Graphics Workshop #1

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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby RubyGamgee » Dec 16, 2011 2:41 pm

*peers in timidly*

Despite the fact that I feel very much misplaced among so many seasoned and talented graphic makers, I thought this thread looked interesting! I'm so ignorant on a lot of things when it comes to graphics. :P Anyway, I suppose I should begin by answering the following questions like everyone else...

How long have you been making graphics?
For about two years and not consistently, due to my family changing computers and such.

What photoshop program do you use (Photoshop, Gimp, etc.)?
Like so many others, GIMP!

What kind of graphics do you like to make?
I'm still getting into making graphics, so I'm not exactly sure. I like to make anything based on any fandom that I like, whether it be books, music, movies, tv shows, or nature.

What inspires you to make graphics?
Other folks who make graphics and their graphics. Because it's no fun to make graphics when you can't share them with anyone or get feedback. And just like in writing and music, my creativity stems from others'. :P

I do have a couple of questions and I've poked around and noticed similar questions, but I've always been extremely ignorant on the usage of textures. I'm just getting into them, but I'm not exactly sure what they're even supposed to do or how I'm supposed to use them. Right now I'm simply adding them as a layer and then adjusting the colors and curves until they work with the base. :P

So my questions would be, how exactly are textures supposed to be used? What's their purpose? And, how do you make textures?
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby Aslanisthebest » Dec 17, 2011 6:48 pm

- How long have you been making graphics?
I think I started a few months after I joined Narniaweb. It looked fun-ish, so I decided to try it out. That's about 3 years; but I only started using layers this year, like three months ago. :ymblushing: :ymblushing: I was one of those people who didn't download the GIMP manual and decided to learn by ear. :P I watched a couple tutorials on it 3 or so months ago and learnt...alot.
- What photoshop program do you use (Photoshop, Gimp, etc.)? GIMP. I started out on Microsoft Paint and was /so happy/ when I figured out how to put text on an image.
- What kind of graphics do you like to make? Typically that of nature stock, from screencaps of movies I like, blog headers, etc. For size, mostly 100x100 icons, 300x100 signatures, and 900xwhatever looks best for blog headers.
- What inspires you to make graphics? Watching a nice movie, thinking I need to change my graphics, going to post in the graphics thread..

Since everyone's doing the contrast...Let me go and dig out my old (eep) graphics from imageshack.
I don't know what happened to the earliest ones I did on paint; I'll try find the earliest but think I deleted the worst ones I had saved on the old Narniaweb or on imageshack...

NOTE: I still have yet to learn, as the fact I haven't known about the miracle of Layers and I still am clueless about alot on Gimp, but I think there has been quite a difference in my old signatures, with coloring, choice of text, composition, etc. :P

I think this wallpaper was made when I downloaded fonts:
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Please notice how some of the text is outside the box, and how I found that little motif thing by using the bucket fill wierdly, loved it, and copied and pasted it. :P

Image When I got better.

one of my recent favourite wallpapers:
Image
(texture is fantasiebyspookywindow. I saw it on one of the tutorials on here and saved it.)

I had another newb one of Lucy and Peter at the train station, where I put a huuuge gradient flare on Lucy's stuffed animal. :P

Earlier avatars: (this was when I improved; I guess my worst ones will just never be seen.)
Image Image

Recent, favourite avatar/s:
Image Image
(The second avatar base by Wunderkind_Lucy)

Older sig:
Image

Not so recent, but better sig:
Image

Recent, favourite sig:
Image
(texture by CSLewisNarnia)

I have a question: what are layers and curves and how do I use them?
How do I use the channel mixer? My method of trying to figure out what in the world it was was click a couple things on the window that popped up, click "okay" and see my picture transformed into something that looked like a statistics graph. :P Help would be appreciated.

[all links uploaded with imageshack.us]
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby Ithilwen » Dec 19, 2011 3:13 am

Aslanisthebest wrote:I have a question: what are layers and curves and how do I use them?
How do I use the channel mixer? My method of trying to figure out what in the world it was was click a couple things on the window that popped up, click "okay" and see my picture transformed into something that looked like a statistics graph. :P Help would be appreciated.


I never use Channel Mixer, but I do use Layers and Curves. With curves, I use the feature to add light effects to the graphics. If you go into Curves, you can click on the line and move it around; and as you do so, the picture will get lighter/darker/more contrast/less contrast. You can also move different parts of the line to create even more lighting effects.

With layers, you can do many things. If you duplicate your base layer (meaning, make another layer which looks exactly like your original picture), you can put it on different settings like Screen or Multiply or Burn, etc. which adds some cool effects. You can also add fill layers. That's where you add a white layer and color it, then put it on Screen or Soft Light. It then changes the color of your graphics. You can also use white or black layers to lighten or darken your picture.

Hope that helps. :)

------------------------------

Some recent favorite graphics of mine:

Image Image Image Image
Image Image Image Image


~Riella =:)
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby RubyGamgee » Dec 19, 2011 9:52 am

Ithilwen, what you said about layers was really helpful! I know there are so many things to be done with the wonder of GIMP, but I'm so ignorant on so much!

Bella, curves are one of my favorite things to mess with. Once you start using them, pretty soon you'll know exactly how to manage them. :) I wanted to point out that while with curves you can adjust the lighting and contrast, you can also adjust different color levels within different areas of your icon, so there's the generic "value" channel and then you'll see the "red", "green", and "blue" channel and you can edit them all individually. :)
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby winterlife » Dec 26, 2011 11:01 pm

I would like to make a note for other GIMP users about something I had to search for when translating it from Photoshop to GIMP. GIMP no longer calls the screen setting, "Screen," it calls it "Color to Alpha" and it can be found under the colors tab at the top. :) Hope that's clear; I had to find that by experimenting and it took me years! :p
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby flambeau » Dec 28, 2011 8:29 pm

*pops in*

Ruby wrote:I do have a couple of questions and I've poked around and noticed similar questions, but I've always been extremely ignorant on the usage of textures.... So my questions would be, how exactly are textures supposed to be used? What's their purpose?

Textures can be used in many different ways, and their purpose can be whatever you want it to be; to alter coloring, lighting, or add some visual interest. My favorite method of texture usage is setting them on layer modes to affect the coloring and lighting of my icons.
Here's a few tutorials to give you some ideas: mine, another one of mine, and an awesome texture guide on livejournal.

And, how do you make textures?

This tutorial shows one way to make textures.

Bella wrote:I have a question: what are layers and curves and how do I use them?

I see that Ithi already responded to part of your question, but I'll give it a shot as well.
The Curves tool is awesome, and I love it (not quite as much as Levels, but it's still awesome). First off, the Value channel controls the highlights and/or shadows of your image, and the Red, Green, and Blue channels control the amount of those colors in their respective channel. To break it down a little bit more...
To brighten your image, you would use the Value channel and drag the center diagonal line up and to the left. To darken your image, you would drag it down and to the right. If you need to know what part of the grid will affect a specific part of your image, you can use the little eyedropper tool (you'll notice that your mouse automatically turns into an eyedropper if you hover over your image when you open Curves) and click on the area you want to alter. A vertical line will appear in the Curves grid to show where you should drag the center line.
The R/G/B channels work in the same way. Dragging the line up and to the left in the Red/Green/Blue channels will make your image more red/green/blue. Dragging it down and to the right will make your image less red/green/blue and increase the amount of cyan/magenta/yellow in your image.

How do I use the channel mixer?

The Channel Mixer is a bit more complicated, but it's an awesome tool to use! It alters coloring, but not lighting. Like Curves, channel mixer has a red, green, and blue channels, but unlike curves, these three channels each have three 'sub-channels' that give you a lot of control over the image coloring.
Here's an example...

Image
...to this...
Image

I wanted to lessen the reddish tones, so here's what I did...

Red channel: I moved the Red slider from 100 down to 90, moved the Green slider from 0 up to 10, and then moved the Blue slider from 0 up to 25.
Green channel: I moved the Red slider from 0 to 15, and left the other sliders in that channel alone.
Blue channel: I moved the Red slider from 0 to 5, moved the Green slider from 0 to 15, and moved the Blue slider from 100 to 105.

So basically, experiment. ;))

I hope this was somewhat helpful. ;)) I think I'm winding down from the sugar high I was on when I started this post, and I'm not sure if this all makes much sense, so let me know if it doesn't. I know that I tend to get really technical when I talk about this stuff. XD

@ winterlife: which version of Gimp do you use? I use 2.6, and as far as I know the Screen setting is the same as it's always been.

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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby winterlife » Dec 28, 2011 9:36 pm

flambeau, my version says "2.6.9" but I might have missed the screen setting. Where is it on yours?
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby flambeau » Dec 29, 2011 7:56 am

The Screen setting is located in the Layers dialog, in the "Mode" tab near the top (5th option down on the list).
If you don't have the Layers dialog open, you can open it with the shortcut Ctrl+L.

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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby winterlife » Jan 27, 2012 2:04 pm

flambeau, the shortcut works, but I still don't have the other route.

Does anyone know where I could get more fonts for GIMP? I've heard people talk about it, but I've never actually tried it.
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby narnian_at_heart » Jan 30, 2012 11:28 am

You can get fonts lots of places. I found sites by google searching "free fonts for Gimp" or something like that. Then I clicked on the ones that I'd heard the name of a few times around the web and I knew was secure.

I've used www.1001freefonts.com and www.dafont.com. Also, PCworld has some fonts for download on their site (the also have a ton of other awesome downloads) http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/search?qt=font.
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby narnian_at_heart » Feb 01, 2012 11:25 am

Sorry for the double post but it's been 24 hours.

I learned how to use Levels and Curves yesterday! I never really understood how they worked before so I just used Brightness/Contrast. I'm taking Digital Basic Photography this semester and yesterday, we were learning how to use Photoshop. My professor said that the difference between Brightness/Contrast and Curves and Levels is the difference between cutting a splinter off a piece of wood with a chainsaw and cutting the splinter off with a special wood carving tool. (Brightness/Contrast being the chainsaw). I'm probably never going to use Brightness/Contrast again because I love Curves and Levels now so much!

In other news, yes, I get to use Photoshop! I'm allowed to use the Journalism computer labs whenever I want to edit my photos. I probably won't use it much for graphics just because it's inconvenient to run to the lab whenever I get inspired or for just a few minutes when I'm on a graphics spree. But, I may mess around a little bit. ;) Also, I'm strongly considering buying Photoshop. If I continue pursuing photography, I need to have it. And, if I buy it when I'm a student, I can get Photoshop Extended for $199 instead of $999. :D
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