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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:50 pm 
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Looking at the box art of Balloon Kid off this blog post, a question i've wondered a few times resurfaced.

Everything from this time has a special feel to it. The grainy, soft texture of gradients. The choice of colours. The sharp lines, fill-in fields; textured, gradiented, or clear.

I know similarily looking magazines from the same era often montaged components physically at a drawing desk, and the compositions were then shipped off to a repro film facility (often in south-east asia). The film was developed there (until quark Xpress cut that process short) and was then used for printing (i don't know the specific process, i began to work in the era of sending pdf:s to the printing shop)

Is this what's causing the grain? What tools and techniques might they have used, from drawing to print?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:00 pm 
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The airbrush was an especially important tool for a long time, until computer art software took over. It was the best way to do gradients, and easy to use with stencils (for precise shapes/curves etc).

A lot of precise shapes could be made using curve templates and similar drafting tools.

For making certain kinds of patterns, stencils, or rub-on Letraset patterns and shapes were also common.


As for the grid-shaped grain in that scan, I'm not sure if that's an artifact of the scanning process or part of the print, but I don't think it would have been part of the original art, at least. It's almost certainly a byproduct from some part of the screening/printing process, halftone patterns, etc.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:11 pm 
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4 ways to make textures, in the old days...

1. Rubbing = place the paper on top of a rough surface, and rub a colored pencil over it (or graphite)

2. Dip a toothbrush in paint or ink, mask all non-affected areas (by covering with tape and acetate), flick the toothbrush to splatter little dots

3. Dry sponge technique. Dip a rough (preferably natural) sponge in mostly dry paint, dab lightly on painting.

4. If watercolor painting, you can sprinkle salt on the surface when wet with paint, and when it dries it will leave light dots for texture.

There's probably more.

Edit... that picture looks like airbrush splatter.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:43 pm 
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Here's a reddit post on how to get grainy texture from an airbrush...
I get the bumpy/rough texture if:
* Paint too thick
* PSI too low
* Spraying from too far away

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:36 pm 
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Found another high quality picture of the box:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1TN9xA7DqgQ/T_97QsuZJqI/AAAAAAAAE0o/YgCMvqDM7CE/s1600/BalloonKid_GameBoy_box_front.jpg

So that grid texture was definitely there on the box, ruling out that it was caused by the person who scanned the box.

The other possibility that comes to mind is that maybe it was painted on canvas.

Though I still think it's more likely some kind of scanning/screening/printing artifact. If it was drawn on canvas I think the texture would perturb the lines, but they're generally clean. Whatever process they used to transfer the original art to the final print probably caused it.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:49 pm 
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Related to the topic, this page has a bunch of amusing commentary about game box covers done by Bob Wakelin:
http://www.exotica.org.uk/wiki/Bob_Wakelin


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:25 am 
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That's a fantastic link. Love that Gutz cover.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:21 am 
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That moire could be halftoning, because it's present on the back of the box too.

One thing that bothered me about Balloon Kid's box art is the fact that the fish kill you, and Alice seems unusually happy for being about to land right into one.

Also, that link is brilliant. :D


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:57 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
Related to the topic, this page has a bunch of amusing commentary about game box covers done by Bob Wakelin:
http://www.exotica.org.uk/wiki/Bob_Wakelin

Very funny and talks about techniques.


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