Creating Word Balloons in Manga Studio Debut

You've created all the dialogue for the page. Now it's time to add some word balloons so that the reader knows who's saying what to whom.

First, the bad news: Creating word balloons isn't the easiest thing to do in Manga Studio Debut. Fact is, it's a multistep process to create word balloons for your text. (Manga Studio EX really shines here — the process of making word balloons is much easier with this version. If you're using Manga Studio EX, skip ahead to the "Creating Word Balloons in Manga Studio EX" section.)

The good news is that this process can give you some artistic freedom to come up with you own style. (If you've created word balloons in Photoshop, the process isn't that much different in Manga Studio Debut. The only difference is for those who use the selection tools in Photoshop, as you won't be using that in Manga Studio.)

To create a word balloon in Manga Studio Debut, follow these steps:

I—| 1. Create a new layer for your balloons by selecting Layer <> New Layer —' j from the main menu. Enter a name (like "Word Balloons") for the Layer Name, and click OK (the default options will work just fine for this).

2. Select the Shape tool from the Tools palette.

3. If it isn't active, press F3 on your keyboard to bring up the Tool Options palette.

In Chapter 5,1 discuss the options on this palette in greater detail, but because you're looking to create a simple word balloon here, I discuss just the options you need to set the Shape tool up to create the balloon.

The Tool Options palette expands to include the advanced options, as shown in Figure 12-8.

5. Select the Elliptical Shape option.

6. Adjust the line size to whatever size you want by entering a value in the Line Size text box.

The value for this option is subjective. Most artists tend to go with a thinner line for the word balloons. (Then again, you're not "most artists," now are you?)

7. Select the Start from Center check box.

This option helps make the word balloon a bit easier, as it allows you to create the shape starting from the middle of the text.

4. If it isn t already active, click the Show Menu button on the Tool Options palette and select Advanced Settings Mode.

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8. Make sure that the Fill Inside check box is deselected.

Because the fill is in the foreground color (in this case, black), it's hard to see the text when it's obscured by a black oval.

9. From the main menu, choose Layers New Layer,

10. When the New Layer Dialog box pops up, enter a name for your new word balloon layer.

You don't need to adjust the other settings in the New Layer dialog box — the settings default to a raster layer at the highest resolution relative to the page, which is fine for a word balloon layer.

12. On the Layers palette, select the word balloon layer and drag it down the list of layers until it's below all of the text layers for the page.

13. Make sure that the word balloon layer is highlighted on the Layers palette, and then click the text you want to draw around with your mouse and stylus.

14. Drag the shape out from the text until it's at the size and shape you want, and release.

This creates the body of the balloon around your text.

15. Select the Curve tool on the Tools palette.

You use the Curve tool to create the tail for the balloon.

16. If you wish to add a slight taper to the curved lines you create for the balloon tail, select the Taper Out option on the Tool Options palette and enter a value in its corresponding text box.

17. Starting from the word balloon, click it and drag the tool down until it's at the length you want. Then drag the tool until it's at the bend you want.

18. Repeat this for the other side of the balloon tail.

Your word balloon should look similar to the one in Figure 12-9.

19. From the Tools palette, select the Eraser tool.

You can select a smaller eraser quickly by holding down on the button for a couple of seconds and selecting from the menu that appears.

20. Erase the excess lines from the word balloon and tail.

Figure 12-10 shows a balloon before and after erasing the extra lines.

Figure 12-9:

Creating a tail for your balloon is a cinch!

Figure 12-10 shows a balloon before and after erasing the extra lines.

Figure 12-9:

Creating a tail for your balloon is a cinch!

Figure 12-10:

Erase the excess lines from your word balloon.


On this step, you need to make sure you don't accidentally create a gap in the word balloon, or the next few steps won't work properly. If you find you do create a gap, simply Undo (Ctrl+Z or 36+Z) and try again.

21. Select the Fill tool on the Tools palette.

22. Select the background color (in this case, white) on the Tools palette.

23. Click the Show Transparency button, located on the Page toolbar.

This makes it easier to see if the word balloon is filled properly. When you're done, clicking the Show Transparency button again turns the function off.

24. While making sure you're still on the word balloon layer (it won't work on a text layer), click anywhere within the word balloon.

You now have a fully drawn and filled-in word balloon, as shown in Figure 12-11. Like I mention earlier, it isn't a simple process, but the end results are definitely worth it.

You can slightly alter the preceding steps to create different types of word balloons:

V To create a caption box, simply use the Rectangle shape instead of the Elliptical shape.

*** If you want to create a thought balloon, try using the Shape tool to create a series of circles around the text, and then erase the inside until only the outline you want remains. (Check out Figure 12-12 to see what I mean.)

Figure 12-11:

You now have one completed word balloon!

Manga Studio Word Balloons

Figure 12-11:

You now have one completed word balloon!

Figure 12-12;

Create a thought balloon using the Circle Shape tool.

Figure 12-12;

Create a thought balloon using the Circle Shape tool.

^(iBFff The technique I explain in the preceding steps is only one way to create word \ balloons. Ultimately, the only limitation to the way you create word balloons |||I| 1 is your imagination. Try using other Line or Shape tools to see what you can come up with. If you want to create a style that you can truly call your own, try drawing your balloons freehand!

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

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