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Topic: Question about digital ATCs  (Read 2031 times)
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raina.storms
« on: December 29, 2006 04:34:00 PM »

First off, I'd like everyone's opinions on them. Yea or nay. Pros and cons.

Secondly, I'd like to know what programs the craftsters who make and love them use to create them. I'm interested in trying it, but don't know where to start since I don't have photoshop... Any help in that area would be great! Also any printing tips for these would be helpful also.

Thanks! Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2006 04:44:25 PM »

I like digital cards that still have recognizable artistic elements (color palette, composition, etc) and are creative.
I am just learning with the free GIMP software.  It's not something I'll be comfortable trading for a while since I'm still figuring it out, but I have seen some very awesome digital cards by others.
And I would also like to know how the heck you print them out....
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2006 04:58:14 PM »

Decent printer, high ink setting, good paper...often something like photo paper, which could then be mounted on some cardstock/matboard/etc. to give it some strength.
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PaperBag
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2006 05:22:01 PM »

I use illustrator for graphic design stuff. I'm somewhere between novice and intermediate so I'm not able to do really cool artsy stuff so I dont feel comfortable making graphic ATCs. I also really like the feel of hand crafted ATCs..

As for printing, you could go get them printed at an office supply store. Those laser printers are a billion times better than any inkjet, plus they have great papers that you can use. Of course, it does cost money ($.89 for an 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of 24# paper at Office Max), but the quality makes it totally worth it. Sometimes there are sales at Staples for $.39 color copies so keep your eye open for those great sales Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2006 08:17:34 PM »

I can't paint or draw so I have to rely on the internet for my images. I think hard, do a bunch of research, and use quality products. Though they are decent and acceptable, nothing beats a hand painted/crafted card in my opinion.

I use Paint Shop Pro 7 and Printmaster for mine.

My future plans are to still use the above for design but actually create the cards with a different medium.

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raina.storms
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2006 08:42:42 PM »

Thanks for the input guys! I don't know if I'll ever trade/make them, but it's always good to have the info. Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2006 10:25:04 PM »

I do digital sometimes but usually use it for the base and then do hand embellishments on top like adding rhinestones or other 3-D elements.

I like Photoshop but it can be a little confusing. I've been using Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006 recently and really like what it can do. And there's a lot you can do in basic Microsoft Word too!

So try it out raina then show us the goods!
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raina.storms
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2006 10:49:48 PM »

I'm willing to try them! I don't really know what I could do in MS Word, though. Maybe I should download gimp...?
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2006 10:57:45 AM »

One of the most "talked-about" cards in the ATC & book swap ring I just finished was one kaesea made for Bobolink.  It was all-digital and quite stunning.  I was lucky enough to hold on to it for a while, because I was making Bobolink's book.  I found it quite stare-worthy.  She posted it in the ATC gallery here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=134977.msg1373740#msg1373740
I think the danger in all-digital cards is the same as the danger in no-digital cards:  that it can be too easy to find someone else's image, give it a border or something, and claim it as your own.  But when somebody does something original, then it's art just as much as painting or drawing.  An original digital piece can take as long or longer, and can take as much or more skill and vision.  I think that goes for ATCs as well as for full-scale pieces.  What you do with your medium is what makes it art, I think.  Just my two cents.  Wink
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2006 12:15:15 PM »

I agree. Art is art, it still takes creative thinking to complete. I've done digital art and digital scrapbooking before, but when it comes down to it I love the real thing better. Or maybe I just like to be messy  Tongue
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2006 03:21:51 PM »

I use photoshop 7. photoshop CS2. for imaging. but i also have other programs which i hardly use. illiustrator. lightroom.
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« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2006 12:10:30 AM »

Although haven't had time to make a card (with work, life and all) I do work with both traditional drawing and digital mediums for my job. Personally I think like digital cards are jsut as good at handcrafted cards. But like handcrafted cards, the quality of digital cards depends on the materials used and understanding of the programs you use to make it.

If you want to go digital I find photoshop is one of the best programs out there for photo manipulation, painting...well everything really.

One thing i think that jsut makes working digitally easy and fun is a graphics tablet. Once you get one you'll never want to use a mouse again.
You get great control with one of these things. Unlike a mouse these things (depending on model) has pressure sensitivity, allowing you great control over shading, line thickness, and such and such. I use a wacom introus 3. this is a professional model.  the wacom grafires are student ones. both are good (although i love my introus 3) but are abit pricey.
if you're not serious about digital work, you can still get a cheap graphics tablet out there that does the same thing, but of course not as good.

there are many programs you can use. Painter is a good program to use if for drawing/painting if you want a traditional medium feel. It replicates the effect of traditional mediums effectively without the mess.

Illustrator is a vector program. It's good if your not so good at drawing, as you can go in and edit the points manually to get the shape you want. Although personally i perfer using flash (also a vector program used for animation) this is just because i work with this program more at work, and its a hassle running to programs at onces that do similar things.  (HOWEVER illustrator has far more functions).

there are alot of sites that have tutorials for digital painting and photo manipulation. I'm not at my computer now so I don't have access to my bookmarks.
but if you want some inspiration these sites are some of my favorites off the top of my head.

www.nivbed.com (this site has some nice links)
www.gfxartist.com
www.cgtalk.com this one has a forum full of advice on all sorts of digtal programs. (mind you there can be alot of jargon involved)

Wow ok that was a long post.

Pia

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raina.storms
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2006 07:16:29 AM »

Although I want to get some version of Photoshop at some point, I don't think I'm willing to invest more cash than that into this. I really do like getting glue and paper bits everywhere! Wink  But of course PhotoShop has many applications, not just digital ATCs, so... yeah.

But thanks for all the info and the links! Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2006 07:55:32 AM »

Ahhh, the devil's advocate position again:
Since I like the feel of things, I prefer cards with handmade elements and textures.  Even if you don't draw or paint, you can add stamping, paint, glazes, rhinestones, brads, ribbon, etc...and incorporate those into your final design.  AmaryllisRoze is a master at this...she uses one element of design from the net, but constructs the card itself by hand.
For me, personally, I like to make (and recieve) cards that have an artist's handmade touch....a bit of drawing, doodling, or stamping...somethin g to show it was made by hand.  Also, originality is important to me, so if the card is all handmade, it's harder to reproduce, which adds to the intrigue for me as well.
In the end, good design is good design.  There are several artists here at Craftster that make really cool digital cards, Kaesea (and the before mentioned Eiffel tower card she made for me) is one of them.  Teeisme's (digital) cards are on firm backs, which is great. 
I guess good design, quality materials (printer and papers) are what makes a good card, regardless of the methods used to make it.
Having a really great printer is important too....it shouldn't be just a pixelated download from the 'net.  Cause that wouldn't be 'art', would it?

If you are making digital cards, I think it is good to tell the person you are swapping with first though....just my personal opinions and thoughts.
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raina.storms
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2006 08:03:11 AM »

I agree... I would definitely let someone know first if I were swapping one. I think even if I make one, there would have to be something else on it. I can't leave well enough alone! I would have to add scrapbook paper background, or a charm or something to it to get that extra touch/texture element. Wink
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« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2006 08:36:07 AM »

I've been thinking along the same lines as OY. I've been holding back on responding on this, but now that she did it first, I'll ride her coattails.

All of the digital cards we see...after they are digitally made, are they printed and put on a physical card, regardless of when they will be traded? That seems to be the point of ATCs to me.

I'm not knocking the digital artists! My husband is one and I'm forever amazed at the work that he (and the rest of you) do. Its not something I've mastered. My brain just doesn't work that way.

I also don't draw/paint as well as OY does, so I lean on pre-made images most of the time, then do the rest myself. The composition is what is mine.

And I would also want to know, pre-swap, if the card was entirely digital.
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« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2006 12:16:49 PM »

I've been thinking along the same lines as OY. I've been holding back on responding on this, but now that she did it first, I'll ride her coattails.
Thanks, I was wondering where you had been.... Smiley
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raina.storms
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2006 12:19:10 PM »

Awesome, I think *most* of craftsters' elite ATC-ers have replied here! Grin
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« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2006 12:49:18 PM »

I have an installed version of Photoshop on my computer which I tried to use once- man , I am way too old for it!! I like the physical manipulation of materials in creating my ATC's. I have seen some incredible graphic designed ATC's, but I prefer the good old pasting method myself. (Must be my secret wish to be back in grade school!-cut-n-paste rules there!) When I started making ATC's I used my rubber stamps more- now I use a combo of images I have collected as well as my stamps.
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« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2006 03:00:53 PM »

Since we're playing devil's advocate... Wink

Also, originality is important to me, so if the card is all handmade, it's harder to reproduce, which adds to the intrigue for me as well.
Something involving glue & "bobs" might be harder for the person who made it to reproduce it--but, then again, I think it's just as easy to pass off another's work as your own no matter how you assembled the card.  Is the main interest of the card something that came from the person's own hand and mind?  (And is it not coming from the person's own hand and mind when they "assemble" the design on the computer?  Is something 100% vectored/drawn by someone less original/creative or less a piece of art than commercial scrapbook ephemera or downloads 100% hand-glued into a certain arrangement?)  For what it's worth, I've considered some of my iron-on transfer designs (done on the computer) to be far more my "own" work than some of my stencils (which involved my hand on a paintbrush, but less of my own design). 


Having a really great printer is important too....it shouldn't be just a pixelated download from the 'net.  Cause that wouldn't be 'art', would it?
Okay, I'm done with "devil's advocate."  I've got an "amen, sister" for that one.  Please, y'all, don't print something from the 'net and sign your name to it.  That'd be just dishonest (well, that and lazy).  Smiley

If you are making digital cards, I think it is good to tell the person you are swapping with first though....just my personal opinions and thoughts.
I think that may be a decent plan for any swap.  I think that's just one of many preferences that it's good to state at the outset.  In fairness, I think the person with the preference should be the one to express it (just as I don't expect someone who invites me to dinner to ask whether I'm vegetarian, or allergic to shellfish, or lactose intolerant--the possible list is too long, so it's really my responsibility--although it's nice when people ask if I have any sensitivities or restrictions).  I'd probably say, "Please don't send me a card made with leather" (or ham Cheesy)--or that I'd prefer not to have logos on the card.  Heck, I'm sure there are plenty of folks who love painted/drawn cards but just can't get into collage.  So why waste your collage efforts on them?  But you'd never know unless they told you.  So, OY, I'll consider myself "told" by you.  Smiley


So... anybody gonna "ATC" the new year tonight?  'Fess up, y'all!
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« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2006 03:28:00 PM »

interesting discussion.  Since I primarily do collage, I've often wondered about "originality" factor in my work-what makes it original to me is the execution of an idea using a found image as one element, with painting,drawing, glueing of stuff etc. to complete my "master plan Wink".    It seems to me digital is much the same- I just don't get how to do it (and I love my paper and glu to much to stray...)and am mightily impressed by those of you who are digi artists.

 I paint and draw but really love collage/altered art/assemblage and find that anything using found elements is a bottomless quigmire when it comes to the originality discussion (so many point of views!!)

and yup I'm ATC'ing in the new year-I need to make one for my family's time capsule (we'll open it up next new year's eve)  Happy New Year to everyone!!!
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« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2006 04:02:54 PM »

Glad my 'devil's advocate' got the ball rolling for more opinions and discussions on this one....I knew there were more views to be expressed, but didn't want to get branded as the ATC Bi*ch for bringing them up.  Thanks for a great conversation, everyone.  Smiley
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« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2006 04:33:13 PM »

As long as it comes from your head, I don't really care what method you use to make it corporeal...I like to know beforehand just because I'm insatiably curious Wink

And I wish I was ringing in the New Year with ATCs, but instead I'm sitting amongst mountains of half-sorted books and supplies.  I'm only about an eighth of the way through my ephemera collection and the section I'm keeping already weighs 35 lbs...save me from my stash!
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« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2006 04:34:27 PM »

Glad my 'devil's advocate' got the ball rolling for more opinions and discussions on this one....I knew there were more views to be expressed, but didn't want to get branded as the ATC Bi*ch for bringing them up.  Thanks for a great conversation, everyone.  Smiley

I don't think any of of us think of you that way!
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raina.storms
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2006 07:07:04 PM »

I am very thankful to everyone who's replied! This discussion is indeed interesting and thought-provoking. If/when I do a digital ATC, I will probably still be using clip art or downloaded images, so I would always consider the layout and overall outcome to be what's mine and original.

Thanks again! Keep on posting any new insights, too!

I'm not ATC-ing the new year in... I'm crocheting it in! And I should be posting my FO in a little while! Grin
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raina.storms
« Reply #25 on: January 04, 2007 04:58:00 PM »

I just wanted to let you all know I made my first digital ATC!!! Thanks for all the help and contributions!

(It's posted in the what we look like ATCs thread.)
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alana1223
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2007 09:55:55 AM »

I'm just curious... I gave away all the scrapbooking supplies i never used (to my niece in Spain - I guess it's hard to get supplies there) because I started doing digital scrapbooking...

So, (maybe I am totally off base!) I was wondering about digital ATC's.  Since I haven't even made one yet, I don't know a whole lot. 

is this okay to do as a ATC card or totally frowned upon?
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« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2007 10:00:40 AM »

There is a big ol' discussion of that here.

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=142192.0
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« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2007 06:44:13 PM »

well, I am a digital artist, I've worked with a number of programs such as Daz3D (that's a free download but the addons do add up), Bryce, Terragen, VueD'Espirit, Paint Shop Pro (I have versions 5-10 but I prefer versions 9 and 6.. in that order) and Photoshop.

I do make my digital images from pre-purchased packs and morphs for Poser, but the resulting images are all mine.  Sometimes it can take upward of 25 hours to make one good design. 

When I do print my images I use the photo quality setting and the highest DPI possible on the printer, and more often than not I do add an embellisment or two.

I love my digital art.. but I like creating too, so sometimes my ATCs are a blend of what I've done digitally and collaged or such
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