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Thread: organizing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    organizing

    I have seen that some artist will use more than one layer,while another will do everything on JUST one layer.I must admit, I find it a bit difficult to get my mind around just how to organize a painting from start to finish,i.e.: on layer #1 I did one pansy,then on L#2 I did another,L#3 another. I played around with duplicate Layer then transform,just to learn what can or can not be done. Each layer has detail and that was done on another L for each Pansy.Then I got into background Layers. All in all this has got me confused,and now i don't know where to goI haven't even begun the add the colour thing and that in its self will really be a brain teaser. I guess what I am seeking here is a tutorial that directs you on how to organize from start to finish.Thanks

  2. #2
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    The nice thing about digital is that you can invent your own method of organising, because you're not stuck working 'from back to front'. Traditionally, people colouring the background/main areas of colour first, then add details over the top, but that's because if you mess up, it's very hard to repaint the grass around your tiny flowers.

    So some people paint 'everything at once', others have very specific steps they follow - there's no one right way.

    This artist describes the layers she has at each point while colouring, which might help you figure out what you want to do: https://www.artrage.com/manga-tutorial-sourcandy/

    Or you might just decide to paint in the entire background, then rework and repaint it until it looks 'done'!.
    Ambient Design Tech Support & Community Manager

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    Go forth and read the tutorials. Also, check out the featured artists!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    There is no "right" answer. When doing a single painting, I make layers as needed and only as needed. And I juggle the sorting in the way it looks best -- as I go. I tweak and seek out my next move because the painting lets you know, or at least suggests ideas. Believe me, you'll know when that last move didn't work. Think of it as a conversation between you and the painting.

    A way to kill your creativity is to try to paint a painting all the way through to the end before you even start. It very rarely follows that course. And if you're going for what looks best, wait till you see what looks best in the moment. That then dictates your next step.

    And as mentioned, you develop a general idea of how to go about something. AND, this is important, you could find yourself wondering what would happen if I did (X Y and Z)? And because it's present in your mind, you simply try it. It works or it doesn't. If it doesn't you back up and try something else.

    The beauty of digital painting is that you're free as your imagination and your logic moves you. And you keep the methods you like and dump the ones that didn't work. But don't get trapped in mechanics if you can help it because it takes you away from what you're doing. Your method will develop through the doing.

    Look at what kids do when they get onto the computer, how come they just fly when old geezers are locked in dread of looking stupid or being wrong? It's because kids don't ruminate. They just get in there and play without fetters. All the finesse comes later from experience, which is the best way.

    Having said that, there are tons of tutorials for getting started here and on YouTube and Deviant Art etc. Those can be very helpful if you want to learn where the basics like menus are and so forth. And when you are using the program, when you hit a snag, then you can look up that one sticking point, and get back to painting and breezing through.

    Just my thoughts on it. I was never one to use the manuals until after I had played a while, and then only to skim for ideas.

    Have fun!
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by D Akey View Post
    There is no "right" answer. When doing a single painting, I make layers as needed and only as needed. And I juggle the sorting in the way it looks best -- as I go. I tweak and seek out my next move because the painting lets you know, or at least suggests ideas. Believe me, you'll know when that last move didn't work. Think of it as a conversation between you and the painting.
    My rules of thumb are:

    - if I go over the edge, am I going to mess something up? If yes, new layer
    - do I want to be able to transform/hide/add effects? New layer
    - have I finished painting it, and should it be part of the section below? (e.g. eyelashes on an eye!) Merge down
    - might I need to redo it later? Leave it separate


    ... basically, I merge and reorganise layers as I go. Add a new layer or two for a new section, then merge down to the essentials once I've finished playing around. If 'repainting' a merged section involves 'redoing several layers of work', then I leave them separate. Too many layers is just confusing, too few risks losing flexibility.

    (You can also name them and create groups, I usually just don't bother!).
    Ambient Design Tech Support & Community Manager

    This is not my signature.

    Go forth and read the tutorials. Also, check out the featured artists!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by HannahRage View Post
    My rules of thumb are:

    - if I go over the edge, am I going to mess something up? If yes, new layer
    - do I want to be able to transform/hide/add effects? New layer
    - have I finished painting it, and should it be part of the section below? (e.g. eyelashes on an eye!) Merge down
    - might I need to redo it later? Leave it separate


    ... basically, I merge and reorganise layers as I go. Add a new layer or two for a new section, then merge down to the essentials once I've finished playing around. If 'repainting' a merged section involves 'redoing several layers of work', then I leave them separate. Too many layers is just confusing, too few risks losing flexibility.

    (You can also name them and create groups, I usually just don't bother!).
    Completely agree and great advice. Never heard it spelled out that way but that's more or less how I work too. Hope that makes sense to DJM. If not, it will after a couple goes.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  6. #6
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    Feb 2016
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    Thank you Hannah/D Akey, great words of wisdom. I did view the Manga tut sour candy and I see how complicated some paintings can become,only if you make them that way. Its your choice and what it comes down to is this,its a learning process and through trail and error and in time your method will develop,come together and become yours.
    What I did have difficulty understanding was making a stencil of a layer. Can you explain the benefits and how this works.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Tip: Use A Stencil To Keep Paint Inside the Lines

    After coloring in the character, make a stencil out of the layer,
    It's just one way of painting within the lines. Other ways are Edit/Select Layer Contents and Layer Locks. See screenshot.

    Name:  lock.jpg
Views: 87
Size:  10.3 KB
    June.

    Oh God of homeless things, look down
    And try to ease the way
    Of all the little weary paws
    That walk the world
    today.
    -
    Unknown.

    http://enug66.deviantart.com/gallery/

  8. #8
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    Nov 2013
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    Yup - if you turn the paint on a specific layer into a stencil, then you can't accidentally paint over it, you can use it as a mask while you fill in the gaps.
    Ambient Design Tech Support & Community Manager

    This is not my signature.

    Go forth and read the tutorials. Also, check out the featured artists!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Ontario/Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by HannahRage View Post
    Yup - if you turn the paint on a specific layer into a stencil, then you can't accidentally paint over it, you can use it as a mask while you fill in the gaps.
    I understand masks, and I do like neat image plus there is always cmd z (i hope) layer lock makes me nervous,is there an undo for this? I also noticed in the tut,sour candy the use of a blending marker,still looking for this tool,maybe not hard enough
    Last edited by DJM; 09-14-2016 at 10:05 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Australia
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    To enable layer lock, click one of the options from the menu - to disable/unlock by clicking it again.

    The Blending Marker can be found in the Felt Pen tool presets.
    June.

    Oh God of homeless things, look down
    And try to ease the way
    Of all the little weary paws
    That walk the world
    today.
    -
    Unknown.

    http://enug66.deviantart.com/gallery/

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