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Having trouble with layers.....

Oct 3, 2011, 23:25
Post: #1
Sad Having trouble with layers.....
I'm a cartoonist trying to color my comic book art with GIMP.I'm a beginner (and not a very tech savy one,I'm afraid.) and my main problem seems to be seperating my art on another layer,so that my coloring doesn't color over the art!

I've viewed several tutorials on You Tube (some helpful,some not so much),but I still can't figure out what I'm doing wrong.I would be very greatful if someone could walk me though the process of getting a comic book image layered for coloring in a simple step by step manner.Thanks in advance!
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Oct 4, 2011, 06:26
Post: #2
RE: Having trouble with layers.....
This one seems to simple, how have you tried it already? What seems to be going wrong?

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Oct 5, 2011, 00:06
Post: #3
RE: Having trouble with layers.....
(Oct 4, 2011 06:26)diginin Wrote:  This one seems to simple, how have you tried it already? What seems to be going wrong?

Alright,I've got my art on GIMP,now I select this Bycolorselect and click on the art.

It creates the moving black dot effect over the art if I'm lucky.(Sometimes it creates random waves of purple)

next I hit ctrl-X , then shift-ctrl-A.

Now at this point,the youtube tutorial states that I should see a ghosted checkerboard in the art,but no such luck.

Next I delete the layer and have a checker background remaining.

Then,I click New Layer and choose White

Now I click Edit,Paste as-New Layer.This is where I believe I'm supposed to see my Art return,but I'm left with a White page.

I've done a version of the above replaceing this Bycolorselect with ctrl-A and get the "marching ants" effect around the art.But neither has worked for me.Huh
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Oct 5, 2011, 08:10 (This post was last modified: Oct 5, 2011 08:11 by ofnuts.)
Post: #4
RE: Having trouble with layers.....
(Oct 5, 2011 00:06)Johnnie Wrote:  Alright,I've got my art on GIMP,now I select this Bycolorselect and click on the art. It creates the moving black dot effect over the art if I'm lucky.(Sometimes it creates random waves of purple)
This is because your background isn't really uniform. The "purple waves" appear because you have several thousands small islands of selection (purple waves are a composition of all the marching ants around individual spots). Increase the threshold in the selection tool until they disappear.

(Oct 5, 2011 00:06)Johnnie Wrote:  next I hit ctrl-X , then shift-ctrl-A.

Now at this point, the youtube tutorial states that I should see a ghosted checkerboard in the art,but no such luck.
This is because the layer you are working on doesn't support transparency. To make it support transparency it should have an "alpha channel", ie, a value that behaves like the RBG colors but indicates the transparency. To add one: "Layer/Transparency/Add alpha channel". But since you get rid of the layer later in the process it isn't important.

(Oct 5, 2011 00:06)Johnnie Wrote:  Next I delete the layer and have a checker background remaining.

Then,I click New Layer and choose White
Actually for most purposes you should have used transparency. It's always easier to make transparency non-transparent if you change your mind than to change a non-transparent thing into some other non-transparent thing.

(Oct 5, 2011 00:06)Johnnie Wrote:  Now I click Edit,Paste as-New Layer.This is where I believe I'm supposed to see my Art return,but I'm left with a White page.

I've done a version of the above replaceing this Bycolorselect with ctrl-A and get the "marching ants" effect around the art.But neither has worked for me.Huh
Open the Layers dialogs (this is the most important dialog in Gimp, IMHO). After your "paste-as-new-layer", you should see a new layer called "Clipboard" at the top. But if you don't see anything, it's likely because your "cut" didn't work.

What I would have done instead
Since you remove the original layer, you can also use Ctrl-C instead of Ctrl-X. And, a safer method would really be:

- select
- copy to clipboard
- paste as new layer
- delete source layer

"Paste as new layer" has the side effect to crop the pasted image to the smallest rectangle that contains the selection... Plain copy/paste pastes the contents at the very same place (but this creates a temporary layer ("floating selection") with which beginners often have trouble, until they come asking here, of course).


Just in case...
A little heads up...

It seems that what you are trying to do is to remove the background, in which case have a look at this: http://gimpforums.com/thread-changing-a-...parent-png

If you want to color line-art, you can also have a look here: http://gimpforums.com/thread-color-lineart-fast

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Oct 14, 2011, 01:56
Post: #5
RE: Having trouble with layers.....
(Oct 5, 2011 08:10)ofnuts Wrote:  
(Oct 5, 2011 00:06)Johnnie Wrote:  Alright,I've got my art on GIMP,now I select this Bycolorselect and click on the art. It creates the moving black dot effect over the art if I'm lucky.(Sometimes it creates random waves of purple)
This is because your background isn't really uniform. The "purple waves" appear because you have several thousands small islands of selection (purple waves are a composition of all the marching ants around individual spots). Increase the threshold in the selection tool until they disappear.

(Oct 5, 2011 00:06)Johnnie Wrote:  next I hit ctrl-X , then shift-ctrl-A.

Now at this point, the youtube tutorial states that I should see a ghosted checkerboard in the art,but no such luck.
This is because the layer you are working on doesn't support transparency. To make it support transparency it should have an "alpha channel", ie, a value that behaves like the RBG colors but indicates the transparency. To add one: "Layer/Transparency/Add alpha channel". But since you get rid of the layer later in the process it isn't important.

(Oct 5, 2011 00:06)Johnnie Wrote:  Next I delete the layer and have a checker background remaining.

Then,I click New Layer and choose White
Actually for most purposes you should have used transparency. It's always easier to make transparency non-transparent if you change your mind than to change a non-transparent thing into some other non-transparent thing.

(Oct 5, 2011 00:06)Johnnie Wrote:  Now I click Edit,Paste as-New Layer.This is where I believe I'm supposed to see my Art return,but I'm left with a White page.

I've done a version of the above replaceing this Bycolorselect with ctrl-A and get the "marching ants" effect around the art.But neither has worked for me.Huh
Open the Layers dialogs (this is the most important dialog in Gimp, IMHO). After your "paste-as-new-layer", you should see a new layer called "Clipboard" at the top. But if you don't see anything, it's likely because your "cut" didn't work.

What I would have done instead
Since you remove the original layer, you can also use Ctrl-C instead of Ctrl-X. And, a safer method would really be:

- select
- copy to clipboard
- paste as new layer
- delete source layer

"Paste as new layer" has the side effect to crop the pasted image to the smallest rectangle that contains the selection... Plain copy/paste pastes the contents at the very same place (but this creates a temporary layer ("floating selection") with which beginners often have trouble, until they come asking here, of course).


Just in case...
A little heads up...

It seems that what you are trying to do is to remove the background, in which case have a look at this: http://gimpforums.com/thread-changing-a-...parent-png

If you want to color line-art, you can also have a look here: http://gimpforums.com/thread-color-lineart-fast

I want to say thanks for your advice.It is much apprieciated!

I've follwed through with the process as I described originally and was able to get the ghosted checker board effect in the art.(I think I needed to add Alpha Channel)But when I try to color it,it is still coloring over the art. Is there a step I've over- looked?

Sorry if I'm a little slow with this,but it's all very new to me!
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Oct 15, 2011, 09:30
Post: #6
RE: Having trouble with layers.....
With the technique above you apply the color to a specific color layer which is below the line art so it cannot color over it. Make sure that the color layer is selected when you paint (and that it is below the layer with the line art of course).

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Oct 19, 2011, 03:32
Post: #7
RE: Having trouble with layers.....
How do I select the color layer so that it can't be colored over?I'm afraid I don't know how to do that.Huh
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Oct 19, 2011, 08:14
Post: #8
RE: Having trouble with layers.....
If you have only one layer with your line art, painting on it will replace the line art. The quick, dirty and limited solution, if your line art is black, is to change the mode of the paint tool form "normal" to "darken only".

The real solution is to add another layer below the line art and paint on that. And it will be easier if you:
  • switch to the line art layer
  • use the line art (magic wand) to make a selection restricted to the area of interest
  • switch to the paint layer
  • apply paint liberally, painting will be restricted to the selection, and so won't bleed over

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Nov 17, 2011, 14:13
Post: #9
RE: Having trouble with layers.....
I'm glad I found this thread, so I'm going to ask a question on to this if I may. I've found 2 great You Tube videos to explain these steps in detail, so I have them down, but I'd like to know if you find a mistake on your line art, after starting layers & coloring, can you fix your line art or make adjustments to it & if so how?
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Nov 17, 2011, 14:13
Post: #10
RE: Having trouble with layers.....
I'm glad I found this thread, so I'm going to ask a question on to this if I may. I've found 2 great You Tube videos to explain these steps in detail, so I have them down, but I'd like to know if you find a mistake on your line art, after starting layers & coloring, can you fix your line art or make adjustments to it & if so how?
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Nov 17, 2011, 21:49
Post: #11
RE: Having trouble with layers.....
Always happy to answer questions.... however, before I can answer this, I have several more questions:

1) How did you produce the line art? Drawn in Gimp? Drawn on paper and scanned?
2) Do you have the URL to the youtube videos?

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Nov 18, 2011, 01:10
Post: #12
RE: Having trouble with layers.....
(Oct 19, 2011 08:14)ofnuts Wrote:  If you have only one layer with your line art, painting on it will replace the line art. The quick, dirty and limited solution, if your line art is black, is to change the mode of the paint tool form "normal" to "darken only".

The real solution is to add another layer below the line art and paint on that. And it will be easier if you:
  • switch to the line art layer
  • use the line art (magic wand) to make a selection restricted to the area of interest
  • switch to the paint layer
  • apply paint liberally, painting will be restricted to the selection, and so won't bleed over

How can I get another layer below the line art?I think this is the problem I'm having.I've got my art on "clipboard" and below it a Checkerboard "New Layer".I'm guessing I need my art on that "New Layer" but it's not showing up. I can't seem to make a go of it,and I've been working on this for over a month.I really need a step-by-step detailed instruction to this very basic step,otherwise I guess I'm not cut out for Gimp. Sad
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Nov 18, 2011, 02:07
Post: #13
RE: Having trouble with layers.....
Your line art layer should be transparent outside of the line art. So start with this: http://gimpforums.com/thread-changing-a-...parent-png to remove background on your line art layer. The "new layer" below it fine and if you paint on it you will see it through the transparent areas in the line art layer.

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