Making small art work

So chances are you've had to use a relatively small image for a card's art. The problem here is that it may look good when you see it on the site, but try printing it out - looks kinda bad doesn't it? There's a way around this and I plan on showing it to you. With this quick-and-easy technique, you'll be able to get painted-style artwork onto your cards that are print-quality.Obviously this is a pretty quick and dirty tutorial. If I'm not clear enough, let me know and I can add clearer instructions, pictures, or even do a screen capture to upload onto youtube.
What you'll need
- An image editing software such as Photoshop or GIMP - FotoSketcher (Don't worry, it is free) - A piece of artwork that you want to use
Getting started
1) First thing is first. Open up your image editing software (from here on out I'll assume you have photoshop, because that's what I have, the procedure in GIMP should be relatively similar).2) Create a new image of the right dimensions for the kind of card that you're making. See the list below for the proper dimensions - Ship: 1800px by 1600px - Squadron: 1650px by 950px - Upgrade: 1200px by 750px - Large Misc Card*: 1800px by 1200px - Medium Misc Card*: 1650px by 900px - Small Misc Card*: 1200px by 600px*: Note that not all Misc Card types use art. In fact, as of the writing of this article, none of the misc card types do, but that's okay.3) Copy your artwork and paste it as a new layer into your blank canvas. Scale the image so that it covers the canvas (none of the background layer should show up) - get your image framed how you want. Remember that the left-most and right-most 75 pixels will be cut off on the card because of bleed, so frame your image accordingly.4) Flatten your image.5) Boot up FotoSketcher6) Copy your image from Photoshop and Paste it in to FotoSketcher and apply the following parameters7) Click "Draw" and let FotoSketcher do its thing.8) Copy the result by right-clicking on the result frame and clicking "copy"9) Paste the sketched version into your photoshop document - it should come up as a new layer.10) Go back to FotoSketcher. We're going to process the original image again, but this time with the below parameters11) Again, copy the result and paste it into your photoshop document. Again, it should come up as a new layer.12) Set the opacity of the top-most layer to 50%. Depending on how the first Fotosketch effect came out, you may want to set it to 75% opacity instead. Somewhere in there - use your best judgment.13) Add the art to your favorite card.


Jul 27 2016 - 17:09 UTC
This is really neat! I do a lot of GIMP work, but rarely do I try to make the imagery more impressionistic, as I try to achieve photographic realism. But, sometimes the small art just looks like crap. For outcomes like custom cards, this really is a great solution.