Thursday, November 2

Print and Scan Approach

David Seah have created a lot of nice looking printable forms that are great for keeping track of your own progress and for planning your workday. I have been using a couple of different time report and project management systems and for some odd reason I always end up making notes on sheets of paper that I then have to transfer by hand at the end of the week. David Seah has not only realized this, he's embracing it.

Having to transfer the notes on paper to a project management system is the only drawback to having printable forms. And what to do about this if not to use your scanner and some clever Optical Character Recognition to make a check in a box turn into a value in a column of our database.

This idea is so good (I can claim this since it's not truly my own idea) that I see no reason why this shouldn't be applied to every step of the comic book creation pipeline. I touched on this subject when I did the brainstorming session way back but I never saw the full potential of using a "Print and Scan" approach.

Consider the penciller printing out blueline guidelines complete with panel borders and perspective grids. This has been done before but if we add codes to the page that automatically files the scan in the right place we make scanning a whole lot less time consuming.

Now consider the letterer first creating a mock-up design digitally and then printing a coded lettering documents that has the lettering areas individually organized complete with any guidelines you need (be that actual bluelines or text) . When the lettering is completed these lettering documents are scanned and every individual balloon and caption is transferred to the comic book project where the finishing touches can be applied.

The writer prints out a bunch of script forms that he can carry with his everywhere he goes. These include forms for "registering" plot ideas, scene structure, dialogue well everything that is not an actual script but that can be used to model a script. The writer checks the right boxes and codes the document for scanning so that when all script documents are scanned there is a nice collection of information that can then be reviewed and transformed into the final script.

There are hundreds of other scenarios that could use this approach. And if you dislike scanning altogether perhaps the Anoto pen is an answer for you.

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