Intro to Comic Craft: Turning Your Script Into Thumbnails and Layouts

This series is also made possible thanks to the generosity and interest of my Patrons on Patreon.

My Patrons have expressed interest in content on the comic making process, and I am happy to oblige.  Comics are one of my passions, and they're the reason I began this blog in the first place.  It isn't always easy to share comic content here, but their generosity has made it easier to set aside the time and resources necessary to doing so.  Writing about comic craft in depth requires research, setting aside time during the comic creation process to document my progress, and a lot of thought, and I feel is best served through longform series such as the Intro to Comic Craft: Step By Step series.  If you enjoy this series, please take a moment to share it with your friends and loved ones on the social network of your choice, leave me a G+ comment, or send me an email using the sidebar form- your feedback is important to me!  If you have specific questions, please don't hesitate to ask via email.

As part of this series, my Patrons have exclusive access to behind the scenes comic creation content, including the entire plotform synopsis for 7" Kara, the 7" Kara beat sheet, the Chapter 7 Synopsis, the Chapter 7 tight script, and loads more.   If you learn best from working example, joining my Patreon will give you access to those files.

Create a folder for your work

I use a physical folder, one for each chapter. This helps me stay organized, and I retain my chapter folders in storage once the chapter is done.  Each chapter folder contains the script, thumbnails, notes, and the roughs.

Print out script

Working three pages per day, draw rough layout in margin, tighten as necessary

I go ahead and use a non photo blue pencil to create ticmarks bracketing each Tier.  Once that's finished, I sketch in a rough layout (no staging, just the panel borders) to get an idea of how I want to frame the page.

Once I've settled on a layout, I begin populating my frames with characters and background, as described in the panels.  If I make a mistake, I don't erase, I just draw a panel to the right of the thumbnail with the correct illustration.  Stopping to erase often interrupts my train of thought.

I'm not worried about accuracy or readability, because these sketches are immediately transcribed to tight thumbnails on the thumbnail template once completed.

As I create these layouts, I usually go ahead and draw the final tight thumbnail on my thumbnail template, which will be covered in the next Intro to Comic Craft: Step By Step post.

To see this in action please watch

Intro to Comic Craft: Thumbnailing Your Comic- Becca Hillburn

I demonstrate the thumbnailing process for Chapter 6 of 7" Kara.

Outside Resources:

Comic Book Thumbnail Lesson- Scattered Comics
ReMind- Making Comics: Thumbnails
Sunnyville Stories- How to Make Comics: Thumbnails and Layouts
Lackadaisy: Making a Comic
Comic Page Layouts and Story Arcs- Jamie Noguchi

Digital Thumbnails:
Opening and Setting Up a Thumbnail in Manga Studio- Scribbles with Jonathan
Making Thumbnails in Manga Studio-Scribbles with Jonathan
Making Thumbnails for Comics- Ram Studio

This series is sponsored by:

The images used in this installment of Intro to Comic Craft are all from Chapter 7 of 7" Kara, the second chapter in Volume 2.  To purchase your own copy of Volume 1, and help support my endeavors, please visit my shop for physical copies, or my Gumroad for PDF copies of Volume 1 or Chapter 5 (the first available chapter in Volume 2)