Recommendations needed for cartooning tools for student

Discussion in 'Photoshop Tutorials' started by Dan Serra, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. Dan Serra

    Dan Serra Guest

    My son who is in high school has been enamored with creating cartoons
    for the past year. He prefers ink and paint and the traditional look of
    political cartoons. There is a type of shading that he has been trying
    to achieve that involves the use of diagonal lines or cross hatching
    with the regular hand inked lines. It is very tedious to do this by
    hand.

    His art teacher told him that in the "good old days" they used a special
    board called duo-shade where you would paint a chemical onto the board
    and the diagonal texture would flow from the brush as it developed. He
    thought that there might be software out there that might be safer than
    the chemicals and less messy. He wasn't sure if they still made this
    board anymore.

    He thought that either Photoshop, Illustrator or Freehand might be able
    to create this flowing diagonal texture (or pattern) but he wasn't an
    expert in any of these and neither am I. It's too expensive to buy the
    wrong one and make a mistake so I would appreciate any recommendations
    you pro's might have.

    Thanks in advance

    Daniel

    remove -1- to email personally
     
    Dan Serra, Feb 20, 2004
    #1
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  2. In the "good old days" I used letraset dry transfer for this purpose.
    I think it is still available. Look for Letratone dots & grids at:
    http://www.letraset.com/row/sitemap.asp

    HTH, Peter
     
    Peter Wollenberg, Feb 20, 2004
    #2
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  3. Dan Serra

    Dennis Kuhn Guest


    At the risk of offending, I'd just like to cast a vote for the
    "tedious" method.

    Cross-hatching, when done correctly, is not a uniform series of
    diagonal lines. The artist alters the distance between the lines and
    the thickness of the lines to show the varying shades of "gray".

    Even if you did something like create a custom cross-hatch layer
    underneath the original art, and used a tool to make selected areas
    more or less visible, it wouldn't look right, because the nature of
    cross-hatching is all about the subtlety of the penstrokes.

    Dennis
     
    Dennis Kuhn, Feb 20, 2004
    #3
  4. Dan Serra

    Fox Guest

    I'll take it that the Filter/Brush Strokes/Crosshatch plugin (or Angled
    Strokes) is not adequate...

    There are a couple of approaches that can be used:

    1)
    a) use a crosshatch brush
    there are already several that come with PS that can be used... click on
    one of the paint tools (airbrush, paintbrush,...). Click on the brush
    pattern in the top toolbar... if you cannot locate an X pattern brush,
    click on the triangle at the top right corner and select Load Brushes...
    you should be able to locate Assorted Brushes from the file explorer
    dialog -- the X-hatches are in that file.

    Then, adjust the spacing of the brush to suit (try 66, 75, 125 percents
    for "irregularity") -- use horizontal and vertical strokes of the
    graphics pen (or mouse).

    b) define custome brushes (preferred)

    open a new window (100x100 is good to start but dimensions can be
    irregular, e.g. 100x150, etc.)
    select line tool
    hold down the shift key and draw a diagonal (e.g. bottom left to top right)
    still holding the shift key, draw another diagonal through the center of
    the first line (exact placement is not necessary) Make this second line
    only half the size of the first line (draw from about 25% into the top
    left space to about 3/4 into the bottom right).

    go to Layer/Rasterize/Shape

    for a really good effect:

    click on the mask icon at the bottom of the layer palette (small grayish
    rectangle with dash outlined circle)

    select the gradient tool (black foreground/white background) and select
    the radial gradient option in the top tool bar [there's a series of
    icons -- select the circular pattern].

    click in the center of the "artwork" and drag to the right edge and
    release. The extremes of the lines should be faded now (if you ended up
    with a radial gradient, then the Mask layer was not selected when you
    created the gradiant -- undo, and click on the layer mask icon next to
    the main layer icon in the layers palette and try again).

    go to Edit/Define Brush and give it a name (like 100 X-hatch)

    you can now use this crosshatch brush in your main work [find it in the
    brush dropdown].

    Some tips:
    [for crosshatching solid color areas]

    use freehand selection to create areas into which crosshatching will be
    done --

    OR (better) -- use Mask layers [created by that small gray-with-circle
    icon at the bottom of the layers palette]. These can be used 2 ways:

    1) to create bounded areas in which can be rendered -- painting into the
    mask layer itself can be used to "refine" the regions of crosshatching
    [create an "overlay" layer for specific crosshatching areas with the
    added Mask layer]

    2] use the crosshatching brushes in a Mask layer to "white out" in
    crosshatch patterns [this can be used in combination with the previous
    tip to enhance the effect -- it's like using the crosshatch brush as an
    eraser, except the original layer artwork is not affected!]

    ------for a really kick### xhatch effect ---

    take the original image (fully rendered) in full color and change the
    blend mode to screen... create another layer below it, fill with white.
    select your crosshatch brush of choice -- with foreground color set to
    black, start "painting" into the white layer in the crosshatches and
    watch the crosshatched image appear!
     
    Fox, Feb 21, 2004
    #4
  5. Dan Serra

    Fox Guest

    I'll take it that the Filter/Brush Strokes/Crosshatch plugin (or Angled
    Strokes) is not adequate...

    There are a couple of approaches that can be used:

    1)
    a) use a crosshatch brush
    there are already several that come with PS that can be used... click on
    one of the paint tools (airbrush, paintbrush,...). Click on the brush
    pattern in the top toolbar... if you cannot locate an X pattern brush,
    click on the triangle at the top right corner and select Load Brushes...
    you should be able to locate Assorted Brushes from the file explorer
    dialog -- the X-hatches are in that file.

    Then, adjust the spacing of the brush to suit (try 66, 75, 125 percents
    for "irregularity") -- use horizontal and vertical strokes of the
    graphics pen (or mouse).

    b) define custome brushes (preferred)

    open a new window (100x100 is good to start but dimensions can be
    irregular, e.g. 100x150, etc.)
    select line tool
    hold down the shift key and draw a diagonal (e.g. bottom left to top right)
    still holding the shift key, draw another diagonal through the center of
    the first line (exact placement is not necessary) Make this second line
    only half the size of the first line (draw from about 25% into the top
    left space to about 3/4 into the bottom right).

    go to Layer/Rasterize/Shape

    for a really good effect:

    click on the mask icon at the bottom of the layer palette (small grayish
    rectangle with dash outlined circle)

    select the gradient tool (black foreground/white background) and select
    the radial gradient option in the top tool bar [there's a series of
    icons -- select the circular pattern].

    click in the center of the "artwork" and drag to the right edge and
    release. The extremes of the lines should be faded now (if you ended up
    with a radial gradient, then the Mask layer was not selected when you
    created the gradiant -- undo, and click on the layer mask icon next to
    the main layer icon in the layers palette and try again).

    go to Edit/Define Brush and give it a name (like 100 X-hatch)

    you can now use this crosshatch brush in your main work [find it in the
    brush dropdown].

    Some tips:
    [for crosshatching solid color areas]

    use freehand selection to create areas into which crosshatching will be
    done --

    OR (better) -- use Mask layers [created by that small gray-with-circle
    icon at the bottom of the layers palette]. These can be used 2 ways:

    1) to create bounded areas in which can be rendered -- painting into the
    mask layer itself can be used to "refine" the regions of crosshatching
    [create an "overlay" layer for specific crosshatching areas with the
    added Mask layer]

    2] use the crosshatching brushes in a Mask layer to "white out" in
    crosshatch patterns [this can be used in combination with the previous
    tip to enhance the effect -- it's like using the crosshatch brush as an
    eraser, except the original layer artwork is not affected!]

    ------for a really kick### xhatch effect ---

    take the original image (fully rendered) in full color and change the
    blend mode to screen... create another layer below it, fill with white.
    select your crosshatch brush of choice -- with foreground color set to
    black, start "painting" into the white layer in the crosshatches and
    watch the crosshatched image appear!
     
    Fox, Feb 21, 2004
    #5
  6. While I agree with you Dennis that the artist's hand gives character and
    life to a drawing, that doesn't mean that learning a faster or technique
    isn't worthwhile. When deadlines loom, you do what you have to to get
    the job done.

    I don't normally use crosshatching on my cartoons, but I know of a
    method using Photoshop. Briefly:
    If you look at the comic strip 'Rose is Rose', you'll see Pat Brady uses
    a single hatch at 45 degrees. There are a couple of ways to accomplish
    the effect, but I think he uses a combination of grays converted to
    bitmap mode. In the conversion dialog box, you are prompted to choose
    lines or dots. The density of the lines is determined by the value of
    gray you convert. You can either clone the areas you need to shade from
    a separate job window filled with the hatch value you need, or convert
    the entire grayscale artwork to bitmap as a last step.
    --
    Jeff 'The Wizard of Draws' Bucchino

    "Cartoons with a Touch of Magic"
    http://www.wizardofdraws.com
    http://www.cartoonclipart.com
     
    Wizard of Draws, Feb 21, 2004
    #6
  7. Dan Serra

    Odysseus Guest

    FreeHand certainly has cross-hatched fills -- going back quite a few
    versions now. But bear in mind that they will always look rather
    'stiff' in comparison to hand-drawn shading, being much more uniform
    and regular. Illustrator and Photoshop (and FH as well) can fill
    areas with patterns or tiles; these can be set up to look more
    'handmade' than FH's automatic cross-hatching (e.g. by using a
    "brush" rather than the usual uniform strokes).

    BTW, in case you aren't aware of the distinction, FH and AI are
    primarily "vector" drawing programs (dealing in objects and groups of
    objects) while Photoshop is mainly a "raster" editor (dealing in
    pixels). The former allow much greater control and 'after-drawing'
    manipulation of the artwork they create, while the latter can produce
    more 'natural' textures, 'soft' contours, &c.
     
    Odysseus, Mar 3, 2004
    #7
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