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Thread: Looking for a particular kind of pencil and inking tool

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601

    Looking for a particular kind of pencil and inking tool

    Hey all,
    I'm trying to get certain textural effects and pen/size/opacity affects in Artrage and am having a hard time.

    What I would like to be able to use is a pencil that has texture to it (say, a nice sketching/graphite kind of look) and that responds to pressure for both opacity and size. I understand that this is not an option with Artrage's current pencil (which doesn't correlate size to pressure), and I've had a similar problem with the crayon and chalk tools, which will respond to pressure for opacity but not size.

    I would also like a kind of simple sketching pen that also responds to pressure for size, but has a bit of tooth to it- something with some bumps and a gently non-uniform edge. Similarly though, the ink brush does size, but it does not have texture.

    I've been thinking of trying to import some PS brushes, since I'm only interested in black/grey linework with these tools anyways. I downloaded some, but was not able to functionally use the Variations chart, despite reading many tutorials etc. I can get it to alter opacity and size (alpha) to pressure, I can click the "use it like a pen" button, etc. but the final product has no real tooth to it, and they don't look anything like the sample pics.

    So, I'm happy to use an Artrage setting, if someone can emulate this for me with one of its native tools. I'm happy to use a PS brush too, but I'm stumped by the Variations chart. But as it is, I don't feel like I have the kind of tool I want to use for my basic sketching and inking processes. I love Artrage's interface though, and would like to bring this part of my process into the program though. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Here I've uploaded two pics.

    The dancing fairies was with an ink tool.
    The face with a rough sketching pencil too.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    NC, USA
    Posts
    2,874
    It's usually better to make due with what a tool offers, then to try to push something into doing what it cannot. That said, here's two sticker sprays of my own, that may work for you. To illustrate the semblance, I've drawn some lines directly over the example images you've provided. Not perfect, but I only used stickers I had already created, rather then trying to create new ones to do the job. If nothing else, perhaps they'll give you idea of what to try.

    Here's the link the download the AR Pack: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/27387217/Sketch%20Tools.arpack

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    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Soap Lake, Washington
    Posts
    487
    Thanks Someonesane, I really like those! So appreciate the sharing you do
    See ArtRage2.5 and 3.0 Studio Pro Tutorials:
    http://www.youtube.com/JudithTramayne
    or
    https://www.artrage.com/artragebasic.html

    Children's Book - The Wonderful World of Wunks
    Written, illustrated, animated and narrated by Judith Tramayne

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    Thanks SOS. I agree that a sticker spray should work best- I don't think the native tools are designed to do what I want, whereas the sticker spray allows one to build brush attributes and import textures. I'll try these out and see how you're using the Variations chart. Then perhaps I can better understand how to use it and apply it to other PS brushes. Thanks so much for the input. Its very much appreciated.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    601
    In an effort to be more specific, and as a branch off from the conversation that we were having in the Sticker Spray thread, I did a bit of research this morning of some of my favorite children's book illustrators that use a bit of varied line weight in their illustrations. These are all mostly linework drawings with a color fill, so it's usually not about shading per se, though it could be used that way too I'm sure.

    The first is a Suzy Lee from "Wave". The second is Mo Willems from "Amanda and Her Alligator". These both look like their done with a heavy loose pencil or some sort of charcoal, perhaps. The third is Quentin Blake from "Miss Armitage". Pen. Here line weight is less vigorous, but it's still there, the tool's just harder. The fourth is Peter de Seve. The fifth I got from a recent book I read. Don't remember the name. This one might be achievable with the watercolor brush set to some of the "Sumi Ink" settings we've been exploring, with a bit of texture added, but I figured I'd add it to the mix.

    I hope these are helpful. The truth is that the conversation has been interesting and has forced me to get very specific. Once again, I'll try and load up the PS set I was having a hard time with. Should I just link to where I got the download? I can't figure out if I can upload it here....?
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    601
    Here's the PS set I was trying to use. Of course, I don't really know if these even do what I want. I was just trying to try them out.

    http://pickoora.deviantart.com/art/P...shes-204456581

  7. Steve,
    These are my custom pencil settings - the coloured pencil seems to be the closest to you what you're looking for. If the line's too faint you can use the duplicate layer & multiply blend mode. Hope this helps.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    Thank you for helping out.

    Did anyone have any luck getting these PS brushes I linked to to work? As before, I had attempted to apply SOS's Spray Variations (as well as some additional putzing around- I didn't just try it once and go)... anyway, I tried SOS's brushes and didn't get reasonable results. I wondered if others were able to. Or perhaps its the brushes themselves? Clearly I'm experiencing a steep learning curve getting this tool to function.....

    I hope the uploaded images are useful as well. I understand how hard it must be to help someone when you don't really know what they're after.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    NC, USA
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    2,874
    I took a look at the .abr download, but after using the brushes in Photoshop (to see how they worked), I can't see how they'd be very useful for drawing something like the example images you've posted. They seem as though they were designed to be more of a stamp, for background filling. None of them are a "point", but rather squiggles created from another tool (probably a real pencil).

    I've been working on some variation methods, and sticker set ups, that may come closer to the examples you've shown. However, getting a single preset to mimic what's shown (in any single image), without needing to change it's settings along the way, doesn't seem to add up to what I'm accustomed with in true mediums. For example, if I wanted a wide area covered with a stick of chalk, I'd turn it on it's side. In the same light, I'd either change the size of the Spray in AR, or I'd use a different preset, made for that purpose. Anyway... Here's a screenshot of some of my tests with a couple of the presets I've made. Each of the three sketches, were drawn with a single preset. I attempted to keep myself from changing the scale of the tool while working, relying solely on my pens pressure settings to change the texture/width of the tools lines. When I happy with the presets, and get them organized, I'll post them.

    (EDIT - I also created AR presets of the PS brushes, in your link, as I felt they worked in PS. I can post them, if you'd like, but as I said, for what you're looking to do with them, they don't seem right for the job).


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    Last edited by Someonesane; 12-08-2011 at 10:18 AM.
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601
    First, these are nice results your getting. I find the one of the man the most interesting personally, but I can see all their functions. I'd be very interested to see your final results. You're very skilled at getting the most of out Artrage.

    Re: the PS brushes that I linked to- I hadn't really thought about the fact that they might be stamps versus points (as you call them- I didn't know there was a name for that). I agree, that "points" are the way to go. Is there a way to tell what type they are if we don't have PS to test them out? Is there a way to see the brush "head" in Artrage once we import them? I'm just trying to figure out how I can do more of this on my own, without having to bother everyone else. And it seems like this would be the sort of thing that would be helpful for me to know.

    As for needing to use the resizing bar- I suppose it's a matter of opinion and usage, but I get what your saying. Sometimes, yes, you turn it on edge and get a whole different "width". For this effect, I agree that one would need to resize the brush, but then, you're really talking about exiting line work and moving into "shading". I see this the most in, say, the hair of the little girl in the first pic or in the heavy "shading" strokes on her dress, as well as the hair in the pic of the chef holding the mouse or the heavier "shading" strokes done on the upper arms/collar area.

    However, there's also the simple variety of line width you can get while directly in motion if you have a piece of chalk or charcoal or a pencil with a point as well as a flatter "side", where you would be gently turning the pencil and chalk in natural media while drawing a line. I see this in face and legs of the little girl, a bit in the tail and arms and back of the alligator, in the folds of the crashing car, and definitely in the lines of the old grandpa. I would imagine this is the technique being used for some of the line width variety we're seeing in the above illustrations, right?

    Now, the first thought I had was a tilt function would probably give us this. Of course, Artrage doesn't have a tilt function, so I understand that's not achievable, and I don't want to use Painter. In truth though, I don't really think a tilt function is necessary, because, it would seem to me, the easiest (though perhaps not the most directly ergonomically similar) way to emulate the results I posted in the pics up above would be to simply introduce more line width variance to the tool based on pressure. Then, through pressure, you would emulate the final results of having tilted and turned the natural media pencil/chalk/charcoal tool.

    I mean, that makes sense, right? Maybe I'm not understanding the issue, and there are limitations to the Spray Variations than I understand. Which is totally possible. Of course, I don't expect one setting to do everything, but I think the tools could have more variety of expression even when at one size setting- just like the paintbrushes do.

    BTW, thank you very much for engaging with me on this. Your time's appreciated.
    Last edited by Steve B; 12-08-2011 at 11:07 AM.

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