Sunday, January 4, 2015

Another First - Next Product Uploaded and Ready for Sale

After completing the Geometric Shapes and getting my TpT store started, I immediately started drawing my next set of shapes.  There were some other geometric shapes that didn't make it into the first set (partially because I was a bit impatient to get my first product finished), but I also had some ideas for some other miscellaneous shapes that I thought might otherwise not be included in any other sets I might be doing.  I wanted this set to also be fun, so I've included playing card shapes and other stuff that I just thought someone might find useful to include in a product.

As with the first set, all images are 300 dpi PNG files, black freehand lines on a transparent background filled with white.  Since the linework is done with a brush tool, there are partially transparent "gray" edges along both sides of the black freehand line.  I had initially experimented with the pencil tool, where there wouldn't be any of these gray lines, but, even at 300 dpi, the drawings ended up looking pixelated.  Although I like the look of freehand lines, without the gray edges the linework looked too much like a computer-generated image.

The only problem with the partially-transparent lines is that when I use the paint bucket to fill the inside of a shape with white, it still leaves the gray, limes as partially transparent - not what I want for the final images.  So, after searching through internet forums, particularly ones dealing with Photoshop (although I am using Gimp), I finally found the answer.  After completing the black lines with a brush on the background layer, I fill the inside with white.  Then, I create a new layer and draw a white line with the pencil tool over the gray, partially transparent pixels on the inside or filled side of the black line.  (You don't want to go outside and cover any of the partially transparent gray pixels on the non-filled side of the black line as these are the pixels that keep your linework from looking pixelated.). Then I make my background layer the current layer, slide the layer to the top in the layer window, then use the "Merge Down" layer command.  This process puts the gray lines over a white background so there is no longer any partial transparency.  It took some trial and error to get this process down, but it works for what I am now doing.

The drawback comes when you want to add any color other than white.  Although I'm not doing any colored images yet, I tried testing some color just to see what happens and those partially-transparent lines on the side of the black outline I want filled are going to be a pain.  I'm going to wait to figure this one out when the time comes where I want to do clipart with color.

So far I'm proud of the drawings I've done to date.  If you managed to get this far, you've read through some pretty boring stuff (unless you're into the details of how raster image software like Photoshop or Gimp works).  When I started this endeavor, I never knew how technical making clipart would be. But now that I have a system that works, it's time to get drawing again.



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