This week I’ve been making some comics with a class in the Book Creator app. It’s part of a bigger ‘app-smash’ we’re working on by combining the comic with the Explain Everything app to make an animated video.
Here are some tips to creating a comic with backgrounds, characters, and layered objects to give your comics a super professional look!
1. Insert a background into each panel.
The new updated Book Creator has a great comic layout with loads of comic like features. Elements such as stickers, comic looking fonts and text functions and PANELS! These are one of my ‘go-tos’ for students adding photos into a page. When they click the photo or camera icon within a panel the app fits the photo perfectly inside it.
When adding a background image for your comic strip, use this approach to give each panel the right backdrop. You can use the same image and zoom in or out for each panel using the 2 finger pinch and stretch.
2. Use the ‘transparent’ option when searching for character images.
Students can search and save the right character images on a Google search by finding and using a ‘long press’ on the image to ‘Save image.’ This will appear in their camera roll for use later.
BUT, if you want to use images that can be layered without a background attached to the actual image (it will look like the character is cut out) then use the ‘Search tools > Color > Transparent’ function to search for PNG files. These will have a grey and white checkered background when opened and these save as PNGs for you to add to your comics.
3. Add your characters with the + icon.
When you’re adding the characters you will need to use the + button at the top right of the screen, rather than the camera and photo function inside the panel. If you use that function then the character will replace the background of the panel. The + button process will let you move the character over top or inside the panel as needed.
4. Layer the objects using the ‘move forward and back’ section.
The last step is to work on getting your characters, stickers, speech bubbles and other elements to be layered in the right way. The default order is that the last thing added will go to the top…but to change this order simply select the element, click on the ‘I’ (or inspector) and use the ‘Move forward and back’ function. This lets you order the elements how YOU want them.
And here’s the finished product of all of these tweeks. It’s incredible what students can create using a few techniques and the greatest thing is seeing the sense of accomplishment and pride at what they’ve achieved – as well as the chance to consolidate and deepen their understanding of new learning.