Commons:Stroke Order Project/Graphics guidelines/Black and white strokes series

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Model of Bitmap image (PNG black and white)

These instructions are for Photoshop. Please note the differences if you use a different program.

Step 1: Image size[edit]

The series of strokes are displayed in up to nine steps per line. Images with nine or more strokes have two or more rows.

Create a new image 114px high and as wide as necessary for all the strokes (give it about 100px per stroke plus). Break it down into lines later.

Step 2: Add the text[edit]

A four stroke character needs five copies.

Using the Text tool, select the correct font, set the font size to 90px, and input the character as many times as the character has strokes, plus one (for the full character). For example, you would enter "火" five times because it has four strokes.

Step 3: Create a duplicate layer[edit]

Go to the menu, and choose Layer > Duplicate Layer....

You should now have two identical layers containing text, and a plain white background layer underneath them. You may wish to rename the text layers for clarity (here we use "Top layer" and "Bottom layer").

Step 4: Gray the characters[edit]

In the top layer: Gray all but the first character

Top layer: Select the first character and make it black (RGB 0,0,0 or #000000). Select the other characters and make them dark grey (RGB 102,102,102 or #666666).

Bottom layer: Select all the characters and make them light grey (RGB 204,204,204 or #CCCCCC).

Step 5: Rasterise[edit]

From the menu, choose Layer > Rasterize > All Layers.

You can also clean the image up by choosing Filter > Noise > Dust & Scratches.

Step 6: Delete the stroke differences[edit]

Delete the strokes, one by one.

Hide the bottom layer.

Top layer leaving the first and second character intact, use the Eraser Tool to delete individual strokes from the row of characters, one by one.

The strokes with the bottom layer.

Make the bottom layer visible again. You should now see the almost finished image.

Step 7: Dots and arrows[edit]

Arrows added.
Dots added.

The final stage is to add the dots and arrows to indicate the beginning of each stroke and its direction.

Draw the arrows with 3px red brush (using paths is a good idea), or add vector lines with arrow-heads.

Draw the dots with a 9px green brush.

Step 8: Crop[edit]

If the character has nine or more strokes, folding the image into lines of nine characters each, ensuring that the image is a multiple of 114px high (most commonly 1: 114px, 2: 228px, 3: 342px, and sometimes 4: 456px; very rarely more). (First line has character and strokes 1–8, second line has strokes 9–17, third line has strokes 18–26, etc.)

(Some very complex characters exist; see Rare and complex Chinese characters. For example, in principle the stroke order for the 84-stroke character Taito 2 l.png would require 10 lines, at 1140px, though this is not terribly informative.)

Finish off by cropping the remaining horizontal white space. Save as a lossless compressed bitmap with the "bw.png" ending (e.g. 火-bw.png).

Upload the file and add {{SOlicense}} to it for licensing and automatically categorising it.