Toning In GIMP


Very sorry I have been away for so long but I’ve been working on things and have found an abandonded baby rat which I am taking care of and nursing. I’m a sucker for baby animals. Anyway I thought that since CamStudio and windows movie maker hate me so much that I could screen cap how to screentone in gimp.

When you have finished and inked your work change the image mode to Greyscale. This step is very important! It’s so the tones will work properly later. The above image is one of my inked works.

Next colour in grey tones in a layer underneath the lineart layer and label it tones. Colour where you’d liked shadows to be. Add patterns to it if you like or pattern stamp in the background. Keep it on the tone layer. If you have to use a sperate layer for some parts, remember to merge them at the end. Later if you want tones of differnt sizes just repeat the process on a new layer.

When you’re done with your lighting and shading and are ready to tone go to, Filter >> Distort >> Newsprint. (Just a little note, using gradient tool will give you gradient tones which is what I did to the character to the left as an example.)

This control panel type of thing (I forget the term) will pop up. Play with Input and cell size to get the tones you want. You will have to go by the preview box. If the preview is blank don’t worry, click hold and drag in the preview area until you find your coloured area which will show it as tones. Leave the angel at 45 for now. When you have the size you think it right, click ok and you will have digital screentones. (also you can choose more than just dots, you can have lines or diamonds, it’s up to you with what you use. You can do this by looking through the spot function.)

It’s that simple. After you get use to it and judging the dot sizes, play around with the angel and dots to get other effects. When in a small view the tones will look distorted so be sure to check them with the image zoomed in at actual size or actual pixels. Also printing them out can often be the best test. You can do similar in photoshop. I’ll post a new post on how to do it in ps7. It’s almost the same process but slightly more complicated.

SPECIAL NOTE:

In GIMP it doesn’t seem to matter as much if you chose a paper size. The newsprint feature seems to be unaffected and works the same way in most resolutions. Photoshop on the other hand, if you choose to screentone in photoshop with the colour halftone feature then your image MUST be AT LEAST 300 resolution (or dpi). You can work from either 300, 600 or 1200 in any paper size eg A4, A5, A6, B4 etc. These are the main used resolutions or dpi for manga/comic’s and in order for colour halftone to work best you MUST have your image set to greyscale when you are ready to tone and you will find similar controls to what GIMP uses. Halftone doesn’t work as well so you’ll have to use the colour halftone filter in greyscale mode for the best results. I’ve found paper size B4 set to a resolution of 600 works quite well.

CLICK THIS LINK TO SEE A COLOUR HALF TONE SCREENTONED WORK DONE IN PHOTOSHOP.

Next post I will give screen caps on how to do it along with a small repeat of the previous paragraph.

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Journal Making: To Sell Or Not To Sell?


Image representing Etsy as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Firstly, take a look at these INCREDIBLE handmade journals on Etsy.


A number of friends have asked if I am going to sell my journals or if I will turn it into a serious business adventure and sell them regularly. I am very on the fence about selling them for a number of reasons. The main one is the competition and being handmade and my first time, I have yet to learn a good way of trimming and the finer points of book binding plus, my art is not only not very popular and an acquired taste in most cases. I’m not very design savy or up to date with what’s hot and what’s not as far as designs and cover art goes. I am more artwork orientated rather than design and knowing how to place things.

If I were to consider it I would use Etsy over ebay. The listing costs a fraction of that of ebay and I feel much safer there as both a seller and a buyer. So many on there are so professional in every aspect as well as kind. The overall environment is very friendly and user friendly. And there really are the best of the best handmade items on Etsy and their alchemy feature, wow, just wow. I love the alchemy feature where you can ask for something custom made. I use to use my etsy to sell prints and paintings and other things I’ve made like bookmarks when I was into making things. But it’s hard. It’s very, very, very hard to sell anywhere and to get a client base which usually starts with people you know. And it takes a lot of commitment. You have to do a lot of advertising. This isn’t a bad thing, many have made a great living from it. But you have to see why I am put off from selling my journals.

I don’t have that kind of time to put into advertising and I don’t know lots of people and I don’t have much family, and getting my name out there to people has proven to be near impossible over the years which is very disheartening to anyone that might consider selling anything, and I especially don’t have the money to do it. But if I were to consider it, I would offer the alchemy option because we all like different types of journals with different grades of paper and finding the right one for you is almost impossible! I personally hate to go journal shopping. I love journals a lot, don’t get me wrong there. I’ve found two in my life, and I spent $25 on both and they are so good I am scared to write in them because of the fear of running out of pages and loosing that joy to write and have to attempt to find another like it. So I made some for myself. But some people have taken a liking to them and want the one they saw. I would hate to deny them so if they ask of course I would make it and send them one.

The types of journals I want and like don’t even exist where I live and if they did they’d be expensive. I’m even considering putting together my own art journals now. I liked the books I use to get in primary school where one page was lined the other was blank and so on and so forth. I love super thick pages in my art books because I never know when I will suddenly decide to use my watercolours on it or break out the calligraphy kit and start inking traditionally. I’m very spontaneous as a writer and even worse as an artist. I’ve been dead asleep before and leapt out of bed to write. I have a book next to me while I sleep just in case I should ever have the need to do that again but I always seem to have the wrong book available which is why I like the convenience of the one lined one blank system.

I also like to make books to handwrite manuscripts and storyboarding. I prefer to keep mine together and have it tabbed. I’ve tried others ways and the amount of fraying that happened was beyond a joke. I told a few people this and they said I should sell those but it’s simply not that easy or simple. I’ve found the 90% of the time, most people buy journals from the design a lone or the design is the main focus. I’m guilty of this myself and later I regret it because the paper is usually so very poor in quality. I’ve since then learned to feel the paper and I actually know what kinds of texture to go for and even just from feeling the thickness I can tell if it’s right for me or not.

Another factor that I thought of when making these journals and whether or not to sell them was pens. I LOVE to write in felt tipped pens and draw with them. I prefer real ink pens as opposed to biro ink or gels. I HATE gel pens with a passion because of the number of times I swore it was dry but it smeared across the page. I am so fussy about having a clean page that this really grates on my nerves. I thought about the possibilities in making a journal with thick yet absorbent paper. What stopped me? The cost of said paper. Funnily enough I found a bundle of card stock that I forgot about and I made a journal from that and it suits me perfectly. It’s thick, good to go over with watercolours and easy to print on if I want lines. Cover art prints out ok. Not amazingly as the digital version but still pretty good. And then that tiny negative voice speaks up and plants seeds of doubt everywhere. It’s that doubt that holds me back from selling or giving it a go. So this is where I stand. I have ideas but am to frightened to take the step and take a chance.

I even had an idea for a watercolour diary/journal unlike others. For documenting purposes and learning or remembering techniques. I’d make it landscape sized, half of it on the one page would have boxes and space to write and the other blank. The boxes for colours you definitely want to use again and space to write down what you did to get that colour and extra space for annotations. But the question of whether or not others would find it as useful, still remains. This is the question that always holds me back from selling anything.

Cat Cow Journal


http://fav.me/d3auf3d

Here’s my third journal that I’ve made. I lost count of the pages but my guess is about 40. It’s more a practise journal. My first one was all lined paper from left over paper, my second was half lined and half blank unlined paper and this one is all unlined paper. Sometimes when I am at my desk I need to just quickly jot down or doodle an idea so I made one of these for myself . This is what I’ve been doing lately other than working on storyboarding and practising drawing movement and at various angles.

I would have loved to have posted more video’s but I’ve been very busy working on this script me and my friend have been writing together. But when I get something good going, I’ll be sure to record it and ramble about it =D

Book Binding: Home Kit


I haven’t made my own video for this, but I did find one made by someone else already. Now my machine that I bought which was really cheap and came with plastic covers, backs and spines can do up to 150 pages. The reason that I bought mine, was to bind my manuscripts AND storyboards together. It doesn’t matter if you are a manga artist or comic book artist or any other kind of artist where you require a lot of notes and storyboards, binding can be a blessing even if it’s just a few pages. It’s not a cost many of us are willing to go and pay for professionally. Where I live, it’s not that expensive to get a book bound with those plastic clips, but in all honesty, the price you pay for the plastic spines is less that what they charge you for drilling the page holes and putting it together when you can just do it yourself for much less.

I’ve tried the clips, I’ve tried paper clips, I’ve tried binding it myself which was to messy and time consuming and cost me more money that the paper itself did. In the end, after a while through vigorous referencing, they either fell apart or started to wear and fray quicker than I would have liked. If you are serious about making a graphic novel, storybook or writing your own book, these machines are worth it and even if you’re not serious or have no plan to get published, it’s still worth it. You can neatly stack your work with your other books on a bookshelf instead of in a box under your bed never to be seen again.

My other reason for getting this machine, was to make my own journal. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to make my own journal or art book with pages that don’t suck and a cover that I genuinely like. I also like to have one drawing page and one lined page for notes. I hate to write on art paper because I feel like it’s a waste of art space. It’s also excellent for storyboarding, concept art and character design. You just jot down your nots on one page and doodle it up on the other and then you have everything in the one place instead of two separate books ^w^