No not me, the program. Get it free it's ace, I didn't want to fork out on Photoshop and I'm too honest/lazy to rip it.
No laughing but this is my first ever digital piece of 'art'. Freehand, took me 20 mins from my first ever use of the platform. Needless to say I could have used the auto orb function to do it flawlessly in 3 seconds but I need the practice, I was learning all the buttons and controls. Lens flare was an auto function (and I should have placed it on the horizon i know ). I did this with the control pad on my laptop... so a tablet and pen is a must for buying this week.
So begins the journey, within a few months we'll hopefully have some nice stuff to populate our sites with. I'm going to cheat a lot and simply take photos then manipulate them, don't care how I do it as long as it looks the part.
Keep practising man! It's amazing what some practise can do. You must check out CELS' work with google sketch-up (3d art program, free as well). First it was very basic, now he can make movie clips which could very well fit in a Quake 2/3 game!
I'll keep my eyes on your development, very curious to see where this will go!
Bits Blitz - the place to be for all your bits needs!
Gimp is great! I've been using for ages now. Probably about 2 years. Although, I only ever use it for mostly editing photos and picture or doing collages and stuff like that. Looks like you've got it nailed, especially on a laptop pad! I've been meaning to get a tablet myself for months but every time I look, I'm scared off by the £80 price tag on a Wacom that only A5 sized It's A5, how can it be £80???
I managed that just by feeling my way around, I'm starting from scratch now though going through the basic tutorials.
Drawing rubbish like cubes and orbs, texturing them, applying gradients, layering them, changing opacity down to make overlays and stuff like that. I'm quite hooked but it'll take a few months to get half good.
I always imagined it to be a bit removed from traditional painting but once you get your head round the controls it's limitless.
Once you master the tools you then touch up and add life freehand with airbrushes, washes and blends.
Very very basic but this is what I'd like to do for Ed's alien wyrm.
Pics are from my holiday down in Gran Canaria last month.
I need to get a lot more texture and clouds in there, along with a shadow of the beast. Once I have the mini (big mini) painted I'll take the photo with as sharp light source in the direction the sun is aiming so I dont need to paint in highlights and shadows (shadow on the ground I might need to paint with an airbrush tool).
When you cut out the alien and man, use a small blurred brush. That way you wont get the ugly jagged pixel edges but a smoother transition. Don't use too big a brush tho or else it will looke like he teleporting in or something! ;D
Thinking about it, you probably already know this. Oh well hehe
'Quickmask' in gimp does a better job, I'm still learning how to use it though. It's selection is based on colours, if the entire background is white you select the colour white then 'invert' your selection so it selects everything not white- your image.
'Feathering' the edges of the selection does the same as the airbrush.
All quite technical in parts, tough to learn all the dialog boxes and judge the various 'ratios' they their number alone. Trial and error at this stage.
Above was just a quick test to get the composition.
This isn't the best but it's a first pass at what I'd call a 'map'.
Once I get this on by site I can animate it a bit, a screen flicker perhaps, the boxes will have tiny text in them and hopefully when you roll over it with the cursor I can get a little box to pop up detailing the terrain/people/'theater of war' and some links.
This isn't final, I'll do a better one when I improve.
* theres about 8 layers at work here, the green overlay is the final one.