bassanimation


quality posts: 98 Private Messages bassanimation
clarinerd wrote:I've made a new photoshop action that should fix the aliasing issues.

The action file that I previously linked to created the halftone patterns by doing a lot of complicated stuff with channels, which honestly I still don't really understand. After several hours of my one-sided yelling match with photoshop, I gave up on this approach. No matter what I did, the result always had smug little gradietish pixels leering out at me. (can you sense my frustration?)

So, I decided to automate the manual approach I had been using, which is documented by TheInfinityLoop here. There are a couple extra steps at the beginningish that I added so that when the initial gradient layer is copied, it will take the dimensions of the whole image. This is important because this method involves opening a new file in photoshop, and this way the user doesn't have to set the dimensions himself.

Here are some guidelines for the action:

(1) The file that you are working in must be the rightmost file on the tab bar. This is because the only way to switch open files in actions is to go right or left some set number of tabs.
(2) The layer you want halftoned must be selected.
(3) The color you want the halftones to be must be in the foreground.

And here is the link to my action file.

It would be great if some other people could try it and give feedback. I'd love it if there were a way to get rid of that pesky tab issue.



You don't have to work in a tabbed environment, as I also loath it. I think you can set the properties in PS that when you open new files they are not nested in tabs. If I ever open things that tab themselves (particularly digital photos) I drag those mofos out of tabs. I dislike that severely! (shakes girlfists at Adobe)

I'd be happy to try this action out. Does it only work on nested/tabbed files? Hmm...we're going to find out here shortly..

clarinerd


quality posts: 2 Private Messages clarinerd
bassanimation wrote:You don't have to work in a tabbed environment, as I also loath it. I think you can set the properties in PS that when you open new files they are not nested in tabs. If I ever open things that tab themselves (particularly digital photos) I drag those mofos out of tabs. I dislike that severely! (shakes girlfists at Adobe)

I'd be happy to try this action out. Does it only work on nested/tabbed files? Hmm...we're going to find out here shortly..



I actually really like tabs, I just wish PS actions weren't so dumb. I really wish I could test how it works with tabs disabled now, but unfortunately my work computer doesn't have PS. Which when I think about it is probably a good thing. I might not ever get anything done otherwise.

bassanimation


quality posts: 98 Private Messages bassanimation
clarinerd wrote:I actually really like tabs, I just wish PS actions weren't so dumb. I really wish I could test how it works with tabs disabled now, but unfortunately my work computer doesn't have PS. Which when I think about it is probably a good thing. I might not ever get anything done otherwise.



Yup, it works pretty well! I don't use tabs and it seems fine, no problems. It would be cool if it would keep your settings in the convert-to-bitmap area, like if you want it to be elipse or angled different, but eh, small quibble. This is super cool!

odysseyroc


quality posts: 33 Private Messages odysseyroc

The one thing that I don't like about actions is that you have to set your files up a certain way or they don't work. I usually have multiple halftone layers sandwiched between regular spot color layers.

I tried Clarinerds halftone action and it worked pretty good. I think you can cut down on the steps if you used channels after you convert to bitmap:

1 Convert back to grayscale
2 drag gray channel to previous document
3 make a layer for your halftone or delete art from the one that's already there
4. make selection from Alpha 1
5. fill selection
6. close duplicate file
7 (optional) trash alpha 1





clarinerd


quality posts: 2 Private Messages clarinerd
odysseyroc wrote:The one thing that I don't like about actions is that you have to set your files up a certain way or they don't work. I usually have multiple halftone layers sandwiched between regular spot color layers.

I tried Clarinerds halftone action and it worked pretty good. I think you can cut down on the steps if you used channels after you convert to bitmap:

1 Convert back to grayscale
2 drag gray channel to previous document
3 make a layer for your halftone or delete art from the one that's already there
4. make selection from Alpha 1
5. fill selection
6. close duplicate file
7 (optional) trash alpha 1



Thanks, I'll look into that. The one thing I kept thinking while working on this was how completely stupid this whole process is. Adobe could make a button to do this, but instead you have to go through like 50 steps importing your layer into a new document, changing it to a bitmap and invariably missing something along the way. That just shouldn't be. *sigh* maybe in CS6...

bassanimation


quality posts: 98 Private Messages bassanimation
clarinerd wrote:Thanks, I'll look into that. The one thing I kept thinking while working on this was how completely stupid this whole process is. Adobe could make a button to do this, but instead you have to go through like 50 steps importing your layer into a new document, changing it to a bitmap and invariably missing something along the way. That just shouldn't be. *sigh* maybe in CS6...



Adobe still hasn't gotten the hint that people other than photographers use their software ^_~. They're slowly making improvements...very slowly...hahah. Someday they'll even work out their hideous code bugs. In the meantime though, this thread has been incredibly helpful. Thanks to everyone who's chimed in on the halftone debacle! With our powers combined, we can lessen the pain!

megsck


quality posts: 6 Private Messages megsck
bassanimation wrote:Adobe still hasn't gotten the hint that people other than photographers use their software ^_~. They're slowly making improvements...very slowly...hahah. Someday they'll even work out their hideous code bugs. In the meantime though, this thread has been incredibly helpful. Thanks to everyone who's chimed in on the halftone debacle! With our powers combined, we can lessen the pain!



Adobe would come to my school and ask us questions on how to make their products more animation / illustration friendly. I think they are working on it, its just taking them forever i guess, i think they are more focused on flash now that they own it. hopefully they will release a friendlier version soon, i need an upgrade.

odysseyroc


quality posts: 33 Private Messages odysseyroc
megsck wrote:Adobe would come to my school and ask us questions on how to make their products more animation / illustration friendly. I think they are working on it, its just taking them forever i guess, i think they are more focused on flash now that they own it. hopefully they will release a friendlier version soon, i need an upgrade.



Chris Cox from the Photoshop team has always been pretty involved with the comic book colorist community. He'd see what we found useful and what we thought could be improved. I think the problem is there are so many different uses for photoshop, it's hard to get to all of the pressing needs for all of them. I believe that there are commercially available filters/products that will make color seps for screen printing, so that may make us low on the priority list.





bassanimation


quality posts: 98 Private Messages bassanimation
megsck wrote:Adobe would come to my school and ask us questions on how to make their products more animation / illustration friendly. I think they are working on it, its just taking them forever i guess, i think they are more focused on flash now that they own it. hopefully they will release a friendlier version soon, i need an upgrade.



Oh yeah, they're doing an ok job. I just like to gripe about them because it gives me an out for all that pent up anger at the daily crashing....-cough-. They've added some great stuff, esp with CS4.

I do remember evaluating CS3 at my old job to see if an upgrade would be useful. They'd busted a command I used almost like clockwork, I couldn't believe it. I flew over to their forums and squawked like a crazy flamingo at them. They said "Oh, we knew that was broken, but it was too late to fix the code before shipping! We're so sorry, we'll fix that next time."

<----forlorn face

I did not recommend CS3 for purchase. Thankfully, CS4 fixed the problem, and I am a happy panda again. ^^ It seems like they do listen, you just have to scream really loud...

PS: I don't think a million angel tears could fix the mess that is Flash :\

clarinerd


quality posts: 2 Private Messages clarinerd

Ok, I think I've fixed the tab problem in my halftone action, because this version doen't need to open a second file. I also tried my old version on CS5 and there were some problems that I haven't yet debugged. Not so with the new version! This exercise has also really helped me learn more keyboard shortcuts. This is the general flow of my halftone action:

1: Hide all other layers
2: Convert to grayscale and then bitmap
3: Copy the halftoned layer
4: Step backwards (ctrl alt z) to step 1
5: Paste layer
6: Remove white background and fill with proper color

If anyone uses this, let me know about any problems you encounter. So far I've just tested this on CS5 for PC. If anyone else is just tired of me going on about halftones, just ignore any more of my posts on this thread. Or hunt me down and hit me over the head with a blunt object, I hear that works too.

Halftone action v2

no1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages no1
bassanimation wrote:Thanks to everyone who's chimed in on the halftone debacle! With our powers combined, we can lessen the pain!



not for those of us who don't have or use photoshop. hmph.

[/sad panda]

bassanimation


quality posts: 98 Private Messages bassanimation

Posted this in MJ's tutorial post but I wanted to also copy it here since we were recently talking about halftone tricks.

Jimiyo posted this fantastic halftone layer trick. Please check it out and if you follow him on FB or Twitter, give him a thanks! Dude is otterific!

Jimiyo's Halftone Pattern Overlay

sTyLeS


quality posts: 9 Private Messages sTyLeS
no1 wrote:not for those of us who don't have or use photoshop. hmph.

[/sad panda]



Do you use Gimp also then? If so, I have some techniques for applying halftones there using the Newsprint filter.
Let me know if you're interested and I'll try and get them to you.

no1


quality posts: 7 Private Messages no1
sTyLeS wrote:Do you use Gimp also then? If so, I have some techniques for applying halftones there using the Newsprint filter.
Let me know if you're interested and I'll try and get them to you.



well, i'm always interested in seeing if there's a better way for me to do things. yes, i do use gimp. currently to do halftones, i just have a layer filled with whatever color, draw in grayscale on the layer mask, then newsprint the mask. this seems to work ok for simple gradiented objects, but more complex ones are harder for me to do. for example, recently i had a design with several grayscale clouds; fortunately the different clouds didn't overlap, but if they did, i'd have a hard time combining them into a single layer mask to convert into a single halftoned layer. there must be a better way!

sTyLeS


quality posts: 9 Private Messages sTyLeS
no1 wrote:well, i'm always interested in seeing if there's a better way for me to do things. yes, i do use gimp. currently to do halftones, i just have a layer filled with whatever color, draw in grayscale on the layer mask, then newsprint the mask. this seems to work ok for simple gradiented objects, but more complex ones are harder for me to do. for example, recently i had a design with several grayscale clouds; fortunately the different clouds didn't overlap, but if they did, i'd have a hard time combining them into a single layer mask to convert into a single halftoned layer. there must be a better way!



The steps you mentioned do sound about like what I do using the Newsprint filter. New layer, gradients using grayscale, Newsprint filter on said layer, then I just select alpha from the layer, delete that layer, then you can fill with the selection any color you want, invert selection and fill with a different color or let background show through.