"Woven" Tribal Artwork
Posted 28 August 2005 - 11:58 PM
The tribal style stuff I posted in the gallery was done with Inkscape and Sean-Michael asked me to do a tutorial. I wasn't sure how well an Inkscape tutorial would go over on a Gimp forum. However, I got to thinking about it and wondered how doing "tribal" style artwork would work with the paths in Gimp.
The answer? Not bad! Especially if you want to make your design appear to "weave" the different elements together. In this respect, Gimp appears to be superior to Inkscape, despite what I feel is it's slightly cumbersome user interface with regard to paths. The only way I can see to do boolean functions on paths is to first convert them to selections and then back to paths.
Anyway, enough rambling... on to the tutorial.
This uses a 600 x 600 image size. Begin with a blank white image and add a transparent layer. Select your paths tool and draw a shape like the following image:
Once you have that, do path to selection and bucket fill with the color of your choice, tribal is usually black or sometimes red, but hey, we ain't doing a tattoo here, so you can do whatever you want!
Next step. Duplicate the layer three times. Then, use Layer>Transparency>Alpha to Selection. Then Select>Float. Move each duplicate around on its own individual layer until you get something that looks like this:
Now we are going to cut each individual element so that they appear to weave over and under the other two. To do this, select the layer that has the element labeled "1" and do Layer>Transparency>Alpha to Selection. Then do Select>Grow and grow it by 2 or three pixels. If you are planning to bump map the design with a blurred mask, I would suggest growing by maybe 5 pixels, since bump mapping with a blurred mask will tend to make things "run together".
The element numbered "1" is going to pass over element #2 below it, and under element #3. So now, with our grown selection, select the layer that has element #2 and do edit>cut. You will get something like this:
Now select the layer with element #3 and repeat the steps to select the object and grow the selection. Only this time, when we do our cut, it will be on the layer with element #1, to get this:
Now for the final step. Repeat the steps to select and grow the selection for element #2. Then select the layer with element #3 and cut. You should get this:
And that's all there is to it! Well, there is a cautionary note. Be careful as the antialiasing can sometimes mess up your selections when you are copying the original element. When doing this tute, I had one layer that had a sort of "shadow" outline from when I moved one of the elements into position. So you may want to check and make sure you don't have anything like that before you start doing your cuts.
This technique could be used to do more complex designs, it would just be a matter of breaking it up into more manageable chunks. I am not conversant enough with Gimp paths to tell you how to do this, but if it is possible to duplicate a path...and I think it is, then you could maybe design your object as "unwoven" then duplicate your paths and then edit a different version of each path for each layer. I shall have to experiment further to see how feasable this idea is.
Edit on 8-20-06:
When I wrote this tutorial, I wasn't all that familiar with the path tool. It would actually probably be better to make your path, then just duplicate it and move each path into position, then convert them to selections and follow the rest of the tutoral. You'd avoid the whole "black line around the selection" issue mentioned.
Posted 29 August 2005 - 12:41 AM
Very nice detailed tutorial. I have just added it to official tutorials becuase of its quality and level of ease.
Thanks ClayOgre for your contribution.
Posted 03 September 2005 - 06:19 AM
Nice tutorial by the way. I'll have to try this techniqe out as I've never done similar things on more than two paths at the same time. I guess as you say you just have to keep your wits about yourself more as you add more components. :)
edit :: had a go with a curled little path shape. Will have to try the circular joining with a joined set like you have to make it even more complex looking....
Posted 04 September 2005 - 05:09 AM
@Kytayle: It looks like the shapes you made with the path tool were right some times (the middle couple). Just make sure you use exactly the same procedure to make the rest and you won't get jaggies. You shouldn't get jaggies if all your selections come directly from paths and are filled straight away.