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How to draw a good Webtoon (And Manga)

Hush Child

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Drawing webtoons have been quite popular during this lockdown, and some of them are pretty good. However, they are not formatted properly most of the times, and they feel quite rushed or dragged. So, here are the steps on making a good webtoon. This also applies to making manga so listen up!

1. Start with a long canvas

A appropriate canvas length is the most important. I recommend 1000 x 14000, then you can resize it to 800 x 11200 after you complete the canvas, and I recommend  https://resizeimage.net/ . However, if you are lazy like me, just do a 800 x 11000 /12000 canvas which is easier, though might have worse quality, and less work space if you are doing a webtoon that requires great detail.


2. Layers

Layers are extremely important in drawing a webtoon, and drawing in general. They make life easier and they are super useful. I do a layer for dialog, lines, shadow (at 50% capacity if shadowing using black), colour, background, panels and draft (draft layer, or delete layer in the end if your software doesn't have that feature), in that order. For the shadows layer, I put it on 50 % capacity if I am going to shade using black. However, if you're going to shade using colour (better choice), then leave it on 100%.


3. Plan Space (Optional)

Even though this process is technically optional and you don't need it if you have been drawing webtoon for a while, it's very important for beginners. Many beginners, including me when I first started, would be very confused on the spacing, like how much distance should be in between each panel/picture. However, it's not that hard. All you have to do is to zoom out and see if the panels are too close or too far away from each other, then you can scribble circles on where the panels are supposed to be (on a different layer!) so you know where the panels should be when you draw them. Also, before you upload a webtoon, you are able to see a preview, and that will help you see if the story seems too rushed or dragged, depending on the distance between webtoons. A good informative webtoon has discussed this topic, it is really helpful, check it out:   https://www.webtoons.com/en/tiptoon/lozolz/webtoon-editing-tips/viewer?title_no=1268&episode_no=24

4. Drafting

For here, you'll probably want to do drafts, which would just be little scribbles or a few lines of the structure of the panels. For example, a person in the front, a car in the middle, a mountain in the back, a triangular ditch in the middle of the back, making the sun in the back look like a pizza slice, but you do not work into detail, just draw circles or lines on where the subject matters should be. Make sure you get the proportions and the sizes right though, otherwise it will be very troublesome afterwards.

5. Dialog

The dialog should be kept the same font throughout the whole webtoon, and the size should be consistent most of the time. Try to make the dialog at the centre of the speech bubble or the panel if there are no speech bubbles. Make sure you only change the size of the dialog rarely, and on special occasions like shouting, crying, or whispering. Also don't change the font at all, unless necessary, for example, crying, where the speech bubble should be shaky to resemble a shaky voice and the words can look a little dodgy, but no obvious font changes like from comical sans to gothic writing to wingding. For the font that you should use, DO NOT USE COMICAL SANS (I used comical sans as a example before). I use CC-WildWords as my font, which is quite close to the typical webtoon format. Some apps and softwares have different fonts and are quite confusing, so I recommend you experiment with the fonts before deciding which one to settle with. Now, for the speech bubble, you can colour it in, but it must reasonable. For example, every character has a different bubble (like in UnOrdinary), or a black speech bubble means evilness or gives a evil vibe, et cetera. Colouring them in different colours to make the webtoon fancy is not a applicable reason, probably the worst idea one can come up with.


6. Drawing Order

Now, the order is pretty important. You should do the outlines first, then the panel, then the colour, background, then the shading and the shadows. For colouring in, DO NOT USE PAINT BUCKET, as they do not really fill in all the the spots, and the brushes used the draw outlines have capacity on the sides to make them look smooth. paint bucket, however, can be used if you are lazy to fill in the spots, then you can fill in the gaps the paint bucket missed afterwards. Do not shade before colouring in, as you may mess up the colours if you are shading by colour, and you may get the capacity wrong if you are shading by black. The background is also very important. You can either do a solid background if you are expressing a mood, brighter backgrounds can ease the tension, while darker background make it seem darker and more tense. You can also do literal backgrounds, which exhibits the objects around where the characters are. For example, a messy , dark room means a messy state of mind, while a bright, organised room makes the scene feel less tense and brighter. The canvas colour is also very important. For example, a horror webtoon would not have white as the canvas colour, it would have black or dark blue, vice versa. Same as flashbacks, you would not use white as canvas colour for flashbacks, as black or grey resembles the past, and white resembles the present. Remember, it is ok to add more layers to satisfy your requirements. A good piece of work requires tens of layers, and it is completely normal.


7. Effects and Side Texts

For the effects, you would want to work on them in the end, or you can work on them as you finish the panel, up to how you want to do it, but they must be done in the end. However, side texts can be done with the dialog, but I recommend you do them after you finished drawing the whole thing, so you can see if the small texts are overused (one every panel), too small, or in a weird position. For example, if there's a grocery store in the background, you might not want the side texts to be on top of the store where the signboards are. The same goes for effects. You should work on them in the end, as you can estimate the sizes and how intense the effects should be. For example, the gloomy effect, where the space around the character is in dark purple giving a vibe. If you work on that before drawing the background, you can draw it too big, and if the setting's on a street, it'll probably cover the street up, which is not good, so you should work on the effects after drawing everything.


8. Uploading

Now, when you have finished drawing, save the file and also save a copy into jpg or png file (2 files save in total). For webtoons, the maximum size for each panel (page to be more specific) is 800 x 1280 pixels, so we must cut up the panels. If you need to resize your webtoon, do so. For cutting up the picture, I recommend https://www.imgonline.com.ua/eng/cut-photo-into-pieces.php , which is quite self explanatory. Then save the zip file (or each picture one by one if you don't have a software to unzip files), and upload the pictures. If your canvas size is like I recommended, cut the file up into 10 or 11 parts, which then is within the size restrictions. You must also have a thumbnail for the episode, which the recommended size is 160 x 151 pixels. You can simply take a little part from your episode, and copy it onto a new canvas which is the size of 160 x 151 pixels, then shrink it to make it fit the canvas.




And that is pretty much all you need to know about creating a webtoon or a manga! Hope this helps.


And if you're interested, here's my webtoon (lol sorry for self-promotion): https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/coffee-citrus/list?title_no=501097

Edited by Hush Child
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