Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Time Machine

I just got in the mail a product that I worked on last year. This one didn't turn out too badly. It's from a card deck called Story Retell. It was colored in Illustrator, which is probably my least favorite program. It looks like somebody mucked with the color, too, as this isn't quite how I remember it. Ah, well.


  1. Ted, that looks great!!! I have to admit to being a techo-idiot and knowing nothing about Illustrator and barely enough about Photoshop to be dangerous. Tell me, what goes into your decision on whether to color a piece in Illustrator vs. Photoshop vs. Watercolor, etc.?

  2. You know, folks used to use Illustrator a lot because you could keep files sizes much smaller than you could with Photoshop. Illustrator uses vectors, meaning it's all math-based, whereas Photoshop is pixel based. A Photoshop file can get huge, but with the faster CPUs and more RAM, I can work with huge files no problem.

    I know folks who are either Illustrator people or Photoshop people. It's probably dependent on what they were forced to use more, and are more comfortable with one than the other. I've noticed a couple of advantages/disadvantages with the way printers work nowadays, though. If I deliver a file with the black line and the color as separate files, the goons at the printers will flatten it and make it all CMYK, so that the black line is not as crisp. This can't happen with an Illustrator file, since it's not a bunch of pixels in the first place.

    Now, with the new Illustrator, it has a built-in program where you can take your scanned line drawing and convert it to a vector image. You're able to control it pretty well and can keep it looking just like the original drawing, even a semi-rough brush line.

    What I don't like about Illustrator, though, is the limits to what you can do with color. There's no such thing really as a "brush." There are some amazing things that someone can do who is an Illustrator whiz, but using Photoshop is a more natural process for me. It's more like real drawing and painting. With Illustrator, though, you can very easily go back and make changes in color and effects.

    I'm interested to see what Stacy's experience is with his new acquisition, Painter. And I intend on getting a copy of Sketchbook Pro, which is supposed to be perfect for digital drawing. With Photoshop, I used to experience this extremely frustrating delay in the program recognizing the pen tip on a Wacom tablet. Sketchbook Pro is designed especially for tablet PCs.

    I went through the last couple of years wanting to start doing less and less with the computer. I am now really wanting to start seeing what I can do digitally.

    I didn't answer the question, did I? ha! I guess what goes into my decision is what will be less work, and get the best results. This isn't as conflicting as it might sound. I don't use Illustrator any more, period. It's just not natural! Photoshop is good for quick color jobs I have to do. I'm still not comfortable working in watercolor, but am trying to do as much as I can with it so I improve. Biggest problem there is scanning, as the grain of the paper shows and that's not always good.

  3. Ted, thanks so much for that great insight and your personal opinions. Much appreciated.

  4. Bucky, I've never heard anyone use the terms "great insight" and "your personal opinion" in the same sentence before. This blog is yet young, though, so you'll have plenty of chances to reverse your decision!

  5. Oh shoot, you're right, Ted. Those were typos. It was suppose to say, "grating insight and your putrid opinion." There, all better.