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How do other artists line so neatly?

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
Also you might consider lining in a vector based program. you can move the paths around and adjust the width at your leisure. Also when doing shapes like chains you can simply convert your line into a compound path, then set an outline on that shape. Saves about an hour of work!
The only vector based program I've seen that has any decent notion of pressure sensitivity is Flash, and that isn't really very useful on the "moving paths around" front. Admittedly, I'm also a bit of a grouchy old-timer in some regards, so it's possible I missed some neat developments over the last 5-10 years. Is there software out there now that will do decent vector-based organic lines?

Best approximation (with the absolute best line smoothing I've seen) I've encountered is probably Autodesk's InkBook, but I don't believe they've put out a PC version. Unfortunately.
 

SarcasticSpook

Local ghost
I personally have the stabilizer on SAI set to as low as it'll go. My hands have a very bad habit of shaking and thankfully my lineart has improved a lot more once I discovered that handy little feature
 

Magnavox

Flying the tiny skys
I'm used to doing work with adobe illustrator, and it defiantly takes some getting used to. You don't really need the pressure sensitivity, and it automatically stabilizes your lines. It has a lines width tool, plus preset profiles for the lines. With the tablet you can use the brush tool to do lines, or use the blob paint mode to paint shapes. of course you can also skip the tablet entirely and just use the pen tool to create points and edit curves. The main reason I favor vector graphics is that the art is completely scale able. No struggling with resolution.

The only free program I ever did vector graphics with was inkscape, which is okay.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
I'm used to doing work with adobe illustrator, and it defiantly takes some getting used to. You don't really need the pressure sensitivity, and it automatically stabilizes your lines. It has a lines width tool, plus preset profiles for the lines. With the tablet you can use the brush tool to do lines, or use the blob paint mode to paint shapes. of course you can also skip the tablet entirely and just use the pen tool to create points and edit curves. The main reason I favor vector graphics is that the art is completely scale able. No struggling with resolution.
Vector graphics absolutely have the advantage of scalability, no question about that. Completely uniform line weights just don't tend to look as appealing to people as variation to suggest things like volume and light sources; that's where the pressure sensitivity comes in. Just wondering if more recent vector software does better in that regard than my creaky old CS2. ;)
 

fralea

Well-Known Member
Vector graphics absolutely have the advantage of scalability, no question about that. Completely uniform line weights just don't tend to look as appealing to people as variation to suggest things like volume and light sources; that's where the pressure sensitivity comes in. Just wondering if more recent vector software does better in that regard than my creaky old CS2. ;)

You don't sound very familiar with vector drawing. Photoshop has supported line weight in vector drawing for years (I believe I learned vectors around 2002ish?), though I couldn't say which versions have or don't have it, but its one of the main functions of vector aka stroke. When you stroke the vector (as opposed to using fill) you can edit the stroke to have whatever kind of line weight/variation you want.

Here's a random example video:

and here's another way, I can't remember if you can do this method in PS:

and since people have mentioned sai, here's how that program handles it:
 
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Magnavox

Flying the tiny skys
upload_2017-12-7_14-55-20.png

Here's something I'm lining at the moment (early stages). An Alfons Mucha inspired piece. You can see the points I have changed the width on vs. the constant width points.

Do you taper the widths down at the tangent points or keep them the same width?

Mungo (Jerry?), Send me an example of and 'organic outlined' piece and I'll duplicate it. Not sure what you have in mind.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
You don't sound very familiar with vector drawing. Photoshop has supported line weight in vector drawing for years (I believe I learned vectors around 2002ish?), though I couldn't say which versions have or don't have it, but its one of the main functions of vector aka stroke. When you stroke the vector (as opposed to using fill) you can edit the stroke to have whatever kind of line weight/variation you want.
I actually use/d Illustrator to create backgrounds for MLP Tumblr updates, but no, I've never been introduced to variable line weights in any of Photoshop's or Illustrator's vector tools - to the best of my knowledge applying preset brushes to paths doesn't do the kind of thing I have in mind, and that's the closest I've seen done in the past. Based on the logo he's got on some of his other Photoshop tutorials it looks like the video you posted is based on Photoshop CC, which is way past what my rental-software-hating ass uses.

To be clear, my intent was never to poo-poo vector inking. Good vector work is great for all kinds of things. Rather, I was lamenting how I'd yet to see the kind of flexibility with line weights that I'd like, and asking if that aspect has improved any since the software versions I use. Evidently, it has.

Mungo (Jerry?), Send me an example of and 'organic outlined' piece and I'll duplicate it. Not sure what you have in mind.
I'll have to step outside of my usual "use my own art for examples" principle, as my line weight variations tend to be subtle as hell. While this comic doesn't have Sin City levels of dramatic inking or anything, it's a pretty decent example of good brush inking that I'd not have the first clue how to effectively duplicate with vector inks:
Bamse.jpeg
 

fralea

Well-Known Member
which is way past what my rental-software-hating ass uses.

As mentioned there are other programs like sai, inkscape, etc that have vector capability. As well as that I learned it before PS became a rental program, but I don't recall which version. If it was in 2002 as I'm thinking, that would have been before CS2 was even released. I don't know all the different capabilities of every version of PS so I couldn't say what CS2 can or can't do. But PS was never intended as adobe's vector art program, that would be illustrator. So what you'd want is a really old version of illustrator instead.
 

YiffDaddee

New Member
Try using the flick of your wrist and line faster instead of slow strokes, it'll do you wonders. As much as it's tempting, slow lining leads to more problems than it'll do you good.
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
But PS was never intended as adobe's vector art program, that would be illustrator. So what you'd want is a really old version of illustrator instead.
Oh, I'm well aware that Illustrator is Adobe's vector child; the backgrounds in the Tumblr post I linked are all Illustrator. I can't swear to it that CS2 might not have line weight options somewhere, but if it does they're well hidden, as I've been using it since 2006, I believe, and have yet to see any hint of them.
 

fralea

Well-Known Member
Oh, I'm well aware that Illustrator is Adobe's vector child; the backgrounds in the Tumblr post I linked are all Illustrator. I can't swear to it that CS2 might not have line weight options somewhere, but if it does they're well hidden, as I've been using it since 2006, I believe, and have yet to see any hint of them.
Actually I don't know why the heck I said 2002, it was more like 2009. So I guess it would have been after CS2. Sorry about that brain fart. I'm sure you're right about CS2.
 

Katook

Well-Known Member
paint thick or sloppy lines then go over them with eraser and make them whatever thickness I want afterwards.
Traditional inking I have to be less sloppy and do even thin lines for the whole base pic and then go over with different line weights and make it thicker that way
tattooing I pray for the best(lol jk)
 

midnightsparky

/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿̿ Protect your nutz
Honestly, I find that inking can be a real PITA... if your are a perfectionist as I am...

I've toyed around with both vectors and regular inking. Vectors are handy to correct stroke oddities/errors, but can be tedious to edit. Flip side is scalability...I've done a few pieces in vectors and was happy with the outcome, even though inking regularly was faster for me.

For most regular inking though, I find that getting the right stroke in one go the best. This involves many layers and heaps of undos!

I generally will stroke one line, and when happy, create a new layer to do the next line...repeating for as many lines as I need... So for a head I could end up with 50 layers before merging down. I do it this way so I can erase excess strokes easily... and finally I merge the layers down as I go until I get the desired final layer (eyes, head, hair, etc).

I cannot confirm it yet (will hopefully soon) but your tool of choice might make a matter too (besides obs softwares)... I have an XP-Pen 22... but feel the pressure mechanics are not perfect. Won't know until I can compare (a Cintiq is the hopeful come January 2018)...There are many softwares and tools though, so I cannot make a comparison really
 

RailRide

The Real Wheels of Steel
I use Inkscape here and there for inks, and when I want varialble linewidth, I cheat :D

Instead of putting down single-width lines with transparent fill, I make narrow filled triangles or diamonds intersecting points along penciled curves underneath, then bend/stretch them to fit over the pencils.

This program also has variable width strokes, I think it's the calligraphy tool, but I learned the above method before I learned of it in a YouTube video. Since I'm used to not actually *drawing* anything in Inkscape from the ground up (and being a vector application, it's not really suited to freehand drawing, to the best of my knowledge)

(edit: it appears Inkscape's Bezier tool can automate the method I described at the top.)

---PCJ
 

quoting_mungo

Well-Known Member
I have Illustrator CC and 6.0. I think it was added after 5 or so. Here's the demo.
View attachment 25033
Color me impressed! About how long does something like this take you?

Instead of putting down single-width lines with transparent fill, I make narrow filled triangles or diamonds intersecting points along penciled curves underneath, then bend/stretch them to fit over the pencils.
That's a remarkably clever workaround!
 
A

ArtyLoop

Guest
Instead of putting down single-width lines with transparent fill, I make narrow filled triangles or diamonds intersecting points along penciled curves underneath, then bend/stretch them to fit over the pencils.

That's exactly what I do... pretty much the only way to do it in Corel Draw X5
unknown.png
 
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ariala

New Member
I don't have a tablet, or any fancy art programs - I just use the line/curve tool in Paint.NET. The lines come out very smooth, but sometimes they end up looking a bit stiff. I do find that adding more lines to them to create an ink-like tapering effect helps with the stiffness though. :) Here's an example.
 
A

ArtyLoop

Guest
I started work on my own fursona refsheet today, and I disabled something in Corel Draw, and like OH MY HAT.. its even easier and more natural now.
 

Magnavox

Flying the tiny skys
around two hours- I found my work sped up if I did the lines first, then adjusted the widths afterwards.
 
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