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VectorVonDoom

Tin Toy, Rocket Racer (AD, finished)

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I've not had time to play recently but sort of do now so decided I fancied doing a couple, possibly three, of tin toy illustrations. Something a bit different than I've tried before. I was going to post an in progress version and the completed one. I'm doing them A1 size, roughly 10k pixels wide.

The first is a Rocket Racer tin toy with plastic pilot. I started with this one as there's a lot less to it than the second one and I'm a bit out of practice now. The pilot is done but the rest is just roughly flatted in. So now need do all the tweaks to the shapes, as none of the paint edges are clean in the real thing, and add all the bits of texture, highlights and shading.

Rocket Racer.jpg

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Looks good so far. I have been meaning to try and create something photorealistic but have not decided what or rather what's not too complicated. 

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If anyone want to try photorealism then pick something with a good size reference photo, bigger the better really and draw it large too, like A1 or A0.  Something contrasty is easier than if parts of it merge together and sharp is also easier than blurred. Remember to do any corrections, levels etc, before starting and not realise later that you didn't.

Even a fairly simple subject is quite a big job so think about that when picking something. Instead of a whole something you could choose to do a bit of that something that looks interesting. If you decide that you really, really want to do a face then a lady wearing makeup is far easier than a someone without. Makeup hides pores which is a big thing and makes areas more uniform and is why most realistic faces are ladies. You see many trying to do men or children and most end up looking like plastic because there's no texture or enough variation to the skin.

There are no details too small to add if you want, well within reason. All the little bits that aren't too obvious all add to the realism. Nothing's just a plain gradient, there's always variation. An example is the 6 on the tail fin of the toy, you could do it as basically a stroked oval and a 6 and it would be roughly right but that's not how it really looks. Even though at screen size the little bits aren't obvious it is obvious when they're not there.

I don't do much post processing but adding some film grain with Nik Color Efex Pro is worthwhile. Some add a little bit of chromatic aberration. 

Rocket Racer.jpg

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This is the finished version. I could have done more but it's pretty close, it's hard to tell between this and the reference in most places. The main difference is I didn't do the really strong reflections as I didn't like them. I added a little bit of film grain to the jpg and included a quite large version.  I've also included the AD file so you can see how I organised it and in some places didn't. 

Rocket Racer AD.afdesign

Rocket Racer.jpg

Outline.jpg

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45 minutes ago, retrograde said:

Wow this is nuts VectorVonDoom! Love the final details in all is plastic and tin glory. Great job!

What he said! thumbup1.gif


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40 minutes ago, VectorVonDoom said:

Thanks. I fixed an error, something in the wrong layer, and added a couple more little details. But there's always something you notice later on or can be improved.

Ain't that the truth. Beautiful work.

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I want to play with it lol!


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Absolutely amazing. Specially as done with just vectors...

Is it my monitor or some crappy browser profile in my side, or I am seeing banding in the background, top left area ?

PD: Just zoomed in.... it seems is in the original file, together with dithering, too....


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Yeah, some of the gradients band. Adding a bit of film grain post processing helps but doesn't completely hide it, shows up worse if you've fairly large area of course. I'm not sure if there's a way to completely avoid it. I was going to try overlaying something, not sure what exactly, and see if I could negate it. If I manage to then I'll post how I did it.

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The red on the wing was the worst. I tried more gradient points and fewer and that didn't help. I tried overlaying a few blend modes that would cancel each other out but that didn't work as they didn't

So I changed the angle of the gradient from roughly horizontal to sort of follow the direction of fin shapes and that helped a little bit. Still as much banding but looked better than vertical bands.

So I kept that new gradient direction and copied the red layer above (well duh), doing a squiggly shape over it, as below, then a boolean divide and adding a blur to it (deleting of the "empty half"). Then repeated that at sort of 60 degrees to it. Lastly added a bit of grain again on the exported image.  It still has problems but they're in multiple directions which make it less obvious (at least on my screen) so I think it works OK on this.

If anyone has a better way let us know.

Screenshot 2019-01-23 at 19.26.36.png

Rocket Racer.jpg

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I was referring to gradients in the background (more evident), not in the toy....

 

In raster , in CMYK banding happens very often (in whatever the software). It has quite fewer tones.  In RGB 8 bits, can happen too (unrelated to the fact that many cheapo monitors are not capable to display several gradients of different tones at a time in screen, due to crappy hardware). Typically, (in raster apps) I tend to convert to RGB 16 bits wen that starts being a problem (not often, in my type of projects). Even I do so for later on convert back to 8 bits.(if I can, with dithering on)

It may also happen more in sRGB than Adobe RGB.

I'd convert to CMYK -if needed- only at the end, and with dithering enabled for the conversion. which tends to kill any banding. (but that used to be in PS)

 

 


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Oh I see, thanks. I did look top left but on the toy and couldn't see anything, so that's why!  Anyway the banding on the wing was still bad you could see some even on screen.

I tried exporting to 16bit TIFF but that still showed banding towards the corners. I tried the CMYK TIFF export, still looked the same.

The last ones I tried were setting the document to RGB 16bit and sRGB and then Adobe RGB rather than the default 8 bit and sRGB and exporting to 16bit TIFF (not sure if 8bit doc and a 16bit tiff made any sense). It still shows banding on the sRGB but less pronounced and still does on the Adobe RGB but think a bit less still.

Making the corner shapes less regular might cure the last bit of banding.

 

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In raster, converting to 16 bits might not help, if done after the fact. Is more of a case of doing gradients, or anything requiring very smooth transitions (soft shadows, etc...lol, the times I've seen cuts in those due to trying to do that in CMYK mode), producing them while being in a 16 bits mode, and wide color space,, and then, if needed, convert to a smaller range (like sRGB or CMYK), hopefully with dithering applied in the actual conversion. In vectors, not sure how it works, as also, I don't know how "dynamic" are the AD raster effects.

It's a wild guess, a shot in the dark, tho.

My usage of AD or any other vector tool is much more....traditional, so to speak. Usually flat inks, simple gradients -if any- . Ie, more for logo creations, icons, typical boring corporate image stuff. So, not familiar with certain uses. (partly as I typically do this kind of thing in raster, so, I can only admire going for it with vectors)


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That's what I was thinking, an 8 bit document hasn't 16 bits of data to export. But I'm no expert in image formats and conversions so it might not be that simple. Anyway, 16 bit everything and AdobeRGB is a definite improvement. Creates huge output files of course. I was going to upload the new corner but when I did the banding was back when viewed here, so perhaps it's partly a web/browser problem.

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Well, typically one had to activate color management in the browser to display sth in Adobe RGB or etc, if not it degrades to sRGB.  Firefox was one of the first to add this. But today I believe the color management system comes ready by default in Chrome and Firefox?  I dunno. But if I save your image to disk, it still shows the banding, very clear when zooming in, outside the browser, so, imo, we can discard the browser as a viewing glitch culprit.

Maybe in your shoes, in this order,   I'd hide the background layer, convert the file to Adobe RGB, then change to 16 bits. Then create a new layer, produce a similar 3-tones-3-canvas-corners smooth gradient like the one you had, now under a 16 bits mode and that color profile. I'd check if in that very case, it still happens.

Could the physical  size of the document, in pixels or dpi, affect the quality of the gradients and/or raster effects ? I ask, as I don't know right now... I mean, if would be of benefit, despite being in vectors, to use a larger canvas. (that good be a buggy status of the thing, but seen that happening in other apps. Certainly not in Photoshop)

 


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23 minutes ago, VectorVonDoom said:

n I did the banding was back on here, so perhaps it's partly a web/browser problem.

Did you try to convert a flattened raster file (ie, export to Affinity Photo) , convert it to sRGB (assuming you are already working in Adobe RGB, not cmyk), and then see if it looses there some quality (your software will do that conversion much better than the browser) once seen here, in this thread.

What could be going wrong (and yet not be the culprit of the banding, or yep) is that IMO the best way to go is exporting a raster to Photo, and converting to sRGB, as most browsers and devices do deal well with sRGB. Anyway, if Chrome/firefox can manage a adobe rgb file from default, we could be loosing some vivid colors when converting to sRGB.


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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Even more... I have seen JPG artifacts, then I realized is a JPG. Have you tried to see what happens to PNG. I believe is unrelated, but some JPG exporters can do weird things like a banding.  It's key to know if you observe the banding in your original scene.


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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I loaded the 16 bit Adobe RGB TIFF in to PS, Edit>Convert Profile>sRGB, left it as 16bit. Shrunk it to 50% for here, exported to jpg quality 10. But it looked rubbish on mine, obvious banding.

Then changed the colour depth to 8bit, Image>Mode>8 Bits, and exported the same, looks ok on mine.

Tried PNG and that looked ok too.

Uploaded that 8bit sRGB JPG which looked fine and it looks rubbish here as you can see.  As long as it doesn't print rubbish I don't care too much, just tough luck when viewing it.

Rocket Racer 8bit top left.jpg

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