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.

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.

Photoshop Tip: Pencil Tool


This is just a random thing I thought to mention. Pencil tool isn’t really for sketching. It’s set to basic brushes for a reason. It’s more for making lines. If you hold shift while dragging up or down you get a perfect line but it you click then click a point in another direction all while holding down shift you get a diagonal line. If you do this with the pressure brushes even with a mouse you WON’T get a diagonal line, at least not one that’s very visible. I use to think that feature was excluded from photoshop elements until I actually found the pencil tool.

I watch some youtube videos on drawing now and then and a lot of people seem to use the line shape instead of simple click+shift+drag or shift+click+click with the pencil tool. The disadvantage with the shape tool is rasterizing and merging all of those lines and cutting and pasting. If you go to window>> guide you can then see a ruler along the top and left side. Combine that with using shift instead and you can measure out your lines like you would with a real pen and ruler.

This method also works with GIMP and a few other digital art programs.

Screentoning with Pattern Stamp Tool PS7


Ok so quite sometime ago someone asked me how I was able to tone so nicely in photoshop. My first answer is usually the worst because I don’t think it through even though it was true. I went through Deviant Art and found some great tutorials on it but without thinking that was really only half of the details. Now a few days ago I wrote a blog update about installing these patterns because I had planned to make a video about toning with the pattern stamp tool in photoshop. I know a lot of people prefer bucket fill. But to be honest, you limit yourself if you don’t at least try the various brush shapes in pattern stamp set to a nice tone… if any of that made sense. So, as always, watch the video first, then read on ^w^

Firstly, find and install some screentones that you have made or found and make sure they are PAT. files. Go HERE for a breif tutoiral on how to install and make them. Or go find a better tutorial on installing PAT files. Select the pattern stamp tool! Not the clone tool, it must be Pattern Stamp tool! This is very important. After you have done that select a hard edge brush and set the size to something nice to work with. Then select the patterns you’ve made or installed. Test them out and see how they are. Now, before I go on there is one issue I’d like to address before anyone asks.

If your tones aren’t coming out at the size you thought they would, it’s probably because your resolution and paper size is too small. I work at either A5,A4 or B4 and have a resolution of either 300 or 600 and in some cases 1200. The resolution effects the size of the dots and if you’ve ever used Manga Studio or Deleter Comic Works then you probably already know a bit about this already. I won’t go into a big explanation because frankly there’s tonnes of tutorials and explanations on this already. Everywhere from wiki to Deviant Art. Usually though working from 300 res or 600 would do for most of us. The picture in the video is A5 at 300 res or dpi.

For most of you, testing out the stamp tool like this, it’s probably all the information you need. I bet you can happily tone now as well as make hundreds of new tones and textures to use. There’s nothing extra I have to say about screentoning this way. Except to try out other brush shapes while toning and check out the amazing backgrounds you can make in a matter of seconds. This video is only double speed. This took me under 10 minutes to tone using the Pattern Stamp Tool. All I really want to say is play with adding white dots and highlights and using light tones for light shadows, over lapping tones and experimenting with the layer blend modes and the tones. You can make some amazing new tones with layer blend mode colour dodge and colour burn.

I know this is a terrible not-quite-a-tutorial, but it really is that simple. After you install the PAT file the hard part is over. All you have to do is carry on toning like you normally would and remember to use them where you want either shadow or emotion displayed and that’s it. Screentoning is only as complicated as you want to make it. I usually like to keep it simple because I like to focus on mood and emotion more than I do lighting so usually I just shade the eyes and under the nose and under the lip but that’s my personal preference. The main reason for this video was to show that it is possible to tone in photoshop and to get it to look nice. I’ve seen some of the WORST tutorials with the wrong tones used in photoshop and that’s where all the negatives on the stamp tool come from. Because people do judge the end results on these tutorials made by very beginner artists. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to help but if you don’t fully know the in’s and out’s then you really shouldn’t be making a tutorial. I’ve seen bad drawings in some tutorials but the explanations and examples were amazing, it sort of cancelled out the presentation factor so I guess what I am trying to say is, read thoroughly and try it yourself before deeming it a bad way to make art.

Anyway, if you want in depth tutorials on toning and where and what’s effective and what not then search youtube and deviant art and you will turn up hundreds of results. You can try google but turning up a good tutorial is pretty hard because of page ranks etc.

Here’s my list of favourite screentoning, colour and other art tutorials. These are way more helpful than anything I could ever write up:

  1. Prisma Marker tutorial
  2. Toning in GIMP
  3. Screentoning
  4. One of the best screentoning Tutorials
  5. Screentone/Halftone
  6. Colouring skin/noses
  7. Digital Painting Tutorial
  8. Bitmap Comic+Manga Halftoning
  9. Drawing Realistic lace
  10. Hair tutorial
  11. Sky Tutorial
  12. Nifty Digital Painting Tutorial
  13. Mini Tutorial About Everything
  14. Pen Tool Tutorial
  15. IFX- Strike A Pose
  16. A heap of manga tutorials
  17. Anatomy

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

Screentoning Tip


Adobe Photoshop Elements icon

Image via Wikipedia

So, for most of us, we only have photoshop to use for screentoning. And searching for them is pretty hard if you don’t know where to go. So this tip is a searching tip and an implementing tip.

  1. First thing you can do is find a nice A4 sized screentone image, select all go to edit and selected “Define Pattern” and use the “Pattern Stamp tool”
  2. Use gradient on one layer, tone on a new layer above the gradient and play with the layer blend mode to get gradient screentones.
  3. Search deviant art for free use pre-made pattern tools. Download the PAT. file and install it yourself and enjoy flawless tones if the author gives the permission you need/are happy with, if not respect the creator and try find someone that offeres it for both free and commercial use.
  4. To install PAT. file, go to, your C: drive, find adobe photoshop (whatever version you have, I am using PS7) pressets/Patterns/ then copy paste the PAT. file there, open photoshop, use and enjoy
  5. Mix up the use of diffuse and the grain filter to make you own textures or tones.

In any case, searching deviant art first for free use tones that work in both PS and GIMP will give you more results than google. Also searching DA for screentoning tutorials will give you better results and turn out a lot more good useful tutorials because not many of these show up in the google search engine which has to do with google page rank which I really don’t want to get into right now, but honestly search DA FIRST for most art tutorials and it will turn out a heap of results. I actually go there for web coding tutorials before I google it. They just have bigger and better resources.