2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 10, 2009 11:08 AM by chrisf111

    Realistic Cat Hair and...

    chrisf111
      Hi everyone,

      I’m somewhat new to the graphic design world and while I’ve learned a lot in a pretty small amount of time, I have some design aspects that will be very important for me to learn. I have been trying to learn on my own, but I’m now at a point of hoping to get someone to point me in the correct direction for something specific. Currently I’ve been learning to use Macromedia (now Adobe, I believe) Fireworks MX ‘04. Great program it seems to me, but I really don’t know how to compare it to another program, since it’s the first I’ve been using/learning in depth.
      I’ve been trying to discover how to create realistic looking cat hair. Is there simply a particular plug-in I could purchase, which would make this easier? I’ve tried with the pen and path tools but can’t come up with something that looks halfway realistic. The fill and stroke textures that came with the version I have aren’t cutting it either. Am I missing something that could be right in my face, or did I pick the wrong program to use? I’m aiming for a look that’s close to a drawing/painting and not too cartoon looking.

      The other thing that I’m needing to learn how to do is make my pen lines have thicker parts in some places, and thinner in others. I believe Freehand has a specific vector tool for this, but I haven’t been able to do so with Fireworks. I guess having random outline thickness would make drawings look a bit more like a drawing I’ve done in the past with pencil or charcoal. Right now, my outlines strokes look too computer generated with the uniform thickness. Is this particular effect going to require a Wacom tablet or is there another way?

      Thank you to any person who takes the time to help out a fellow artist.

      Chris
        • 1. Re: Realistic Cat Hair and...
          pixlor Level 4
          quote:

          Originally posted by: chrisf111
          Hi everyone,

          I’m somewhat new to the graphic design world and while I’ve learned a lot in a pretty small amount of time, I have some design aspects that will be very important for me to learn. I have been trying to learn on my own, but I’m now at a point of hoping to get someone to point me in the correct direction for something specific. Currently I’ve been learning to use Macromedia (now Adobe, I believe) Fireworks MX ‘04. Great program it seems to me, but I really don’t know how to compare it to another program, since it’s the first I’ve been using/learning in depth.
          I’ve been trying to discover how to create realistic looking cat hair. Is there simply a particular plug-in I could purchase, which would make this easier? I’ve tried with the pen and path tools but can’t come up with something that looks halfway realistic. The fill and stroke textures that came with the version I have aren’t cutting it either. Am I missing something that could be right in my face, or did I pick the wrong program to use? I’m aiming for a look that’s close to a drawing/painting and not too cartoon looking.

          The other thing that I’m needing to learn how to do is make my pen lines have thicker parts in some places, and thinner in others. I believe Freehand has a specific vector tool for this, but I haven’t been able to do so with Fireworks. I guess having random outline thickness would make drawings look a bit more like a drawing I’ve done in the past with pencil or charcoal. Right now, my outlines strokes look too computer generated with the uniform thickness. Is this particular effect going to require a Wacom tablet or is there another way?

          Thank you to any person who takes the time to help out a fellow artist.

          Chris


          Hi Chris,

          If you're trying to draw (art or illustration), then Fireworks is probably not the best program for you.

          Instead of Freehand, Adobe has Illustrator. You could also try the free Inkscape or (my favorite) Microsoft (/Creature House) Expression

          For mimicking painting, Painter has been a solid application for years (Expression is the vector cousin, both originally marketed in the 90s by Fractal Design).

          You might also try playing with Pixia. I haven't tried it, but it looks interesting.

          Try searching Google for photoshop fur plugins. You never know. Oh. Alien Skin eye candy 5 textures has a fur mode.

          • 2. Re: Realistic Cat Hair and...
            chrisf111 Level 1
            Hi Lorraine,

            Your help is highly appreciated! It seems like people on other boards are saying similar things...especially with the Illustrator part. I've even had some suggest Photoshop. I'll definitely be checking out all of the programs you have mentioned. And since Fireworks can incorporate Photoshop plug-ins, I'm definitely going to have to look into that. Again, thanks a bunch for taking the time to help out!

            Chris