Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wasteland, a breakdown

Doing my latest photoshop painting was a lot of fun. Even early on, I thought it'd be interesting to post up the various stages in paint and as promised here is a breakdown of the process -which in itself is really a work in progress-:

1. I'm still just getting the hang of doing pictures entirely in photoshop and not working from scanned pencils etc. This time I started out with an extremely loose sketch over a flat background base; In the future I think i'll probably spend more time in this 'stage' since I had some real composition issues later on with the three characters ;p.

2. With the sketch in hand, I quickly roughed in some colour with a coarse brush just to have something to go off of. I'm just trying to lay in the basic shapes as well as some color difference. The landscape was, of course, done in a seperate layer and in fact I tried to have as many seperate layers as possible while keeping stuff organized (sometimes very unsuccessfully =) ). Something basic but totally invaluable I learned was that you can just right click while in the pointer mode to bring up a selectable menu of all the layers that are under where you're pointing your mouse.

3. At this point, I started rendering all the characters. I wanted to keep everything to a tight palette and as you can see from the sketch, tried to make a lot of corrections. One thing that I really like to do, but don't do enough of, is to look at a drawing in the mirror to make sure the proportions are correct since the eye tends to skew things in a certain direction. This is made much easier in 'shop where you can just flip the damned thing so I try to split half the time just working on the entire image in reverse. If it looks good both ways then you've got it made.

4. Ah, the background. I probably had the absolute most fun with this part. To me, painting is more akin to sculpting that drawing. In drawing, i'm used to draftsmanship where you try to be as precise as possible in rendering but with paint you're really just pushing colours all over the canvas and just trying to shape stuff until it feels right. Eagle eyed viewers will also notice several anamatomical changes on the characters as they didn't feel right.

Here's a view of just the background.

5. And finally, with some more colours and effects we arrive at the posted picture.

Here it is with the original sketch. Thanks for reading!


Laura Jane Hamilton said...

Very sweet, Danf. I should post more of the stages as well, they're actually more interesting to the outside eye than I thought they would be... lol
I spend a lot more time on the sketch than you did here... I add a new layer for each tightening, so I often end up with several layers, the first one being probably just blobs and the last one being the one I will throw on top of my paint layers and work under.

Dcfung said...

Yeah I like working in layers, although I have yet to find an organization for them that I like. Usually when I start painting I intend to try to separate highlights and shadows on top of flats and colours (which is a matte painting practice for compositors etc.) but in the end I find that I end up usually with one "detail" layer that kind of has all the lighting and fine work on it. It's a work in progress =)

Dan szilagyi said...

hey fung man,

good to see your still working on your own stuff from time to time, i much like the robot post as well, nicely done for this post as well, i like your breakdown, i'm still getting use to you being such a whiz at photoshop too.
looking forward to more!

Laura Jane Hamilton said...

Hey Dan. Its been a while. For both of us. Shame.

justine pulles. said...

i was gonna say, 'hey wow, dan's updating his blog,' until i realized the date's nov 2007. haha....