Colour Banding: My Biggest Enemy


Most of my images are very large and high quality. Below is a quick painting of a ball created in Affinity Photo. If you view the image in full, you should see some colour banding in the darker areas. This is not so nice on portait paintings which is my main bread and butter when it comes to commissions and trying to make some cash to get by.

None of these look like a big deal in such a small view but at full size, it’s an issue. An even bigger one when printing because that’s when the banding REALLY starts to stand out.

The work around is to add noise. But it can also make the colour banding pop out more. It’s very hard to hide at first. This image is 16bit RGB and even on 32HDR there is STILL some colour banding. Something I find very frustrating. You might not be able to see it with the image downsized but at full sized it’s very noticable. It’s not quite as striking visually as the other two images.

Affinity Photo Ball Painting

This image below is an 8bit RGB painting of the same ball only painted with more care and though there’s a little bit of banding it’s not destructive. It looks clean and smooth. Which is what you want. The downside to going higher and higher HD images is file size or even image size but even so, Affinity Photo still magically has colour banding. It’s my only disappointment with the app.

Photoshop Ball Painting

Below is yet another painting, also 16bit RGB and though it has banding, it’s not quite as harsh as Affinity. The final example created in GIMP. I could use several other programs but, they all have some level of colour banding. Some worse than others. My reason for comparing Affinty Photo to Gimp is because one is free and the other is paid. I genuinely expect paid software to be better or as good as free software. After all, it is my money I spent on it. I really hope it’s something that gets improved over time.

Gimp 16bit RGB

It’s an issue I hate coming across. Some apps are worse than others in both paid and freeware. My only advice is to add noise. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what DPI you are using, colour banding can still appear and cause troubles.

It’s more apparent when using high contrasting colours. Online they all look good. The real issue with colour banding is printing and printing at home. When switching to CYMK for printing the banding gets worse and the overall result is not good. For now when it comes to printing my paintings, I will likely stick to Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint.

Affinity Photo is a great photo editor, but this colour banding is an issue. Even with denoising, changing from Bilinear to nearest neighbour and other suggestions, there’s not actual solution at this current point in time. So for now it’s a gentle noise filter of 4-8%

Krita Animation


Since the first Beta release I’ve tried and tested out Krita’s new animation features and tools. I must say not only am I blown away but I think I can finally stop aiming for TVPaint and happily stick with Krita for a long, long time.

Raster animation isn’t just my preference, it’s been a long time goal. Something I’ve been aspiring to and chasing for years. I was thrilled to see Toon Boom Harmony finally add raster layers but they still lack an awful lot of basic painting and blending tools. Unlike Krita which started out as drawing and painting software. I’m really excited to try it out when it’s officially released and start a new project.

I’ve always wanted to create a classic paint styled animation but doing that on paper and Cels is incredibly expensive and you run out of storage fast. That’s simply not the case with digital animation. Although storage can become a problem, it’s also an easily solvable one.

I’ve tried multiple freeware. And if it wasn’t vector only it was pixel only which frustrated me. I tried animating with GIMP but it was even more horrendous than animating in photoshop.

First Impressions of Krita Animation

My first use of Krita 2.9.9 Beta, I noticed a dramatic improvement in brush speed. That was always one thing that put me off when it came to drawing with Krita. I’ve been an on and off user for quite a few years now. I think the first time I used it was in 2010 but I’m not sure any more. I’ve picked it up more seriously in 2014 and I’ve been using it more regularly since.

I noticed a number of improvements to various tools but the animation features were what I was most interested in so I didn’t dig to deep into much else. For a first Beta it was very impressive and worked well. Only crashed once or twice during various animation tests.

Krita 2.9.10 Beta though some improvements were made, for me personally it was more buggy. For whatever reason I could not edit an animation file if closed and re-opened. It was as if the layer was locked though it wasn’t. But hey, it’s Beta, bugs are bound to happen. There were a lot of improvements but from the first to the second Beta’s I tried, there was an issue with playback. I noticed I wasn’t the only one. It would not playback in real time.

In Krita 3.0 Pre Alpha the brushes were a lot faster. Sometimes it lagged in the previous alpha’s but it’s working even better now during animation which makes me very eager to see the final release of Krita 3.0 and what else they’ve added and achieved.

The files were editable after saving, closing and re-opening. No crashes thus far and a drop frame rates button which solved the playback issue. There were a few jumping and skipping of frames but I expected as much since my PC was doing to much at once. After closing the excess programs I noticed a huge improvement.

The user interface is a LOT more spacious than before. This was something I liked a lot especially for animation. It was starting to feel very cramped. It’s a little bit buggy while arranging and docking items but that’s to be expected.

Frames move without issue and testing playback speeds is a lot more accurate now if you’re a windows user like myself. Onion skin seems to be functioning better in the latest release. Before it was a little buggy trying to turn certain frames on or off with onion skin. Turning the visibility on and off was a bit difficult but not anymore. It was also a bit buggy altering the onion skin tint before as well, but that seems to be resolved.

I love the onion skin feature in Krita. I wish more programs had their onion skin set this way. It’s easy to customise the onion skin visibility on specific frames and very easy to change the onion skin tint colour as well as turning it off. However I can’t comment on using it with full coloured animation as I haven’t gotten much further than clean up inks.

The main reason I haven’t gotten as far as coloured animation was the lack of editing after saving in previous Beta versions and some crashing occurred. But I plan to try coloured animation in the current release. It will be fun to see how I go and what happens.

So basically to sum it up, I really love the animation features added to Krita. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Speed Paintings and Timelapses


 

This is what I have currently been up to lately. I’ve been reviving a webcomic, catching up on old webcomics and still studying and practising 2D animation. Mostly I’m taking some time off learning to paint and do webcomics. Software used was Clip Paint Studio EX. In all 3 videos.

Where Have I Been? What Am I Up To?


This is getting asked a bit. Some may have noticed my disappearance on DA. Some are asking where am I posting art. Short answer, I’m not posting art. What I do post goes on Pixiv or tumblr. I will go back to DA eventually but I really need a break from there. Currently I’m in the process of writing two enormous tutorials and making 3D Assets for Clip Studio Paint. It’s going well so far. Here’s a few snapshots of my current works in progress.

The 3D pencil is a work in progress and very much needs to be textured on a flat material but all in all it went well. The table with cloth was more of an experiment. I’m glad it worked though because it’s opened up a lot more opportunities for me as far as background art and assets go in my drawings for things I still after all these years, can not draw in perspective.

Snap 2015-03-13 at 17.02.32 Snap 2015-03-17 at 20.24.29 Snap 2015-03-19 at 00.08.19 Snap 2015-03-19 at 00.09.27 Snap 2015-03-19 at 00.15.00 Snap 2015-03-19 at 00.15.40 Snap 2015-03-19 at 00.25.52 Snap 2015-03-19 at 00.28.34 Snap 2015-03-19 at 00.45.08 Snap 2015-03-19 at 01.20.28

New Photoshop Brush Posted


Image representing Tinypay.me as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

I have posted a new photoshop brush, just one for say on tinypay.me of my watercolour brush that I made and use for almost everything and most if not all my blending in my art. You can see it here:

http://tinypay.me/~M1qSUsm

In my last post you can see the brush in action but this video shows it in use much better and on a bigger area.

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