I've got a big list of recently-recoloured pages from 2001
up at my DeviantArt site
. I must have driven my Watchers over there nuts with over a hundred updates in just two and a half weeks.
Like I wrote in my proper blog on February 9
, I've been going through the Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan
archives for 2001 and cleaning up old episodes, looking especially for black and white pages in stories that also had colour pages. At the time, I'd started the project on a bit of a whim, because I was a bit ill and wanted something to do that was easy and free from pressure. The aims were two-fold: to make the archives for The Corby Clan
, Dolphins and Dragons
and Sauna Opera
more consistent, and to become more comfortable with Photoshop.
Being comfortable working with something, of course, is very different from simply knowing how to do the work. It's an important difference: it's what keeps me going back to Paint Shop Pro even though that package's poor stability very nearly cancels out any productivity gains I make by being able to work the lettering tools, the vector drawing tools and the vector object organisation without having to slow down and think. I haven't done a whole lot of lettering as part of this coloring project, but I have been able to do a little bit, so I'm getting closer to that goal of being able to do the lettering and word balloons in Photoshop smoothly and efficiently.
Other things I've learned:
- I've memorised the most-used keyboard shortcuts to the point where I know them at least as well as in PSP;
- I've familiarised myself with how Photoshop handles input from the tablet. In other words, I've got a better 'feel' for drawing lines and shapes digitally. This 'feel' has eluded me for a long time while working with other programs.
- I've learned to use layer effects. They're a bit of a hidden feature inside the layer palette, but once you've found them they're easy enough to use.
- I've learned to use adjustment layers, particularly the Hue/Saturation/Brightness layer. I've colorised and decolorised pages with those. I'm not quite sure how to properly prevent parts of an image from being affected by the adjustment layer - simply cutting parts out of the adjustment layer mask doesn't quite work, and stacking the parts I want to exempt above the adjustment layer can become tedious if those parts themselves have pixels in multiple layers.
-I've learned to deal with PS's straight line tools, which at least in PS 7 are considerably more cumbersome than PSP's vector-based straight lines, but workable if you create new layers for them manually.
Of course, now that I've finished the colorings, I want to upload them to the ROCR site as soon as possible. Unfortunately, I can't do that just yet, because some of the functionality in WillowCMS isn't quite working for those sections of the archive that were imported as a batch, and tinkering with those parts of the archive could become a very tedious and error-prone process. So for now, that listing on DeviantArt
is the place to go if you want to see the revamped images.
By the way, I've been meaning to put up some more images in my photo albums here on my.opera.com. What's stopping me is that I've already got so many places to post images: the DeviantArt site where I post a lot of images I want to show other artists, the main website where I try to entertain the general public (or at least the couple of hundred people who follow the comic), my Livejournal scrapbook
that I use as storage for images that I want to have available but don't want to show right now (a function suggested by the fact that the gallery interface on LJ-scrapbook is pretty poor, unlike that at Opera.com), and the one here. I'd like to use that to showcase some of my best images including some comics. That's going to take some time to sort out though, what with me having spread myself so thin.