Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Secret to Clean Character PNGs

The Secret to Clean Character PNGs

One of the most common problems with using an image that was originally a photo for something like a character or free-floating object, is that damned White Outline that tends to show up no matter how closely you clean it.

I got around that issue by first cleaning each image at 300 magnification, and using the Eraser tool -- NOT the Outline tool then hitting Clear. Yes, it's a pain because it takes a while to do it that way, but it's the cleanest you will get it, and you won't get a ragged, pixelated edge.

Once you've cut out your image, photo-manipulate as needed...

Next you add Inner Glow set to a Dark Color.
-- I like to use a dark red or brown on character images because it blends well against skin tones.

The Dark Inner Glow effectively erases any white that might have snuck in despite your cleaning efforts.

THEN art filter your PNGs to your heart's content. Just be aware that many art filters will ADD a white outline that will need to be cleaned off again.

Once you have finished Art Filtering your images, add Inner Glow again, set to Black this time at at 2 px or less to cover any white that might have slipped in during the Art Filtering process.

The best way to check for any white edging that might have slipped into your image is by putting your character against a Black Background.

And there you have it, characters that actually blend in with their backgrounds.


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