"I love you guys, but not your text bubbles" Nachte's speech bubbles tutorial.

"I love you guys, but not your text bubbles" Nachte's speech bubbles tutorial.


Clip/Manga Studio word bubbles and Word Bubble technique

Hey guys, hate reading tutorials? Heres a video version instead: https://youtu.be/JSCo0xstDfw

I'm so proud of all the legit comics we had in the first round of this year's speed resurrection tourney. But I'm not proud of how bad all these text bubbles look! So lets talk a little bit about speech bubbles and how important they are to a comic.

Here let me give you an example.

The version on the right is NOT FAR from what I'm seeing in some of these battles, look at how unprofessional that looks? Which one looks better? See how much bad speech bubbles can detract from a comic?

Let's start with some Do's and Don'ts of bubbles.

It takes a little bit of practice, but you always want your text to fit the shape of the bubble it's in.

Ideally you want narrow top, fat middle, narrow bottom!

So lets start with a fresh panel in manga studio.

You should be planning your text right along your sketch! This stops you from covering up hard work later and lets you plan for how much space those bubbles are going to take!

Your next step should be adding the text as soon as sketches are finished. If you draw on paper you should still be planning your speech bubbles as you sketch and leaving space for them while you ink. Hand lettering is complicated and I might do a post on it later, but for now I'm assuming you'll be using magical technology to do your text.

Add Text
Add Bubbles
Do your other shit.

So lets do that, I'mma add my text and make sure it's centered and molded in a bubble shape.


Now from here there are three ways to make bubbles in manga studio, you can use these techniques in photoshop as well but I'll go over that in another post in this thread later.

Here's what they look like:

Now look, sit down with me here for a minute. I need to tell you something. I know you want to use the ellipse tool, its so easy. BAM DONE! But I'm here to tell you that you can't. No. Unless its ellipse or no text at all then MAYBE. If your comic can stand without text then I'd rather no text than ellipse style bubbles.

The best style of bubble is the curve style, its similar to drawing with the pen in photoshop and takes practice, but the pay off is much more professional bubbles, trust me. So we've covered the basic rules of bubbles in this post.

Plan your bubbles in your sketch.
mold your text to fit your bubble.
Avoid ellipse style bubbles
always center your text!
Whamo-Blamo insta-semi-professionalism

See look? Even with my speed inking and shitty gradients the page looks a lot more professional because the text looks professional!

Next time we'll cover photoshop techniques as well as speech tails.
« Last Edit: Oct 17, 2017, 10:08 PM by Nachte »

Photoshop Word Bubbles
Stop! I go over a lot of visual dos and don'ts in the tutorial above this one, please go read those parts!

This Tutorial assumes you have a tablet or you are very good at drawing with a mouse.
If you do not, I highly HIGHLY recommend you purchase clip studio paint and use that for your post editing instead, it is much more mouse friendly.

So. You know that you should be centering your text with a fat middle, lets go ahead and do that in photoshop. Remember, text should always come first or during the sketch step.

The character menu you see to the side there allows you to modify the appearance of your text, if you can't see the character window in photoshop you can show it by going to the top menu bar and choosing window -> character.

Next you're going to create a new layer that goes under your text layer, this will be your bubble layer. Once you've created that layer, double click it to open the layer style menu. (note double clicking the layer's name will instead try and rename it, so avoid clicking directly on that.)

The only layer effect you want is 'stroke' this will place a colored outline on anything drawn in this layer.

The Fill type should always be color and the Blend Mode should always be normal. The size determines how large the stroke line will be, play with this to find what you prefer.

After that, take a white (or whatever color you want your bubble background to be) brush and hand draw your bubble, the layer effect will automatically draw your outline for you.

I find hand written bubbles have a lot more personality and style, and this same technique can be produced in clip studio/manga studio just be aware that the stroke tool in that program is not as clean.

But Naaaachte, I don't have clip studio and and I don't have a taaaablet!

Then you'll need to make your bubbles with the pen tool and it will be harder, I'll have a video on how to do that soonish. (I swear it won't be literally years.)

« Last Edit: Oct 17, 2017, 09:54 PM by Nachte »

Good Fonts and Bad Fonts

Here are the main tenants for a good comic font. Some of these can be adjust for in your image editing program of choice.

Sans Serif Fonts : fonts without the little caps on the ends of the lines as in Times New Roman.
All Capitals : Fonts that can be written in all capitals have a much easier readability.
(photoshop has an option to force this, manga/clip studio does not)
Narrow Leading : Fonts that are naturally spaced with very little white space between each line.
(photoshop and Clip/manga studio can adjust this manually)
Narrow Tracking : Fonts that are naturally spaces with very little white space between each word.
(photoshop and Clip/manga studio can adjust this manually, though I find they both kind of say its tracking but really it's kerning.)

But really, realistically the real work has been done for you friends! There's a lovely site called Blambot: http://blambot.com/
Blambot has fonts designed specifically for comics, paid and free. The free ones are excellent and I in fact use digitalstripBB in my own comics! Go browse their dialogue fonts and use a free one for your comics.

Don't you dare use a font off blambot that isn't from the dialogue section. None of that design or sound effect shit in your word bubbles, I'll know.

Don't you hecking do it, I'm watching you.

« Last Edit: Oct 18, 2017, 01:18 AM by Nachte »

post reserved for MAYBE HANDLETTERING?


I really hope a lot of people can learn from this, because I've been seeing a ton of artists here that can't do lettering properly, and that makes me sad. From plain-looking ellipse bubbles to straight balloon tails.

You can also learn professional lettering from Comicraft as well, which uses Adobe Illustrator to make them. That site was how I learned how to letter in my own comics, and Illustrator is just PERFECT for that too. So I would suggest giving that a shot while you can.

Cool guide for sure. I know I don't like the look of my own, super ellipse bubbles. I mostly just relied on that due to time crunches.

But yeah Manga Studio 5 is super fantastic for making really nice bubbles and text, it's great stuff.

this was well fuckin' needed. nice job!

personally, i'm not big on the dimpled/wavy edges thing so much but that's a stylistic thing. I like to start with an ellipse but tweak the path in order to square it off a little to fit the words properly & consistently, rather than just keep it a dumb oval.

Good stuff! Lettering is often ignored and overlooked on Void. A lot of people are guilty of doing text last minute, which results in crappy bubbles. I typically look at Ms.Marvel and Hawkeye as golden standards of lettering.

Even for text that was meant to be illegible, the lettering is still damn nice in the second.
Kittens wearins mittens

i've created all my bubbles with the pen tool and saved them as shapes. Insta- decent bubbles on hand.

Hey Nachte.

Want a Smile shirt?

Awesome ,thanks alot !



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