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Postby Thelastmethbender » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:34 am

  Thelastmethbender
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:32 am

Subject title: Final render advice?

Hello, ive been trying to work on a final render process specifically coloring and id like a critique and advice on how to fix it up. Im really trying to get appealing designs down right but something about them feels off and I don't have a good eye at spoting everything wrong. I primary draw in photoshop

Heres my current process

This my basic line art after sketching. I block in a single tone over the whole drawing for overlaying. Hows my line art BTW? Id also like tips for this.

https://i.imgur.com/PpOBL6f.jpg

Next I started adding in this light orb thing that looks something like this.

https://i.imgur.com/oBwsllJ.jpg

I stick this on a clipping mask layer just over the gray tone. This both helps me find where my shadows go and sometimes I leave it on and use it as a gradient light and makes it look like light is bouncing off the colors. I took it off here because it looked pixely for some reason.

https://i.imgur.com/CDkz1Ha.jpg

After I find the shadows I make another clipping mask with the hard light "overlay layer thing" in photoshop (Don't know what its called) on and just paint over the gray tones. It sucks because if you do the hard light thing you lose some color but I don't know how to paint over the grays without it

https://i.imgur.com/n87IYgl.jpg

And finally I add blush and use a gradient brush to break up the flat colors which makes them pop a bit more to me. I want to color the lines but no matter what I try it messes up and looks pixley and messed up so I just changed them to a near black purple

https://i.imgur.com/KKf7QvQ.jpg

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I really want to draw characters that are very 'expressionate' and cartoony. I like drawings with big colorful eyes with the big bright highlights and poppy colors. Im really wondering if my issues lie in the fact that im not using the right process/tools to get the results I want or if im just not using the tools properly

 

Postby Audiazif » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:57 pm

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  Audiazif
Posts: 901
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:38 am

Thelastmethbender wrote:Im really wondering if my issues lie in the fact that im not using the right process/tools to get the results I want or if im just not using the tools properly

Not trying to sound mean or make you feel bad but this literally sounds like an artist blaming their tools or at least posing the question "Are my tools the problem?". In a way you could say the tools are hindering you from accomplishing what you want but not in the way you might think. Tools do not make the artist. You could be a master of the medium but it will not make up for a lack of the fundamental skills that are present in any medium.

If you want appealing designs find out what you find "appealing". Study and deconstruct the things that appeal to you. Apply what you acquired from your studies. If you are having trouble seeing mistakes try to analyze each aspect of where you think you are going wrong. Go through a checklist of possible problems.

As for the rendering process itself, I would say you seem to be over complicating things. You just need the line art and the clipping mask underneath (you technically could get away with just the line art but there are many ways to skin a cat). Don't try to get fancy with the layer modes. From time to time it wouldn't hurt playing around with them to see what they do or even look up exactly what they do. What I am trying to say is start simple. That way their are less things to potentially go wrong and you can concentrate more on the substance.
"Painting is edge hell!"

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Postby Thelastmethbender » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:50 pm

  Thelastmethbender
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2015 6:32 am

Maybe I didn't explain this properly I wasn't trying to 'blame my tools' for my shitty drawing I was trying to ask what materials would work better for a bold cartoonish style.

You wouldn't use a pencil if you wanted a water color look, you know what I mean? I was trying to show my process in the hopes that someone would tell me how they do theirs or what types of brushes they use ect to improve mine.

That also probably wasn't the best drawing as an example because I just slapped it together for this post.

For the other part of your post, I get what you're saying to do. I should look at artists work I like and try to break them down, but I do and I don't really understand. How can I properly study someones work if I don't fully understand what went into the final image? I don't know how to explain it. Like I can SEE how a brush stroke or line looks but I don't understand why they made that decision or how to even replicate it. Or sometimes people will break human anatomy and draw things out of proportion but I don't understand how it still looks appealing. If I try copying the way an artist draw their eyes I end up only being able to draw it from that one angle because im not understanding why it works. (Does that make sense?) Is there a way to get better at seeing things like this or does it just come naturally over time?

 

Postby Audiazif » Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:16 pm

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  Audiazif
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Thelastmethbender wrote:If I try copying the way an artist draw their eyes I end up only being able to draw it from that one angle because im not understanding why it works. (Does that make sense?) Is there a way to get better at seeing things like this or does it just come naturally over time?

You need to learn how to reliably construct things and, if things are stylized, be able to connect to a point of reference. Lets take the your eye example. First, knowing how to construct and draw a "realistic" eye will help greatly but the main thing is knowing how it works and how and why things are constructed the way they are(stuff like this). The other thing is taking that knowledge or just using a reference to figure out how they stylized it. Here is and example (you did somewhat manga/anime eyes in your original post so that is what I used in this example).
Untitled-6.png

You can see that in the different views the eyes change. Knowing how the eyes change in relation to the angle of the head will give you an idea of how you can manipulate eyes in general to other angles. The 3/4 view is a mix of the front and profile. I think this example also shows some of the decisions the artist made in stylizing the eyes. Obviously there are the tropes of typical eyes of this style, thick upper line for the lid and lashes, understated bottom lid and lashes, and big irises with shine. You can probably see why the eyes are simplified this way. One of the thing that I see that I never noticed before or is not found in this style can be explained by the looking at the ref. It is the little line above the thick upper line which represents the crease of the upper lid. Now I am sure someone could of known that without reference but it is a small detail that someone might question why it is there.
"Painting is edge hell!"

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Postby Josephcow » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:06 am

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  Josephcow
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Have you tried painting in the flat colors first and then using a multiply layer, darken, or another flat layer to paint in the shadows? Nothing seems wrong about what you're doing. I just know for me I would want to have established the exact colors I want before adding shadows. And you said that the hard light layer isn't giving you the colors you want. There's so many ways to do things though. I really like how BrotherBaston on youtube does his cell shading if you wanna look him up.


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