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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you think images produced digitally from programs like adobe illustrator, inkscape, etc., produce images less aesthetically beautiful then making an analogue image to silk screen. Do you think there is a noticeable difference? Do you think there is an unconscious difference?
I have read that with music, good digital and analogue music can not be distinguished, but some studies indicate that prolonged listening to analogue music provided a more satisfying experience.

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I think anything done by hand can be done or reproduced digitally. With the exception of the purity and chroma of pure pigments vs. print outs. Having said that, when first learning a language it is a temptation to say what you can instead of what you want to (according to my father who picked up 3 languages on the run as a war refugee, and learned them well enough to to go through high school and college in foriegn lands). So I think that a lot of digital artists do what is easy to do with a computer because that is what they know how to do. To my eye it's easy to spot. A master with a computer could fool an educated artist, at least on screen. :)
 

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Everything has its time, its place, and its market. But my personal opinion is that digital work is not the best work, especially in fashion. Of course, if I didn't have my computer to help me I would scream.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you John and Lewis for your comments.

Perhaps more clearly what I am trying to discover is, if I work and refine an image out on the computer, and then project that image and pen it for silk screening so that it is analogue, do you think it produces something better then just taking the computer vector graphic and directly (digitally) transferring that image for silk screen printing?

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It"s funny you should bring that particular aspect of design up at this time. I am in the process of designing a line of shirts that have a late 40's early 50's comic book feel. So I have spent some time over the last couple of months trying to understand what an inker does. There are two types of lines, lines that are dead, and lines that change width as they travel. CorelDraw has a feature called artistic media which mimics calligraphic pen work better than calligraphic pen in the pen dialog box. I am still working with that feature but have a ways to go before I feel competent with it. So for me at this point hand drawn lines look more alive than the ones I'm producing in Corel. But in time I bet I could fool the casual observer. I hope this speaks more to the intent of your question. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It does speak more to the intent of my question John. I sense from what you wrote that the computer lines lack something that the analogue lines have (aliveness), and even if you worked at duplicating it, an attentive viewer will maybe notice.

But going deeper into my intentions, does digital silk screen printing, with it lines made of bits (or resolution), and therefore always saw tooth edged but perhaps made small enough to be humanly unnoticeable with the naked eye, look less aesthetically beautiful compared to an analogue silk screen print? Can you notice the saw tooth?

It is probably a very slight difference, maybe unnoticeable, but maybe some people have worked with both ways to create prints, or who have seen many digital and analogue prints and can sense something more pleasing about one then the other, maybe just a gut feeling. What I want to learn from others is, can you sense a difference?, and personal preference - do you think one looks better?

And I'm also looking for responses from others in the sense John gave. Does digital or analogue line art have some quality that you think is generally better then the other? Imagine working on a project that is mostly all line art. You make a digital version for silk screen printing and then you make a analogue version for silk screen printing by projecting the digital image and then trace it by hand. Do you think one will produce better results then the other?
 

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You can use a resolution fine enough that the pixels won't show even under a loop. But what really separates man from machine is what is imparted subconsciously. I apprenticed to the fine art division director at the college (now university) that I attended. He had a terminal degree in fine art (MFA) and spent a lifetime as a painter. But every portrait he painted had an element of his wife in it, he just couldn't help it. I used to spend a good deal of time free hand drawing, and I became fairly accurate, however there was always an element of me and how I thought that distorted the lines in a "humanistic" way. I think there is a value in that personal aspect of visual composition that is lost digitally. I think the trick is becoming fluent enough in telling the machine what you want it to do, that you find your way back to that human element. :)
 

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I definitely agree with John's posts, especially about the liveliness of a line.

Screenprinting prints at a lower resolution than a digital printer, so any sawtooth you see is the result of either the screenprinting process, or incorrectly prepared (i.e. poor quality) artwork.

I think which to use strongly depends on the design you're printing. For example, if I was printing an anime Mech style design, I would want to go for ultra-clean (sterile even) digital artwork.

If I was printing Japanese calligraphy, I would have it painted directly to the film.

Anything in-between is a judgement call.

I'm a bit biased because I get a lot of personal satisfaction out of working directly with the materials -- all of my favourite designs of my own involve little to no computer work... that doesn't mean other people would agree it's my best work.

I certainly think "[making an] analogue version for silk screen printing by projecting the digital image and then trac[ing] it by hand" can sometimes produce better results... as evidenced by the fact that I've done precisely that with some of my work :) On the other hand, I've printed digital work created wholly in Illustrator exactly as-is, because I wanted it to look just like that.

It's no different to deciding when to pick up a 2B pencil, a 6B pencil, or a piece of charcoal. It's the artist's call for that particular piece of work.
 
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