Color strip experiment

Color strip experiment

Postby Matt Trepal on Fri Oct 25, 2002 5:12 pm

The discussion about coloring strips got me thinking, so I colored a recent strip. Items I took into account were how long it took, how complicated it got, and what the final product looked like. This is what I got:

Image

This is a 24-color indexed gif, and is 41k, compared to the 32k 8-color b/w gif version. The jpg and png versions of this image were much larger. It didn't take all that much longer to color it than it did to produce the original version, but besides the fact that I didn't take nearly as long to color this as I did on the Halloween picture, I'm still not sure it works. If I were to start doing all the highlights I did on "Unpleasant Dreams," the time involved would go up and so would the file size.

Frankly, I like the look of a well-done black and white comic strip, even in this medium where color and size are not (or may not be) issues. And, since I'm trying to adjust my style to make the strips look better in black and white, maybe I'll hold off.

On the other hand, I could go read more Schlock Mercenary and study how Howard does it, since he doesn't use much beyond flood fills....

But what do you think of this look?
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Postby ThePooka on Fri Oct 25, 2002 11:14 pm

I'm a colour freak. I love coloured comics.
I know when I did that map....dare I ask about it? Or will you retaliate with wheres my fanart!? *grin*
I used that lasso tool and the paint can with layers.
Mmmm photoshop....
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Postby CaptainSpam on Sat Oct 26, 2002 3:48 am

Ah, simple floodfill color... simple, yet very effective. I like. Matches the style of your comic very well.

If you're working on going black and white (well... greyscale, right? I mean, you do want some antialiasing, right?), perhaps holding off on coloring the comic regularly would be a better idea. Or, perhaps you can start making the black and white images to be more floodfill color friendly. Decisions, decisions...

And now, banter about PNGs. Get ready. :-)

Oi, nutter... Methinks I may need to start the CaptainSpam School Of Saving PNGs. :-)

I fired up Paint Shop Pro on that image, saved it out to 24-color indexed PNG (using the same palette as in that GIF), and I got 36,388 bytes in size. GIMP took it to 35,539 bytes. Are you sure you're telling whatever program you're using to save it as an indexed PNG, as opposed to 32-bit color? Under GIMP, you have to tell it to reduce itself to an indexed image first before saving. Under Paint Shop Pro, kick up options when saving and run the optimizer to hack the palette depth. There's GOTTA be a similar option under Photoshop.

Just trying to help, is all. Once you can get it in the indexed realm, it'll be smaller than GIF. Usually. :-)
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Postby Matt Trepal on Sat Oct 26, 2002 6:38 am

CaptainSpam wrote:Oi, nutter... Methinks I may need to start the CaptainSpam School Of Saving PNGs. :-)

I fired up Paint Shop Pro on that image, saved it out to 24-color indexed PNG (using the same palette as in that GIF), and I got 36,388 bytes in size. GIMP took it to 35,539 bytes. Are you sure you're telling whatever program you're using to save it as an indexed PNG, as opposed to 32-bit color? Under GIMP, you have to tell it to reduce itself to an indexed image first before saving. Under Paint Shop Pro, kick up options when saving and run the optimizer to hack the palette depth. There's GOTTA be a similar option under Photoshop.

Just trying to help, is all. Once you can get it in the indexed realm, it'll be smaller than GIF. Usually. :-)

This is, of course, what I've been failing to do. [mental note]Index before compressing.[/mental note]
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Postby Matt Trepal on Sat Oct 26, 2002 6:45 am

ThePooka wrote:I'm a colour freak. I love coloured comics.
I know when I did that map....dare I ask about it? Or will you retaliate with wheres my fanart!? *grin*
I used that lasso tool and the paint can with layers.
Mmmm photoshop....

No, I still have that map, and I wouldn't dream of holding it hostage for fanart, I just haven't gotten around to putting the Visitor's Guide together. On the other hand, I've learned quite a few things in doing these last pictures, so...

I may take another stab at coloring it myself. I hate to say that, and make you and Kevin think you wasted your time. Maybe I'll use all three....
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Postby ThePooka on Sat Oct 26, 2002 11:12 am

Bah! It wasn't wasted time!
Here's a secret...I just like to colour :)
I'm such a kid sometimes. *grin*
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Postby Matt Trepal on Sat Oct 26, 2002 11:27 am

Cool! I do appreciate you doing it, too!
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Postby Captain Mike on Mon Oct 28, 2002 11:45 am

Playing with photoshop was kinda fun too.
You can do all sorts of neat stuff with it.

Textured and pattern backgrounds and such.
My standard floor is just a layer of gray that I use the texture feature to grain. I'll either use soft, regular or clumped. You get a kind of "painted cement" kind of feel.

I played with some of that stuff when i was working on "The Map"
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Postby ThePooka on Wed Oct 30, 2002 12:42 am

You know...
if somebody mentions The Map one more time...Somethings going to happen, Like the two maps will merge as one in the spacetime continium and something evil voice Very bad end evil voice will happen.
*grin*
Damn, I just spilled my soda...see what happend!?! ;)[/b]
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Postby Captain Mike on Wed Oct 30, 2002 4:45 pm

Oh NO! Someone has discovered "THE PLAN" about "The MAPS"!!!!
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Postby Matt Trepal on Wed Oct 30, 2002 5:06 pm

ThePooka wrote:Damn, I just spilled my soda...see what happend!?! ;)

Don't taunt the maps, Pooka. I'm fighting to keep them apart, so that nothing evil happens. Combined, they will become more powerful than either separately!
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Postby ThePooka on Thu Oct 31, 2002 2:26 am

Other than I just tried to login as TheMap, instead of ThePooka....*facepalms*

...and Yes I will taunt The Map! The worst has already been done....
*takes a deep breath*
See, when the maps combined into one map, the temporal force that eminated from them knocked over my can of dew. The neon yellow green then seeped over the edge of my desk, and managed to use their unholy-can-not-exist-in-nature colour, to infiltrate my PC case. Inside the case, they managed to wreak havock upon my system components before the evil nasty power sparks of doom could cut the power. Now, why this is important is, the network was then infected by Gremlims. As the whole world knows Gremlins are natural enemies of ThePooka's, and are caused when evil nasty power sparks meet up with unholy-can-not-exist-in-nature colour. With their birth my PC was distrayed. With out the assistance of my trusty PC, I was unable to defeat the Gremlims and lost the battle, and the war will continue on when ThePooka's could have defeated them for good!

Right. I'm not bored and creative at 4am :)
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Postby Kellogg on Fri Nov 01, 2002 5:30 am

I think it looks just fine Matt. :)

And, I think you'll find that, after a while, color can actually
go faster than black and white/grey scale. Sound nutty?

Suppose you have an object that you want to be easily visible.
in the background. With color, all you have to do is to paint
it another color. With shades of grey, you have to play with
the grey until it looks right. :P

Good work, young Jedi.
You've tanken your first step into a larger world... ;)

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Postby Matt Trepal on Fri Nov 01, 2002 1:20 pm

Tell yunz what I'll do. I've been meaning to put my "KeenSpace Spotlight 2002" story up on the site, three pages that appeared in the comic that was passed out at the San Diego ComicCon International in August. I'll color those pages before I upload them, and before I make any final decision regarding colorizing the strip.

I think you'll like the Spotlight story, too.
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Postby Big Bad Al on Sat Nov 02, 2002 6:32 am

Okay, here's a tip: When you a large, flat surface like a wall or a floor it'll look really flat as one colour. This doesn't happen much in black and white but sticks out like a sore thumb when the strips is in colour! So even tho your not shading the rest of the comic, add some basic light effects to the big empty spaces. I do mean basic tho. Don't make it too good or you'll make the rest of the strip look bad. What I do is use the pen tool in PhotoShop over the selected background to split the wall in two with a nice clean line, then fill one half with a slightly darker/lighter colour to the rest of the wall according to where the light is coming from (ie, know where a window is and the lighter shade is on take side).
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Postby Matt Trepal on Sat Nov 02, 2002 7:49 am

Thanks for the tips, Al! I knew the floor and walls looked kind of dull in that sample strip (especially the white floor; at least the walls were colored), but didn't fiddle much in the interest of speed. And, of course, because I wasn't sure what to do. I'm going to have to read colored strips with a much more critical eye, to see how they do it.

Which I hate doing, because I'm a horrible critical thinker.
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Postby Big Bad Al on Sat Nov 02, 2002 8:58 am

When you figure out how to do it it dosn't take very long to do the wall thing. Also when you've got you're colour paletes up and running it dosn't take that long to colour the whole strip...

Still take me a while tho, and I've grown a style which only needs flood fill to do the lot! I remeber drawing Portia for the guest strip was a pain, as I always wantd to close all the lines up. I was never happy with the strip I did for you coz of that!
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Postby Matt Trepal on Sat Nov 02, 2002 12:50 pm

Big Bad Al wrote:I remeber drawing Portia for the guest strip was a pain, as I always wantd to close all the lines up. I was never happy with the strip I did for you coz of that!

Well, I liked it a lot!
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Postby Big Bad Al on Sat Nov 02, 2002 3:18 pm

Meh, I just know I could do better.
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Postby Neutronium Dragon on Thu Nov 07, 2002 4:18 am

Just thought I'd add that I also like the look of that color strip you posted. It fits the style of FCE very well.

That said, if you prefer black and white, stick with it. It looks good both ways. :)

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