Creature and Character Design | Illustration


Jun 13, 2009

Post-Apocalyptic Kid _ 01 - STEPS

(ENG) Bellow you will find a description of each of the 7 steps I followed using Photoshop to tonally render Post-Apocalyptic Kid 01. This was a concept piece where the objective was to bring the original drawing to a level of effective rendering in a reasonable amount of time: 90 minutes approx.

STEP #1: The original pencil drawing is scanned and processed: Levels are used to obtain the desired level of contrast of the line work, as well as the intensity of the blacks and whites of the whole image. The layer that contains the line work is set to Multiply mode.

STEP #2: On a layer bellow, a base tone of gray is carefully applied to the entire drawing. This will work as a base silhouette helping us build the rest of the tonal rendering on top of it, without worrying about painting anywhere outside the figure and hence, saving us time.

STEP #3: This step consists on creating the local base tones for different parts of the figure. When deciding which tones to apply, think of contrast and harmony: placing the darks and light tones against each other will help differentiate the elements of the figure and make it easily readable, even when you squint your eyes (A chess-board is a very simple and geometric example of this). I believe I used 4 local base tones but 3 could work as well. Another reason why I do this is so that the shadows that will later be applied affect each area differently: The darker parts will have darker shadows, the lighter parts brighter highlights, etc. This local tones are applied in different clipping mask layers, all subordinated to the silhouette layer.

STEP #4: Light and Shadows. In two layers above the previous clipping masks (I usually place the shadow layer under the light layer), a low opacity brush is used to
describe volumes withing the form by creating lighted areas and shadowy ones. Being consistent with the placement of the lights and shadows will give a sense of where the light source is located relative to the figure, aiding to its three-dimensional effect and its existence in an environment. However, note that, since the goal here is to render the image in a comic "book cover" type of style, the line work is kept all the way through, which helps the image hold together and saves us a lot of rendering time. Consequently though, the final look will never be extremely painterly or sculptural, for that can only be achieved with a total absence of line.

STEP #5: Cast Shadows. On a layer above the previous ones but still below the line work, a solid black cast shadow projected on certain areas of the body and the ground. This layer is set to Strong Light mode and to an opacity of 50% in this particular case. The cast shadow on the ground is achieved by distorting a copy of the silhouette and modifying it until it becomes a sound projection of the figure.

STEP #6: Highlights and textures. Various texture brushes are used to quickly add details and richness to the piece. You can easily turn photographs of textures such as scratches or ink splatters into brushes by turning them into black and white and then saving it as a brush under the edit menu. The ground plane is also created using a photograph and distorting its perspective until it matches the virtual ground plane on which the character is standing. Highlights such as the one in the kid's headphones are created with a soft white brush at 70% opacity on a layer above the line work. This will create a shine effect, since the light will burn over the line.

STEP #7: Final look. In this case I added certain typographies as graphic design elements for presentation sake. Also, the smart focus filter was used to add some extra-crispness to the final image. and it's DONE.

So, that's all folks! If you found this helpful or interesting and would appreciate more posts of this kind, please comment and let me know. If instead you hated it or liked to see something else, also let me know. Thanks!

(ESP) estoy en ello.
(EUS) hortan nabil.

1 comment:

karlos-kun said...

oh! amazing bro thanks. Very useful :)