Learn how to build speech balloons and text boxes for a comic book page in InDesign.
- [Voiceover] Now it's time to give this text a home. We're going to put them in balloons and boxes. So we've got to make those. I'm gonna zoom in a little bit so we can see what we're doing. I'm just kind of worrying about the text at this point, so I'm going to move our art over to the right a little bit. So the way I like to make balloons is pretty simple. You go over here, it might be a rectangle, might be an ellipse, might be a polygon, but hold down on that until you get your options in. Go ahead and click Ellipse tool, and then it's as simple as, you know, kind of stretching out and drawing a little ellipse.
So what we have now is the beginning stages of what will be a balloon. But there's one problem. As you can see, this balloon is clear. If we move it over to our art, it's totally see-through. So that's not what we want. We're gonna need to go up here where we have our fill and our stroke and then our stroke weight, which is .1. We'll talk about that in a second.
And this red line is the fill, and that's telling us we don't have a fill right now, so we need to change that to Paper, if that's what you want, which is a nice, white balloon. Depending on your character, you might use a red one or you might use like a pea-green balloon if it's a swamp monster talking. You can do a lot with the voices again, the same way we were talking about changing the font to have a different voice. But I'm going to stick with these nice, white, clean balloons. And the idea is to make some balloons that look like it's going to fit, to the best of our knowledge, the text that we're working with today.
So this can be a little bit smaller for this first balloon. And I'll make another one. Again, you go up to the Fill, change it to Paper, and then resize as necessary for now. It doesn't have to be perfect. We're gonna keep working on these as we go. Let's just get those ellipses in there. Again, this is why working in the margins or the desktop space of InDesign is so great, because you can just hold everything over here until you need it.
I just love that. So here we are at a crossroads with our caption. We obviously don't want a balloon, so we can, again, we can go over to the ellipse, and click Rectangle if we wanted, and that's exactly the same process that we've been doing. We have the one-point stroke, you fill it with the paper color, and then you're left with a nice, little, perfect caption box. But you can also make it look a little bit more hand-made and natural-looking if you want by clicking this Pencil tool, and then on your tablet with your pen, just as best you can drawing a rectangle about the same size.
And that gives you this nice, hand-drawn, kind of wonky-looking rectangle here that you'll again fill. And you can see what that looks like. So this is actually a look that I like and that I'm gonna move forward with, but it's a little too wonky, speaking of wonky, so I'm gonna zoom in on this and show you what we're gonna do, both to our caption boxes and to our balloons. So right now, the way we have it selected with our general selection tool, it allows us to, you know, stretch and skew and resize, but we want to go further, and we want to actually change the shapes of these lines.
So go ahead and click the Direct Select tool, which is the white arrow right under the other Select tool. And clicking just outside of your drawn rectangle, it will give you all these anchor points that you can pull on, and actually manipulate the shape at your will. So you can make it, you know, more wonky or less wonky, whatever it is you're going for. Cleaning up just slightly, so it still looks hand-made, but it isn't distractingly awful.
So when you're happy with that, you can leave that and move back up to your balloons. And we're actually going to use that same Direct Select tool to make these a little bit more messy and hand-made looking, these balloons here. So again, you grab that Direct Select tool, we select just outside of the balloon, and you have these white anchor points. And so I just want these to look a little bit off, so that they don't look so computerized and digitally made. And that's just my preference on this book. You might not need to do this, but at least now you know how.
Continue on with the other balloons untile you've got everything looking the way you like it. And so everything is coming out well, and you think you're at a good place to move on, you can go ahead and take a look at what you've got, make sure that you've done all the balloons and caption boxes that you nereed. And next we're gonna actually to put these words into those balloons.
- Writing left to right, top to bottom
- Adding script placeholders and rough balloon placements
- Pausing and pacing
- Showing inner dialog
- Adding sound effects
- Putting it all together in InDesign