[ We decided to start putting some older gfx related articles from various old but now dead diskmags(if possible, with their authors permission of course). The main reason for this, is that it's a great pity that so many good and interesting articles end up forgotten forever.Older articles show a bit of a scene history.They can show us how graphicians were doing back then, describe old trends, happenings and even drawing techniques as well as the usual scenish gossip from the old days.Furthermore, many topics of old articles are just as actual today as they were back then.I'm sure that many of you will find these articles interesting, entertaining and even nostalgic.If you have some older gfx releated articles please feel free to mail them to us ]

The following article was originally written for IMPHOBIA 8(February 1995), now dead but once one of the most popular PC disk-mags.

[ please note that all reprints are always framed like below ]


by pl-imphobia


In this article I will try to point out all the mosts importants things wich are the real bases of graphics, all the things wich can decide weither your gfx is good or weither it is not, the things you need to care about, the things that all the beginners forgot and wich take a lot of time to really understand how they work...

1. The Colors:

Choosing colors for a picture is not only choosing nices hues, you also need to care about the number of colors and about the 'strength' of the gradients. You also need to choose them carefully to allow an invisible AA and to make transitions between them the most discretly possible (at least when needed). For the AA, the colors generally have to start to darker (in case of a black background) they could brighten quite fast until they reach the main hues and after that, just go rapidly to the brithest colors... For transitions between colors, the best way is to find a color wich looks nearly the same as one other and to make the transition in these two. Or more simple, go to dark, or nearly white colors... To make your palette, don't just make gradients with the options (this could give you really weird palette with unused colors and colors in double), just start with one (gradient) and rework the colors individually to have a perfect gradient with all differents colors and a regular 'progression'.
A palette is finished only when the pic is finished... You can always add the needed colors during your work, just next to your main gradient, don't try to use absolutely your first palette, changes some colors when needed... An other important thing to know is that the colors interacts greatly with eachothers, so a red won't give the same results in a white surrounding, as it would do in a darker one, or in a blue one, or a red... Again, modify your palette when working to have the perfect effects...

2. Anti-Alias:

The anti-alias is the way to 'smooth' the picture, to way to remove the stairs effects due to the low resolution, it allows to make the resolution looking higher than it is and also to make effects wich would be too 'visible' without it. It's really important to master anti-alias, if you can't, your pictures will seems to be drawn in a very low resolution or they will look blury if you make it too large.
In fact the sisze of AA will grow when the 'line' will approach a vertical one, and decrease when approaching the diagonal... The importance of the AA decrease when the resolutions grow, so in very high resolutions, the AA could be worse than in the lower ones. Mmmmmh, I don't see what else I could say...

3. Outlines/Filling:

Outlines are the bases of all the gfxs, the way to draw it is the same as on paper, you begin with a rough, and then you refine it to have a 'workable' shape... To do that you can use the splines and the lines for the rough and then correct it with the draw option and the zoom to reach a perfect outline (Of course the outline don't need to include all the little details). When you get the result you want, the next phase is the shading, for that you will have to begin by marking the darker areas with darker colors, and brightest with brightest ones (logic, no?). There is no need to make accurate shadin, just show the tendances of each parts... After that there's all the (hard and long) work of filling, with all the 'textures', all the details...

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