Description of a Process
Tim D. Dale

Adobe Photoshop 6.0 is a computer application program primarily used to create raster images. A comic strip could be an example of a raster image. Adobe Photoshop can create a comic strip when a user of this computer application program opens the application program, creates a new document, adds layers, draws an outline on a layer, colors a layer, adds text layers, and draws text bubbles.
Opening Adobe Photoshop 6.0 is a user triggered action in which the computer loads Adobe Photoshop into RAM. RAM is an acronym, meaning “Random Access Memory.” Random Access Memory is used for storing instructions and variables that the computer uses. The user needs to open Adobe Photoshop 6.0, for without completing this task, he or she cannot use this application program. To open Adobe Photoshop in Mac OS 9.x, one must find the Adobe Photoshop application using the Finder. Mac OS 9.x is an operating system. An operating system is software which controls the hardware of a specific computer in order to allow users and application programs to make use of it. The Finder is a Graphical User Interface where one uses visual aids to access application programs, documents, and directories. By default, Adobe Photoshop is installed in the “Applications” folder. The “Applications” folder is in the first directory of the hard disk. To open Adobe Photoshop, one must drag the cursor over the hard drive, and double click. The cursor is a small, black arrow that is displayed on the screen. The cursor is controlled by the mouse, which is an input device designed to control the cursor. Therefore, when one moves the mouse with his or her hand, the cursor is dragged corresponding to the movement of the mouse. To “click,” one must press the button on the top of the mouse. To double click, one must quickly press the top button on the mouse two times in succession. In the window that opens after one double clicks the hard drive, drag the cursor over the “Applications” folder, and double click. Another new window will appear. In the new window, one must drag the cursor over the folder named “Adobe Photoshop 6.0” and double click. In the new window that opens, drag the cursor to the application program labeled “Adobe Photoshop 6.0” and double click. Adobe Photoshop will then open, and one may then create a new document.
Creating a new document is when one instructs Adobe Photoshop to create a blank palette of a specified size to work on. One must create a new document in order to create a new raster image. To create a new document, drag the cursor up to “File” and click. Drag the cursor down to “New...” and click (see Figure 1.1).


Figure 1.1 - Creating A New Document


Figure 1.2 - New Document Window

In the new window that opens, set the the width to 750 pixels, the height to 324 pixels, and the resolution to 72 pixels per inch (see Figure 1.2). A pixel is a single dot of color on the computer screen. Move the cursor over to the OK button and click. The new document will appear in a window of size 750 pixels by 324 pixels. One may now begin to add layers.
A layer is a single image which may be a part of a system of images to create one overall image. Layers make the drawing, coloring, captioning, and text bubble processes much easier. To create a new layer, drag the cursor up to “Layer,” click, drag down to “New,” drag over to “Layer...,” and click again (see Figure 1.3).


Figure 1.3 - Creating A New Layer

A new dialog box will appear. In the new dialog box, type “color” and click OK. Repeat this process for the words “outlines,” “frames,” and “bubbles.” The “layers” window should appear as shown in figure 1.4. Each layer will be used for its corresponding name, with the exception of Layer 1, which will not be used.


Figure 1.4 - The Layers Window


Figure 1.5 - Toolbar

In the layers window (see Figure 1.4), click on the “frames” layer. At the left is a toolbar (see Figure 1.5). Click on the Rectangular Marquee Tool. The Rectangular Marquee Tool is used for making selections of pixels in the document window. Move the cursor to the upper left corner of the document window, click and hold the mouse button, then drag the cursor to a lower part of the screen which is to the right and release the mouse button. Repeat the process of clicking, holding, dragging, and releasing two more times while holding the shift button in order to create three equivalent sized boxes. The shift button is a key on the keyboard which, when using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, instructs Adobe Photoshop to add to the current selection. The keyboard is an input device which is used to send text or data to the computer. Release the shift key. Move the cursor to the “Select” menu at the top of the computer screen and click. In the menu that appears, move the cursor down to “Inverse,” and click (see Figure 1.6). The Inverse command selects the reverse of what is currently selected in the document window. Move the cursor to the Paint Bucket Tool and click (see Figure 1.5). The Paint Bucket Tool is used to fill in areas in the document with a single, solid color. Select a black color swatch from the swatches window by clicking it (see Figure 1.7). A color swatch is a small block of color in the color swatches window which the user may select in order to use this particular color in the document window. The color swatches window is a collection of color swatches. Move the cursor into the selected area in the document window and click. The selected area will fill in with black, and appears as shown in Figure 1.8. One may now click on the “outlines” layer in the layer window (see Figure 1.4) to switch to the outline layer and begin drawing outlines.


Figure 1.6 - Selecting Inverse


Figure 1.7 - Color Swatches Window


Figure 1.8 - Frames Layer

Drawing an outline is when one creates a black outline by using the Paintbrush Tool. Outlines are essential in the process of drawing a comic strip because an outline is what one uses as a guide to see the characters and objects employed. To draw outlines, one must select the Paintbrush Tool from the toolbar by clicking it (see Figure 1.5). After selecting the Paintbrush Tool, one must click on the black color swatch in the color swatches window (see Figure 1.7). Next, one must select a brush from the Brush Selection menu by clicking on it (see Figure 1.9). The Brush Selection Menu is a collection of brushes that can be used in Adobe Photoshop. If one desires thick outlines, a large brush would be selected; for small outlines, a small brush would be used. One will now click hold the mouse button in the document window to draw outlines. Whenever the mouse button is pressed, the brush will create lines in the document window corresponding to the location of the cursor. For example, to draw a circle, one would click and hold the mouse button, move the cursor in a circle, then release the mouse button. If a mistake has been made, one may move the cursor to the “Edit” menu, click, move the cursor down to “Undo Paintbrush,” and click again (see Figure 1.10).


Figure 1.9 - Brush Selection Menu


Figure 1.10 - Undo

In this particular case, the author has chosen to draw two children in the first two frames, then a product in the final frame (see Figure 1.11). Once the outlines are completed, one may now color.


Figure 1.11 - Outlines

Coloring a layer is when one uses colors from the color swatches window and the Paint Bucket Too to fill in the outlines with proper colors. Coloring is not necessary, but makes the comic strip more appearing to the reader. To color the outlines, one must select the “color” layer from the Layers Window by clicking it (see Figure 1.4). Next, one must select the Paint Bucket Tool from the toolbar by clicking it (see Figure 1.5). One will then select a color swatch from the color swatches window to be used for coloring in a particular area (see figure 1.7). After a color swatch has been chosen, one will place the cursor in the area of the document that is desired to be colored with the selected color swatch, and click. The process of selecting a color swatch and clicking is to be repeated until all of the desired areas have been filled in (see figure 1.12). After coloring has been completed, one will then add text.
Adding text layers is when adds layers that contain captions for frames or dialogue. Adding text layers is important, for the reader of the comic strip may not understand what is happening in


Figure 1.12 - Color

the comic without reading the text. To add text layers, one must click on the Type Tool in the Toolbar (see Figure 1.5). One then needs to choose a font. In the Text Bar, one must set the font to Gadget and size to 12 pt by clicking the corresponding menus and clicking the desired choices (see figure 1.13). Next, one must click on the document window where text is desired and type in text. Pressing “return” on the keyboard will go down a line. The process of clicking in the document window and typing is repeated until all of the desired text has been added (see figure 1.14). One may now add text bubbles.


Figure 1.13 - Text Bar


Figure 1.14 - Adding Text

Adding text bubbles is when one creates the outlines and color around a block of text. Text bubbles make the text easier to read. To add text bubbles, one must select the “bubbles” layer from the Layers Window (see figure 1.4). Next, one must select the Ellipse Tool from the Toolbar (see figure 1.5). One will then select the desired color of the text bubble from the Color Swatches Window (see figure 1.7). After a color has been chosen, one will use the ellipse tool to draw shapes around the text by clicking and holding the mouse button where one corner of the shape will be, then dragging to the opposite corner of the shape and releasing the mouse button. If the text bubbles cover the text, one must click and hold the “bubbles” layer in the Layer Window and drag it below the Text Layers. The process of selecting a color, clicking and dragging is to be repeated until all text bubbles have been made. In order to create black outlines around the text bubbles, one must double click the “bubbles” layer on the Layers Window. A new window will appear. One will then click the “stroke” style at the left of the window, then set the size of the outlines of the bubbles by clicking in the number box to the right of the “size” choice and typing in a number (see figure 1.15). The comic strip is now completed (see figure 1.16).


Figure 1.15 - Setting The Stroke Options


Figure 1.16 - The Finished Comic Strip

The creation of a comic strip in Adobe Photoshop involves seven steps. First, one must open the application program by finding it in the Finder and double clicking it. Here the user will then create a new document by selecting “New...” from the “File” menu and setting the size of the comic. Here the user will then add several layers to the document. The user will then make black outlines using the Rectangular Marquee Tool and the Paint Bucket Tool to be used as frames. Here the user will use the Paintbrush Tool to draw outlines. The user will then use the Paint Bucket Tool to color in the outlines. Here the user will use the Text Tool to create captions and dialog. Here the user will use the Ellipse Tool to draw bubbles around the text. The comic strip is then complete.

I can't believe you read the whole thing.