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Old 10-30-2010, 12:44 PM   #51
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Welcome to my tutorial on making your own custom brushes. Custom brushes are useful because they make sure you donít need to re-do an effect every panel. You can download really good ones from deviant art for explosions etc but my tutorial will show you how to copy an effect and make a brush of it.
1) First off, choose a picture and download it, Iím using one of Coolhands pictures from OOTDL. Zoom in on the bit you want to copy using the zoom tool.

2) Draw around the bit you want to copy (If there is multiple parts to the brush you want, draw around the first bit) and then hit enter.

3) CTRL+C it and then go to Start>New you will be prompted for Dimensions. Now you want this as small as possible so I go for 60 Width and 50 Height.

4) Set the background layer to screen and then put opacity down to 0.

5) Create a new Layer and call it Brush

6) Paste the part of the picture you copied onto this layer. It may be too big so you may need to re-size it using the scale tool. (If you were making a brush from scratch you would make it on this layer). Now is the moment to repeat steps 2 and 6 is your brush is made of multiple parts.
This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized 800x456 and weights 57KB.
7) Now go to File>Save instead of adding a .JPG suffix add a .GBR suffix. Then save it in a easy to access folder.
This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized 800x141 and weights 24KB.
8) Exit Gimp and open the file location. CTRL+C the brush and then go my computer.
9) Click on Windows (C>Program Files (x86 on mine)>Gimp (2.0 on mine)>Share>gimp>2.0>Brushes and paste in the file. You will be prompted for administrator privileges, click yes.
This image has been resized. Click this bar to view the full image. The original image is sized 800x240 and weights 42KB.

10) Open up Gimp again.

11) Go to the brush tool.

12) Go to brushes down below the layers options. Your brush is now available to use.
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:38 PM   #52
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New tutorial!

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Old 08-25-2011, 08:02 PM   #53
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Keith Prime's Shocking Lightening & Cybervenom (Beginner & Advanced User Friendly)

Welcome to Keith Prime's Shocking Lightening & Cybervenom Tutorial
(also contains a simple Glow guide & other things)
This is my 1st Tutorial, so bear w/ me.

This is a Complete & Comprehensive Tutorial
Beginners should be able to follow this easily, even the advanced bits.
Links are provided below that allow parts to be skipped, such as Glows & Layer creation, for those who already know the basics

Note: This Tutorial was made using GIMP 2.3 or 2.6 (I don't recall which), but I hope to have explained things well enough that other photo-editing programs can be substituted. GIMP 2.8 has had a number of changes made, so some Tools & Windows may vary from this Tutorial.

A guide to reducing file size, in GIMP, is now posted here.

Someone actually asked me how to do something... So I guess that means I get to make a Tutorial!

I'm actually showing my starting images for everything, so if you want, you can copy them & follow along step by step, if you don't want to risk getting lost by using your own & trying to infer differences. All you have to do is right click the pic/s & choose Save As. Be sure to save them somewhere easy to find them. There are 3 pics I'll be using for actual teaching. The text should make it clear which are needed. There's the base image for both Lightening & Cybervenom, & an extra image for advanced use, as I show how to clip out a character. You can also Copy them, & paste them into GIMP (or whatever Photoeditor you're using, if they support such), but I advise saving them.

Let's see, short Tutorial or Fun Tutorial? Hmm... Toughy... I need some practice on the first bit (not the effect, but what it was worked out for), so I guess I'll do a fun one.

Well, I was asked about my "awesome" Cybervenom by a fellow Funnies Creator, & since I haven't seen any attempts at said venom, I figured the Funnies Forum could use a Tutorial on how to do it.

You Will Need:
Though this Tutorial was made for GIMP, as long as you have access to a:
  • Color Selection Tool (it selects all areas of similar color in an image),
  • a Feather Tool/ option (color bleeds),
  • & a Noise Filter (add static to an image)
this should be able to be done in any advanced editor, like GIMP or Photoshop (I don't know what any others are called, but know others exist).

This is a somewhat advanced mix of Tools, but I'll be showing how to use them all, at least in GIMP, so beginners should be able to follow this. 2 (Feather & Filters) are accessible via the Windows Menu Bar, which the other Tutorials (at least the ones I've read) fail to tell you

Well, since my Cybervenom uses my Lightening effect as a base, I guess I better start off w/ the Lightening. I created this effect the same way many of us do Glows (I simplified Coolhand's Glowing W/ Pride Tutorial for my comic -- all my effects are designed simple, due to my head injury). But you need to know WHY I came up w/ it...

Some of you may not know these:

They're the Voltron Lions. Specifically, the Diecast Masterpiece Voltron Lions. But what the effect is for requires them to combine to form Voltron, so let's do that.
Activate Interlocks, Dynotherms Connected, Infracells UP!, Megathrusters are GO!
Let's Go Voltron Force!

Here we go...

This. This Lightening is why I worked out this first effect. Let's work on a bit less than the whole group. So, Let's "Form Arms & Body."

Here's our base image:

We need to add lightening to this, to make it approximate the [original] anime. Like this:

First, let me get the right background. You need not bother w/ this bit (have to clip out the Lions).

As I said, I have to keep my effects simple. My head injury limits both my memory & how long I can work on effects, so short is best, which is true for any effect for anyone, really. You don't need extra, unnecessary steps. Whether you make a new Layer for the Lightening or not is up to you, but it does give you a few more options; chiefly easier correction steps... & it makes selecting the right color w/ the Selection Tool more accurate (I say accurate & not easier because these are SUPER thin lines we're going to draw, & my mouse, at least, doesn't like landing on singular pixels).

Since I know some of you don't need to read the whole Comprehensive Tutorial:
Skip stuff at your own risk!
Click here to skip my 4-step Glows, & go straight to Layer creation | Click here to skip both Layers & Glows & get straight to my Tutorial for Lightening | For advanced users, click here to skip straight to my Cybervenom Tutorial, which relies on my Lightening/ Glow effects | Click here if you only wish to learn how to Clip out Characters for stuff like flying effects, etc.
I'm nice providing these links, aren't I?

For a more detailed Tutorial (w/ extra steps) for Glows check out Coolhand's Glowing w/ Pride Tutorial, as I simplified his to 4 steps:
  1. Draw line(s)
  2. Use appropriate Color Selection Tool
    • Color Select Tool: selects multiple areas of the same color
    • Fuzzy Select: selects touching areas of a color
  3. Feather (I usually start w/ a radius around 15, but you need to play w/ it to get the amount of Bleed you want)
    • Note that Feather, at least in GIMP, is accessed via the Menu Bar at the top
      • Specifically, Select -> Feather
      • Enter radius for the Feather/ Color Bleed
  4. Drag & Drop the color you want over into Selected region(s) multiple times
    • the Fill Tool works too

Now, I'll use this Glow technique to make some Lightening... (I'll cover placement of the lines/ lightening for Cybervenom later.)

Layers are optional for my effects, so Click here to skip how to make Layers if you don't want to bother or already know how.

For those who want to & can, make a new Layer called "Lightening" (or whatever you want). It isn't requird, but is recommended. It is doubly recommended for those who will be doing the Cybervenom, but again, not necessary.

To make a new Layer in GIMP, there are several ways I know: The Layers Drop Down Menu, Keyboard Shortcut & 3 via the Layers Dialog Box (on right of screen).

1. Drop-down Menu: Layers -> New Layer

2. Keyboard Shortcut: [shift]+[ctrl]+N (while holding down both [shift] & [ctrl], press N)

3. Layers Dialog Box - top: Right click Layers Area (top section) -> New Layer (area Labled)
Note: Holding Alt & pushing one of the Underlined Letters will also access the Windows Drop Down Menu, & are navigatable via the Arrow Keys. This note is true for all Windows, at least in any version of Windows.
4. Layers Dialog Box - bottom: Just found this: there's an icon of a New Page under the working area for the Layers; a Page w/ a corner folded is usually the icon representing starting something New. (Underlined in Red) For some reason, I hadn't noticed it before.

5. Layers Dialog Box Drop Down Menu: Near the top of the Layers Dialog Box, in the upper right corner, there is a left pointing arrow in a box. This drops down another Menu. You want Layer's menu -> New Layer.

Anyone of these methods will create a New Layer, which should appear immediately above the currently active Layer. Personally, I usually use the Drop Down Menu or right click the Layers Dialog Box. Be sure to make the New Layer Transparent.
Tip: In GIMP, hovering the mouse over any Tool icon (& some of the drop down menu options) will display an explanation of that Tool... Must have Tips enabled via options (can't remember if that's default or not; you may also need to have downloaded GIMP's Help, but I'm not sure) This is shown in some of the pics throughout the Tutorial.

Ok, first up is drawing the thin lines where you want the lightening to be (thin is for the lightening. If you're following this Tutorial for some other glow, use the appropriate width for what you want). For me, here, it's surrounding the Lions, & some between Black Lion & Red, like it's drawing them together (I know, not in the screen capture, but this will look cooler & noone will complain I took a liberty).

Lightening is rarely straight, so to have it look right, it needs to be jagged. Straight segments aren't necessary, but are easily done by clicking where you want it to start & while holding [shift] (at least in GIMP), clicking where you want an end/ bend. While [shift] is held down, you'll notice a straight line between the point clicked & the mouse cursor, this is a kind of preview (nice for narrow areas, like between Green Lion & Black Lion's hip). Just keep moving the mouse while [shift] is held down & clicking to create your lightening (or draw it free hand, whichever).

For thin lines, I tend to use the Pencil Tool, while for most others I use the Paintbrush. The Tool Tips say Pencil is for "Hard Edges" & the 'brush "Smooth". Use the smallest setting (3x3 in GIMP) for the size of the Brush Tool (though the types are denoted as Pencil & Paintbrush, both are refered to as Brush Tools). You can find the options for Brush size in either the Toolbox (on left) or the Dialog Box under the Layers Dialog Box on the right; both in the bottom areas. Note: These are both dockable areas & may not necessarily be in these regions, but I believe they default to them (if they aren't visible, check under the Windows Drop Down Menu; I think mine shows Brushes). Also, Toolbox settings change depending on what Tool is active.

For most of you, this will likely just be coming down from the top of the panel (there's an alternate use below). I'll put a few stray bolts coming down from the top for you.

You can use whatever color you want (White, Yellow, & Blue are traditional for Lightening). I'll use Yellow for my color, so it's easy to see.

This is just for the shape & positioning of the Lightening. Once we add the Glow, it will look more like Lightening.

I'll say this now, & repeat it often. If you make a mistake, use the Undo Function. It's the top option in the Edit Menu, & in Windows can be used in nearly any program, including GIMP, by using [ctrl]+Z (where the [ctrl] key is held down & then you press Z for each action you wish to undo). Also, if you're using a Layer, make sure you're in the Layer you want your lightening on. It's easy to lose track if you aren't paying attention. Also, if you're using a Layer, if you want to junk the lightening you just drew for some reason (like if you didn't like how it came out & think you can do better), you can just hit the Delete Key (make sure you're on the Lightening Layer) & it will wipe the Layer & you can start over...
There's also a Redo. I use [ctrl]+Y. I'm sure there's a Menu equivalent, but I never use it. Redo will undo an Undo (like if it was an error or you realize you actually liked what you did), but only until you do something else. So, if you Undo something, then do something different, Redo will no longer work. It is possible to Undo everything, then Redo it back (different programs may have different cut offs; I don't think I've ever reached GIMP's), so long as you didn't make a new change (aka used a Tool on the Image). Zooms don't count for Undo/ Redo in GIMP.
Ok, next up is to use the right Color Selection Tool (again, there's one for contiguous regions (Fuzzy) & another for multiple, seperate regions (Color); I used the latter, since even though most of the lightening is touching, at that size, there's negligible color variance & miniscule gaps that disrupt it) to highlight the Lightening. If you used the smallest setting for the Draw Tool, it may be a bit difficult to get the cursor on the line. If you have to, Zoom in (GIMP has a ZOOM Tool, I assume the others do too... Even MS Paint does!), & the lines will be bigger (if distorted a bit, but that's nothing to worry about, its still the same at full size). It's easiest to click on a meeting of 2 or more lines. Alternatively, you can put a dot of a slightly larger brush size somewhere.
(NOTE: Zoom is the Magnifier Glass in the Toolbox & also can be found in the View Drop Down Menu; I usually use the Menu. Again, Zoom is not included in Undo, as it doesn't affect the Image. It only changes how [much] you see [of] it. Regardless of Zoom level, it saves the full image)
In GIMP, highlighted areas are denoted by moving dashed lines. Be sure only the area/s you want are highlighted. If you're using a seperate Layer & miss, & end up hightlighting the background, there will be moving lines around the edges of the whole pic. If this happens, use the Undo command (accessible in the Edit Drop-down Menu or, at least in Windows, by hitting [Ctrl]+Z).
NOTE: Occasionally, the moving dashed lines that denote selection may stop appearing after using GIMP for a while. I assume this is some kind of Glitch. To get them back (as it's easier to work w/ them present), save your work as a .xcf file (May be a GIMP only file extention; ie. project_name.xcf), close GIMP completely, & reopen the Project file you just created (opening a .xcf file opens GIMP) or open GIMP, then your file. .xcf files are GIMP files, & save the Layers. However, it doesn't save the Undo history, so you can't undo any changes from before the save. I sometimes use .xcf files if my head injury forces me to stop editing part way through a panel.

(I can't do GIFs, so this probably looks a bit odd w/ the Yellow highlighted.)

Now we Feather the Selected area(s) (hence why it's under the Select Menu). Feather just means to create a Color Bleed. This is responsible for most of the Glowing Effects in the Funnies, I believe. Be advised, at this small of line, the selection indicator WILL disappear once we use Feather! That is normal. Everything is still selected, but now only a small sliver the center is selected at a size smaller than a pixel. Though, it is a bit more complicated than that. Feather causes the color to bleed out from the source, so though the Region Selected is tiny, color will fill more area... but it will fade as it expands. This causes the edges to be a bit blurry, & that blurriness is what causes the apparence that the lines are glowing.
Note for those using this as a general Glow Tutorial:There are some circumstances where the selection indicators don't disappear when Feathered. For large areas, the selection indicators merely move, showing a smaller area, but don't disappear. Eye Glows typically have the indicators vanish. Large lasers, not so much.
Clicking Feather will open a Dialog box to input a Radius for the Color Bleed. I used a Radius of 22, but this is an option you need to play with & work out on your own. Size of Panel/ pic, the desired effect, & personal taste affect this option. I'm not going to bother w/ a pic of the Dialog Box for the Radius, as it's self explanatory. However, below is a pic showing the Select Drop Down Menu, w/ Feather marked.

(I've gone on & used Feather here, so this shows what the image will look like afterwards (ie. the same as if you hadn't done the select). Again, for small areas/ thin lines, the Selection indicator/s disappear once you choose a Radius for Feather, but is still active; larger areas, the indicators may not disappear completely.)

Lastly (for the Lightening), you Fill the selected, Feathered region w/ Color. This can be done 2 ways in GIMP: 1) use the Fill Tool (usually the Paint Bucket in most programs I'm aware or) or 2) how I do it: Drag & Drop the color from the color box into the image. You don't have to be as precise w/ the Fill, since the area we want is highlighted (sensitivity may vary by program). The first bleed is faint (the color trails of the Lions in the 2nd pic in this Tutorial shows a single layer of color in a Feathered area), so I usually go for 3+ Fills (much more for Lightening, around 7... I actually usually lose track... ), & you can watch the color radiating from the original lines deepen.

Now, use a Square or Eliptical Select & just click the background. This will end the Feathered Color Select & ready the work area for the next thing you want to add to your image. You won't really see anything, so you may want to make a Mark (& undo it afterwards) to make sure the selection was indeed undone. I forget from time to time. If you don't disrupt the Select, you'll only be able to add to the Selected area. Noone explains this to you either, do they?

...& you've just created glowing Lightening! This is also useful for quick lasers, drawn as thicker (usually 2 or 3 sizes up from smallest) straight lines (some Funnies Creators add a step & cut out a core region of white) as well as Eye Glows. Again, I usually use 3 fills after the Feather. You'll have to play w/ the Feather radius & number of fills to get the glow/ look you want.

One last bit for me... which you may think would make yours look cooler...
This looks a bit plain, doesn't it? Well, let's fix that. For those who put the Lightening on its own Layer (I told you there were advantages), you can Duplicate the Layer & drag the new Layer over a bit, to double the Lightening (which also doubles the Glow), & mine looks like this:

To Duplicate the Layer, I, again, know a few ways (see a pattern yet?):

Drop Down menu: Make sure the Layer you want to clone is the active Layer; then it's just Layer -> Duplicate Layer (note, the underlined letters are for

Keyboard commands: [Alt]+L to drop the menu down, then U for Duplicate Layer); or [shift]+[ctrl]+D.

Layers Dialog Box: Right click the Layer you want to clone, then Left click Duplicate Layer (or just push the assocated letter, again U)
Let me finish forming Voltron (these may end up in my comic, but not until Chapter 3 gets underway). Skip formation panels

(Here's another shot w/o the duplicated Lightening)

Here's probably the real reason many of you are here (or still reading)...

Oh, first, there are other uses for these thin glowing lines other than Sky Lightening or Formation Lightening... Maybe you have a certain Autobot Mad Scientist...

This Lightening effect works good for Electricity too!

But the real reason you're probably here is you have Spiders...

& want to know how to make my Cybervenom:

Here's the pic we'll be working on:

Well, it's a simple mod of the Lightening effect above. Make your lines (maybe a bit thicker, one or 2 sizes up -- again any color you want: I'm using Purple) like you did for the Lightening. & again, it's your choice if you use a Layer for the effect or draw directly on the image, but, again, Layers have advantages. Trace over the areas you want the venom to cover. DO NOT color in the whole figure! The Glow will do that. Just trace the areas you want to be affected. For best effect, have the lines radiate from the bite (in other words, have every line extend from the point of infection out to the rest of the body). This too should consist of Jagged Lines. For added effect, you can use a Spider Web design, but it isn't necessary.
Note: This effect is new even to me. I litterally just created it for the last Update I did. My Cybervenom effect looks best over a large area. A few of the things I cover will be untested prior to working on this Tutorial. I'll only be including the experiments that work here, & may mention stuff I may try in the future (assuming any came to me after typing this).
I'll cover a bit more than 1/2 of Wheeljack, to demonstrate the stepped branching in a bit:

See what I did? I just used a number of lines to give a rough outline of where I want the Cybervenom to start. You don't cover the character in solid color. The point of the bite should be more saturated than the limbs, so use more or thicker lines.You can change sizes of the lines up (I will in the next pic -- this is one of the experiments I was talking about), to represent concentration of the spread of the venom. The further away the body part from the bite, smaller & fewer lines should be used. This can also be used to represent smaller tubes, etc.

Don't be afraid to branch the lines (like in the PiP view). This creates pockets where the Glow will show body underneath. Remember, Cybervenom spreads via their lubricant & fuel lines, much like Venom & Poisons do via human blood.

Use the same Feather & Color technique I showed you above to make the lines Glow. Here you'll probably want to use 5 or more Fills. This is another thing where Preference comes into play.
Reminders: Use Undo to work at it till you get it how you want & be sure to use a Rectangular or Eliptical Select Tool to get the selections disabled, so we can do the next bit. Again, usually just clicking in the image will suffice (making a shape makes a new selection, so you'd have to click to get rid of it too). It isn't totally necessary here, as we'll be doing another select, but it's good to get into the practice.

Lastly, to get the Glow to look like Cybervenom Infection, we use a Noise Filter (not sure what it's called in Photoshop, but it creates a Static effect). It's best to do another Color Select, so that this one includes the newly created Glow.

Like Feather, this is another Tool accessed via the Menu Bar at the top of the Window. This time, it's under Filters:
  • Filters -> Noise -> HSV Noise
This Filter randomizes Hue, Saturation & Value indepentantly. It's what creates the distortion in the Glow that makes this look like Cybervenom! Basically, its affecting radom pixels, changing the colors & stuff also at random. I can't tell you what you change the values to (Holdness should be low, though), you have to play w/ them to figure it out.

The HSV Noise Dialog Box has a preview of what you're affecting. Play w/ the values until it looks how you want. If you apply the values & it doesn't look how you expected on the image, do an Undo then go back up to the Filters Drop Down Menu, & look at the top 2 options. They change depending on the last Filter you used. One is Repeat (so, if you want to do the effect several times w/ the same value/s, this lets you) & the other is a ReShow which reopens the last Filter used's Dialog Box.

Also of note, is the arrows in the bottom right cornor let you reposition the preview field, so you can see more of it (or if it isn't showing, you can move to it). Since we're working on a selection, only the selection will appear in the field, so repositioning shouldn't be necessary.

Once you get the values you want , it should approximate this:

Now for something more advanced that the other Tutorial Makers tend to leave out: How to get the Cybervenom to appear on the character, w/ the Spider (or rescuer or friend) on top of him! Yes, I'm going to explain how you do that. This one is rather advanced, & is used by any Funnies Creator who has flying scenes using special effects. This also happens to be one of the advantages to Layers, so if you used one, good for you.

First, pose the figure how you want (I actually put Blackarachnia ON Wheeljack, how I wanted her) & take another pic. I usually take a pic w/ & w/o that character on the victim to start when I know I'm going to do this:

There are a number of ways to clip out characters, some easier than others, but all are a bit time consuming. Since we already have a completed pic done w/ Cybervenom, I'll show you one using this, & just explain one other.

1) You clip out the top figure that would be blocking the venom from the 2nd pic & put them into the other. Since Wheeljack is smaller in the pic being used, we'll have to resize Blackarachnia some. Though harder to do, it makes sure the Venom is covered, but also allows for a more consistant ambient Glow (especially if you do the limbs right).

2) If you put the Venom on a Layer, you could just open the pic w/ both, delete the old pic you were working on (or set it to invisible), resize the Layer w/ the Venom & erase the "covered" venom/ glow you don't want visible. The best way to do this, is to set the Venom Layer to Invisible (the Eyes in the Layer's Dialog Box), make sure you're working on the Venom Layer, & use the Erase Tool over the figure that would be covering some of the venom. You want it invisible, so you can see where the covering character's edges are. This may be easier, but it's not quite as accurate. Plus, you have to keep switching the Venom Layer to Visible & back to Invisible to verify how it looks. If you make a mistake, use Undo (again, in Windows, [Ctrl]+Z). Here, easier can equate to longer... Oh, & you'll likely be using Undo a LOT. In theory, if you use a Layer, you could just place the Cybervenom effect on this pic, & erase the part that would be covered, but I wouldn't recommend it. Clipping out a character looks better.
Note: This erase method only works for copied Layers. When a pic is loaded, GIMP appears to assign an undercolor, & erasing w/o Copy & Pasting will show that color (usually black or white; I'm not sure if there's anything that affects what color is used).
I'll show you how to do Method #1.

Since I know a resize is necessary, we'll clip out both Blackarachnia & Wheeljack to start w/, then remove Wheeljack once the size is right. I suppose I can show method #2 (erasing unwanted bits) for removing Wheeljack. Wheeljack is being used to get Blackarachnia the right size.

So, load the pic w/ both (File -> Open as Layers -- this will take you to a file selection screen, so you just browse for the image you want... I'm assuming you can navigate your Operating System & retrieve files. GIMP usually starts in the Folder the last file was loaded from; This will put the pic in a New Layer). Drag this new Layer to the top (over the Cybervenom Layer) in the Layers Dialog Box, if it doesn't appear there.
Note: You can select multiple files to open (from a single Folder/ location at a time) as Layers by holding down [ctrl] as you click each file.

Then use the Scissors Select Tool (this one lets you create a manual outline around what you want to select... GIMP's has an Auto-edge Detector, which is only about 70% accurate, so you still have to drag the line -- that will create another little circle that you can drag & use to reshape & move the line; if there are none. Just click in the middle of a segment of the line, & drag it to correct/ reposition it -- where you want it). The Goal is to Trace the outline of the figure/s you want to clip out, so it becomes a selcted area. You also want to make sure the space between the body & arms, etc isn't in the selcted region. You ONLY want the character on top! Once you have everything you want to clip out outlined, push [Enter] & it will become a selcted area like w/ the Color Select Tool.

Partial progress:

I've tried to include a drag in the pic. You can do corrective drags at any time before you complete the Selection area (which requires you hit [enter] w/ this Selection Tool, once the Selection outline is connected).

Now, we aren't done once we have the outline, nooo. We need to remove the background that's between Blackarachnia's legs, as well as Wheeljack's fist holes. We'll still be using Select Tools, but there are settings to some of the Tools in these Photo Editor programs (circled above). One day, I may do a Tutorial on Advanced Features. Anyway, once you get a rough outline, if you didn't manage it perfect, there are options. In GIMP, in the bottom 1/2 of the Toolbox, you'll see some options that change as you change Tools. Those allow you to modify the Tool some. What we want is to change the Mode of the Free Select Tool (or the Scissors Select Tool, the difference is Free Select doesn't automatically conform to the edge/ outline you lay it near).
Note: If you forget to change the setting, & the selection indicators disappear, just do an Undo & they'll be back.
  • The default one is "Replace the Current Selection", which means that starting a new Selection outline will deselct the current one.
    • GIMP uses a solid square for it's icon
      • We want to modify the current one, so that's no good.
  • The next one over is "Add to the current Selection". If you missed a part, you can use this Mode to correct that by tracing the omitted bit, have a bit of overlap, & complete the outline & it will be added to the current selection (this also works for selcting non-touching areas too, like if you want 2 Spiders on 2 victims, or a rescuer & a friend standing over him).
    • This is represented by 2 solid, overlapping squares
  • The next one over is the one we want: "Subtract from the current selection". This lets us create outlines around parts we want to exclude from the selection (like the gap between a leg & the body or Wheeljack's fist holes).
    • This one a mostly Solid Square overlapping a transparent square
  • The last one is for Intersect (basically Overlap), which I haven't experimented w/ much yet.
    • This one is represented by a mostly empty square overlapping a transparent square, & only the Overlap is is filled

The icons (circled in red in the pic above) represent what the Fill effect is. You can also use Drag & Drop/ Fill Tool to add color to selected areas, like we did w/ the Lightening (Feathering Optional) & other things. These 4 options are available for all 6 Selection Tools, at least in GIMP (I know Equivalents should exist in Photoshop). You have to make sure the right Mode is selected on an individual basis for each Selection Tool, as changing one does not change the Mode for the others. I've used the Scissor Select, Free Select & Elipse Select Tools to subtract unwanted bits from this Image. When you're done, it should approximate this:

(Some bits you may need to Zoom in to get right, especially if they're small/ tiny.)

Once you have ONLY the figure(s) you want to cover the Venom Outlined by the various Select Tools, you have a couple options here as well. You can Cut her out or just Copy her. Both options are under Edit in nearly every Window of nearly every program in Windows. This is litterally Copy/ Cut & Paste. Cut is self labled, but there are 2 for Copy: Just a normal Copy, which copies a Layer, or Copy Visible (which does what it says, copies what is visible in a selcted area -- if nothing is selected, it'll copy the whole visible working area). Make sure that the Layer you want is active, & then either use Cut or Copy Visible. This creates a copy in the Clipboard (a shadow program used for Copy/ Cut & Paste -- (doing a cut or copy outside of GIMP can still affect GIMP's Clipboard; I use this functionality for text sometimes), which makes it useable as a temporary Brush (for the Draw Tools), but we aren't using that. Go back into the Edit Menu. Now we want to Paste the Clipboard image, but not a normal one, we want:
  • Edit -> Paste As -> New Layer (at least in GIMP)

This will make a new Layer of the character/s we just cut out, which defaults to just above the active layer. Arrange the Layers (GIMP lets you drag & drop them) so the Venom is sandwiched between the layers w/ characters. Once you've done the Copy/ Cut &/ or Paste, use the Rectangular or Elipse Select Tool to deselect everything as before. Make sure it's set to Replace the Current Selection. At this time, you can also delete the layer w/ both characters. You no longer need it once you have them isolated & pasted. If any Layers were set to invisible, set the Layers w/ characters on them to Visible).

If you wish, you can name every layer. Now that we've got several, I'll explain (for GIMP, not sure on others).
  • Right Click the Layer you want to rename in the Layers Dialog Box
  • Click the Top option: "Edit Layer Attributes"
  • Type in Layer Name (in my case: Blackarachnia)

(usually, Paste As New Layer will put the new Layer in the upper left corner)

Drag (Move Tool -- intersecting arrows) the new Layer over to the Cybervenom. If you can line up the characters, it will be easier. There is a Rotate Tool (in GIMP, the icon has 2 rectangles w/ arrows denoting rotation (marked in pic above), so you can rotate the figure (in my case Wheeljack), & resize them using the Scale Tool (the Scale Tool is the next one over in GIMP -- mine is on the next row, as I have the Toolbox set as narrow), also marked. Rotate is easy to use, so I won't bother w/ the Dialog Box.

Scale, too, is easy to use, but you do need to make sure that the chain link icon is selected. It links width & height, so changing one will change the other & keep the aspect ratio of the image. If it isn't selected, only one dimention will change size at a time, distorting the image. Scale provides a preview, like most things in GIMP, except this one is interactive over the Layers themselves. Sometimes, especially w/ shrinking images, it's easier to place the image out of the way, & move the Preview (by clicking on the circle in the middle & dragging it) to where we need to match the size/ where we want the new Layer (once you set the Scale, it moves the Layer to where the Preview was). You can click the arrows, or if you know how big you need the image, you can type in the dimention/s. When link is active, you only need to type one in, & the other will change to the appropriate length when you click the other's box.

You don't have to get the alignment perfect, as long as the character/s look right.

Scale Dialog Box (Chain Link button marked):

Notice that Wheeljack has extra bits of feet. That isn't an issue, since I'm deleting a Wheeljack in a bit. I managed to line up one shoulder & his feet quite close, so it will be fine. Here, Blackarachnia looking right is all that matters. (You'll also see that Blackarachnia leaves the frame of the image. That can't be helped. Anything outside the image is treated as non-existant when you save the image; however, until you close the program or Crop the image, she is still whole & can be manipulated).
Note: You may have to reposition the figure/s as you resize them. Usually, the Layer expands from the top left to the lower right.
OK, now that we have Blackarachnia where we want her, we need to get rid of the 2nd Wheeljack. Instead of doing the Selection like we started with, we're just going to erase him. This is easiest w/ ALL the other Layers set to Invisible. It also can be easier if you Zoom in, to ensure we don't miss something. Also, during this time, if there's anything you missed when you clipped out the figures, you can erase them too.

I've disabled the other Layers & Zoomed in, & repositioned the screen a bit (again, the arrows in the Lower Right Corner of the main Window, like in the Noise Preview)

& erased a bit of Wheeljack. You'll want to use smaller Tool sizes close to the figure you want to keep. The largest one isn't good for corners & details.

Once you're left w/ only what you're keeping, set all Layers to Visible & see what you have:

I hope this was all clear enough & that you find it useful. Let me know if I need me to add something (modified instructions, a new step, a pic of what I did, etc.) or if you just want to comment by posting in my Comic Thread, PM or VM (comic thread prefered).

This Static is also what I used for Laserbeak's playback/ vision, w/ a few (sometimes glowing) graphics applied after the distortion.

I also discovered the HSV Noise Filter makes decent looking sand when used on a tan "surface".

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Old 10-24-2012, 10:23 AM   #54
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