Dwarf Merchant

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Kuolon Tanssi
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Dwarf Merchant

Post by Kuolon Tanssi »

Hey, i've been playing Wesnoth for a good few months now, and it really has inspired me to pick up things i had to give up (mainly due to lack of time). One of these is art. I did it at GCSE and then never picked up a pencil again, until now though :) .

This is a pencil drawing of a dwarf merchant, i can imagine him either in the desert or a market place. It has no relevance to anything in Wesnoth, but i thought i should get used to using the gimp as i wouldnt mind working on art for usermade campaigns. This is my tester to get used to using the gimp, and i would really appretiate it if people could give me advice and hints as to how i can improve my drawings, and how to use the gimp to colour the images.

I've done my best to clean up the image, however it is only a pencil drawing, and i dont know where to go from here :oops: as i am not the most confident person on a computer, so any help is greatly accepted.

Thanks
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scienceguy8
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Post by scienceguy8 »

I believe that now you should create a new layer with transparency in GIMP, place that layer above your pencil drawing, then use the paint brush tool to trace the drawing in black.

I'm no artist, but that doesn't look bad. After you do the tracing, you can easily fill each individual region with color and then add shading to give the character depth. Be sure to do each step in a different layer, so if you mess up or change your mind about something, it is easy to fix.
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thespaceinvader
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Post by thespaceinvader »

Also, doing the colouring in a separate layer BELOW the line work avoids problems with the fill not being quite complete. But be careful with this. It might be worth you following a tutorial like this one and use the Paths tool (in GIMP, hotkey 'B', and different from the pen tool, but the bones of the tutorial work just as well) to do your line work unless you have a Tablet. Mousedrawing tends to be MUCH more difficult to get smooth lines with if you're doing it freehand.
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BloodIssyl
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Post by BloodIssyl »

Actually a pretty solid drawing, the only thing it needs is cleaning up and more detail.

Kuolon Tanssi
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Post by Kuolon Tanssi »

I just like to thank all three of you very much for your comments. All of which are helpful and encouraging.
thespaceinvader wrote:Also, doing the colouring in a separate layer BELOW the line work avoids problems with the fill not being quite complete. But be careful with this. It might be worth you following a tutorial like this one and use the Paths tool (in GIMP, hotkey 'B', and different from the pen tool, but the bones of the tutorial work just as well) to do your line work unless you have a Tablet. Mousedrawing tends to be MUCH more difficult to get smooth lines with if you're doing it freehand.
This is exactly what i needed, so thank you for the link.

Another question. I practised with the path tool, and after a few attempts got a nice outline, however in the tutorial it states to "stroke path with the brush tool, with a 7px. tip." This however produces rather thick lines, which produces bad quality detail. i.e. the facial features and expression cannot be determined. I choose to do it at 3 px. and it looked much nicer. In Wesnoth protraits, is there a specific px. size which the outlines must be done in, (to keep the same style)?

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thespaceinvader
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Post by thespaceinvader »

I don't know - it would really depend on what scale you're working at - bear in mind that portraits should be resized and/or cropped to 205x205 px.
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Kuolon Tanssi
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Post by Kuolon Tanssi »

ah ok, thank you, this wont apply to the 205px. rule as I dont plan on using it for anything more than a tester.

I cleaned up the picture and did the outline. It does still need some detail before the colour goes on, but i guess im taking it one step at a time. :)
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thespaceinvader
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Post by thespaceinvader »

It looks a bit aliased/jaggy. Might i suggest that instead of going over the path with a line, you use the Paintbrush tool with a brush of the same width (should be an option in GIMP) - you'll avoid the jaggies, which would otherwise prevent this from even being considered for inclusion in the game.
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BloodIssyl
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Post by BloodIssyl »

It actually looks excellent, other than the aliasing.

You may need more detail, but I've seen finished drawings that were this simple, and looked good.

Keep in mind you need shading - i would recommend doing this when you color, as you can use different shades, of course.

Mille
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Cectroized and rerasterized version of the dwarf as workflow

Post by Mille »

BloodIssyl wrote:It actually looks excellent, other than the aliasing.

You may need more detail, but I've seen finished drawings that were this simple, and looked good.

Keep in mind you need shading - i would recommend doing this when you color, as you can use different shades, of course.
Well - Beside the Aliasing i think another point is, that a continuing line width isn´t the general solution. Varying changes of the line width might add live to the sketch.

Having already made a life cycle of a parasite for my diploma thesis with a very nice result, i thought it might be a good idea to try vectorizing sketches before further use.

Trying something out i tried a bit around tonight with vector conversion of the dwarf to make it more easier to come from a sketch to a lineart.
I would be interetetd to get some ideas to the attached resuls.

Generally i think vectorizing a scanned skech and converting it back to raster can spare you work and enormous consumption of time, as the result is

a) automatically antialiased,
b) already existing varying line width stays after digitalizing and lining
c) you dont need to clean the image anyomore (At least if the original sketch is not to dirty)
d) In the perfect case you need only small pencil sketching afterwards

I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this topic:)
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Sgt. Groovy
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Post by Sgt. Groovy »

In my opinion, the constant line width is a bigger problem than aliasing, at least if the image is going to be scaled down to portrait size (interpolation will antialias it).

Vector tracing will also anti-alias it, as Mille demonstrated, but I wouldn't use it directly on the sketch (too dirty), but on the raster-traced version. The image below shows what it looks like, and the process has already tapered some line endings, enhancing the look. The line widths can be further adjusted by moving the control points (in Inkscape, the "sculpting" mode may come handy, selecting several points and alt-dragging, other professional quality vector programs should have similar functionality). If you prefer to colour on a raster program, you can just render this as raster (though a vector program will do the work just fine).

ETA: And of course this is a perfect opportunity to plug one of my tutorials
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Sgt. Groovy
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Post by Sgt. Groovy »

And the same thing after about 15 minutes of manual editing of the nodes. A quick way is to select whole subpaths and moving them towards opr away from the light to make the lines thicker on the shady and thinner on the lit side.
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Tiedäthän kuinka pelataan.
Tiedäthän, vihtahousua vastaan.
Tiedäthän, solmu kravatin, se kantaa niin synnit
kuin syntien tekijätkin.

Kuolon Tanssi
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Location: Brighton, UK

Post by Kuolon Tanssi »

Thankyou all very much.

I was having trouble with the anti-aliasing, and i didn't expect any one to help, but i am very grateful for all your advice and help.

I will colour it when i get back from work, and bump this post with a new picture.

Thanks again
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