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What follows is the crap the never tell you... but you would get in a graphics class.

Tip 1: The greatest space should be the margins (if there are any) followed by the spaces in panels next (if there are any) then space between lines then the space between words (if there are any) and then space between letters.

Tip 2: The thickness of solid lines inside of the bubbles should not exceed the thickness of the panels.

Tip 3: When you lay out a page, think of the whole page, including screen tone. (I had trouble with this when the ellipses periods were the same size as the screen tone on the page).

Tip 4: Most manga is designed to have both vertical and horizontal text because Japanese is like that. This means you have to adjust your designs for horizontal text only, which means copying frame et ups in a book is a bad idea.

Tip 5: When making manga in Japanese, don't forget to give yourself enough room for the furigana.

Tip 6: Because there are margins on a lot of pages, doesn't mean you can't go to the bleed line. (i.e. the edge of the page.

Tip 7: Think of pages in left AND right. Many famous online manga make the mistake of doing single pages and they end up looking cluttered when collected even though the single pages were designed fine. Even professional mangaka think in 2 page units and lay out their pages in 2 page units!

Tip 8: Tangencies are evil. That's where one element is close together such that the space between them attracts attention to itself. You can see this in pages 02-03 of many manga in the second draft phase with the second and last panel of page 2 doing nasty things with the space. It also made it harder to read.

Tip 9: Negative space is part of the drawing, watch how you fill it with both text and screen tone. Just because a space is blank doesn't mean you have to fill it.

Tip 10: You can lead the eye with the weight of the screen tone alone and add or subtract effect with just your use of screen tone! Use it wisely! Those people who draw in color won't get to learn about shadow use as much if the used screen tone.

Tip 11: The bigger the image takes on the page (generally) the more important it will seem.

Tip 12: For those drawing shoujo, more angled frames will lend movement to the pages. Eliminate the black frames on the page and it will create a more open feel. Put the lines in and it will create a closed up feeling. Don't be afraid to try dividing your boxes in other ways than heavy black lines.

Tip 13: Japanese manga frames do not exceed 7 frames. The maximum I have counted is 8 and tat was a frame in frame. (This does not go for manhwa, BTW).

Tip 14: For sequential events, Japanese manga does not exceed 3 frames, if you can do it in 2 and very well, then do that. Shoujo manga *may* go up to 4, but I believe it's highly frowned upon.

Tip 15: Manga is about conservation of line and materials. Think less is more.

Tip 16: The face of the character does not have to be in every frame. Some of the best transitions from place to place are done by drawing feet alone. Yazawa Ai does this quite a bit.

Tip 17: Characters break out of frame 1: to create emphasis on that character for said page/pages, 2: to introduce the character. 3: To create a sentence of moving place to place.

Tip 18: Don't feel depressed if you can't do a manga well alone. Mangaka often have assistants or do it in teams.

Tip 19: In *real* manga there is a lot of info dump in the beginning. If a person complains, you can say screw them, 'cause you are drawing manga not some homogenized version. Even thinly veiled info dump is allowed. Go with it. It's manga. You can do non-endings too.

Tip 20: Inclines in frame design-- If you are reading left to right then the incline upper left to lower right will be easier to read. If you have the incline lower left to upper right this will be harder to read.

If you are going right to left, then it's upper right to lower left that makes it easier to read and lower right to upper left that's harder to read.

With easier to read you can use this for the sake of making the reader feel relaxed and calm. With the harder to read you can use this as in the case of Skip Beat to show adversity that the characters are facing or a difficult situation. (You can do this with the bubbles too.)

Tip 21: Bubbles can be in a frame alone without the characters there. Just mind that you should use different types of bubbles to indicate different characters or you will have to draw the character in miniature size before the text starts. You can also add things like hearts and sweatdrops to show the emotions of the character.

Tip 22: Large frames equal important actions or big actions. Small Frames should equal small actions.

Tip 23: Big Actions are things important to the storyline. Critical changes, etc. For example, character intros, explicating plotlines, revealing a big secret, changes in scene (with setting), important characters or objects.

Tip 24: Coughing, sneezing, buttoning a shirt, the wind picking up, etc. Little details.
This has a better version called "Panel Layout Tutorial" [link]
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:icondaitigris:
DaiTigris Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010   General Artist
Thanks for wittering this advice, should be very helpful for my project ^-^
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:iconkabocha:
kabocha Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Hmmm~ This is all pretty good information, I think. There are a few things I think you might want to point out, though; it might help make some points a little more clear.
(feel free to tell me to shut up if this is stuff you don't want! :XD:)

Tip 2: The thickness of solid lines inside of the bubbles should not exceed the thickness of the panels.
There should be an exception to this, I think.
When I think of a time where someone might use a thicker line for the text bubble than the panel itself is:
1. Where the bubble is outside the panel in part or whole,
2. the bubble is also connected with the panel,
and,
3. there is some sort of emotional emphasis being added to what is being said.

That's about the only case where this exception can be made -- and it's not always a great idea to have the bubble too thick.



Tip 4: Most manga is designed to have both vertical and horizontal text because Japanese is like that. This means you have to adjust your designs for horizontal text only, which means copying frame et ups in a book is a bad idea.
Laying out your text before doing the size of the bubbles ahead of time also assists in this. That way you can appropriately decide upon the size and shape.


Tip 5: ...There is no tip 5. XD


Tip 13: Japanese manga frames do not exceed 7 frames. The maximum I have counted is 8 and tat was a frame in frame. (This does not go for manhwa, BTW).
This may or may not apply for flashbacks. I've got one in front of me (Trigun vol 1) that uses up to 11 panels a page (this is upon glancing through it, though)... Some of it is space constraints, and I suppose how "busy" the artist wanted the pages to look. May also be something that's not as common to shounen and seinen manga -- but I really don't have enough knowledge of those to support that claim.

There may also be cases where paneling is not clearly defined enough to say "that is a panel" when the action kinda just merges together, yet you know it's two separate images.



Tip 19: In *real* manga there is a lot of info dump in the beginning. If a person complains, you can say screw them, 'cause you are drawing manga not some homogenized version. Even thinly veiled info dump is allowed. Go with it. It's manga. You can do non-endings too.

It depends on the kind of story you're doing, and the kind of info you're dumping. First chapter is great for introducing characters, but I've read a lot of manga that have no clue what they're doing with the story right out from the first chapter.
You don't want to dump a lot of plot info in the first chapter unless you plan on making use of foreshadowing and chekov's guns right from the get-go.
Some of it is just good writing practice, yes?



You might also want to add in that people need to consider what medium they're aiming for from the get-go: Is this going to be only a web manga, or is there a hope for book publication someday?

Hm. That's about all I can think of right at this moment.
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:iconkinnohitsuji:
KinnoHitsuji Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks. ^_^ Helps out

For Tip 1, I think you can get way with larger line sizes than the panel size lines sometimes, but in most cases I see it's using screentone or breaking the lines. It shouldn't be the exact same width as the panel. I learned that looking at one of my drafts... XD. But generally it should be thinner...

I'll do a tip 5. XD.

Tip 13, I lifted off of How to Draw Manga. There is also internal framing too... but for beginners less than 8 is a good start.

Tip 19 is a stab at American culture which believes there should be no info dump. Watch enough Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese dramas and some anime and you'll see that the info dump at the beginning has a real effect. It's like, get the crap out of the way so we can start the story. If you are going to imitate a medium, you may as well imitate its full conventions. ^_^

If you'd like to add some or think of minor things to help with the flow of panels, go ahead. (And anyone else). 'Cause I'm sick of the IUNNO answer and the "It's like the force, you just have to feel it." or the, "Your friends will know what's wrong." to which they go, "Iunno." 'cause no one has taught them anything.

Anyway, you need to know some rules to be able to break them. Go ahead!
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:iconkabocha:
kabocha Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, also forgot to mention - for transitioning...
Text can tie things together very well. Using a speech bubble at the beginning of a new scene - much like using character speech in a new paragraph - can be helpful.

*disappear*
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:iconkabocha:
kabocha Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
XD I see!

At tip 19... I see where you have a point, there. It's more my preference to dump that information in a discreet manner, rather than saying "this is *insert magical item*"
But... I suppose the key there is to pick and choose. You don't want to include useless information too much (unless it's a shoujo-style story with the typical introduction... It can tell a lot about the character if they're sitting there and giving out their blood type XD)... And you don't want to give out too little, either.


As for the flow of panels or pages!

Few tricks I use:
1. Plot pages out two at a time -- if I can use previous pages, it's very helpful in keeping a good flow. Slows down pacing a little, but that's okay.
Fewer panels on a page is a good beginner's trick - perfect for introductions - maybe not so great for intense battle scenes.

2. Imagine how things would look if it were actually moving or animated.
That might be harder for some people, but it is definitely what helps me with some panels -- especially sequences.

3. Don't change scenes mid-chapter without some sort of transition.

Big nono. You can use a great deal of tricks to achieve a good switchover...
Passage in time - use a few panels, or perhaps a single panel to indicate the time of day.
Change in location (same time, different area) - if it's people nearby, perhaps show a crowd, or a single panel with scenery.

It's really a trial and error thing... One thing I see a lot is that they'll do a change in location or time... or... well, general character focus as a new page, introduction in a panel that is either scenery or some little notice detail, or blank/black panel... Sometimes with text, sometimes without.

It's complicated. XD
...And now I must rush off to school.
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