Coloring Comic Timesavers – Flatting

Coloring Comic Timesavers – Flatting

Hi guys! Welcome to Coffee Table Comics.
I’m Jason brubaker. So I get a lot of questions about how I color my comics
and how use textures and how I manage my time And…so, let’s just group these
altogether, should we? Yeah? Good idea? So we’ve been
talking about textures and I made this texture video about creating textures
and we will apply that in one of the next videos on coloring but as far as
time management and how I color comics there’s little middle ground that a lot
of people don’t talk about it and that is flatting. I don’t know if you’ve
ever heard of flatting… (You’re AWESOME!) Thank you! Yeah, flatting is great and I hire a
flatter… (I like your pecks.) Thank you. (I love you!) No, I’m not talking about flattering I’m talking about
flatting. Now flatting a comic page is when you have your finished line
art done you create another layer underneath your lines called your flats
in this layer you have all the colors separated for each little section so
like for instance you have the skin tones all one color the machine one
color the wheels one color that rail one color and you create these flats so that
you can easily select the specific parts in the future when you’re coloring it
it’s not actually coloring yet but it’s preparing your pages for color. When I
first learned how to flat pagers were specifically to hire someone to flat
pages for me, it sped up my process probably it took probably cut out about
three hours out of my page coloring process so this was a huge time saver
for me to hire a flatter but before you hire someone you probably understand
what flatting is and learn to do it yourself if you’re starting out and then
later on once you realize okay and this is why I need flat, you can hire someone
to do it for you. It’s better to understand and know how to do the thing
that you’re giving someone else to do. That you are
paying someone else to do, so that you can understand if they’re doing a good
job or not. Before we go on please subscribe to this channel I’m gonna be
doing a lot of tutorials and videos and interviews and how-to articles and all
kinds of stuff and it’s all going to be here on youtube so subscribe if you like
this kinda stuff if you’re trying to make your own comics I’ve written a lot
of information about making your own comics and how to break into self
publishing your own comics I have a how-to book called a natural talent you
can get an audible Amazon Kindle so please subscribe and tell your friends
about it if they’re trying to get into comics and trying to learn how to make
comics so so how do you feel at all just walking through real quick what I know
about it so I’m in Photoshop right now what we’re gonna do is grab our last
o’toole lasted two lets you select anything right over here we have our
lines this is just one layer with black and white lines on it now when we have
our last tool we want to make sure to deselect the anti aliasing to live here
because anti aliasing is great for taking your are in a kind of blurs the
lines when it you know you zoom in really close you see these gray in the
lines of blurs it when you have the anti alias and tool off and you make a
selection you’ll notice there’s no blurriness on the edges of those those
lines they’re just solid black or white pixels so we went to turn off anti
aliasing my were doing our flats and while we’re working with our flats will
become clear later on why so what we’ll do is we’ll start flooding this guy and
so what i’ll do is create a layer underneath her lines and title it flats
think that’s how you spell flat we gotta make sure our lines are on Multiply
though so that this layer will shine through it so now that we’re on our flats as good a
nice skin color get our last o’toole again assuming that this guy and we will
get this polygon last tour so that the straight lines and what we’re trying to
do is this split right down the middle of a black lines everything that is in
color more in the center of the lines you can
get the better design you’ll have less problems later and sometimes you’ll have
some funny lines especially when you’re using paintbrush Intel brush pen like
I’m using so it’s just your job to kinda guess as to where to go best will
deselect the teeth here in the mouth will dislike that we are you notice my
last two has a minus or plus all tour option will make it into a minor so I
can carve away at the selection shift will make it a plus I can add something
to it makes sense so minus get rid of that so now that we have this election
we need to make sure that anti aliasing off because we have anti aliasing off
there’s this nice hard line of pixels underneath are really bad blurry zoomed
in art once you mail it looks like that and so now when you’re using your magic
1 keep anti aliasing off you can select that later and it’s easy to then just
opened a few centuries Asian justice skin tone whatever I want it to
be right now will do is this will just keep going so there we go so we have a
couple things slept and now are flooded as you see they’re all in one layer
below so you can slide this earlier and actually be don’t want to do that but
just to give you an idea of what multiply does so now that the whole
pages flatted we can go in here easily select any of these layers are coloring
it this is great for adding new layers with gradients and tones everything can be selected really easily
turn this on you know you can select one piece at a time turn this off the skin of that could
tone is selected the backgrounds are selected all this is like that so as you
can see this is why flats are important because it just makes it super easy for
getting in there and start to lay down the color you want so this is all ready
to go now it’s all ready to really start refining and honing those colors
creating good flats save you so much time when you’re actually coloring it so
below in the links I have some tutorials on flagging linked up one is by Kazuki
bu Shi who does the amulet series and he did the flight anthologies he has a
great tutorial inflating the basics of it the other place you can go for flagging
is gutters on be gutters on B is a forum for comic colors and so this is kind of
a great place to learn about coloring comics and and and they have a special
place for hiring people to color work or you can post your comment there and and
request you know someone help you color it and pay them so after you’ve learned
how to flash your comic and why you need to flash it I would suggest hiring
someone to flat your pages for you if if you can afford it and it’s usually not
that much money if you’re in Indy publisher you can probably ask for you
know I’m gonna throw this out there but you could probably ask for 5 $10 a page
to fly your comments in you know not everyone is going to want to you know be
hired for that rate but I’ve done that in the past and I have a great flatter
now who have given him a raise and I’m still in D but it still comes out of my
pocket so and he does a great job he knows exactly what I need his name is
Erin Daly you can find his link to his blog and you can hire him to flat your
pages for you he does a great job he knows exactly what he’s doing and he
gives it to you exactly the way you asked for it and he’s very quick and
efficient and like I say it saves me hours of time on every page now I know
some of your thinking well if there’s gotta be easier way to do this and I
don’t want to spend money well there are plugins in Photoshop and scripts you can
download that will you know go through certain process to flatter pages for you
and they’re kinda hit and miss because you know especially if you like me
thinkin stuff and there’s broken lines then you kinda need someone who has a
brain to to look at it and make good decisions on what needs to be flat at a
certain way so just running a script will will do so
what will work with some kind of art but it won’t work for with everything so
there’s a link in the description below for some plugins for Photoshop now if
you’re using like Manga Studio there are tools in there that allow you to flat
things really quickly and so that’s a really nice advantage if you’re creating
everything among the studio which you know if you’re starting out today I
would I would suggest taking a look at it is really cheap and it does all kinds
of stuff for you but if you’re doing it on pay-per-view drawing with pencil you
need to get it that stage done that you need to black your heart you need to
somehow process your artwork in going to color so one thing that makes flagging
interesting is it’s not necessarily coloring your calm it looks like you’re
coloring your comment but you’re not you’re just throwing in kind of random
color swatches to build a grab but one thing you can do to even speed up the
process more is give your flatter color key so if you if you have a bunch of
characters that are recurring characters are machines or or locations you can
actually give them color key to work with and say this building has these
shades these characters have these colors and if they’re willing to work
with you like that they will provide you flats that have all the local color and
a local color is the color in your comic that has no special lighting is just
flat it’s the exact color so it’s like my skin color is exactly my skin color
there’s no window lighting there’s no rounded shading there’s nothing is just
a flat peach color or in my case many as white flat the room to look like this
you know and then it’s easy for you to go in and manipulate those colors add
shadows at lights and but you have the base colors the
local colors are ready flatted and easy to select so that is a huge time saver
and like I say ever since I hired a flatter to start flooding my pages and
is about halfway through reminder volume on it increased my workflow like crazy
and I mean I was doing this at night after work and so I really needed to
figure out how to speed up this process so definitely look into flagging go to
gutters on be dig around through their see examples of
flats submit your pages to gutters on be in a thread and say I need some
wonderful at these rates would you give me or even telling your rate you know if
you want to only spend $5 a pager $10 page saying this is my budget and you
know some of them will do it for free to show you that they can do it if they
like your project so in the next video we will actually dive into how to use
these flats and how to start applying our textures and all that stuff if you
guys have any questions leave them in the comments below and I will answer
them in a future video so thank you so much for listening thank you for subscribing and I will see
you guys next time

David Anderson

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56 thoughts on “Coloring Comic Timesavers – Flatting

  1. Joaquín Padrón says:

    I do like the idea of gutter zombie, thaks!, good job

  2. NavyBlueManga says:

    hey jason have you herd of Bpelt/flatting pro for photoshop, it makes flatting a lot easier.

  3. Eric B says:

    the tool in the manga studio 5 program called select fill immediately fills a selection with flat color automatically. it makes flatting so fast that even when I'm working in Photoshop I will switch to manga studio just to do flats

  4. Kati Glow says:

    Thank you, that was really helpful! I've just been coloring behind line art… time consuming…

  5. Lord of Aragon says:

    Great stuff, I guess for me the question, more importantly would be the color script and choice. How do you determine what the color script is for each particular scene? Any tutorials or book suggestions would be awesome.

  6. Rocket 88 says:

    Thanks for the video , very helpful👌. How many Sithrah pages do you average in a week? Hiring someone to flatten vs. doing it yourself. I'm sure it's substantial.

  7. Will Nottus says:

    dude that flattering joke ….wut. no.

  8. HeyMattGirouard says:

    Jason, you have been a huge inspiration of mine for a few years now. I'm so glad you're making videos like this. You really know your stuff and do a great job explaining your process. Thanks for taking the time to do this, man!

  9. David Graves says:

    What was it like when you made your first physical copy of your book

  10. SuzySquidInk says:

    Thanks, this was so helpful! I've been looking to start digital colouring for ages and this has really inspired me to get going 😀

  11. Lewis Tillett says:

    Great video, really think I need to hire a flatter now, way too time consuming!

  12. Dario Di Donato says:

    Jason thank you sooooo moooouuch for your vids!

  13. Jen Himes says:

    Thanks for making these videos! I really like the way you color, so I was really excited about watching them.
    Flatting sounds like a good way to make a few extra bucks. I'm going to check out your links to learn more about it.

  14. +You Tube says:

    I have a question. Why do you set your linework layer in 'multiply' mode? What do you get from it? Thanks! awesome videos, thanks for the links!

  15. Dama Chan says:

    thank you for your knowledge Jason I will be putting it in practice!

  16. Evan Wilkins says:

    I actually did this without knowing what it was or how to do it efficiently. #SuperRookieLilBoy

  17. sa959144 says:

    the subtitles at 6:30…lol…"then just opened a few centuries Asian"…lol

  18. Dario Di Donato says:

    Jason i have question:

    I flatted my pages like you suggested and i saw i the russel k vid…
    it came out very clean and i got faster till the end of my Comic (print & web).

    I used to draw inks digitaly and closed every lineart so i could use the magic wand + select + modify… epand to Pixels and fill.

    I'm thinking about speeding up the process, and if the first very clean approach is realy worth the time…

    What is your experinece on this?

    (…I know you hire someone to Do the flats.. so it must be well worth the process)

  19. AlphaProto says:

    Wow, this video has so many of the mistakes I have been doing for years.
    The little mistakes add up when you ignore them.
    This video helps a lot! I can see myself getting paid doing this now!
    These tips cut my flatting time down drastically, and gave me better results.
    You just got a new subscriber, and a thankful viewer.

  20. ionlyemergeafterdark says:

    Thanks Jason. This is really helpful and intersting. I'm hoping to be an artist who will use digital to prepare or design before painting. Flatting is a good way to speed up the preparing for a painting. But I would love to be able to do comic art as well.

  21. Ruben Tailor says:

    I have a question why won't you use the Pen tool for doing the flats?

  22. Mariana Solares says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comics and I LOVE LOVE LOVE your art style! I'm 15 and I really do hope to turn my hobby into a job in the future, so thank you for all ou helpful videos!

  23. Keenan Reed says:

    Right on! Thanks a bunch for making this video!

  24. Patrick Robinson says:

    Starts 3mins in.

  25. Tejas Kamble says:

    can I do flatting for $10 per page

  26. Jillian Crawford says:

    I don't know why, but the idea of being a flatter is very intriguing to me. I know there isn't room for creative expression in such a thing, but it's still very interesting and I don't know why.

  27. Kitten Bombs says:

    Are there comics out there that dont ink or flat, but just go in and start digitally painting.


    Exactly what I was looking for, THANK YOU!!!

  29. Madison XYZ says:

    O.o I just realized that I've read some of your comics. I just started to watch you and wasn't paying attention to your username until you showed your art. XD

  30. 999safe 999safe says:

    Very Good Tutorial

  31. Brett Garner says:

    Thanks for your insights. Trying to get my head wrapped around all this, and trying to ignore the intimidation factor and just START something. God bless

  32. nemogarci says:

    Excellent Video! the best one that I have seen today for this topic (andI have to say that I did see a bunch about it).
    Thank you for sharing these tremendous efficiency tips that for sure will make our lives easier!
    Regards from México city.

  33. dotdotdot says:

    Just read the first books of your comic. You are amazing. Well done!

  34. Frankie Arkwright says:

    This is "The Thunderchickens", an all-ages comic that portrays issues like father/son relationships and mental health. Come show your support!

  35. Brammac Designs Media says:

    thank you learned about flatting as I went along. Use Daz Studio and loved the whole learning process. Mostly 3D Digital Web Comics for clients.

  36. David M says:

    Jumpscare at 5:45 xD


    man i love this video

  38. 齊藤真明 says:

    WOW i never hear mayonnaise white skin tones. By the way you are great person and artist, sharing all inside tips, is very kind.
    Keep it up sir

  39. Monica Orange says:

    Great video. I never thought about the anti aliasing feature before. I usually create separate layers just so it's easier to change individual colors, but that seems way more efficient.

  40. Aghast Font says:

    Couldn't find the anti-alias option on the CC2017 edition, could Adobe moved it elsewhere?

  41. Rebecca says:

    Awesome, thanks so much for taking the time to make these tutorials!!!!

  42. Julian Kunchev says:

    This is a great video! Very helpful, thank you!

  43. Heather Q. Agoncillo says:

    Thank you so much for making these tutorials! They’re really helpful. 🙂

  44. Leomar Credo says:

    Bro? How to save comics flat to jpg?

  45. No Name says:

    I heard that some people flat pages in like few hours, but i was just doing a page and to me 6 DAMN HOURS. I mean it was a pretty complex page with a lot of small detail, but still this is so time consuming ugh …

  46. Eureka says:

    Do you know there's such thing as MultiFill/Flatten Pro?

  47. Michael Beacon says:

    I've been using Krita and it has a "shapes fill" brush which basically combines the lasso with a fill tool, it seems to be pretty good. Anyone else use that? I'm finding it effective. I'm doing it to help the artist I hired speed the process along.

  48. POLKQWER says:

    2:54 thank me later

  49. Cultivated Rose says:

    I used to use a similar way of selecting and filling in colors. But then i realized that since my art is completely digitally made, putting the characters and background separately on different layers allowed me to select colors more easily. And instead of breaking it up into separate colours i have colour selection charts for each character and i add in the flat colors on the same layer and paint the shading in. The lighting and effects are able to be clipped to the colour layer and so it is fairly easy from there. backgrounds are harder to do to be honest but i mean they always have been for me.

  50. Samuel Flores Sanchez says:

    I'm interested in doing flatting as a job. Can you give me some advice about where can I start looking to be hired? Is there some online Color Artist community?

  51. Pete Marquez says:

    This looks difficult and time consuming, I can see why you hired someone.

  52. Tous says:

    Like manga studio; Krita has not one but three ways of flattening the image that save so much time. You can check those videos out from David Revoy. (Spelling?). And it’s free. I feel so bad watching Jason go through this process. What a hard worker.

  53. janette lynch says:

    Quick question, whenever you zoom in on your comic art the image does not seem distorted or pixelated and retains its good quality. When I zoom into my pasted art it always seems pixilated when I zoom in – is there a setting I can use to fix this when placing or pasting art? Thanks in advance.

  54. lunatiksAlterEgo says:

    I hate this process already smh

  55. Michael Beacon says:

    This is why I like Krita, there's a tool that combines the lasso and fill. Clip Studio has it as well, but Krita's is better because you can see where the fill will end up as you're using the brush, making straight lines far easier.

  56. Ogie Cruz says:

    hi. a colorist is thinking of hiring me as a flatter. i know basic photoshop as i worked before as a graphic artist. but as i chatted with the colorist he mentioned he doesn't used many layers for flatting. how do you flat without using many layers?

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