Is it cheating to use the brightness/contrast, color balance or levels tools on a finished piece of digital work? Im talking strictly digital here. While its nice for presentation purposes to fiddle with contrast and stuff on real media work, I feel its dishonest presentation to make it not look as close as possible to the original, so I just alter it enough to get the scan to look like the original. BUT on digital art I find that when im done I really need to tweak some settings cuz I don't always get things as light or dark as I want or the right hue I want, or sometimes I like to, when im done, see what other colors look like and sometimes I like them better.
But is it cheating? The way I see it, the tools are there for me to use, but I can't help but feel a little guilty. Im wondering if I should post before and after pics of something digital I did so you can see the difference, theres really not much of one, but its noticeable if you look at it.
*edit* heres a before and after of an icon I did for bloodhoundomega (Bloodi the final is in your email inbox)
I had attempted brighter colors as you can see but they just didn't turn out exactly as I wanted so I upped the contrast and a little of the color balance. Not that huge of a difference but noticeable. I mostly do this when something doesn't turn out exactly as planned, I still have a hard time seeing colors in the context of color theory, i try to make them brighter but they end up muted because of the colors i put them next to. Oddly doing this makes me go "oooooooh" and I apply what I found out to the next project and so on instead of just saying "well I can just shit something out and use tools on it later". XD