Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Creating Custom Cards - How to (over do it)

  1. #1

    Default Creating Custom Cards - How to (over do it)

    Some of you who watch the "What's New?" page may have notice I have uploaded quite a few custom cards recently. I set about creating most of them for miniature I have painted, but the method makes creating additional schemes very easy. Rather than use existing line art and attempting to remove/replace the white space, I instead created my own vector line art over the top. I then went slightly overboard with adding gradients and shading to try and make the images a little more 3D. A summary of the process follows; I use PaintShopPro, but the same principles would work in photoshop, gimp or inkscape.

    STEP1
    Find the best quality line are you can. I found some excellent tempest reference drawings by Junpei Tenma.


    STEP2
    Recreate the aircraft outline and major panel lines as a vector object. I use red as a working colour to tell which lines I have done.


    STEP3
    Copy the outline vector only to a new layer and fill with the camoflage base colour.


    STEP4
    Copy the outline vector to a new layer and cut the outline and add new curves as appropriate to create the camoflage pattern then fill with the 2nd colour.


    STEP5
    Add glass, gunports and other details. Again copy/paste the vector panel lines as appropriate to create these.


    STEP6
    Add an underlay showing the aircraft markings you wish to replicate, then add these. Where possible I keep the markings in a vector format. For letters and roundels on the fuselage side, I create these in a separate file then apply a "cylinder-horizontal" modify to produce the correct perspective. They are then positioned on the image before using the basecoat layer to select the area outside the aircraft outline and delete any overlap.


    STEP7
    From the outline and panel lines create "blanks" for the major aircraft components; here you can see the vertical and horizontal tail "blanks". These will be used later to allow easy cutting of the shading layer. I have made the other layers invisiible here.


    STEP8
    Now for shading. First, I create a simple rectangle with an appropriate monochrome gradient. Unfortunately if we were simply to apply this shading to the fuselage vector "blank" the shading would not correctly follow the aircrafts contours.


    STEP9
    Having converted the shading rectangle to a raster layer I then use the perspective tool to squeeze it along the fuselage contours. Here, I still have the forward fuselage contouring to do. Once complete I use the vector "blank" to accurately select and discard any part of the raster layer that is outside the fuselage. This process is repeated for the wings, horizontal tail, vertical tail and canopy.


    STEP10
    Once all the shading layers are complete, I stack them in the correct order, add some drop shading, then merge the layers and apply a soften filter to smooth the joins.


    STEP11
    Now the shading layer type is set to "Overlay" and transparency adjusted to give a suitable lighting effect and finally the panel lines and outline are set to black with 30% opacity.


    The end product is then dropped on a card template and appropriate text and background added. Changes to the insignia or camo layers can be readily made to produce numerous colour schemes.

    Currently in this format I have:
    • Hawker Typhoon Ia and Ib including early and late tails and car door and bubble canopy options.
    • Hawker Tempest V
    • DeHavilland Mosquito in both bomber (glazed nose) and fighter (solid nose) options
    • Gloster Meteor I and III (short nacelles only)
    • B-25/PBJ B/C

    Happy to take requests, but patience will be required! Next on my list are Spitfire XIV and Mustang IA

  2. #2

    Default

    Awesome! You don't mention the software you are using to do this, though.

    I do some (most) of this in Photoshop. Sometimes I use Illustrator to do the line drawing for the plane and panel lines. And I used to use Illustrator to copy the font for the Maneuver lettering, and import it into Photoshop (cause I couldn't find a free font online).

    I like the combined shading highlight layer process you use, it is neater than mine. I do several layers of shading and highlights, focusing on wings, fusalage, tail, and other parts as necessary (wing ribs on canvas, second wings on biplanes, floats on floatplanes), etc...

    I try to find line drawings of sufficient quality online, rather than do the drawing by hand, as that can be tedious, and time-consuming. Your results demonstrate the benefits of taking that time.

    PS: Yes, you did mention the software. But at the very end of your intro. Missed that.
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 10-27-2022 at 20:43.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  3. #3

    Default

    If you haven't seen it, my very clunky version of cards, including the shading/highlighting of the air frame and canopies (very similar to your fuselage shading, but not as clean).

    Link> Custom Bomber Cards - Discussions
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by OldGuy59 View Post
    If you haven't seen it, my very clunky version of cards, including the shading/highlighting of the air frame and canopies (very similar to your fuselage shading, but not as clean).
    I hadn't seen that, an interesting read and some novel techniques to get the best from line drawings. Personally I find using masks a bit of a pain, but this is more to do with the paint shop pro software than any objection in principle! Ideally rather than using my workaround of using vector layers as cutting blanks I would be able to use masks- it is possible in PSP it just takes longer.

    What frustrates me most about PSP is there is no way to export vector layers as vector data, not to import vector data. I would love to be able to transfer back and forward from PSP to SVG format. Particularly as there are plenty of SVG line drawings already out there.

  5. #5

    Default

    I use Illustrator to open svg graphics, and copy them. Then, paste them into Photoshop as a smart object layer. The programs are more than expensive, but I'm supposed to be tutoring college students in computer graphics. Don't do that since COVID, though...

    I don't think there is a program out there that does both, at least not well.

    It is getting interesting with most sites going to .web graphic files, and Photoshop doesn't open them. I have to jump through a few translation hoops to get them into usable form. I'm hoping Adobe gets its collective fecal matter together, and gets up to speed with the Internet.
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 11-01-2022 at 09:07.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  6. #6

    Guntruck's Avatar Central England Command Squadron Leader & Librarian
    Colonel

    Users Country Flag


    Name
    Steve
    Location
    Right here!
    Sorties Flown
    10,959
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default

    Just seen this Mark. It's a very impressive way to create the aircraft for cards.
    Run for your life - there are stupid people everywhere!

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks for this Mark. I'll see if I can attempt the process on Affinity - one fine day when I have nothing better to do "Nothing better to do"!!! What could be more important?

  8. #8

    Default

    Ok, so here is me roughly following this process for my Caudron R.IV card:

    To start, here is the best (only) decent line drawing I can find:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	caudron_R4_step1.jpg 
Views:	21 
Size:	21.5 KB 
ID:	321061

    I didn't redraw the lines, because I am lazy! Here are the main colour blocks:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	caudron_R4_step5.jpg 
Views:	21 
Size:	24.4 KB 
ID:	321062

    Gradients, shadows and rib strips applied:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	caudron_R4_step8.jpg 
Views:	21 
Size:	25.4 KB 
ID:	321063

    Lastly, I shamelessly stole a pilot and gunner from other aircraft and pasted them on top! I also had to add some control wires and struts that were missing from the original drawing.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	caudron_R4_step11.jpg 
Views:	21 
Size:	29.6 KB 
ID:	321064

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoonfrog View Post
    Ok, so here is me roughly following this process for my Caudron R.IV card:

    To start, here is the best (only) decent line drawing I can find:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	caudron_R4_step1.jpg 
Views:	21 
Size:	21.5 KB 
ID:	321061

    I didn't redraw the lines, because I am lazy! Here are the main colour blocks:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	caudron_R4_step5.jpg 
Views:	21 
Size:	24.4 KB 
ID:	321062

    Gradients, shadows and rib strips applied:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	caudron_R4_step8.jpg 
Views:	21 
Size:	25.4 KB 
ID:	321063

    Lastly, I shamelessly stole a pilot and gunner from other aircraft and pasted them on top! I also had to add some control wires and struts that were missing from the original drawing.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	caudron_R4_step11.jpg 
Views:	21 
Size:	29.6 KB 
ID:	321064
    Pretty much what I do. Extra layer for shading and highlighting if the wings are staggered or there are pontoons, etc... Very nicely done.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59



Similar Missions

  1. Help with creating custom decals
    By kawalski in forum Hobby Room
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 03-03-2019, 15:38
  2. Custom Aircraft / Custom Cards?
    By Togo in forum Hobby Room
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 09-25-2018, 21:32
  3. Creating custom maneuver decks
    By kalnaren in forum WGF: House Rules
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 09-06-2018, 12:23
  4. Creating Climb and Dive cards for old WoW decks
    By Kustenjaeger in forum WGF: General Discussions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-26-2017, 08:28
  5. Custom Cards help?
    By The Cowman in forum Officer's Club
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-20-2010, 23:59

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •