Author Topic: Counter art  (Read 597 times)

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Offline mirth

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Re: Counter art
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2017, 03:07:14 PM »
Don't worry. It was fleeting.
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Offline Jack Nastyface

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Re: Counter art
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2017, 04:05:57 PM »
Hey Accntingman...not sure if you are interested, but if you want silhouettes via a font, try here:  http://www.mapsymbs.com/
Now, the problem is, how to divide five Afghans from three mules and have two Englishmen left over.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Counter art
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2017, 08:46:52 AM »
Try Flaticon also...www.flaticon.com

You have to cite any icons you use from this site, but that's easily enough done.

Offline acctingman

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Re: Counter art
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2017, 11:04:35 AM »
Thank you both!

Offline acctingman

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Re: Counter art
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2017, 05:41:34 PM »
I'd rather resurrect this thread than create another....

Is there a way to take layers off counters? I'm not smart enough to use PS or anything complicated like that, but there has to be something out there that you can just plop in an image and it will remove the layers so you are left with just the little infantry dudes or guns.....right?

Offline Capn Darwin

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Re: Counter art
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2017, 07:05:55 PM »
I'd rather resurrect this thread than create another....

Is there a way to take layers off counters? I'm not smart enough to use PS or anything complicated like that, but there has to be something out there that you can just plop in an image and it will remove the layers so you are left with just the little infantry dudes or guns.....right?

Not unless the art files you have are saved in a format with layers embedded. If you have a jpg, PNG, BMP or similar flat file, then you will have to hand edit the stuff off with a paint program.
Rocket Scientist by day, Game Designer by night.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Counter art
« Reply #21 on: September 28, 2017, 06:30:34 AM »
Yup. You need it to be a .PSD or (I think) a .PDD file, though .PDDs are older and generally not a standard anymore.

I think a .TIFF or .SVG might support layers too, but I've never messed with them - I just use .PSD.

Photoshop is not hard to learn, especially with the plethora of YouTube vids out there with free tutorials. The only stumbling block with it is Adobe's ridiculous per-month renting of the software. :(

Offline mirth

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Re: Counter art
« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2017, 06:34:41 AM »
GIMP or Paint.Net are both free and should do everything an average user needs. No need to pay for an Adobe CC sub.
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Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Counter art
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2017, 06:49:27 AM »
^ Definitely start with the free stuff before you go spend money on software you might not need.

As for paid software, Photoshop Elements might be another option. It's a lighter version of Photoshop but if you're not needing all the bells and whistles, go check it out. I believe you can get the full license for a hundred bucks or so.

Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Counter art
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2017, 07:49:50 AM »
Is there a way to take layers off counters? I'm not smart enough to use PS or anything complicated like that, but there has to be something out there that you can just plop in an image and it will remove the layers so you are left with just the little infantry dudes or guns.....right?

To answer this question more succinctly:  No.

To give you the detailed reasons:  when you scan a counter, you have a 'flat' image with everything in one layer.  You can't move the 'layer' with the numbers off of it b/c there's nothing "under" it.  Think of trying to cut out your ex from a picture of y'all in front the Golden Gate Bridge.  If you cut her out of the picture, it's not like the bridge is somehow in the picture 'underneath' her to show thru once she's gone.

Now, what you can do when creating your own counters is to create multiple layers with different elements of the counters on them, and that makes moving them around a lot easier. 
The Orange Crush counters, for instance:


(a little fuzzy b/c I blew them up from a low-res image)

have the following layers:
  • bottom - counter background color
  • unit icon - includes the NATO icon, and the color assigned to it
  • unit stats - across the bottom of the counter
  • unit ID info - across the top of the counter
  • HQ/arty symbols - the smaller flag/explosion icons that overlap some of the unit symbols (this layer includes the numbers and the icons, which I don't normally do

Having those different layers makes it very easy to make 'select all' style global changes, like opacity levels or blending.  It also makes it easier to put a 'glow' or keyline around the text on an entire layer to make text pop from the background a little easier.  (Note that if you're working in something like InDesign, this can be done with globally-defined character/paragraph styles but that's usually too far advanced for new users).

Now, what apps can do this for you?

  • Paint.NET is free, does layers, and has an easy learning curve.  It doesn't handle typed text very well, as it's hard to make corrections once you've typed it (like changing unit values).  Some of the built-in image filters are really nice, though, and their 'free rotate' tool is one that every graphics app should aspire to
  • GIMP is similar to Paint.NET in that it's a free raster-based image editor.  I know some guys who swear by GIMP and have done some some amazing work with it, but I personally like the interface on Paint.NET a little better
  • Inkscape is also free, and does layers too.  It is vector art instead of rasterized art (a whole separate subject to be explained another time).  Because it's vector art, it handles typed text much, much better, but is more limited to the types of non-linear images that novices can really work with. There are also some wargame design extension for Inkscape that are available over at CSW.
  • If you're on a Mac, there's also VectorDesigner, that is like Inkscape.  Again, not bad if you're OK with a learning curve, but Inkscape's extensions for map & counter art kind of pull it ahead.

Now, the gold standard in all of these are the Adobe Creative Suite of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign.  I personally do almost all of my work in Photoshop and InDesign and almost never use Illustrator, but I know others that swear by it (and John Cooper's got some great Illustrator templates [urel=http://www.jrcooper.com/wargameart.htm]on his site[/url]).  But they're expensive (unless you've got a friend at a local college that can hook you up) and there's a steep learning curve, even with the YouTube tutorials.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 07:52:01 AM by bayonetbrant »
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Offline acctingman

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Re: Counter art
« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2017, 07:54:21 AM »
Thanks gents

:notworthy: to you all!


Offline acctingman

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Re: Counter art
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2017, 07:05:58 PM »
Brant

thank you for this

I want to take some counter art from one of the Lock n Load games (just bought Heroes of North Africa) and make some units not in the game.

Might have to come back to this again once I learn that game.