How to Make a Comic Strip in Photoshop


Creating a comic strip in Photoshop isn’t very difficult. If you have a great idea, then all you need is some paper, a pencil, and a computer with Photoshop. It will take a great deal of time and patience before you have a completed comic, but once it is complete, you will have a quality piece of work that you can be proud of.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Fine-tip marker
  • Eraser
  • Scanner
  • Computer
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Before you even sit at your computer, take a piece of paper and a pencil and begin sketching the characters you will include in your comic. You can design your characters any way you choose, but be sure to draw them in several different poses.

  • Once you have your characters, you must decide what kind of comic you wish to make. For a short comic of three panels, draw three, 2-inch by 2-inch boxes side by side. For a longer comic, which is a page or longer, draw several boxes on a typical 8 1/2- by 11-inch piece of paper.

  • Draw your comic with pencil, filling in the boxes, in the chronological order of your story. When that is complete, take a fine-tip marker and go over all the lines you drew in pencil. Then, lightly run your eraser over the paper to get rid of any stray pencil lines.

  • Place the paper with your comic in a scanner, and open Photoshop on your computer. In Photoshop, click “File,” then in the drop-down menu, select “Import” and then the name of your scanner. A new window will pop up with your scanner options. Make sure you set the scan resolution to at least 300 dpi (400 dpi recommended); anything less will make it difficult to work with in Photoshop. Select scan, and wait for the image to open in Photoshop.

  • If necessary, rotate the image by clicking “Image,” then select “Image Rotation,” and select the proper number of degrees to rotate.

  • Select the whole image by clicking “Select,” and “All.” Then select “Edit,” and then “Copy.” On the right side of the work area, there is a box named “Channels.” Open the drop-down menu in that box and select “New Channel.” A window will pop up. Click “Okay.” A new channel will appear marked "Alpha." Click on that box, and then select “Edit” and “Paste.”

  • Click “Layer,” and then “New Layer.” Click "Select,” then “Load Selection.” A window will pop up. Select “Alpha” and click "Okay." Click “Select” again, and then “Inverse.” Select “Edit,” then “Fill.” A window will pop up. Click "Okay." The new layer should now be filled with just the lines of your comic.

  • Go to the layers box and select the Background layer. Click “Layer," and “New Layer.” Now you have a layer in between your two layers in which you can add color to your comic. Color the comic in any manner you choose, but only color on this new layer you created. Add whatever lettering you require.

  • When you’re done, click “File” and “Save as,” then name your file and save it as a JPEG. If you wish to continue working on it, save another file as a PSD.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take your time when drawing and coloring. If you rush, the low quality will be apparent.

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  • Photo Credit Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images
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