Sunday, October 2, 2011

The swatch project!

As the few souls that have tried to color Precocious strips know, I'm an idiot. The swatches I've used for the last FOREVER have been in jpeg format, also known as "let's scramble color just because!" files. This is why characters sometimes subtly shift in color. (That, and I'm really lazy about checking my work.)

But this can change! In doing my book work, I discovered a treasure trove of old hi-res files I though I had lost. Among them... THE ORIGINAL SWATCHES! Download it here. (TIFF format.)

The problem now... this file was made in 2009! I have likely updated some colors since then! Off the top of my head, Deirdre got lighter in the most recent strip she appeared in, and Yvette got darker in her most recent appearances. (The first was on purpose. The second was an accident, but I like it.) Oh yeah, and Tiff's hair became more vibrant when I realized the old color was too close to the yellow of Autumn's house. Those changes are NOT in the new swatch file... yet.

There are other colors missing too, like typical clothing colors for adults, house colors and the CURRENT house interior colors. I think all houses by Bud's got tweaked over time. The task that stands in front of us, fellow colorists, is to update the damn swatches! Do I use the same color for all sidewalks/grass/trees/skies? Find and add it! (Or choose one to be the new standard.) There are dozens of numbered spots on the swatch file that need some colors thrown in!

Yes, I know I'm talking about this as a "we" thing, but we all know it's actually a "me" thing. I need to be more attentive when coloring and update the swatches as I go. I need to hunt down my changes and make sure they're in there. I need to eventually redo the whole thing for more clarity. Problem is, that's all I can do for a long time, as I'm going to be super busy.* Swatch upkeep will have to go on the "when I get to it" list.

But, hey, at least you colorists out there have a better file to work with now! (And I can provide other formats if needed. Just email me.)

*Here's the estimated busy schedule, for the curious:

This week:
1. Get all book files to the publisher.
2. Try to get myself back up to a week ahead in final strips, so I can do this next week stuff...

Next week:
1. Open up for commissions. (If you want one, be sure to set aside $25 for that.)
2. Begin writing commentary for the book.
3. Finish the Birthday Bashing outline, so I can start planning strip 1000.

Whenever I get time:
1. Work on the bonus story for the book.
2. Do the swatches thing.
3. Finish the 24-hour comic day work.
4. Set up for the last week of October incentives.
5. Start some art auctions, assuming the other auction isn't happening.
6. That thing I was just thinking of that went out of my head.

And, of course, keep Precocious (and Copper Road, after October ends) going the whole time. So. Yeah. Busy.


Iron Ed said...

Okay; I kinda wondered what those numbered color swatches were for; now I know, and...
We need a key! :-)

DRB_II said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DRB_II said...

Ed, I can tell you this much: the first four colors were or currently are the house interior colors. The rest are background or clothing, whatever your whims may be.

Chrispy (and others I suppose), since I've been... sort of keeping my own swatch up to date, I can tell you where some, if not most of the holes are. Yes, I went dark with Pingo yellow the last week I did, but that was *my* solution to Tiff's hair being the same color as their house. So I stole from Dionne's palate. I mean, when was she ever going to show up at the Pingos? Ha ha!

Less than two weeks. Did not see that coming. Still, I see you worked that in in 931, so all is... good?

As probably the one other person who knows the palate as well as you do, Chrispy, this vaguely necessary update project seems well suited to my both my position and copious free time. Besides, it helps me too.

I keep a full color archive of both Precocious, Copper Road, and even one off bits on my hard drive on case I need to reference something. I've made my own additions to the palate out of necessity (the chalkboard in 904), insane attention to detail (Gene's Starfleet shirt and combadge in 881), or just because (pretty much the rest of the week 877 to 882 I've gone out of the box on the adult's clothing). If I have nothing to do tomorrow night, I could send you my own perceived swatch update. I'm not starting that now, it's 4 in the morning.

For the scant few other truly insane colorists out there who may be reading this, Kaitlyn's hair is RGB 140 115 93, and next to her name, unlabeled.

With that insane bit of rambling out of the way, 615 is begging for color almost as much as 573 was. Could you dig up the high-res and send it my way?

(Two minor corrections were entirely worth deleting my last post!)

Christopher J Paulsen said...

Ed, most of those colors were taken from the first few Sundays I colored... and most of those colors were never used again. Brilliant! It also hurts that I didn't label any of them, so I've long forgotten what was what.

Sent you the file, DRB. Thanks for assisting. Maybe between the two of us we can finally set some standards in this strip! (No more re-painting the school every other week?) I'm sure you'll find a lot of places where you'll have questions. You know where to find me.