Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Highlander

Apps for Mini Painting Planning

Recommended Posts

Over time, I've read references to various apps that allow a painter to take photos of the candidate mini and then manipulate the photo.  Specifically, the app allows the painter to color in the image for color planning.  It can also allow the painter to manipulate light source direction to plan highlights and shadows.  And other stuff.

 

I think I'm ready to step up my painting planning and would like to try such an app.

 

Photoshop is often mentioned.  My impression of Photoshop is that it is way more powerful than I need or could use.

 

What app do you knowledgeable guys suggest?  Pros and cons?  Cost?  Usefulness?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I tried doing what you suggest I actually used photoshop, though I personally didn't find it super useful.

 

You might try out GIMP.  It is free and open source, so if you don't like it you've lost nothing.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Auberon said:

When I tried doing what you suggest I actually used photoshop, though I personally didn't find it super useful.

 

You might try out GIMP.  It is free and open source, so if you don't like it you've lost nothing.

 

I have GIMP, but I've never tried to use it for any of this. I will say, it has a steep learning curve compared to Photoshop. It can be frustrating at times. Look for tutorials on Youtube on how to use it.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've watched a few painting videos where they've suggested doing that for figuring out large army color schemes. They mostly just did blocky flat coloring though, so any photo program that does layers would be good enough. Any light source/shadow manipulation was just blocking the colors with gradients instead of a solid color. Nothing fancy, just getting a feel for the colors before base coating things a dozen at a time. You shouldn't need to pay anything for a program that will do this. Krita (free open source) is probably a good one to look at if Gimp seems too much. How useful it is would be 100% subjective. I've never done it and I can't imagine doing outside of an army or very high end project planning.

 

Light manipulation? That's a tall order. Good in program light manipulation would mean working in 3d. You don't get shadows unless something is there to cast the shadows. A common way to do light source test though is photographing a mini with a light shining on it in a way you like to use as a reference. You could bring that idea into the software. Setup your camera on a tripod and tack the mini down so it doesn't move. They take a selection of photo with a variety of light angles and intensities. Stack those into layers in your program. Do your colors on their own colorize layers. Then you could switch between your photos to see different lighting with your colors as well as adjust each color separately since it has it's own layer. You could go even further by copying pieces of your lighting photos to overlay on others to create any variety of combination of lighting. Probably not worth it, but maybe for competition painting or if you really have trouble visualizing lighting and color? It would probably be a great project for learning a photo program though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope to write a blog post on this some time soon. Short version.

 

Old school tech - take your actual paint colours and paint them out on paper. Heavier drawing paper (70lb) or something like index cards will work better than printer paper. You don't need to be able to draw even roughly. Just put blobs of each colour in roughly the places and proportions you'd use those colours on the figure. You can also experiment with testing shadow and HL colours by doing quick on the paper mixes and seeing what the gradations look like.

 

On iPad the Procreate program is terrific. It's $10, but you get a lot of features for that and there are a ton of videos on how to use it online. You can grab a picture of the white off of Reaper's store site and copy that in. Set that layer to be on the top and reduce the opacity to 30% or so. In a layer below that experiment with your colours by colouring over the sections. You'll get a little of a shadow and HL effect from the white. However, your colours will be muted down because of the semi-transparent picture on top. You can hide that layer to see the full strength colours. Or you can even paint in shadows and highlights if you want the full effect. There's a Procreate phone version as well.

Looks like you can do something similar in an iPad program called SketchClub, which I don't think is free but might be cheaper than Procreate. Paper is another possibility, not sure if that does require having a stylus though.

I know I had a simple little program to do this on the iPhone that I think was free, but I don't seem to be finding it. I think it was Color Effects but that is not cooperating with me at the moment. My guess is that on both Android and Apple stores you would find something along these lines. You need something where you can import photos and then any program that is about drawing or colouring should let you do the colouring in part on top of that.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It occurred to me maybe I could attach a file since I happen to have done some colour tests like this recently and had a pic ready to hand. I was working on my miniature for my character in the Reaper Errant Twitch show. 

 

349810AF-63EC-4381-8A08-AE47BF8EDE2C_1_201_a.thumb.jpeg.4889fbae6bd0701dc7198cf7666650e4.jpeg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use Adobe Sketch on my iPad to do something similar to what Wren does. Sketch I believe is a simpler form of Photoshop that is free if I remember correctly. Here is one of the mock ups I have done.
 

F66E5F32-E891-4FE5-A271-E5C446ED84F6.thumb.jpeg.b1c849a7b030abce34b4a144d8f9a447.jpeg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/31/2020 at 8:48 PM, Marineal said:

@Wren, what program did you do this with? Is that Photoshop?

I, too, am interested in something like this.. 

 

That was in Procreate on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil stylus. Procreate does not require the pencil stylus and has a Pocket version for iPhone. I described the process a bit in the post just above the photo.

 

I have used GIMP for editing photos instead of Photoshop for years now, both on my old PC and now on my Mac. I've never tried to do something like this with it, but I suspect it'd be pretty similar just with mouse instead of a stylus. Certainly you can choose colours and different brushes with GIMP. Every now and then if I get a few pieces of dust on a base when I take mini photos I will edit them out rather than taking all the photos again. Other than that I just balance levels to get the colour right and crop stuff.

Prior to this I used the low tech methods I mentioned and just used paint on paper or a quickie test mini. Bones are a boon on that front. Used to be I'd have to find a mini that was kind of similar, file it, prime it, and by then I'm invested and either don't want to goof it up or I can't just joke around with it. Now I just have to find a Bones that has some similar elements and slap enough paint on it to feel like I know whether my idea works or not.
 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Wren said:

 

That was in Procreate on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil stylus. Procreate does not require the pencil stylus and has a Pocket version for iPhone. I described the process a bit in the post just above the photo.

 

I have used GIMP for editing photos instead of Photoshop for years now, both on my old PC and now on my Mac. I've never tried to do something like this with it, but I suspect it'd be pretty similar just with mouse instead of a stylus. Certainly you can choose colours and different brushes with GIMP. Every now and then if I get a few pieces of dust on a base when I take mini photos I will edit them out rather than taking all the photos again. Other than that I just balance levels to get the colour right and crop stuff.

Prior to this I used the low tech methods I mentioned and just used paint on paper or a quickie test mini. Bones are a boon on that front. Used to be I'd have to find a mini that was kind of similar, file it, prime it, and by then I'm invested and either don't want to goof it up or I can't just joke around with it. Now I just have to find a Bones that has some similar elements and slap enough paint on it to feel like I know whether my idea works or not.
 

I got curious when this thread started, and I found a functional method for GIMP.

  1. Open your reference picture file.
  2. Go to "Layer" menu -> select "Create new layer"
  3. In the "New layer" menu, look at the "Mode" drop down menu and select "HSL Color".
  4. Use the Paintbrush tool.

 

After that, you just play with the paintbrush settings to get the size, or intensity you want.

 

As an example, I did this in under 15 minutes with two colors only and my stylus on my PC.

SKZX0AO.jpg

 

I could probably do it quicker with some practice and better use of the tools.

 

I'm going to see if I can find an easy color picker/color wheel add-on to go with this.

Edited by Cranky Dog
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...