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Renzatic

Getting Used To This Vector Thing

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Okay, these are some of my first vectors, so please, be gentle with the criticisms. :P

 

Besides making random shapes in Inkscape a couple years back, I've never dedicated much time to learning a vector program. It was always something I had a vague interest in, since I do have previous experience with Photoshop, and some 3D work, which makes for a solid foundation for it, but I've never taken that extra step.

 

Well, after buying Affinity Photo in December and liking it quite a bit, I figured I'd go ahead and try out the Designer trial. 10 days, some tutorials, and a bit of goofing around later, I bought it too. 

 

So anyway, here's what I've done. Since I'm still shaky on my feet, I figured I'd try aping something simple before going whole hog. Thought Zelda 3 looked kinda cool back in the day. it's style isn't too complex, and it might vector well, so I gave it a try.

 

This is about 4 days worth of work right here.

 

First, I did the tree. I threw the original sprite in there for comparison.

 

Next up, I did the pot free hand in a similar style.

 

Then, I tried out the little witch's hut. I've actually managed to bring Designer to a crawl on this one. Gaussian blurs on top of gaussian blurs on top of drop and inner shadows on top of a bunch of other stuff...yeah, I'm probably not being too efficient here. It's still a WIP, but it's far enough along to show it off.

 

Plus I went to town detailing that little cow skull, which is probably one of the reasons why the program is being bogged down.

 

So there you have it. My first tutorial free foray into the world of vector art.

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Looks very nice indeed. I even like how you made the tiles look 3D. Good job. By the way, that happens to be my favorite Zelda game.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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You already got the hang of the app. Great work on the shading/highlights and details. Keep them coming...

 

I'm slowly getting there, but I've still got a ways to go before I can say that for a fact. I've still yet to learn how to copy objects along a path, or do that...er, thing where you use an artboard (I think) to design patterns that can be applied specifically to certain areas on your vector.

 

That latter bit has me particularly interested, because I want to be able to bang out a textured surface look for some of my walls and whatnot. Going with a straight up flat color sometimes looks a little too bland for what I'm going for, even with the shading applied.

 

Looks very nice indeed. I even like how you made the tiles look 3D. Good job. By the way, that happens to be my favorite Zelda game.

 

Thanks. :D

 

It's the first of my favorites, but really, just about every Zelda game from 3 onwards to at least Windwaker was fun.

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Nice work bringing the old pixel pics 2 a fuller illustration. My kid's started CG in part by copying their favorite game characters and game backdrops.

 

I've messed w. Inkscape on and off for years. Not the easiest app to use under the X-windows system on the Mac. 

 

AD is quite remarkable to me in the way one can do vector work, and blend it with pixel painting, and adjustment layers. 

 

I'm not quite certain what you are referring to with applying patterns to vectors, but one cool thing is using the fill tool, and selecting bit map as the fill. If you have a tileable image, you can fill the vector with it, and set its size and scale to get the repeats you might like.


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I've still to learn how to copy objects along a path, or do that...

 

What do you mean by this?


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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I've still to learn how to copy objects along a path, or do that...

 

What do you mean by this?

 

If it means what I think it means, we can currently only place text on a path, not arbitrary objects.


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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.3.481 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.3.155 • Designer for iPad 1.7.3.1 • iPadOS 13.2.2 (iPad Air 2)

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If it means what I think it means, we can currently only place text on a path, not arbitrary objects.

 

Oh wow. Placing objects on a path would be outstanding. It would be like animating. I think the closest thing relevant to that would be symbols.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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I'm not quite certain what you are referring to with applying patterns to vectors, but one cool thing is using the fill tool, and selecting bit map as the fill. If you have a tileable image, you can fill the vector with it, and set its size and scale to get the repeats you might like.

 

I can't seem to find that tutorial again (I really should consider bookmarking more often), but I did happen across this, which is basically the same thing. I could vector up a, say, plaster wall style texture in one document, apply it to a specific spot in another, and then make changes to the source at will without having to drill down through layers and groups to get to it.

 

It gives me more space to work on something overly specific, while keeping the clutter down in the main document.

 

 

What do you mean by this?

 

Think of a simple sun type object, just a simple circle with a number of triangles surrounding it. Instead of having to copy, rotate, and paste each triangle individually, I could design one triangle, then tell the program to make a certain number of instances of it spaced evenly along a path I set.

 

Thing is, after doing some searching, I'm not entirely sure Designer is capable of doing this yet. It seems instead I have to use XY mirroring and bang out a corner of a quadrant to pull this off.

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I was going to send you a private message so we don't fall too much off topic, but I guess it's fine to offer help here.

 

Think of a simple sun type object, just a simple circle with a number of triangles surrounding it. Instead of having to copy, rotate, and paste each triangle individually, I could design one triangle, then tell the program to make a certain number of instances of it spaced evenly along a path I set.

 

You are looking for the "Power Duplicate" option. As long as you you Alt + Drag one object, then by pressing Cmd or Ctrl J, you can have duplicates in the same instance. It applies to space, rotation, and scale. But once you deselect, the Power Duplicate will no longer take effect.

 

That latter bit has me particularly interested, because I want to be able to bang out a textured surface look for some of my walls and whatnot. Going with a straight up flat color sometimes looks a little too bland for what I'm going for, even with the shading applied.

 

Well looking at your art, I see you're familiar with the blurs, shadows, noise, and clipping, so it looks like you're doing everything to keep the art from looking bland. But since you mentioned texture, you can use the Fill tool to have a bitmap fill to tile a bitmap image.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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Hey everyone! I wanted to keep this thread perpetually up to date while I work with the program, learning my way through it.

 

...but then the flu came, and put a damper in all my plans. It's hard to keep your mind on things when all you want to do is sleep and expel various gruds from your body at all hours of the day and night. Don't worry, though. I'm not here to painstakingly detail the various gory tales of my last two weeks. I will spare you that. : P

 

But now that I'm feeling considerably better, I decided to pick up AD again, and continue work on my little Zelda experiment/learning experience. This time I decided to work on a Link sprite. I'm rather surprised at how well it turned out, since I consider characters and figures my weakest skill. I can think of ways it can be improved, but for a first attempt, I don't think it's too half bad.

 

I made him a mix of the original Nintendo Zelda Link sprite, Zelda 3, and some Windwaker thrown in for good measure for the face. The end result is below, along with an interface shot, since everyone loves those.

 

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He looks great. Interesting textural style too, it looks like felt.

 

Do you find you need to have the history panel open? It's taking up a ton of screen real-estate.

 

I don't think I've ever used it or the navigator panel come to think of it... 

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The navigator panel I just happened to have open for some reason or another when I took that shot. 99.9% of the time, I have that portion of the interface parked on the transform tab.

 

But the history panel? That's a hold over from my PS days. I'm always used to having it there, floating along the right side of the screen. Though considering that the Affinity apps are set to perform perpetual undos, rather than the PS method where hitting CTRL-Z performs an undo, and hitting it again undoes the undo you just did (which makes me SO MAD), I really don't rely on it nearly so much as I used to. It's nice to have up on occasion, but mostly it's force of habit that has me keeping it there.

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Interesting style. Keep it up.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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I have a bit of a critique since you mentioned it. I like the noise style, but I don't think it flows for the characters like Link. I think you should just keep it for the terrain and objects, or maybe use less on Link to indicate he is a live figure. Looking good otherwise.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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I've been fighting with that since I started designing him, because he does look better without noise, but he clashes too much with everything else. I know what you mean by having him stand out from the backgrounds, but at the same time, I still want him to look like he's a part of the world.

 

But really, he already does stand out more even with the noise anyway, since he's the only thing I've made so far without any highlights. He looks flatter compared to everything else even as my current default. I'll goof around with it, see if I can find a happy compromise.

 

Though I could just go all out, and use the celshaded look I originally designed him with. It was easily my favorite, but looks totally out of place with the whole 3D construction paper look I'm going for (which I really like).

 

edit: just tried him out with no noise. It doesn't look terrible, but he still looks like he's done in a slightly different style from the rest. I'll see what you all think.

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I totally agree with you regarding the PS workflow and the undo thing. I don't know how many years I went not knowing about the Command>option>z to keep undoing. I guess that would be control>alt>z on a pc.

 

I like Link without the noise personally and I think it makes him stand out a bit against the other elements, which is not a bad idea for a game character. ;-)

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I do understand that not applying noise to Link does make him look out of theme, yet applying it can also make him look still, so I see balancing it out can be tough. Well I can give two suggestions. 1. Maybe use pixel brushes on Link to give him a more textural look. 2. Tone the noise down on objects which reveal too much.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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I totally agree with you regarding the PS workflow and the undo thing. I don't know how many years I went not knowing about the Command>option>z to keep undoing. I guess that would be control>alt>z on a pc.

 

I like Link without the noise personally and I think it makes him stand out a bit against the other elements, which is not a bad idea for a game character. ;-)

 

...well, I just learned something new today.

 

Like you, I've used PS for years. I probably know about a couple dozen shortcut keystrokes off the top of my head. So how the hell have I manage to consistently miss the one thing that would've solved my biggest irk issue with the program after all this time?

 

Geez. The fact I'm only learning about it now, after I've dropped the program, and taken off for greener pastures? That's just funny.  : P

 

I do understand that not applying noise to Link does make him look out of theme, yet applying it can also make him look still, so I see balancing it out can be tough. Well I can give two suggestions. 1. Maybe use pixel brushes on Link to give him a more textural look. 2. Tone the noise down on objects which reveal too much.

 

I've been meaning to try out the pixel brushes. This is as good an excuse as any to finally take the plunge.

 

Something like this might look pretty good with the style I'm going for. Provided, of course, that I can pull that off half as well as he did.

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I've been meaning to try out the pixel brushes. This is as good an excuse as any to finally take the plunge.

 

Something like this might look pretty good with the style I'm going for. Provided, of course, that I can pull that off half as well as he did.

 

Oh wow. I am familiar with Frankentoon, but that is a post I missed. I admit, I don't really use pixel brushes either, but I will eventually. I'm too use to the lazy shading method, gradients. The fact that pixel layers can be clipped to vectors is really an incredible feature. I might go back to my previous drawn artwork, and spice it up more.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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Yep. At risk of overstating this, the combination of the two in one app is all you could ask for.

 

I've never been comfortable with a straight up painting only workflow or I'd be over in the Krita, Artrage, Painter etc... camp. I need the control that hard edges bring and also that I can go back to and adjust, scale, rotate etc...  having the ability to encorporate both a hard and a painterly approach gives me the control I desire with the artsy-ness that a full vector only workflow often lacks. 

 

If Artrage had some sort of vector paths option I'd give it more attention but their stencil approach doesn't work for me.

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I have played around with quite a lot of painting programs in the past. Krita is probably the best free one out there. Frankly, I agree with what you're saying. Vector really makes a powerful addition to digital painting. Two years ago, I was told that Krita would add more love to vectors the next year, and then I was disappointed to see that the vectors were mostly on text; not for drawing. But hey, I say it all the time, I love Designer. And I am pumped for those brush stabilizers and pencil line continuation. I will probably migrate from the Pen Tool for my line work. I will still use it, but I will be able to balance the two tools out then.


The website is still a work in progress. The "Comics" and "Shop" sections are not yet ready. Feel free to connect with me and let me know what you like or what can be improved. You can contact me here, on my contact page, YouTube channel, or Twitter account. Thanks and have a great day!

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