While this is supposed to be the “basics” you should still check other manga editing guides and definitely look up some tutorials of the tool you will be using. For this guide, I’ll be using photoshop.
Before you start your first edit, make sure you’re equiped with the proper tools. You should either use Photoshop or GIMP (or something similar that has the same features).
Why? Multiple layers are a must when editing. This will save you a lot of time if you either screw up the leveling, the redraws or the cleaning.
Here’s a list of common mistakes:
1. Always save each image as a PSD (photoshop file format). You should never save them as a JPG or PNG since you won’t be able to undo any change afterwards.
2. Always use multiple layers. Don’t do everything on the same layer! The cleaning, the redrawing and the leveling should always be on seperate layers.
3. Always have your layers in the correct order. The layer above will always have the priority over the others.
The layers should always be (somewhat) in this order:
- Text layers (At the top)
- Leveling layer
- Cleaning layer
- Redrawing layer
- The raw unedited image (At the bottom)
4. Always keep the original image inside your PSD, that way you can easily compare your modification.
5. If you work with multiple people, give your layers a proper name! Nothing more confusing when there’s 20 layers named; layer 1, layer 2, layer 3…etc.
6. Never resize your image when editing. The redrawing and typesetting will be much easier on a bigger scan. The same goes for exporting an image, always use the biggest size possible so that your edit will still be relevant for years to come. Technology advance quickly and becomes cheaper too, there’s no reason to resize to 800×600 anymore.
7. You will screw the leveling and redrawing, it’s normal and it will take time to master. So keep trying!
8. Don’t leave any smudge in the bubble! These are tiny spot of the remaining original text, make sure you cleaned the bubble properly.
9. Remember, quality > quantity. Your work will last a lifetime and will be read (or fapped) by a good portion of the world. Put some effort!