Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Using Google Drawings for Comic Creation

I was reminded recently that Google Drawings has Callouts in the shapes of speech and thought bubbles. Used in conjunction with the app on a mobile device, this makes a great tool for collaborative comic creation.

I put together this quick sample using a few pictures I had on my iPad from a PD day in our district. Ideally the pictures would be of actors or maybe toys or other objects set up according to a script.

Here's the process:
1)  Take pictures of the actors or objects for the comic. You could draw these on paper and take pictures or make them in a graphics program too.

2)  Upload the pictures to Google Drive using the app (if using a mobile device) or with the computer (if you created them in a graphics program on a computer).

3)  Using a computer, create a new Drawing in Google Drive. Share it with anyone who will be working on the same project.

4)  Set the background color.

5)  Add each picture and edit/arrange them. I found this order worked best overall. You'd repeat this for each frame of your comic on the page:

  • Import the picture.
  • Crop it with the crop tool.
  • Resize it as necessary.
  • Set the line width and color if you want borders.
  • Move it to the correct place.
  • Add the Callouts from the Object dropdown. You'll see speech bubbles in a few shapes and a thought bubble. 
  • "Draw" the speech or thought bubble on your picture
  • Drag the "tail" of it to the person talking or thinking.
  • Type the text in the speech or thought bubble(s).
  • Resize and move the bubble and text as necessary.

6)  Add any other text boxes or text to the Drawing.

7)  Download as a jpg image and share with others if necessary.

8)  Copy or import the image file into a shared Google Document. There it can be a page of a book made up of a series of such pages/images. You could put it in a Google Presentation too if it's more likely to be displayed that way.

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