Making a comic with Comic Life and iPhoto

by Giles Turnbull

Some new Macs now come with a bundled copy of Comic Life. With a little bit of forward planning, some creative thought, and a few hours of time in front of your computer, you can use Comic Life and iPhoto to make your own, printed comic book. Here's how.


6 Comments

James
2006-04-04 08:57:26
Great article! It never occurred to me to import the Comic Life pages back into iPhoto for book printing! That's great. Comic Life is a fun program...and very easy to use! You can see an example of about 10 minutes of playing around with it on my baby's blog...it's under "My Life in Comics" or something like that.


http://www.dirtdoog.com/

Ian
2006-04-04 12:15:44
Although you could use the iPhoto book for this sort of thing, there are a few comics publishers that will take your PDF's and turn them into bonafide comics on a Print-On-Demand basis... ComiXpress (www.comixpress.com)springs to mind. This can be done with far less expense than the iPhoto book, especially if you intend to distribute them among family and friends.
cameron
2006-09-24 18:44:02
Great article! It never occurred to me to import the Comic Life pages back into iPhoto for book printing! That's great. Comic Life is a fun program...and very easy to use! You can see an example of about 10 minutes of playing around with it on my baby's blog...it's under "My Life in Comics" or something like that.
Cameron
2006-09-24 18:49:15
Great article! It never occurred to me to import the Comic Life pages back into iPhoto for book printing! That's great. Comic Life is a fun program...and very easy to use! You can see an example of about 10 minutes of playing around with it on my baby's blog...it's under "My Life in Comics" or something like that.


http://www.dirtdoog.com/


James | April 4, 2006 08:57 AM
Although you could use the iPhoto book for this sort of thing, there are a few comics publishers that will take your PDF's and turn them into bonafide comics on a Print-On-Demand basis... ComiXpress (www.comixpress.com)springs to mind. This can be done with far less expense than the iPhoto book, especially if you intend to distribute them among family and friends.


Ian | April 4, 2006 12:15 PM
Great article! It never occurred to me to import the Comic Life pages back into iPhoto for book printing! That's great. Comic Life is a fun program...and very easy to use! You can see an example of about 10 minutes of playing around with it on my baby's blog...it's under "My Life in Comics" or something like that.


cameron |Some new Macs now come with a bundled copy of Comic Life. With a little bit of forward planning, some creative thought, and a few hours of time in front of your computer, you can use Comic Life and iPhoto to make your own, printed comic book. Here's how.


First of all, spend some time exploring Comic Life's interface. Notice how the simplest thing to do is to drag a pre-formatted page worth of panels into place and start adding content to them. But also notice that it's possible to do your own custom panel arrangements, even to use a single panel at a time (try playing with the "Drag a panel" widget).


Now open up iPhoto and, if you're not familiar with it already, try out the process for making a photo book. Take a good look at some of the book designs, look at the possibilities for page layout. How many images can you get on one page? Will text still be readable at small sizes? Imagine photos replaced with graphics you've created. Starting to see some possibilities?


Now it's time to start serious work. You need to a lot of preparation and planning to make this work right, otherwise it's going to require a lot of back-and-forth work between iPhoto and Comic Life. Of course, to make a really good comic, you need to have a story to tell, and some means of telling it in pictures. You could use your iPhoto library as the basis for your story, but if you are an artist you could use your own hand-drawn artworks. If that applies to you, then the first step is to get all your artwork scanned and imported into iPhoto. Gather it all together in a single album, so you can get to it quickly using iPhoto's media browser.


Some aspects of the next step will depend entirely on your artistic sensibility and skill. Either: create whole pages of comic panels in Comic Life, and export them as single images (assuming one of the iPhoto book designs you've chosen will accommodate images this large), or create your comic story one panel at a time, and save them all individually (this will probably be much harder work, but gives you more flexibility with the finished product). However you approach it, you can then export all the finished comic panels back to iPhoto, and collate these into an album of their own (separate from the album you used to get the images into Comic Life in the first place).


Now open iPhoto again, select the exported comic panels album, and begin the Book button to create a new photo book. Assuming you've done your advance planning and know how you want your story to appear on each printed page, you can start dragging pages of panels, or individual panels, into place in the book. Note that there's limited flexibility in the iPhoto book templates; you can't go dragging images any which where, nor can you meddle much with text fields. This is why you needed to spend time exploring book options and designs back in step 2.


All being well, you should now have a comic of your own creation, ready for printing and ready to be unleashed against the might of Marvel, DC, and the rest of them. In a year or so it'll be a runaway indie comic success! You can sell the film rights for millions! Mwahahaha!


Go to bed. Seriously. Get some rest away from your creation before you press the order button.


After several hours rest for your eyes and your brain, check your comic for mistakes before you order. This is a print run, and like any print run you want it to be as error-free as possible. Only once you've checked and double-checked and you're still happy, should you go ahead with the order.


Cameron
2006-09-24 18:59:06
Making a comic with Comic Life and iPhoto
Tuesday April 4, 2006 12:47AM
by Giles Turnbull in Articles
Some new Macs now come with a bundled copy of Comic Life. With a little bit of forward planning, some creative thought, and a few hours of time in front of your computer, you can use Comic Life and iPhoto to make your own, printed comic book. Here's how.


First of all, spend some time exploring Comic Life's interface. Notice how the simplest thing to do is to drag a pre-formatted page worth of panels into place and start adding content to them. But also notice that it's possible to do your own custom panel arrangements, even to use a single panel at a time (try playing with the "Drag a panel" widget).


Now open up iPhoto and, if you're not familiar with it already, try out the process for making a photo book. Take a good look at some of the book designs, look at the possibilities for page layout. How many images can you get on one page? Will text still be readable at small sizes? Imagine photos replaced with graphics you've created. Starting to see some possibilities?


Now it's time to start serious work. You need to a lot of preparation and planning to make this work right, otherwise it's going to require a lot of back-and-forth work between iPhoto and Comic Life. Of course, to make a really good comic, you need to have a story to tell, and some means of telling it in pictures. You could use your iPhoto library as the basis for your story, but if you are an artist you could use your own hand-drawn artworks. If that applies to you, then the first step is to get all your artwork scanned and imported into iPhoto. Gather it all together in a single album, so you can get to it quickly using iPhoto's media browser.


Some aspects of the next step will depend entirely on your artistic sensibility and skill. Either: create whole pages of comic panels in Comic Life, and export them as single images (assuming one of the iPhoto book designs you've chosen will accommodate images this large), or create your comic story one panel at a time, and save them all individually (this will probably be much harder work, but gives you more flexibility with the finished product). However you approach it, you can then export all the finished comic panels back to iPhoto, and collate these into an album of their own (separate from the album you used to get the images into Comic Life in the first place).


Now open iPhoto again, select the exported comic panels album, and begin the Book button to create a new photo book. Assuming you've done your advance planning and know how you want your story to appear on each printed page, you can start dragging pages of panels, or individual panels, into place in the book. Note that there's limited flexibility in the iPhoto book templates; you can't go dragging images any which where, nor can you meddle much with text fields. This is why you needed to spend time exploring book options and designs back in step 2.


All being well, you should now have a comic of your own creation, ready for printing and ready to be unleashed against the might of Marvel, DC, and the rest of them. In a year or so it'll be a runaway indie comic success! You can sell the film rights for millions! Mwahahaha!


Go to bed. Seriously. Get some rest away from your creation before you press the order button.


After several hours rest for your eyes and your brain, check your comic for mistakes before you order. This is a print run, and like any print run you want it to be as error-free as possible. Only once you've checked and double-checked and you're still happy, should you go ahead with the order.


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Great article! It never occurred to me to import the Comic Life pages back into iPhoto for book printing! That's great. Comic Life is a fun program...and very easy to use! You can see an example of about 10 minutes of playing around with it on my baby's blog...it's under "My Life in Comics" or something like that.


http://www.dirtdoog.com/


James | April 4, 2006 08:57 AM
Although you could use the iPhoto book for this sort of thing, there are a few comics publishers that will take your PDF's and turn them into bonafide comics on a Print-On-Demand basis... ComiXpress (www.comixpress.com)springs to mind. This can be done with far less expense than the iPhoto book, especially if you intend to distribute them among family and friends.


Ian | April 4, 2006 12:15 PM
Great article! It never occurred to me to import the Comic Life pages back into iPhoto for book printing! That's great. Comic Life is a fun program...and very easy to use! You can see an example of about 10 minutes of playing around with it on my baby's blog...it's under "My Life in Comics" or something like that.


cameron | September 24, 2006 06:44 PM
Great article! It never occurred to me to import the Comic Life pages back into iPhoto for book printing! That's great. Comic Life is a fun program...and very easy to use! You can see an example of about 10 minutes of playing around with it on my baby's blog...it's under "My Life in Comics" or something like that.


http://www.dirtdoog.com/


James | April 4, 2006 08:57 AM
Although you could use the iPhoto book for this sort of thing, there are a few comics publishers that will take your PDF's and turn them into bonafide comics on a Print-On-Demand basis... ComiXpress (www.comixpress.com)springs to mind. This can be done with far less expense than the iPhoto book, especially if you intend to distribute them among family and friends.


Ian | April 4, 2006 12:15 PM
Great article! It never occurred to me to import the Comic Life pages back into iPhoto for book printing! That's great. Comic Life is a fun program...and very easy to use! You can see an example of about 10 minutes of playing around with it on my baby's blog...it's under "My Life in Comics" or something like that.


cameron |Some new Macs now come with a bundled copy of Comic Life. With a little bit of forward planning, some creative thought, and a few hours of time in front of your computer, you can use Comic Life and iPhoto to make your own, printed comic book. Here's how.


First of all, spend some time exploring Comic Life's interface. Notice how the simplest thing to do is to drag a pre-formatted page worth of panels into place and start adding content to them. But also notice that it's possible to do your own custom panel arrangements, even to use a single panel at a time (try playing with the "Drag a panel" widget).


Now open up iPhoto and, if you're not familiar with it already, try out the process for making a photo book. Take a good look at some of the book designs, look at the possibilities for page layout. How many images can you get on one page? Will text still be readable at small sizes? Imagine photos replaced with graphics you've created. Starting to see some possibilities?


Now it's time to start serious work. You need to a lot of preparation and planning to make this work right, otherwise it's going to require a lot of back-and-forth work between iPhoto and Comic Life. Of course, to make a really good comic, you need to have a story to tell, and some means of telling it in pictures. You could use your iPhoto library as the basis for your story, but if you are an artist you could use your own hand-drawn artworks. If that applies to you, then the first step is to get all your artwork scanned and imported into iPhoto. Gather it all together in a single album, so you can get to it quickly using iPhoto's media browser.


Some aspects of the next step will depend entirely on your artistic sensibility and skill. Either: create whole pages of comic panels in Comic Life, and export them as single images (assuming one of the iPhoto book designs you've chosen will accommodate images this large), or create your comic story one panel at a time, and save them all individually (this will probably be much harder work, but gives you more flexibility with the finished product). However you approach it, you can then export all the finished comic panels back to iPhoto, and collate these into an album of their own (separate from the album you used to get the images into Comic Life in the first place).


Now open iPhoto again, select the exported comic panels album, and begin the Book button to create a new photo book. Assuming you've done your advance planning and know how you want your story to appear on each printed page, you can start dragging pages of panels, or individual panels, into place in the book. Note that there's limited flexibility in the iPhoto book templates; you can't go dragging images any which where, nor can you meddle much with text fields. This is why you needed to spend time exploring book options and designs back in step 2.


All being well, you should now have a comic of your own creation, ready for printing and ready to be unleashed against the might of Marvel, DC, and the rest of them. In a year or so it'll be a runaway indie comic success! You can sell the film rights for millions! Mwahahaha!


Go to bed. Seriously. Get some rest away from your creation before you press the order button.


After several hours rest for your eyes and your brain, check your comic for mistakes before you order. This is a print run, and like any print run you want it to be as error-free as possible. Only once you've checked and double-checked and you're still happy, should you go ahead with the order.



Cameron | September 24, 2006 06:49 PM

rudy qwerty
2006-12-26 09:17:50
Yo! dis is the ISH! wit dis i kan work wandas G!!