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colouring-tutorial [2013/10/18 02:25]
ran created
colouring-tutorial [2013/10/18 04:44] (current)
ran
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 This is a step-by-step tutorial that shows how I colour this comic. If you'd like to know how I colour with traditional media, ink or flat my drawings/pages, those are not included in this tutorial, though I can do that if there is enough demand for it.  This is a step-by-step tutorial that shows how I colour this comic. If you'd like to know how I colour with traditional media, ink or flat my drawings/pages, those are not included in this tutorial, though I can do that if there is enough demand for it. 
  
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 +----
 +
 +====== Flatting and Setup ======
 +
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut01.png }}
 +
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 +{{gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut02.png }}What you are looking at is a panel of a page. I've laid down the flat colours for each piece of the picture, and separated them by layer (example, one layer will contain the whites of every character on the page's eyes, another layer will contain the colour of a specific character's hair). I keep everything separated because it makes it easier to tweak or redo things if I don't like how they're looking.
 +
 +If you look to the image to the left of this text, you'll get a feel for my layer setup. Each layer without a quick mask is the base layer, and each layer with a quick mask is an exact copy of the base layer with slight modifications to it's hue and saturation (whose sliders you can access by clicking a layer and pressing **Ctrl+U**). Each layer is set to **Multiply**--you can try other layer effects, but if you're looking for straight up shadows, multiply is what you want.
 +
 +When flatting, it is important that the copy layer of each base be modified--even if you don't want it to be much darker, it's important that you drag the saturation down so that you don't destroy people's eyeballs as they look at it. It'll also make shadows look more natural, and less cartooney.
 +
 +Once you have made a layer and are satisfied, while selecting the layer, hit the quick mask button in the layer list. It is located at the very bottom, and looks like this:
 +
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut03.png }}
 +
 +Once you press that, a little white box will pop up next to your layer preview--this is pretty much the cornerstone of how I colour everything, so figuring this tool out is key. 
 +</WRAP>
 +
 +====== Quick Masks and Basic Shading ======
 +
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut04.png }}
 +
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 +Once you have your mask set up, the only colours you will be using to shade are black and white. If you have the mask selected, your foreground and background colour swatches in the toolbar will automatically switch to Black and White. If the colours in your tool bar appear to be any other colour, you are not selecting the mask. To select it, just click the little white box next to your layer image. 
 +
 +Before you do anything, you need to understand what using either colour will do--black wherever you draw on the layer disappear, and white makes it re-appear. Take the fill tool, select black and fill the layer--suddenly, everything in that layer is gone, even though the layer is still visible. Now select a brush, switch to wight and start drawing in all of the places you want shadows. 
 +
 +Draw them in roughly--don't worry about shading them or tapering them in and out of existence, that's for the next step. This step is all about deciding where your light source is and dropping some shadows down that jive with it.
 +</WRAP>
 +
 +====== Gradients and Trimming Shadows ======
 +
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut06.png }}
 +
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 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut05.png }}
 +See this tool bar? This is the setting bar for gradients. The gradient button is located on the tool bar as an extension of the fill tool, so toggle to it by holding your cursor down over the fill icon, or pressing (**Shift+G**). Once you have it selected, go to the tool bar at the top and select the one shaped like a circle. Make sure your foreground is black, and you background is transparent (this can be selected in the sample gradients drop down list that is also on this bar). Then jump over to the opacity slider and select something below 100%. For really delicate things, I use around 20-28%, but for most everything else, I use between 50-70%.
 +
 +Now you're going to use the radial gradient to taper the edges of your shadows. You can use them to lighten or soften the shadows, or make them disappear completely after a certain point. Use black to soften everything that needs softening at this point in time. Once you're done softening, switch back to the brush tool, switch your foreground colour to white, and go over any parts that were softened but you don't really need them to be--in this sample, I went back over the eyelids, upper lip on Noh and both of their necks.
 +</WRAP>
 +
 +====== Beefing up the Shadows ======
 +
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut07.png }}
 +
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 +Now you're going to go back to the radial gradient, select white and you're going to beef up the shadows towards the darkest part of whatever you are shading. On faces, I mostly choose parts that have a lot of hair overlapping them, and more lightly, towards the edge of the face that is farthest from the light source.
 +</WRAP>
 +
 +====== Adding Extra Tones to Shading ======
 +
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut08.png }}
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut09.png }}
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut10.png }}
 +
 +<WRAP center round box 90%>
 +I'm going to divide this step up by image:
 +  - Once you're done your initial shading layer, press (**Ctrl+J**) to make an exact duplicate of the shaded layer, mask and all. Then right click on on the new layer's mask, select 'apply layer mask' from the list. The shading will immediately look darker and a bit saturated, but no worries. On to image two.
 +  - On the now mask-less copy layer, press (**Ctrl+U**) to open the Hue/Saturation sliders. The goal is to mess around with the sliders--you're looking for a colour that isn't a skin colour and compliments the other colours in the room. If you're not sure, a good go-to colour is usually a grey-ish purple, which is what I used in this one. If you're doing more extreme lighting, you can generally crank up the saturation slider and use some pretty funky colours.
 +  - Use the quick mask tool once you're happy with the colour of the new layer, select a black, radial gradient at around 50% and thin out or completely get rid of the extra shading layer in the areas closest to the light source. It give the face more than one tone, and you can repeat this process however many times you like. This is especially useful if you have multiple, coloured light sources. I generally only do it once on comic pages if the lightning isn't too extreme, but I've been known to use as many as four for stand-alone pieces.
 +</WRAP>
 +
 +====== Adding Extras ======
 +
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut11.png }}
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut12.png }}
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut13.png }}
 +
 +<WRAP center round box 90%>
 +Dividing thus up by images again!
 +  - Sometimes you just need to put accents on an object--patterns, embellishments, makeup, tattoos. What I generally do when doing these is wait until the initial object shading is done, and then I make them on a new layer on a layer directly above the base layer for the object, but underneath the shading layers. You do this so that all of the shading you've already put into the object is directly over top of it and doesn't go to waste. Once you slap down the colour, set the layer effect to multiply and hit the quick mask button. Shade exactly the way you would have with the rest of the face by using a radial gradient to soften edges you want softened. I also used a bush on the bottom lip. Go back and darken anything that needs to be darkened with a white brush on the mask layer.
 +  - At this point, I decided that the top lip wasn't dark enough, so I selected the regular layer preview, used the Lasso Tool to select only the top lip and then adjusted the darkness of it in the Hue/Saturation menu.
 +  - And done. 
 +</WRAP>
 +
 +====== Hair ======
 +
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut14.png }}
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut15.png }}
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut16.png }}
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut17.png }}
 +
 +<WRAP center round box 90%>
 +Hair generally requires a little less careful attention. I get wanting it to look like hair, but at the same time, no hair looks real even if you;re going to painstakingly draw every strand. Hair where you go all out can look really nice, but I also find that it tends to look a little like doll hair. Doing this part roughly can make hair look textured without requiring that you spend ten hours on it. 
 +  - Open a new quick mask on the shading layer for the hair, and scribble in really rough highlights. I literally scribble them, that's not an offhand comment or anything. 
 +  - Use a a white radial gradient to trim the edges and let everything fade into each other. Go over any dark parts that were accidentally touched with the black gradient using a white brush.
 +  - Use a black gradient to add extra highlights to parts of the hair that would be saturated by your light source, I generally use the top or side of the head closest to the light source, but the longer the hair is, the more hair that will be effected by the light source.
 +  - Duplicate the finished shading layer with (Ctrl+J), apply the layer mask, make a new quick mask on it and soften the edges of this layer so that it is only darker in places where there are heavy shadows. 
 +
 +</WRAP>
 +
 +====== Apply to All ======
 +
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut18.png }}
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut19.png }}
 +
 +<WRAP center round box 90%>
 +Now apply what you have learned during this tutorial so far to ever other part of your drawing, background included. 
 +</WRAP>
 +
 +====== Forced Depth for Busy Panels ======
 +
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut20.png }}
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut21.png }}
 +
 +<WRAP center round box 90%>
 +I figured I'd include this step--I don't do it all of the time, but in comic panels where both the foreground and background are busy, it sometimes helps the reader separate the FG from the BG if you make a slight gradient over parts or all of the object as it gets further away. 
 +
 +To make the selection, I toggled the visibility of all of my colouring folders with the exception of the character line art (I keep character and BG line art in separate folders, sometimes with a third for foreground objects that overlap characters), and the looked for Lon's line ary layer and toggled the visibility on it, too. I then sued the magic wand tool to select the inside of the panel that wasn't Noh's line art, made a new layer underneath Noh's line art but above Lon's, and added a slight green gradient to the bottom of the panel and all of the parts where Noh and Lon's line art touch. The result is a bit of forced depth that makes a crowded panel feel a little less crowded.
 +
 +Note that I toggled the visibility of the layer as soon as I made it and didn't turn it back on again until right before the last step.
 +</WRAP>
 +
 +====== Locking Transparent Pixels ======
 +
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut22.png }}
 +
 +<WRAP center round box 90%>
 +Okay, so here's where I generally work my light sources into the colour job I did for each object.
 +
 +Remember all of your base layers? Go look at them now. Under the layer effect dropdown list in the layer list, you will see a bunch of buttons with the word 'Lock' next to them. They'll be above the layers, unlike the quick mask, which is below them. Click the very first icon for each and every base layer.
 +
 +This icon will lock all transparent pixels--this is the main reason why I do everything on different layers instead of colouring all on one layer. I can change the colour of single items, and I can lock transparent pixels and add enhanced light sources to objects with zero hassle. 
 +
 +Once you've locked them, select the colour of your light source (in this case I used aqua on the left and a whitish yellow on the right), select a radial gradient at about 20% opacity and then start using it to add highlights to your base layers. Do this one layer at a time, and feel free to do them as subtle or as extreme as you feel the image calls for. Do this for all object affected by your light source. 
 +</WRAP>
 +
 +====== Colouring Lineart ======
 +
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut24.png }}
 +
 +<WRAP center round box 90%>
 +Next, you're going to want to go to all of your line art layers and use the same 'lock transparent pixels' toggle on them. Select a nice, 100% opaque brush. Now bring up your eye dropper tool.
 +
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut23.png }}
 +
 +If you're colouring a character's skin, use the eyedropper tool to select the darkest part of that skin, and then drag the colour selector to slightly darker than that. I'll generally use that darker colour to draw over all of a character's skin, though I will sometimes find a lighter colour for the nose if it is relatively light on shadows, like I did for Noh here, but didn't do for Lon. 
 +
 +You can also use gradients here. I tend to use a black on really low opacity for the more shadowy parts of a person, and this time I used a low opacity aqua for the tops of their heads.
 +</WRAP>
 +
 +====== Final Highlights ======
 +
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut25.png }}
 +
 +<WRAP center round box 90%>
 +Now it's time for final highlights! I actually draw these in SAI while I'm doing the rest of my inking. I hate drawing in photoshop, and only do my rough sketches in there. The line art tools in said get the effect I want, so often I'll draw some rough, nice highlights before I ever colour a picture.
 +
 +The one thing different I do with highlights that I don't do with the rest of my colouring is duplicate the highlight layer, apply a gaussian blur to it so that it has a slight halo/outer glow, and then use (**Ctrl+E**) to merge them back together. The result is the image below.
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut26.png }}
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut27.png }}
 +I then continue on like I would and soften all the harsh edges with another quick mask, which results in effects like this:
 +
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut28.png }}
 +</WRAP>
 +
 +====== Textures ======
 +
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut29.png }}
 +{{ gallery:tutorial:colouring:tut30.png }}
 +
 +<WRAP center round box 90%>
 +And last but not least, texture.
 +
 +I really like gradients, but sometimes they just look too clean and sterile. I alleviate this a little by applying a texture to the entire page. The texture itself is greyscale, light and the size of an entire comic page. I paste it in on a layer over all of the coloured art, set it to overlay and then drag the opacity slider around until it's not to overpowering but still lightly visible. It usually ends up at around 40-50%.
 +
 +Textures work better with pure black line art, because if your line art is coloured, it can get a little muddy looking because of the texture on top of it (if you put the texture below coloured line art, all of the line are will suddenly be the wrong colour for the rest of the panel, so I don't really recommend it).
 +</WRAP>
 +
 +And that is that! Happy photoshop experimenting!
colouring-tutorial.txt ยท Last modified: 2013/10/18 04:44 by ran