Who's good at making icons?

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DisabledTrucker
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Who's good at making icons?

Post by DisabledTrucker » Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:50 am

Though I can make some, I need someone who can make me a set of icons using the Truck I'm using for my profile pic, (see it on the left of this?)

What I need that I'm having trouble with is one which has the wheels removed and looks like it's hovering, (Kinda like a space truck), and one with that entraped in a spiders web. The Space Truck should have a shadow under it if at all possible. I'm trying to find a pic of a trailer to use for the folders, but I'm having a hard time finding one which isn't connected to a tractor, if someone can help me find one, I'd appreciate that as well.

Image
The origninal 256x256 png file if you need it, I'll need the icons sized so they can replace My Computer and IE repectively as well as the PNG files for both, or at least the PNG files so I can create the icons myself. Not having a tablet to do the drawing with, I'm having a hard time doing these, if someone can help me, I'd really appreciate it. TIA.

FWIW, Yes, I am working on a "Space Trucking Theme", not sure if I'll ever release it though or not.

~DisabledTrucker~
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ghettochild
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Post by ghettochild » Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:01 am

Have you had a try of icon developer from Stardock". I love that program. You can turn pictures eg. jpg, bmp, png and other stuff to icons. Have a try, you might like it.

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DisabledTrucker
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Post by DisabledTrucker » Sat Feb 04, 2006 12:55 pm

Yeah I have an icon creator program, I'm having problems with the creation of the pics to make the icons though, my nerves lately aren't letting me do detail work with the mouse right now.

FWIW, this is the best I've been able to do with it:
Image

I wasn't going to post this because it's so crappy looking, but that's the best I've been able to do over the last few weeks that I've been working on it... Notice I still can't get the shader underneath the truck to look anywhere's near decent and I still can't get that front bumper to look right either... Oh, I might as well forget about making the web, everything I've tried looks like crap!
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Post by Xable » Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:20 pm

Get in touch with Xpero.

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DisabledTrucker
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Post by DisabledTrucker » Sat Feb 04, 2006 1:22 pm

He's not in this forum is he?
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Post by XIII » Sat Feb 04, 2006 2:14 pm

"Foood" delivers one of the best icon sets I've ever seen (iCandy JR).

He offers his services (on a commercial basis?) via his website.
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DisabledTrucker
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Post by DisabledTrucker » Sat Feb 04, 2006 2:39 pm

I know all about iCandy, I use it myself, that's not what I need though, yeah all he does is commercial work...
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Post by Xable » Sat Feb 04, 2006 2:53 pm

DisabledTrucker wrote:He's not in this forum is he?
Nope he`s an MSFN Member

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Post by DisabledTrucker » Sat Feb 04, 2006 3:33 pm

I knew that in MSFN, was just checking to see if he was here as well, thanks... :)
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Post by Mrs Peel » Sat Feb 04, 2006 7:20 pm

Trucker it's not going to be possible to make a crisp defintion icon out of your truck logo because there is a lot of detail in the full size version and a very broad colour palette which will be degrading immensely in the downsizing process.

When choosing a source image you have to be mindful of how all those pixels in your source (approx 36,000 in your logo above) are going to downsize into a small square totalling 256 pixels (your smallest icons) and preserve anough definition to recognise what it is.

As a designer, I would suggest that you try and find a source image that has less fine details in it. Images that are more of a cartoonish nature (ie: have less than 256 colours in the palette) will give you a crisper miniature output.

If it were me I would be starting with a vector-based source image, because they retain their definition much better than raster images when you downsize them.

Just my two cents worth ;)

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Post by DisabledTrucker » Sat Feb 04, 2006 8:16 pm

How can I convert a raster image to a vector image then, because I know this pic looks good as an Icon, I can't post icons here or I'd show you what I have done with the original pic above. It looks fantastic to me even at 32x32 which is the smallest size I use. The sizes I use are 32x32, 48x48, and 128x128. I use the 256x256 just for the initial image to work with afterwards, I also only use PSP (version 7.0.4 is the one I use,) and I don't have or use the Adobe one. I use IconWorkshop to create the Icons with, and have had decent luck out of using fine detailed icons with it too, Yes, I may have to modify the color pallet some but I do that after I import it into IconWorkshop and see how it looks first.

Thanks for the help in this though, because when it comes to the technical side of images, I'm like you were to building Addons when you come here, I don't know much about it... ;)

EDIT: This is the best I can do for it at this point, I'm not sure about the vectoring but I have reduced the pallet for it to 244 if that helps...

Of course it now has that stupid white outline I spent so much time trying to get rid of before...
Image Image

The one on the right is the actual original image...
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Mrs Peel
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Post by Mrs Peel » Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:38 pm

DisabledTrucker wrote:Of course it now has that stupid white outline I spent so much time trying to get rid of before...
The "stupid white outline" you are referring to cannot be removed by erasing the edges of an image for a transparent background because it is the way that the gif image format blends the opaque pixels which surround the edge of an image from which the background has been erased.

The "stupid white outline" is the "matte" colour that you have chosen to use when you saved your transparent gif. If you had chosen to use the background colour of this board as your matte colour instead it would seemingly appear to have no halo effect around the image, but if you moved it on top of a different coloured background it would show as a "stupid charcoal outline" instead.

You must have noticed on boards where peeps have used animated gif images as their avatar and it has an ugly halo around it, a very classic example of such on this board is ghettochild's hideously ugly (and equally crude) avatar here (which I usually set my adblocker to block, but had to unblock in order to demonstrate this phenomenom ewwwwwww):
Image
This image he obviously stole off a website that had made it to go on top of a white page background and set the matte colour according to that. So unless one had the original source image for that layered gif (althought I pray they have already destroyed the fuckin thing :rolleyes:) and could resave it with a matte colour of the charcoal background of this board it will continue to look tacky in both appearance as well as content.

I quickly whipped up some new source images in photoshop for you to work with. I used the pen tool to outline your truck and remove the background, however to look visually pleasing I had to anti-alias the selection edges. If you don't do that then the outer border of your image will look harsh and jagged. For the sample gif version below I added a light gray matte colour (which is the safest "generic" choice if you cannot define a specific matte colour to match a specific background), because I wanted to illustrate how it is not possible to get rid of that effect - only to "disguise" it. Had I chose the charcoal colour of this page as my matte colour you would not see the faint (gray) halo at all. Hope this makes sense?

Image

The rest of the source files I worked with I zipped up into a folder for you here. I don't use paintshop but I am assuming it can import a layered psd image OK and let you work with the clean layer that I have isolated for you. I also sharpened up the image definition for you a little so it will look a bit crisper and shinier under reduction:

http://www10.rapidupload.com/d.php?file ... path=15007

Sorry I but I just do not have time to convert this into vector format and you probably don't have the skill level to work with vector format at this stage anyhoo. If you already had a copy of this in a format such as WMF (standard windows clipart format) or FH or AI I could work with it but for now I guess you'll have to plod away in your raster software.

Hope that helps a little. Cheers ;)

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Post by Daemonforce » Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:43 pm

All icons made by me have a distinct Microsoft style to them. o.O
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Post by Mrs Peel » Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:50 pm

Mac style icons are really quite sexy Daemonforce. I'd like to see some samples of your icon work.

Personally, I suck at icons LOL but I do know how to appreciate a well made one. The stuff Foood creates are absofarkinlutely amazing.

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Post by DisabledTrucker » Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:57 pm

Daemonforce, can you help me to create the ones I'm looking for, please?

@Mrs Peel, Thanks for what you did, and yes I can use PSD files in PSP 7.0.4, thanks, but I used the "Majic Wand" and an eraser to remove all the white lines around the PNG files I have up there, the last two I posted are where I did my best to convert the first one to a vector image, not sure if I even knew what I was doing or not, and I used a transparent background but when it saves with that it comes out white or as you pointed out I could have changed that color to whatever color, but if I had used a color that resembles this board, it would have also removed some of the color of the truck as well, and that wouldn't be of any help at all. I don't think PSP 7 has a way to "anti-alias" the edges though, but the rest is basically the same thing I did to the original PNG's I posted above.

I also like how much better the colors are in the files you posted as well, one day I might get Photoshop and learn how to use it, it seems that people are always doing a lot better things with it than I can do with with PSP, although the version I'm using is rather dated too...

As far as that horribly disgusting excuse for a gif goes, I'm with you on that all the way, even being a guy, I can't stand it either, I find it too obnoxious as well. Like you I too have it blocked, but I knew what you were talking about...

Here's just a small sample of some of the icons I've done myself already:

Image Image
Now don't jump all over me, I never said I did any of the art work on them, some of them I did some of it though, but I did create the actual icons. And here's a correction for above post, I figured out a way to show you how the Truck Icon come out:
Image
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Post by Mrs Peel » Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:44 am

Thanks Trucker, glad you found them useful as it was only a quick 5min slap-up job. Your icons look fine to me, although if I didn't already know that was a Truck I would've hard a hard job figuring out what it actually was at those dimensions (64px and below).

Photoshop is definitely the way to go for graphics work, but I have to confess that I am still using Photoshop 7 and I got that really cheap at an online auction (you could probably get a very cheap and legit PS7 off your Ebay there). I've tried the CS series photoshop versions and quite frankly I can't stand what they are doing with the software development these days. Newer versions give no real advantage for serious photoshop users and just filling the program up with more and more frilly useless bloat to appeal to a wider audience who lack basic imaging theory and prefer to rely on filters rather than learn a few basics.

The correct tool for removing images from their background is to make a clipping path with the pen tool. It's a bitch of a tool to master but it does the best precision job at tracing around outlines with full user control over where you want your edges to be. The magic wand is a very inprecise tool which is only effective in cases where you have a high resolution image with clearly defined edges.

Learning to use the correct masking tools for the job will accelerate your skill to produce quality output images. I do a lot of private tutoring of peeps who want to learn graphics to work with their digital camera images and masking techniques are the very first thing I step them thru before we even go near the other tools LOL

I have no idea if Paintshop has a pen tool tho, but if it does you would never regret any time you invest in getting control of it. Pen tools are indispensable for tracing round curves or making sharp angle cuts into your image outline.

Gluck with your project there :)

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Post by DisabledTrucker » Sun Feb 05, 2006 2:06 am

I'd be interested in learning how to do those things, I've seen the mask section in PSP but I've never really learned how to use it. As far as using the pen tool, yeah PSP has that too, but I've got really bad nerves and it's a bitch, to say the least, to do anything with it without a tablet. I used to have a cheapo one back a few years ago but unfortunately it didn't ever work with XP and the company has since quit making them, (I think they even went out of buisness I can't remember anymore.) I do a lot of video work but when it comes to individual pictures it's hard for me to do them because I was never really taught how to do them and I never fully understood the PSP book that come with the Aniversary edition. I thought about getting the PhotoShop CS version myself to learn on when I finally do decide I need an upgraded photo tool. Going x64, I'm going to have to find something though I don't think that PSP7 will run on it at all, and I'm not too thrilled with Corel enough to attempt to upgrade to the latest version of PSP now that they have purchased it. I never could really stand Corel even on a Mac. I'd rather just use something that is a more widely used product anyways.

As far as the bloat goes Adobe is getting great about adding it to all their software lately, it's a shame too, they would have a much better product if they would quit adding it all into their apps, hence the reason I quit using Adobe Reader and just use Foxit instead. I don't use their video tools either, no matter how good that everyone claims they are, I have others I use I like better.
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Post by Mrs Peel » Sun Feb 05, 2006 5:07 am

DisabledTrucker wrote:As far as using the pen tool, yeah PSP has that too, but I've got really bad nerves and it's a bitch, to say the least...
Even more reason you should learn to use the pen tool rather than the wand or eraser, and I'll tell you why....

With a pen tool you can quickly run a series of anchor points around your image to make a rough outline and then once you have joined the line back at your start point you can then zoom up real close on your image and work your way back around the shape tweaking each individual anchor point by simply highlighting it with the mouse and then use the up/down arrows on your keyboard to nudge the anchor point closer to your image outline.

I try and operate so that I have the very minimum amount of mouse operations, using keyboard shortcuts and keys wherever possible. Aside from the fact that my mouse control is a bit sub-standard (even with this MX1000 laser mouse I invested in last year) it is a much faster way to work also.

The very rare times I ever resort to using my wacom tablet are when I need the pressure control feature for fine feathering work and other than that I personally do not find them more accurate than a good quality mouse. LOL I think tablets just make the arsty fartsy graphic designers feel like they are some kinda wonderful with a brushlike tool in their hand.

We each just need to find working techniques that suit our own physical and/or mental limitiations and there are many different ways up the mountain when it comes to working in graphics software. ;)

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Post by DisabledTrucker » Sun Feb 05, 2006 11:19 am

I don't think the pen tool in PSP allows for you to do what your talking about, I haven't used it in so long I can't remember when it was. The wand on the other hand will let me do fine tuning of the crop with just a couple of key presses as well and I can add or take away from what I'm trying to crop and generally is a lot faster to use than the pen tool for me anyways. I used a pen tool for the ability to be able to do more precision work, and it's easier on my abused, arthritic hands, (my years doing construction got the best of them,) to hold a pen shaped object than to hold the mouse keys down while I'm trying to work on minute details.
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Post by Daemonforce » Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:43 pm

I'm sorry. I barely have the time to even browse this forum. -_-
I'm ass-deep in this huge multiboot project I started about 5 months ago(yeah...this is the big one). Half of what I'm working on right now has to do with the section that Ryan is manipulating. After that's done, I might make icons and post them here. I haven't been making icons since I had a functioning web server with a lot of ASP.NET thrown in. It's just one thing after another. :(
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Post by DisabledTrucker » Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:39 am

Hey, I'm not in any kinda hurry for them, just whenever someone can do the pics anyways, for me I'd appreciate it.

I realize that barely anyone here is disabled other then myself and barely has time to shower, let alone do something as complicated as I'm asking, (at least to me it's complicated,) and I'm a patient person so I can wait. ;)
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Post by Shark007 » Thu Feb 16, 2006 2:01 pm

here is a freeware program that will convert a bmp to an ico

Get it here
shark

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