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Solid ASCII Art Tutorial by jSepia Solid ASCII Art Tutorial by jSepia
Current version: 1.0

-You can press "Download to Desktop" to get the tutorial into a Zip file, then unzip it and view the "asciitutorial.htm" file.
-Or you can just view it online.

Le Phew. :faint: I can't believe I finally, finally finished this thing. What you're seeing here is the result of 6 months of creating ASCII art and several weeks of full-time research and learning. For the first time in my life, I was able to work on something without any distraction.

I tried to make this tutorial as easy and clear as possible. There are illustrations and examples everywhere, all of them created by me. Most of them were made just for the tutorial, but some of them are old drawings I rescued from my recycling bin. There are probably many flaws in the writing, I would appreciate critique on it. Also, keep me informed if you find a broken link. There are too many links to check them all the time.

Most of the credit goes to `diamondie and her ASCII Art Tutorial, the only one of its kind in DA... until now. ;) I would also like to thank the rest of the ASCII community in DA for their support towards this artform. You know who you are. :aww:

Update: The tutorial is now hosted by `roy-sac in his website Thank you!
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ThatGrrl Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Roy Sac is gone, the domain shut down over this summer. Is your tutorial hosted anywhere else online? I looked up the link with the Wayback Machine but there were several images missing when viewing it that way.
leehaneul Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2011
__________________ ##
TioPatinhas Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2009
very very nice!!!
Silverwolf06 Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I always wondered how people did that. Now I know XD
Nice tutorial, maybe I'll try it out sometime.
prs-- Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2006
That's one nice tutorial! I'll definately try it out when I get myself some spare time!! :D
Catgoyle Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2006
Hmm... the online viewing seems to be a broken link. I'll have to look at it using one of the other options. Thanks for the tutorial!
jSepia Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2006
Thanks for reminding me. My hosting account was erased, but `roy-sac is kindly hosting it in his personal website: [link]

I'll update the link in the description. :aww:
Catgoyle Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2006
Thanks! I do want to see it.
ardunt Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the tutorial, gives me a starting point.
Zaichick Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
oooohhh I wanna try!
roy-sac Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The Link to view it online is broken [link]
where did you move it to? I would like to add it to my Links Page on my Artist Homepage [link] and to the ASCII and ANSI Text Art Category at the Directory [link] where I am the Editor. Please let me know. Thanks.
aquaglow Featured By Owner May 22, 2006
Awesome tutorial! Gave me some ideas for different fillers I hadn't considered before :)
sugarnspike613 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2005  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I went through this tutorial yesterday morning, and forgot to comment. *Bad Flare*

It's extrememly well put together, I'm astounded at how professional it looks. =)

I've always wanted to try ASCII art, but never known where to start. Your tutorial has rekindled that, thank you so much!


On a side note, I'm annoyed with my graphics program because it doesn't recognize Fixedsys. :shakefist: (I use PaintShop Pro 8)
jSepia Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2005
Thank you so much. :aww: The first steps are probably the hardest part.

May I know why you need PSP to create ASCII art? If you use it to save your text files as images, you could either take a screenshot of a Notepad window and crop it in PSP, or use JavE to export your ASCII art to an image.
sugarnspike613 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2005  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I tried using it to create my ASCII art, but found that difficult, so I started using it to colour and save the images.
sugarnspike613 Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2005  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Oh, and I forgot to ask:

If the characters don't line up just the way you want, are you allowed to line them up using the selection tool in a graphics program? (or is that cheating)
AoH-Silence Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2005

that has taught me ACSII. be happy! you created another ACSII artist! :)
jSepia Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2005
Ah, you mean ASCII. ;) Glad you found it useful, this is one of the best comments I can receive. :thanks: Thank you so much!
AoH-Silence Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2005
attack of the typos, yes I mean ASCII
MattGreen Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2005
I can safely say that this has re-ignited my yearning to do some ASCII. I had no idea that there are now only 2 knows ASCII tutorials, but now there's this, why do any more? :XD: The whole layout of the guide is very professional, but allow me to delve deeper into it. =]

The range of fonts you've covered is good, and you've stated the advantages of them, and even the characters themselves. I would actually like to get my hands on all of them and see which one works best for me.

The antialiasing techniques and hints you've given contain a lot of things I've never even thought of. Usually I was happy with combining 8 or #, P d b . , * ^ ' and Y to to do everything, but there's obviously a lot of things I've missed. :nod:

I know I can do wonderful things, now, with this. Thank you so much, *jSepia. :w00t:
aneesah Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2005  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Oooh, nice. :D I even like the formatting and layout of the tutorial! :giggle:

I'll spend some more time reading and trying it out.

Thanks for this!
jSepia Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2005
Thank you, I hope it proves useful. ;)

The layout is quite simple, I just wanted it to work properly in most browsers. Still, the CSS is supposed to reduce the line-height of the ASCII pictures, but it doesn't. :shakefish:
aneesah Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2005  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
ShakeFISH! FISH! :rofl:

Gosh, I wonder what a :shakefish: emoticon would look like. :giggle:

Oh my God, I actually played around with the page's CSS (thanks, Firefox's Web Developer), and I think you just need to put "line-height" at the end of the line, after font and all that. It seemed to work. :excited:
jSepia Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2005

Your CSS trick worked! :w00t: Thanks a lot! I gave you credit for that in the last part of the tutorial, I should update it in a few days. Do you mind? :)
aneesah Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2005  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter

:rofl: :rofl:

(Double this time. ;P)

Oh, you're welcome, I was just switching things around... You don't have to credit me, really, it's a teeny thing. :D
jesusbot3000 Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2005
This is pretty sweet, I've wanted to try ASCII for a while but always felt...overwhelmed when I sat down and tried to do it. This is a great resource, :+fav:

On one small note, you referred to the "#" as a crosshatch; it's actually called an octothorpe...:shrug: too much time in #Trivia for me I guess.
jSepia Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2005
Thank you so much. :aww:

The many alternate names of the # character are interesting. I also knew it as hash, but octothorpe was a surprise. :)
jesusbot3000 Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2005
Yeah, 'tis an odd word there. I always called it the "pound" button before :shrug:
HippieKing Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2005
Brilliant, you've done the ASCII community a real boost by making that I can see, even for me, dunce of the year, it's easy to understand and practical, it's very nicely laid out aswell.
The best thing was it actually got me interested in ASCII, I downloaded emal effects and gave it a go. If you can do that to even more people it would be wonderful! Try putting it in your signature prehaps?
Silvertide Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2005
Wow. I'm agreeing with all the good things others have said. This tutorial is great, if you made more ascii guides like this and collected them into a book... well, I'd imagine there'd be people happy to buy it.
jSepia Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2005
Thank you. :thanks: So you think more guides are needed? I'll probably write about other styles of ASCII art (non-solid) once I become skilled enough with them.

I've had bad experiences in the world of publishing (only one of my three books has been published, and the benefices were not worth the costs). However I agree that having this tutorial (and others) on paper format can be useful. :)
Silvertide Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2005
Wow, you got a book published? That's one more than me!
cmjgalaxy Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2005
luiscds Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2005
What an awsome tutorial!

Thank you for sharing the knowledge and for making it so organized!

You talked about web design the other day in my page (that I lazely didn't reply, yet)... you made the page so organized and clean that shows will be great designing sites :nod:

ctrl-alt-delete Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2005  Professional Digital Artist
Wow! :wow: I can't produce the words worthy enough to comment on something of this magnitude, but wow! I can tell that a lot of time, effort, and experience when into creating such a thorough tutorial. It seems to cover everything anyone could ever think of in this field of art. Definate :+fav:
diamondie Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2005  Professional Writer
Wow, my ASCII art tutorial pales in comparison to this (and makes me more eager to revise my own with a bunch of new additions I've been thinking about). I still think you could have stuck with the drawing manual as most of the rest is already covered in my tutorial (though of course you have presented the information in a different way and have included some stuff I haven't).

The instructions for the actual drawing and antialiasing process are very helpful and useful. I think you could just call it a tutorial, because it is a tutorial, much more than mine. Perhaps you could also say something about how solid art is commonly used - eg. it's really good for logos, but it's not the best for portraits, it is sometimes combined with lineart etc.

I wouldn't say 8 is the most common solid art filler. To me it seems like M is more popular in "mainstream" ASCII while demosceners almost always use $. One thing I noticed is that you called the @ character "arroba". It's probably a Spanish thing, as I have never heard that name before. It's usually just called "at" though there are some other names I can't recall right now. I don't think it's necessarily a bad choice for a filler.

Also, ACiDView does work in Windows, or at least there's a Windows version of it available, I use it all the time. I'd never say that saving ASCII art as JPEG is "fine". You'll always lose some quality, even if you use 99/100 quality and the filesizes will be much bigger than in GIF or PNG. I would strongly discourage the use of JPEG.

But why is this a scrap? It may be something you're still working on, but it doesn't change the fact that it feels and looks finished.
jSepia Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2005
Many thanks for the insight. :aww:

I agree that your tutorial gives a good explanation of the fonts and software needed and provides some other useful information that I rewrote here. I just wanted to create a stand-alone document that didn't depend on other sources.

I don't think solid ASCII is not the best for portraits. Most portraits do need shading and/or outlines, but I have seen wonderful portraits made of silhouettes in solid style.

I'm not sure if I have seen M as often as I see 8 and $. However, "arroba" is definitely and completely spanish! Thanks for making me notice it. The @ symbol has some really weird names, like "cyclone" and "snail". :o

ACiDView for DOS is another mistake of mine. I was thinking about ACiDDraw. And, I was surprised to test by myself how much a JPG could weigh in comparison to a PNG. I'll have to review that. And take it out of my scraps once I finish the finished version. =P

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Submitted on
July 13, 2005
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