Sun Jan 23, 2011, 9:00 AM
I'd just like to take this moment to clarify what vexel artwork is and some of the main questions about it. You can start by reading this article, if you like.. but I'm going to cover the main points here in this journal.
What is Vexel?
Vexel is a form of digital media. It's not a style and it's not a technique. Vexel artwork is not 'vector layers with raster elements'. No no. It is 100% raster. What is raster? Made from pixels.. not scaleable without loss of quality.. not editable after you've 'placed' the shapes.. however, still made from shapes of solid/gradient colour.
What tools can I use to make vexel art?
You can use the pen tool, the shape tool and the lasso/marquee tool. Read the rest of the FAQ for more in-depth answers.
Because it is a cross between the words 'vector', since it is a similar medium and can generally look the same, and 'pixel', which it is made from. And the guy that coined the term in the first place obviously thought 'vexel' sounded better than 'pictor'... which it does.
Why bother using vexel when vector looks the same but is scaleable?
This is a question that gets asked a lot and, honestly, I think for the most part it comes down to personal choice concerning techniques. I personally prefer vexel because I use the stroke-path method when I'm doing hair and I also find raster gradients (using the gradient tool rather than overlay) are easier to control. Not everyone will agree with me and other people will have other reasons - those are mine so that's my answer to that question.
I vexelled over a photo - is that vexel artwork?
Delete the layer with the photo on it and yes, there's a strong chance that what you are left with is going to be 100% vexel artwork. If you have only vexelled over part of the photo - for example, a person and then left the rest as the original photograph - then no, it is not. What you have there is mixed media (vexel and photograph) and should be uploaded into one of the subcategories under Digital Art > Mixed Media and NOT into Vexel.
I used textures in my vexelling - is that vexel artwork?
Unless you mean you have vexelled a replica of a texture and then overlayed that over your finished vexel image, then no. It's not vexel artwork if there are any non-vexel elements. A texture is usually a photo or some form of filter, neither of which are vexel. Again, your finished piece would be mixed media, not vexel.
I used patterns in my vexelling - is that vexel artwork?
Yes and no. IF, and that's a big if... IF the pattern was made using either the pen tool on raster layers or the lasso tool, then you can use that pattern. If it's any other form of pattern (such as one built into your program, or one you drew with a brush) then you cannot use these in your vexel artwork. That would, again, make it mixed media and not vexel.
What filters/overlays can I use in vexel artwork?
You can use a solid colour or gradient overlay. You can use a hard stroke filter. You can use a pattern overlay IF the pattern is a vexel pattern (see previous Q). That's all folks. No textures, no grains, no posterize, no blur, no sharpen, no brushes, no feathering, no shadows, no glows, basically nothing except the 3 I just mentioned.
Can I use brushes?
You can use a hard-edge (not feathered) brush with the stroke-path method. The brush strokes must be made with the pen tool. Using any other brushes in any other way would make your piece mixed media.
Can I use gradient mesh?
There are no raster programs that support gradient mesh, this is something that can only be done with vector, so no. If you do a gradient mesh (vector) piece and then use stroke-path method for hair (vexel), this would be mixed media, not vexel (and definitely not vector).
So, vexel is basically vector that isn't resizable?
No. Think about fruit pies for a moment... no, really. Cherry pie and blackberry pie can look exactly the same from the outside, but they're made from different things on the inside. Same for vexel and vector - they can look exactly the same, and a lot of the same techniques are used to make them, but they're made of different things. Vector artwork is made from vector shapes using points at measured distances between them to create scaleable shapes. Vexel artwork is made from raster shapes using pixels at exact measurements to create non-scaleable shapes.
I've used some of the things mention in this FAQ in my vexel artwork, does that mean it's not really vexel?
Yes, I'm afraid so. If you could go ahead and move them to the mixed media categories, that would be great
If it's not a true vexel, will vexel groups accept it?
Actually a lot of groups will, yes. I've noticed a lot of the vexel/vector groups also have a folder in their galleries for mixed media pieces that are neither one nor the other, so you'll still be able to submit to those groups. TheVexelGroup, on the other hand, will not accept anything that isn't 100% pure vexel work.
If it's not a true vexel, can it still get a DD?
Yes, but not from me. Any artwork that would qualify as mixed media rather than vexel should be placed in the mixed media categories on dA and suggested to the Digital Art gallery mods.
I have a question that isn't covered here!
Comment on the journal or send me a note about it and I'll update this FAQ. Also, if you have spotted a mistake anywhere in here, please do point it out... I'm a little lacking in caffeine right now.
I take suggestions for Vexel artwork to be featured as a Daily Deviation. Please follow these guidelines when suggesting to me:
The piece must be submitted to Digital Art > Vexel
The artist of the vexel work you are suggesting must not have had a DD within the past 3 months
Please send your suggestion to me via note and include a thumbnail of the piece you are suggesting
If the artist has used stock to create their vexel piece, credit must be given where due. I will not feature vexel work that does not show credit for the resources
All work suggested must be 100% vexel - this means I won't feature anything where the background, for example, is a photograph. This is mixed media, not vexel
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask ^^
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Leo's Tip Of The Day
Go back and re-read the FAQ just to make sure
"And the guy that coined the term in the first place obviously thought 'vexel' sounded better than 'pictor'... which it does."
Haha! Anyways, this really helped clear up my main questions about vexels!
Haha! Anyways, this really helped clear up my main questions about vexels!
Alright. But is not everything on a computer screen made of pixels, that is little dots of black, white, blue, red, green, or possibly if you have a really weird, high-end screen: yellow? Right? I mean even 3-d art is actually a 2d grid of microscopic (I say this to mean, not visible to the unaided eye not actually microscopic as you can often see individual pixels under a magnifying lens. ) dots of primary colour. So then wouldn't everything computer generated be pixel art? (Now granted this isn't pixel grid un-un dot pattering as this journal would have me believe vexeling is... but it is still comprised of pixels. ) On an off subject, this would probably be a good example of a practical application of mathematics and an implication of it as an art form as some would have you believe.
I'm not entirely sure I get what you're saying, to be honest - sorry Vexel art is made of pixels.. solid/gradient layers of colour built up to create a full image. Can you explain to me your confusion? I'm sure I can help you out.
Cherry pie and blackberry pie! AWESOME comparison
That's a lot of things to take in into
I've walked into a screen nine times. So that may be of equal fail level!