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Getting analog art to digital

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I'm a programmer with no artistic skill/patience with a friend who draws.  My friend is just starting to learn Gimp/Photoshop with a drawing tablet. She is still quite uncomfortable with the whole process as paper is her preferred medium.  We would like to use her art for a game though.  Is there any guidance you could offer for getting her art "digitized"?

 

Note that we do have a scanner that could conceivably copy her art. (residential quality)

 

I guess I'm asking is all art for games done electronically?  Does she need to suck it up and learn Photoshop (which is fine! We just don't wont to wait another year...etc. for her skills to translate.)

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You can scan and then do minor edits in photoshop (eg, color balance, contrast balance) to clean it up and make certain parts transparent as needed. she will need to learn photoshop, but you won't have to wait for the skills to transfer over. :) It might make for a pretty neat art direction, too!

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The process of scanning art into photoshop then cleaning it up is slow, and not animation friendly, but it does work, I've done it.  Another possibility is to draw the lineart on paper, scan that in, than use inkscape to automatically digitize the lines.  There will still be cleanup required, but it's less because there are no colors involved.  Then the clean lineart is relatively easy to color in one's program of choice.

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My friend is just starting to learn Gimp/Photoshop with a drawing tablet. She is still quite uncomfortable with the whole process as paper is her preferred medium.  We would like to use her art for a game though.  Is there any guidance you could offer for getting her art "digitized"?

 

You might tell your friend to try Mypaint instead of Gimp or Photoshop. She does not need to buy a Photoshop license in the beginning. Mypaint is a software *tailored* to digital painting whereas the others are general image editors that do a lot more than just the painting part. That can get in the way if all you want to do is paint. Mypaint also provides much better brushes than Gimp at least.

 

She can transfer images (with layers) between Gimp and Mypaint using the Open Raster format (.ora) and thus use each program where it excels - Mypaint for pure painting, Gimp for editing and filters.

 

mypaint-2011-screenshots-concept_04.jpg

 

Another trick is to tape a piece of paper over the tablet's drawing surface; this might make it *feel* more like drawing on paper.

Edited by the_cheetah

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Another trick is to tape a piece of paper over the tablet's drawing surface; this might make it *feel* more like drawing on paper.

I taped a transparency sheet onto the drawing surface of my Wacom Bamboo tablet not for the texture reasons, but because the nibs (the detachable, repleaceable tips of the pen) were getting worn too fast.
This happens because the tablet surface has what they call a "natural texture," so that painting feels more natural.

There is no feeling of texture now. It's quite smooth so it requires getting used to it, but at least the nib I started using with this hasn't worn down at all.

You can also fashion your own nibs out of nylon wire of the appropriate thickness. If not done properly, you risk scratching your tablet surface and there's more overall effort to make the nibs than just taping a sheet on top of the drawing surface and using the official nibs:
- http://vegarblack.deviantart.com/art/Making-Wacom-nibs-343443919
-
Edited by Kryzon

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