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About gdenby

  • Rank
    Dedicated User
  • Birthday 08/17/1950

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  • Gender
  • Location
    "Michiana," USA
  • Interests
    CG, obviously. Traditional visual 2d and 3d art. History. Music, piano emphasis. Nature conservancy, gardening, cooking.

    Too old for martial arts or treking.

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  1. I use Image Vectorizer, but only rarely for scans of hand drawn work. It has a decent ability to improve contrast, sharpness, do de-speckling and set edge threshold. It also seems quick to me. For $5, it performs very well, and only adds maybe 15 seconds to getting a trace into AD. If I need something w. multiple grey scales, I use (free) Inkscape's trace tool. Inkscape runs poorly on Macs, so I don't use it often enough to be familiar w. the more complex settings. But after thrashing about some, I can usually get very good results. FWIW, I've been using auto tracing to start works based on old decorative motifs for years, mostly w. Corel. To this day, I haven't come across a tool that gives me results that don't require lots and lots of adjustment. Often enough, I spend more time fixing trace problems, than just re-doing w. a pen tool. W. the advent of resonabley priced tablets, for my own works, I no longer start w. scans from paper.
  2. Hi, LisaG, Let me offer a few observations that may help you figure out how to structure the vectors. Here is a poor analogy. Think of the vector shapes as cut out pieces of transparent plastic. Once they are made, they can have a color called a fill added, and the edges can be tinted a different color called a stroke. In your file, you have many flame shapes that have a stroke, but no fill. Those are stacked one on another, and it is impossible to see which shape is on top of another, because there is no fill. If you went thru each of those, and added a fill, you would see the shapes on upper layers hide those below. This would create the overlap you want, assuming the layers were stacked correctly. The add command tells the pieces, which are just areas, to form a perimeter. But there is a rule. The bottom most layer's fill and stroke attributes a given to all the added parts. So what needs to be done is to add together only those elements that will take a layer position that overlaps others. In the file, it makes sense to add the center circle and the pointier flame shapes. Then the more curvy ones can be added, and placed underneath. The outer ring, which is a group of pixels (why pixels), don't happen to intersect the other shapes, so at the moment, they can be wherever in the layer hierarchy. Ideally they would be at the bottom, so if their shape/size was changed, the upper layers would still appear on top. Also, why do some of the vector shapes have masks? As far as I can tell, sometimes when the flame petals are added together, the mask ends up hiding the new outlines. Note, if the outer pixel group was made of vectors, the fx you have applied to the pixels could also be applied to the vectors. Also, the fill color could be changed easier. In my experience, it is often easier to change vector shapes that to change pixels. The vectors only need the nodes to be moved or adjusted, while pixels require painting and erasing.
  3. Hi, JosiahK, Here is a quick, and somewhat sloppy demonstration. Screen shorts attached. Use the donut shape tool, w. snapping turned on, and make a donut at the center of the document. Make another, or just duplicate the 12t on. Resize it, and make it thin. Make a rectangle that spans the larger donut. Move its rotation center to the center of the donut. Duplicate it, and while using the rectangles rotation handle, move it 40 degrees. Use duplicate till you have 9 rectangles. Move to the opposite side of the large donut, and make another set of rectangles, each 1/3 as wide as the ones in the 1st set. Repeat the duplicate process. Do again w. the small circles. Select each set of 9s, and use the layer/geometry/add command. Layer the joined objects as shown in the illustration. Starting w. the bottom 2, do layer/geometry/subtract. Continue till all the parts have been subtracted. Adjust the stroke and fill for the results. I didn't do several other steps (wanted to eat some dinner) but this should help some. HowTo.zip
  4. Hi, Some comments on coloration. Only tangentially on the 3D text effect. In the current image, the text fill is an orange scale monochrome image. The 3D extrusion is also orange. So the extrusion blends visually w. "Colorado." The letter shapes become less distinct. Because the background is mostly blue, the 3D extrusion needs to have colors that stand out against both the orange and blue, and still remain distinct as shading for the extruded letters. Offered below is my hand drawn suggestion for coloring highlite and shadowed areas. Way back when hand drawing was all that could be done, the standard method was to connect edges, and fill w. shadow or lite, and on curves, to shade w. changing line width. I also tried a different color fill for the "Fishin..." text, using a pale green yellow that relates some to the colors of the fish. The orange seemed too contrasty to me.
  5. Sorry, didn't notice the original file was .afphoto.
  6. Looks like the view mode might be set to pixel, not vector.
  7. gdenby

    Cut outlines

    Not so much harder to make polygons. Just use the pen tool in polygon mode to start. Click for 3 nodes. Hit esc, click a new point, and then click back onto the ones already there. Repeat, repeat... You can use the lines you already have drawn. Select 2 or more that will for a perimeter. Copy those, and paste, so the base lines are not used. W. the pasted lines selected, use the node tool, and click on the "join lines" widget. That will create am area perimeter. Btw, you could make a set of parallel lines to use for shading that fills the entire drawing area. Then, add together the polugon laers that need the shading, and nest the shading lines inside. Many areas filled at once.
  8. Working on this topic, I came across something useful. I made a standard old fashioned 1 point perspective grid. There are several ways to make the trapezoid tiles. For this one, I just used the pen tool to fill a column w. alternate colored tiles. The .mov file shows that that column can be selected, shifted along the base line, and then skewed to fit the new location. I didn't expect the skew to work so easily & well. The trapezoids are easier to form in the 1.7 beta, which has better node positioning. What is shown was done in 1.6, and required some fussing to get good shaping. The method works w. multiple columns. In this case, 2 would have been better. 3 and/or 4 columns work too, but there seems to be some distortion. One may fill a perspective grid by drawing only the elements for 2 columns, and repeatedly copying and skewing them. The results are decent, and once made, the whole group can be transformed to make different perspective grids. SkewPerspective.mov
  9. gdenby

    Cut outlines

    Hi, Quadrizeps, First, a question. Are the polygons real polygons? That is, areas defined by nodes in 2D space that are connected. Or, do you just have a collection of line vectors that meet/end in 2D space, but are not joined together. If the areas are defined polygons, it is easier to take the shading lines, and nest them inside the polygon in what is called a parent-child arrangement. The parent shape will contain the line children. No need to cut them, only the portions within the parent will show.
  10. gdenby

    AD Help isn't?

    Erm, being somewhat lubricated... Paralellogram = rectangle + skew.
  11. Seems like you need to change the document color format to RGB.
  12. I have various wind-ding, symbol, and image fonts on hand. Those can be used in place of ordinary letter/number characters, and provide nice borders, etc, by adjusting point size and kerning, etc.
  13. Hi, junovhs, This is a known problem, and one that is not trivial to do away with in the code. From what I gather, the anti-aliasing routine picks up a trace of a background color. The work around is to add a centered edge stroke. In your file, if a stroke of the same aqua color is placed on the black shape, the dashed line goes away. EDIT, and what firstdefence said.
  14. gdenby

    Logo help

    Hello, again, Look at corporate logos. Only a few can be recognized only by an image. Apple, Starbucks, Twitter com to my mind. There are a few others that don't need any words, such as Ferrari, or "The Colonel" for KFC. Some, like IBM or Disney, have letters formed in a way that refers to some product/process the company makes. But most have a striking, simple graphic and the company name. They also enjoy decades of use, and are seen millions of times a day. Perhaps they tend to be really simple just so viewers don't get tired looking. For a personal site, maybe a little excess would be good. Very few have just a gesture. I'm recalling one for a company called "Lucent," now failed, that just used a sort of sumi-e red circle. So, my recommendation would be to put your last name, Duclos, in distinctive characters, and a shape that might be recognized by most as relating to photography. These days, perhaps a lens shape w. a flare.
  15. Hi, johnnT, I think I know what you are talking about, and I think in the long run, it will become tedious. At this point, Designer does not have a command to add nodes automatically between other nodes. It would be nice it it did, because there are many occasions where an arc needs to be broken up to form a better outline. So one must add the nodes, and then reposition and tension them. Better to start w. a polygon w. a large number of points already made, and pull those to where they approximate the desired form. Better yet, just use the pencil tool, assuming you have ordinary drawing skill. One can make a reasonable approximation of a desired outline. Many nodes will be made automatically. Its easier to delete the excess, or add a few as needed, in my experience.