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%

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Nikon B500 Macro


I decided to use the Macro feature on my new camera and I must say, I am impressed! I have never used macros before. In all honesty, when it came to cameras I had no idea what they did or what they were for and trying to read the manual about them made very little sense to me at the time.

Over the years as a digital artist however, I have become a lot more proficient in the terminology and how to find better information to explain things more clearly. From what I read in the manual for this camera, it was much clearer than ones I have read in the past about what macro is used for. This is the best setting for closeup photography. I tried the zoom with it out of curiosity and the focus went strange so it’s not a good idea to use zoom.

The detail however was very impressive. I only edited the colours slightly to change the overall mood of the photos.

2018-02-06 10.06.412018-02-06 10.06.27

I am thoroughly impressed. The Nikon B500 is a bridge camera and I wasn’t expecting the pictures to be this crisp. I love it. The more features I discover, the more I fall in love with it!

Zbrush Daily Sculpt Challenge: Can I do It?


I probably can’t but I’m about to try! First up, Darius. I’m going to post how far I got in zbrush and then what I painted over in photoshop. Incase you’re wondering he’s a Vampire from one of my stories.

So below will take you to the full image of the painted over version plus the WIP renders of how far I’ve gotten. I do apologise if it’s too dark for some.

http://draconianrain.deviantart.com/art/Darius-511256803

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!!

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.

Payments are through paypal only as it guarantees buyer and seller protection on sales items.

 

50th Post!!


Tomorrow because it’s HD and took way to long to process I will annotate. But I used a combination of layer lock and clipping mask to make this digital painting. Most of the blending is a combination of painting with a lighter colour or using the smudge tool with a custom brush that I made. Tomorrow I will further update this post with better info but for now, enjoy what you can of this video.