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creating manga comic book black background (help)

Mar 3, 2012 7:53 PM

hi all. new user here.


i have to create a 24 x 36 inch posterboard and i want to put /images/ "in" /cells/ like in a manga comic book. basically i want to have variously sized and variously proportioned WHITE AREAS (with a slightly rounded corners, not square) and then the area between these cells (for instance 1/8" spacing) to be all black.


then I would place images /behind/ the white rounded cells.


does that make sense? I have had success doing a normal board on an all white background (with some help) while using the demo of InDesign and I am wondering if anyone can help me get started with a description of how I might do this and some Adobe InDesign terminilogy that goes along with this so I can read up about the commands in the Help documentation.


thanks in advance for any help with this.


- jon

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    Mar 3, 2012 9:51 PM   in reply to hotwheels222

    manga eg.jpg

    do you mean like this...only with a black background?

    use layers pallette to create new layer--draw rectangle 24x36 and fill it with black

    in layers pallette--drag new layer to bottom of list....that should do it (depending on how the "images /behind/ the white rounded cells" were created.


    a good resource can be found by 'googling'     InDesign tips and tricks

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    Mar 4, 2012 2:56 AM   in reply to tman69

    tman69 wrote:

    use layers pallette to create new layer--draw rectangle 24x36 and fill it with black

    in layers pallette--drag new layer to bottom of list....that should do it (depending on how the "images /behind/ the white rounded cells" were created.

    A couple of things to add. If the poster is to finish at 24 x 36 you may need to add bleed for the black background (probably .125" , but check with the printer), depending on the printing method. For a one-off trimmed by hand you can get away without, but for a press run you will need it.


    Your white cells are just regular image frames with arounded corner effect. If the art is black and white (bitmap mode, you will need to set the fill to [Paper] to be sure they knock out and you can see the art inside them.

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    Mar 4, 2012 11:03 AM   in reply to hotwheels222

    Your background is going to be an "unassigned" frame (drawn with the rectangle tool -- the one without the X in it). Do you understand bleed? As far as the fill color, that would depend on how this is going to be printed, and if there is other color on the page. It will look better as a "rich black" which is a four-color mix, but you pay more for four-color prints than just black and white. If you are using a rich black, the exact formula can vary widly depending on the printing method (and I would ask the printer for a recommendation), but a pretty "safe" mix would be 50c, 40m, 40y, 80k. You will want to put this on its own layer at the bottom of the stack and lock the layer to avoid inadvertently using the frame to hold something (see below). you can create this first, then make a new layer on top, or do it last and drag it to the bottom of the stack.


    Your image frames are drawn with the frame tool (the one WITH the X) . You could create an Object Style for them that includes the corner effect to save time. Frames drawn with the frame tool do not respect stroke and fill settings, but one of the nice things about ID is that your unassigned frames can be used to hold text or graphics, so you can also add a fill color to the object style and use the Shape tool (the same one you use for the background) instead of the frame tool if you find you need the white fill. And yes, you can copy and paste these smaller frames, or add them to a library, or save some sizes as snippets in a folder to drag into your poster. You can save a "blank" poster (just the background and the empty "cells" as a template and use the same layout for as many posters as you like, too.


    You will Place the images into the cells, unless you need to combine text and image (not already combined in the image) in the cell. For that you would place the image someplace convenient, like the pasteboard,and add text in a text frame or a text frame you've drawn to look like a speech baloon, then position the two as you want them relative to each other, select both, group, cut, select the cell frame, and "paste into."


    You'll find the online help at

    I also recommend you buy a copy of Sandee Cohen's Visual QuickStart Guide to InDesign since you seem to be a real beginner.

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