March 05, 2007

Dilbert does Photoshop

Heh–I enjoyed reading this bit in Scott Adams’s FAQ, passed along by Photoshop engineer John Peterson:

Q. Do you still draw the comic on paper?

A. Most cartoonists still use paper, at least for most of the work. They typically finish it off on Photoshop after scanning the inked work. Photoshop might be used for the lettering (using a font of your own handwriting) or adding shading and effects.

About 2 years ago I had some hand problems (from overuse) and switched to drawing directly to the computer, which is easier on my hand. I have a computer monitor that allows me to draw directly to the screen (as opposed to a tablet on the desk). It’s the 21SX by Wacom. It cut my production time in half. It’s different from drawing on paper, and there’s a learning curve of a few months to get it down. But once you do, it’s amazing. I use Photoshop for the entire process now. Then I hit a few keys and e-mail it
to United Media.

The ability to erase pointy hair in the real world is still pending. ;-)

Posted by John Nack at 9:05 AM on March 05, 2007


  • Tyrven — 10:11 AM on March 05, 2007

    That’s fascinating. I always wonder about that when reading comics. Although I’d expect a vector-based program like Illustrator would be more effective for, you know, illustrating. Admittedly the rasterized approach is more comparable to pen and ink, but the scalability benefits of illustrator would seem to trump that.

  • Dude-X — 11:38 AM on March 05, 2007

    I wish I can afford a Wacom Cintiq 21SX. But I will settle for the tablet since I don’t have any disabilities.
    And… Adobe announced March 27th as the release date for Adobe Creative Suite 3.
    [Actually, the announcement is for the date of the *announcement*, not for the release. –J.]

  • Mordy Golding — 1:40 PM on March 05, 2007

    I don’t think it’s surprising that Photoshop is used for many styles of Illustration. Of course, everything always boils down to the personal preference of the illustrator, but I can certainly understand why Scott Adams would use PS for his daily tasks.
    It was only the most recent version of Illustrator (CS2) with a feature called Live Paint where an illustrator could better mimic the mannerisms of drawing with pen and ink. But sadly, few are aware of this functionality. The good news is that each version of Illustrator takes a step closer to more intuitive drawing without all of the technical stuff that gets in the way…
    Although I’d be more than happy to sit down with Mr. Adams and show him the light… :)

  • Hellman Chica — 8:57 AM on March 06, 2007

    I have been interested in scanning cartoons and saving them as images within PDF but using OCR so that the text is searchable. However I wonder if there are any pointers on scanning to improve the accuracy of the Adobe OCR engine.

  • — 4:45 PM on June 09, 2007

    I didn’t really draw it that way on purpose, I believe it just naturally turned out that way.

  • Andy-X — 3:47 PM on June 13, 2007

    Photoshop plagin..? where? i want dowmload too…
    Thanx 2 site-autor :)
    [ur in my blog, droppin non-sequiturs… –J.]

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