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Old 11-15-2008, 10:57 AM   #1
vartemis
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Creating multiple overlaying conversation balloons

I have heard of a couple of different ways to do this, and am curious as to how fellow nib-heads do it. Personally I try to avoid it like the plague because I feel that it breaks the plain, even if it does help to show order of conversation.

If you are unsure of what I am talking about, I am refering to a group of dialog between 2 or more people who have more than one balloon overlapping, yet linked together.

EX:

Balloon 1 is the furthest back, being spoken by character 1. Balloon 2 overlaps on top of balloon 1 and is being spoken by character 2. Balloon 3 overlaps balloon 2 and is once again character 1 talking, but balloon 3 is also linked to balloon 1 with a tail.

j
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Old 11-15-2008, 12:59 PM   #2
cyxodus
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I was just thinking about doing a video tutorial on this subject.
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Old 11-16-2008, 02:40 PM   #3
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Say you have three balloons total, with 1 and 3 linked and 2 in-between.

Place balloons, stacking them with the first balloon on top and so forth.

Copy the first balloon.

Do the join and tail between the first and third balloon.

Do the tail for the second balloon.

CTRL+F to copy in front.

Select this new balloon and the second balloon w/ tail.

Subtract Shape.

That's all there is to it.


If you have more than three balloons, subtract shapes on the second set of balloons before you join them.
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Old 11-16-2008, 03:19 PM   #4
Clem Robins
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i usually make six extra layers three for text and three for balloons. this makes the process of overlapping a little easier
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Old 11-16-2008, 05:17 PM   #5
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Same here. Here's my layer list:

1) Text
2) SFX
3) Balloon Top
4) Tails
5) Balloon Bottom
6) Art
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Old 11-17-2008, 10:55 AM   #6
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my normal layers are

text
balloons
spare clipping mask
info
page numbers
artwork
croplines

but for overlapping dialogue, i add four layers to this, and it becomes

text (top)
balloons (top)
text (middle)
balloons (middle)
text (bottom)
balloons (bottom)
spare clipping mask
info
page numbers
artwork

i said six before. i meant four.
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyxodus
Same here. Here's my layer list:

1) Text
2) SFX
3) Balloon Top
4) Tails
5) Balloon Bottom
6) Art
Yep.

Tom.
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Old 11-18-2008, 09:55 AM   #8
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tom, you do layered balloons?!

am i the last guy who won't?
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:28 AM   #9
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My balloons are all on one layer. They're just ovals with a black stroke. I LOATHE the layered style (one layer for the white of the balloons, another layer for the black stroke, tails in between on another layer. Blech. Too slow.

My layers look like this:

TITLES
LETTERING
SFX
BALLOONS
ANYTHING UNDER BALLOONS
BLEED MARKERS
ARTWORK

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Old 11-18-2008, 11:02 AM   #10
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my problem with layered balloons is that, as far as i've been able to use the technique, it makes it impossible to get the line quality i prefer for balloons. my balloons get a calligraphic brush stroke, which introduces a little uncertainty and imperfection to the line weight, and then i put them through a couple of filters, which introduces a bit of wobble to the lines.

i have never found a satisfactory means of obtaining this effect with layers.

i watched Kenny Lopez making balloons using the layered method a few years ago. you can't fault it for neatness or sheer, blinding speed. but i'm with you here, Nate. i like balloons and pointers all on one layer.

were you working for Marvel before they went to CS? back then balloons had to be done in layers, because the version of Illustrator they were using made it difficult for them to manipulate pointers.
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Old 11-18-2008, 01:08 PM   #11
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No idea. I started lettering for them using AI9 I think. Now I use CS2. I've always done my balloons on one layer.

When I have to do overlapping conversation balloons I fake it. I either make sure that not ALL the balloons overlap (which is nice aesthetically) or I use little white objects to "overlap" where strokes intersect.

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Old 11-18-2008, 01:14 PM   #12
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I refused to use the layered style until I figured out how to use it with my balloon creation action. Now it makes the layered balloon in 1 - 2 seconds.
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piekos
My balloons are all on one layer. They're just ovals with a black stroke. I LOATHE the layered style (one layer for the white of the balloons, another layer for the black stroke, tails in between on another layer. Blech. Too slow.

My layers look like this:

TITLES
LETTERING
SFX
BALLOONS
ANYTHING UNDER BALLOONS
BLEED MARKERS
ARTWORK

~N
Bleed markers? If you set crop marks, they're not tied to any of the layers. I have help guides for live and trim area on the dialogue layer and hide them if need be.

DIALOGUE
BALLOONS
TEMPLATES
ARTWORK

Titles go on the dialogue layer, SFX go on the balloon layer, template layer is turned off unless I need an SFX or something.

It all gets flattened onto the balloon layer for the production file.


Oh, and CTRL+SHIFT+[ to bring stuff to the front, CTRL+SHIFT+] to send it to the back of a layer.
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:15 AM   #14
Thomas Mauer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clem Robins
my balloons get a calligraphic brush stroke, which introduces a little uncertainty and imperfection to the line weight, and then i put them through a couple of filters, which introduces a bit of wobble to the lines.
I also use calligraphic brush strokes and have 3 standard angles. What I do is select the overlapping balloons and check which of them gives me the best result. If you use the same brush, you can avoid the bounce.

Haven't tried filters beyond that, thought.
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