Olyoptics Timeline - 2000, and beyond...


The New Reality

  Comic book coloring and color separation has been completely changed by computer technology. A comic book colorist is now also a color separator. With computers as cheap and fast as they are, and a fully licensed copy of Photoshop selling for about $600, a person can be set up in business for under $2,500. That money will buy a system that is as good as anything anyone in the industry is currently using.

  Coloring is increasingly more decentralized. There arenít any big color shops anymore. People tend to work out of their homes, or in small studios. The internet has made it possible to email or FTP files, so the artwork never has to leave the company offices. Proofs can be sent online, even though the accuracy of JPEG proofs from monitor to monitor may not be trustworthy.

  Computer coloring is now a level playing field as far as the equipment is concerned. When you have Pentium or G3 processors getting speeds above 500 megahertz, and you have hundreds of megabytes of RAM, and gigabytes of storage, (Which is practically every new computer these days), then you have enough power to do just about any kind of graphics. All you need is a good calibrated monitor, a scanner, a color printer, a CD burner, and of course, a Wacom tablet.

  I couldnít color without that tablet. It has a pen instead of a mouse. The tablet is the key to drawing with a computer. A mouse is very crude by comparison as a drawing tool. The mouse is good for some tasks, but drawing is not one of them.

  The secrets to color in this computer age all lie in how you use the software. You can work in all kinds of styles. Good color knowledge is more important now than ever. The computer lends a finish to the end product, but your color choices, and your rendering (or lack of) determine how well your color works. Also, your knowledge of the realities of the printing process can make the difference between clean, vibrant color, and muddy, dead color.




Galaxy Night

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