This will be the first part in which I'll introduce some new features that weren't avaible to us in our good ol' friend Paint BBS. I'll make a more in-depth tutorial about this applet and its functions later on, I'm a bit sleepy right now. X3;; Shall we begin?.
Something we must keep in mind first is that there's two versions of Shi Paint, a very standard one and a 'pro' version. In this specific tutorial we'll review the standard applet, and we'll move on to the Pro version and its features later on.
This is how our work area looks like:
Most people used to oekaki paintBBS won't have trouble recognizing most of its features, but for newbies, let's review the tools:
Upload: Once your drawing is ready you can upload your picture to the server hosting the oekaki with this tool.
Float: Moves all the tools and palettes away from your current work area making them 'float' in independent windows.
Undo: you can undo mistakes or unwanted traces/elements you drew and didn't like. There's quite a limit of undo's in shi paint, so try to be careful with your drawing.
Redo: if you accidentally undid more things then what you originally wanted, this tool will re-draw what you undid until your most recent trace.
Fill: Like your bucket tool in many art/design software, fill with cover your full canvas with your selected color. Fill tool's effect is affected by what tools you're using at the moment you're filling your canvas, so it might be completely solid color or a softer shade of the same color depending on what tool was last in use.
All right, we've got the first set of tools down, shall we carry on?. To your right you'll find a large block with more tools and blocks of colors, let's review the tools:
Ok, we'll treat these as vertical rows. The first row to the left contains the basic tools you'll find in display on the shi paint applet everytime you first use it. If you click on one element, that specific tool will change to a different tool of the same 'kind'. What do I mean with kinds? Well, every section of the main tools is separated in 'kinds' or groups according to their uses. Our first horizontal row from top to bottom displays your drawing tools, which you'll use to draw and color your picture. I'll explain each group of tools now, as well as what different tools are contained in that group and what do they do.
Drawing Tools: Contains pencil, water color, air brush, pen, e-pen and mosaic. These are your tools to draw and color with.
Pencil: Is your pixelated basic tool. You can draw a rough thick sketch with this, you can also outline your final pictures with this tool if you like 'solid' blocks of color and outlines.
Watercolor Shi Paint's version of watercolor works much differently from the old paintBBS watercolor. This version acts much more like real watercolors, picking up the color of the canvas or color applied previously on the canvas. So, your color will look solid and bright when you first apply it but as you run the color along the canvas it will turn lighter until it matches the color underneath. It will also pick up parts of a darker/lighter color as you apply new color over the one you previously had. Makes up for a wonderful blending but is a bit harder to control then its previous incarnation for paintBBS.
Air Brush: This tool is a new addition. If you're used softwares like photoshop before you know what this tool is like. For the newbs to the Air Brush, applies a rather thick portion of color, it's very solid most of time but the edges are always soft and lighter in color then the inner portions. Unlike watercolor tool, the Air Brush won't pick up on the color underneath so the color is more solid and consistent.
Pen: This is yet another new addition. This tool works like an ink pen, making softer traces, more delicate and elegant then the thick pencil. Many people use this tool to 'ink' over their sketch to achieve a 'soft' look on their pictures.
E-Pen: This is also a new element. This tool 'draws' with texture and can resemble charcoal, pastels or crayons. Is more of a coloring/sketch coloring tool then for drawing.
Mosaic: I forgot to add it to the picture but this tool will convert anything you scribble over in 'mosaics''s giving a pixelated effect.
Edition Tools: With these tools you can edit and change coloring effects to your drawing. Contains Dodge, Burn, Soft, Text and Combine.
Dodge: Applying this tool to a colored selection will brighten. According to what intensity you set it, it can turn a dark color into white with some sort of 'bleaching' effect.
Burn: Does the exact opposite then Dodge. Applying this tool will darken the color, according the intensity of the effect you set up, it will darker the color to turn it black.
Soft: A Blurring tool. You can use this tool to blend blocks solid block of color, adding also a softer effect to your other mediums like air brush or watercolors. Keep in mind this tool will pick up any colors around the area you're blurring, so it's possible you blend a black border with a red T-Shirt, be very careful of where do you apply your tool.
Text: In paintBBS this tool was part of your drawing group of tools, here was moved to your edition materials. Pretty basic, with this tool you can add any text you want to your picture. The basic font for this tool is Arial.
Combine: This tool will pick up a rectangular selection and group any traces, colors and text within the selection into one single layer, all the selected elements will be grouped and moved into the layer you're currently working in.
Canvas Edition Tools: These tools will allow you to copy and move elements of your canvas. Remember, your Canvas is the white area you'll be working on. Contains Copy, Flip X, Flip Y and Rotate.
Copy: By selecting this tool you'll created a rectangular selection, anything contained in said selection will be duplicated and you'll be able to move it around the canvas.
Flip X: Will flip anything contained on a rectangular selection horizontally.
Flip Y: Will flip anything contained on a rectangular selection vertically.
Rotate: Will rotate anything contained on a rectangular selection on a 90° in the clock hands' direction.
Eraser Tools: This group contains different erasing tools. Contains Eraser, ESmooth, EraseRect and EraseAll.
Eraser: A solid, thick eraser. It's qualities are identical to your pencil tool but, obviously, it will erase and clean your drawing.
ESmooth: This is a softer eraser, similar in effect to your pen tool. It will erase with a smoother, softer edge but will require more traces to erase something completely.
EraseRect: Will erase anything contained within a rectangular selection.
EraseAll: It will clear completely all of your canvas and layers. Use this tool only if you want to clear all your work to start over. You can undo the effect of this tool though.
Property tools: These tools will change the properties and conditions of your canvas or 'paper' giving different effects to many other tools. Contains Solid OFF, Halftone and Texturize.
Solid Off This tool keeps your color selections 'solid' the color is constant and saturated to its max.
Halftone: This tool will make all your other tools work with a series of colored dots positioned in different intervals instead of filling up with a solid color.
Texturize: With this tool you can give your canvas a 'texture' as if it was a real paper, all your tools but your pen will be affected by the 'texture' of your paper giving you more options and effects to color your picture.
Lines & Shapes Tools: These tools control the way your lines will act on your drawing. Contains Freehand, Line, Bezier, Rect, Solid Rect, Oval and Solid Oval.
Freehand: This tool allows you to draw anything following the course of your mouse/tablet. This tool is very difficult to use if you haven't had any previous experience with mouse/tablet drawing before.
Line: Draws straight/diagonal lines following the positions set by your mouse/tablet, tieing a starting point with an ending point.
Bezier: This tool creates a line from a starting and ending point like the line tool. However this one allows you to manipulate the line in two different points to create curves.
Rect: Creates an outilined rectangular shape.
Solid Rect: Creates a filled rectangular shape.
Oval: Creates an outilned circular/oval shape.
Solid Oval: Creates a filled circular/oval shape.
Layer Properties: These options change the properties of your layers to affect only certain elements on it. Contains Normal, Mask and Reverse Mask options. Affects all your drawing and erasing tools, as well as your dodge/burn/soft and text tools.
Normal: Everything you draw is affected by the next color you use on it, wether is darker or lighter.
Mask: The darker color of your picture will be masked. Any color lighter, even by the most minimun RGB value, will 'ignore' the masked color and will go 'underneath' of it. Any Erasing tool will also ignore the masked color leaving it intact when the eraser pases over it. However, this tool only works well with solid blocks of color, so I don't recomend use it when you apply a soft coloring or use the pen tool.
Reverse Mask: It has the opposite effect of the mask property. Your darkest color will be masked and the other tools will only take effect on the masked color, ignoring any other colors. Just like Mask, this will only work well with solid colors. I don't recomend messing with these properties if you're working with Shi Paint, as you can work with several layers.
Whew! That was quite a lot right there. But we'r not done, there's still more tools we have to look at! Don't worry they're less and easier to understand then our basic tools. Now, we like to add some splash of color to our drawings, right? That's what the color palette is for.
The palette is quite easy to use, you have a pre-set selection of 14 'base' colors to work with. All you need is to click on the color you'd like to use and changes your drawing tool's default black color to your selection. However, you're also free to modify and create your own colors as better fits you. To do this, you only have to drift your sight to those 3 color bars with the letters R G B on each one. The numbers on the bars display the 'amount' or saturation of that color in your selection. To change the amount of one of the 3 base colors in your selection just click with your mouse/tablet on the bar of the color whose value you'd like to change and while still holding your mouse key drag it to your left to deminish its value down to 0 -zero- or to your right to increase it up to 255. Repeat the process with the other 2 bars until you achieve the desired shade of color.
Next, we have a gray bar with the letter A and more numbers. This tool controls the 'hardness' or saturation of overall color on your all of your tools, this also affects the saturation of color in your fill tool. The value of the hardness/saturation varies between 0 and 255. 0 Being completely 'invisible' while 255 it's the most hard and solid color to reach. You can moderate the value to give special effects to your color and/or traces. It also affects the hardness of your text tool.
Under our gray friend we have a square with arrows and a number. This is the 'size' tool, will increase or decrease the size of our tools from 1 pixel point to the max of 47 pixels points. This also modifies the size of the text tool.
Finally, we have the Layer tool, it will display the 'number' of the layer you're currently working on. 0 being the bottom or your 'canvas' layer. If you click on the square for layer, a new window will open and will show you your layer map:
You Start working with a set of 5 layers by default. The red selection around the layer shows you in what layer you're working on. It displays number of the layer, the arrangement of the layers in whicn 0 is always the bottom layer. The Blues bars are the indication of your layers opacity of your layers. By clicking and dragging your mouse around the blue bar you'll increase or deminish the opacity of the layer. The small circle at the right shows your layer is 'visible'. If you click on the circle, the layer will turn 'invisible'. Now, you're not limited to work with just 5 static layers. Select your 'menu' and will display a series of new options:
This is where things turn a bit tricky, each new layer you create will take the 'number' of the layer that was 'on top' of it if it wasn't created over the top layer. This means that if you create a layer on top of layer 3 but your lineart is on layer 4, layer 4 will automatically become layer 5, and the layer 4 will be empty. Don't worry, your work isn't modified by this. The same will happen if you Erase or merge a layer, If you merge layers 3 and 4 into one, your layers 5 will be renamed layer 4 again.
If you click and hold your mouse over one of your layers and drag it up or down, it will ask you if you'd like to merge or shift that layer with the one you're currently hovering your selection over. The red selection will change from your current layer you're dragging to the 'closest' layer.
If you choose to merge the layers, the content of the layer you're holding with your mouse will be transfered to the layer displaying the red rectangle, clearing whatever was in the floating layer and leaving it ready to use again. For example, if you move layer 2 and hover it over layer 3 and merge them, the contents of layer 2 will merge with layer 3, leaving layer 2 empty. If you choose to shift your layers, say, shift the position of layer 2 so it will be 'above' layer 3, your layer 2 will be automatically renamed to layer 3 and your layer 3 will become layer 2. It is a bit confussing and tricky at first, but you get used to it quite soon with some practice.
Shi Pain also has an interesting feature. If you decide to re-touch a picture, you'll discover your layers have been saved intact. This feature makes re-touching a picture much easier and more efficiently.
Finally, a quick sample of what you can do with Shi Paint: I drew a quick chara suggested by some friends at IRC. This is fast and I spent less then 30 mins actually working on it so don't yell at me if it's missing things plus is the first time I draw this character. XP
Okay, I started drawing the basic sketch with the pencil on a bright not very satured color:
Once Satisfied with the sketch I decided to outline this roughly and sketch-like with the pen tool:
Finally I applied some really god damn lazy coloring using the Watercolor tool along with some dodge/burn/soft tools here and there. Using separated layers for each color. The background was created using the mosaic, texturize and halftone tools. And this was the final result:
Much better results can be achieved if you put up dedication and time into your drawings. I hope this tutorial was of any use/help for you. Expect more in the future!