Design Tips & Tricks: Vectors and Photo Manipulation

Forums Resources Design Design Tips & Tricks: Vectors and Photo Manipulation

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    Animation Pagoda Staff
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    Where traditional artists can only paint or shade layers by working from a base layer up, digital artists can add, remove, or change the opacity and colors of individual layers in any order with ease.

    It is recommended for digital painting to keep linework and color layers separate, and to keep backgrounds separate from the subjects. This makes it much easier to make adjustments quickly. Layers can be flattened and merged together. Applying filters and transparency causes different blending effects.

    IceflowStudios: Clipping Masks VS Layer Masks

    Removing Backgrounds in Photoshop

    You really want to attach Nicholas Cage’s head to an interstellar cupcake for some reason, but you can’t use the magic wand tool to remove the background without creating a pixelated edge. The struggle is real. You can clean up jagged edges using a soft edge brush or try using the polygon select tool. Masking is also an option.

    Phlearn: How to Remove Anything from a Photo in Photoshop

    The border edges of my logo aren’t smooth

    Use vectors, not jpgs. Vectors can scale to any size without losing resolution. The pen and blob brush tools in Illustrator can be used to make smooth curves better than by trying to draw curves freehand using a mouse or tablet. It is recommended to draw out designs by hand and scan them into the computer to trace. This method will save time adjusting details in Illustrator or Photoshop.

    TechMindBlow: Introduction to Adobe Illustrator CS6

    Matt Borchert: Pen Tool Tutorial

    Creating Custom Brushes

    Brushes can be used to create various types of line weights and texture effects. The main types of brushes are the default solid edge round brush, fuzzy edge tool, the pixel pencil tool, and the calligraphy pen. These tools are generally used for linework or cleaning up edges.

    There are also various types of brushes that can imitate drawing and painting tools, such as the chalk brush, charcoal brush, bristlebrush, airbrush, acrylic brush, etc. These brushes tend to be used for adding texture or color overlay layers.

    Illustrator and Photoshop come with a pre-built library of brush options, but it also relatively easy to create your own. Custom brushes are most commonly used for digital painting. There are endless possibilities for brush types

    Hodgepodge: How to Make a Custom Brush in Adobe Photoshop

    Matt Borchert: How to Make a Texture Brush in Adobe Photoshop

    Trent Kaniuga: Brush Editor Tool

    Scott Robertson: Advanced Brush Settings

    Background isn’t transparent

    No worries; you probably exported as a JPG instead of a PNG. PNGs can use a transparent alpha channel as a background; JPGs cannot.

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