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Old 08-05-2009, 03:21 PM   #1
Jason Arthur
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Let's talk about... handling art

So this week, let's talk about one of the most frustrating things an indie letterer has to face: artwork that isn't properly sized.

You'd think artists would know the size they need to work at by this point. If they're making money on this then they should have a working knowledge of the dimensions at which they can work.

So, let's hear it. Horror stories, backtalking artists, your last-second solutions. Spill them beans.

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Old 08-05-2009, 03:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonArthur
So this week, let's talk about one of the most frustrating things an indie letterer has to face: artwork that isn't properly sized.
The last four jobs I've had to do have all been drawn by artists (two of who are supposed to have worked for larger publishers like Image) who haven't understood the significance of the Live area. They've all filled the page to the full extent of the bleed, and then butted their panel borders up to the trim line.

Four of 'em in a row. When you point this out, you get a blank look followed by "Is that something you can fix at your end?"

What's worse, is that two of those b*stards have habitually composed their panels with the first speaker on the right. Three speaking characters and every frickin' time, they draw them in the opposite order to the order that they're speaking.

"But I put all that empty space on the left of the panel for the dialogue," they complain.

Yes. You did. And then you drew two complete characters in between the first speaker and the dead space, you steaming eejit.

Gaah!

Jim

(So glad I signed up for this forum. I feel better already.)
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:24 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JimCampbell
When you point this out, you get a blank look followed by "Is that something you can fix at your end?"

lol that's freakin classic!!
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:58 PM   #4
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That is the EXACT part of Jim's post I was going to quote, Cary.

SO true... And what do we (well, I do anyways) always say?

I shouldn't HAVE to... *sigh* ... YES, I can fix it.

- Richard
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by r nelson

I shouldn't HAVE to... *sigh* ... YES, I can fix it.
That's the thing, though, isn't it? You do that little mental calculation and work out that, yes, I could actually fix this in less time than it will take me to explain what's wrong with this page, never mind tell you how to actually put it right ...

Cheers!

Jim
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:04 PM   #6
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I was involved with a few issues of a title where the page files were, of course, not sized, and the proportions were also, of course, not correct. It really was not apparent if they were supposed to be bleed pages or not because of the layout of the panels on many of the pages. The editor said to do my best with it. He was a friend and I was helping them at the time for less than peanuts.

Sometime later at a show I met the inker of that book and I mentioned to him the frustration I'd had with it, and he said, "Oh yeah, that was the guy who did his pages using manga proportions."
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:19 PM   #7
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woo boy! i love this thread already!

you say you'd think they would know...but i've yet to have one single artist or colorist send me files sized correctly. ONE inker actually gets it right every time and with a smile on his face, beyond that...nada.

my horror story is funny, and pretty sad. i was lettering a book for some other small pressers, doing it pretty much for free. i think i got $50 a book for 24 pages, so that's like $2 a page. not completely free but close enough, and for the hassle...i did it for free trust me.

anyway, i'm getting pages and i'm having to re-size them of course, because the artist hadn't a clue about output file sizes or anything. he just "scanned it real big" and sent it off. he also had no concept of safe, trim, or bleed, and typically would work in, around, and beyond all those lines on the SAME PAGE making it a nightmare to re-size and keep everything correct. one panel in one corner is to the trim, another one right under that goes out to the bleed, etc and it just made my life hell when it came time to re-size letter and export.

but i did it. in the spirit of helping out some good people, i did it.

but then i start getting emails saying "Hey you're screwing up the pages. You cut off part of the panel!" i replied that yes, i did cut off a portion of the panel that had no meaningful art in it because there was no other way to bring it into my template and have it work right! (I also took the time to redraw the panel border in so you couldn't tell it was cut off, and it looked very natural. he also overlooked the fact that i fixed all the screwed up gutters they'd typically send me as well, making them all uniform and far more professional in appearance.)

they come back and say "Well the guy that's publishing the book says they don't want you using the template, just letter it exactly as we send it to you."

*sigh* so i replied that if they wanted the files the correct size, ie height and width, i needed to re-size it to the template for export. plus it makes my job a lot faster and all the pages come out the same size and are print ready. i also explained that if i lettered it at the size they sent it, they'd never re-size it down to print size and still have the letters look even remotely right.

then they got nasty. i got this scathing letter back saying so and so publisher has been doing comics for ages and they aren't some fly by night organization! they know what they're talking about just do it! now keep in mind that to this point i've been nothing but cordial, and i've done my very best to educate them as tot he process so they can at least understand where i'm coming from. couple that with the fact that this "publisher" hadn't so much as put out a single book. ever. so yeah, when i got the nasty letter it took me about an hour to come down out of orbit.

so i lettered the two remaining pages, my way, and resigned. i'm not about to get into an email flame war over something i'm not even really getting paid enough to warrant the hassle. i told them thanks, but i'm done, find another whipping boy.

about two months later i get an email out of the blue, and it's the writer creator of the book in question. he sent a very sincere apology, saying that the next letterer had the same issues i did, and only then did they realize i wasn't full of shit. in fact, the artist had to start paying attention to what he was drawing, and holy smokes the new letterer was using a template just like mine because in fact those pesky outsized pages don't reproduce worth a damn in print and they're an absolute pain in the ass to re-size after the fact.

so yeah, it ended up being pretty funny really. but it still raises my blood pressure just talking about it. it's bad enough dealing with stupid issues they create for you and fixing them basically for free, but then to have to hear that after trying to help...no thanks. i doubt anyone could pay me enough to deal with that crap.
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Old 07-11-2012, 09:46 PM   #8
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Unfortunately, that's an incomplete link...dunno what happened with cut n' paste.

Here's the full link:

https://rapidshare.com/files/2683013...de__2012__.pdf


Best,

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Lettering / Logos / Fonts / Pre-Press / Page Design / Motion Graphics
for Print or Web / Entertainment, Advertising or Education!

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Old 07-11-2012, 09:47 PM   #9
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I guess this site doesn't want to show the full link--but works anyway!

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Old 07-11-2012, 10:00 PM   #10
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I got it.
It took me a while, I was losing my network conection
when trying to download the file, but by my third intent it worked well.
Thanks master!
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:21 AM   #11
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I was just about to redo mine this week to take advantage of CS6. NICE to have this as a stepping stone. Thanks!
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Old 08-01-2014, 03:55 PM   #12
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That link's prob'ly dead by now. So I just loaded the one-page version to mediafire:
http://www.mediafire.com/download/76...de__2014__.zip

For the full guide:
http://www.mediafire.com/view/?s6t89dp9mgl8b1p*


And a script format guide for writers:
http://www.mediafire.com/view/dg4cdb...101_2011__.pdf


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