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The Art of Stamping by HarmonicSonic The Art of Stamping by HarmonicSonic
Yeah. This tutorial is a bit of a monster, I know, but hopefully it will answer most of your questions about the overall decision-making process of stamping. I hope you find it helpful. :) It is also available (in a more abridged form) as a news article. If you ever have any questions, feel free to ask! If they are of a technical nature, I may not be able to give the best answer (much of the software mentioned in this tutorial is not software I have used, or that I am familiar with - I just know that it works for making stamps), but I will do my best to be helpful.

The stamp template used in this tutorial is my own, and it is available for download here: [link]

You will definitely need to see this in full-view, as it is not readable otherwise.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-10-26
[Stock & Resources] Worth the read, The Art of Stamping by =HarmonicSonic gives some great advice on stamp making! ( Suggested by AgonizingSwordfish and Featured by PirateLotus-Stock )
:iconwisp-night:
Wisp-Night Jan 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You know, I read through this entire tutorial quite liking the tips it gave for stamps. It's a nice guideline for the beginner who's struggling to make elegant stamps. 

Then, I got to the end of the tutorial and saw your icon. I got this almost-feeling of working under a professional/celebrity.
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:iconharmonicsonic:
HarmonicSonic Jan 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks - I don't know if I'd go that far on it, though.  I just do what I can to help people, that's all.
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:iconwisp-night:
Wisp-Night Jan 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I suppose so (pretty good help). I usually just browse deviantART and look at random pieces. I don't usually expect to recognize the deviants that make them (I don't know a lot of people, though). 
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:icontime-signature:
Time-Signature Oct 27, 2013  Student General Artist
Really helpful.  Thanks~
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:iconharmonicsonic:
HarmonicSonic Oct 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem. :D
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:icondediggefedde:
Really nice report about making stamps and well deserved DD!
However, I have two points to discuss:
  • All your animation software is shareware, if I remember correctly. Especially buying adobe products is usually expensive. As some pointed out, gimp also have an animation function with export to gif. There is also the gimp-extension GAP for extended animation use. A larger list of such software would be found e.g. here: wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.p…
  • apng is actually supported by firefox since 23 versions (since Firefox 3). It's also supported by the Opera 12.x-branch (the "newer" Opera 15/17 branch is actually unfinished beta). The only really used common browser that doesn't support it (and displays the first frame instead) is chrome. Of course, IE and Safari also don't support it. But still, it appears to be supported, just like png when it was a new file format... (caniuse.com/apng)
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:iconharmonicsonic:
HarmonicSonic Oct 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Good to know.  Thanks for the extra info.  I made this tutorial  a while ago, and I have learned new things since making it (for example, Photoshop can also animate - Fireworks is unnecessary).  Concerning what you mentioned, I'm pretty sure UnFREEZ is freeware, but I may be mistaken.

Thanks for the tips, though.  Advice and new information is always appreciated. :D
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:icondediggefedde:
Well, yeah, unfreez appears to be freeware^^ However importing images in gimp as layers will do the same with more options.
you can rename the layer, putting a (100ms) behind the name, to define, how long this will be displayed. if you save this as animated gif, you can also define how long all layers are displayed that don't have a time given like this. And if you have the GAP, it's even more advanced^^ So, I guess as gimp also has optimization tools for animations, it would be the first freeware choice...

Also a nice shareware software for animating pixel art would be graphicsgale www.humanbalance.net/gale/us/
The free version can not safe as animated gif, but as avi, tga or single images, which could be combined again. Pro costs ~$20.
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:iconlovepikanizzy:
LovePikaNizzy Oct 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I would just like to note that MS Paint is just generally underestimated.

As in..
..why need layers anyway? I didn't notice that part covered.. And I actually know how to make layers in MS Paint.. I mean okay, you have to put them all together in one layer in the end and can't separate them afterwards, but still.
..Gradience is possible in MS Paint.
..transparency? There are sites like iaza.com where you can make images transparent after drawing them. In Paint, simply make those parts a color -any color- that does not appear anywhere else on the image, upload to iaza, select 'transparent', and select one of the areas with the color you want transparent. I always do that when I want transparent backgrounds.
Also, Paint can save in the following formats:
-monochrome bitmap
-16 color bitmap
-256 color bitmap
-24-bit bitmap (the one I used for quite a while to keep my images clean; back then I didn't know there's png for that)
-JPEG
-GIF
-TIFF
-PNG

That is all. Nice tutorial.
(although maybe in stamping ethics you should also note that you shouldn't make rude/insulting stamps like 'only an idiot doesn't support gay marriage' (I've actually seen one with those exact words), or if you really have to, at least disable comments to prevent people arguing (and arguing on stamps is usually pretty passionate.. And doesn't do any good. Just makes everyone upset.)
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:iconharmonicsonic:
HarmonicSonic Oct 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, just to remind you - this isn't a set of rules.  If MS Paint works for you, by all means, use it. ;)  The main reason I mentioned it is because most people who make stamps with MS Paint aren't even thinking about things like transparency and such.  And, when it comes to layers, that's kind of important for most people, as having layers allows them to edit their work later if they want to.

Also, concerning stamp ethics, I have an important reason for not telling people not to make rude stamps.  DeviantART is, as an art site, all about expression.  People have a right to express their opinions, so long as they follow the Terms of Service and the Etiquette Policy.  That said, I don't recommend disabling comments on controversial stamps.  The way I see it, if you're going to present an unpleasant opinion, you should take responsibility as an artist by leaving comments enabled and being willing to face the music.
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