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Kaxen's avatar

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How do you render different ways of talking? Like whispering and stuff.


I've noticed I basically have "normal volume" and "shouting" speech bubbles but nothing for whispering. Well, there's some visual context since the characters are bent in close to whisper secretly to each other, but is that enough?

...the Gaia post style for whispering is dashed lines?


How much do you vary your speech bubbles? Is too much variation in speech bubbles distracting?
Kupocake's avatar

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Making the text bigger or smaller, for one thing.

I mostly rely on visual cues. Someone who is slyly leaning close to another character's ear while talking tends to read as whispering. At the same time, if someone is jabbing their finger at another person while their mouth is agape in a mid-dramatic pose, that definitely reads as someone shouting.

I don't like to get too caught up in weird word balloons.
yup visuals work better

Try italicising the convo, maybe? And make the font smaller.
Madcap_Bekkers's avatar

Dapper Explorer

I am totally into weird word balloons, but they should probably be used with a little discretion. Dotted line balloons work well for whispering, but as they said above, so does gesture and context. And if you can get messages across primarily through gesture and context, you're already doing pretty damn well as an artist anyway.
sometimes i use no balloons at all when whispering, writing the words in midair and having the character looking.. well, sly, grumpy or whatever. usually works best for fewer words though. : )
schmeddyhead's avatar

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Another consideration, depending on how your "normal" bubbles look, is stroke weight of the bubble. A lighter bubble can indicate softer noise.
Seijaku_Ishida's avatar

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I think one good way to show a whisper is to keep the bubble the same size as normal, but shrink the text. The smaller text with more room around it makes it seem a lot smaller.

Wobbly word bubbles are often used as well. Or no text at all.

Experiment, though.
I like the idea of the smaller text, but I think it needs to be made really obvious that they are whispering and not that this is a GRAND IMPORTANT MOMENT which I tend to see whenever font size is changed. But that's probably just me.
Dot Candy's avatar

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Dotted line bubbles indicate the use of a 'whisper voice.'
You have to be careful with that sort of thing that you don't get gimmicky. Depending on the page, special "whisper" panels might look kind of stupid.

My speech bubbles usually vary in regards to size vs. text size and occasionally shape and very rarely color. It depends on the comic for me; I think Sandman does a really good job with pushing speech bubble styles, but it's not a good idea to rely solely on the balloon shape to express emotions.
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To differentiate characters, I usually use specific fonts.
For emphasis I'll use either bold or underline.
For sarcasm or whispering, I'll either use italics, or exaggerate speech patterns.
Whispering hasn't really come up in my comic yet though.
Kaxen's avatar

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EternalFlame
To differentiate characters, I usually use specific fonts.
For emphasis I'll use either bold or underline.
For sarcasm or whispering, I'll either use italics, or exaggerate speech patterns.
Whispering hasn't really come up in my comic yet though.


I think changing fonts for characters gets a little too distracting. I give everyone the same font, but the loudest yelling and incoherent/inhuman noises get hand/written/drawn in.
EternalFlame's avatar

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Kaxen
I think changing fonts for characters gets a little too distracting. I give everyone the same font, but the loudest yelling and incoherent/inhuman noises get hand/written/drawn in.


Here's one of mine, you can judge for yourself if it's too distracting:

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edit; just so we're clear, this is an unfinished page..
Kaxen's avatar

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I think it's a bit distracting.

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