Video: Cam Cardow demos Duoshade effect in Photoshop

Ottawa Citizen editorial cartoonist Cam Cardow has posted a video showing how he creates the Duoshade effect in Photoshop. Doushade was a paper that when a special chemical was applied, a diagonal shading line appeared under the pen and ink drawings creating a shading effect. The paper was discontinued in 2009.

Here’s Cam’s video:

14 thoughts on “Video: Cam Cardow demos Duoshade effect in Photoshop

  1. I clicked the link to your story from 2009 and enjoyed reading the comments.

    I remember hearing duo-shade was going to be discontinued. I stopped using it slightly before as it gave my paper a break in costs to and I used the argument for them to buy me a new drawing table.

    I remember talking to Mike Luckovich about it being discontinued and he replied “I just stopped using it.”

    When it was discontinued I was kinda excited. I thought I’m going to shade more with and ink and my work will have more of that natural spontaneous feel. I felt a rush to quit using it before anyone else quit. I don’t miss it one bit. I do miss the actual paper. It was really thick and was made of a great quality. I haven’t found a 2-ply bristol to replace it yet. It was like drawing on an actual board. You had to be a fierce eraser to actually bend it.

    It’s outdated and it is a crutch. Yeah, we all use photoshop and color our cartoons. There is an element in art to how you used the duo-shade. But taking it away made a lot of drawers’ work more interesting.

    Even MacNelly stopped using duo-shade. Most cartoonists who copied Mac’s style eventually developed their own (that’s a long list). Apparently there’s at least one who hasn’t found his own skin yet.

  2. “Apparently there?s at least one who hasn?t found his own skin yet.”

    Because no discussion on duo shade is complete w/out an uncalled for gratuitous shot at some unnamed cartoonist.

  3. A little background:

    The duo-shade tutorial was produced at the request of a professional cartoonist friend. I produced it and uploaded it to YouTube as a easy way to share with him on a topic others have asked about many times. I did not intend for it to get the traction it did and therefore it is rough and unedited.

    I’m reminded of that famous quote: “No good deed goes unpunished.”

    Regarding Mr. Jones’ comments that duo-shade is “outdated,” I would point to the work of Michael Ramirez, who still effectively uses it with astonishing results — as just one example.

    I had, in fact, not used this duo-shade technique for years prior to the making of the video, therefore Mr. Jones’ underhanded remark is inaccurate and defamatory.

    Since I have only recently “returned” to editorial cartooning after losing my position at the Ottawa Citizen in May, 2013, it is with great bewilderment that I find myself as the subject for his attack. The extreme depression which goes with losing one’s career, marriage and life savings in one year is always enhanced by gratuitous online savagery by someone who I unfriended on Facebook years ago for the same activity.

    In closing, I found Mr. Jones’ comments to exceedingly unfair and contemptuous given the context I have presented.

  4. Thanks for the tutorial. I liked the fact that it was “rough”.
    What did you use to make your Font. I’d LOVE to do that as I hate lettering as well but would like to continue to use my font:
    Basically something third-gradish but not as tight.

    Also, what size are you working at here? I see that the Line image is a tif. How did you create it?

    Thanks again,

  5. Don’t let ’em get ya down, Cam. I, for one, (and I know plenty of others) found it fascinating to watch.

    I always enjoy hearing how those with actual artistic talent do what they do.

  6. Rich, I’m working in 400dpi. I have two line screen files. Anyone who wants them can request them by emailing me at ccardow at gmail.

    I forget what service I used for the font but you should be able to use a font program to make your own.

    I tried recreating the steps for making the lines file in Illustrator this weekend , but moire was a problem, as it was the first time. Once I get the line thickness and offset numbers right, I’ll post the results so everyone can have them.


  7. Cam, you do exceptional work. Process/technique really doesn’t matter if one uses it successfully. Good luck with the freelance. Ottawa Citizen’s loss.

  8. Cam, you do great work so please don’t let a few distractors get under your skin. It is my understanding that many many editors are really excited about you returning as they really enjoyed running your work in print and on the web. Really glad your back!

  9. Thanks, Brian, Rick and Susan.

    What you wrote Susan: “Process/technique really doesn?t matter if one uses it successfully” is dead-on.

    In my opinion, it doesn’t matter what process/technique you use as long as it is comfortable to you, plus works artistically/commercially. Some people use Photoshop while some people prefer Manga Studio. Some people prefer the Wacom tablet and some people prefer newer platforms like the Microsoft Surface Pro. I’m waiting for some enterprising editorial cartoonist to use 3-D software in daily production and make it work artistically.

    In the old days, just every self-respecting cartoonist used a Windsor Newton Series 7 sable brush because that was the best tool of the day, but, hey, if it still works for you better than Photoshop or Manga Studio then go for it! Pick up that old Bic ball point pen and play with that. You really don’t need to limit yourself anymore.

    And don’t let people in the shadows tell you this or that look is outdated. That’s why they’re in the shadows.

  10. I tried one of the freebee create-your-own-font programs and was far from satisfied. It involved lettering on a sheet with limited space making it hard to control the base line. The result was a rollercoaster feel, giving the reader mal de mer. So, I’d be interested in knowing the program you used, while admitting my results may be a case of operator’s error.

    Anyway, Thanks for the tutorial, Cam. Even without using the same exact settings, it shows method that one could apply to achieve a unique style and texture.

  11. Hi Steve,

    I used a service in 1994, which I found in the back of a MacWorld magazine may not exist anymore. I’m sure they probably just used Macromedia Fontographer .

  12. Cam, I really love your work and really enjoyed this video. I hate lettering as well, mainly because I’m never happy with the quality of what I produce. I realize that what I must face behind that is that I need to actually PRACTICE lettering to get better at it and feel better about my work. I was just about to make a new year’s resolution to practice on a regular basis, when I heard your comment about making your own font. Then I found lots of free font creation sites on the internet, and THANKS, Cam! Think of all the time you saved me practicing that &*#!!@ lettering!!

    P.S. – That Ottawa rag (for some reason I can’t remember the name…) was NUTS to let you go!!

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