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Postby DarkLored123 » Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:14 am

  DarkLored123
Posts: 315
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Subject title: How to go about cell shading?

Hello, I've been having problems lately figuring out how to approach cell-shading when I want to add color to my illustrations. I've been having a rather difficult time with cell-shading in a way that is appealing, I simply can't get my head around it. I've looked up some tutorials on this, but the outcome is poor and boring, and the ideal I am aiming for is simple like in anime. So my question here is how to apply cell-shading in a simplistic, but detailed enough to the point that it is believable?

This is an illustration I am currently working on, trying to apply cell shading:
Image

Any tips or tutorials that you can share?

Thanks in advance.

 

Postby Audiazif » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:30 am

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  Audiazif
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DarkLored123 wrote:So my question here is how to apply cell-shading in a simplistic, but detailed enough to the point that it is believable?

I think of cell shading as a style of shading (like hatching or blending) so knowing how to shade believably regardless of the "style" would be beneficial. Additionally knowing how to shade a figure believably will help. I mean to simplify something and still have it read is difficult in and of itself but even more difficult if you not well versed in the subject. I think maybe doing simple still life and figure studies would help, really concentrate on simplification and readability. Also look at how anime artists and maybe non-anime artists simplify things.

Here is a paint over i did. It is kind of messy and I am no anime/mange artist so it might not be what you are looking for.
Spoiler: show
Image
"Painting is edge hell!"

Deviantart
Sketchbook

 

Postby Moe » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:42 pm

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  Moe
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Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts. Simplification is achieved by understanding complexity.

1.) Do master studies of your favorite artists(which I think you already are)
2.) Learn lightning basics( Sycra has a tutorial playlist on this) but it really just ties into structural anatomy
3.) Study Hampton and learn the anatomical planes. Once you understand the anatomical planes, it simply comes down to choosing the direction of the light source.
4.) Study from life. Going to live figure drawing classes is very helpful. If you can't get access to live figure drawing classes, study from photos with a single lightning source. Croquis cafe is pretty good. It's also a good idea to do lightning studies of simple objects around your house likes cups and vases.
5.) Apply all that to your animu.
6e23cf06c254e57f0a28f41e0371a916--drawing-designs-figure-drawing.jpg

 

Postby DarkLored123 » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:06 pm

  DarkLored123
Posts: 315
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:18 pm

Thank you for your responses.

I think I phrased my question in a non-coherent manner, the thing I am struggling with is not shading, it is adding soft shadows with hard shadows in a way that is mixed well or blended. I can't describe it correctly.

The thing is, I already have some knowledge about how cell shading works and it is mostly about conveying a small amount of information that basically lets the brain do the rest of the work for you. So the focus is more about creating appealing shapes with the shadows, and being a minimalist. I am trying to take an extra step with this however since simply applying hard edged shadows feels flat and boring to me, I want to add some soft tones as well but I simply do not know how to blend the two properly in a way that does not look messy.

I'll show some examples of what I am aiming for below:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DQ36oHVUMAAdd6W.jpg:large
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DKT4o1OVAAETA8o.jpg:large
https://i.imgur.com/wRiuRF6.gif

I can achieve this simplification effect depending on how I simple I want to make it for example this:
https://darklored123.deviantart.com/art ... -712028356
https://darklored123.deviantart.com/art ... -707007339

As you can see the artist is mixing soft and hard shadows in a way that looks more balanced, I am aiming for something more like this but when I try to apply it in my art it simply looks out of place. I picked a color palette that is mainly made out of complementary colors except for the pink which is what I want to stand out in the piece, I tried doing some hue shifts and playing with the values but I simply can't blend them in a way that looks messy and out of place even though the colors and the values work well together.

To be quite honest I am aiming for cell shading because it is manageable with my current knowledge about lighting and values which isn't that developed, so I basically fake it until I make it sort of thing. I am mostly struggling with blending in the different hue shifts and soft tones in a way that looks believable, and I believe it is mostly due to my lack of knowledge about how to use my software rather than my actual understanding of lights and shadows.

I cannot be bothered doing master studies, or anything associated with real life, and I do not particularly believe that I need to do so to get better. Since art is mostly about theory and practice, as long as I know the theory the only logical conclusion that can be made is that regardless of where you try to apply it as long as you keep the theory in mind it should work, which I found to be true in many cases. Trust me I know that lighting and anatomy are important to a certain degree and I will need them, but I simply do not believe I reached the stage where I actually need to learn them to a degree that would require me to study them.

So the actual question, how do you get soft shadows to work with hard shadows with the use of cell shading in a balanced manner? How do you blend them in way that makes them look like they belong there? Also do you have any particular resource that goes over how you can apply texture using values and so on?

[EDIT]: After some research I found the answer to my question, thank you for taking your time to respond.

 

Postby Josephcow » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:34 pm

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  Josephcow
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DarkLored123 wrote:
To be quite honest I am aiming for cell shading because it is manageable with my current knowledge about lighting and values which isn't that developed, so I basically fake it until I make it sort of thing. I am mostly struggling with blending in the different hue shifts and soft tones in a way that looks believable, and I believe it is mostly due to my lack of knowledge about how to use my software rather than my actual understanding of lights and shadows.

.


I know you said you already found your answer, so this might be redundant. But it might not be. The thing is, I believe this is the source of your trouble. You say that you don't want to study from life because it wont help you, but it is because your knowledge about lighting is undeveloped that I believe you're having trouble with the soft/hard shadow look. Increasing your knowledge of lighting and values will tell you which shadow should be soft, and why. Cell shading isn't really different from 'realistic' shading in that the principles of lighting are the same. (Sometimes anime artists ignore the rules though).

If it really is a software problem, the solution should be as simple and finding a way to do a soft edge. I would recommend the smudge tool on scatter, mixer brush, or soft brush. But I think your knowledge of lighting is something that is important to work on. And unfortunately, the way to work on that is to observe life which you don't want to do.

 

Postby DarkLored123 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:50 pm

  DarkLored123
Posts: 315
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2016 6:18 pm

Josephcow wrote:
DarkLored123 wrote:
To be quite honest I am aiming for cell shading because it is manageable with my current knowledge about lighting and values which isn't that developed, so I basically fake it until I make it sort of thing. I am mostly struggling with blending in the different hue shifts and soft tones in a way that looks believable, and I believe it is mostly due to my lack of knowledge about how to use my software rather than my actual understanding of lights and shadows.

.


I know you said you already found your answer, so this might be redundant. But it might not be. The thing is, I believe this is the source of your trouble. You say that you don't want to study from life because it wont help you, but it is because your knowledge about lighting is undeveloped that I believe you're having trouble with the soft/hard shadow look. Increasing your knowledge of lighting and values will tell you which shadow should be soft, and why. Cell shading isn't really different from 'realistic' shading in that the principles of lighting are the same. (Sometimes anime artists ignore the rules though).

If it really is a software problem, the solution should be as simple and finding a way to do a soft edge. I would recommend the smudge tool on scatter, mixer brush, or soft brush. But I think your knowledge of lighting is something that is important to work on. And unfortunately, the way to work on that is to observe life which you don't want to do.


It is definitely a software issue. While I do agree with you that to become good at this I need to observe life, I simply found that it doesn't work out for me like it does for most people. I did do observational drawings in the past, but it simply did not pan out and the moment I decided to use my head rather than try to understand by seeing is when I truly started understanding what to do. So while observation is effective, I do not believe it is the only way to approach learning because it was traditionally done that way. I am bad at interpreting visual information anyway, and learn more effectively through trial and error or by simply trying to think things through.

The reason I go for cell shading is because I can get away with having sharp edges and just shading cast shadows. I also do not think I've earned the right to particularly focus on lighting because I simply lack the ability to draw to the degree I'd like to have. Without a good drawing, there is no point to adding the shadows and other stuff because it is already fundamentally flawed that it wouldn't make sense to add detail on top of the drawing to express the forms more clearly because they are wrong.

Well it is my opinion on the matter, I just don't think that the traditional way to learning art(or anything) is the only way to learn, and it is not like I want my art to be super believable to the point that it looks real, because then it would be just plain boring to look at. I see this as an opportunity to open dialogue regarding art, but I do not want to deviate from the purpose of the thread, however if you want to create a dialogue just for the sake of sharing differing views and trying to understand one another I wouldn't mind doing so(just shoot a PM).

 

Postby Ambiguity » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:53 pm

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  Ambiguity
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Really simple tutorial on how cel-shading relates to light direction:
https://nekoni.deviantart.com/art/Cel-S ... -131988415


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