Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Color to Grayscale bug in Photoshop CS

I noticed a weird bug in ALL the CS versions of Photoshop, both on PC and Mac. I Googled it and didn't find any mention of it. It affects all files in RGB or CMYK converted to Grayscale.

Let's say you have a RGB or CMYK image that contains flat colors (that means no gradients or anti-alias) and decide to convert it to Grayscale to eventually convert it to Screen-tones Bitmap (you can't go directly from color to bitmap). On the left: a flat 50% black in a RGB file. On the right, the same, but converted to Grayscale. Notice anything on the Grayscale image? Depending on your screen's calibration, you might not. But if you use the magic wand to select the color, which since it's flat should select the entire image, you notice something.

The color isn't flat anymore! The 50% Black image is now sprinkled with 49% Black pixels (I've zoomed on the image). Now that might seem like nothing, especialy on the web. But if you print it in screen-tones, it suddenly becomes apparent.
Noticed all those checkered spots? I didn't exagerate them on the scan, they are clearly visible on the print. It's ugly as shit and looks unprofessional. This bug only exists on the CS version of Photoshop. Version 5.5 does not have this problem. Me and my graphic designer friends (people who work in print and know their way around this stuff) tried a lot of potential solutions and couldn't fix it (color management, etc).

The only way I found to fix it is to do the color to grayscale conversion in a free image editing / image viewer program (Irfanview), save it and open it in Photoshop. If the conversion is done outside of Photoshop, the problem is gone. But considering Adobe Photoshop CS is a high end professional application, it's a bit damning that you need a freeware to complete the job properly.

So on my side, I consider this bug fixed. But I would suggest Adobe get their act together, because this kind of crap is unacceptable.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

How do I shot comics?

I'm starting to think how I'm going to work on my next Miss Dynamite webcomic. I know I want a mix of inked lineart from Flash and scanned pencil sketches, mostly for backgrounds. So let's say I do a pencil sketch for the entire page. I scan it and ink the appropriate parts in Flash. Keeping in mind I might want to print these pages someday, I export the inked lineart/flat colors in .Eps (Flash can't import bitmaps for shit at high resolution). I open the vectorial lineart in Photoshop, 600 Dpi, no anti-alias. I paste the scanned pencil sketch in a layer underneat, I do finishing touches and apply text with Photoshop.

All of this works, but the thing that bugs me most is that (unless there's another way), for this to be printable, I need my grayscale scan of the pencil sketch used for the background to be at 600 Dpi. And a 600 Dpi grayscale file is fucking HUGE! I'll end up with 40mb .Psd files a piece. If all I had was the sketch, I could scan it at 300 Dpi, but a black and white lineart needs to be at 600 Dpi if you print it.

Maybe I'm making a fuss about nothing. My computer can take the heat. If I don't bother making the pages print ready, it's easy to figure all out. But I don't want to be stucked doing the same work again later just because I half-assed it earlier.

Any suggestions? I know how to do this, but I need to know if there's a better way.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Xmas

Friday, December 19, 2008

MensuHell: Final Issue

MensuHell was published for 109 issues, which is an exploit for a fanzine. MensuHell was started by Steve Requin, who then gave it to Francis Hervieux, who published it for most of the run. But now it's time to say good-bye, so I drew the cover for the final issue. Karl made the text and the chicken logo. An hommage to Sgt. Pepper's funeral group shot, all the characters have either appeared in MensuHell, are friends of the fanzine or influences in Quebec. You can order a copy here. I haven't spent working so many hours on one single drawing for a long while. x_X It was difficult to integrate all those different styles, colors and especialy the difference in proportions for each characters. But the final result was worth it.

Francis the editor will be selling this final issue during the "30 seconds before xmas" event at the Usine 160U art gallerie @ 160 Roy E. From noon to 7PM, Dec. 20 + 21th. I won't have a table there, but I'll probably visit on Saturday.

I also made a Who's Who. I guess it'll be useless if you're not from Quebec (though some people might know Rabagliati's Paul or Boivin's Mélody).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

RIP Betty Page

Sorry for the current lack up updates, I'm still working on the December update of Sister Wulfia Focka (prego + shota = win!).

Anyway, I took the day off on this Sabbath and drew this little hommage to Betty Page who passed away this week. I used a photo reference of Page for the position and clothing (can't find it).

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Fanarts from Karl and Stefani

Pu Tang and a parrot, from Stefani. It's a reference to this parrot on YouTube.

Then, from Karl, La Che and Eva-Cola.