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Drawing on Sai: Scan+Stencil vs. Directly Drawing

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WShin
Post #545803
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8:46 pm, Apr 15 2012
Posts: 41


I want to make an otome game on Ren'py, and I don't know how to draw sprites.

Which method is better (or pros and cons, if you prefer)? Scanning the image drawn on paper and then stenciling it in Sai with a tablet or just drawing it directly in Sai with a tablet?

I'm an absolute beginner in Sai, Ren'py, drawing on computers/creating art on computers, but I hope I'll pull through. smile There's just very few free English otome games, so I wanted to contribute something. I have the story (the writing's probably the easiest for me), but programming, drawing...eh.

Thanks for all your help! biggrin

Scyfon
Post #545815
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9:42 pm, Apr 15 2012
Posts: 3380


Digital > traditional, especially when you're trying to make digital content.
No matter how good you are on paper, the scanning+tracing process is always a long and unnecessary step.

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NightAir
Post #545839
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11:43 pm, Apr 15 2012
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I'm unsure what you mean by stenciling, but usually when you scan things, you scan noise as well, and that'd mean that any images/backgrounds you'd put behind the sprite would either have these white and black flecks, or you would see them. If I'm not mistake, sprites usually are very similar in appearance, which means only small things will actually change for most of them, for example the movement of the body or a difference in facial expressions.

If you mean by stencilling that you're basically tracing the picture, then I wouldn't see much of a difference, asides from the fact that one's using a sort of "guideline" and the other is doing it completely digitally.

If you draw in SAI directly, you'll get cleaner lines, and therefore no noise. You can also reuse the lines for other sprites. If you draw with vectors, you can keep the quality of your lines no matter if you resize the images bigger or smaller to work on it. With scanning in, you're limited to only resizing smaller or keeping as is, or the quality suffers.

WShin
Post #545847
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12:36 am, Apr 16 2012
Posts: 41


Thanks NightAir and Scyfon - I just bought a tablet to try out - Drawing on it is really hard - It detects every small movement I make my pen, even when I'm pulling it away after a pen stroke.

NightAir
Post #545852 - Reply to (#545847) by WShin
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12:47 am, Apr 16 2012
Posts: 21


A trick to mastering the tablet can be this:

So the area of your tablet, right? Let's call it 'box', the area that wherever you put the pen, the mouse onscreen moves to. That box is essentially a representation of your screen. So if you move your pen to the top left corner of the tablet, the mouse on the screen is going to be going to the top left corner. Move your pen to the center of the tablet, it'll appear on the center of the screen.

It's supposed to detect every small movement of your pen, because it's supposed to also double as a mouse, but it's not going to make a mark/stroke on the canvas unless you press the nib onto the tablet. Go slower. At first, it's going to be weird, but if you try to take your time about it, and practice with it everyday, you'll eventually get the hang of adapting to it.

It's not so much hard as you're not used to it yet. Once you get the hang of it, it's going to be no sweat, though something you might want to do is make drawing a little easier for you: the default settings of SAI make it ridiculously too easy, and that's no good. Above your canvas should be this little bar of things. Go to the Stabilizer drop-down menu and select 6 or 8, depending. It'll make it a little easier to draw, I think.

Don't worry about it being hard, as I was like that once. I got frustrated, decided that traditional was better, but I did go back to it and now I'm quite decent with my tablet. I would recommend not doing the sprites right away until you've grown comfortable with a tablet enough to try--and even then, do a rough draft over which you do another layer to form your "final/good copy" lineart.

WShin
Post #545862
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2:20 am, Apr 16 2012
Posts: 41


Thanks, Nightair!

I was just wondering about Sai's settings - Is there someway to have very clear lines at 300% zoom? In this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-6TZLQWsRU&feature =relmfu, I think the settings are at 300% zoom, yet the lines are very clear. When I set my zoom to 300, my lines are very pixelated...I don't know why.

I'll do my best to go slower (When I draw traditional, my style is very sketchy - I want to move away from that and use more solid/clear outlines for my characters).

Since it's been a long time since I've drawn (~3 years, give or take), would you recommend that I focus on improving my drawing on paper first (traditional) or work on getting used to the tablet, or do both at the same time? Does it make a difference? It seems like you worked on traditional, then moved to the tablet, afterwards, so I'm wondering if you have any opinions on this.

I feel so behind the art/drawing curve. I see 15/16 year olds drawing much, much, much better than I could hope to be...and I'm in college. :S I want to draw at a level that my art doesn't take away from my visual sim (or that people can't play it because the art is too unappealing/noob-ish).

And does it matter what size canvas you use to draw your visuals on? I want to put these images in Ren'py - Can I shrink them if they're too big (e.g. zoom out to 50%) or is there a way to shrink the pic?

Lastly, may I ask how you became familiar with Sai and it's functions, tools, etc.?

Last edited by WShin at 2:30 am, Apr 16

Scyfon
Post #545890 - Reply to (#545862) by WShin
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5:06 am, Apr 16 2012
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Quote from WShin
Thanks, Nightair!

I was just wondering about Sai's settings - Is there someway to have very clear lines at 300% zoom? In this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-6TZLQWsRU&feature =relmfu, I think the settings are at 300% zoom, yet the lines are very clear. When I set my zoom to 300, my lines are very pixelated...I don't know why.


It is because...

Quote
And does it matter what size canvas you use to draw your visuals on? I want to put these images in Ren'py - Can I shrink them if they're too big (e.g. zoom out to 50%) or is there a way to shrink the pic?

canvas size matters.
The larger the canvas, the smoother the lines (provided you're using a brush that's not too small)
Yes, you can certainly export them in different dimensions. Not sure exactly how you do it in SAI, but in Photoshop, it's "Save for Web".
However, if you are making sprites for a game, I suggest you work at the same dimensions it's supposed to be in the game so you don't take the gamble of losing details when shrinking it.

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Sorcha
Post #545894 - Reply to (#545890) by Scyfon
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5:34 am, Apr 16 2012
Posts: 338


Quote from Scyfon
............
canvas size matters.
The larger the canvas, the smoother the lines (prov ...


Beside the canvas size, don't forget to change the resolotion to 300 dpi. To get smooth line art, you could use the linework layer (vector line). Linework layer is located beside new layer, or go to layer-new linework layer.

As for resizing your pic, when you save you picture in jpeg format, there'll be option to save you picture as original or compressed(smaller file size), and to resize your pic, ranging from 6.25% until 1600%. The other way is by save it normally to jpeg/other format, then resize the file using microsoft office picture manager/ other program.

As for scan+stencil (tracing)/ draw directly, both are fine for me, but I choose to draw in paper, then trace the line using pen tool/ ink pen since it easier that way.

Question: what tablet do you use? I have a bamboo(wacom), and usually, it only create a line when the nib is touching the screen.

Sorry for the long post.

Scyfon
Post #545895 - Reply to (#545894) by Sorcha
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Mome Basher
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5:52 am, Apr 16 2012
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Quote from Sorcha
Beside the canvas size, don't forget to change the resolotion to 300 dpi.

Actually, it doesn't have to be in 300 dpi - even 200 is fine (also saves you some space), but yes, the DPI plays a part in it too.

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WShin
Post #545900 - Reply to (#545894) by Sorcha
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6:17 am, Apr 16 2012
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Hey Sorcha, thanks for the tips! Don't worry about your post being long, I love to read, and really appreciate the time you spent to help clarify things for me smile

Yep, I've changed the resolution to 300 dpi, approximately. The only sad thing is that I drew my pic at 300%, so when it's at 100%...it's really really small. If I resize it, will I lose the clarity/will the lines be negatively affected in someway?

I'm currently playing around with a Bamboo Create. I've tried doodling a little more, and I'm starting to get the hang of things. I was probably taking the stylus away from the surface too quickly, and it probably react to that. I've learned that I need to draw slowly on a tablet.

I'm still stuck on drawing hair...(the most difficult thing for me to draw well - it's hard not to give the character an afro or gigantic spikes....may not be too appealing in an otome game).

About the eraser - Even at a size 40, it still only (completely) erases size 5 lines. The surrounding area is lighter, but is there a way to make it so that it erases the area that the circle covers completely?


Scyfon
Post #545913 - Reply to (#545900) by WShin
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8:13 am, Apr 16 2012
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Quote from WShin
About the eraser - Even at a size 40, it still only (completely) erases size 5 lines. The surrounding area is lighter, but is there a way to make it so that it erases the area that the circle covers completely?

Turn off the pen pressure setting on that brush.

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Sorcha
Post #545923
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10:35 am, Apr 16 2012
Posts: 338


Quote from Scyfon
Turn off the pen pressure setting on that brush

Like Scyfon said, you could turn off the pen pressure setting, but if you don't want turn it off, you could
1. change the minimum size to 100% or simply uncheck size pressure option at advanced setting sec.
2. since you mention that
Quote
Even at a size 40, it still only (completely) erases size 5 lines. The surrounding area is lighter,

I take it that the surrounding area is erased, but with less pressure, right? If that the case, simply change the edge shape (the one above size) to the square shaped one (right). Square shape means that the whole area will be erased with the same pressure.


WShin
Post #546024 - Reply to (#545923) by Sorcha
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11:40 pm, Apr 16 2012
Posts: 41


About using a tablet: Should I put in shortcut keys or is it not important?

After testing the create, I played around with the Intuos5 (so many keys on the side...) - It seems to be a hassle to set them up and use them and get acquainted with them. For anyone who uses a wacom tablet (or tablet in general), do you use shortcut keys much?

The touch gestures don't seem to be working correctly on sai. I tried zoom in by pinch with two fingers, and nothing happened (although the zoom icon popped, up, the cursor had the move icon?).

Should I just use default settings for both the pen and the tablet? I have no clue what some of the options mean/whether they're important or not.

About drawing hair - do you alternate between different pixel-sized brushes for hair, or just stay with the same size on sai? What do you recommend for a pen size? Also, what's the difference between ink pen and a pen? Is the ink pen just thicker lines than the pen at the same size, or is one more pressure-sensitive than the other?

I don't know much about these tools. Even traditionally, I've only ever drawn with a HB pencil or a pen.

Thanks for your help! smile

Scyfon
Post #546025 - Reply to (#546024) by WShin
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Mome Basher
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11:46 pm, Apr 16 2012
Posts: 3380


Quote from WShin
About using a tablet: Should I put in shortcut keys or is it not important?

Totally a personal preference.
Quote
After testing the create, I played around with the Intuos5 (so many keys on the side...) - It seems to be a hassle to set them up and use them and get acquainted with them. For anyone who uses a wacom tablet (or tablet in general), do you use shortcut keys much?

I use about 3-4 of my Intuos4's
Quote
Should I just use default settings for both the pen and the tablet? I have no clue what some of the options mean/whether they're important or not.

In my experience, the default settings on the wacom drivers have always been okay. You can't really go wrong with them. Personal preferences still apply though.


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sweetnsour321
Post #566596
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Slumbering Remnant
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5:20 am, Aug 19 2012
Posts: 657


This is late but...
It's all based on personal preference.
You could ink your art, scan it,
then clean it. That's what I usually
do.
But most importantly it all depends
on the type of art style and story
you're trying to convey. Digital and
traditional art give off very different
moods and feelings.


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I hear you say "Why?" Always "Why?" You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?"
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