Thursday, 8 September 2016

Parallel Things

Stranger Things with a hint of Suicide Squad, when really im a Mr Robot guy.
All the way.

Monday, 9 May 2016

All you need is love

Reaction to a very busy forum.

Filtered Triangles Background

In todays tutorial, im gonna show you how to make a cool triangle wallpaper type background, with Inkscape and Gimp.

1. Open Inkscape and set up your canvas under File → Document Properties.
Im going with a canvas of 800x800px.
Make sure 'Border on top of drawing' is ticked.

2. Call up the Star Tool and change the number of corners to 3.

3. With the Ctrl key pressed, draw a triangle. That way the tip will be perfectly straight.
My triangle has a height of 60px.

4. Align the triangle with the 'Align & Distribute Dialogue', so that the right tip is lined up with the left side of the canvas and at the same height with the top.

5. Convert the triangle into a path (CTRL + Shift + C). Because we used the star and not the polygon, our triangle has 6 nodes. This is important when we later edit the shape to get rid of rendering gaps.

6. Next call up the Tiled Clones Dialogue (Edit → Clone → Create Tiled Clones) and set the Rows and Columns so that the width and height is covered with clones.
In my example thats 14.
Also make sure the Shift X per Row is set to 50%, as in the screenshot.

7. Delete the clone that is on top of our original triangle.

Now select all the triangles outside the right side of the canvas with a rubberband selection and make sure your snapping has 'snap to cusp nodes' enabled.
Move the selected objects to the left side and make your pattern into a full square with the help of snapping.

8. Next select all your triangles, duplicate, unlink the clones to convert into paths (Shift + Alt + D) and change the color to something different (i used red).
Group them for a moment, flip horizontally and ungroup again.
This should fill in the triangular gaps.

9. Almost finished with the Inkscape part.
If we leave our triangles the way they are now, we would get rendering gaps after the export. Like this:

There is a simple fix thanks to the power of clones.
What we want is an overlap so that there are no gaps between objects.
Select any of your yellow triangles and if its a clone (check the Status bar), press Shift + D.
That will select the original path.
With the Node Tool, move each node that divides the lines of the triangle in half, a bit outwards.
All clones will follow and all the gaps will be closed.

EDIT: an alternative, perhaps even easier method: just perform an outset to your triangle. Simple and elegant solution !

10. To finalize the pattern, select all triangles, unlink the remaining clones and give everything the same colour.
Go to Extensions → Color → Randomize…
Depending on the settings, you will get results like this:


11. Finally export your image, save the project and close Inkscape.

Its time for the filtering in Gimp !

12. Open your image in Gimp, and call up G'MIC.
Set the 'Output Mode' to 'New Layer', and the 'Output Message' to 'Verbose (layer name)'.
That way your original image will stay the same and you can always reproduce the results, because G'MIC displays all the value settings in the layername.

Try filters like Dream Smoothing, Colored Pencils, Graphic Novel or Graphic Boost and get results like this:

Colored Pencils
Dream Smoothing
Graphic Boost
Graphic Novel
Vintage Style
Cartesian Transform Desaturated and Colorized

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Sunday, 13 March 2016


A new tutorial was long overdue.
I had prepared one for the 3D text-effect i posted earlier and wanted to have it ready before the end of 2015, but wasnt happy with some of the steps. So that will happen later.

Today i want to show y'all how to make a goldfoil effect. I have seen this everywhere on the web.
You can even buy images of goldfoiltexture. Some are scans of real goldfoil and some are made in Photoshop. I dont know who spends money for a simple Photoshop texture that was made in 10minutes, but perhaps there are people with more money than i have, lol.

Did a lot of experimentation with different techniques, two of them involving a custom gradient.
But since Gimp's gradient editor isnt exactly easy fun, i decided to use a different approach.

Lets begin:

1. We'll start with a canvas of 600x600px.
I used the color #141414.

2. Next we need a texture in gold colors. You can google yourself an image of a gold bullion and use the colorpicker to get a highlight and a shadow color. My advice is not to use too yellow-y colors.

I used #feec94 for the highlight,
and #ab9954 for the shadow.

The texture itself is created with Filters → Render → Clouds → Solid Noise, x and y-size: 10px.
Tilable is optional.

2.a. Now, we could use Colors → Map → Gradient Map, to colorize the cloudtexture. Even finetune the colormapping by tweaking the gradient to our liking, BUT, you need a gradient for this. So here is just a short example.

 This, btw, i would say is too yellow.

2.b. A second option is to install the Plasma2 plug-in (google it) and get plasma in the colours you want.

2.c. I think this final method is the easiest and most flexible:

  • copy your Solid Noise layer to the clipboard and deactivate the layer
  • add a layermask to the Gold Shadow layer
  • with this layermask selected, paste and anchor

We want more lights than dark, so we adjust the layermask with Levels.

When the texture is to our liking, we make a workcopy with 'New From Visible'.

3. Now its time to bring our target in. For this tutorial im using a laurel i made in Inkscape opened as a new layer.
In case you dont want to use my laurel or make one yourself, you can install this font by Woodcutter for a bunch of different versions or get free vectors from OCAL (import in your paths-tab).

Open in new tab for full size version.

4. Alpha select the laurel, turn the layer off and with the Goldtexture selected, apply a layermask from selection. Then deselect.

5. Now comes the killerfeature: apply 'G'MIC - Deformations - Textured Glass' on the goldtexture.
Vary the Noise Scale for different looks.

6. This still looks a bit dull, thats why we need to sharpen the texture. I used 'Wavelet Sharpen' when i was in experimentation mode but thats an extra plug-in you need to install, so instead we'll use 'G'MIC - Details - Unsharp Mask' which is even better because we can influence the dark and the light areas in one go.

Update 10.04.2016: 
i just found out that using 'G'MIC → Details → Mighty Details' is also a great option for this step.

And this is the basic effect.

You can do all kinds of variations. For example Desaturate for a silver effect, and Colorize.

Or 'G'MIC - Wind' plus a bevel and a color-curve.

If you want something more dramatic, you can overlay the goldfoil with a gradient, like this for example:

A very early experiment:

Thats the effect for small web-based images.

When i began writing this tutorial, i also experimented with a bigger canvas that was set up for printing (1754x2480px at 300dpi). I noticed that the 'Textured Glass' filter is way too fine at that level.
Also the 'Solid Noise' doesnt produce enough variation even at max levels.
So maybe what is needed is making a tile (say 500x500px) with the 'Solid Noise' and fill the larger area with a pattern from the clipboard (Bucket Fill Tool).

Instead of the 'Textured Glass' you could try the 'G'MIC - Water' filter for the texture effect.

Another option is to use textures made with vector filtering. As a reaction to my tutorial, Lazur posted his ideas what can be made in Inkscape, here:

and its a free download too !