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Old 01-24-2015, 02:52 PM   #1
Redking84
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Letter captions on Transformers

I'm finishing up a webcomic and I added the captions myself. Still I know there are real letterers on here who can give me some good input, so I am welcome to your critiques.



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Old 01-26-2015, 12:23 AM   #2
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There are a few things that you can improve on. i'm still new to lettering but I'll give it a shot from a readers standpoint.

There is a big inconsistency with the caption boxes. Some boxes don't have enought "air" between the words and the boarder while some have just the right amount. Also, some have a black boarder, while others don't, mainly between the second and third pages. Consistency is the key. Plus, I don't think the gradient works too well. Black lettering with a black to white gradient makes it look a bit muddled, with some text, especially near the top a bit harder to read.

Just from these pages, the words are aliased, so they look really blocky, leaving a few white gaps. I assume this is done in photoshop or another pixel based program or they output is just too low.

Avoid tangent. In the third page especially. Either butt it completely to the boarder or leave a bigger gap

Finally, I'd adjust the leading (the space between the lines). There looks like too much of a gap so decreasing the lead can help.

I hope this helps
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Old 01-26-2015, 04:36 AM   #3
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Things I'd change:

Get rid of the gradient effect on the boxes. It looks horrible.
Change the font, or re-render it back out somehow to make it look like it isn't pixellated.
Leading. Bring the lines closer together.
Layout. You need to take a lot more time placing the boxes. Anything going to the edges of a panel should be consistent every time you do it. And I don't mean -the same-. That'll look a bit weird. I mean consistent. Which this doesn't.

Also, I'm not a fan of centre aligned captions. I'd shift them all to left aligned.
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:04 AM   #4
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Thanks, that's all very helpful. I used Adobe Illustrator 9 for the lettering and the text was 'BackIssues" Regular. I don't know why it came out pixellated, perhaps I'll try another one.
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:15 PM   #5
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Hop over to Blambot and Comicraft. Both sites have invaluable tips on the whole lettering process from choosing your font to exporting for print.

Well worth it. Try and get hold of the Comicraft lettering guide too. You won't regret it.
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Old 01-26-2015, 03:02 PM   #6
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I'd second pretty much all the advice on here. Changing the font won't help the pixillation on the text, BTW —*that's almost certainly something in your export settings.

Also, there's a fairly extensive set of walk-throughs on lettering in Illustrator on my blog — use the "Quick Links: Illustrator Tutorials" in the sidebar on the right.

Cheers

Jim
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Old 01-27-2015, 12:11 AM   #7
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Thanks Jim, I'll check them out.
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Old 01-31-2015, 05:55 PM   #8
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These seem to be character-narrated caps...so it's fine to have them centered if you prefer. You may want to consider quotation marks, too--but that's only if the story is being "told to" another character off-panel--like if these were flashbacks, for instance. I generally left-align only third-person narration caps....so they look different from character-narration caps. It helps the reader to stay unconfused.


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Old 01-31-2015, 06:08 PM   #9
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FYI--I cover proper caption punctuation and handling different caption types in my script format guide.

You can get it here free. I'm working on an updated, illustrated version, but it won't be ready for a while.

http://www.cartoon-balloons.com/downloads.html



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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETGevjPkZso

http://www.cartoon-balloons.com

Last edited by Comics Commando; 02-03-2015 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 02-01-2015, 06:33 PM   #10
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Wow! Great stuff, I've got some reading to do.
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