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I run a realism unit where we create jackets. But each jacket has to be manually created.


Basically we have a set jacket for each rank (image example provided below) and then we have medals (image example provided below) and we combine them in paint.net to create a final product. As you can imagine this is very time consuming as there are dozens of different medals and combinations. Is there a way to automate the process, so that you maybe fill out a form with what images you want and then it combines them to create the final product? This way we can have different combinations of medals on the jacket? Even if its time consuming to set up I can do it, it's just making every combination of medals/images would take forever.


Any help would be appreciated!

Medals Example




Jacket + Medals Example 



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Yeah, It's easy- I do bulk creations and variations all the time. Here is the process tailored for you:







We can take a uniform with medals and turn it into one without any. Pull up a copy and select the medals on the uniform with the magic wand. Play with the tolerance until it is as accurate as possible. Hit delete on the section(s) to wipe out the medal(s.)


A zoomed in partial shot of the process should now look like this:







If there are any unsatisfactory sections as a result, zoom in and manually delete any unsatisfactory sections with the eraser tool (probably)set small and then as low as 1-2 pixels for fine tuning. Clean up any remaining sections to your satisfaction.



RULE: The basic tools and the army of plugins may get perfection with lots of fiddling of the tools/sliders/options... or darn close. Don't be afraid of trying multiple times and going back to the history and try, try try again. Expect to do some manual cleanups/adjustments to really nail it. Don't be afraid to go back and clean up even small annoyances to your satisfaction.



Then on the voids of where the medals used to be select them with the magic wand tool and then use the Clone Stamp plugin. Again, play with the settings and don't be afraid to experiment and redo as for best results. In your case the best results will probably come with variations on sampling from top to bottom.


Then it is time for more manual edits. Probably start with very small erasure of any unsatisfactory areas. Likely zoom in and out for close detail work.


Next, use the Color Picker tool and sample a nearby correct color. Switch to an appropriate size Paintbrush tool (For small detail work shrink that sucker down!) and dab, dab, dab to fill empty sections and fix errors on existing areas.


Repeat this process by grabbing other nearby colors as needed and dab, dab dab. Don't be afraid to also adjust the width, hardness... of the Paintbrush in this process.


Repeat this process(usually highly zoomed in) until the results are satisfactory. Rinse, lather repeat.



TIP: What is the Clone Stamp plugin? Go download and master EVERY working plugin. It sounds tedious- but you will LOVE the resulting firepower!



The final results of the edited blank uniform should look like this:






Now, Save(CTRL+S) or Save As(CTRL+SHIFT+S) the blank uniform.


TIP: Probably save it in the PDN format when you expect to do more work with any image. If your work has multiple layers ALWAYS save it in the PDN format. It will remember your layers and make more edits/work easy.


PNG is more for finished works. It won't save without mashing the layers down to a final product.



RULE: It is a must to create new folders in your Pictures Library. Hit New Folder and rename at least these 5:


Elements for individual components that are going to get used again to be glued to other work.


Masters for closer to finished canvasses and works that are going to be used again.


More Work for unfinished projects. 


In The Process(Or something along those lines) for snapshot saves.


Fall in love with the In Process folder for long complicated works in case of freezes/crashes/irreparable mistakes... It will be a lifesaver!  There will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth for when something goes wrong with long projects and all is lost...


Repeatedly do periodic saves saves saves saves saves during the creation process. Optionally go back to this folder when projects are completed and then clean up the snapshots.


(Your custom named ie, in your case, "Realism Unit Uniforms") Final Result Bulk Folders. Make and name as many of these as needed.







Bring up a copy of the uniform without the medals. Every time this will be your starting element.


Paste as layers any medals wherever they belong. Since the medals are on different layers it also is possible to move them around to your satisfaction.  Repeat for multiple medals. With each variation save in a custom folder in your Pictures likely in the PNG format.


Optionally take the folders and hit Right click/Properties/Customize/Change Icon and switch the icon from the vanilla envelope to a custom icon(such as a uniform) In the ICO format.



Perhaps, for your projects the medals may change. Probably create a folder for them too- possibly in your Elements folder as a subfolder. Don't be afraid to juggle folders over time to suit your needs.


If you want to create bulk variations on this process at once it's easy. Load or Copy the uniform without medals.


The fastest method is to hit CRL+ALT+V(paste as new image) a bunch of times. Bam Bam Bam... This will create as many blank uniforms to put medals on next as you need. Your PDN will now have a bunch of separate images open.



TIP: If you don't already have one- get a mechanical keyboard with blue(or a custom board with the rare GREEN😁 switches. It will cost a few bucks- but the upgrade over a mush board is AWESOME! Prepare for keystroke click click clicking addiction!



Then Copy medals(CTRL+C for fastest results) that you plan on adding from wherever you have them stored. 


With each one hit CTRL+SHIFT+V(Paste as layers) on top of each blank uniform. Boom Boom Boom.


Some uniforms may have single medals and some will have multiples. Adjust the process as necessary and create all the variations needed.


When the session is done go to every successful variation and CTRL+SHIFT+S Bap Bap Bap the key on each one to save (as PNG) in a final bulk image folder.  A sample bulk folder of variations of the same image(s) should look something like this screenshot:




There you go! Good luck!


FINAL EDIT: There were many image problems. Many uploads failed, there were many "200" errors, Upon pasting images directly they worked- but images at the end were refusing to delete. Cut may have finally got them.


I crank out media rich tutorials- but I do what I can. For now, time has run out...








Edited by Apollo702
Removed duplicate end images- maybe.
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thank you so much for your detailed response. if im understanding correctly i will have to create a template for each variation? The only sad part is we have about 15 ranks and about 30 medals. which is hundreds of combinations.


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47 minutes ago, BDD002 said:

i will have to create a template for each variation

Not at all. Create 15 .png files for the ranks. Create 30 .png files for the medals. 1 Master Template for the uniform. This can be a PDN file with a layer for medals and a layer for ranks. In total 46 Files. As you build uniforms with medals and ranks you will build a library to choose from should you have to recreate the same combination. Keep all the same ranks in their own folders and think of a naming process that works for you. WO_CD2_UN_Peacekeeper_Nato.png (Not a template) would be my uniform. :)



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