<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/intro2.png”>If you’re a fan of web comics then chances are you’ve had a few ideas for your own in the past. The only problem is you need some drawing skills, plenty of patience and a fondness for Photoshop, GIMP or other imaging software if you want to start from scratch.
We’ve had Strip Generator in our MakeUseOf Directory for a while now but the site has gone through a number of changes over the years with new features and the introduction of a cleaner, easier to use interface. It really couldn’t be simpler to drop in some characters, objects and text down before sharing it with your friends. No artistic skills required, simply let your ideas take shape!
Uses For Strip Generator
Artists and those blessed with the ability to draw will probably look down on Strip Generator for its drag-and-drop simplicity. This makes it perfect for those with an idea, a punchline or a joke between friends to bring their ideas to 2D life in minutes.
Even those who draw their own strips from scratch may find uses for the website; as a storyboard or a plan for larger projects. If you’re interested in transferring your comics from pen-and-paper so you can design offline, check out our guide.
There are also more ambitious Strip Generator comics floating around the website, which show off some of the more off-beat community creations (like this Helicoptero strip). Using objects and tools in ways other than they were intended requires a bit of experimentation, but is testament to the adaptability of the sandbox you have in front of you.
You don’t need to register to use Strip Generator, so to get started simply visit the homepage and click Create New Strip. You’ll be asked once your strip is complete to register, so you can save your creations and re-edit ongoing projects.
When starting your strip, you are presented with the simple 3 frame comic format, which you can change by clicking on Frames at the top of the strip. Here you’re presented with lots of options, including 1 or 2 rows, full page designs and custom frames you define yourself.
You should always choose your frame first, and be sure of your decision. Changing the frame after beginning your strip will delete the lot, something you’ll be hoping to avoid. Once you’ve decided on a frame the rest is experimentation.
Characters and objects are handled by Strip Generator in the same way, and are highly transformable. Once you’ve chosen something from the appropriate tab, drag it into one of your frames. Clicking the item will highlight it, and display the scale and rotate controls – simply click and drag.
After selecting an object, the area to the right of your comic strip will display the various manipulations you can perform. These include sending the object forward and back (layers), adding blur and transparency and moving the object between frames, or detaching it altogether. If you’ve ever used photo manipulation software in the past then it should all be fairly familiar.
Text is handled similarly and whilst there’s no font options you can adjust size, placement, bold and italics and justification. Text can also be blurred, much like objects and the speech or thought bubble’s roundness can be user-defined too.
Sharing Your Creations
Once you’ve completed your strip hit Finish at the bottom. You will be taken to a page where you can define a thumbnail, add tags so your comic can be found and last of all give your strip a name. Hitting Publish will publish your work as an anonymous user, and on the next page you will be prompted to either log in or sign up to claim the credit.
You don’t have to register however, and you can remain anonymous if you please. If you do choose to register you will be given a Strip Generator blog, the URL of which will be username.stripgenerator.com.
There are all manner of social buttons and sharing options afoot your new creation, you can even print it out or simply save the image in your browser as you would normally.
Strip Generator is a lot of fun, partly because it’s so easy to use and partly for the near-instantaneous results. If you’ve not got the patience to draw a full strip, have a spare 5 minutes and a great one-liner then Strip Generator is calling for your contributions.
Have you tried Strip Generator to create web comics? Fancy linking your strips? Any other good comic generators you use? Let us know in the comments below!