Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Blast from the Past" #3 repost -- "Cyberinking Experiments"

In the early 90's, I became intrigued by the possibilities of bypassing the traditional inking step of creating comic book pages. I had been playing around with my new Macintosh computer and some of Adobe's wonderful software packages -- Illustrator, Photoshop, and Streamline.



I realized that a pencil drawing could be scanned in Photoshop, auto-traced in Streamline -- which would create an editable vector graphic file which could then be opened, tweaked, and printed in Illustrator (a process I dubbed "cyberinking"). The result -- due to the way Streamline did its autotracing thing and the infinitely scalable nature of vector graphics -- was pure black and white, sharp-edged linework.



While I had some success with the process, I quickly realized that it had some serious drawbacks. The main one was that to be workable, the pencil drawings had to be very tight and very clean -- essentially inking in pencil (VERY time-consuming). Also, the final result had a kind of sterile quality to it, without the nice organic feel of real ink lines done in pen or brush.



The three pencil drawings shown here were done specifically to test out this new process. They are unusual in the sense that -- at least when I am drawing something that I plan to ink myself -- I don't pencil this tightly. But it was necessary for the "cyberinking" process.

Since those initial attempts wiith Adobe Streamline, I have found another program online -- Silhouette -- that gives even better results.

(I guess I should probably try to find find the finished "cyberinked" versions of these three pieces -- if I still have them -- and post them too. -- PL)

UPDATE 09-05-08: I couldn't find the completed cyberinked versions of these pieces that I did years ago, so I took a few minutes to work one up today, using Silhouette to autotrace the art and convert it to vector art, Illustrator to open it, add the border, then save it in EPS format, and Photoshop to open the EPS and save it again as a JPEG. And here it is. -- PL

6 comments:

  1. First off these are beautiful works and you really need to get back to where you started Pete and that's as an artist behind the turtles, I'm not telling you what to do just a friendly (fanly) suggestion.
    And yes please do post the finished work.
    -Vaughn M.

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  2. -->> .. look close,Vee too.. particularly to thew cyber- creatures.

    Definite a ' KIRBY - ESQUE ' influence.

    Damm wow.

    >v<

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  3. Wow! Wow!

    Awesome art!

    Are the Raph & Don ( the one fighting the robot) pieces new,or did I just miss them on BFTP?

    It's a shame that you don't draw regularly anymore (I mean for the TMNT comics), I would love to see a fully drawn TMNT comic, with the cyber-inking, in your style today!

    Even if it was one issue, that would be so awesome!!

    Excellent post! Excellent art work that you have posted!

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  4. dinoff said...
    Wow! Wow!

    Awesome art!

    Are the Raph & Don ( the one fighting the robot) pieces new,or did I just miss them on BFTP?

    It's a shame that you don't draw regularly anymore (I mean for the TMNT comics), I would love to see a fully drawn TMNT comic, with the cyber-inking, in your style today!

    Even if it was one issue, that would be so awesome!!

    Excellent post! Excellent art work that you have posted!"

    Thank you for the kind words about my artwork.

    As for the three pieces in this posting, they were all up on the original "Blast from the Past" section of the planetracers.com website. But I'm trying to make them a little bigger on my blog (when you click on the art, you see a larger image). -- PL

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  5. -->> ..middle one that's growing on me.

    Not to beat a dead horse or overuse a term.. but 'beauty' is pretty much summing that one.

    Pretty amazing where the dicodomy between the surface and the creature's body in the water.. >v<

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  6. Do you prefer traditional inking or the digital results?

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