Mesper tell me, how are you doing shadows and light ? Are you using layers in photoshop or maybe using "smudge stiuk" ? I attach image this tool.
Well in fact i'm using various techniques, often mixed...
OK, please forgive me but I'll focus on just one question: shadows (matter of time... light effects are more complicated and not so easy to describe), and will describe one of most straightforward and easy but still efficient and useful technique based on underlaying layers.
Let's say we want to add shadow on cloak/coat from sword's scabbard. In this particular case I'll use special / additional "SHADOW" layer to which later on I'll apply standard Photoshop shadow filter.
This type of SHADOW layers I'm usually setting into multiply mode. But in some cases you might want to change / experiment with layer opacity modes, it might be crucial when background layer (in this case coat) already got some special effects/textures applied.
BTW - layers descriptions are in English (hopefully without errors;) just to make these more understandable for majority of forum users, though normally I'm writing descriptions in some Polish-English mix (in order to keep these as short and meaningful as possible). But the point is that I'm ALWAYS using full/self-explanatory layer descriptions. Yes, it cost me a lot of time during work! But then later when/if I'm modifying graphic, or just want to re-use some nice effects or even "import" some parts it proves to be worth and saves a lot of work.
Then I'm using also some "directional" and "location" marks - like "R" for right "C" for center - for more easily recognition - for example you might have top, mid and lower part of armour on left and right arm. Then some belts/straps linked to each part etc. Then there are some other marks vide ">" or "UP" for ">L" etc.. which are telling what is the "target" or direction of particular effect. In this simple case we have just "SHADOW>coat", but for the other figurine the same shadow from sword might "land" also on some armour, leather tunic, shield etc... So in such cases there might be several shadow layers, each with DIFFERENT settings (size, colour, opacity etc.)
"oC" layer stands for overlay Colour - special layer which in this case just changes a little saturation (in such case it's always worth to check SHADOW layer opacity mode to avoid potential colour space problems). You might ask - why adding special layer instead setting good/needed value from start. Well, answer is simple - it might be used (switched on/off, different settings etc.) later for modding, but that's another "story"
Here you can see "SHADOW" layer shape To make it more readable scabbard color/effect layer as well as cloak effects are removed, then shadow layer, which originally is 100% black here is 50% opacity
As you can see shadow layer is shaped / trimmed so shadow filter effect will NOT exceed wanted area and will not impact other parts For example in this case we don't want to have shadow outside the figurine contour (right side). Then the left side of shadow should be little delicate / smaller as there should be bigger distance between this part of scabbard and cloak. In more detailed or sophisticated projects there might be more then one shadow layer and with very different shaped for just one "shadow-source" part.
Now, having properly placed and trimmed shadow layer we may apply Photoshop shadow filter (I have Polish localised version, but it's basic filter so I believe that there should be no problems).
Note, that shadow colour is NOT black - it's dark red/brown - it looks better, more realistic on cloak, especially when cloak additional effects and textured are applied.
It is good idea to keep unique shadow directions (according to the light source) for all shadow layers. You might use Global check-box to do it - it might be useful when you are changing figurine positioning. However I do prefer maintain "manual" control.
There is more functions / parameters - these may vary in some other graphic programs and PS versions - but in general are pretty much the same. It's fun to play with these settings and observe changes, but after some practice you will now by heart what settings are simply the best for particular job. Actually I'm not messing too much with these setting each time I'm working on a new figurine. In fact, being lazy I'm using some well tested settings and using macros for automated adding some most-common effects or just copying styles between parts of figurine or other figurines.
Well, done! Hmm... it's (as usual:) much easier and quicker to do then describe...
Of course for different parts of figurine, depending for example of distance between parts or surface, other settings should be used. In some cases "layer-based" shadows just don't work or are not enough. But hopefully in such cases there are other techniques, which might be used instead or together with layer-based shadows.
Hope you will find it somehow useful
Last Edit: Sept 22, 2013 13:18:35 GMT -9 by mesper
<...> Whether you are using original sketches or do you redraw the lines on new layer in a graphics program?
Sketches are... just sketches - preliminary and usually very basic versions, kinda ideas and first stage of project.
Something like these sketches / drafts (sorry these are previously posted images - it's easier/faster to repost pics than find each thread and add link:)
1. Hand drawn (pen and paper) rough draft:
2. Hand drawn (cg/tablet) draft mock-up:
3. Coloured draft:
As you can see it's easy to recognise / tell that it's coloured sketch not lineart.
Although it could be possible, after some smallish changes / adjustments (and perhaps some cleaning would be needed) plus at the end rescaling to achieve not-that-bad mini from #3 without any linearts:)
=>>>Anyway YES - linearts are BASED on sketches/drafts, but I don't have one-and-only perfect answer how to do these as I'm using various techniques: redrawing in graphic programs and quite often redrawing manually (with real ink! or using tablet - in this case sketch is simply step-by-step converted into lineart). Still in most cases linearts (both scanned and computer generated) needs some additional post-processing when it comes to colouring assembling two-sided figurine (it's a good habit to assemble test version of figurine before colouring process starts - as in case of some mistakes a lot of time and effort could be saved;))).
Well it's also possible - at least in case of "typical" or not too complicated figurines to just draw lineart without draft, just based on already existing versions (it's rather modding then though).
I know I'm not helping much in this case but it's too open / broad issue...
Then once again some old, already posted pic - you can see some sketches here (in various stages of work). The blueish archer is almost ready for drawing lineart BTW.
mesper I actually think that #1 would make for a very interesting and unique set. Some of my favourite stuff (fine artwork and gaming accessories both) shows the artist/creator's _hand_ in the work. Anything from Monet's brushwork, etchings and woodblock prints, to @inkedadventures' linework...
Just in case you ever needed ideas for another set, or wanted to break away from the every day
A-B side Ok, let's assume that we have finished linearts for both A and B side. Of couse these should match as much as possible (perfect situation is when sides matches 100% when max enlarging in Photoshop - which is not that tough to achieve even with raster graphics - but that's another story).
It's also good to have A and B side linearts separated from background - it might be handy when it comes to some tricks with colouring, making outlines/borders etc.
Do you have tips for beginners as well draw a B-side figurines? I mean primarily linearts.
Most important thing: B-side area and size should match A-side (preferably 1:1 - still 28-30mm scale and commonly used black outline/border standard adds some additional "lazy" space;)!
You can use for this task classic light-box or carbon-copy or... almost any graphic (raster or vector) program with layer features, like Photoshop/GIMP and many others.
1. Make A-side outline (pic #2) (you can do this using PS/GIMP area selection/modify/contract by 1 (or more --depends on resolution and basic lineart brush size!)/centered/stroke (again adjust size!) =>profit -- perfect outline.
2. Add background layer with A-side -- you may want to adjust colours using Adjustments/Hue-Saturation/Colorize -- so your underlying A-side will be bluish/greenish etc. Then you might want to change underlying A-side opacity -- so it will be more comfort to work (pro-tip -- you can add some macro/function which will change opacity depending on picture magnification - which is quite useful when working on details)
3. Now you have (pic #3) kinda combined: strict /black/ contour and faded bluish A-side lineart. All is needed is to... add some B-side lines. And here we're reaching the most tough task -- thing is that you need at least some kind of 3D or "sculptor" imagination to do this (assuming that your A-side is not plain profile mini - which is much easier to work with, so that's probably why it's most commonly used in paper-minis)
But there are some techniques, tips and tricks how to do it... but it would be... a lot more of writing and dozens of pictures to describe/show. Anyway I'll try (not promising though!) to post some basic tips I was using at the very beginning - you might be surprised how basic and yet efficient/useful are some of these!
Last Edit: Sept 17, 2014 14:56:40 GMT -9 by mesper
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