Graphics Workshop #1

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Graphics Workshop #1

Postby flambeau » Sep 02, 2011 4:55 pm

Hello, fellow graphic designers! :) Welcome to the first of a planned series of threads devoted solely to the discussion of graphic design! In here you will be allowed to discuss all aspects of graphic design, share what inspires your creative muse, and ask for suggestions or advice from your fellow designers. The purpose of these threads is to provide a place where we can all share suggestions, ideas, encouragement, and hopefully learn a thing or two from one another in the process.

I'm planning on opening a new topic at the beginning of every month, and they will each deal with separate areas of graphic design. If you have something specific you would like to discuss, feel free to send me a PM to let me know; I'd love to add it to the list! As a starting place, this first thread is about graphic making in general. Here's a few questions to get the discussion started...

- How long have you been making graphics?
- What photoshop program do you use (Photoshop, Gimp, etc.)?
- What kind of graphics do you like to make?
- What inspires you to make graphics?

... and of course, anything else you all would like to talk about. ;)

The standard forum and section rules still apply, but I would like to mention a few other things as well:

- If you post a graphic by another artist, be sure to credit them. If you can't recall who did make it, please add a disclaimer stating that you did not.
- If you post a link to another website, please check and make sure that the content is appropriate.

I'm really excited about these threads, and I hope that you will all enjoy them! Let the discussion begin! :)

(I'll be back to answer my own questions later. ;) )

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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby winterlife » Sep 02, 2011 5:30 pm

Ooh, fun! :)

- How long have you been making graphics?

I don't remember, only two or three years though.

- What photoshop program do you use (Photoshop, Gimp, etc.)?

I use GIMP, and I love it! :)

- What kind of graphics do you like to make?

I mostly make artist/band graphics, but I love making scenery graphics when I find a picture that inspires me. I'm trying to get good at quote signatures now, too.

- What inspires you to make graphics?

Usually, I'll see a picture with really cool lighting or coloring, and I'll want to try to make something similar in a graphic. But sometimes a quote or song lyric will inspire me.

And I have a question: How many of you use textures with your graphics, and to what extent do you usually use them? (Like, I know some people layer on multiple textures, some prefer one or none, some occasionally use textures, that sort of thing. :) )
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby Liberty Hoffman » Sep 02, 2011 6:00 pm

- How long have you been making graphics?
I discovered graphic making sometime early this year. I have been hooked ever since :)

- What photoshop program do you use (Photoshop, Gimp, etc.)?
I use CorelDraw and I love it. it's a high quality design program that my dad uses (my dad designs signs for a living and uses this program all the time) :)

- What kind of graphics do you like to make?
mostly Narnian :) though I have begun to make miscellaneous ones recently :)

- What inspires you to make graphics?
I was first inspired by the lovely graphics that I saw here on narniaweb and I've always been computer savvy so I decided to try my hand at it and I found that I love it :)

winterlife: I use the textures that are available on CorelDraw and I use them often, though ever so often I won't use them :)
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby Kate » Sep 02, 2011 6:08 pm

I LOVE this idea. This is going to be SO fun.

I've been making graphics for about 5 years now, probably. I use GIMP and I tend to make graphics of either movies or TV shows. I have been making a lot of logos like this or this.

I'm inspired by good stories told through film, interesting shots (usually profiles of people), and most of all interesting characters and relationships between characters. I also get inspired by other people's works. For example, I saw this Merlin graphic yesterday and I've wanted to make large graphics all day since. (For credit for the artist you should PM me because the username of the artist is not forum-appropriate)

edit: winterlife: I stopped using textures a long time ago. I realized that I started using them more for the sake of using them rather than because they looked good. :( Plus, it was so much work to save, open, and credit them. Instead, I kind of make my own with colors and black and white to influence lighting.
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby daughter of the King » Sep 02, 2011 6:45 pm

Yay! I've been looking forward to this thread.

I have been making graphics for about a year and a half. When I first started, I had Photoshop but now I have GIMP. I still kind of miss Photoshop but GIMP is free so I can't really complain. :p

As for what kind of graphics I like, it depends on my mood really. I usually use movies and TV shows, but I've been playing with some stock lately and I like that. I also tend to use my own pictures a lot (which won't be posted on the forum because almost all of my pictures have my adorable niece and nephew in them).

Inspiration usually comes when I'm watching the movie or TV show. I see a screenshot and think "now if I brightened it up a little there, and added some color, and used that texture I found yesterday...."

Speaking of textures, it depends. I tend to use lighting textures on avatars a lot, and usually use more than one. But sometimes I'll use only one or none. It really depends on the avatar and what affect I'm trying to create. For instance, I used a lot of textures on this avatar: Image because I wanted it to have a very dramatic feel to it and the original screencap was a little dark in front of Morgana so I needed to brighten it.

This avatar, on the other hand: Image I only used a couple of textures on it to highlight her face.

And I didn't use any textures on this signature: Image because I thought it was good just the way it was after I finished blending it. It's all about what kind of affect I'm trying to create with the graphic. What is happening in the graphic? What is the mood of the people in the graphic? At what point in the story (if it's a film or episode) is this graphic?

I hope all of that made sense. ;))
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby Ithilwen » Sep 03, 2011 1:48 am

- How long have you been making graphics? Oh, wow... Let's see... I think I started the first or second day I joined NW. I felt silly for some reason, using graphics other people made for me. Not because their stuff was bad (on the contrary, it was much better than the stuff I made). But since art was always one of my hobbies, I felt odd using work made by someone other than myself, when I felt I was an artist. Almost the way a Pepsi salesman would feel drinking Coke. ;)) So I went off and made some very... bad graphics. Luckily I improved since then. But it has definitely been a fun journey. :)

- What photoshop program do you use (Photoshop, Gimp, etc.)? I use GIMP.

- What kind of graphics do you like to make? Anything, really. Wallies are cool. I used to like sigs best, but avvies are more my favorite now. 100x100 just seems like the perfect size for an expressive little picture. :D

- What inspires you to make graphics? Seeing other people's graphics, or seeing great screenshots, I suppose. Mostly I just get a craving to make it. It's random, like craving chocolate or some kind of food. There are moments when I just have to create something.

Great thread idea. :)


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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby Aravis Autarkeia » Sep 03, 2011 7:50 am

-How long have you been making graphics?
um...since 2005? feels like forever...lol...

- What photoshop program do you use (Photoshop, Gimp, etc.)?
I used Gimp before graduating to Photoshop. :)

- What kind of graphics do you like to make?
I love making icons and wallpapers from various fandoms. I also design logos and t-shirts.

- What inspires you to make graphics?
a cool screencap, a random doodle, pretty color scheme...lots of things. :) I really just like to play around in photoshop until I get something I like.

Ithilwen: Love your analogy about Coke and Pepsi. :p I started out making really bad graphics but over time I got better. :) It's really cool to see the improvement when I look back at my old stuff....sort of...lol..

winterlife: I like to use different textures. I usually play around with different ones depending on the effect I want. My favorite textures to use are light textures because they tend to and more depth to the graphic. Sometimes I use just one textures and other times I use several. The main thing is just not to overuse textures cause they can over power the image.
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby Wunderkind_Lucy » Sep 03, 2011 8:07 am

- How long have you been making graphics?
Same as aravis, since about 2005. She's the one that got me hooked, lol! ;)

- What photoshop program do you use (Photoshop, Gimp, etc.)?

I started out with Gimp, but now I use Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro.

- What kind of graphics do you like to make?

Mostly icons/avies. I do some wallpapers (for both the computer and my iPod) and every once in a while a sig. Oh, and I do banners and such, too. ^^

- What inspires you to make graphics?

That's a hard question to answer. Lots of things. Sometimes, it's a random cap or image. Sometimes, it's a song lyric or a book quote. And sometimes, I'm randomly looking through my textures, and I'm inspired. ^^

winterlife: I'm definitely a big fan of using textures. I don't use textures just for the sake of using them. Rather, I use textures to bring out the coloring or to help extend a background or to cover parts that I don't want to be seen. My favorites are probably gaussian blurred textures, light textures, and stock textures to use in the background. Most of my graphics has some sort of texture, but every once in a while I won't use one. And like aravis said, overusing textures can overpower the image. I learned that the hard way, lol. ;)

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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby Tarkheena » Sep 03, 2011 10:21 am

How long have you been making graphics? I have no idea. :p A longish time? I'd been making wallies for years, and when I joined NarniaWeb, I found out about avvies and sigs. My first attempts were terrible, but I started improving after lots of exposure to all you wonderful artists. :)

What photoshop program do you use? I used to use Microsoft PictureIt, but I just got a mac this summer & the program wouldn't transfer. :( It made blending incredibly easy, and I miss it. Now, however, I use GIMP and picnik. I'm still figuring out different aspects of GIMP, but I'll get there. :ymblushing: I use picnik for its effects and textures, but it doesn't do blending .... I miss that a LOT.

What kind of graphics do you make? Always fanart; my favorite fandom changes all the time though. At the moment, 500x200 signatures are my favorite. I make a lot of them for another forum I'm on, then end up cutting them down and posting them here too. :p At the moment, I'm having lots of fun with avatar/signature sets.

What inspires you to make graphics? I usually start itching to make something after seeing an especially pretty movie or show. I LOVE stories, whether they come through written words, the big screen, or a tiny picture. So I see a great moment in a movie or show and end up making a graphic that tells a little piece of that story in a different way.

winterlife: Yes and no. I go through phases. ;)) I just went through a sparkly-texture-phase and now I'm more focused on bright colors and lighting. Sometimes, however, if I've enhanced the color saturation or exposure so much that darker spots start looking grainy, I'll add a texture to hide the flaws. :ymblushing:
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby MountainFireflower » Sep 03, 2011 12:46 pm

Thank you for this thread, flam! It's such a good idea and I'm looking forward to it!

- How long have you been making graphics? 4+ years, I believe. I started an online magazine back in 2007, and that inspired me to start making graphics, though I'd been fiddling around with them way before that. Having to make magazine covers & article banners gave me the extra push to start working with my graphics program and figuring out what works and what doesn't. I'm still learning. ;))
- What photoshop program do you use (Photoshop, Gimp, etc.)? Early on, I used a program called Macromedia Experiments, but I couldn't get it to transfer over to my new computer (much like Tarkheena). Now I use Photoshop, which I love quite a bit. :)
- What kind of graphics do you like to make? Avatars, mostly, though occasionally I'll make a signature or two. My fandoms fluctuate quite a bit, but I'm a really big fan of Robin Hood. :P Most of my avatars are of the BBC TV show, though you'll find LotR and Narnia and Owl City thrown into the mix somewhere. ;)
- What inspires you to make graphics? Mostly watching TV shows or movies, or listening to music. Sometimes, like Dot, I'll see a specific screencap that I think would make an amazing avatar, so then I go and make it. :p Looking through the work in Narnia FA and Non-Narnian Graphics definitely inspires me, too. :)

winterlife: Yes, I use textures, though it depends on the specific avatar and what I think fits the best. It's hard for me to remember to credit every single texture I make, so if it ends up that I didn't credit someone for a texture that they made, I deeply apologize. :ymblushing: Anyway, I like to use them to accentuate the original image as much as I can. :) The answer to that question would probably be, if I think that a texture fits, I'll use it.
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby campgirl » Sep 03, 2011 5:10 pm

Great idea! this should be fun! :)

- How long have you been making graphics?
About 2 years, Eruce got me interested with her work and I've been doing it every since!!
- What photoshop program do you use (Photoshop, Gimp, etc.)?
I use Gimp, cause it was free and it was what others were using. I love it! ;)
- What kind of graphics do you like to make?
I make a lot of avatars, but I like making wallpapers, too. And I've been making a lot of logos/t-shirt designs (as well as some fliers for camp). I like making Narnia, Robin Hood, Merlin, LOTR, and random movie graphics. ;))
- What inspires you to make graphics?
Mmm, I get a lot of inspiration from looking at others work, but also movies and TV shows. :P

winterlife: I usually use textures but not many. Mainly a few light textures. :)
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby wolfloversk » Sep 05, 2011 11:58 am

Fun!!!

- How long have you been making graphics? Since I've been on NW

- What photoshop program do you use (Photoshop, Gimp, etc.)? Mostly Gimp, but also Microsoft Word and Paint

- What kind of graphics do you like to make? I love making animations. I also like playing around with gradients. Usually I try to bring out the earthy tones of an image and make them more vibrant. I love making sig/avi sets :)

- What inspires you to make graphics? Lots of stuff. Usually I come across something that makes an idea pop into my head, but that idea can come from just about anything... movies, books, songs, themes, animals, pictures... you name it and it inspires me.
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby lover of narnia » Sep 05, 2011 12:14 pm

This is such a great idea. And I'm sure it's going to be so much fun. I've finally scared away my procrastination and decided to post in here. :)

- How long have you been making graphics?
Since 2008 - so about 3 years. I think it's one of the best things I ever decided to do.

- What photoshop program do you use (Photoshop, Gimp, etc.)?
I use Photoshop CS5. :) I started out with CS3 which is what I used until recently.

- What kind of graphics do you like to make?
My favorite are icons with banners in second. I love the small scale of the avatars and how much, in reality, you can actually fit into them.

- What inspires you to make graphics?
Ah, stories, pictures, other graphics and their makers! Most of the time it's the latter. Especially complex graphics with many layers, blending, and blocks inspire me.

Flambeau is one of the expert makers that especially inspires me to do my work. I can't tell you how many times her gorgeous avatars have been the source of my ideas for my avvies. To name/show only a few of the dozens of her's that I just can't rave about enough and can't help being inspired by,

Image Image Image Image Image
(all credit to Flam.)

And those are only from her latest batches!

captain_sarah off livejournal is another maker who is out of this world. Her bright and lively coloring is always great for inspiration.

Image Image Image Image
(all credit to captain_sarah.)

And hypnotized_moon from Livejournal as well, is very great and inspiring. Our own wunderkind_lucy is amazing; I love her's and have gotten many an idea from here as well. :D

winterlife wrote:And I have a question: How many of you use textures with your graphics, and to what extent do you usually use them? (Like, I know some people layer on multiple textures, some prefer one or none, some occasionally use textures, that sort of thing. :) )


I use a lot of textures. :) As to what extent, that varies from graphic to graphic, image to image. And also what I'm feeling like just then. I use a lot of colored lighting textures such as this one. And also ones like this one. So yes, I use a lot of textures and it varies in amount by graphic. :)
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby narnian_at_heart » Sep 08, 2011 9:56 pm

- How long have you been making graphics?

About a year, I think.

- What photoshop program do you use (Photoshop, Gimp, etc.)?

Gimp.

- What kind of graphics do you like to make?

Anything I like: Taylor Swift, favorite quotes, BarlowGirl, song lyrics, stock photos. Lately, I've been on a big quotes and song lyrics kick.

- What inspires you to make graphics? Everything and nothing. :p You guys. I get inspired and get ideas from looking through all the graphics threads on here. I heard a song I instantly fell in love with: One More by Superchick so right now, I've been making tons of avatars and signatures with lyrics from that song. So expect to see a bunch show up in the Non-Narnian Graphics thread in a week or so.

Also, I've been listening to Pandora a bunch. Especially the Today's Country station. I've gotten a bunch of ideas for random country lyrics avatars and signatures.

As for textures: I always use them on my quote and lyrics sigs. I sometimes use them on image avatars and sigs. I use them to add interest or detailing to what I think is an otherwise bland avatar or sig. A lot of times I use ones that have sparkles or a ray of light just to add something to the graphic.

Such as these ones of mine.

This avatar came from a picture of a ferris wheel with a blue sky background. I added the texture with the sparkles to make it less bland.Image

This is my favorite Taylor Swift avatar I've made so far. Image I love the blue sparkles which was originally a sparkle texture on a black background. I just set it to screen and then changed the sparkle coloring.

Some other examples of sparkles textures to add interest.

Image Image

These two signatures, I used textures set to screen just to fill in all the blank space.

Image Image

Sparkle textures are pretty much the only textures I use on image graphics. There are a few exceptions but very few. All my sparkled textures are by hyaline12. They're amazing!
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby Princess Anna » Sep 08, 2011 10:26 pm

Ohh, neat idea! I look forward to seeing how this turns out. :D
And it's my turn:

1) How long have you been making graphics?
I could be remembering wrong, but if I look back at some of my oldest stuff on my computer... they date back to 2007. I think.

And it's really funny to see them now. I mean, I still have a soft spot for my early stuff... but I love the more recent stuff, well, more. ;)) The real funny thing of it all, is that the change was pretty abrupt. I forget exactly how long it took, or when it started to change... but there was a glaringly obvious difference. Want proof? Here ya go! (this is just a sample. I have tons more examples, if anyone is curious)

1) The Mighty Ducks
I went from this set:

Image Image

to this!

Image Image

For...
2) Let's have a Narnian example
this, my first ever avvy:

Image

to this:

Image

See what I mean?! =))

2) What photoshop program do you use (Photoshop, Gimp, etc.)?
Corel Paint Shop Pro X2
I might have tried other things for a short amount of time, though. Can't remember.

3) What kind of graphics do you like to make?
Whatever strikes my fancy, I suppose. Sometimes I'm more in the mood to make matching sets. Other times I go through a phase on making wallies. I've made a few banners (related to my books). And this year, I've taken to making "stand alone" avvys quite often. (in the past, if I made an avvy, I wanted it to be in a set. felt less awkward. now I don't care as much about being picky)

I tend to make stuff on the following subjects:
-my books that I'm writing
-Narnia
-other movies
-tv shows

4) What inspires you to make graphics?
I guess it's like with my writing life... anything and everything inspires me. It could be a song I heard, something I saw (film, tv, theatre), experienced (camp, VBS, plays), read. It really doesn't matter. An idea comes... I run with it. It's really that simple. That said, I get quite a few ideas (and run the gamut of emotions) when looking here in the FA, or in Non-Narnian in the SO. :)

Winterlife's question:
Up until about... a year or two ago (?) I didn't even really use textures that much... if at all. It's a more recent thing for me to do. Now, with that settled...

how many I use varies depending on either the piece, or my mood. Sometimes I don't use any. Other times it's one or two. And still others, it's a whole mess of them... so that I lose count!

If and when I use them, I tend to use ones by hyaline12 and wunder, the most. But I use other people's too. And some of my own! (though, i'm still learning how to make my own) I also use a lot of the features on my program... a LOT. Hope that answered your question! :ymhug:
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Re: Graphics Workshop #1

Postby Sheroo of Stormness Head » Sep 09, 2011 5:47 pm

Cool thread idea!!

1) How long have you been making graphics?
For about two years.

2) What photoshop program do you use (Photoshop, Gimp, etc.)?
I use Photoshop Elements 9. I'd like to eventually like to get the full photoshop. But I love Photoshop Elements. I've learned so much while using it.

3) What kind of graphics do you like to make?
Narnian graphics, mostly. I have made a few other graphics too, like a couple from Tangled and one from How to Train your Dragon, etc, but I mostly make graphics from Narnia. I have also made a few wallpapers with quotes, popping out the main words... :D

4) What inspires you to make graphics?
Hmmmm...Well, let's say that when my sister sees a theme in a book or moive, she's inspired to write an essay. I'm inspired to make graphics. :D When I'm watching a movie, or reading a book, and a certain quote hits me, I'm inspired to make a graphic with pictures to pull our how powerful that quote is. When the graphic gives me a thrill after a few times of seeing it, I know I'm pleased with it. :)

I'd just like to say that this subforum of this forum is so exciting. I'd been hoping for a place to share my graphics and see other people's graphics. Keep it up, everyone!!!!!!
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