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exurbanite7

Please help an aging frustrated artist

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I'm going to try to be succinct here as I'm seething with frustration and I don't want to unleash. I am a seventy year old (that was hard to spit out) artist and designer who has managed for the last several years to hang on to adobe indesign and photoshop, but being forced to relinquish my paid copy of both because I'm forced to upgrade to mac OS High Sierra. I am now trying my best to use Affinity-designer and Affinity-photo. I think they are great programs and I could not wait to get them. (Mostly antsy to get the beta of Affinity Publisher but will we have it by August 31?) I tried the beta versions of both and now have the software. Of course, I now must face losing access to the hundreds and hundreds of Adobe files I created over the last 15 years because I just can't take on another monthly expense. That's been hard enough to come to terms with. - I simply do not want to draw on a computer. - There is nothing wrong with it and I have certainly seen wonderful things, that wonderful artists and designers have created with the computer. I am a designer who wants to use his own handmade drawings on things and media created with my computer. What has happened is that I've smashed into a wall that I can't get beyond - in that I can't understand how to create in Affinity programs what was so easy to create in the programs which will now remain nameless. I want to know how to create black and white scans of line images that are transparent and can be coloured, but I am drowning in directions and tutorials that are not answering the question. I can get the drawings scanned and  create transparent backgrounds but can't find a way to color them once they are in AP or AD. If anyone can point me in the direction of some very clear instructions it would be greatly appreciated. Sorry to vent.

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Hi @exurbanite7

By colour what exactly do you mean ?

type.jpg.101690ca0d3f9bc80f65219d60adeef6.jpg

All one colour

typered.jpg.eb0323218c543e55e084f6bf8d9d2f07.jpg

Or multi colour ?

typecol.jpg.9d925c0ed21182744f4c64b55aabb35c.jpg

 

If just one colour, then use a Gradient Map adjustment

Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map.

grad.jpg.4e8b599d8bf04a19a1400dc02cc2c094.jpg

If multi-colour

Select a brush and tick Protect Alpha on the Context Toolbar

pa.jpg.b397af54ab93454e4c7b694f1b7bdbd7.jpg

Then you can paint on the black part of the image with any colour (or multiple colours) you set for the brush.

It won't paint on the transparent (alpha) part.

Make sure the document format is colour, not black and white!

Document > Colour Format > RGB.

Edit: If you want to do what I would call "Colouring in" another solution is to use the flood fill tool.fft.jpg.d7d86a86967d883d81864e4f99f62577.jpg

Not as sophisticated as the methods described below by firstdefence and Medical Officer Bones but dead easy.

kid1.png.af8c5d6a31704d35702eec7b03781fed.png kid2.png.8c95c9066bf8af5b18d5a681c7c20c32.png

Note: You need to do this before you turn the image transparent as it wont fill transparent areas

Set the tolerance quite high (so you don't get white edges in the bits you fill) and just click in the spaces. 

You can easily make the outside transparent later by going Filters > Colour > Erase White Paper, if you want.


Windows PCs. Photo and Designer, latest non-beta versions.

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@exurbanite7 An example goes a long way to helping you get what you want.

1266737111_ScreenShot2018-08-21at21_16_41.thumb.png.cc467ffc0ed255b99f89a0956d909986.png

1261674481_ScreenShot2018-08-21at21_16_56.thumb.png.c85b1b9566e9bd2d40a199eaf6ba2d5e.png


iMac 27" Late 2015 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Mid 2011 both running High Sierra 10.13.6 - Affinity Designer/Photo & Publisher - Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Blender, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer, MTC, Pixelmator & Pixelmator Pro + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

Affinity Help - Affinity Desktop Tutorials - FeedbackInstagram & Flickr

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One of the most efficient ways of colouring your line art and scanned drawings requires Krita, but since it is free and open source, you can prepare your work in Krita and then import as a layered PSD into Affinity. (Or finish colouring in Krita). Krita is sort-of specialized for this type of work.

I mention this because Krita has this nice colorize mask tool that makes it a doddle to colour the artwork, and split it up into layers automatically for you. It saves a LOT of time, and is very efficient, and saves you from having to perform many manual steps. Get it at www.krita.org

Nice tutorial:

 

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hi, exurbanite,

I just turned 68, and think I know some of what you are feeling. Can't tell you how many thousands of hours of work I've lost to dead programs, dead platforms, programs that suddenly required learning a whole new language. 

To the problem. Large numbers of  people posting here are trying to migrate out of the subscription model. If you can save your files of as .pdf format, it is likely you can use them in the Affinity apps. So maybe you old files can be continued. 

I'm semi-fortunate. At this point, my hands can do computer graphics as well as going back to pen and paper. Which I avoid, because what I could once do makes what I can now do look childish. That aside...

If you are scanning, some things. Work on nice smooth paper. I recently scanned a 45 year old pencil drawing that was done on whatI recall as a paper called 80 lb Bristol board.  A hot pressed, coated piece of what was called tag paper. It was still nice an smooth, so the scan ended w/o any shadows from paper texture.

Make your sketches as high contrast as possible. No smudgy pencil. No semi-tranperant marker. Pen or brush, and India ink. Removing flaws from those in the digital file is vastly easier than trying to find and remove a bunch of erased pencil lines.

Scan at the highest resolution you can.

Affinity does not have a built in vectorizer tool. There are lots out there, some free, others inexpensive and easy to use. They can often give very good results when working on clean, high contrast images. Depending on the application, smooth grey scale areas will also render well as distinct grey areas.

When these are brought into Affinity (I've always used the .svg format) every area will appear as individual curve layers, as defined by the grey level. B&W, everything will be a blob for black.Grey scale, the areas may float on top of each other from lighter to darker Every detached  dot or stroke will be its own layer. These can be selected one by one, or in masses, and assigned different fill colors, and strokes.

Not easy-peezy, I tend to go off on tangents, unlike when I was younger, and 6 hours a day of focus was the base line. 

 

 


iMac 27" Retina, c. 2015: OS X 10.11.5: 3.3 GHz I c-5: 32 Gb,  AMD Radeon R9 M290 2048 Mb

iPad 12.9" Retina, iOS 10, 512 Gb, Apple pencil

Huion WH1409 tablet

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Affinity software does not do 1-bit lineart, above examples all live in RGB land. Thus you cannot do the old 1-bit scan, color in InDesign procedure.

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Thanks for the video Bones, always learning will be using Krita for this type of work from now on.


iMac 27" Late 2015 Fully Loaded, iMac 27" Mid 2011 both running High Sierra 10.13.6 - Affinity Designer/Photo & Publisher - Illustrator CC, Inkscape, Blender, Sketchup, Pepakura Designer, MTC, Pixelmator & Pixelmator Pro + more... XP-Pen Artist-22E, - iPad Pro 12.9 B|  

Affinity Help - Affinity Desktop Tutorials - FeedbackInstagram & Flickr

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