Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Outline Triage

I did a little experiment this evening. I took a simple cartoon, gave it a texture-color application that was a different than my normal thang and realized that I had a choice to make with the paper cut-out results. The choice was: whether to/how to outline the thing. I'm not feeling very verbose and don't feel much like explaining the thought process (or absence of) behind things so I decided to just post the three versions side by side so that I could review things later and make THE CALL.

At any rate, here they are. From left-to-right: no outline, simple outline, and original sketch outline. If it's not obvious, the original sketch outline is a lot rougher than I would normally keep but I wasn't in the mood to clean the thing up for a simple experiment.

And as usual, I'm undecided on which of these works best for me. The no-line approach is rather fun BUT I think that a lot of the "character" in my cartoons comes from my scrawly pencil lines and I'm not sure that I am comfortable with losing those.

I think the next variation of this mess is to try and take this same cartoon and really give it a "painterly" work-over. Something like I started with the zombie graveyard scene a couple of months ago. We'll see.

Okay. So I came back to this one the next day and did another version without outlines but I tried to color in a slightly more "painterly" manner (see above). Not too bad but I still miss the sketchy outlines. However, on a brighter note, I think that I am finally getting the hang of blending colors properly in Photoshop without the annoying banding. I guess the secret is using a diffuse-edge brush with a lighter touch rather than hanging with that hard-edged brush that I had been using. More practice needed.

Oh, one last note about all of this concerns my danged Cintiq tablet. For a gadget that cost so frigging much, it sure would be swell if the colors on it were accurate. I am still finding myself horribly surprised by the difference in the colors that I *thought* that I was working with when the composition ends up on another monitor and so far I haven't found a way to calibrate or color match the settings that's really helped.

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