Saturday, March 24, 2007


It has become virtually impossible to replentish my stash of Charpak greytone dot-pattern sheets. Sadly, in this day and age, the old analogue dotscreen sheets have increasingly gone the way of the polariod, the compass circle, duotone paper, and other outmoded 20th c. graphic arts tools. Charpak's are the best since the dots are printed on TOP of the sheet, allowing you to scrape off or otherwise remove portions of the print and when done well, you can get a lot of tone and texture out of a uniform greytone pattern. While working in Japan, I purchased literally thousands of these sheets, and have only recently run out.

Now it is a bit absurd to reflect on the hours upon hours of backaching work we used to do to place these dotscreen patterns literally on top of finished drawings, but it was a requirement for almost all of the series Kodansha published. At the time (1995-2000), the only manga to escape this edict was the wildly popular GON, a series about a baby dinosaur and all the strange creatures it encountered in its Pre-historic ramblings.

This test is done over pre-existing line art. I scanned the 10% greytone from a remaining scrap and built a digital dotscreen pattern from an analogue greytone pattern sheet. Purely digital screens are perfectly adequate and good, although a little lacking in warmth I think- a little too uniform. And I hate the filter>>halftone function, never use it (it is an obvious visual gimmick when and wherever you see it used, looks tired, and has been so since circa 1997 or so...).

And so a simple test with the newly built halftone pattern, posted to see how the moire effect works onscreen at this particular resolution (reduced from 400 dpi to 72 dpi)...