The following article was originally written for IMPHOBIA 9 (February 1995), now dead but once one of the most popular PC disk-mags.

Sky / Xography

Coming up is just another article telling you something about the basic techniques of drawing pictures with your computer - whatever system that may be.

Well after attending the Party 94 in Herning / DK I can tell you that there are 2 different ways to approach a picture. The first way is to draw the basic outlines of the picture you are going to work on (BUT it's recommended that you have a certain picture in your brain that you wish to create on your screen - otherwise drawing a pic- ture can be tricky - man I know what I'm talking about... did anyone ever draw a "wild-picture"??? try it - can be funny :). Let's say your're going to draw a picture of a lake surrounded by mountains.. First I would think of how to arrange the hills - maybe doing a quick preview on paper - then I would paint the shapes of the hills and the outline of the lake. After that you can fill the hills with a greyish color and the lake with a shade of blue. Then you'll probably (for sure) want to enhance the shapes. Maybe one side of the hills will be hit by beams of light, or the mountain top will be covered with snow. So you will - again - do some outlines within the hills. After that you can fill these new areas with some different colors to show the different shades of these hills. Now you can do some adjustments to the palette if you do not like it 100% the way it is. You can repeat these steps as often as you wish to.. until you feel that the picture has the basic view you intended to create. Now you can start getting into details like adding the typical rock surface to the hills and a watery surface with reflections to the lake. Actually you should select a certain area of the picture or an object within the picture to work on, coz if you start to work on the whole picture you will get lost - I think. In my opinion it's better to focus on one object instead of working on the whole piccy.

If you have processed all areas of the picture it's time for the finishing touch (The finetune).

Now as you see the whole piccy almost finished, you can decide which parts should have a smoother transition.. eg. after finishing the lake and the hills, you think that the transition between grey and blue is too rough. So now you can add some colors inbetween these 2 objects, like using the smooth command in dpaint, to get the smooth transition you wanted. /BTW you can repeat this step as often as you think it's necessary to make the picture look better. (hint: ask your relatives and/or your friends/ girlfriends, etc.. if they like the picture, or what - in their view - should be changed.)

The second way of drawing a picture is completely different. These people have, like the doodz in the first section of this text, a picture which they want to make real in their imagination. My experience states that these artists have a far less detailed piccy in their mind. The picture in their head looks like the first step of the drawing technique as described above.

These people will start drawing in one corner of the picture and will then continue over the whole screen until the picture is ready. People like described in the last passage will most likely never do the outlines of an object - maybe some very basic forms, like drawing 2 lines claiming the space in the middle to be a path or something like that. This technique can be described as pixeling what comes to your mind. This is a very challenging way to do a picture, coz you never know what comes next (well that's actually the impression I got while watching artists work on their contributions for the tp94-gfx compo).

If you ask me which technique I would prefer, the answer has to be (both). Hmph not too satisfying, eh? - Sometimes I use the first way, and sometimes I use the second way. This depends pretty much on the picture I do. If you want to draw a portrait or redraw a scan, you will be better off using the first way, because this helps you later on with the shading of the bodies... You can easily redraw a scan, if you take its outlines and then add the different shaded areas of the bodies - Then the picture looks like a non - dithered 16color shot of a 256 color image (reminds me of those maps showing the heights of a territory, with those lines, surrounding the areas with the same attitude). Now you just have to enhance the shading by hand, and the picture is done.
If you plan to do a space picture with planets and stuff, then it might be easier to kick off by drawing a single planet (way numba 2) and then all the other space objects like moons,comets, spaceships....

IMPHOBIA 9, February 1995, Sky / Xography

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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.