mercredi 16 novembre 2016

Boleta - Creating a polished character design - Steps & Tutorial

This work has been done for Azadeth, and he asked me to take his design to create this image.
Here is a parallel between the client's character, and mine :

Left : Azadeth's original character design for Boleta.
In this tutorial, I'm going to approach a few things about rendering and texturing. But first of all, here are the steps of creation :

1 - Black and white sketch. Just to nail the basic design, attitude, composition and general shapes.

2 - A very detailed line work. I usually don't clean it that much, but I tried it out this time and it was really fun to do. It allowed me to save a lot of time later in the process too.

3 - I put flat colors under my line layer. It's going to allow me to block the shapes, colors and values later. For now, I just took the original character's colors.

4 - Once you got your flat color layers, you just have to press "ctrl + U" to control hues, saturation and values of each color. Here I did some adjustments.

5 - This step is the right moment to try variety. Here, I changed colors to remind of a toadstool, but I didn't like it finally.
Once you get into details, you may not keep all your layers very organized. But if you did a clean work at the line and flat color steps, you still can select parts of your character very easily. You just have to press "Ctrl" and click on the icon layer of your flat color layer. Then, it selects what is on this very layer, so you just have to create a new layer and paint into the selection (and if you want to select inverse you can press "CTRL + SHIFT + I"). If you want to select just a specific part of your character, you can deselect parts you don't want by pressing "ALT" while you use the lasso tool.

6 - All elements are done in this step. I painted several textures and effects I will describe below...

7 - Finally, I did some adjustments, to enhance contrasts and colors.  

Tutorial and explanations :

Now you saw all the steps, let's talk about more specific subjects.

As you can see on images below, I changed and corrected the face several times (for instance, you can compare the eyes in each picture). I also tried to get a bright effect inside the mushroom head, but I didn't like it. In my opinion, when it comes to characters, the face remains the most important aspect of the picture, so you have to paint it very carefully to get the best possible result.

I liked those eyes, but it was definitely less attractive when it came to look at the whole character so I didn't keep it this way.


1 - Here, I just have the shape of the wood and basics plans.

2 - Then, on another layer, I put a bluish light color with a basic hard round brush.
3 - I went to "Filter Gallery" and chose a distort effect called "Glass". I put those adjustments, but you can play with it and get different results. You can try this technic to get textures using other filters too.

4 - So here is what the filter did to the bluish light layer.

5 - I tried to get the texture more subtle.

6 - I added textures using custom brushes, and put the layer mode in Soft Light. It can get messy pretty fast, so I eraced some parts of the texture to keep it as clean as possible.

7 - Finally, I put an Overlay layer to bring color variations on the wood matter.

Here, I'm going to show you how I render an arm and a leg, using the same steps for each of them. This kind of render can make you achieve very polished paintings, with very sharp edges and soft values. But if you want to get a painterly feeling in your work, then maybe you shouldn't do it this way.
1 - At first, I only have a flat color and lines I can trust to paint my volumes.

2 - Once you put shadows with opaque brush strokes, you can use the smudge tool or a soft round brush (the smudge is faster in my opinion, but it can get messy if you lack of practice) and make volumes softer this way. Don't forget to leave some parts sharper, or your volumes can get floppy.

3 - Then I added anatomic details. It's the skin so shadows on it aren't supposed to be very dark.

4 - I did some values adjustments. Here you can see the edge between the drapery and the shoulder is brighter, some edges are no longer visible (It's called "lost edges"). I put a shadow on the left side of the arm to make the volume more visible.
 Same with a leg :)

Here I just added a little bit of texture with custom brushes, using a Soft light layer. It is not very visible when you just look at the leg but if you compare it to the previous step you can see that it brings more realism to the skin.

Well, I think we're done with this one. I hope it helped you somehow. Thanks for reading this article!

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