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JOdel  JOdel is offline
Join Date: 28 Jul 2014
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Posts: 41

Yup. Old-style art materials=analog. Analog vs. digital.

And you don't need to tell me about the frosted mylar. *Great* for doing ink drawings. Particularly things like india ink with pen drawings. Not bad for colored pencil either. Never tried using paint on it since paint and I never really got on.

Actually, what I did was to do the basic pencil sketching on a separate piece of white paper and trace that onto the mylar. (Eliminates the erasing step.) One of my canceled projects back years ago was an heraldic coloring book for my local SCA kingdom. I built a nice template of the shield with the standard divisions all laid out and did a film positive of it and used that as the bottom layer, did the design elements on good tracing vellum, taped the mylar onto the top of those (could still see the underlying template through both layers), and then started inking with rapidograph and crow quills. Fortunately the end product was *supposed* to be solid linework which the end user would do the coloring of.

But the really big downside with working in analog is always going to be getting what you've got onto the printed card. These days that means taking it digital. In the bad old days that was done with building separations for a press, for *every* card, and that was a nasty, fiddly piece of work which just about never came out looking as well as the original.

These days, it usually just means scanning and cleaning up the scan in Photoshop. Even there, you lose data in the scanning process. Although I don't think it is anywhere near as bad as moving film, especially old film, to scan. You can see the degradation of the image when you scan a photograph (or worse, a slide), and only if you scanned at vastly higher than needed resolution were you sometimes able to correct it to the degree it needed in order to get it back to where you started. And then you often needed to reduce resolution for wherever the image was being submitted. (Digital photography comes with a much wider gamut of usable data.)

I do much better in digital. (Bert Monroy is my hero.) But even so I don't think I'd undertake to do a full deck using only Photoshop and illustrator. It would certainly be possible, and I gather that a number of other people have done it. For that matter, Corel's Painter would probably be an outstanding tool for someone who wants the tidiness of digital with the feel of analog materials. You can simulate amazingly similar brush actions in Painter with a tablet and stylus (and a clear understanding of how to program the brush behaviour). Photoshop's brush engine is vastly improved from its origins (thank Monroy, among others), but Painter is still the go-to for analog simulations.

I'm only now in retirement getting some formal art training, and I'm aware of my limits. For that matter, the medium in which I built my deck ONLY exists in digital format, since I was using low-end 3D software to build the scenes, and then took the renders into Photoshop to build the cards.
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