Skip to Content

Card Template Assistance

21 replies [Last post]
-Eberhardt-
-Eberhardt-'s picture
Offline
Joined: 01/30/2015

All:

I've been doing local play-tests need to begin to put together a PnP for a design, however the format I've been using is MS Excel and does not equal 2.5" x 3.5" for each card.

I am using GIMP 2.8 and am having challenges. I am looking for someone or someones to give me some suggestions on how to move my vision (art/wording/etc) from the rough cards and temp boarders into a workable prototype for PnP and to send out to get reviews from sites once printed.

You're help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks

JewellGames
JewellGames's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/03/2012
It all depends on what and

It all depends on what and how much information you need on the card. As far as artwork goes, anything functional (basic symbols) works.

Do you have an example card from your current prototype?

Miika
Miika's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/01/2015
Gimp / Photoshop..

I made a quick template with photoshop. Probably this is nothing you would need.. But anyways..

I remember reading from somewhere, that psd is valid for gimp also..
I'm not a pro with photoshop, so template is not perfect.. You can add symbols, draw them yourself, or find from net. If you take a black and white symbol from internet, set the layer style as "darkening", that way you get rid of the whites.

Put the background image on top of the layer that contains the dragon image.. There's a mask to cut the corners..

Note, I do not have rights to the BG image, i just took some dragon pic from google.
Hope you can use this.. If not, I'll use it myself some day :)

If you want to print the cards, create an image sized 1500x1050px , 150dpi. There you can put 8 cards (4x2) and print on A4.

-
Miika

Link:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8g0-8_OPJcTNEVoMDdTMmtjRWM/view?usp=sh...

Jarec
Offline
Joined: 12/27/2013
I've been doing my stuff at

I've been doing my stuff at work with InDesign, which is a perfect tool for these things.
Someone once said that Microsoft Publisher is a good InDesign "lite", and there's a free trial available.

Soulfinger
Soulfinger's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/06/2015
Jarec wrote:Someone once said

Jarec wrote:
Someone once said that Microsoft Publisher is a good InDesign "lite", and there's a free trial available.

Even Microsoft Word can be used as a barebones utility for layout. I've seen professional quality work done with just that, and it is easy to use while you are learning to use more robust software. Keep in mind that unless you have a very good friend, programs like InDesign can be quite expensive. I should mention though that some universities offer massively discounted software packages to students.

Also with the template that Miika provided, keep in mind that the industry standard for color printing is 300dpi resolution. You can go as low as 200dpi with B&W, but doing your work at a lower resolution will mean having to redo everything when it goes to print.

-Eberhardt-
-Eberhardt-'s picture
Offline
Joined: 01/30/2015
Wow I missed a lot

Sorry All:

I think I unsubscribed to my own thread some how.

@ JewellGames: Yes I do but it is hand drawn I can have it scanned and loaded into the system and uploaded tonight/tomorrow and send you a link. I also have a MS Excel Template but that was imported from MS Paint and the dimensions are OFF so the right side is not as equal to the left side etc.

I have been working with GIMP 2.8 on a F-around card for a design while art is being one for the games and I can tell you this I am NOT an artist nor patient with the program. For 3 basic cards it took me 19+ hours to get the template and when I try to modify something the color of the text layer is affected.

@ Miika: Thank you for the image, how do I use a "mask" to cut the corners? Again, you're speaking with a guy who is non-photo studio/gimp oriented. :)

@ Jarec: I am not familiar with InDesign but will look it up. I have heard of Publisher but thought that was for Web design.

@ Soulfinger: I am working at 300dpi per what I was told at start, all templates must match art's resolution at the end (minimum of 300dpi). The art is being done at above 300dpi I am assuming that we can scale the art down and from there we can combine with the template for the card.

---

So far in Gimp 2.8 Challenges:

1- Alignment:
* I am trying to get the cards symmetrics exactly right, while leaving the margins correct. I am using the template from the printer as a layer at 25% transparency to ensure that it's correct. However when I line up the images that I create or "cut and paste" then move into line, there is always a difference in pixels of 3-5 that I can not resolve from one side or another. At 100% or 50% what the card in hand would be you can not tell but at 200% or PNP it may make a difference.

Any suggestions?

2- Color
* When creating a text layer over the card I get the black color on 90-95% of the cards; however on some cards (even without the color of the card displayed as a layer) I get a OFF black, greenish/bluish. I have tried to correct many times without success.

Any suggestions?

3- Scale
* I have tried to apply the GRID to a template I've created but the grid does not align to the template due to the lines I imported being slightly off.

How can I change the Grid Overlay to match the template?

4- Rotation
* On some of the cards that have different fields for text (similar to the graphic that Miika shows) or symbols when I rotate the text or symbol area it will move off of the area it was originally on the card. When I move it back the alignment does not match-up with the other area near it.

Any suggestions on correction for this?

5- Symbols
* I have no clue on how to create in GIMP 2.8, I have been using MS Paint, copying to a new layer in GIMP 2.8 and from there anchoring the image and reinforcing it as it's own layer. It's challenging and time consuming but it works.

Any Suggestions?

6- Custom Lines
* I want to use curves, (similar to Miika's curved box w/ a "Mask to cut the edges") but when I don't know how. I have used a 1100% magnification and actually selected the area and colored in pixel by pixel.

Any help here would be GREATLY appreciated as this way is painfully slow and is not a good angle most times.

7- Text Alignment
* Flipping Text boxes for a game concept has become problematic as the text alignment does not work and I can not edit the text unless I un-flip the box.

Any Suggestions?

Sorry for the laundry list but these are my head banger issues. :)

PS: Yes I have been looking at Youtube video's for the resolutions but I don't know how to phrase them for the search of resolution.

Soulfinger
Soulfinger's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/06/2015
You may just want to consider

You may just want to consider making an investment in getting the Adobe Creative Suite and learning how to use it, either with courses or books, whatever suits your learning style. It's crazy expensive, but depending on what your time is worth, learning how to use a professional program to create professional results will eliminate the frustration and time sink that you are experiencing. It may work out to sign up for community college courses in learning this stuff so that you can get the software at a student discount. Older editions are also cheaper, and the books for learning them are practically free. I used to fiddle around with Photoshop, but once I really got a handle on it, I could do so much more in a quarter of the time it used to take me. It maximizes your potential to show up for work with the best tools in your toolbox. Also, knowing Adobe is relevant on most résumés.

Miika
Miika's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/01/2015
Soulfinger][quote=Jarec

Soulfinger][quote=Jarec wrote:

Also with the template that Miika provided, keep in mind that the industry standard for color printing is 300dpi resolution. You can go as low as 200dpi with B&W, but doing your work at a lower resolution will mean having to redo everything when it goes to print.

Yep, printing quality is always 300dpi.. PSD file would have been too big for this kind of use IMO. There were no bleed area, cutpaths, marks or any other stuff like that.. 150dpi is nice and light weight for testing..

But thats true, if you suddenly are so happy with the test cards, that you want to use those for the real deal.. You have to do it all from scratch.. Thats why i prefer Illustrator.. Always lightweight and always good enough quality.

Miika
Miika's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/01/2015
Sounds complicated..

These issues seems to be little strange, when i'm more familiar with photoshop..
If you want to make just testing cards.. Go with not so finished look. Then when you are happy with all the cards and you are sure what you want to do, download a trial from Photoshop.. You'll probably notice, that most of your problems are gone..

For the masking issue, I made the card in Illustrator.. So it was nice and simple to set the box to 2.5x3.5 in and 5mm corners.. Then just copypaste it and ather stuff to photoshop. The mask is done on layer folder in PS. I created a layer folder, set a layer mask on the folder style. Selected the area what i wanted to be visible and filled it with white. Outside of the are I filled with black.. Then set anything inside that folder and it masks the outside not to be visible, but without cutting the image, so you can still move it around..

Take a moment also to get to know Inkscape.. Free software "similar" to Illustrator.. Easy to create lines, boxes curves etc.. If you take the time, even symbols can be done with curves. I made the shield and a sword quickly using Illustrator..

LordBrand
Offline
Joined: 12/27/2014
I'd recommend Inkscape. It's

I'd recommend Inkscape. It's an open-source program that has a lot of the features of Gimp, but is far more lightweight, and some things are achieved easier.

On the alignment and spacing front:

Object -> Align and Spacing (SHIFT-CTRL-A).

This lets you align the different pieces of your picture on the center axis, or on any edge.

Object -> Transform (SHIFT-CTRL-M)
Rescale, move, and rotate the boxes or circles you build (or the images you import), And as you do this, you can declare your size in pixels, inches, points, whatever.

Object -> Group (CTRL-G)
Group objects together so that when you move one, they all move with it, staying in the same position relative to each other.

Object -> Fill and Stroke (SHIFT-CTRL-F)
Mess with background color, rounding corners, play with transparency.

Object -> Clip -> Set
If you have two objects selected, it will cut off one the sections the other doesn't overlap. This is great for cutting slices out of your images. Example: Let's say you have a large picture, and you want to cut the face out of it. Draw a circle around the face, and then select the circle plus the picture... Then use this feature to reduce the picture down to just the face.

Inkscape has just enough filters (Drop Shadow, Add glow, etc) to let you do most of what you'd want to create a filter for.

Inkscape also lets you play with letter spacing (kerning) for the text you put so that you can shrink the space it takes up if you are a little too large without messing with your font size.

Inkscape is also a vector graphics tool. This means that you can scale sizes a lot easier without having quality loss.

I don't want to try and sell Inkscape as a "better GIMP." I still use GIMP regularly as part of my suite of tools. It does many things better when you start getting into more advanced graphic design. True manipulation of BMP files you'll want GIMP for. That said, I definitely cut my teeth far better in the card design arena on Inkscape rather than GIMP. As far as the core functions you need, Inkscape has them. Then when you are ready to compile it all together, start looking at Scribus (open source publishing tool).

Hope this helps.

-Eberhardt-
-Eberhardt-'s picture
Offline
Joined: 01/30/2015
ok...

@Soulfinger: Your suggestion is very valuable and appreciate but per Time / Money Exchange at this time I don't know if I have the time to invest in a course (college) nor a few thousand to invest in a program. It may be better to work with an artist if that is the case or printer to have 3-4 layers/icons created and from there layer them don't you think?

@ Miika I have been using more then 150dpi for play testing but think I will reduce resolution when I go PnP that is a good suggestion. Also I am not familiar w/ Illustrator/Photoshop but have just started to download Inkscape as you and Lordbrand have both suggested it.

Per the issues it could be a few things my time w/ image manipulation, the program or just using the tutorial/youtube as guides as well as many other things.

I would assume that as I have heard of Adobe, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc. those are the titans of industry and where I will find the most tutelage; however if you know of a good Gimper or youtube channel please let me know. :)

@LordBrand: Thank you and Thank you for the reference commands as well. Can I move the templates/cards (with layers) I have done to date from Gimp to Inkscape?

Maybe one day as you apparently also use Gimp I could pick your brain, especially on alignment with image and text as well as icon creation. They are making me a bit frustrated. Last night tried to create a symbol in Gimp by watching a tutorial on youtube and it took a while with unsatisfactory results.

Thanks

Soulfinger
Soulfinger's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/06/2015
-Eberhardt-

-Eberhardt- wrote:
@Soulfinger: Your suggestion is very valuable and appreciate but per Time / Money Exchange at this time I don't know if I have the time to invest in a course (college) nor a few thousand to invest in a program. It may be better to work with an artist if that is the case or printer to have 3-4 layers/icons created and from there layer them don't you think?

Keep in mind that older editions of the software sell for under $100 on eBay. Even recent editions can be had for a decent price. For example, there is one listing for Adobe Creative Suite 5 CS5 Production Premium currently at $250 and ending in nine hours (probably will get bid up at the last minute, but just to give an idea).

The key thing is that whatever program you do use, be it Adobe, GIMP, Inkscape, Freeweaver, etc., you save yourself a lot of time in the long run by making that initial investment to really learn how to use it. You are saying that you don't have the time to invest in a course, but that's less time than you'll spend figuring it out on your own. I learned this the hard way. No matter what, having to cut and copy from MS Paint, as you'd mentioned, should not be happening. :)

truekid games
truekid games's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2008
I'm not an expert in it, but

I'm not an expert in it, but I do use GIMP for 90% of my prototyping, so I'll throw in my advice:

1- Alignment: * I am trying to get the cards symmetrics exactly right, while leaving the margins correct. I am using the template from the printer as a layer at 25% transparency to ensure that it's correct. However when I line up the images that I create or "cut and paste" then move into line, there is always a difference in pixels of 3-5 that I can not resolve from one side or another. At 100% or 50% what the card in hand would be you can not tell but at 200% or PNP it may make a difference.

If there is a size difference, then scale the image to match the template. Open up their image, click "Image > Scale Image" and look at their resolution and their width/height. Go into "Scale Image" on your picture, and make sure the resolution matches. Then go into "Image > Canvas Size" and make sure your dimensions match theirs.

2- Color * When creating a text layer over the card I get the black color on 90-95% of the cards; however on some cards (even without the color of the card displayed as a layer) I get a OFF black, greenish/bluish. I have tried to correct many times without success.

When you click on the Text Tool (red arrow) it will use what you have as your foreground color (green arrow) for your Text color. However, once you've started typing stuff, changing the foreground color won't change the text color- you have to change it in the Text tool (brown arrow).

3- Scale * I have tried to apply the GRID to a template I've created but the grid does not align to the template due to the lines I imported being slightly off.

How can I change the Grid Overlay to match the template?

"Image > Configure Grid". The grid SIZE is how big the squares are. The grid OFFSET lets you change where the grid lays. Adjust one or both until it is how you want it to be.

4- Rotation * On some of the cards that have different fields for text (similar to the graphic that Miika shows) or symbols when I rotate the text or symbol area it will move off of the area it was originally on the card. When I move it back the alignment does not match-up with the other area near it.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by this, could you clarify? What are you trying to match it up to? Other symbols, or text, or a box, or a background? or something else?

5- Symbols * I have no clue on how to create in GIMP 2.8, I have been using MS Paint, copying to a new layer in GIMP 2.8 and from there anchoring the image and reinforcing it as it's own layer. It's challenging and time consuming but it works.

Open a new image in GIMP. Click "Layer > Transparency > Color to Alpha". Make sure that the color you choose is the same as the background color of the new image (the default is usually white, so this is generally easy). When you click OK, your whole image should show transparent (usually a patchwork of grey boxes). Draw your icons on this new image. When you've got it how you'd like, copy and paste your new icon onto the real card (probably on a new layer, or a layer specifically for icons). I would save the icon as a .xcf file, for future use.

6- Custom Lines * I want to use curves, (similar to Miika's curved box w/ a "Mask to cut the edges") but when I don't know how. I have used a 1100% magnification and actually selected the area and colored in pixel by pixel.

There are two ways- use the circle tool to select the area for your curve. If you want the curve to be outside the circle area, after making your selection, click "Select > Invert".

Or you can do it by using the path tool. Choose that and click where you want the curve to start, but don't release the click- drag a little bit away. Two "handles" should pop out of the dot you created. Now click where you want the curve to end, and drag a little bit away. When you click in this new location, the handles on the first click will disappear. Now you've got a wonky curve. Adjust the HANDLES. Each of the two dots you made has an "in" handle and an "out" handle (which, in this example, means only one of the handles on each dot will affect the curve you made). Click on the dots, then drag the handles around until the curve looks how you want it to. Once you've finished, click "Stroke Path", and choose your width, and it will draw along the curve you created.

7- Text Alignment * Flipping Text boxes for a game concept has become problematic as the text alignment does not work and I can not edit the text unless I un-flip the box.

Once you've flipped the text, use the Move tool to move it around to where you want it to be. Remember that you have to be hovering over the letters themselves to be able to move text with the move tool.

-Eberhardt-
-Eberhardt-'s picture
Offline
Joined: 01/30/2015
True Kid TY!

@ True Kid Wow Ty... I still have the color issue with text and blacks (see image below). In the corners you'll see the bluish green that dances about the corners.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwVOCw1nSeucYW01eHhXNlJiY1k/view?usp=sh...

Note: The card still needs work but it's the base from the drawing on paper w/o symbols/pictures or text.

Also the grid has helped already, I have to flip it to bright red apparently I have a issue looking at black too long.

Per the XCF file for icons I still need to work on that I can't seem to make it work at this time w/ the Alpha and layers. I have watched the video's on Youtube as well something I'm doing must be off.

Thank you again for your assistance though and the helpful points!!

-Eberhardt-
-Eberhardt-'s picture
Offline
Joined: 01/30/2015
:) Don't make fun of the MS Paint :D

LOL SoulFinger you're going to laugh but the symbols I use are from pieces from MS Paint ROFL :D

I so wish this was like working on a game concept and doing the play tests. :) I originally didn't like doing the local play tests. :D

The courses I saw from the local community college are broken into 2 semesters. I can audit, but there is still a cost (course and programs) and time associated. Not totally ruling it out but I would like to start the ball rolling currently. :)

:D

PS: MS PAINT RULES (for us newbies doing print and play cards in MS Excel for play tests) :D

truekid games
truekid games's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2008
I don't have permissions to

I don't have permissions to view that google drive file.

Also, you can prototype in excel and print card sized (it's just not great for putting pictures in, using "picture"-y fonts can make that easier)- for example:

http://truekidgames.com/AVZ_card_example.xls

-Eberhardt-
-Eberhardt-'s picture
Offline
Joined: 01/30/2015
Lets try again.
commadelimited
commadelimited's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/16/2015
Eberhardt... Adobe Creative

Eberhardt...

Adobe Creative Cloud (formerly Creative Suite) has a monthly subscription fee these days. It's as cheap as $19/mth for a single app (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign), or $49/mth for ALL of the Creative Cloud apps together.

https://creative.adobe.com/plans

It's a pretty good deal given that most of these apps cost $600+ and most people upgrade yearly, or every 18 months. I would caution you about doing it yourself. Printing can be a fiddly business, and it's easy to make a mistake that you wouldn't even realize until it's too late.

I'd also avoid working with files that are too high res. Sampling them down can be done, but you'll likely lose some portion of quality from not working at the original size. Best to do 300 dpi at final resolution unless you need a graphic at a larger size (posters, marking, etc.).

Finally, someone mentioned black and white art being used at lower resolutions. If you're working with vector art then it might not matter, but if you have line art of some sort (sketches, drawings, scans) then you're best going with really high res, 600dpi or in some cases 1200 dpi as laser printers have that capability.

Zag24
Offline
Joined: 03/02/2014
nanDECK

Really, for making cards, you want nanDeck. It takes a little to learn, but if you're serious about the game, such that you'll be making numerous little changes, you'll be happy you did it in nanDeck. When you find that just one card has enough text that you want to move the icon row in all the cards up by 4 pixels, the fact that you do this in just one place and then re-generate all the cards will make it clear to you why nanDeck was worth it.

truekid games
truekid games's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/29/2008
I don't see the color problem

I don't see the color problem in the corner.

I would not move to subscribing to Adobe stuff unless you're experienced enough that you'd be using the very small amount of extra features that matter, and would be using it efficiently enough to get your money's worth.

-Eberhardt-
-Eberhardt-'s picture
Offline
Joined: 01/30/2015
nanDeck

Zag24 wrote:
Really, for making cards, you want nanDeck. It takes a little to learn, but if you're serious about the game, such that you'll be making numerous little changes, you'll be happy you did it in nanDeck. When you find that just one card has enough text that you want to move the icon row in all the cards up by 4 pixels, the fact that you do this in just one place and then re-generate all the cards will make it clear to you why nanDeck was worth it.

Thank you, I played with nanDeck a few times so far and realize I am not good at it. I will see if I can get more tutorials as I know it'll take time.

With RL Work schedule though, my creation/play-testing time has halved. Thus Splat and StU have slowed down.

-Eberhardt-
-Eberhardt-'s picture
Offline
Joined: 01/30/2015
Color Delta

truekid games wrote:
I don't see the color problem in the corner.

I would not move to subscribing to Adobe stuff unless you're experienced enough that you'd be using the very small amount of extra features that matter, and would be using it efficiently enough to get your money's worth.

I found a solution for this and have actually given my wife (who is Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator capable) the task of helping me with the issues. She's proven very helpful so far as she has a feel for Gimp based on her other experience.

What took me almost a month to learn she's almost surpassed two fold in 2 weeks with Gimp. It's good as she can assist with the issues till we get to next month April and put to thegamecrafter.com to produce some decks for play-testing.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut