Because I got some free time, I will show you some cleaning I’ve done just for testing my own cleaning and redrawing ability. There’s already someone who translated the manga, but because of the ‘regular’-ness of the page, I used it as my sample page. Below is the page I picked.
(Oversized Sextet Girls – Ch01 – p. 015)
That is the original RAW page without any edit…. Very….regular. Very basic. I don’t know. It has the usual text bubbles, stylised text inside the bubble (ripping out of the text bubble), but there’s also very visible, huge sound effects/onomatopoeia texts. The texts inside the bubble is very simple and not very difficult thing to do. Just like this.
Step 1. Cleaning regular text inside bubbles.
Except for the stylised “うわあぁぁ⁉”, perfectly clean text bubbles.
And now I just need to clean the stylised one….
Step 2. Cleaning stylised text inside bubbles.
Now, every text bubbles are clean, ready for the translations to be typed inside of it. This would be perfectly fine even if the sounds effects/onomatopoeia texts aren’t cleaned. Cleaning them will leave things to the cleaner imaginations, so it could potentially changes things that the author intended to show. Usually it is acceptable to just put some information about its meaning inside white spaces between the panels. (I did forget to redraw that one text bubble with the stylised text… Ahaha! XD )
However, some really hates those texts, as they are big, distracting, and meaningless (as they hide stuff, and the readers might not understand the meaning–hence meaningless for them). So let’s clean them starting from the little one around the boy in the corner…
Step 3. Cleaning and redrawing smaller texts outside bubbles.
Now, if you’ve never seen the original Japanese RAW version, it might look pretty fine. But if you compared it directly to the RAW page, it will look very patchy/inconsistent in the cleaned version. You can easily see the boy’s collar shadow parts, also his left sleeve part.
I’ve removed the ” がし ” …. I guess it refers to the sounds of the boy getting grabbed by the giant girl. For some reason I can’t find them from my onomatopoeia dictionary…. so I can only guess the logical one. And now let’s clean the rest of the page.
Step 4. Cleaning and redrawing big texts outside bubbles.
As you can see, I’ve removed the ” グオッ ” (close to ‘Woooow’ or ‘Whooosh’ as it exaggerates the giant girl’s movement to make it look so huge) and also ” ポーン ” (a cute sound effect for something like floating ball in the air). And again, if you’ve never seen the RAW images, it would look quite natural and doesn’t look it’s been edited much. However, look a little closer and you can suddenly found weird parts.
Yes, I am not very great at redrawing the lost details. You can see around the girl’s sleeve and her skirt. You can notice wobbly lines around the redrawn sleeve, and then very weird inconsistent shading around the skirt. However, the ポーン in the middle looked very natural and would not be easily found because there’s little details to be fixed around the redrawn area.
And now, as the page has been fully cleaned, the only thing left is to type the translated texts into the page. Break that down, there would be -translating the texts, -choosing the right font, -choosing the right size and space between lines, -and checking the final result, whether if there’s any mistake or unnatural translations. I usually changes some translations at this phase. While it might changes a little of the original text hidden/subtle meaning, I try to keep the overall meaning while changing them to make them feel more natural in English. I’m not perfect though, as I am not a native English speaker and I sometimes got confusions with British and American different terms (like taxi vs cabs, eggplant vs aubergine, etc).
Aaanyway. If you see the pages, it does look very simple. But it is very troublesome to do, and many translators/scanlators loathes doing this kind of work… Ahahaha XD
I am using Photoshop as it has great tools that make it easier to clean— however I think for redrawing, Photoshop is extremely annoying to use. For redrawing, I think Clip Studio would be the better choice…. but of course I don’t have it (I have no money to buy a copy (´；ω；｀) )… But I’ve tried using it before using my friend’s laptop, and it felt waaaaaay waaaay better for drawing and illustrating. Very natural and there’s great selection of drawing brushes ready to use. Photoshop built-in brushes sucks! (compared to Clip’s, that is)
I am not opening comission work at the time, but I would charge cheaper for cleaning up to Step 2. Cleaning and redrawing until Step 4 would be A LOT more expensive, because it takes at least twice or even more the time it takes to do the other stuff. It will be difficult to comprehend, “It doesn’t look that difficult, why does it cost so much more?”, you might ask. Cleaning big texts in front of complex scenes is really TROUBLESOME because you need to take the liberty to draw the parts you never saw before using your imagination…which will not always turn up good. And then you might need to redo them all over again, extending your long work hours even longer. And if the pay is the same, it really made the hourly pay even smaller! I guess that’s the reason some translators absolutely loathes this part of the work ahahahah!
Well. That’s it for this time. I got some free time today, so I finished Otonari Voice Chat Ch4 eariler this day, and also cleaning Ch5 pages in advance (just cleaning, haven’t translated even one Japanese character.), plus this fun cleaning and redrawing test.
Stay safe, healthy everyone, please always be careful in this horrible pandemic times. Let’s do our best doing whatever we can do! Even if there are lots of stuff not going well like what we wanted them to be. It’s hard, tiring, saddening, depressing, but we’ve got to try first. Have a great and wonderful day!
– Ritsuki 麗月