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Andy Mullen

Profiles - How to

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This is from my web site.

After receiving many emails on how I go about creating my profiles, I have decided to layout how I created my latest F-14 profile.

This is the software I used:-

AutoCAD 2002

Adobe Illustrator CS

Adobe Photoshop CS

Terragen - Freeware

First I find a suitable Black and White line drawing and scan it into the computer at about 600dpi. Originally when I started attempting to create profiles, I used the scan and imported it straight into Photoshop, but when going through the rest of the process I found the result to be too blocky and took a lot of time to correct.

So now I import the scan into AutoCAD where I will trace the line drawing as a vector drawing - this takes a while, but looks a lot better the original scan.

Fortunately with the F-14 there are only minor changes to the basic airframes. So in this case I used an existing AutoCAD drawing and checking photos of the real aircraft modified it to look like this.

F14A_VF301_ND101_001.jpg

The next step is to import this DWG into Adobe Illustrator and resize it to a width of 7500 pixels.

F14A_VF301_ND101_002.jpg

Once this is done I change all the paths to Black and a width of 0.5.

F14A_VF301_ND101_003.jpg

Load up the saved AI drawing into Photoshop, and in the dialog change the size to 7500 pixels wide and 300dpi.

Edited by Andy Mullen

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Once loaded, I resize the Canvas (not the image) to 8000 pixels wide, and create a green background layer to keep down eyestrain and to be able too see the fine lines. The layer loaded in from Illustrator is then renamed to "Original Outline" and locked to prevent me modifiying it by accident later on.

F14A_VF301_ND101_004.jpg

Selecting the Original layer I create 4 new layers - the first and second are black copies of the original, the third is the Original selction expanded by 1 pixel and at 75% black, the fourth expanded by another 1 pixel and 55% black. I then merge the 2,3 and 4 layers, give it a guassian blur of 1 and then merge in the 1st layer. The resultant layer then sits on the top of the stack during the rest of the profile.

F14A_VF301_ND101_005.jpg

The next stage is to create the Standard set of colours for things like the engines, bare metal and lights.

For the under carriage white, for example, create a new layer, use the rectangle tool to fill the area required.

Then go to the "Original Outline" layer and using the magic wand tool, select the areas that don't need to be white, switch back to the UC White layer and hit delete.

You end up with the white being in only the areas you require.

Keeping them on their own seperate layers helps in editing later on, if changes need to be made. Also things like Gradients and the effects tend to slow your machine down whilst working and saving. Turning them off improves the speed response somewhat.

To the right are the basic layers I created for the picture below.

F14A_VF301_ND101_006b.jpg

F14A_VF301_ND101_006.jpg

Edited by Andy Mullen

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Next step is to create basic colours of the paint scheme, in this instance there were only three needed - Overall FS16440 (light Gull Gray) FS36118 (Dark Grey) on the wing bladders and FS17038 (Black) on the canopy. With the Black colour, i used a path to create the demarcation, created a selection from the path and filled with black. The path covered the canopy and goes outside the main outline. Using the magic wand, activate the "Original Outline" layer and click outside the main outline, activate the black layer, and clear. At this stage the canopy still is filled with black, so holding the Control key down, Left-Click the glass layer and hit delete. This removes the black from the canopy.

F14A_VF301_ND101_007.jpg

Create a new set for the markings. Then for each marking create a new layer.

As I scan all my decals when I receive them, I use them as the basis for creating each marking.

In this instance however, I don't have any decals, so I created them using photos as a reference.

Below is how it looks after all markings have been completed.

F14A_VF301_ND101_008b.jpg

F14A_VF301_ND101_008.jpg

I use Terragen to create a BMP background of 800 pixels wide by 400 pixels high and place it over the green work background, and scale it to 8000 pixels wide.

F14A_VF301_ND101_009.jpg

Edited by Andy Mullen

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This was the extent of work I used to do on profiles to this point. Recently I have been playing with Photoshop, and improved on the finished results with a few extra steps.

I create a new layer and Ctrl-Left-Click the "Original Outline" layer, modify/expand the selection by 10 pixels and then modify/feather it by 20 pixels, fill with black and change its Opacity to 30% and set it to multiply.

F14A_VF301_ND101_010.jpg

After adding more layers for shadows and hilights...

F14A_VF301_ND101_011.jpg

The last step is to add some text.

F14A_VF301_ND101_012.jpg

The file is saved as a PSD file (so I can use again for another profile) and then output as a JPG.

This JPG is then resized to 800 pixels wide and again as a thumbnail 100 pixels high, ready for addiing to my website.

Hopefully this will be of help to those wish to have a go and hope to see them on the web sometime.

Edited by Andy Mullen

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dude awesome thanx a lot for letting us know how you do all of you work i like it a lot maybe if i need a break ill be doing one of those

greetz STB

frederick jacobs

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Thanks for the tutorial.

I can imagine how much time guys like Tom Tullis and Mark Miller (his stuff is unbelieveable it's so good) spend in front of their screens. They must have large "easy on the eyes" flat screen monitors - otherwise they'd go blind! :thumbsup:

Looks like no shortcuts in representational artwork - digital or "traditional" - just plain hard work!

Wade

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Really good and useful tutorial. You're a good guy because you share what you know! I assume that this will inspire lot of guys creating his own artworks!

Keep on the good job ;)

Greetings, neu :D

www.carrierbuilders.net

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Absolutely terrific :o

Now I gotta find AutoCAD. (I think I just gave myself a heart-attack)

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forgive me if this questions has already been asked a few thousand times... are there free alternatives to the required software? I would love to start, but I would love to increase my stash as well (seeing that I only have three models in the "stash")

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In which format you save file to import into Adobe Illustrator?

Edited by king

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In which format you save file to import into Adobe Illustrator?

You just need to save it as a standard ACAD DWG file, go into Illustrator and File/New (I set mine to 7500x5000px) , then File/Place, select the DWG file, and in the dialog check "Scale to Fit Artboard" and "Unite Seperate Layers".

This will place the vectors from the DWG file in a Group on Layer1. To resize, just select the Group, holding the shift key to constrain the scaling, resize using the corners.

HTH

Edited by Andy Mullen

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forgive me if this questions has already been asked a few thousand times... are there free alternatives to the required software? I would love to start, but I would love to increase my stash as well (seeing that I only have three models in the "stash")

:pray:

Just the traditional virus magnets like Kaaza etc

Art software is expensive, my suggestion is just bend over and try to relax like the rest of us.

Breathing slower wil help!!

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forgive me if this questions has already been asked a few thousand times... are there free alternatives to the required software? I would love to start, but I would love to increase my stash as well (seeing that I only have three models in the "stash")

Instead of the powerfull Adobe Illustrator, you can start with Inkscape. It's slow, has less features but is free.

For Photoshop, you can use Gimp instead.

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Good tutorial...Thank you Andy Mullen for your time and effort in showing the techniques... :wacko:

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Greetings all,

I just wanted to add to Andy's fine how-to.

The "flat" line art work is just the start of a good profile or painting.

The coloring, shading and high lighting is the most difficult part. In "shaping" the work, you have to make sure the lighting is coming from only one direction. I will use a model under a work light or even direct sunlight to help me get the shadows right. Each item, say an engine nacelle, you will have a base color, panel lines, top and bottom shade, and the high lights. A finished profile may have 50-60+ layers and 200MBs. I work in Illustrator and Photoshop, the industry standards.

My profiles are done for the decals I designed for DRAW Decals.

Study photos of your subjects, try to copy what you see.

Regards,

Tim

S2-TURBO-before--after.jpg

NASA-905-profile-final.jpg

Edited by Tim Bradley

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A couple of items I wanted to add.

First, I draw all my profiles in Illustrator. Trying to find a good line drawing of your subject is very hard sometime. Aircraft company line drawings are real poor at best. Look at photo close ups for added details. Make your drawing better than the other guys. You don't want to copy somebody else's mistakes!

I will find a 90 degree side shot of what I want or a scan of a model fuselage (the 747) It's brought into Illustrator as a bottom layer and then I draw an outline over it in a new layer. This is the base. Each part becomes a new layer. The layers are stacked in reverse order, the base being the first or bottom and the top being, what's close to you, say a nav light on the wing.

Hope this helps.

By the way, you can get a 5-10 year old Illustrator or Photoshop on Ebay real dirt cheap. You do not need the newest versions. For profile work, the very early Illustrator versions have just what you need.

Tim

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I hope no one minds:

For those of us that can not afford to get Photoshop or Illustrator, there are GIMP/Inkscape.

Here is a tutorial RVTGTon how to use Gimp and as always start with

Remove White

Gimp is undergoing improvements, and I have hopes that it will become used more widely.

Yes the name is off-putting, but if I can do some basic profiles, so can you.

There is also Inkscape

Here are some good Inkscape tutorials

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I hope no one minds:

For those of us that can not afford to get Photoshop or Illustrator, there are GIMP/Inkscape.

Here is a tutorial RVTGTon how to use Gimp and as always start with

Remove White

Gimp is undergoing improvements, and I have hopes that it will become used more widely.

Yes the name is off-putting, but if I can do some basic profiles, so can you.

There is also Inkscape

Here are some good Inkscape tutorials

I dont think anyone will mind..any and Every bit of help and new techniques is always helpful.. :thumbsup:

Good links and tutorials there ..Thank you

HOLMES

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First I find a suitable Black and White line drawing and scan it into the computer at about 600dpi. Originally when I started attempting to create profiles, I used the scan and imported it straight into Photoshop, but when going through the rest of the process I found the result to be too blocky and took a lot of time to correct.

So now I import the scan into AutoCAD where I will trace the line drawing as a vector drawing - this takes a while, but looks a lot better the original scan.

Is there a way to directly scan it into Illustrator? I'm just about to start to learn this stuff. Illustrator CS 5.1 to be exact. I don't have AutoCAD.

Load up the saved AI drawing into Photoshop, and in the dialog change the size to 7500 pixels wide and 300dpi.

Could I ask why you need to do this step? Is it to reduce the file size so that it can be put on the webpage?

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