Making a seamless Con Table Cloth!

Discussion in 'Comic Discussion' started by skullamity, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. skullamity

    skullamity 4-Stripe White Belt

    Hey all, normally I wouldn't do a thread on something like this, but I thought the process behind what I'm doing might be something someone else could use, so here we go!

    Currently I am making a seamless, repeating wallpaper at print sizes. The idea is to upload it at spoonflower, print it on fabric by the yard and then use it for 1)an interesting custom table cloth at conventions and geek craft shows and 2) a hanging backdrop for videos for my patreon.

    I'll add stuff to this thread as I go, but to start off, here's my base sketch:

    [​IMG]

    It's good to note that the placement in which they appear on this image is not their final placement--if you want to make things seamless without having a blatant square of empty space surrounding the image, you need to place a centre pattern on a new image, and then use the Offset filter in photoshop to split it in four and move it to the outer corners. You then fill in the centre with more drawings. I'll take screencaps as I go and post them in here!

    Cheers, I hope someone gets something out of this. I'm learning as I go, so we'll see how it all turns out.
     
  2. JamieMe

    JamieMe Administrator Staff Member

    :cool: that seems like a smart idea. Never thought of having the actual table stand out. Will draw people in I reckon?
     
  3. skullamity

    skullamity 4-Stripe White Belt

    I know that I've seen them at TCAF and they definitely drew me in. I think the key is making something neat but also not eye-destroying. I'm still not sure whether I'm going to keep this to a four or five colour monochrome palette of if I'll go all out and risk it being too busy.
     
  4. skullamity

    skullamity 4-Stripe White Belt

    Okay, so this took a bit longer than I thought it would because we had a bit of basement flooding last night thanks to this confusing weather, so I've only just finished it up now. The following images are the final inked versions of these little dudes, and the colours are all from spoonflower's approved palette:

    [​IMG]

    My next hour or two is going to be spent trying to make this seamless, so I'll take a bunch of screencaps!
     
  5. skullamity

    skullamity 4-Stripe White Belt

    Ok, here we go.

    So, step one was to take some of these dudes that fit well together and cluster them together in the centre of the image. I actually had to start over because I initially made the cluster too big--the farther you get from the centre, the more likely it is that the offset filter (found at Filter>Other>Offset, here's a tutorial on how to use it that I was following) gets very confused and totally breaks the image, cutting off huge chunks of your pattern.

    [​IMG]
    So this is the centre mass cluster I made.

    [​IMG]
    And this is the result of a successful offset!

    [​IMG]
    This is what the offset looks like tiled. I can't stress enough that you should do a test after using offset, so that you don't waste time doing the next step only to discover the offset messed up and you have to start over (again, I literally did this thing).

    Once I was sure that that had actually worked this time, it was a matter of filling in the blank spaces with the rest of these little guys. It became apparent pretty quickly that because of how I was arranging them, I wouldn't have enough, which I'll address after this step. For now, here's what the filled in image looks like:

    [​IMG]
    Which is much less empty.

    [​IMG]
    And here's what it looks like tiled.

    At this point, instead of jumbling these around, I think that the best course of action is just to draw more of these little dudes in the blank spaces. My tablet lost pressure sensitivity because I opened Telegram on my desktop which also makes use of OpenGL, so please excuse the weird un-sketch like quality of the rough snailiens I drew into the blank spots:

    [​IMG]
    So there are a few more places I guess I could have filled them in, but then I did a test fill:

    [​IMG]
    And decided that this looks pretty super when tiled!

    So at this point my next step is to just ink these and insert them into the final pattern, do a final test, and then it's ready to go. I'll post screencaps of both of those after I do them, and then it's just a matter of ordering the fabric, which I'm going to take photos of when it gets here and do a rundown of cost and quality. If anyone has any questions at all, please feel free to ask them and I'll answer to the best of my ability!
     
    Andy P. likes this.
  6. skullamity

    skullamity 4-Stripe White Belt

    And it is done! Straight to the chase, here's the finished image:

    [​IMG]

    and here's what it looks like tiled:

    [​IMG]

    I've also read through the fabric types that spoonflower offers, and I've decided to go with this one:

    I still need to upload the gigantic version to spoonflower and order it. I need to pull out some measuring tape and figure out how much I'm going to need before I order it. I'll let y'all know how much it comes to, what the ship time is like and what the quality is like once it gets here!
     
    Andy P. likes this.
  7. skullamity

    skullamity 4-Stripe White Belt

    And it is ordered! So, an important thing I just learned here is that you always want to preview the exact measurement in yards of your order. If I had submitted the image as-is, it would have come to me as a vertical print job, and if I draped it over a con table, all of the little guys would have been facing to the right rather than straight forward. If you want to order yourself a convention tablecloth, you'll need to rotate your source image 90 degrees clockwise so that it prints horizontally.

    It ended up coming to $127CAD (around $97USD right now) for 4 yards, which may or may not be a yard more than I needed, but that's okay because I can think of a lot of uses for any extra. I chose the cheapest/slowest shipping option because it was already pretty pricey, so it should make its way to me in the next three weeks or sooner. I'll take some pics of it whenever it arrives and check back in here for a quality analysis. :)
     
    Devika likes this.
  8. JamieMe

    JamieMe Administrator Staff Member

    Good advice, you know I really want to have a design done now.
     
  9. skullamity

    skullamity 4-Stripe White Belt

    I hear you. Now that I've done this, I was looking at all of the different fabrics they have and now I'm low key planning on making my kid some custom leggings with this pattern, and making new ones for similar purposes, hahah.
     
  10. Andy P.

    Andy P. 4-Stripe White Belt

    This is great, thank you for the through writeup. Rotating the pattern is good to know. That would be an expensive mistake.

    I cannot emphasize how useful the "offset" filter is when making repeating patterns. I use it for background textures and clothing patterns in the comic.
     
  11. micahdraws

    micahdraws Blue Belt

    Out of curiosity, have you tried using Adobe Illustrator for making the pattern? I forget which version it started with but they began including a repeating pattern tool that makes doing something like this a snap.
     
  12. ShaneV

    ShaneV Blue Belt

    This is amazing. I hope you do more. I might even be interested in buying some of that fabric/pattern from you at a later date if your willing. I think that would make awesome pillow cases.
     
  13. skullamity

    skullamity 4-Stripe White Belt

    I have a complicated history with illustrator in that I have tried to figure out how it works many times in the past decade and a half with zero success. I'm sure it would be useful to someone for this purpose, but that someone is probably not me. Thank you for the suggestion, though!
     
  14. skullamity

    skullamity 4-Stripe White Belt

    I will definitely be doing more, though probably with more general subjects. Aliens specific to my comic make a great convention table cloth, but doing Halloween or Christmas or nerdy themes sound both fun and more like something other people might want to use to make things.
     
    ShaneV likes this.
  15. ShaneV

    ShaneV Blue Belt

    I'll keep a look out for those things.
     
  16. skullamity

    skullamity 4-Stripe White Belt

    Okay, so, it's been more than a month since I placed my order, and it FINALLY arrived this morning! So on that note, my first tip, at least if you're ordering from Canada is to not choose the cheapest shopping option; I've spent the last month and a bit wringing my hands about whether or not it was lost. USPS has tracking, but as I sit here with the fabric actually in my possession, tracking is STILL claiming it's in transit from New York, and was last updated on March 20th. So basically, if you don't mind feeling super anxious for twenty whole days about whether or not USPS has lost your expensive order or not, spring for the more expensive or express shipping option.

    So, let's get to the pictures:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So, I am REALLY happy with how this turned out. As far as material quality, it's pretty dang sturdy. It's a little textured, which may cause things like cat hair to stick to it, but that's nothing a lint roller and keeping it out of reach can't fix. As you can see from the above pictures (which are looking a little dull, I think that's my camera because in person they're a really vivid teal), there will be a white border around the entire thing, and the edges of the border are, as expected, a bit frayed. I'm going to need to convince my mother to hem it for me, since I can't sew and also down own a sewing machine, but it should be a simple fix. Someone else actually suggested to me that you could use non-sew hem tape if you don't think you'll be washing it too much, but I have cats so it's probably better to go the permanent route.

    In terms of the quantity I ordered, it was probably too much. It's long enough to be folder over my queen size bed 2.75 times, and that's longer than any con table I've ever used by quite a bit. I've got a local nerd craft show coming up in June, so the plan is to hem it, and then once it's over the giant tables they have there, mark it with some fabric chalk before we leave and decide how much I'm going to trim it by. The leftover fabric, once that's done, is probably going to end up as prototypes for some snap change wallets.

    Anyhow, that's about it! I'll post some pics after it's hemmed, and of our table set up in June, but until then I think we're done.

    If you have any questions, I'd love to answer them! Just leave them in this thread and I'll get back to you asap.
     
  17. Sully

    Sully White Belt

    That's pretty great! A nice table addition. I guess if anyone wanted custom sheets, as well, this'd be an option.
     
  18. skullamity

    skullamity 4-Stripe White Belt

    Thanks!

    Quick update: I totally ended up offloading washing it and hemming it on my wonderful mother, who did not trust me to not accidentally destroy her sewing machine. Also I don't own an iron, and apparently that's a pretty important part of hemming, whoops. According to her it was really easy and only took her like 15 minutes after ironing. It is currently sitting on my kitchen table in an ikea bag, and will continue to do so until we test it out on June 10th at a local nerd craft fair! I'll post pictures of our table setup (complete with a new con banner and business cards and guest starring my sibling-in-law's insane custom costume clothing/jewellery/devil horns) for sure. :)
     
    Devika likes this.
  19. ShaneWSmith

    ShaneWSmith 4-Stripe White Belt

    This is such a great idea. I think I might have to work this one into my budget.
     
    skullamity likes this.
  20. Devika

    Devika 4-Stripe White Belt

    Oh wow, it looks great! I didn't even know you could have these things done.
     

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