Zine Template + Layout Document

While preparing materials for a workshop recently I created a leave-behind, a summary of sorts, in zine format. Given the effort behind this zine it seems only fitting to share source files. So if you’re looking for a digital solution that turns a standard, 8.5”x11” letter-size into an 8-panel zine this may help.

THE STORYBOARD TEMPLATE (PDF)150622_zine-storyboard

This first document, which amounts to a single zine page (1 of 8), is a planning document. Print as many as you like and work directly on it. Just remember, ultimately you’re going to need 8 of these to call it good. Once you’re satisfied with your content simply scan the pages and use the InDesign document to help position each page.




The second document, which is the InDesign file, merely positions each image for easy printing. Those unfamiliar with InDesign may consider overwriting the existing zine images (“Links / …jpg” ) with their own scanned pages to instantly position content. However, if you’re familiar with InDesign…well, you know what to do.

Finally, due to the inherent variation in printer specifications there’s no guarantee an edge won’t get a lil’ chopped. If this happens I trust you know your printer well enough to, say, scale things down a bit. Trust I hope it prints perfectly though.


Download » Zine Storyboard Template (PDF – 50 KB)
Download » Zine Layout Template (INDD – 1.6 MB)

Pulled Scene / “Research From Bed”


The above is 1 of 5 scenes pulled from a recent project. And unlike a typical scenario, where a scene is pulled at the rough stage, these scenes were pulled after coloring. So why were they pulled? Interesting enough, it had nothing to do with quality or content but instead the deliverable date. Due to a shift in the timeline it became imperative to shorten the overall deck (aka “presentation”). The results being this along with 5 other “establishing shots” being pulled. So sometimes pulled work is simply a matter of having a deliverable scaled back.

And special “thank you” to the team for allowing this scene to be shared here!

Storyboards Compared to the Final Scenes

I used my phone during a recent shoot to capture the videographers’ efforts as they framed scenes. It was exciting to compare those same shots to the actual storyboards later and see how well content did (or didn’t) line up. Here’s a few examples of what I found.

ud_130525_02 ud_130525_21 ud_130525_24_04 ud_130525_25 ud_130525_56

Another Copic Marker Use

It’s a long story, but the short version is Alysha schooled me on using a highlighter to generate roughs before inking it. It didn’t take long for me to swap the highlighter for a Copic Sketch marker (N2 Neutral Gray No. 2).  Meaning now I can produce roughs faster, as pencil ultimately requires erasing, and it’s a blast building on the grays for a more refined look.

Here’s an quick example of how to play in the same manner. Just start by laying down however many lines as you like.


The above represents a “whatever” approach. Meaning you don’t have to necessarily produce a discernible image as much as simply laying down enough information to help guide. So if it makes sense to you it’s all good.


Next, just capture/trace the lines you feel are most fitting. While I normally use a Sharpie (for speed) the above was done with a brush pen. Again, use whatever feels right.


Here’s how to take it further digitally. The above scan (grayscale @ 300 dpi) was opened in PS, Levels chosen, White Point within Levels selected, and one tap given to a gray strokes.ud_130407d

Here’s the results of altering the white point. The gray or highlighter strokes vanish -depending on the intensity of gray selected of course.ud_130407e

And here’s how I played with it in PS after applying my “Prepping Lineart Action.” Honestly, there’s literally so many directions available at this point…it really depends on your project’s needs or personal preference. For example, taking the above just alil’ further…


…this the same file as the above with two minor tweaks. Note the action mentioned above provided a “Lineart” layer. By default that Layer is unlock. Well, with “Lock Transparent Pixels” selected the “Lineart” layer was filled with a weathered brown tone. Because of the “Lock Transparent Pixels” option only the lines were affected. Next, an “Adjustment Layer” was Masked to the Layer holding the colors and…well…blam.




Lastly, here’s what it’s like layering the grays (N2, N4, N6) prior to adding alil’ Sharpie work. All that to say…this process is too much fun IMO.


Ms. Diamond could have been a steam girl, jus’ say’n!

The above is a character rough that was pulled from a recent project. See, the goal was to draw several presenters as superheroes. Kinda like caricature work. Which I totally suck at for some reason!! Like, both! The caricature and superhero parts! I don’t get it. Regardless, the above character was originally very superhero-ish…but then I steam punked her after it was pulled. And, ya know, now that it’s done I actually wish I could have rendered everyone as a steam punks instead. While the effort would have been lost on the audience/demographic…still, it would have been kinda cool.

This morning’s, back-of-paper, sideline conversation…

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