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/w/IMT Basic FAQ

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Mar 17th, 2015
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  1. Q: What programs do you guys use?
  2. A: Most of us work off of Adobe Photoshop, though freeware programs like GIMP can do a lot of the same functions that are mainly used.
  3. For windows users, is a good program to get started with.
  5. Q: How do you guys remove text?
  6. A: Depends on the image. If the text is small and the spot doesn't have too many details, text is easily removed by the clone stamp tool.
  8. If there's more text and it requires a lot of redrawing, the pen tool is great for redrawing implied (hidden) lines. Simply select a start and end point for the implied line, and keep your mouse clicked for the second endpoint. Drag your mouse around to add a bend to the line. Once you've finished redrawing your path, select the "PATHS" tab down by your layers. Right click the path, fill path, simulate pressure, and viola, you've redrawn an implied line.
  10. Content aware tool can be used to replace a decent amount, though be aware it is not a fix all. The tool takes samples from various other spots around the image, so if there's nothing there, or a lot of complex details, the tool won't work overly well. Touch up anything the tool doesn't do too well with the clone stamp tool.
  12. Q: How do you guys make transparents?
  13. A: Transparents / renders are pretty straightforward, using the magic wand tool will allow you to select the area around the part of the image you want to isolate. Touch up this selection with your tool of preference, generally the lasso tool due to its flexibility. Make sure you're either holding shift or have the "add to selection" feature enabled on your tool so that you don't lose your original selection.
  15. Once you have the object in question isolated, there's a few things to try. You can either smooth the selection by a low pixel count, usually no more than 5, and manually touch it up from there, or you can expand the selection by 1 pixel, feather by 1 pixel, and delete.
  17. All of those options can be found under Select -> Modify on the top level toolbar.
  19. You can also use the Refine Edge tool, which is found under Select -> Refine Edge.
  21. Another common method is to use the pen tool to make your selections. Using the same method as described above, outline the area you want selected with the pen tool. This time, instead of using "stroke path" however, select "make selection" and make sure that Anti-aliased is checked. You can also feel free to add a feather to reduce the "hard edge" effect. Usually you won't need a feather heavier than one or two pixels.
  23. As stupid as it sounds, don't forget to save as a .png! The black background on images is due to .jpg's being unable to save as transparents, and we get a lot of requests where the image is a .png saved as a .jpg!
  25. Q: How do you guys eliminate banding? (An example of banding:
  26. A: Adding noise to the image would be the easiest way to do it. It might destroy the overall smoothness of the image, but it usually elimantes banding effectively.
  28. You can add find the tool under Filters -> Noise -> Add Noise.
  30. Q: How do you guys eliminate artifacts from a compressed image? (An example of a compressed image:
  31. A: Firstly, you should try to find the the best version of the image. Usually, the best versions are the original copies uploaded by the artists themselves.
  33. Some good reverse image searches for anime-related pictures:
  38. (click the camera icon)
  40. If you are sure that you have a good copy but it still has noise / artifacts, try applying Surface Blur (Filters -> Blur) on it. Be careful as this filter could possibly destroy some details in the image. Your best bet would be to use it with a radius of 1-2px with the levels set in between 1-20.
  42. Still didn't work? Then try out third-party filters like Topaz Clean or Topaz DeNoise.
  44. Q: What's the difference between a render and a vector?
  45. A: A render is the focus of an image (usually a character) which is cut out of an image by making the background transparent. A vector is made out of points, lines and curves to represent an image. Usually, vectors are very crisp-looking.
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