Toy Story: Create Your Own Comics With AKVIS Sketch

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Tutorial: AKVIS Sketch

Comics From Toy Superheroes


The author of this tutorial is T. Skaarup.

Using Adobe PhotoShop, PhotoScape, and the AKVIS Sketch plug-in he created a story about superheroes and presented it in the form of comics.

Finished page of the comics Finished page of the comics Finished page of the comics
Click to open in a larger window

  • Step 1. The creation of comics begins, of course, with a script, and once that is finished, all that remains is to take a series of regular photographs.

    The main protagonists are the superhero action figures. Their vehicle is a spacecraft (which, of course, is also a toy).

    We'll use some everyday objects for the scenery: a camera bag, salt and pepper and two empty bottles. To create the lighting effects we'll use an ordinary flashlight.

  • Step 2. Arrange the action figures in interesting poses. Use the flashlight to produce dramatic lighting. Since the toys are rather small and will be photographed at close range, use the Macro mode on your camera.

    Here are some samples of snapshots:

    Toy Photo Session
    Toy Photo Session
  • Step 3. Edit original photos in Adobe PhotoShop.

    You can use Filter -> Blur -> Motion Blur to simulate motion.

    Backgrounds can be removed and replaced or a Gaussian Blur applied to make them appear more exciting.

    Try using Light Effects & Flares (Filter -> Render -> Lens Flare) on solid colors layers.

    Adding a Light Effect

    Some images benefit from using other photoshop filters prior to converting to a sketch. Consider using Filter -> Artistic -> Dry Brush to simplify the colors and reduce detail.

  • Step 4. Next use AKVIS Sketch to convert to roughly-drawn sketches (Filter -> AKVIS -> Sketch).

    Settings for Sketch vary from image to image. The author writes that he tends to use a higher Charcoal, higher Midtone Intensity, and longer Minimum Length to achieve a quickly hand drawn look. He also recommends Edge Tracing to be "on". Adjust the Midtone Hatching as necessary.

    Settings for the AKVIS Sketch Plug-in

    Press to begin processing the image. If you are satisfied, apply the result by pressing .

  • Step 5. Crop the image, if necessary, with the graphic editor's Crop Tool . To obtain a circular image use the Elliptical Marquee Tool .

    Here are a few examples after editing:

    Image After Editing Image After Editing Image After Editing

    Save the images under a new name (File -> Save as).

  • Step 6. Use PhotoScape’s Page feature to compose the page mock-ups.

    PhotoScape is a free open-source basic photo editing program available from For our purposes we’ll only focus on the Page feature.

    Features of PhotoScape
  • Step 7. A quick tour of Photoscape: Page allows you to make a page collage by placing individual images into different cells.

    You can choose the "template" from the gallery on the right side of the screen (red arrow).

    Click on the little acorn (seems odd) to set the page size. The default is 400x400 pixels which is too small. Set the size to 1620 wide by 2200 high.

    To place image, click directly on a cell and a dialogue box will open asking for the directory of the image you’d like.

    Page Settings

    Once all images are placed change the Frame – try using "Cali 11".

    Here is the result for one page:

    Adding Images, Adjusting Frames

    Save this image under a new name.

  • Step 9. Now we just need to add some text. We can do that here, in PhotoScape or in another editor.

    If you decide to use PhotoScape, use Editor (to add a rectangular background under the text) or the Batch Editor (to add a circular background).

    Text can be added to both of these backgrounds. Use the Comic sans font. The best combinations are black text on a white background or white text on a black background.

    Text Added to a Background

    That's it. Here's the completed first page of the comic:

    Text on a Background
    Create the remaining pages in the same way.


We decided to follow the initiative of the author, and process the images using a different method. Instead of using the AKVIS Sketch, we used AKVIS ArtWork (with the Comics style, of course).

Compare the results. On the left, there is an image created with AKVIS Sketch, and on the right, one made with AKVIS ArtWork:

Comics made in Sketch and ArtWork

How It Works How It Works
   — Workspace — Workspace
   — Using the Program — Using the Program
   — Classic Style — Classic Style
   — Artistic Style — Artistic Style
   — Timeline — Timeline
   — Toolbar — Toolbar
   — Background Effects — Background Effects
   — Adding a Frame — Adding a Frame
   — Text and Watermark — Text and Watermark
   — Drawing on a Canvas — Drawing on a Canvas
   — Presets — Presets
   — Preferences — Preferences
   — Batch Processing — Batch Processing
Examples Examples
   — Pencil Sketch: Let's Draw a Tulip — Pencil Sketch: Let's Draw a Tulip
   — Convert a Photo to a Color Sketch — Convert a Photo to a Color Sketch
   — Transform a Video into a Cartoon — Transform a Video into a Cartoon
   — Sketch Gallery — Sketch Gallery
   — Pastel Drawing Technique — Pastel Drawing Technique
   — AKVIS Sketch in Architecture — AKVIS Sketch in Architecture
   — Graphite Pencil Portrait — Graphite Pencil Portrait
   — Watercolor Drawing — Watercolor Drawing
   — Artistic Processing — Artistic Processing
   — Watercolor Painting out of Photo — Watercolor Painting out of Photo
   — Winter Dream: Fairy-Tale Forest — Winter Dream: Fairy-Tale Forest
   — A Woman in a Tub: a Real Work of Art — A Woman in a Tub: a Real Work of Art
   — Watercolor Portrait — Watercolor Portrait
   — Pencil Sketch of a Pet — Pencil Sketch of a Pet
   — Postcard Framed in Pencil Drawing — Postcard Framed in Pencil Drawing
   — Baseball Photo to Color Drawing — Baseball Photo to Color Drawing
   — Make a Sketch from a Wolf Photo — Make a Sketch from a Wolf Photo
   — Motorshow: a Pencil Drawing — Motorshow: a Pencil Drawing
   — Wild Beast of Prey: Watercolor — Wild Beast of Prey: Watercolor
   — A Hand Draws a Hand — A Hand Draws a Hand
   — Convert Vector Drawing to Sketch — Convert Vector Drawing to Sketch
   — Portrait out of a Newspaper Clipping — Portrait out of a Newspaper Clipping
   — Quiet Harbor: a Watercolor Painting — Quiet Harbor: a Watercolor Painting
   — A Little Girl: B&W Pencil Sketch — A Little Girl: B&W Pencil Sketch
   — Westmuir Street in Glasgow — Westmuir Street in Glasgow
   — Sweet Couple: Create a Postcard — Sweet Couple: Create a Postcard
   — Black-and-White Image in Photo Frame — Black-and-White Image in Photo Frame
   — Dream to Reality: How to Blend... — Dream to Reality: How to Blend...
   — Christmas Card from a Photo — Christmas Card from a Photo
   — Artist at Work — Artist at Work
   — Friends in a Cafe: Sketch&Blur — Friends in a Cafe: Sketch&Blur
   — Versailles: Traveling to the Past — Versailles: Traveling to the Past
   — Drawing on Aged Paper — Drawing on Aged Paper
   — Self-Expression: Sketch in a Minute — Self-Expression: Sketch in a Minute
   — Two Beloved Dogs — Two Beloved Dogs
   — Orchid: Drawing in Watercolor Pencil — Orchid: Drawing in Watercolor Pencil
   — Shiny Apple: An Artist's Touch — Shiny Apple: An Artist's Touch
   — Cardinal: A Scene From Nature — Cardinal: A Scene From Nature
   — Variations On A Rose — Variations On A Rose
   — Cute Girl: а Pastel Drawing on Paper — Cute Girl: а Pastel Drawing on Paper
   — On a Bright Street (Sketch&Photo) — On a Bright Street (Sketch&Photo)
   — Mount Saint Michel Watercolor — Mount Saint Michel Watercolor
   — Gala Evening — Gala Evening
   — Radiant Girl: a Detailed Color Portrait — Radiant Girl: a Detailed Color Portrait
   — Parisian Chic — Parisian Chic
   — Toy Story: Create Your Own Comics — Toy Story: Create Your Own Comics
   — Video Clip Processing — Video Clip Processing
   — Creation of a Short-Film Storyboard — Creation of a Short-Film Storyboard
   — Smudging Technique on a Sketch — Smudging Technique on a Sketch
   — Making Embroidery Patterns — Making Embroidery Patterns
   — Quicktime Transition — Quicktime Transition
   — Red Oleander (Old Drawing Effect) — Red Oleander (Old Drawing Effect)
   — Seeing Eye Dog (Comic Book) — Seeing Eye Dog (Comic Book)
   — Produce Illustrations for an RPG Article — Produce Illustrations for an RPG Article
   — Student Project: City by Water — Student Project: City by Water
   — Timeline: Stop the moment! — Timeline: Stop the moment!
   — Sunny Sketch — Sunny Sketch
   — Electric Horses: Glowing Drawing — Electric Horses: Glowing Drawing
   — Reflections on the Garry Oak — Reflections on the Garry Oak
   — Creating a 3D Drawing — Creating a 3D Drawing


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