Valex wrote:mute wrote:Just like you can't change a tiny jpeg picture file into a large, sharp picture just by upping the size/resolution; the original file simply doesn't have the data
But then you get Sweet Bro & Hella Jeff
So really there's no problems with doing that
I have a lot of advice for people trying to get into graphics or polish their abilities. One of my biggest suggestions would be spending a good deal of time looking for the right image. A lot of graphics are ruined by silly images -- low quality images, images that don't fit the song, images that just look stupid, etc. Whenever I'm making graphics for a song, I'll put the song on repeat in VLC and start browsing for fitting images. I use deviant-art and sankakucomplex's image board primarily. I'll save maybe five or six really great images to a designated graphics folder; this way the "leftovers" can be used again and I'll know where to find them. Don't bother with small, low quality images. Try to avoid really "busy" pictures -- these can look bad when sized up or down, and just be straight-up distracting. Vectorized images are always a good idea.
Make sure you have a lot of good fonts. They're all over the internet for free. Go find good ones!
As far as text effects go, I like the age-old mantra "less is more." Too many people go overboard in the blending options department, which results in some serious eyesores. I would also steer people away from beveling. This is another feature that gets overused poorly; most fonts aren't even designed to beveled, and beveling said fonts results in pixelated, jagged text (that some people don't notice, to my amazement). Sticking with the simpler blending options is usually best. I like stuff like Stroke, Gradient, Outer Shadow, and Outer Glow (use this one judiciously) -- mind you, not all at the same time. Matching your font/text effect colors with the colors of the background image is crucial. Color-coordination is a big deal.
Also, make sure you put the text in a good place. A lot of people don't get this, and I have no idea why. Don't cover up the cool parts of the image with the text, if you can avoid it. Don't put the text where the target arrows, life-bar, upper song-progress bar, etc. will cover it up. I like putting text on the P2 side of the image (if possible), since most people will play P1 when they play stepmania.
A note on graphics and packs -- try to maintain good color variety within the pack's graphics. My first pack, for example, has an abundance of reddish graphics (I really sucked back then). This makes for a boring pack experience, visually, when you're scrolling through the song wheel trying to pick a tune. Refer to my fourth pack, where there is a great variety in color. Your eye-dick can't help stiffening as you glance over all those blues, greens, yellows, reds, cyans, and plums. I find that most packs lack a solid green set of graphics. Placing certain color-schemes strategically throughout the pack can be a good idea; a bright green here and there can really add a lot.
Don't be afraid to mess around with the image a little bit. Sometimes I'll spy a really jarring spot or a string of red in an otherwise green-dominant image. A little clone-stamp tool usage and/or some color correction can really go a long way. Sometimes I'll double up on clouds. Sometimes I'll knock down some buildings in the background. It's a good idea to familiarize yourself with some basic tools within the program you use.
Lastly, I'd suggest just keeping at it. I've seen some guys really improve over the years. Anyway, I hope some of that is helpful to somebody or something.
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