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"I knew nothing, and I persisted in the faith that the time of cruel miracles was not past."

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Thursday, February 24th, 2005

In my last entry, I listed my options for coloring my artwork via computer so as to achieve the look presented by Randy Milholland in his web comic, Something Positive. Among the tools at my disposal, the most appropriate are Adobe Photoshop (good at editing pixels) and Adobe Illustrator (good for creating objects, such as a region of color bound by an arbitrary shape). In order to achieve the effect I want, I will need to 'ink' the pencilled lines of my artwork. Drawing with pixels allows for subtle shading effects. but changes you make behave like paint on a canvas - hard to rearrange and undo. Drawing with vector objects is something like working with colorforms or cutouts - it's not as easy to create subtle effects, but it's simple to alter, rearrange and remove areas of color.

Adobe has as of late been making Photoshop a bit more like Illustrator, and vice versa. For instance, I can now create a vector object in Photoshop and and edit it without permanently rendering it into hard-to-alter pixels, and I can likewise apply non-permanent raster effects (such as drop shadows and blurs) in Illustrator. Even so, it remains easier to use these tools for their primary functions, and so I decided to do the coloring in Illustrator, since I'll be dealing in this project with flat areas of color that do not require extensive shading effects. Illustrator's vector object approach lets me trace a path around the region to be colored, then use the edge of that same object to produce a stroked (inked) line. The line also remains easily manipulable after I've created it.

I was going to add examples in this entry of how I'm proceeding, but I got too cute by trying to make animated graphics for some of the examples, and so was delayed... More next time. Until!

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