Author Topic: Paint programs (programmes) to create decals  (Read 564 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline loupgarou

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 1857
Paint programs (programmes) to create decals
« on: April 02, 2021, 06:39:28 am »
Haven't found a similar topic, except one from 2009.
I need to create my own decals, using existing scanned logos, resing them, duplicating etc.
Which program would members suggest? (obvioulsy free) I have tried paint-net and found it a pain(t) in the A...
I don't need a lot of special effects, only a way of efficiently duplicating, resizing to a precise length, eventually removing background and MOST IMPORTANT, putting together different items form different files in a single page for paper economy.
Pain.net offers resize to a printing dimension. BUT it's not true, the resultis in a completely different size.
Owing to the current financial difficulties, the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off until further notice.

Offline Hobbes

  • Stores peanuts in his mailbox
  • What-IF SIG
  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 6724
    • Acme Engineering
Re: Paint programs (programmes) to create decals
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2021, 07:17:01 am »
I prefer using a vector-based drawing program as the basis. This allows you to import any scanned assets and resize them to an absolute size without having to change the resolution of the imported files.

It also allows you to use high-quality vector graphics instead of scanned files. Many items (air force roundels, company logos, national flags) can be found as vector graphics on the Web.

I use Illustrator because I have a license from my employer. A free alternative would be Inkscape.

Paint.net is good to have alongside for processing the individual scanned items before you import into your vector program.

Offline loupgarou

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 1857
Re: Paint programs (programmes) to create decals
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2021, 08:00:32 am »
Thanks, Hobbes, but I am afraida vector program would be way over my head.
What would be "processing the scanned images"?
Owing to the current financial difficulties, the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off until further notice.

Offline Hobbes

  • Stores peanuts in his mailbox
  • What-IF SIG
  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 6724
    • Acme Engineering
Re: Paint programs (programmes) to create decals
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2021, 08:04:32 am »
for example:
- cutting out the parts you want (if you've scanned an entire decal sheet and only need part of it)
- cleaning up the scan (I sometimes get black lines on a scan when I use our office printer/scanner)
- removing scanning artefacts (depending on your scanner settings, a scan can look ugly and pixelated - this is because the decals were printed using a fine raster pattern. Depending on e.g. your scanner resolution this pattern will become far more visible in the scan than in the original decals)

Offline loupgarou

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 1857
Re: Paint programs (programmes) to create decals
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2021, 09:36:25 am »
Thanks a lot. I'll have a  try with Inkscape.
Owing to the current financial difficulties, the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off until further notice.

Offline PR19_Kit

  • Closeted Take That fan
  • What-IF SIG
  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 38848
  • Whiffing since the 70s
Re: Paint programs (programmes) to create decals
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2021, 09:49:02 am »
Although I habitually use a bitmap programme (PaintShoPro 4) for my decals, I've found a good way to get a nice smooth, non-pixilated (or as non-pixilated as you can get with a bitmap programme...) is to do the design four or five times full size and then re-size it before printing.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2021, 02:52:29 pm by PR19_Kit »
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit

Offline loupgarou

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 1857
Re: Paint programs (programmes) to create decals
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2021, 12:42:22 pm »
Thanks, Kit. At the moment my need is how to put together a sheet for printing using  items (logos etc) from different sources (scanned from books or decals sheets...) after resizing with precision the individual items.
Paint.net don't seem to be able to do this, and I doubt of my capacity for mastering Inkscape.
Owing to the current financial difficulties, the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off until further notice.

Offline Dizzyfugu

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 12091
    • Lots of works in my FlickR gallery
Re: Paint programs (programmes) to create decals
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2021, 01:40:04 am »
Good bitmap-oriented free programs are Gimp (many features, can be overwhelming when you have no clue) and XnView (much simpler, rather good for tuning finished graphics than truly manipulate/"photoshop" them). However, for good results and proper print-praparation you need a vector-graphics-oriented program, too. I use Corel Draw (IIRC #8), an ancient version, but it still runs stable under current Windows. The OEM package also contained Corel Draw, a special program for bitmap manipulation - maybe you can find a free complete package.

Offline Hobbes

  • Stores peanuts in his mailbox
  • What-IF SIG
  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 6724
    • Acme Engineering
Re: Paint programs (programmes) to create decals
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2021, 02:04:40 am »
If all you need is the ability to resize and position existing artwork, you could use LibreOffice Draw.

Offline zenrat

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 21771
  • Currently on double secret probation.
Re: Paint programs (programmes) to create decals
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2021, 02:57:30 am »
I use Micro$oft Powerpoint.  I don't draw anything too complicated as I can usually find logos etc on the interweb.
There are also heaps of free fonts to download when it comes to text.
Fred

- Can't be bothered to do the proper research and get it right.

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere...for your convenience..

Offline loupgarou

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 1857
Re: Paint programs (programmes) to create decals
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2021, 12:44:04 pm »
Thanks for all the help.
I have installed Inkscape, tomorrow will try and explore it. Will explore also the other programs suggested to check which is the best option for my needs. Mostly I have to use (or better will have to use) scanned logos and markings from various sources (printed ones or decal sheets) and resize them. I haven't yet found a simple method for resizing to a PRECISE dimension, AND putting together many items from different sources to fill up a sheet without wasting decal paper.
Maybe the best is again using Word, it allows easy resizing without losing proportions, and duplicating,adding more items etc.
Only snag, how to get exact dimensions, keeping on  mind that I mostly do trucks and freight cars in 1/87, so a small size difference is important.
Owing to the current financial difficulties, the light at the end of the tunnel will be turned off until further notice.

Offline Dizzyfugu

  • Needs A Life Outside What-If
  • *****
  • Posts: 12091
    • Lots of works in my FlickR gallery
Re: Paint programs (programmes) to create decals
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2021, 01:59:41 am »
I use Micro$oft Powerpoint.  I don't draw anything too complicated as I can usually find logos etc on the interweb.
There are also heaps of free fonts to download when it comes to text.

PPT is an option, too, if yiou have/use MS Office. It is basically a vector-based graphic program that allows you a lot of freedom, and you can even (to a certain degree) edit/tune imported bitmaps, even though you will not be able to make retouches.