Tensh's fan "art": We're on a mission from Tedd.

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Tensh's fan "art": We're on a mission from Tedd.

Postby Tenshisama on Thu Feb 23, 2006 11:37 pm

Oi! I decided that if I ever had more than one piece of art I created for EGS, I'd make a thread. So, now that I have two, here it is...

Allow me to explain my motivation for this thread. As a new year's resolution that came about a month too late, I decided to combat the perfectionism I have that keeps me from trying new things and tells me to not even try because I'm not going to be amazing at it. So I had to pick up something that I have a desire to do, that I would enjoy, but I'm absolutely terrible at. That turned out to be art. So I got some basic art supplies, a "Idiot's guide to cartooning" book, and resolved that I would continue working at this despite the fact that I suck at it. With any luck, I'll get better at it, and I'll end up with a skill that I'll be glad I have in 5 years.

Don't misunderstand me, though. I post these knowing that the point is that I'm not good at it yet, but I do welcome criticism. Any helpful tips would also be much apprerciated. I'm doing this because I suck at it, but that doesn't meant I don't want to get better. I just want to be able to do something, accept not being perfect, be happy with it, but wan't to improve. It's a surprisingly difficult balace to find.


On to the art, now. The first one came to mind after reading a discussion on the forums about how the cast, knowing what they know about the dewitchery diamond, could theoretically start cloning themselves. Then I thought about how Dan could use a little help making the comic, and this is what I came up with.

The Dan machine! [2/11/06]

Lessons learned:
* Make sure to make solid lines when inking. It saves a lot of grief while coloring.
* I need to figure out a way so that contour lines (such as folds in clothing) will show up on people wearing dark clothing. Or maybe they aren't supposed to....either way, I have research to do.
* Posable manakins lose some of their effectiveness when they are so inflexible that they can't scratch their own nose...


Secondly, we have the Demonic Duck showing TC how you play the game.

Hop in the caddy of this Quack Daddy. [2/23/06]

Lessons learned:
* I may need to get larger paper sheets to practice on. I'm currently using 11x9 inch paper in a sketch diary, but I'm finding that if I want to draw a person head to toe, then the head ends up too small for me to put in any detail.
* That said....I'm making their heads too small. I've been using a ruler to keep a 7:1 ratio in the rough sketch, but I'm either doing something funky along the way to make the head smaller, or maybe I'm not measuring right, but these heads definitely look too small.
* I need more practice with the hips/crotch area. TC turned out ok, but the two girls just don't work for me. You can't tell so much with the one on the left because of the dress, but both came out pretty messed up.
Last edited by Tenshisama on Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:42 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby eternaljwh on Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:02 am

Hahahahaha....yes, that's one way to get faster updates. The problem is if they twist the plot in different directions...

Greg being behind that pedestal just looks wrong to me. Kind of blend together too much. Tedd's arms are too thin, Elliot's head looks...like it doesn't fit, and...

Wait, if Ellen's motivated to do this, why not just have her use her power, and such?

Also, if the :tfgun: is near the DwD...then they can get some cool transformity powers out of this!

So...overall, pretty good. You can tell who everyone is.

And the TC in Quack Daddy is priceless, and...yeah, what you said about crotches and heads.
...and the DD's feet look a little off.
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Re: Tensh's generously named fan "art"

Postby MOOMANiBE on Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:27 am

Tenshisama wrote:So I had to pick up something that I have a desire to do, that I would enjoy, but I'm absolutely terrible at. That turned out to be art.


Yay! Sounds like a good idea to me ;)


Tenshisama wrote:* Make sure to make solid lines when inking. It saves a lot of grief while coloring.


Inking is a dangerous thing -- which is why I don't do it that often. Practice makes perfect of course, but I'd be really careful on the stuff you like if I were you ;)

Tenshisama wrote:* I need to figure out a way so that contour lines (such as folds in clothing) will show up on people wearing dark clothing. Or maybe they aren't supposed to....either way, I have research to do.


There are multiple ways to do this... these three are the simplest.
The easiest would be simply not to color it, but that's more of a personal choice.
The second would be to lighten up "dark" things -- remember that pure black almost never appears in real life, and even "black" shirts have shadows.
The last would be to do what dan does -- use "negative lines", that is, white lines, for contours on black shirts.

Tenshisama wrote:* Posable manakins lose some of their effectiveness when they are so inflexible that they can't scratch their own nose...

Aye, those things can be a pain since they're not as flexible as real people. The obvious ways to get around this are to use photos and such as reference, or do it from your head. Neither is easy, though ;)

Tenshisama wrote:* I may need to get larger paper sheets to practice on. I'm currently using 11x9 inch paper in a sketch diary, but I'm finding that if I want to draw a person head to toe, then the head ends up too small for me to put in any detail.

This depends on what you're using -- I use a .5 mechanical pencil, and most of my full-person drawings don't even fill the 8.5x11 pages I usually draw on.
However, if you're using blunt wood pencils or other things that are harder to control, I can understand you having trouble putting in detail.

Tenshisama wrote:* That said....I'm making their heads too small. I've been using a ruler to keep a 7:1 ratio in the rough sketch, but I'm either doing something funky along the way to make the head smaller, or maybe I'm not measuring right, but these heads definitely look too small.

I really don't recommend constraining yourself to a 7-head ratio. Find whatever is comfortable for you. For example, Dan uses a 6-head scale for EGS, if I recall. The head is only really a measurement tool.

Tenshisama wrote:* I need more practice with the hips/crotch area. TC turned out ok, but the two girls just don't work for me. You can't tell so much with the one on the left because of the dress, but both came out pretty messed up.


Actually, I'd like to give you some advice on your proportions as a whole -- they're important! ^_^

First, I'd like to address the arms:
I think that overall, you might be focusing a bit too much on the muscles. It's wonderful that you know where the deltoid and bicep are, ect ect, but if you don't put them in properly your characters will end up looking like bodybuilders. For the beginning, I'd highly suggest "smoothing over" most muscles and trying to go for drawings that have a lot of feeling in them, even if it means sacrificing realism for the sake of exaggeration. By the way, the shoulders seem really wide -- especially on the girls.

The problem you're having with the hip area probably has something to do with the legs... the way they come out of the body really throws me off, to the extent that I'm honestly not sure how to give you advice on improving it. Try checking out some photos of people and paying careful attention to how the legs look, I guess?

Now, the torso.
Would I be correct to say that you're "guessing" on this one? the way that the body extends down from the shoulders seems odd and tells me that you're looking at it as more of a box that curves inward. It's hard to really get into describing the proper shape of the torso without getting into anatomy stuff that is way too early to be discussing, but the best advice I think I can give would be to look at yourself in the mirror and check for "torso landmarks" that can help you get a good idea of its general shape.

Overall, the best advice at this point is to simplify as much as possible. The human body is complex, but you can make it so much easier to understand if you try and dissasemble it into a bunch of glued-together shapes -- similar, perhaps, to the pose-able manniquin you have. Once you've got that down, you can build on that knowledge to make just about anything.
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Postby Conina on Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:22 am

*many giggles* :lol:
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Re: Tensh's generously named fan "art"

Postby Circe on Fri Feb 24, 2006 4:16 am

Tenshisama wrote:Don't misunderstand me, though. I post these knowing that the point is that I'm not good at it yet, but I do welcome criticism.


That's the right attitude to have in any pursuit. Posting something takes a leap of faith though, so congratulations on taking that leap!



Fun stuff -- I love the writing and I think you did a fine job capturing the EGS style.

Lessons learned:
* Make sure to make solid lines when inking. It saves a lot of grief while coloring.
* I need to figure out a way so that contour lines (such as folds in clothing) will show up on people wearing dark clothing. Or maybe they aren't supposed to....either way, I have research to do.
* Posable manakins lose some of their effectiveness when they are so inflexible that they can't scratch their own nose...


I do my work completely digitally so my techniques are a little different. You're right about the inking though. For contour lines on dark clothing you could use lighter color to represent the tops of the folds -- the reverse of darkening the bottom.

As for manakins -- consider using Poser or Daz Studio (Daz is free so that might be better!). You can use very basic human figures and pose them, then use them as a reference for drawing.

Secondly, we have the Demonic Duck showing TC how you play the game.

Hop in the caddy of this Quack Daddy. [2/23/06]


I love this! Poor TC, not only does he never get the girl but he's upstaged by a duck!

* That said....I'm making their heads too small. I've been using a ruler to keep a 7:1 ratio in the rough sketch, but I'm either doing something funky along the way to make the head smaller, or maybe I'm not measuring right, but these heads definitely look too small.


One thing I find myself doing is drawing inside the lines of the rough sketch, especially on the face and head where I'm so concerned about details. The result can be the head "shrinking" so I've been trying to make myself use the rough sketch's outline as the "middle" if that makes sense. Some features go outside of its lines, some inside.

* I need more practice with the hips/crotch area. TC turned out ok, but the two girls just don't work for me. You can't tell so much with the one on the left because of the dress, but both came out pretty messed up.


I think one problem is that the area is too long in proportion to the body. The distance from the top of the hips to the bottom of the groin should be pretty short in comparison to the body.

Also, the inner lines of the thighs end up angling out a bit instead of in. In other words they kind of look like \ \ / / instead of \ / \ /.

I know it's somewhat hackneyed, but the best advice is to keep working on it, and have fun doing it. Also, don't just focus on the things that went wrong -- there is a lot to like in these first few images. Keep those things in mind too.
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Postby Tenshisama on Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:32 pm

Thanks for your comments! After reading some of the ideas here, I decided to try some things a little different. I re-examined my instructional books, and found that I was attaching the circles and cylinders wrong at the shoulder and hips, making everything come out funny. People looked like they gargantuan hips and bulging traps and delts. I also cut down on the head to body ratio. That helps me out a bunch in the torso, believe it or not, because before I felt like I was stretching everything to make it the the right size.

I still need to draw bigger, though. I couldn't ass the level of detail I wanted in the next pics I did for practice, especially in the eyes.

Circe wrote:Also, the inner lines of the thighs end up angling out a bit instead of in. In other words they kind of look like \ \ / / instead of \ / \ /.


:o That fixes so many of my problems! I can't believe I didn't notice it! I guess that's why I made this topic, though.

Anyway, I intend to use this topic as a vehicle for any EGS related humor that comes to mind, but the only joke I have prepared will be quite a project, so I made up a self portrait of sorts to keep me going before I can devote a lot of time to it.

The only explanation needed is that "Shne" is a word used by my circle of friends in high school that serves a very similar purpose to "Za". By the way, I need that second book on cooking. Cooking was my other thought on what I could do for this little self improvement project, but I thought, you know what? If I botch a picture badly, I don't die of food poisoning! That tips the scales.

I'm supposed to look confused. I think I got about 40% there. [2/24/06]

Notes for next time:
*Shorten up the body proportions more. Shorter Torso, neck, and thighs. All of them are a bit too long for my tastes, still.
*I would complain about the hands, but I figure, baby steps....baby steps. As long as people can tell that they're hands at this point, and that I'm not horribly disfigured, I'm happy.
*If you're thinking that my hair and facial features are a bit feminine....good! I get called "Miss" about once a day when out in public. My part time job while in college was as a soccer referee, and at one game, a 6 year old kid turns to his mom after I jogged over to my position next to them, and asked very loudly, "Mommy, is that referee a boy or a girl?" The kid's mom replied "That's a boy, honey. Not all boys are bald like Daddy". I nearly lost it on the field.

I reiterate that I welcome criticism, unless you just want to call me ugly, or insult my Buckeyes. That's just not nice.
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Postby Sanchay on Sat Feb 25, 2006 4:11 am

You are most definitely reading "Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat".
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Postby Circe on Sat Feb 25, 2006 7:15 am

Tenshisama wrote:
Circe wrote:Also, the inner lines of the thighs end up angling out a bit instead of in. In other words they kind of look like \ \ / / instead of \ / \ /.


:o That fixes so many of my problems! I can't believe I didn't notice it! I guess that's why I made this topic, though.


Imagine my surprise at not only giving advice on art, but finding out that it's actually usefull. :o I'm glad it helped!



Much better! I think your own notes are perfect. I would maybe work on making the eyes a little rounder.

I reiterate that I welcome criticism, unless you just want to call me ugly, or insult my Buckeyes. That's just not nice.


Wow! Another Buckeye? I grew up in Ohio but have lived in Indiana for years. Small world :).
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Postby Beacon on Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:03 am

Sanchay wrote:You are most definitely reading "Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat".

Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cats for Dummies!

Big notes on your artwork:
Arms are too short, and too thin
Hips are too low.
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Postby Tenshisama on Mon Feb 27, 2006 3:31 pm

Beacon wrote:
Sanchay wrote:You are most definitely reading "Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat".

Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cats for Dummies!


To paraphrase a line from "The truth about Cats and Dogs"...

I'm currently reading two books. Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat, and a dictionary so I can understand Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat...

Circe wrote:Wow! Another Buckeye? I grew up in Ohio but have lived in Indiana for years. Small world .


I lived in Columbus up until last September, when I moved to Portland, OR to take a job (yeah, this year has sucked). Makes for interesting looks from the neighbors when I run out of my apartment yelling, in my pajamas, after Pittman scored that last TD against Michigan...in Columbus, everyone understood. :roll:


Since I feel would feel guilty if I bumped my own topic without really contributing to it, here's a drawing I did while trying to work on profiles. I would have liked it to be more obvious what direction my torso is facing, but other that that it came out much better than I ever could have hoped for.

At work! [2/25/06]

Imagine it with the caption "Let's go, Gentlemen!". This would be me, before a game, trying to get a team out of their sideline huddle and onto the field. That's why I'm staring at my watch.

In case someone is wondering, yes, I end up drawing myself a lot. It's not a narcissistic thing, I assure. It's just that I know what I wear, how I stand, how I act, etc. Plus it allows me to model in front of a mirror.

I'm working on another EGS related series of images, centering around plays on the "Nanase in the closet" metaphor. I just want to make sure this one turns out right.
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Postby Tenshisama on Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:39 pm

Yes, double post evilness. But nobody will see the new stuff if I don't bump it to the top :grumble:.

Anyway, the following was inspired by South Park, and having watched a cat dive off a dresser in order to get a shiny metallic ball on the ground five feet below.

Oh, and if anyone thinks this is in bad taste, let me know. I don't find anything objectionable about it, but you never know when someone might think I'm sending the wrong message.

Panel 1 (that's a sliding closet door, by the way.)
Panel 2. Yes, I botched her face. Moving on....
Panel 3. You all know who I'm talking about, right?
Panel 4. [3/5/06]

I actually had to visit the dreaded "Perspective" chapter of my book to get that dresser to look right to my eye. I made Ellen too small in retrospect, but I'll go ahead and say it's an illusion created by her pose.
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Postby Deiwos on Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:53 pm

You should grab Gimp or something and put those together into one image, but other than that I enjoyed it. I laughed at the "death-defying" flying tackle hug, kinda make me think of Spark's "Death from above!", only with cute instead of death ^_^~
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Postby Lomgren on Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:56 pm

Hmm, the artwork is pretty good for someone who is learning. I can't wait to see how you are doing a couple of months from now.
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Postby Weep on Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:57 pm

Meganekko-sense...tingling...
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Postby Tenshisama on Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:17 pm



I wasn't sure if I really conveyed what I intended. I sometimes leave my humor a little too obscure...

Tom Cruise recently (maybe not so recently anymore) said in an interview that postpartum depression is a figment of women's imaginations. This really, really pissed off Brooke Shields. And, as I'm speculating here, Susan.

The "finish what those wimpy aliens started" was a reference to "War of the Worlds". A good movie, if you want to see Dakota Fanning sceaming for a couple of hours. Otherwise, I'd say skip it.
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Postby xyzzy_n on Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:24 pm

Deiwos wrote:You should grab Gimp or something and put those together into one image,
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Postby Lomgren on Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:31 pm

yes, PNG is a good format... though I still go ahead and usually convert stuff to GIF, since I can get it to look decent anyway.
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Postby Weep on Mon Mar 06, 2006 10:53 pm

Tenshisama wrote:Tom Cruise recently (maybe not so recently anymore) said in an interview that postpartum depression is a figment of women's imaginations. This really, really pissed off Brooke Shields. And, as I'm speculating here, Susan.
Ah. I didn't know about that. See, I tend to not watch any TV while living in the uni dorms, have never had any reception other than the airwaves at home (ie. no cable - if that's at all relevant), and don't bother with celebrity news anyway...

Who's Booke Shields (name sound familiar, but that's it) and does she have any particular connection to Tom Cruise, or is she just a public feminist figure or something?

The "finish what those wimpy aliens started" was a reference to "War of the Worlds". A good movie, if you want to see Dakota Fanning sceaming for a couple of hours. Otherwise, I'd say skip it.
Seen it, but probably wouldn't have made the connection of aliens and Tom Cruise through it even if I had known about the above trivia bit. :P

Ironically, my way of generally remembering characters rather than who played them (unless it's an actor with whom I'm fairly familiar, which are generally only the very well-known ones) isn't even relevant since I don't remember the character's name from War of the Worlds. :roll:




...what was Nanase doing in a closet with Tom Cruise? :okthen:
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Postby Tenshisama on Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:17 pm

I had just been using Arcsoft photostudio. It came with my scanner....I'll give GIMP a go. Maybe it can do basic things like, oh, I dunno, draw ovals. That's why these panels don't have speech bubbles...

out of curiosity, what's wrong with Jpeg? It's what photostudio defaults to, which is basically as far as I got into a decsion making process on what format to use. I'm basically illiterate as to what advantages one has over another. All I knew was jpeg is typically smallest.

Weep wrote:Who's Booke Shields (name sound familiar, but that's it) and does she have any particular connection to Tom Cruise, or is she just a public feminist figure or something?


Brooke Shields was/is an actress. She was a teen sex symbol type in the '80s (did some famous Calvin Klein jeans ads....nothing comes between me and my Calvins=I'm not wearing any underwear!), and did some TV shows in the '90s (Suddenly Susan and Just Shoot Me, I think). She was married to Andre Aggasi at one point. I don't think she is anymore.

Anyway, she used Paxil to combat postpartum depression, and was famous enough to be the voice of all the women ticked off at Cruise when she shot back at him.

Weep wrote:...what was Nanase doing in a closet with Tom Cruise?


That was the South Park inspired part. There are some well circulated rumors that he's "in the closet", so to speak (and that his recent engagement to Katie Holmes is a coverup that she's being paid to participate in. Some jokes about her pregnancy being an immaculate conception, and that the only time she's seen Cruise in his underwear is when he gave her a DVD of "Risky Business" for Valentines day...)

I can't say how much of that is true, but South park recently did an episode where Tom Cruise locks himself in Stan's closet to mope. The whole episode is full of "Please, Tom, just come out of the closet. We won't think any less of you" and a news reporter saying "It's now 13 hours into this crisis and Tom Cruise is still in the closet!" Then they bring in R.Kelly to make fun of his Trapped in the Closet album. It was a good episode.

Anyway, the joke being that all secretly gay people (Nanase and Tom Cruise included) would be crammed into the same metaphorical closet.
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Postby Lomgren on Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:24 pm

JPEG is usually used on real-life pictures, like a scene from a forest or stuff like that. No transparency.

GIF is used for stuff like comics and text, etc. It only has a single alpha color, which is made to be transparent. Also, it has, by default, only 256 color support.

PNG is a replacement for GIF that can handle full alpha transparency and can handle more colors.

I'll let others cover it in more detail, but that's a quick and dirty rundown.
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Postby Weep on Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:30 pm

Tenshisama wrote:[snip] Anyway, the joke being that all secretly gay people (Nanase and Tom Cruise included) would be crammed into the same metaphorical closet.
Ahhh. Now it all makes sense. Heh, convenient. :D

Wow, that whole joke went like a mile over my head. :lol: Well, at least I can retrospectively envision how it would have been funny. ;)



The main problems I have with the PNG format are that it's still not quite as widely supported as JPEG and GIF, and that (with the exception of the 8-or-fewer-bit indexed color variety) it has no compression to speak of, at least as far as I know. It'd be nice to be able to apply some kind of compression to it, to keep reasonable file sizes for web use and gain the benefit of an alpha channel. Otherwise, I find it nearly useless unless I specifically need unblemished image quality, or if it's a fairly small image to start.
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Postby xyzzy_n on Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:45 pm

Lomgren wrote:JPEG is usually used on real-life pictures, like a scene from a forest or stuff like that. No transparency.

GIF is used for stuff like comics and text, etc. It only has a single alpha color, which is made to be transparent. Also, it has, by default, only 256 color support.

PNG is a replacement for GIF that can handle full alpha transparency and can handle more colors.
Fixed.
I'll let others cover it in more detail, but that's a quick and dirty rundown.
Done. :)

Weep wrote:(with the exception of the 8-or-fewer-bit indexed color variety) it has no compression to speak of, at least as far as I know.
Really?
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Postby Tenshisama on Mon Mar 06, 2006 11:48 pm

Za? alphaaa.....chan...nel.....?

Edit: That wiki helps...I think. So, it's layering, basically? Poop....I just wanted to draw pretty pictures. Now I'm elbow deep in this.
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Postby Weep on Tue Mar 07, 2006 12:23 am

xyzzy_n wrote:
Weep wrote:(with the exception of the 8-or-fewer-bit indexed color variety) it has no compression to speak of, at least as far as I know.
Really?
*reads, so the xyzzy_n won't eat me*

Well, OK, so it has some compression (quick tests show it to be some 1.5-5x better than uncompressed, and a bit better than whatever is applied to .psd files), but still nearly not as much as JPEG, which I find to be acceptable in terms of quality for most display and web uses, and which is mentioned by the article to be capable of much smaller filesizes than PNG. Even at maximum quality (from Photoshop) the file's about half the size of a PNG, with barely enough difference to mention (only noticeable if comparing the mathematical difference between the two images).

Also, my image editor of choice, Photoshop, may do a poor job on indexed-palette PNGs...the article doesn't specify which "some versions" are at fault. PNG-8 export predicts a larger filesize than GIF for my quick test case, so I imagine the version I still use (7) has that problem.

Are indexed-palette PNGs capable of greater-than-1-bit transparency?

As for your suggestion to use PNG instead of JPEG for drawings like this, via quick test on Tensh's panel 3 in Photoshop, I was able to make an image of smaller filesize and what I would call very acceptable web display quality using JPEG, whereas with GIF (since my version of Photoshop is apparently less-than-capable at making optimized PNG-8 images) I was getting a larger filesize at lower quality.

Tenshisama wrote:Now I'm elbow deep in this.
Good grief man, it's not that complicated. :P No need for equations to understand its functionality.

Most images (for display on a monitor; print is another matter) are represented by three color channels: red, green, and blue. A fourth channel, known as an alpha channel, can be present in an image. This channel controls transparency. A value of 50% in an alpha channel will mean it is 50% transparent, and what will be displayed is a mix of half the image's color, and half what is behind it.

GIFs only have 1-bit transparency, in other words, on or off - completely opaque or completely transparent. JPEGs have none at all.

Having a full range of values that can be used for an image's transparency makes possible more complex effects, for example, what appear to be soft shadows being cast on the page behind the image.
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Postby xyzzy_n on Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:50 am

Tenshisama wrote:So, it's layering, basically?
Yes, an alpha channel just tells a renderer how to compose layers into one picture. Generalising that equation to n layers L<sub>1</sub>,
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