here. Knowing that I can make these adjustments is so liberating. Because when you're in the drawing stage, if you are sitting there thinking too much about the lines you're putting down on the paper. You either don't put the lines down on paper or you don't do it with a lot of energy. And it becomes problematic. I think it takes away from the art when you don't include that spontaneous energy, at least the kind of art die like to make and absorb as a reader. So having done this, I'm gonna go ahead and add some color to her. And I'm going to use a different layer. This is no different than Photoshop. Currently, I have the background color, which is sort of like a default paper, white. And then I have my sketch layer. Here. We're gonna create a new layer by hitting the plus button on top. And I'm going to give her kinda like a pale pink color. And I'm going to use a paint roller. We have a flat brush up top, which is kinda like a default that most people would go to actually prefer a lot of these other textured brushes a little bit more. But for the purposes of this class, I'm just gonna use the flat roller. And this is on a new layer. Now, it doesn't matter if I paint over her here because I can move that layer below. Or I can change how the layers interact with each other by hitting N. And then you see a lot of different opacity options that are very similar to what you would have in Adobe Photoshop. Multiply is one that allows for the color to be added to what's below it. And again, I'm not being super precise with what I'm doing because I know I have the eraser tool. If you have the opacity lowered than you can get a lot of overlapping colors. It's up to you if that's the way you want to roll. For my intents and purposes here, that's not what I wanna do. So capacity all the way up. And because there's going to be areas that this color is going to overlap the other color and only to erase it, I'm gonna make it its own layer. And a layer there, switch it to multiply. So that's pretty basic. And you can see there's a lot of areas that I left kind of a less than perfect, but there's a lot more I would plan on doing with this drawing. And then just this simple angry face. When we dig into our brush menus, we see a lot of textures. We see vintage stuff, things that look really kinda weird and wild. 3. Enhancing Drawings With Blurs and Textures: I'll go ahead and show you some of my other work that I've done that utilized a lot of texture to it. This one actually started from a photograph. And you can import photographic layers very simply by hitting the wrench icon. On the left-hand side. You go today, add it says insert a file, insert a photo or take a photo, add text. So it's conceivable that let's say you had a fighting comic. You could take photos of your friends in fighting poses, insert them here and use that pose as a reference template for what you want to do. I think that is an excellent way to do comics that involve a lot of naturalistic poses like Mongo or super heroic type of stuff. You also have the option of creating motion blurs, perspective blurs and so on and so forth through this icon. Second one In adjustments. So here I've done a drawing, a superman. I'll go ahead and select particular layer that he's on. That's layer to go ahead and turn it off. And you see, that's where my Superman drones. I'll use this magic wand. I'll pick motion blur. And then I'm going to slide my pencil on the top of the page to give him a little bit of a motion blur. Now it's going side to side because I'm moving my pencil side-to-side. But if I move my pencil diagonally, vertically, you see how the blur changes its directions. Now, I'm blurring all of him and that's not what I want to do actually. So I'm gonna go ahead and cancel this. I'll go back into my magic wand tool and I'll pick perspective blur. This allows for a point that can remain in focus. And I'm going to pick directional. I'm going to aim it downward. And once again, I'll take the pencil and slide it on the top. And when I hop out of the magic wand, and you'll see that his face remained in focus. But the rest of him is the further away you got from his face, the closer you got to his feet, the more obvious a blur effect was. I'll go ahead and undo that because I don't think it looked that great. The next set of tools we'll get into more when we talk about creating panels. This essentially is where you can create rectangular shapes. You can do other kinds of shapes. You have ellipses. That's something we talk about when we work with word balloons. Just so you know, that's where that is. And then finally in this upper menu we see a selection tool. Bits allows you to select whatever is on the layer that you're working with. So if I have my Superman layer, there is a selection tool. It's grabbed all the data within that layer. And I can rotate him, pick him up, shrink him, flip them, so on and so forth, even distort. Where all of a sudden my drawing now has like a huge wide angle to it. And I'm grabbing this green dot at the top of my rectangle to rotate around. If I grab the blue corners, that's going to affect the distortion. Now, miss drawing, as it is, may not be the best one to do something like this with. Because if I were to turn off this layer by hitting the checkbox, you'll see that there was an element behind him that I utilized to create speed lines. But if I go ahead and eliminate those, turn him back on. I can absolutely select him. Create a different kind of background, maybe one that involves clouds. So we'll go ahead and create new layer. Find one of those cloud elements to work with. Maybe this wash wet sponge on top of that. And then because this element is meant to be behind him, but there's a little bit of a blur on him. I'll go ahead back to magic wand and give it a bit of a Gaussian Blur. And I did this just to showcase how you can approach a drawing with logic in the same way that a photographer knows that things in the background are gonna be blurry. And you can change shutter speeds to achieve certain kind of motion blurs. These are effects that we have in procreate, same as Photoshop, but using the incredibly naturalistic kind of artwork you can get with the Apple Pencil. And this program. 4. Resolution + Color Space: So when we're setting up our workspace and procreate, we go to the plus icon in the upper right corner. And then you have choices of canvases. Most of these are canvases that come with procreate. And the largest one by default is your screen size. But above that in the upper right corner is an icon where we can create our own kind of Canvas and keep it as something that we use over and over. If you are trying to create a standard comic page, what people generally used in the industry is 11 by 17 Bristol board to draw on. So that would be 11 inches by 17 inches at 300 DPI. And you'll see when I put those parameters in, it switched the number of layers that I have to work with. Layers are things that contain your drawings, your textures, colors, word, balloons, letters, so on and so forth. And you can certainly merge those layers down. So having a limit of 35 layers is no big thing to me. I am more than capable of working within 35 layers and merging down little bits of the artwork. It's really up to you. 11 by 17 is not how this would be printed. In the end, if I were to make a print, comics could be reduced down by half. So this is a really good working space. This is why people have been using this size in the industry in general. But it really helps to know what your final destination for your piece is. If you're creating web comics and they're only going to be viewed on the web. Drawing something in this vertical format is maybe not something that you're interested in doing. You can certainly switch to pixels. I have been creating pages that have been something in the neighborhood of this and operating at 600 DPI, whatever format you create in though, you can save it as a standardized format. It's helpful to give it a useful name. And now when I go back to gallery, I have that listed as an option with a name. You also can set up your color space here. So the one by default that procreate has called comic is a CMYK color profile. A lot of printing companies work in CMYK. However, the printing companies I work with, which are mad cloud and then blurb work in SRGB. So having this comic format That's six-inch by 9.5 inches. And CMYK isn't actually useful for me. I can alter that color profile over here. With these choices. A lot of these formats are sort of beyond what the average procreate user would use. Just know that it's here. If you find you're gonna work with a print company and they're asking for CMYK files, then you're better off creating everything within that particular format. The pages I have here for my own comment, copper plate are all dimensions of 5,400 pixels by 7,400 pixels. I'm going to utilize that for every single page I create for this comic. At a certain point, you have to come up with a standardized way of creating your work, especially what's going to be an ongoing thing. Because you're saving yourself a lot of trouble that you'll face in the backend if you don't work in a standardized format, Do your research, figure out how you're gonna present your comic, what's going to be fully digital if you wanted to fill an iPad screen. If it's something that's only going to go on Instagram, if it's something that you want to have printed out as like a standard size comic if you want to print out as a mini comic. But do that research early and figure out what the print dimensions are before you start waiting knee deep into these kinds of projects. Because drawing digitally honestly has lot of advantages, but it has a lot of disadvantages. When you work too small and something is very pixel ie when you blow it up. And there's really no way to correct that. I'm sure we all do this. So we have nice-looking artwork in the end, we don't want to completely spent a lot of time and effort drawing things that end up such low resolution, they look really bad on the screen or the page. In their final presentation. 5. Creating Panels: So we have a page and we're going to discuss creating panel borders. And one of the great things about procreate is because you can go to the wrench icon, you can insert a file or a photo. You could easily create all your individual drawings just on this page without creating panels. And by that I mean, we're going to start importing a bunch of different drawings and making a page out of those. And you can see how these are basically panels that I can stretch, overlap position Anyway. I want And if I want to be more precise with how I'm inserting things, I'll go ahead and create a grid on this bottom layer by going to Canvas, drawing guide, turning it on. And now I see and lines that allow me to better select and place where there could be like a margin that's agreed upon between. Within this drawing guide, you can edit it. You can change the number of grid spaces you have, the capacity to them, the thickness, none of it's going to interfere with your final drawing. It's sometimes good to have, especially if you're doing panel layout in this fashion. That's one way to organize your panels. Simply literally just put in drawings that you do. Space them around. I'll go back to add. I'll insert a photo and I'll show you some panel layout pages that I have saved on my iPad. So I'll go ahead and just drop it straight in there. And while it's selected on the bottom, I have a choice that says Fit to screen. And now you can see I literally have a premade page. This is something that I did with my own ruler and comic drawing paper. And in the past, before I was doing digital comic art, I would make these gridded pages, make maybe like a variety of ten of them. And then I would use a copy machine to spit out a bunch of Bristol board that corresponding to it. But if you haven't saved as a digital file, you can very easily drop it into a preexisting image file. So that's method2. Method three involves drawing out your boxes. And to do that, we'll go to this particular shape here, the third one in, and we have a choice, it says Rectangle, go ahead and add a rectangle. Now this is a selection box. And whenever happens within the selection box stays within the selection box. So if I switch to my black pencil and then I turn this off. Now I haven't panel. And what I can do at this stage is copy this layer. Layer five, tap it, have the option to copy. Go to layer six, which is empty, Go to my wrench icon, paste. And all of a sudden I have an extra panel to work with. And this panel, of course, if I go ahead and click free form, I'm able to stretch it any direction I want to. It's not going to have to conform to its original shape or size. And if you wanted to have this kind of rugged looking border, but you're like, I don't want it to look exactly the same as the one above it. You have options to flip horizontal, flip vertical. And that's a way of introducing variety into your panels if that's the way you want to go. So there you have it. Three options for creating panels in your digital comics and procreate. 6. Word Balloons And Lettering In Procreate: In this video, I'm gonna walk you through how I would make word balloons and put text in my comics in procreate. The first thing you should know is that because you can import photographs, it's very easy to find ping files. These are PNG images that already exists without any other background. If you wanted to find a word balloon of that type, it's pretty easy to find on Google or purchase through some kind of stock site. And then this could be something that you just use over and over and over again. The thing about these is that they look really uniform and to my mind, are not as interesting as varied word balloon sizes or ones that you just literally draw yourself. I'm a big fan of comic artists who draw all their own lettering and all their own word balloons. They don't use templates necessarily. You do have the option of bringing these files in, using them as time savers or as a standardized way to have word balloons in your comic strips. That said, option two is to straight up draw your word balloons. And this definitely keeps the aesthetic of the rest of the art you create when you're doing your comics and procreate, It's very time-consuming to do this. To draw where balloons every single time. Plus you have the issue that they might not look that great. One of the options you have to get, at least your line a little more streamlined is when you are using whatever tools you're using dry weather balloons, you go to stroke path and you crank up streamline and this will help keep your lines less crazy. It's not perfect, but it definitely gives a more polished look to any kind of line work that you do in procreate. Our third option for word balloons, to create word balloons within procreate. Save those as PNG files, and then have a stock set of word balloons that we create that we can then place ourselves. We're not utilizing something we found on the internet or bought from company. We're utilizing things that still have a little bit of that aesthetic that we've established in our comics and procreate. But they also make use of an ellipse template. And the place we find our lips template is the third menu. In the upper left corner. Ellipses one of the choices, I'll make sure I have ADD and my ellipse selected, and I'll go ahead and draw that out with my Apple Pencil. I'll go ahead and fill it in with white paint brush. So I've got my nice oval here. If I was just going to place a white oval for my word balloon and have a tail, which is little pointy thing that points at the character's head. Then I'm kind of good to go. At this stage. I can export this out and then place it wherever I want with my comic. Draw the tail on that layer to point to somebody's head. If I wanted to have a black outline. However, as you commonly see in comics, I need to make one extra step. And that is to create. Another ellipse, this one filled with black. And then size that underneath my current white ellipse. So I will end up having two layers. The top one is completely white, the bottom one is completely black. And I size the black layer, so it fits around the white layer. And the way that we size things, that we reposition things is to use the pointer tool as the fourth one. Deep in the upper left menu. This is where you have choices to transform your selection. Free form means I can move it around, squash and stretch it. However I needed to be distort is how if I wanted to share something that's not to me, I'm going to use in this particular case. And then uniform will scale everything at the same time. It's not going to shrink or grow one side or the other. Now I'm not going to draw the tails on these word balloons until I have them in my actual artwork and I know where the tails are supposed to go corresponding to somebody's face. When I am ready to export out this oval shape, my oval word balloon template, I'll go to the wrench icon and export out as a PNG file. This means that I have just that image, nothing in the background. That's going to be like a white field that I need to erase out. I'll import that into my artwork. Use the pointer tool to place and scale it where I want it to be. And then I'll go ahead and draw my tail with whatever drawing implement I wanna do. And it's pretty easy to outline that in black. Now to get the tail into the word balloon seamlessly, I'm going to either need to paint certain areas of the word balloon white where it overlaps. Or I'm going to have to do some erasing on the word balloon if I have my tail underneath. But the important thing is to have your word balloon and your tail B the same exact color. Otherwise, there's going to be a mismatch showing any of the excess that hangs out of my word balloons. I'm just going to turn down the opacity in the Layers menu enough that I can see through to the edge of my panels. And I'll switch to the Eraser tool, erase out the areas of my word balloon that overlap that. So I end up having a really nice look and word balloon placed neatly in the panel. It's okay if it bumps up on the edge. I just erased out the segments that I did not need. Now you'll notice this particular word, balloon, has pixelation around it. And the reason for the pixelation is because when I created it on my previous canvas, I made a very small word balloon. And these are not vector files, they are rasterized files. So you're going to have issues if you work with small, we're balloons originally. I'll go ahead and make a new one a little bit later. I want to finalize what I have and let you see how it looks when it has some hand lettering to it. I can free form hand letter with any of the tools. I would choose one of the inking tools myself. The problem is my handwriting kind of sucks and it's very hard for me to stay uniform with my letter size and make it look nice. So I'm going to turn on the grid. This is a drawing assist tool. You can find it in the wrench icon in the upper left corner. And this grid that you turn on can be resized. So you can have your grid boxes small enough that it gives you a really good lettering guide. And in this case, I'm going to right some random letters here, making sure that my letters are legible. And if I make a mistake, I'll just go ahead and back it up. Redo the letter for the words that I want to emphasize. If I was doing this in real life, I would be using a thicker weight marker or pen to punch up some words, but I'm gonna go ahead and just turn up the size of my brush a little bit. And there you have it. And now that I've done my word balloon here, I told you I would go back and make a new one that's of greater pixel dimensions. So I don't have that low res look that I had in my original word balloon. Go ahead and place this new one in there so you can see the comparison between the two, whether or not you're going to present your work in print or on a screen. I feel like anytime you notice a flaw, such as this pixelization, you have the opportunity to go back and fix it. And if you don't take that opportunity, it sort of looks amateurish. I really feel like if you notice a flaw and you can do something about it, you're going to have to do something about it. So that's my word balloon with the black outline, the word balloon that doesn't have the black outline, I think looks really nice as well. I've seen this in comics that I respect like cow bakers, Plastic Man from DC Comics, makes use of pure white word balloons that don't have a black outline. Of course, as in all things and comics, it's up to your own preferences. If I fill all my backgrounds with textures than that white word balloon really stands out. And if I'm even more minimum of my artwork and have a lot of whitespaces than having white word balloons doesn't lend itself to the legibility of the comic. 7. Procreate Wrap Up: Friends, I want to thank you for sticking around through this course. If you have made any kinda of comics work in procreate and kind of digital illustration. I'd love to see it. So you can send me a link through this course site, check out the rest of the courses I have available here on digital illustration, photography, multimedia. I feel like if you're into what we're talking about here with digital art and comics, you'll probably get a lot out of some of the other courses have available as well. Once again, thanks for watching Talk to you next time.