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    Question Help For a Noob?

    I only recently got back into art, and even before then I had never really used my sad excuse for a tablet for much of anything so my experience with digital art is very minimal.

    I have looked at several tutorials on the internet on the topic of digital painting, but I've noticed that it always begins like this:

    Step One: Draw your image.

    It then proceeds to tell you how to color it.

    What I am having trouble understanding is HOW to draw the image with the nice smooth lines I see in most digital art. I am also confused as to how you are supposed to take a scanned sketch and color it in Photoshop.

    I had always thought that you were supposed to create a new layer and trace over the image, then make a new layer below the tracing and start coloring, but I recently received a tip from another post in the critique forum that went like this:

    Concerning scanned line art>Photoshop
    0.Scan
    1.Level adjust.
    2.Double click the Background layer to unlock.
    3.Create a new layer underneath the line art.
    4.Set the line art to multiply.
    The new layer is where I'd put my colours.
    I'm sure this must all seem like a joke to most of you, who are far more experienced/intelligent/naturally gifted than I am, but I would really appreciate it if you had any advice to share, it will not go to waste I assure you!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mismante View Post
    I'm sure this must all seem like a joke to most of you, who are far more experienced/intelligent/naturally gifted than I am, but I would really appreciate it if you had any advice to share, it will not go to waste I assure you!!
    1. Most are not "naturally gifted" we do this thing called practice. We learn through a lot of trial and error. Learn to make mistakes and learn that you'll encounter many of them. Learn from your mistakes too.

    2. There is more than one way to approach something. Not all tutorials are absolute. Work at a larger size (I usually mention 4x the intended posted size), lines look better when shrinking them down, versus trying to slave over trying to get the right curve at a very high zoom.

    3. Here's one for you: Sometimes I do my work on 1 layer alone. Does that make me wrong? Layers are helpful but a lot of people can also become indecisive because you're unwilling to make a commitment to a choice. In addition. Did you need layers when you were drawing traditionally? We may have used masks to cover areas so we don't accidentally cover over them, but I wasn't putting a canvas over a canvas to draw? There are times traditionally we used "layers" but if you're asking about it and if it's absolute then I think you're depending on them too much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    Here's one for you: Sometimes I do my work on 1 layer alone. Does that make me wrong? Layers are helpful but a lot of people can also become indecisive because you're unwilling to make a commitment to a choice. In addition. Did you need layers when you were drawing traditionally? We may have used masks to cover areas so we don't accidentally cover over them, but I wasn't putting a canvas over a canvas to draw? There are times traditionally we used "layers" but if you're asking about it and if it's absolute then I think you're depending on them too much.
    Well I don't think anybody can say I'm depending on layers too much at this point, I've never actually completed a digital work as of yet. I do see your point though, and it makes me interested in seeing your gallery. (I can't find a link anywhere in anybody's forum profiles...)

    Using one layer in a paint emulator like Corel Painter seems like it would be possible to do, but I do not currently have the money to obtain a copy of the software. All I have right now is Photoshop Elements 6.0, which is decent for practicing with digital painting, but does not emulate real materials like Painter does. Working with one layer in Photoshop sounds as though it would be extremely challenging: keeping the lineart from blending with the colors seems as though it would be a task in itself...

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    I am also confused as to how you are supposed to take a scanned sketch and color it in Photoshop.
    Painting under a multiply layer is a pretty standard way of getting basic colours onto your pic.

    If you only need to colour lineart it'll work well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mismante View Post
    Well I don't think anybody can say I'm depending on layers too much at this point, I've never actually completed a digital work as of yet. I do see your point though, and it makes me interested in seeing your gallery. (I can't find a link anywhere in anybody's forum profiles...)
    I don't post much these days what ever is online is OLD. (mainly because I decided it was better to learn than just post for a reaction. This method varies from person to person )

    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...9&postcount=88

    Having said that, Multiply is a mode that overlays the darkest colors on top. That's why a lot of people use it when coloring line art. The blacks will be the darkest. However, if you're using colors that are lighter, multiply is not a good method for line work if the lines are lighter than the colors.

    Just go out and experiment and draw, make mistakes, then go back and read those tutorials again. If you haven't done it reading about it isn't going to make you understand it. You need to put it in practice to gain understanding.

    I can tell you how driving is, but until you get behind a wheel, it's not the same experience

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arshes Nei View Post
    Just go out and experiment and draw, make mistakes, then go back and read those tutorials again. If you haven't done it reading about it isn't going to make you understand it. You need to put it in practice to gain understanding.

    I can tell you how driving is, but until you get behind a wheel, it's not the same experience
    Quite.

    Also, it's all software.
    Unless you see the words "Overclock", "Deltree" or "Format" you can't really break anything serious.

    It's kinda hard to break a modern Windows or Mac OS unless you are actively trying to.

    Just get stuck in and see what happens, Play with the stuff. If you somehow kill it, reboot will fix most things, reinstall the other few.

    Last edited by Flake; April 8th, 2009 at 09:33 PM.
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    Ask and you shall receive. Sometimes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mismante View Post
    What I am having trouble understanding is HOW to draw the image with the nice smooth lines I see in most digital art.
    1. Digitally, Pen tool, or a small brush and a lot of practise
    I use Photoshop or Illustrator.
    (I'm still getting used to it myself)

    2. The old fashion way. Elbow grease.
    You clean up your sketch.
    Bring out the main lines.
    Rub out the smudges and what not.
    Finish with a fine liner. Pen. Ink. Hard pencil.
    Then scan.

    Google 'comic scanning lineart photoshop' or search here in CA
    'http://www.conceptart.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=7


    Quote Originally Posted by Mismante View Post
    I had always thought that you were supposed to create a new layer and trace over the image
    Read Step 1 above, it's essentially the same step, only in digital form.


    Below:
    Left example. (Let's pretend you scanned it in, with proper tonal values)
    Layer 0 is set to normal
    Later 1 to color

    Right example. (Just a clean line art. Digital or traditional)
    Layer 0 is set to multiply
    Layer 1 is set to normal

    Note: The initial layers are always locked with Photoshop.
    Just double click the layer and it should unlock. You can then move it above
    the others.

    Ctrl+E to merge layers down.



    This is just one workflow btw, and I'm still finding my own.
    Experiment and trial and error.

    Good luck.

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    It isn't a criticism of you but when I see someone trying to follow a step-by-step 1) - Do this 2) - Click this 3) - Set this config to XXXX... I cringe at the thought of how their creativity and expression is being supressed.

    Play around, try different settings, different brushes, different techniques. If you want to scan a sketch and don't know what setting the colour layer should be, try them all. Experiment. Scrap what doesn't work and build on what does. By all means read tutorials and see how other people do it but use that as a springboard to doing your own stuff rather than slavishly emulating other people's workflow. You'll be amazed at what you discover.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Impossible View Post
    read tutorials and see how other people do it but use that as a springboard to doing your own stuff
    I completely agree.
    Keep your senses open, and actively seek what you want to do.
    Just be inspired with everything and couple it with not being afraid to
    make mistakes. [I'm dealing with the latter myself]

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    A common beginner mental block I see on this forum is worrying about doing something, "the right way" Now there are certainly techniques that follow steps, and regarding some basic fundamentals like rendering form there are some definite right and wrongs, however even these rules can be bent as long as you do it consistently and with purpose. However there's DEFINITELY no wrong way to approach your art. Well, sitting around wishing you were an awesome artist like (fill in fav. artist) is definitely the wrong way, but I don't think there's any way that involves actual action that's wrong. Don't worry about whether or not you're doing something like using layers the right way or not, just do whatever you like. Sometimes the most interesting, original results come from using something in a way OTHER than what it was intended for. By all means, continue reading tutorials, interviews with artists, descriptions of working methods, and if something strikes you as cool, or useful, try it out, but don't think that just because Artist X said he does it this way, or uses this kind of pencil, or a certain shaped brush in Photoshop means that's the only right way. It is frustrating in the beginning because often times it all seems like dead ends, or failed attempts, but failure is your greatest tool. It provides a road map to your improvement, it also brings into focus that the process is more important than the finished piece for the artist. The finished piece is for other people, the process is for you. The process is the living part of art, paintings, images, whatever are simply static document of the interaction between you and the surface/medium.

    Ia Ia Cthulhu Fthagn

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    One thing that I think has been missed...can you draw such straight lines traditionally? Going digital doesn't magically make people better...it simply adds a large number of different solutions (and problems) that can be applied to ones art. I can, off the top of my head, think of at least four solutions to the issue you've posted, one of which has not been mentioned here, and none of them are "the one and only right way". While it's helpful to have different solutions, none of them really make me a better artist...they just assist in one area to let me focus on improving in another.

    Btw...if you can't afford Photoshop or Painter you could always try GIMP (free), or Paint tool SAI ($25?).

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    The ultimate Tablet.

    Know it, use it, love it.

    Be it.

    Then advance.





    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
    -John Huston, Director
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmenSpirits View Post




    The ultimate Tablet.

    Know it, use it, love it.

    Be it.

    Then advance.



    words cant express how much wisedom this answer holds

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