Creating a real life comic is a great activity if you have small kids and it is definitely something the whole family will enjoy. I often leave my computer to my younger cousins when they come so they can have fun while I'm busy working. It is very easy to use and children particularly will be actively involved in the whole process which goes from taking the pictures to creating the plot of the story and then designing the comic. It is a great way for them to learn and have fun at the same time.
Comic Life is a really easy to use software that has several built-in templates and is available in different languages. Unfortunately it is available only for Mac computers. Get it here . You have a 30 day trial and then you can buy the license for just $20.00 US. If you're a Mac user and have Tiger installation discs, it is available under the "Install Bundled Software Only" option.
Step 1: Parts and Tools Required
For this instructable we will need:
1. Comic Life
2. Mac Computer
3. Digital photo camera or pictures you have taken already
5.Old clothes. Great when building stages and costumes.
6.Printer. Kind of obvious but, use it to print your comics...
Step 2: Getting to Know Comic Life
Go to your Applications folder and open Comic Life. You should see a window similar to the one in the picture.
Get to know your working area. If this is the first time you or your kids are using Comic Life you might want to explore the different templates available. Try using the different speech balloons to give your comic an awesome look.
Step 3: Insert Templates and Pictures
For this Instructable I will be using some photos from a trip to a national park where we saw a bear cub.
You can also do a comic where you and your kids appear. Design costumes and mount a small stage for a better look.
First choose a template from the template library. Just drag and drop it to the white sheet in the center section. I will be using the 'brick' template, a very basic one.
Now that you have the template, import your pictures from the section at the right-bottom corner. Just as with the template, drag and drop the picture to the scene you want it to be.
You can also import pictures directly from Photo Booth or capture them from Comic Life directly.
Step 4: Add Speech Balloons
Now that we have some or all of the pictures in place, lets add the speech balloons. Just drag an item from the "Speech Balloon Section" to your comic. Just drop the balloon inside the scene and once there you will be able to move it and re-size it. Try to make short dialogues, it looks better than having a whole speech and it is far more readable.
Once you inserted the balloon, select it and insert your texts. Notice that there are different elements surrounding the speech balloon. The green dots are used to re-size the text area, while the orange one is used to change the source of the balloon. The gray arrows are used to move the whole component in any direction without resizing it.
Notice how some speech balloons are used in different situations. In the first scene I used the rectangular one to indicate the setting. Then I used a different one to indicate thoughts from the bear. The last two are used for normal dialogues. Don't worry if you're not sure when to use each one, your kids will know for sure.
Step 5: Achieving That Pro Look
Try to arrange and position the images/speech balloons so that the text is shown clearly but without interfering with important details in the picture. Use different balloon configurations until you reach the best one.
If you and/or your kids are really serious print them and then get a binder or some other plastic cover. It will protect the comic and it will be a great way to store them safely.
Using Comic Life is really simple and will keep the children busy for hours, guaranteed!