View Full Version : Beginner colorist question regarding muddy K values

02-11-2016, 01:35 PM
I am learning how to color comics, and am reading and practicing as much as I can. One thing that I do not understand is regarding limiting K value and muddy colors. From places I have read, they say to keep from using colors with K values above 30%, so my first question is this belief widley held? I find this hard to do, also regarding this do most people start with low-value (high K) colors and ligthen from there? Because if I start with mid-value, and add light and shadows I can't control too well the K values.

Thanks in advance.

02-11-2016, 04:07 PM
I have never heard that theory, however you do need to stay away from black when possible. BUT it's not always possible.

There is NO true black in nature, even dark night is usually a deep, dark blue.
So laying of the black is a good thing.

A lot of the time, you can use the opposite tones. Eg: If your character is rendered in warm yellow tones, a cool purple(ish) shadow can work really well.

02-16-2016, 08:39 AM
Using photoshop.
I usually start mid value, or shadow value. Add lights, then go back and add hard shadows.

Comics are in a weird place atm. Print vs Digital.

Print comics, you do want to avoid anything more 20%k in your "color". best judgement really.
Also, try to avoid letting any color get above 260% TOTAL ink. (you can set this in your "info" panel)
And you work in RGB, convert to CYMK. and must be aware of how CYMK effects your color gamut, printing.

Digital everything changes. And the digital market is increasing. Many webcomics, DC digital firsts, etc.
There ARE no ink limits, White points, and black points are totally different from print, and it uses RGB entirely.

I've had DC editors start to ask for Digital quality. inklimits that break print standards. FX that print can't do. I am not 100% certain if this is inexperience of new editors in the move to the West coast, or an intentional shift in focus to digital priority.

Add light and shadows, "can't control K values" Sounds like you are using multiply or burn or something. Pick colors manually. Hardlight/overlay(sometimes screen) are ok for highlights though.

02-20-2016, 01:08 PM
It is true and it works for me even in traditional coloring, sometimes I use copic markers and on the gray tones I only have from gray00 to gray7 (on warm and cool grays) anything darker will register as black at first glance and on most scanners. But what I color on paper is what it is, with printing digital coloring you need to keep in mind that the paper, even the whitest paper available to print comic will add darkness to the final result compared to the monitor since there is not a bright led behind it.

Not too long ago I did a huge digital project than involved several dozens on portraits and realize that the best bet was doing them in gray tones and then add the colors on another layer on top with the "color blending mode", and I got the best results using only a range from 90% to 30% k

William Blankenship
02-25-2016, 06:49 AM
If you're coloring comics by math percentages, you're doing it wrong.

Source: been getting paid to do it consistently since late 2012.

But yeah, White is never white and black is never black.

Here's what color pallet I've used to do shadows and highlights for my last three projects, followed up by a lot of adjusting, and obviously based on working in multiply and screen layers.