tutorial

Make a Start in Ascii Art by Daniel Au

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Introduction


I just wrote this now in response to an email sent to me asking how I did my ASCII artwork. I responded by writing a brief walkthrough of my thought processes (well, kind of) and just wanted to share them on the group. Let's see more people try to make create their own new artwork instead of requesting for the old stuff all the time. It'll make for a better newsgroup overall and everyone will benefit! -- Daniel

ASCII art tips and example


Try practicing to make your own artwork by just typing on the keyboard, which is what I do (I work just using the DOS text editor which comes along with any MSDOS machine. Any text editor will do.) Begin by basic shapes. For example, if you're making an animal - say a giraffe - let's start with the head:
                     __.ii,
                    (__," |
                        | |
basically simple shapes to make it look approximately like it does in real life (as best as you can, at least, in this case I've cartooned it a bit :-) The " is making up the eyes, the . and , the ears and a smile. The i i are those antennae like things on top of their heads (if I remember correctly). I usually like to keep my artwork within the size of a screen. Since a giraffe is a tall animal, I'm keeping the details smaller. Then continue on with the body and some legs. Try to do a rough outline.
                     __.ii,
                    (__," |
                        | |
                        | |
                        | |
                        | |
                        | |
                        | |------------,
                       /               \\
                       |                |\
                       |,._  |,______\ |||
                       || //'     ||  || |
                       || ((      ||  || |
                       || `\\     ||  || M
                       ||   \\    ||  ||
                      /_|   /_|  /_| /_|
It's best to add some . and , in order to smooth out some of the edges. Then the tail is in the back. Then add the detail - hair on the neck and spots on the body.
                     __.ii,
                    (__," |%
                        | #%
                        | |%
                        | #%
                        # |%
                        | |%
                        | |%-----------,
                       / ###  #####    \\
                       |####   """" ### |\
                       |,._  |,_###__\ |||
                       || //'     ||  || |
                       || ((      ||  || |
                       || `\\     ||  || M
                       ||   \\    ||  ||
                      /_|   /_|  /_| /_|  dcau
That's pretty much for a quick giraffe that I just did while writing this letter. You can add more stuff like a tree and a bird on a branch too:
              O  )    __.ii,           \ | /
       O          )  (__," |%         - (_) -
  O              )       | #%          / | \
                )        | |%
   O          )          | #%
          O )            # |%
        ,~               | |%
-- ~| ~   `O>            | |------------,
    |  ||_</)__         / ###  #####    \\
    | //'/""            |####   """" ### |\
    //                  |,._  |,_###__\ |||     A quick sketch of a
    |                   || //'     ||  || |     tree, bird, and giraffe
D   |                   || ((      ||  || |        by Daniel C. Au (dcau)
 C  |                   ||  \\     ||  || M
  A |                   ||   \\    ||  ||
   U \_,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,/_|,,,/_|,,/_|,/_|,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
How's that for a happy little scene? :-) I etched my initials on the bottom of the tree. *grin*

Just practice and practice and you'll get the hang of it. Try to learn techniques from other people's artwork (Felix Lee's cats are a good example). It'll help you learn how to orientate yourself and how to best use some of the characters. Hope it goes well for everyone. Let's see some more creative activity on the newsgroup.
You _can_ do it!

Regards,
Daniel



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© 1995-<%=year(now)%> tutorial and pictures by Daniel Au

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