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What program would you use for a Tablet


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I think you'll find Paint.NET is extremely powerful and should be able to handle your needs.

A tablet: only if you wish to do freehand drawings and don't like using the mouse. Otherwise Paint.NET should provide all the tools you'll ever need.

Can you give us some more info on what you're trying to achieve? If possible, upload your image to a server (photobucket or imageshack for example) and post the link here so we can see what you're working with.

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I think I need to add another layer and "trace" over the image. So the new layer does not alter the original. I want to fill in ponds blue, fields green, etc etc. But, how do you do it with adding a new layer?I've got to be able to see the background layer, but when I "draw" it's got to appear on the overlain layer. Picture of my map below. I think I need to use a pen device to "trace" over with.

Edited by richard6398
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I think I need to add another layer and "trace" over the image. So the new layer does not alter the original.

Quite so. Look in the Layers Window for this icon :AddNewLayer: Click the icon to add a new (blank) layer above your original.

I want to fill in ponds blue, fields green, etc etc. But, how do you do it with adding a new layer?I've got to be able to see the background layer, but when I "draw" it's got to appear on the overlain layer. Picture of my map below. I think I need to use a pen device to "trace" over with.

Now that you've added a new layer, check that it is the active layer (it should be highlighted in the Layers Window). If it isn't highlighted, simply click on it in the Layers window.

Blue ponds - freehand coloring:

1. Select the pencil tool :PencilTool:

2. Select a nice blue from the Colors Window (just click on any blue you like). This will set the pencil to use the blue color.

3. Click and drag to draw over your pond. It might help to zoom in a bit (look in the Tool Bar for icons & Zoom settings).

Green Fields - a different strategy!

1. Activate the original layer (by clicking on it).

2. Duplicate that layer :DuplicateLayer:

3. Select a nice green in the Colors Window

4. Click the Paint Bucket tool :PaintBucket:

5. Set the tolerance of the paint bucket to around 23% (look in the toolbar)

6. Click on any field to fill it with green. If the color overflows the boundary, use Ctrl + Z to undo the last 'fill' and lower the tolerance a bit before trying again.

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Okay, I now see how to make a layer active. Actually, what I should do is simply copy the original file and colour it in. I don't need to trace "over" the original by using a layer. So, my original stays intact because I'll colour in a duplicate of the map.

My problem is with the mouse. I'm using an old rubber ball mouse and the control I have is not great, in fact poor. How much better is say an optical mouse? I presume very much better for freehand drawing or going over lines. And I wiil have to go over lines, because not all the lines (field boundaries, ponds, roads etc) on the map are always continuous and I will have to make them so.

Can you get a pen-like device that acts like a mouse in fundamental operation? Or, is a (good/optical) mouse perfectly okay? Rich

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Hello Richard,

I have a tablet but would probably still use my mouse (ball type) for this.

At risk of stating the obvious, have you cleaned the internals of the mouse and are you using it on a decent surface?

Have you checked in window's control panel what the mouse settings are?

- just ideas ;)

Also I think layers are the way to go - (obviously preserve your original image safely first) - you could then separate out the black lines onto a clear layer and have this above the layer with your colouring (should help to cover any slight mistakes). If the coloured fields etc are on there own clear layer you can easily tidy them up with the eraser or paintbrush tools.

 

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Hello Richard,

I have a tablet but would probably still use my mouse (ball type) for this.

At risk of stating the obvious, have you cleaned the internals of the mouse and are you using it on a decent surface?

Have you checked in window's control panel what the mouse settings are?

- just ideas ;)

Also I think layers are the way to go - (obviously preserve your original image safely first) - you could then separate out the black lines onto a clear layer and have this above the layer with your colouring (should help to cover any slight mistakes). If the coloured fields etc are on there own clear layer you can easily tidy them up with the eraser or paintbrush tools.

True: if I use a layer then I cannot erase the lines when colouring in. As you say, any editing will not disturb the lines.

There are several options:

1 The original as background with coloured layer above containing just the colouring.

2 As above, but with original above the colouring layer.

(I think 1 is the preference)

3 Somehow to seperate the lines so that they exist on a clear layer with colouring layer below

4 As above but with colouring layer below

You suggest 3, I think.

I think you are saying create a layer (clear layer) where there are only lines. That would mean getting rid of the white on the map. Somehow.

And of course:

5 No layers, just one layer with colouring (which has been not recommended).

Edited by richard6398
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Layers are your friend ... The power of most editing done this way is really helpful. At the end they can be merged into a "single" image of course.

Regarding 3) To get a trace from an image like this with transparent areas to work with, try something like Black and Alpha+ to remove the white, or something like Grim Color Reaper if the source is to "grey" in some areas. You'll be left with an outline that you can merge onto the original with color in to your liking.

Depending on which details need to remain of course. Since this looks like a plot map, I'm not sure if you need those text designations etc.

Using Black and Alpha with faint lines can lead you to a small amount of hand editing, but no need to trace the entire thing. To get it "denser" just create layer duplicates and merge them as needed. (Or use a sharpen pass or similar before the B&A pass on it depending on how it works out.)

Snipet example of your test object:

Base:

BeforeBA.png

Black and Alpha pass over blue background for contrast and to show transparency:

AfterBA.png

Darkened lines with three layers and some color:

Somecolor.png

Hope that helps some ...

Edited by delpart

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I was thinking (not saying anyone else was, I'm a total beginner) that it was a good idea to have the lines only show on a layer. And to remove colour (in this case, remove the white). I can do that with Black & Alpha (or maybe I used Colour and Alpha, not sure which I used). So on one layer just the black lines show, in-between lines is no colour, so on a physical level, it's like a transparancy with the lines drawn on. Of course, you see the chequeres on the layer

Not sure what advantage doing that has. :c) Because bucket-fill won't work, except on a layer with the lines. Which in my case destroys the "transparancy" that I have just created.

From what I've done, making this "transparancy", I have to draw in the colours on the background with a mouse using the transparancy (layer) to guide. Cannot use bucket-fill.

As regarding using bucket-fill, if the lines are strong then of course that reduces the need to erase (or do little fill-ins to complete the fill). So, perhaps then the first focus is getting the lines strong. And if that is the key, if it's not unduly onerous, then one is going to use the bucket-fill. So, my transparancy layer I've made, has likely no value. :c) Unless it's quicker to "manually"colour in the backround, using the transparancy as a guide rather than "fix" the lines.

Bucket-fill, or not to bucket-fill - that is the question. :c)

Edited by richard6398
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Paint Bucket + Tolerance slider boltbait.wink.png

It won't save you if the lines are obviously broken, but you should be able to fix this on a case by case basis.

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Paint Bucket + Tolerance slider boltbait.wink.png

It won't save you if the lines are obviously broken, but you should be able to fix this on a case by case basis.

Actually, I'm finding that I get better results if I paintbrush my colours in. Because I get totally homegenious colouring, which you don't get using the bucket-fill because of the text in fields etc. And I don't have to start fixing broken lines.

So, I've got the map lines on a layer "transparancy" above a background which background is totally white. That enables me to more clearly see the lines on the "transparancy".

So all colouring is taking place on the background which has no lines. I have a slight niggle when I need to erase, because when I do erase something with the eraser, I see the chequeres, but not a big problem.

Edited by richard6398
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Well, it seems you already went through all the trouble of removing the white, so this may not be the most helpful of suggestions, but next time you have to do something like this, just add a new layer above your original and set the blend mode to multiply. Then, you can color over your text and lines all you want ;)

 

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