Monday, July 4, 2011

Tank top.... New Trim and Adjustments

Ok, ok!  I promised to tell you how to do the fancy trim and make the fabric's connection to the straps a little more realistic.... and I will!!

Let's to the adjustment of the fabrics to the straps first.  It's really easy.
  • Open up your GIMP xcf file containing your tank top.  Then on the Layers window choose the Paths tab.  
    • Make sure your front and back panels are showing, along with the trim and straps.  If they're not turn on the appropriate layers to fix that.
  • Locate the path that defined the outline of the front and back of the fabric and MAKE A COPY of it, give it a new name... something including the word 'pointy'  *winks*
    • Now click the 'eye on that to make it show up on the image.
  • Back on GIMP's Tool Window click the "Path's Tool"
  • Now switch to the Image Window, and look at the point where the straps and the front fabric intersect... you should see the line showing the path overlaying the trim.  If not zoom in using the Ctl-MouseWheel to make it bigger ..... and click the line with the mouse.
    • We had 7 points on the upper part of our line... two of the points were just above each breast.  
    • Using your mouse, move those points to so they are at the points where the trim and straps intersect.
    • Now.... move those points up the strap a bit.... how much you move them is up to you.  Move them both about the same amount.  Precision is not important here.
    • Once they're in position.... use the adjustment handles and make them both look like and upside down "V".  
    • Check the other end of each line segment to see if you need to make an adjustment there, do so if you need to.
That's it for the front.  As usual, it takes much more effort to describe as it does to do it.  *shrugs*  C'est la vie!

Now we need to do the same thing on the back.  Every thing is the same until we get to the point where we click on the path and look for the 7 points.... and discover that we only have 5!!  ( Well, I only used 5 in my example, you might have had more. )   You just need one trick to fix this....  Using the Path Tool, press the Control key and hold it down, then click on the point of intersection of the strap and the back fabric.  As you press the control key, notice that the cursor get's a tiny tiny "+".  That tells you that you're going to ADD a point to the line.

Once you've added your points, move them up a little as we did above and make the adjustment handles go in an upside down "V".  Make any adjustments to the other ends of the line segments that you may need.  In the end, your Path will look something like this picture to the right.

If you'd like to take a look at the original posts where we created the path for the front and back of the fabric, look here:
If you want to look at the place where we practiced on making paths and adjusting them to make smooth curves, look here:

Now the fancy trim and straps.  Its really not that hard. 

When we made the straps the last time... recall that we used the "Paint along the path" tool at the bottom of the Layers window when we had the Path tab open.   The last time we accepted the default and adjusted the width of the painting that the tool used.  This time we'll use the Paint Tool, so check the "Stroke along the path with a Paint Tool" option after clicking "Paint along the Path".

BUT FIRST!  We need to set up the Paint Tool.

On the Tools window, click the Paint Tool and on the window that opens below, choose a size that you'd like the Paint Tool to use.  You'll see the choices on the lower part of the Layer Window.  You'll probably want to hover your mouse over the fabric to judge the size and pick one you want.  I used the one named "Circle (11) 13x13"  (the name of the one you've chosen is just above the collection).

Now notice that slider just below the collection of brushes in the Layers Window.  It's titled "Spacing".  The value you choose will determine the spacing between each 'instance' of the paint brush you've chosen.  Choose a small number with a largish brush and the line will appear to be continuous.  Choose a larger number with a smaller brush and you will get spaces between each 'brush stroke'.  We want each of the circles of the brush stroke to be just barely touching.  A value of 100 does this.  Go ahead and experiment with it, and with the brush size - see what you like.

If you've been following along with the making of a tank top from the start, you've probably guessed that I used Filter->Bump Map to give the 3D appearance to the trim and the straps.  And... you would be right!!   The difficult part is to create the mask for the bump map.  Here's what I did.
  • Create a new transparent layer
  • Change the color to white, and leave the paint tool selected with the same paint brush and spacing as before.
  • On the Path Tab of the Layers Window, use the Paint Along The Path tool as you did before, but this time in the new transparent window you just made.
  • On the Tools Window, switch to the Fuzzy Select Tool (it looks like a tiny magic wand)
  • In the Image Window click the Fuzzy Select Tool on the white trim you have just made.  It will select all of them in as a group.
  • Use Select->Shrink and reduce the size of the selections by several pixels.  I don't recall how many I used exactly... but you want a small blob in the middle of each circle.  The blob need not be a circle.
  • Use Select->Invert. To invert the selection and press the delete key.  You will have deleted the outside of each of the circles leaving a little bit on the inside.
  • Get rid of the selection by pressing Ctl-A
  • Use Filter-Blur->Gaussian and spread out that small blob.... and you'll have your Bump Mask.
One more thing.  Remember we learned that the back of the fabric is actually smaller than the front of the fabric.  So when you make the straps and trim for the back, you'll need to make the circles slightly smaller.  The way to do this is pretty easy.  Once you have the Paint Tool selected on the Tools Window, look at the lower half of that window.... See the 'Scale' slider?  Make the scale 0.90, and you will have the right size circles for the trim and straps on the back of your top.

Let me know if you have any questions!


PS: Here's a picture of the final result.  I've added the cmff layer behind it so you can get an idea of the size of the circles for the trim and the amount I moved things to make the top of the top more realistic.

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