First and Foremost
Everyone always asks how to become a warrior; well, here it is:
- Users join as an apprentice.
- Apprentices ask questions if need be from experienced users. Before an apprentice puts art up, they should get basic guidelines from one of the tutorials listed below; i.e: art program, shading style, basic instructions etc.
- Apprentices may request a mentor.
- Journey from apprentice to warrior.
- Have to have more than one image approved and be nominated.
- Know how to use shading, highlights, blur, etc.
- Be able to put in good critiquable comments to others' images.
Tools for Gimp:
Tools for Pixlr:
Ears & Eyes
For a good looking ear pink choose the colours like this~
And for pupil placement and shading in the eye~
We all know that sometime you just can't describe a colour. You want somebody to darken the image, but when they do, the colour looks weird. You want somebody to lighten the earpink, but when they do, the colour is just off. If you really just want to show the artist the colour the earpink or eyes or pelt really should be, you can just use the colour example image. Just save the image to your computer and bucket fill it with the proper colour you want the artist to use, and then reupload the image over the previously mentioned file with what the colour is for, the artist, and the image the colour is for. For example, you could say
"Earpink for Wildheart7's Rain (TB)", if you were uploading an earpink colour for my TB image of Rain. Then you would go to (again, just an example) my section on the Tweak Page and put this code:
[[:File:Colour.example.png|(insert whatever you want to say here)]] under the section. You'd then say "(insert whatever you want to say here)" or whatever you were going to comment on. Remember, guys, the image shouldn't be used every time you want the artist to darken the stripes or lighten the earpink - just when they really don't get it. Hopefully that was helpful.
- Fill it in with the paint bucket (GIMP) with a dark gray color.
- Make a new layer. Name it "Shading" and with a size 9 black brush, add the various shading areas in.
- Blur by going to "Gaussian Blur" and blur it at any rate between 15.0 and 40.0.
- This is optional. Create a new layer and with white, dot areas that you'd have highlights on.
- Now, blur it with the same rate you blurred your shading at. Change the layer mode to multiply.
- Make a new layer. This is for the ear pink. With the path tool, make a triangle. Press enter on your keyboard, then fill it in. Then, press Ctrl + Shift + A. Blur your ear pink.
- Eyes now. Go on the background layer and put in four pixels. I used blue. For the eye color, I usually put one lighter pixel at the top on the left side, underneath it with a tad darker color, then a really darker color. Then I put two pixels for the pupil and white.
- On the background layer fill it in with a color you haven't used in your charart before. Then color select it and press delete on your keyboard on every layer. You now have a clean picture, ready to be put for approval. Iciloo let the rainbow remind you ♥ 03:12, September 11, 2011 (UTC)
Step 1 - Make a layer below your lineart and fill it with your white. I usually use one or two shades away from pure white.
Step 2 - On a new layer, block in your shading. The key on white cats is to not make your shading too thick, otherwise it will spread over the entire image when you blur the shading, making the image look gray.
Step 3 - Blur/smudge your shading as desired.
Step 4 - Though this step is optional, a nice trick is to pick a color a shade or two lighter than you the darkest you want your shading to be. Then lock the opacity of your shading layer, and paint bucket over it. Set the layer to multiply and leave it at that. By doing this, you ensure your image will never be darker than you want it.
If you don't want to do this step, set your layer to multiply anyways, and change your black shading's opacity till it looks right.
Step 5 - Finally, add earpink and eyes and remove the waste. Just a tip on removing waste, it's sometimes a good idea to not remove the waste on your shading layer if it's on multiply. The waste won't show up as long as it's set to that, and leaving it there will make blurring easier later if you need to.
I use GIMP and Paint, but you're free to skip where I use Paint and use GIMP instead. I just find Paint to be a simpler program to use.
Step 2: Fill in base fur colour. Now, we're going to making this little guy grey-and-black, because he's just awesome like that.
Step 3: Add markings. Woah, woah, WOAH. It's green. Don't worry kiddies, I did that on purpose :3 It's a lot easier to separate the markings into layers if the black is a neon colour. Like green.
Add image into GIMP. On Paint, go to Select, then Select All. Copy the image (or press CTRL + c). Go to GIMP, click File, then underneath New, it should say Create, with a little arrow beside it. Hover over that, and then click on From Clipboard. Your image should show up, in its own layer. Be sure to right click on the layer and select Add Alpha Channel, or it won't be transparent. On the subject of transparency, see here for information how to make an image transparent on GIMP. If your cat has markings (tabby stripes, patches, ect.) use the Select by Colour Tool to select all of the marking colour in an image. Then I cut the selection (CTRL + z), and re-paste it (CTRL + v), effectively starting a new layer. Create a new layer (don't ask why, it just works) and there you go. Now, select all the colour in the marking layer and go back down to the layer you started on. Use the dropper tool to select the base fur colour, then use the bucket tool to fill in the now-transparent markings.
Step 4: Okay, now you should have an image that's transparent and on two separate layers, but the markings are still green! This is simple to fix. Simply using the Select by Colour Tool, select the green (durr) and use the bucket tool to fill it in with black. I advise not to use pure black; it's very hard to shade. Use a really dark grey.
Step 5: Blur those markings. Now, if you can't tell, I really love my Smudge Tool - maybe a little too much - so if you just want to have him solidly black (like Barley), simply use the Blur Tool, not too aggressively.
Step 6: Because of the smudging, it looks more like dark grey instead of black right now, so I just used my Burn Tool to make the markings a little darker. Moving on.
Step 7: Add some shading. Be sure to start a new layer. I tend to use three shading layers - one for the tail, head, and main body, one for the two legs closest to us, and one for the legs and ear farthest from us - but it's really not necessary. It just makes it easier to blur the way I do it.
Step 7: Blur, using Gaussian Blur. I usually set it to 7 and repeat it a couple times, but that's also not necessary. You can set it anywhere from 5 to 20 and it'll look fine.
Step 8: Now set the layer mode to Multiply. This makes any shading outside the blank invisible, but doesn't delete it, in case you want to blur it more later on. Then, drag the layer opacity to wherever you see fit.
If you don't use highlights, you can skip this part and go straight to step 11. However, I recommend you use them for an image like this.
Step 9: Start a new layer, and do this <--- with your Paintbrush. We're making highlights!
Step 10: You already know how to blur, so I'm skipping that step. However, for highlights, you should probably set the layer mode to Overlay, then reduce the opacity. You don't have to, but...
Step 11: Add earpink, and you're done! You can use this method for any type of dual-coloured cats, even for tortoiseshells.
Tabby Types - Shelly
Tabby Types - Ivystripe
Hi everyone! I'm Splook, and I'm here to show you how to do my favorite kind of tabby: the thin tabby! I'm using the program GIMP. Open your blank and color select the white inside of it. Press delete, then go up to the top toolbar and press "select" < "none." Then make a new layer and put it behind the lineart layer.
I'm going to do a brown tabby. Fill in the whole blank with your chosen color. Make sure the whole blank is colored. Now make a new layer above the base layer and name it "stripes."
Put the brush on the smallest possible (make sure the scale is 1.00) and put stripes across the whole image. Connect them, go across the blank, do whatever you want! I like to make sure that every somewhat large spot of empty space is covered.
Go to the blur tool (the teardrop tool)and put the scale on the largest it can be. Lower the rate to 30 or 20 (this was at 30) and swipe across the blank two times. Now create a new layer named "shading" above this layer.
Choose a color darker than the pelt and draw in the appropriate areas. Now go back to the blur tool and raise the rate as high as it can go (100) and blur it together. (or use guassian blur.)
After blurring, it should look like this. Go to the box where you have your layers and change the mode from normal to multiply. Lower the opacity to your liking. Now make a new layer for your eyes and highlights.
Fill in the ear and eye. Now go to your base layer and fill the outside of the lineart with neon color (or a color you didn't use.) Color select then delete. Press delete on all your layers. This gets rid of the waste.
By: Blue Orca
Here is how I make my torties:
First colour pick the line art and put it on a new layer and colour in the background with the dark base colour, usually black or dark brown
Then add another layer and add splashes of a lighter colour, usually a shade of ginger, and smudge with circle brush 3 at a rate of 60, and then blur at a rate of 25-30
You can repeat step 2 for every colour you want, but adding more than 3 usually looks too busy, so try to stick with 2-3 different colours.
Then add another layer for shading. I use solid black, but any dark colour would work. Just paint it where the shading would go, erase where the highlights would be, and blur really well.
Then lower the layer’s transparency until you have a nice balance between shading and coat colour. I set it to 39
Then add one more layer for the ear pink and eye colour
Now the most important step, go to the line art layer and select outside the line art (using fuzzy select). Then go through all the layers hitting Crtl+X and that will get rid of all the waste on the outside.
And there's your finished tortoishell. I would probably be told to lighten the shading, but I'm partial to dark shading so it looked fine to me. There's lots of different kinds of tortieshells, like a dark one like Redtail, tortieshell and white like Cherrytail and calico like Poppyfrost. -❄ſceheart ♥ Blah blah
Mottled & Flecked
Here is some ways to change up the lineart to match the character decription better. A few things to make sure of:
- Make the new lineart thick
- Check the box that says "Hard Edge" when erasing to make sure you get it all
- Double check to make sure there's no waste
Another likely lineart change is patchy fur. You can see some examples on Dappletail and Stoneteller, or for really patchy fur, Running Horse Pretty much the same steps as the torn ear.
All lineart changes are basically the same. Erase, redraw, fiddle with it, put it for approval. Easy peasy. Heres some more abnormalities:
Stumpy tails like Halftail and my favorite, Berrynose
Ragged fur like Silverhawk and Raggedstar
Twisted feet like Oddfoot and Cinderpelt
Tuffed ears like Redtail and Tawnyspots
A crooked jaw like Crookedstar
These are how I use layers. Feel free to add in other methods.
- Layers are such an invaluable tool for me. You don't have to worry about blurring the lineart, and it makes charart creation so much easier. I typically use three layers in GIMP.
- Eye: Pretty self-explanatory. Make all pixilations of the eye in this top layer.
- Lineart: The lineart. Unless the character has a physical flaw that you need to work into the lineart, this layer should remain untouched.
- Color: Add all color other than eye color here. Add all your shading and highlights here.
- To add in layers, click the button I've circled in purple. A box will pop up with information in it. For our purposes, just change the name if you want and ignore everything else.
- To change a layer's name, double click its name in the layer box you see above.
- There's undoubtedly more to layers than this, but this is really all you need to know to use layers in charart making. ☾Moonflight☽ 14:01, October 31, 2011 (UTC)
01:11, November 4, 2011 (UTC)
A Closer Look
This is a closeup view on how I do my shading.
In the first picture, (The top left one) you see that in a new layer, I put black in pencil where I want my shading to be. There are many different spots to put shading, remember, not only one way.
In the second picture, (The top right one), you see that I am going to guassian blur it. To guassian blur, go to Filter, then blur, and then guassian blur. Put it at a rate from around 15 to 23. Mine is at 20. Once you have set the rate you wish to blur it at, click OK.
Lastly, lower the opacity of the shading layer. It depends on how dark you want your shading. In the bottom picture, you see that I put my opacity at 38.7.
When you are done, you can always tweak the shading, such as using the blur tool to blur some parts, or changing the opacity number. If you blur some parts, make sure to put it at a higher rate. Remember that you can get very creative with shading, there isn't just one way to do it.
Shading Without Layers
This is probably the most confusing way to shade I've ever done, but it's how I did my first... at least 9 chararts. It's super confusing, Wildheart was at my house and I showed her how to do and she didn't really get it, so I wish you the best of luck. This is a good way to do highlights because they're already 90% blurred before you even touch the blur tool. Enjoy!  -❄ſceheart ♥ Blah blah 00:05, December 10, 2011 (UTC)
This section is mostly for warriors, though some apprentices may need to use one or two of these for a normal image every once and a while.
Changing Pelt Lengths
Here is how you change the pelt length of cats without having to do a completely new charart pixil (invaluable if you like the original picture a lot, you did the wrong pelt length and don't want to start anew, or for consistency purposes)
Blurred lineart is something you'll probably run into a lot when you're tweaking. It's actually a lot easier to fix than you'd think. Just follow these steps and you'll be fine. Sorry if it doesn't make sense at some parts, I'm horrible at explaining things.
Floating a Section
Here are some videos where you can see how it's done
OA for these were (in order) Insaneular, Nightshine, Ivystripe, Oblivion, and Shelly