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%

InDesign What I Love About It As A Comic Artist


I know what some of you might be thinking. But it is one of the best programs that I ever subscribed to. Some of you know or a little while I was self publishing on Lulu.com and during that year I spent almost a year trying to get it to upload correctly until one day I’d had enough and subscribed to InDesign. Later I upgraded my adobe package to all apps. But it was the best thing I ever did.

I no longer have the bleed issues I once had and for those of you that publish comics, you will know the exact pain and annoyance I am talking about. I tried with everything to alleviate it but nothing worked. I tried OpenOffice, Word, Photoshop and even GIMP but nothing was going right. I still had major issues with the bleed being to thick, to short or my art getting cut off in the spine or off the page edges.

The main problems I was having was when it came to resizing. As a comic artist I have to work at 1200dpi for various reasons the main one being quality and screentone range. That’s usually around 8000px by 12000 px or so per page. When I finally started using InDesign my headaches (literally) we far less. Being able to set up the perfect template bleed, drag and drop and not loose image quality was by far the best part for me.

Aligning, numbering, watermarking and exporting became a breeze. These are all the reasons as to why I have come to love it. If it wasn’t so hard to get the perfect bleed for publishing in Photoshop and loosing image quality then I probably wouldn’t have found or needed it but it’s so important that it’s almost critical.

I can’t even begin to describe the hell I went through plus the money in carbon copies. I have such good faith in InDesign that I only buy one carbon copy knowing that it’s going to be perfect anyway. And I recommend it to anyone that is a writer or comic artist or any other desktop publishing career. It’s absolutely worth it and worth learning.

The only downside for me was the inital learning curve. At first it wasn’t too bad since I had learned Adobe Illustrator the prior to using InDesign but it was hard for me (as an artist) to get use to all the new tools and terminology. But it was worth it. It’s a program that keeps paying off. Not only that but since it’s so widely use you can always acquire a job or freelancing work with inDesign.

Overall it’s a great tool. If you have something else that you use that you think is better or just as good please do leave your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you and I’m sure others would as well.

 

Happy Blogging!!

RPG maker VX: Bigger Sprites Tutorial


RPG Maker VX

Image via Wikipedia

Please go here for a visual tutorial. Today this one is words only.

  1. For bigger sprites in RPG Maker VX you will need to export one of the sprite sets provided as a sizing guide and in order for it to work properly when you import your own set.
  2. After you export, take it to photoshop or GIMP.
  3. Set up some guides based on the position of the original set to give you a size to work within without errors later when you import
  4. Change to RBG mode to use layers. Either make a new layer and discard the sprites so you can make your own or edit the current ones if you can’t draw very well though I recommend trying to make your own.
  5. Keeping constraint proportions ON resize the sprites.
  6. Save as PNG!!
  7. Import your larger sprites
  8. Change your character sprite to the larger one you imported
  9. In the editor preview the head will appear squished but don’t worry it is working.
  10. Test run the game to see your larger sprite in action.
  11. make sure to run up, down, left and right to make sure you did align it properly. If not then you will have little extras like the hair under the feet when it runs and you may have to go back and forth etc
  12. Enjoy!
And that’s all. Very brief I know but I don’t want to over explain it. Take it slow, you will get use to it. Have fun making new sized sprites and enemies of all heights.

How To Outline Text In GIMP


GIMP Icon

Image via Wikipedia

I found this link that some may find helpful. It’s how to outline text in GIMP. The reason I am sharing this is because some of us don’t and can’t afford photoshop for that feature and if you make comic’s or manga, it’s something the becomes necessary when you need to put black text over a black background.

http://gimpology.com/submission/view/how_to_outline_text

Enjoy and happy drawing guys!

Huge Tutorial


Any questions, just comment and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

how to make screentones using photoshop elements 7

This is for Photoshop Elements 7.0

Writing is huuuuge because I didn’t know what it would be like when it got downsized

Mostly random tips and very short in description. Quite possibly not helpful… hope not. But if you have questions or want a better explanation please ask in a comment. If you need a picture to go with it I will grab a screenshot no worries!!

If you have scanned in your lineart please go to the gimp video link below and separate your line art to make it easier for you. If it’s to complicated for you, change the layer blending mode to Multiply and keep it at the top.


I was watching this video and now I use the plugin in the youtube description rather than colourhalftone simply because it’s better, easier and has a wider range of tone sizes that you can create and takes out a lot of tediousness:
[link]

If I don’t do it there then I go to GIMP and use newsprint in distorts under the filters tab. I wrote a tutorial here on how to do that: [link]


How to install the plugin:
Go to C: drive, Programs, find the folder Adobe, go to the version of photoshop you have, I have photoshop elements 7.0 so that’s the folder I go into. This plugin works in pse7. When you are in go to the folder labelled plugins open, go to filters folder, open and paste the plug-ins there. If you have photoshop open already, save your work, close, re-open and it will be working and located all the way down the bottom of the filters list.


How to seperate your lineart in just a few clicks using GIMP:
[link]


It’s VERY IMPORTANT TO CHANGE IMAGE TO GREYSCALE!! The tones will NOT work if you don’t change the image mode to greyscale!!


If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments below :heart:


This is the same process and technique I used for all of these:
Digital Media > Manga (comics) > Pages 

Digital Media > Manga (comics) > Pages

Digital Media > Manga (comics) > Pages

Digital Media > Manga (comics) > Pages

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.

GIMP: Pen Tool


GIMP Icon

Image via Wikipedia

So through my daily deviantart rumaging I came across some tutorials. I need to get some inking done but I don’t have all the supplies yet. I am considering using the pen or path tool in GIMP. Usually I am opposed to using it but frankly, it hurts my hand after a while and it is quicker and the more flawless the lines the better the presentation. Unfortunately I wish to ink traditionally meaning good ol’ fashioned pen and paper or calligraphy pen and ink well in my case. Anyway, I found this great tutorial for it and I remembered to share it here with you guys ^^

GIMP Path Tool (aka Pentool) Tutorial