'Handmade'

Post about projects that involve using Inkscape and GIMP.
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Espermaschine
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'Handmade'

Postby Espermaschine » Sat Nov 07, 2015 6:41 pm

I made something new.
It started with me playing around with this image of a hand hand in Gimp. The original plan was to quantize it into three colours and then trace it in Inkscape for a Obey style piece, but it didnt work very well. Guess the image lighting is not ideal.

I tried all kinds of angles, saulgoode's Quantize script, doing it manually with the Threshold tool, and a bunch of G'MIC filters.
Also tried tracing it manually in Inkscape, but boy i cant do it. You constantly have to zoom out for the bigger picture and then again zoom in to actually draw the path...it drives me crazy.

In the end raised the number of colours used. Set all sliders in the IS trace options to the max.

Then i started building all the other stuff around. The whole piece is very much a ripoff of this cover.

The whole process was quite nerve racking. Working with layers is essential for this kind of stuff, i think, but IS is not yet perfect for this kind of workflow.
I did all the texture and distress in Gimp. Also added the colour green (before it was white).
I have to say, i can hardly do stuff in IS alone. A lot of things are so much easier in Gimp.

Image
Last edited by Espermaschine on Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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brynn
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Re: 'Handmade'

Postby brynn » Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:14 pm

I'm not sure if I understand why this?
You constantly have to zoom out for the bigger picture and then again zoom in to actually draw the path...it drives me crazy.

Do you mean trace by hand?

If it's what I think, I deal with that by using the Next Zoom and Previous Zoom buttons or keys ( ` and 3) (and 1 for 100% zoom)

Coincidentally, I'm in the process of writing a series of tutorials about converting raster images to vector. One of them is about a modified type of that stencil style (the obama poster). And another uses Trace Bitmap to make 2 or 3, to maybe 5 color portrait, to create images for screenprint or other transfer to fabric (t-shirts, e.g.) that 's also somewhat similar.

Here's the one using TB (attached, hopfully it's not too long/big....) Yep, too large. Trying zip.... Rats, didn't work this time. (it really is a long/tall PNG!)

Ok, well you won't be able to find it by browsing Inkscape Community, because I haven't published it yet. But oddly, I think you can see it from this link: http://forum.inkscapecommunity.com/inde ... article=42. And not that I think you need a tutorial -- you already have great skills. But just to show you how I approached it. Edit -- apparently it can't been seen after all, but eventually I'll release it public, when I finish with the series (Basically, it's using Trace Bitmap with Grays option and 3 scans. Certainly nothing exciting, but just one way.)

I think you're right about the lighting. This technique needs a lot of contrast -- bright light yet with deep shadows. Maybe you could bump up the contrast in GIMP, before you trace with Inkscape? OH!! Or you could do the trace with however many colors/objects you want, and then change the objects' colors afterwards. That way you could, for example, make not-very-saturated shades of the same color. Like attached (took 5 to 10 min).

Hhmm, well maybe I didn't get quite enough contrast among the different scans. But that's the idea anyway. (8 scans in that)

(Oh! Or maybe a....sort of skewed specular lighting filter?)
Attachments
bh.png
bh.png (45.96 KiB) Viewed 3683 times
Last edited by brynn on Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: correct some info

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Espermaschine
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Re: 'Handmade'

Postby Espermaschine » Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:57 pm

Well this is a complex matter.
There is an article article on the internet why Shepard Fairey is a ripoff artist. Or even no artist at all.
They argue everything he does is a ripoff of an existing piece of art and they question if S.F. can even draw at all.

While i think all of this is kind of true, its important to note that Obey is streetart. The important thing is not so much how he did it, but to get it in the streets.
So posterizing existing images or re-using existing art is totally okay, imo.

On the other hand, there are tons of Hope poster tutorials on the internet, and the majority of the outcome are butt UGLY !

So Shepard Fairey clearly knows how to do it in a proper way.

I still havent figured out how he does it. So either he has a magic filter im unaware of, or he is doing this,a t least partially, on paper, by hand.

The key problem in making stencilart is the simplification.
As you can see in the hand image you traced, all the different scans have quite irregular edges.
This looks unelegant and its also hard to cut (if you wanted to make a real stencil). There are a lot of stencil artist on youtube who really cut these very complex stencils and at least one (orticanoodles) im aware of, has made this "bug" into a feature.

Shepard Fairey's stuff on the other hand has these simplified "zones".

Now how to achieve that ?
Preparation of the base image is important.
Blurring the image before you posterize it, can help getting rid of detail.

Also the Simplify command in Inkscape can kind of help. I tried it for the hand image, but you cant do it selectively, so the shapes quickly become too distorted.

So another method is tracing the image by hand. If you posterize an image into, lets say three colours, and squint your eyes, you can see where the simplification of zones has to happen, but as soon as you zoom in to draw the path, you are again into your detailed vision.
Im sure some people can trace it that way, i cant (yet).
I even bought a graphictablet, but using that thing was a frustrating experience so far.

Lazur
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Re: 'Handmade'

Postby Lazur » Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:30 pm

Feeling nostalgic?

Seems a similar topic in nature to this and to hatch challenge.


It is possible to use inkscape only for this:

Image

svg source:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ewnypxmynyzww64/h1.svg?dl=0


Bit fancy with the filters, could be tweaked right away for a more decent grunge.
Still I hope you can get the concept.
Or I should add it to the list.

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Espermaschine
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Re: 'Handmade'

Postby Espermaschine » Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:43 pm

Lazur URH wrote:Feeling nostalgic?

You forgot this.

But the image i posted shows exactly the problem.

Image

I mean we even have a Posterize with simplify option in Inkscape 0.91 now. But still....

Lazur
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Re: 'Handmade'

Postby Lazur » Sat Nov 07, 2015 9:53 pm

This one is also related. Manual editing cannot be left out of the process.

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Espermaschine
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Re: 'Handmade'

Postby Espermaschine » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:23 pm

Lazur URH wrote:This one is also related. Manual editing cannot be left out of the process.

I experimented with the technique of node editing to simplify shapes.
I find it utterly tedious and it takes ages.

Its almost easier, printing out an image and trace it by hand with a transparent piece of paper on top, then scanning the result and re-trace it in Inkscape.
Thats why i was hoping a graphictablet would be the solution for me.

hulf2012
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Re: 'Handmade'

Postby hulf2012 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:51 am

Espermaschine wrote:I experimented with the technique of node editing to simplify shapes.
I find it utterly tedious and it takes ages.

...
No more to say

I can't give nothing usefull here but:

90% of all the art creation in the world is trash (or it was 99%?)

Greetings
If you have problems:
1.- Post a sample (or samples) of your file please.
2.- Please check here:
http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/index.html
3.- If you manage to solve your problem, please post here your solution.

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brynn
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Re: 'Handmade'

Postby brynn » Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:42 pm

Shepard Fairey's stuff on the other hand has these simplified "zones".

Now how to achieve that ?


Using Smooth option in Trace Bitmap can help. And also, don't forget the Options tab. Setting Smooth Corners and Optimize Paths to their extreme values can make a big difference.

Attached -- on the left, with Smooth Corners and Optimize Paths (on Options tab) at zero, and Smooth option (on Mode tab) not checked. 4 scans
On the right, Smooth Corners and Optimize Paths at highest values, and Smooth option checked, same 4 scans.

bh2.png
bh2.png (63.76 KiB) Viewed 3584 times


Also, if the image needs it, the Suppress Speckles option can factor in too. Then with Simplify, even more.

But I understand what you mean about the zones. For example on the obama poster, the eyes have a lot of detail, compared to the eyes in my tutorial (Jackie Robinson) which really are awful. But then the cheeks and forehead are very simple and smooth. Perhaps you could make 2 different kind of traces with TB. Then with node editing, take them apart and put back together.

It could really be a lot of work! On the other hand, how much time should an artist spend on their work? There's no rule for that. I'm sure some artists might spend years on 1 work, while others can finish in a day or even hours.

Oh! Here's a thought. Use clipping to show/hide various areas of the image, and use TB with various options on different areas Still some node editing will be needed, but not nearly as much as if you traced the whole image twice.

So for example, draw a shape sort of like goggles to clip the eyes, and do a trace that has enough detail for the eyes. Then release that clip, but keep the clipping path. Combine that clipping path with a rectangle (around the whole image) to create a different clipping path which covers the eyes but leaves the rest of the head exposed. Then do a trace with very simplified options.

Well, just trying to think outside the box :roll:

I mean we even have a Posterize with simplify option in Inkscape 0.91 now. But still....

Oh, I didn't realize we have those new filters! Well I guess Posterize could even be another way to show, in my tutorial. Although....well no....not unless we use Trace Bitmap on the results, because we need paths for the screenprinter. But that could work....

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Espermaschine
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Re: 'Handmade'

Postby Espermaschine » Sun Nov 08, 2015 6:27 pm

brynn wrote:Using Smooth option in Trace Bitmap can help. And also, don't forget the Options tab. Setting Smooth Corners and Optimize Paths to their extreme values can make a big difference.

Tried that (see my post above), still not simplified enough.

But I understand what you mean about the zones. For example on the obama poster, the eyes have a lot of detail, compared to the eyes in my tutorial (Jackie Robinson) which really are awful. But then the cheeks and forehead are very simple and smooth.

Yes, you need to make a composite of different "resolutions" (=simplifications). You can do that in Gimp with layermasks - just paint away the bits you dont want. Much easier than node-editing in IS.

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Espermaschine
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Re: 'Handmade'

Postby Espermaschine » Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:00 pm

Okay, i made some progress in the quest for posterized simplification.
Attachments
neue Hand.png
neue Hand.png (123.5 KiB) Viewed 3547 times
Last edited by Espermaschine on Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

v1nce
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Re: 'Handmade'

Postby v1nce » Wed Nov 11, 2015 5:10 am

Espermaschine wrote:Okay, i made some progress in the quest for posterized simplification.

The trick is to size down the processed bitmap before tracing (380x280px). After that Lazur's suggestion of node editing is managable.
Its still a lot of work though.


Tracing in inkscape tries to preserve the quality of the image. If you feed a large image you'll get a large (detailed) tracing.
If you want to simplify it then it's easier to feed a small image plus it will be way faster.

If you want to simplify a path use ctrl + L

See image
on the left :
tracing a small image : instant ; few touch up required

on the right : tracing a ridiculously large image
slow (> 20s), too detailed (see bottom image)
you can simplify after tracing it using ctrl L (see top image) but it's overkill compared to tracing the small image plus after some iterations the simplified version start to differ from original

final.jpg
final.jpg (78.06 KiB) Viewed 3467 times

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Espermaschine
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Re: 'Handmade'

Postby Espermaschine » Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:29 pm

Thanks v1ince !

EDIT:
the Simplify problem will probably get better with the Simplify LPE forthcoming in the next IS version.
Last edited by Espermaschine on Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Espermaschine
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Re: 'Handmade'

Postby Espermaschine » Sat Nov 14, 2015 12:19 am

So now that i finally found a solution on how to make Obey-esque art, its time to give it a go.


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