Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Illustrator Comic Panel Guides Template

What it says on the tin... a guide document in A4 for comic book panels in Adobe Illustrator. You can stretch it or resize it as needs be, but this is working for me a bit at the moment, at least for quick thumbnail drawings.

It's basically a blank Adobe Illustrator document with layers for different divisions of rows and columns. Switch the layers you need on, the others can be deleted. Mix and match between different tiers is also possible.

Anyway, no warranty or support etc, this is something I made that I think is useful.

Something for the Weekend?

Can't be bothered? Quick start - here's a 42 page PDF with a variety of panel layouts, some basic grids, some more complex. Print out the lot for the kids or for improv sessions, or just the pages you fancy.

How to make your own?

Oh go on then...

  1. Open up illustrator 10 or above and create a new document.
  2. Find the rectangular grid tool - it's hidden behind the line segment tool.
  3. Shift or Right click it to select the number of horizontal and vertical dividers.
  4. Fill your page with the grid. It will be just lines, no gutters at this point.
  5. Select the grid and change the 'stroke' to be 16pt or whatever thickness you want your gutter to be.
  6. Go to Object -> Expand -> Fill/Stroke
  7. Go to View -> Guides -> Make Guides
  8. Done, you now have in your layers palette a whole group of guide layers for each panel and gutter. 
Make sure you have 'snap to point' set, and you can draw with any of the line, rectangle or curved rectangle tools in whatever point size you want for your panel borders.

    Now i'm no expert in comics, but i'm not bad at this digital art stuff. So if anyone can point me at good software for making captioned screen videos of this kind of stuff, do let me know and i'll put some up.

    Also, if anyone has a good way of making decent naturalistic speech bubbles and laying out lettering that ain't just plain ovals, that would be cool too. I'm currently using a font from Blambot called Digital Strip in my work. I quite like it.


    1. how did you upload a pdf file to this blog
      please help

    2. thanks for the template, My 8 year old nephew has started to draw comics so this is perfect!!! thanks for sharing.


    3. This illustrator file (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1481759/balloons.ai) contains some balloons that I created - they are not really ovals or rounded rectangles, but somewhere in between - I found that they make better balloons. See if they are of any help to you.