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Old January 25 2012, 01:29 PM   #58
Ziz's Avatar
Location: NY
Re: My homebrew kitbashes

Ian Keldon wrote: View Post
Ziz wrote: View Post
Separating lines and colors on different layers will help. Also learn to play with the Tolerance control that comes up with the paint bucket, magic wand and recolor tools. That will give you finer control over how wide or narrow the focus of the tool is regarding color similarity.

Another thing you can do is literally transfer colors from the color tool kits to the black and white.

Open both files - a color and a b/w. Use the eyedropper to select a color on the color toolkit sheet. Then just click on the b/w sheet, select the paint bucket and click on what you want to color in. Again, play with the Tolerance on the paint bucket tool to compensate for spots that don't get painted - JPG artifacts and such.

One last trick is to take all his toolkit sheets, both b/w and color, and convert them to a common DPI. That will allow full cross-compatibility between them. The b/w sheets are done at 72dpi but the color ones are at 200. I converted everything to 300 (Image menu>Canvas size>Resolution) and then "prepped" every sheet for PdN by deleting the white background and systematically selecting all the related views of a given part and cutting/pasting them to separate layers. Re-save in PdN's native file format. Now I don't have to go nuts trying to create weird shaped sections when I want to quickly copy/paste a specific part.
Layers in PdN always gives me fits. I keep getting the "checkerboard" when I try to isolate parts (even using layers) for editing, so I merge parts in regular Paint and hand paint out the pixels I don't want. Then I go into PdN for coloring and downcoversion of the final image.

And, yes, the Tolerance tool is a great boon. I'm getting the hang of it slowly with what I think are pretty good results (the Yamato's secondary hull should be blue-grey not brown-grey).

I'll keep experimenting and hopefully improving. Does anyone know if Vance will be doing any more color toolkits?
The "checkerboard" is probably because you're not on the correct layer when you select and cut/copy the part. Learn to keep an eye on that Layers box as you work. You'll get the hang of it eventually. PdN's site has a very good visual explanation of how layers work -

Here's my specific procedure for isolating parts. Starting with any given toolkit sheet...

Edit menu>Select All
Edit menu>Copy
Edit menu>Paste into new layer - you now have a second copy of the entire sheet over the first. The entire sheet is still "selected" at this point.
Click on the "Background" layer on the Layers box. Hit the Delete key. Now the background layer should just be a checkerboard.

Choose the Magic Wand tool, then click on Layer 2 on the Layers box. Click on the white background area of layer 2. You should now have the entire background selected conforming to the shapes of the parts. Hit the Delete key. You should now see the checkerboard background around the parts instead of white. Repeat for any parts that may have "holes" in them that the first Magic Wand click didn't grab.

Click on the "Background" layer in the Layers box. Choose the paint can tool. Right click to paint the background white. You now have a clean white background with the parts on a separate layer.

Now use the square, circle and lasso select tools to isolate groups of parts. Change Selection Mode to Add or Subtract as necessary to get the selected area just right.
Edit menu>Cut. Your parts will disappear from the sheet.
Edit menu>Paste into new layer. Your parts are back where they were but on a new layer (should say Layer 3)

Click on Layer 2 and repeat the process until each part with its related views is on its own layer. When they're all done, go to each layer, click on Properties (the toe tag with the pencil on it on the Layers box) and re-name each layer to state what part that is (Dreadnaught saucer, short nacelle, Pilot sensor dish, etc)

Save to PdN's native format.

Once you get more comfortable with PdN, you'll have fun rummaging thru, finding ships made with Vance's stuff and "disassembling" them to get other parts people created for their ships.

All his current color toolkits are here -
Modular Models - Build your fleet YOUR way.
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