" Everything You Need To Know About Making Decals - Part 1 "

47 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

Everything You Need To Know About Making Your Own Decals

by CadillacPat

Part I What Are InkJet Decals?

The simple answer here is InkJet Decals are images printed on Clear or White InkJet Decal Paper using an InkJet Printer.

The same information will apply here for LaserJet Decals printed on Clear or White LaserJet Decal Paper.

InkJet Decals printed on Clear InkJet Decal paper are just like Stained Glass Windows, they are printed with transparent inks whose colors can be affected depending on the surface color of the object they are applied over.

InkJet Decals printed on White InkJet Decal Paper are completely opaque and can be placed over any color without any interference from underlying colors.

Both Clear and White InkJet Decal papers have their own distinct advantages.

All my Decal Paper comes from Papilio.com

There is no White basecoat behind InkJet Decals like on the Decals that came with your Models you built as a kid.

InkJet Printers do not contain White ink, so they will disappear if placed on top of very dark colors like Black.

InkJet Printers see the color White, on your images, as a blank space. After all Printers use White Paper so there is no need for White ink.

With varying degrees of color appearance in your applied Decals, you can place Clear InkJet Decals over White or SnowWhite Pearl with perfect results, over Silver with a very slight change in color, over Yellow and light Pastel basecoats with a slight change in color, over Gold with a slight change in color, beyond that on darker colors the Decals suffer a heavier degree of color change.

Light Metallic colors or colors with Pearl Powders in them will have an amazing Neon effect to the colors of Decals applied over them.

The Cyan, Yellow and Magenta of InkJet Inks suffer the greatest change over very dark colors but the Black Ink will show up on anything other than Black paint.

However, I have come up with ways to apply Clear InkJet Decals over dark colors, later in these tutorials.

If you own a Laser Printer, stay with me, everything is the same except you print on Clear or White Laser Decal Paper.

By far the best Graphics Program I have found for making Decals is Photoshop.

I have tried and used nearly 2 dozen other graphics programs and none yield the results or are as easy to use as PhotoShop with its Layer abilities.

Now Stay Tuned for Part II "Decal Tools"

CadillacPat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

More. drama.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

More. drama.gif

Absolutely Don,

When I began putting these up on the Internet almost 10 years ago there was no one making Decals other than the casual sticker made in Word.

I needed crisp clear Graphcis for my Promotional Customs so I had to come up with ways to produce them.

More to come,

Stay tuned,

CadillacPat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Thanks Pat. This is very helpful to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

More please!!! Everything so far I have found true. I purchased Printshop 2.0 thinking I had Photoshop, what a costly mistake. I then purchased Testors Decal Maker and have been using this. Have you ever tried the Testors program and if so, is Photoshop way better? I have the more advanced program that can import images.

Edited by rmvw guy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I've recently made a couple of decals and have been at a tutorial on making them. I still need more info and am ready when you are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

More. drama.gif

Thanks Pat. This is very helpful to me.

More please!!! Everything so far I have found true. I purchased Printshop 2.0 thinking I had Photoshop, what a costly mistake. I then purchased Testors Decal Maker and have been using this. Have you ever tried the Testors program and if so, is Photoshop way better? I have the more advanced program that can import images.

Ron, Printshop and Printshop Pro were of the many programs I first used.

I went to PhotoShop because of its ability to save everything in Layers.

PrintShop had a lot of nice Text features but PhotoShop was actually much easier to learn

Everything is different in PrintShop opposed to PhotoShop so all the Tools and Features and Manipulations are different.

Yes, PhotoShop is way better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CadillacPat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I also bought Coral Photoshop Pro X5 can`t wait for more info how to use this program with the nodes and what not. With this program someone told me you could take sponcer decals off the real car and downsize them to fit the model.

John Pol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I also bought Coral Photoshop Pro X5...

There is no such thing.

Are you talking about Corel PaintShop Pro? That's a completely different thing, made by a different company than who makes Photoshop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

I also bought Coral Photoshop Pro X5 can`t wait for more info how to use this program with the nodes and what not. With this program someone told me you could take sponcer decals off the real car and downsize them to fit the model.

John Pol

John, check your software and double check that name. Let me know what you have.

You either mean Corel or PhotoShop, not the two together

And,

Nothing will take images off a real car and edit or manipulate them.

I'm sure you mean using images that you have either found on the Net or scanned from originals.

CadillacPat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

I also bought Coral Photoshop Pro X5 can`t wait for more info how to use this program with the nodes and what not. With this program someone told me you could take sponcer decals off the real car and downsize them to fit the model.

John Pol

you can shrink images in any program , the key to corel ( a vector program) is you can "redraw" the decals..than shrink/expand/resize them instantly to whatever shape you want without any loss of resolution or pixelising....and modify the decals ...at any size.. without starting over

that's why illustrator and corel are the choice of aftermarket and professional decal companys

it's this redrawing process that makes aftermarket decals cost what they do, it takes time and a hefty learning curve

Edited by scalenut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Everything You Need To Know to Make Custom WaterSlide Decals

by CadillacPat

Part II Decal Tools

I make Promotional Custom DieCast for Companies, Events, Parties, Movie Premieres, Conventions, Weddings and Individuals to publicize and advertise themselves with 1/64 scale DieCast mementos and souvenirs of their Events.

Making your own Decals at Home allows anyone to achieve personal "One of a Kind" results.

The possibilities decorating or personalizing objects with Decals are limitless.

To begin with you need good Clear InkJet Decal Paper.

I've used several kinds of Decal Paper in the past 12 years and Clear InkJet Decal Paper from Papilio.com is by far the superior brand, it is all I use.

It's thin, conforms to complex surfaces and is always fresh.

Papilio.com offers the best options around for shipping and my Decal Paper always arrives quickly.

Here's a picture of all the tools you will need for easy perfect application of your Custom Decals.

These tools are what I use.

PICT0004.jpg

Here we have our Decal Application Tools,

Good sharp scissors, Titanium, about $7. Keep them clean and use them only for your Decals.

Small manicure scissors used to cut away sections of an applied Decal that is draped over any window or wheel well opening.

X-Acto Knife with #11 blades. Dollar Stores carry an X-Acto Knife Kit full of blades.

Keep this clean and don't use your Decal blade for anything else.

The X-Acto Knife is used to trim away small clear negative sections of a Decal after it is cut out and before it is immersed in water.

With the X-Acto you need not cut all the way through the Decal and the paper it is printed on.

You only need to lightly scribe through the layer of Decal film itself.

Curved Jewelers Tweezers

Sure you can use simple straight tweezers but you will notice greater ease and accuracy in applying Decals with Curved Tweezers.

1/2" Square Wash Nylon Artists Brush (the orange one in the pic), Nylon NOT Camel Hair, Nylon is firm for brushing the Decals flat.

This one tool will transform the way you apply Decals.

Just wet it and blot it dry before using.

#2 Artist Brush for wetting down a surface before application, and for applying either of the shown Decal Solvent or Decal Set.

Toothpicks for gently sliding and making adjustments in a Decal's position.

Pedicure Wedge Sponges,

Yes, the wedged Rubber Sponges women put between their toes when painting their toenails.

After a Decal is brushed down flat I dampen one of these, wring it out and press down on the Decal.

Found in Dollar Stores or Cosmetic Departments of Grocery Stores.

Micro-Sol and Micro-Set,

Used to soften a positioned Decal so it can be pressed down into recessed areas or around compound curves.

Other brands are available. I use these by MicroScale.

Micro-Sol is the stronger of the two and I rarely use Micro-Set.

#10 Artists Brush (very tiny) used to touch up Decals after applied if you should crack or break the surface color. Just use good water based Artist paints like Golden, Wicked, Com Art.

Sharpie Permanent Marker, Permanent ONLY, also used for Decal touchup.

Lastly all you will need is a shallow saucer or bowl with no more than 1/2" warm or room temperature water to soak your Decals.

Add no more than 2 or 3 drops of any liquid dish soap, gently stir, and this will lubricate the Decal assisting in sliding it into position.

Not pictured is a Rubber Squeegee available at Papilio.com for gently dragging over the surface of a Decal applied to a flat substrate.

These are the only tools I use.

Like all my Customizing Tutorials I teach people the way I do things so they can achieve the same crisp clean results that I do.

So, if you decide to substitute tools, products and methods, you run the risk of also altering your results.

Part 3 coming up,

CadillacPat

Edited by CadillacPat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Keep it going Pat never to old to learn thtas for sure.

John Pol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Yes Pat the program I have is called I have it right in front of me CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5.

John Pol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Yes Pat the program I have is called I have it right in front of me CorelDraw Graphics Suite X5.

John Pol

Thanks John,

I've used Corel for a few things.

Confusing the names is no biggie,

There actually are a PrintShop and Printshop Pro so you had part of it correct.

I use PhotoShop for everything but as you can see these CadillacPat Custom Decal tutorials are not just about the Graphics Program.

You can still use your Corel and perhaps the PhotoShop discussions will help you along with it.

CadillacPat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

learn something new ever day..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Anxiously awaiting installment #3. Headed out in the morning to gather up the tools. Great info, Pat! Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

You're doing a very complete job, Pat. Everything has been clear as day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Pat...I want to thank you for doing this tutorial. I have struggled with making my own decals, never quite achieving the results I am looking for. Probably could get it right with more patience and practice but it seems to me that there are some parts of the process that are critical for success and they all have to be done right for that success. Got the supplies you listed in Part 2 on order and am looking forward to the rest of the tutorial. Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Great info Pat! I too have collected the tools you listed. Can't wait for the next installment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Keep it going Pat never to old to learn thtas for sure.

John Pol

learn something new ever day..

Anxiously awaiting installment #3. Headed out in the morning to gather up the tools. Great info, Pat! Thanks!

You're doing a very complete job, Pat. Everything has been clear as day.

Pat...I want to thank you for doing this tutorial. I have struggled with making my own decals, never quite achieving the results I am looking for. Probably could get it right with more patience and practice but it seems to me that there are some parts of the process that are critical for success and they all have to be done right for that success. Got the supplies you listed in Part 2 on order and am looking forward to the rest of the tutorial. Thanks again.

Great info Pat! I too have collected the tools you listed. Can't wait for the next installment.

Terrific!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are a lot of people here interested in making their own Decals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good to see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We have one or two more introductory info steps (writing those at the moment) and then we get to the juicy stuff.

Stay Tuned over the weekend,

CadillacPat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Keep the updates coming Pat!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

Everything You Need To Know To Make Custom Decals

By CadillacPat

Part III

Preceding parts I and II showed you what Decal Paper to use and the necessary tools to cut and apply the Decals you create.

Before we go further let's look at examples of InkJet Decals and how they are used.

Seeing what I make will give you ideas of what is possible for you and your projects with Clear InkJet Decal Paper.

All of my work is done with Clear Glossy InkJet Decal Paper from Papilio.com

Make sure when you order your paper you ask for Clear Glossy and not Clear Matte.

I don't like using the White because it is at least twice as thick as the Clear.

White is just too thick for me, especially at my usual 1/64 scale.

Let's take a look at what can be done with the Clear Decal Paper.

We'll begin with the simple stuff, Clear InkJet Decals on White Cars.

Here's a shot of some 6" 18 Wheelers that I did for a Convention.

PICT0004_zps16bf293c.jpg

Colorcoat is SnowWhite Pearl that shines through the Decals as though they are backlit.

Colors all appear bright and true over HOK SnowWhite Pearl or HOK Shimrin White.

Except for the 4 vehicle images everything is created from scratch in PhotoShop.

Vehicle images are cut out in PhotoShop, in some cases because of insufficient resolution, colors needed to be enhanced, saturation increased and brightness and contrast fine tuned, edges cleaned up and sharpened.

PhotoShop allows you to take okay images (of low internet resolution) and spiff them up so they can be used.

Still you always want to start out with the highest resolution possible in your found images on the Net.

A SnowWhite Pearl HotWheels Passion,

PICT0008-1_zpsf7810887.jpg

Again, the HOK SnowWhite Pearl shines through the InkJet Decals making them as bright as possible.

Each Decal, sides, roof, Hood and Trunk are all built right on top of scanned images of those parts of the casting.

Like this,

Passionfeatherflamesroof_zps9ecdb3f5.jpg

The casting is laid upside down on the Scanner, the image is cropped and saved, imported into PhotoShop and then layers and layers of feathered flames, text, and shapes are drawn on top for a perfect fit.

Any part on any layer can then be recolorized or eliminated or edited to change the final image.

The stacks and layers of feathered flames are duplicates of this one image that are then widened, stretched or distorted to fill in the roof.

PhotoShop allows for one touch spacing and distribution to align everything on different layers.

How about some Racing Sponsor Logos that are so popular with everyone, and the ever popular circle with a number in it,

The tiny points of light are specs of Brilliant Gold Pearl in the Clear.

PICT0109_zpsd98a4fa0.jpg

The Sponsor Logos in some cases had to be touched up in PhotoShop.

The text in some cases has been replaced to match the original.

These changes make the images clear and distinct at such small sizes.

And, to give you some insight,

A Print Sheet of another similar design for a NASCAR Passion.

Cutting full Decal sheets into Quarter Pages (4.25" x 5.5") allows me plenty of Decals for a single HotWheels design, and saves Decal Paper and ink.

SheetGeorgejpgtutorial_zpsfe10c088.jpg

Pictures on DieCast,

PICT0004_zps865e0097.jpg

InkJet Clear Decals on colors other than White,

You can place InkJet Clear Decals over some colors with very little change in the color of the Decal image,

Here over House Of Kolor Zenith Gold, and also over a Duo Blue Green Pearl Ex roof, HOK Lemon Yellow Roof, Pale Gold HOK roof,

PICT0051_zps65fcd536.jpg

Bright Green Flames over HOK Lemon Yellow.

Covered with HOK Candy Pagan Gold, then HOK Urethane Clear with lots of Yellow Pearl Powder.

PICT0005-11.jpg

And what about the Black cars with brightly colored Clear InkJet Decals on them that I make.

How is that possible since Clear InkJet Decals disappear on top of Black?

Anything can be done, you just have to eliminate all the ways to fail.

Here's one of my Black Passions with Clear InkJet Decals.

PICT0003-17_zps422aec34.jpg

Now,

Here's the Decals made for it,

SheetQuarterPageBlackjpg_zpsa187b618.jpg

Notice they all have a slight Black border around their edges.

The Decals are applied to a SnowWhite Pearl paintjob and then Liquid Rubber Mask is brushed over the colored portions of the Decal.

Mask is applied, the whole car is AirBrushed House Of Kolor Black and the masking is removed leaving what appears to be a Black car with brightly colored flames.

The above applications will get you thinking about what you can or may want to do to DieCast or Models.

I scan all my DieCast to create perfectly fitting Decal images.

HotWheels are cheap enough that if need be I can cut them up to get pieces to lay flat against the scanner screen.

In cases where you can't scan you can measure.

Measure, create your image and then make a test print on paper for fit.

There is always a way to do anything.

So these pictures will give you some insight to what is possible.

You've seen that creating Decals for White cars is real easy and making a previously thought impossible Black car with Clear InkJet Decals is also easily attainable.

It's just a matter of out thinking the Printer.

There are more steps but they are all easy.

I taught myself so I can teach you and I'll try not to leave anything out that I deem important.

For a truly unique Model commemorating an event, or just adding on some flames or sponsor logos, your own Custom made Decals can be the key to a whole new dimension of Modeling.

Stay tuned for Part IV,

CadillacPat

Edited by CadillacPat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

Really nice work Pat I think that you showing us how to use the program open more doors for all us keep the info coming.

John Pol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted · Report post

This is what I've been waiting for. Thanks. I almost had it figured out when printing black on gold leaf. Never thought to apply the decals first and then paint. The way I did it the blacks don't match very good.

gallery_5771_306_4975.jpg

gallery_5771_306_7574.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now