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 Post Posted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 1:15 pm 
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This is the place for practical advice, tips, techniques, links to tutorials, etc. for photoshop, paint shop pro, The Gimp, and so forth.
Please keep comments about others posts (unless adding content/value) to a minimum, so we don't fill up the thread with "That's a great idea! Thanks!" posts. Take your kudos to PM. -dot


This thread desperately needs to come back, especially once the Exquisite Corpse thread is back up. Share Photoshop techniques and links to tutorials here. I hope I'm not overstepping my authority by posting this... if I am, let it get locked.

Tutorials
Fire and Rain (two separate tutorials... and what an appropriate combination!)
Swingerzetta's extension to the above raindrop tutorial - now your raindrops will actually refract light!
Lots of stuff... though it takes a bit of sifting through all the beginnerly things to get to the cool stuff, like planets exploding, and water, and smoke...
Spacey stuff - planets and starfields
Clouds - A bit artsier than the rest of these... requires much more actual work and less rendering

The Gimp: Good image-editing program
The Gimp for Windows
Terragen, an excellent tool to render photorealistic terrain, especially when used with
World Machine, which integrates into Terragen so you can have more control over what is generated. Used in conjunction, you can have very beautiful photorealistic terrain.


Anyone who finds another cool tutorial can post a link, and I'll add it to the first post.


Last edited by Plangkye on Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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 Post Posted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 6:25 pm 
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The smudge tool: the corpser's friend. Smudging is a good way to get your piece to blend with the piece before it, but it's easy to accidentally change the original strip that you receive while smudging. The result is that when you're done, your piece looks blended, but when it's integrated into the corpse, it's not. Here's a technique in The GIMP for ensuring that your corpse piece is well-blended with the previous one. (Incorporating an idea from qlipoth; thanks!) (Depending on the content of the clip given to you, this may not work very well. Your milage may vary.)

Disclaimer: I'm no arteest; this just comes from amateur experience. (I don't even have a tablet! I'm stuck with a mouse!) If any of you professionals out there know a better way to do this, by all means, please post it!
  1. Create a new transparent image that is the size of your corpse piece plus the clip.
  2. Paste in the clip as a new layer.
  3. Move the clip layer so it's flush with the top edge of the canvas.
  4. Bring the clip layer to the top of the layer stack.
  5. Create a new layer to blend with the clip.
  6. Clone the clip layer.
  7. Move the cloned layer down in the stack until it's just above the layer you wish to blend with the clip.
  8. Merge the cloned layer down onto the layer to blend.
  9. Keeping the clip layer on top and visible but with the layer you wish to blend selected, use smudge tool in short strokes on the edge between the clip and the rest of the image.
  10. Since the smudge tool will change the clip contents that were pasted into your blending layer, you will periodically need to repeat steps 6 through 8 to ensure that you make your piece match up as well as possible.


Last edited by AlternateTorg on Wed May 03, 2006 12:14 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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 Post Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 7:04 pm 
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FROM THE OLD THREAD (If there were links that weren't spelled out, they werent copied. sorry!):

Posts: 2175 for big stars, i'd go with a white-invisible gradient, draw it on using Circular mode, then get some fading vertical lines (one-three pixels wide) for flare, do a few more Circular gradients, except modify the base gradient to be mostly invisible, except for a stripe at one end... then you might as well throw in a lense flare (but dont tell anyone i told you this >_>)
Location: Dead, apparently, when the sky fell.


Plangkye Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:58 am


How I ink and color my stuff (sorry, no pictures yet):
Joined: Jan 01, 2003
Posts: 1672 Step one - scan drawing. Resize to your liking.
Location: Tel Uvirith, Molag Amur Region, Vvardenfell District, Morrowind Province, Tamriel
Step two - See the black-and-white image? Go to Adjust->Levels, and choose "blue." Drag the little arrow pointing at the gradient at the bottom so both of them are up at the white end. Then go to green, and drag the one at the black end halfway up. Instant blue guidelines!

Step three - Ink it! Make a new layer and use the pen or brush tool, set on black and thin enough to be a good outline, and go over alll your lines on your new layer.

Step four - add some color. Make two new layers between your ink and your background. Make the lower one entirely white, so you're looking just at your ink lines. Then, on the upper one (just below your ink), fill in all the bits with color. Since your ink is a layer up, it'll be just like a coloring book.

Step five - Highlights and shadows. I won't go into the artistic bits of where to put them, because that'll take too long. There are two ways of doing this. Method one: On a new layer, make little palettes of all the colors you'll need for shading. Then, painstkingly shade with them on their corresponding flat color fields. Method two: Make two layers above your color and below your ink. Set them both to Soft Light. With a black brush, shade the shadows on the lower layer, and make the highlights with white. Use the Smudge or Blur tool to soften the edges. Then, do it again on the next layer, but not quite as intensely: ergo, shade the darkest bits of the existing shadows to make them shadowier, and brighten highlights where you need to.

Step six - Background. Okay, I'm not the best person to talk to about this. I normally go for the 'el-cheapo' approach and just generate one that looks cool.

I'll make a visual tutorial of sorts at some point...



AlternateTorg Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:07 pm


The smudge tool: the corpser's friend. Smudging is a good way to get your piece to blend with the piece before it, but it's easy to accidentally change the original strip that you receive while smudging. The result is that when you're done, your piece looks blended, but when it's integrated into the corpse, it's not. Here's what I do beforehand to prevent that from happening. I'll write in the context of The GIMP for Windows, but I'm pretty sure that it can also apply to other programs.
Joined: Dec 15, 2003
Posts: 1232 Disclaimer: I'm no arteest; this just comes from amateur experience. (I don't even have a tablet! I'm stuck with a mouse!) If any of you professionals out there know a better way to do this, by all means, please post it!
Location: "MAKE IT BLACK AS THE DARKEST REACHES OF MY SOUL!" "Medium it is."
1. Create a new transparent layer named "Strip" that is the full size of your piece plus the strip (usually 215 pixels high).
a. Click the "New Layer" button in the "Layers, Channels & Paths" window.
b. Change the layer name to "Strip."
c. Ensure that the width and height of the layer is the same as that of the entire image.
d. Select "Transparent" as the fill type.
e. Click OK.
2. Move the new layer to the top (by pressing the "Raise Layer" button repeatedly until it's at the top).
3. Copy and paste the strip into the new layer.
4. Move the strip to the top of the layer (using the UP arrow key on the keyboard).
5. Anchor the strip into the layer (by clicking outside the strip).
6. Select and copy the contents of the layer (by pressing CTRL-A then CTRL-C).
7. Hide the layer (by clicking its eye icon in the layers window).
8. Paste (CTRL-V) into the layer that you're trying to blend.

Now select the smudge tool and start blending! As you work, you can toggle the visibility of the "Strip" layer to check on the quality of your blend. If you can't get the blend right because the original strip has changed, re-paste the contents of the "Strip" layer into the layer you're blending. Keep going until it blends!

EDIT: Had a couple of steps switched by accident.
EDIT AGAIN: Explicitly mentioned a step that was previously implied.
Last edited by AlternateTorg on Fri Dec 03, 2004 5:05 pm, edited 2 times in total


Ruan Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 3:54 pm


http://gallery.artofgregmartin.com/tutorials.html
Joined: Sep 01, 2004
Posts: 812 Excellent space art tutorials by Greg Martin, along with his article Capturing Heaven, which underlines the theory behind the techniques, a very good read.


Last edited by dotwarner on Mon Dec 13, 2004 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 7:04 pm 
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FROM THE OLD THREAD

Location: 42
http://www.planetside.co.uk/terragen/
Terragen, an excellent tool to render photorealistic terrain, especially when used with

http://www.world-machine.com/
World Machine, which integrates into Terragen so you can have more control over what is generated. Used in conjunction, you can have very beautiful photorealistic terrain.

The use of all of these programs and tutorials together can give you some very beautiful art.

A good example of the possibilities is http://www.deviantart.com/view/4127585/, with terrain (using Terragen and Photoshop) done by alyn, and space art done by Naithin, a very good friend of mine.



qlipoth Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 8:44 pm


An alternative method to AltTorgs for blending. It's simpler, but effective.
Joined: Mar 05, 2002
Posts: 161 I make literally dozens of layers that are copies of the original clip, all on top, then smudge the bottom one. This has two effects:
Location: The Swamp of Destiny
Good: You will always see the true blend, jut like it will be on the finished corpse.
Bad: the bottom copy soon becomes very unlike the ones above it and the smudging starts to make the blend worse instead of better.

Once the Bad effect happens, I Undo/history back to the best blend, merge the bottom layer with my working copy, and start again... thus why I make dozens of layers to start with.

I usually go through 15-20 before I'm happy, and this is generally the last thing I do when I corpse.



vee Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004 11:08 pm


Just a reminder that the smudge tool is not the only way to match your corpse piece to the one above. I usually use one of two methods. The first requires that you start by matching the above clip.
Joined: Sep 24, 2003
Posts: 180 Basically, you use the color picker tool (looks like medicine dropper) to find the most prominent color in your clip. Make a background layer (behind your clip) and fill it with this color. Create a new layer, between your background and your clip. Start with the largest area of your clip that is not your background color and put something there that will match, whether by smudge, cut and paste from the clip, drawing, or covering. I usually like to "guess" what that object is and then continue whatever I imagine the object to be.... I'm usually wrong but it makes for a very interesting picture. ( See the cat/dog and sphere/flower). Repeat this step until all the clip matches. Because the clip is always on top, you never change it, and it will always appear as it will at the end so you can match it.
Location: the friendly, local funny farm
The other thing I do is "cover". That is, if I can't match the clip above, I strategically locate some item from my clip right where the clip joins, so I don't need to repeat any element from the above space.



dotwarner Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 2:58 pm
DWT of DOOM!

Another tip for matching up sections of a previous corpse clip is to copy a section of the clip, paste it, then flip it horizontal. You then have a good match for the next few rows of pixels and can then modify that section.

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 Post Posted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 7:05 pm 
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FROM THE OLD THREAD

anaea Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2004 6:12 pm


In order to keep from altering the clip I have for a corpse peice, I tend to make it part of the background layer, and then set all layers on top of it to multiply. That way I can see where something I did changed the background peice and erase what I did. I never actually touch the background layer except for lifting colors, so it all works out nicely in the end.
Joined: Oct 21, 2003
Posts: 2772 And verily indeed, just giving up and deliberately interrupting whatever you're supposed to be continuing is a technique I use shamelessly, particularly when geting a peice of a shaded object. I can't ever seem to get the shading to match convincingly.
Location: Prostituting myself out to the Cuban toenail mafia in order to pay for school.


vee Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 2:43 pm


In the Exquisite Corpse Game thread, kinkajou wrote:
Joined: Sep 24, 2003 I REALLY need to get some new software... any recommendations people?
Posts: 180
Location: the friendly, local funny farm remember of course that I have a house to renovate and very little extraneous cash!


I don't know what you are using, but The Gimp is free and fairly descent as graphic programs go. It's definitely not Photoshop, but it competes well with Paint Shop, and totally blows away MSPaint (which some people around here use). You can download The Gimp for free at http://www.gimp.org, or at a myriad of other sites, including http://www2.arnes.si/~sopjsimo/gimp/ for GIMP for Windows already compiled.



kinkajou Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 6:50 pm


I'm a fairly keen dabbler with Adobe ImageStyler (the 1.0 version, c. 1998 for reference)
Joined: Aug 13, 2004
Posts: 287 Its great for web graphics, but is let down by the inability to even draw a curved line. It does some nice tricks with gradients and filters though... although these days it is shown up a bit (read a lot) by everything aside Paint.
Location: Oh lordy! Dodgy fan-art!
My latest corpse was knocked up at work using PSP5, which I do not get on with at all... I can't figure out where any useful commands are!

Thanks for the tip either way... will look at the GIMP and see if I can't get to grips with it.

kkj xx



hexnut Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 10:06 pm


One thing I am curious about. Are there any particular tips, methods or tutorials anyone would Like to hear about? Operators are standing by, and the band does requests...
Joined: May 09, 2003
Posts: 553
Location: 6200 rpm in 4th.


Ruan Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 11:19 pm


Aye, what Hexnut said...
Joined: Sep 01, 2004
Posts: 812 Even if I can't find a link to an existing tut, I can always type one out.
Location: 42


Caesar Salad Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 2:06 am
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http://www.zoggles.co.uk/asp/tutorials. ... 18&page=70

Joined: Feb 14, 2002 A good tutorial for doing isometric work in Photoshop.
Posts: 1579
Location: The OC.


qlipoth Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 12:37 pm


hexnut wrote:
Joined: Mar 05, 2002 One thing I am curious about. Are there any particular tips, methods or tutorials anyone would Like to hear about? Operators are standing by, and the band does requests...
Posts: 161
Location: The Swamp of Destiny
Well... yeah.... but I think the big problem is that I don't even know what to ask. I mean "How do you people DO that" is a little vague.


swingerzetta Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 3:18 pm
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Well, because of ruan, and his nifty little tutorials there, i've gotten into doing attempts at space art. The one thing that still stumps me is... well, hard to explain, but, i suppose galaxies, like our own milky way, near the center where the stars cease to be points of light and become... more fractalish, and to some extent the cloud texture of nebulae.
Joined: Jul 10, 2003
Posts: 931 and the iron artist competition reminded me of something i appear to be unable to do:
Location: somewhere in the 1930's rocks. How does one do rock textures? I can use filters (overlayed layers of variably blurred gausian noise, for example) to make some rock-like textures, but such speckled rock textures are not too common, and cant really be used in many places ;)



jadescarab Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 4:37 pm


Go out and look at rocks. Some are grainy, some are smooth but sharp..
Joined: May 21, 2004 Basically, with rocks, DON'T use the smudge, or blur tools.
Posts: 657 Leave it pixelized. Or use the sharpen tool. And use multiple shades of the same color, pixel by pixel.
Location: Somewhere out in left field. (Pointilism.. fun stuff)

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 Post Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004 7:11 pm 
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Well, remember when i mentioned that i was going to do a tutorial on 'enhancing' the droplettes tutorial above? i've finally finished. it can be found Here.

well, anyway, the secret i reveal in that one is just to use the Glass filter while loading a mask of the drops as the 'map', but go see for yourself.

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:03 pm 
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New tutorial: Clouds. A bit more artsy than most of these others.

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 Post Posted: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:44 am 
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hello peeps!

i little bird (swingerzetta) wrote somewhere that it would be cool if I poked my head in here and gave some tips.

I'm not really sure where to start as... I can't really tell what's been discussed before the sluggy.net rebirth.

so... um.... any questions?

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 Post Posted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 6:03 pm 
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heheh, awsome! yeah, i have one question... i was poking about your deviantart account, and i had to ask, how do you do the textures of your planets?
i am also interested in other strategies for making impressive-looking starfields, and... really bright lights! i have started trying out lense flares to imply brightness past just pure white dots, and quickly noticed the limitations of the lense flare filter in PS. anything i should keep in mind while flaring my lenses?

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 Post Posted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 10:02 pm 
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Location: What matter wounds? For each time he falls, he shall rise again and woe to the wicked!
Any tips on explosions, cartoonish or otherwise?

Any fundamental Photoshop tips you think we should know about?

Examples:

Shift/Cntrl/Alt - whatever = your friends.

For example, when using the lasso tool, you have selected whatever... to modify your selection, use the above. I am at home, and currently on a computer without Photoshop, else I would note which did which. One can add to the selection, and one can subtract from the selection, as shown by the small + or - by the lasso.

In many cases holding shift in conjunction with crap (...wow, what a typo. I'd delete it, but it's too funny. Meant CROP)/polygonal selectors (squares, circles, ect.) with give you an even selection, i.e a definite square or circle, instead of a rectangle or oval.

These might be common sense for some, but when I first started out using Photoshop, I had no idea that you could do this. I found some of these out by myself. The lasso bit in particular, if you did not know of it, can help immensely in the IA competition.

...You know Joe, you should join in on that, should you have the time. And speaking of which, Hexnut still needs to get the pic for the next round... Though I think we might want to wait til after Christmas to do it. I'm going to be away-ish next week with somewhat minimal PC usage (I'll be in a hotel in Hawaii, we must all make our sacrifices... *cough*)

By the way... anyone know of a good, -free-, gif animating program?

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 Post Posted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 10:28 pm 
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The GIMP will animate gifs for you.

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 Post Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 12:50 am 
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Location: I figured, everyone's doing the self avatar thing, why not me?
Warning though, GIMP's runtime can be hideous. I know quite a few people who downloaded GIMP and couldn't run any games with 3D imaging at all afterwards.
(One had 45 gigs of memory left, and a fast drive. Lovely things, custom computers)

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 Post Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 7:01 pm 
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Q:
swingerzetta wrote:
how do you do the textures of your planets?


Ahhh... good question.

A: I cheated.

There is a plug-in called lunar-cel and solar-cel that creates planets and stars(actually suns). You can play with the sliders to get the desired effects and it uses actual earth and moon maps to create the mapping.

http://www.flamingpear.com/lunarcell.html

Q:
swingerzetta wrote:
anything i should keep in mind while flaring my lenses?


A:Remember, layers are your friends. If you create a layer that has a great lense flare but seems to Over-power the scene, you can alwayse duplicate that layer and try to make the new layer a soft light layer or some such. I'm not certain about what effect you are trying to achieve but there must be about 5 solutions in photoshop.

Q:
Ruan wrote:
Any tips on explosions, cartoonish or otherwise?


A:What I do is first, define the area that I want to be on fire or explode. Then I create a new layer and start adding fire colors. White in the center then red, orange and then yellow. Add hints of blue or green for certain effects. You can even create custom gradients to speed the process up if you do a lot of it (like when you color Sluggy regularly). The hottest place is always the brightest.

The key here is observation.Then next time you find yourself sitting in front of a fireplace staring into the flames, try to figure a way to create the same visual effect in photoshop. When it comes to fire, i find the smear tool works wonders. A up smear can create a simple effects like a candle. Using up and down smears (with a little swervy-ness) works great for a fireplace setting. Explosions are a bit more complicated and usually reqire multiple layers to create a somewhat realistic (even in the comic strip world) explosion. Use reference whenever you can.

These techniques take a lot of trial and error to get the subltle accents to a point where you can be happy with it.

I just hope this helped.

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 Post Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2004 3:52 am 
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been a while since i made a tutorial... anyone got requests?
i figured out a system for more detailed difference clouds (technically just Perlin Noise) its not particlarily Useful yet, but i could poke it a bit, tell all you folks how if your currious.

i'd rather talk about something useful, though.

oh, and then there is one effect that i've been looking for... realistic blur. What is wrong with gausian blur, you ask? well... its... gausian. I just want 'out of focus'. In real life, when thigns are out of focus, a small bright dot on a black background will become a large, sharp-edged, dim circle. with gaussian blur, it becomes a large, soft edged dim circle. So, really, i just want all the shapes to GROW and overlap eachtoehr. im not sure if its possible, but if anyone happens to come across a technique, let me know ;)

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 30, 2004 12:24 am 
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Location: So, I'm gonna be an entrepreneur
Paths! Give me ideas for things to do with paths! They're so cool, and I'm so stuck in my amateur ways that I don't really use them.

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