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Professor Smeargle: Digital Art Tutorial / Tutoring Thread

Discussion in 'Smeargle's Studio' started by Chou Toshio, May 4, 2011.

  1. dreamTech

    dreamTech

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    Happy 4th!

    For those of you who use scanners for your lineart, I dug up an old tutorial I made in '09 about how to isolate your lineart in photoshop.


    Show Hide

    [​IMG]


    If you need to zoom in you can download the full res at http://stormtitan.deviantart.com/art/How-to-isolate-your-lineart-113696543

    ugh looking at my art from back then is nasty
  2. Chou Toshio

    Chou Toshio @Fighting Necktie
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    Yeah, it does kinda suck jk

    nice work dude-- added to the OP
  3. Lanturn314

    Lanturn314

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    MS Paint Doesn't *Completely* Suck (a tutorial)

    Guide to MS Paint (Windows 7 Edition)

    So, usually when one thinks of MS Paint, crappy stick figures come to mind. And it's true that MS Paint does have its limitations-- it's certainly not Photoshop. There are no layers, no brush sensitivity, and only a few brush sizes to choose from. But for those who can't afford something like photoshop, MS Paint isn't actually as horrible as people make it out to be. The main thing is knowing how to get by the limitations of the program.

    With just a mouse and MS Paint, I've been able to make stuff like this:
    Show Hide
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Someone who actually has had training in art with stuff like anatomy and light and shading and all that jazz would be able to do even better (I haven't taken an art class since middle school, and I only started drawing again a few months ago).

    I'm going to do this tutorial using a simple pokemon, Magnemite, since doing anything really complicated would take forever. Usually, for my sanity, I'll track down the sprite on Bulbapedia and paste it in the upper right-hand corner for reference.

    First thing's first-- Sketch

    Soooooo I suck at line art, and MS Paint does nothing to help, especially when using a mouse. In fact, it pretty much mocks my every attempt to make straight lines. So I don't even really try anymore. Instead, I think of whatever Pokemon I'm drawing in terms of the basic shapes in the MS Paint toolbox; ovals are generally best since there are no sharp edges, but the straight line tool is OK if there is really no way to think of the Pokemon in terms of ovals.
    Show Hide
    [​IMG]

    Usually, I'll use the eyedropper tool to get basic colors I need from the sprite as the line base. Notice how I move the things that are supposed to be more posterior (in this case, Magnemite's right magnet) off to the side rather than attach them to the rest of the line art right away.

    Cleaning Up the Sketch

    After I'm done with the ovals, I'll clean up the sketch and correct any lines that don't look quite right. The straight line tool, curve tool, and eraser tool are my best friends in this stage.
    Show Hide
    [​IMG]

    It doesn't have to be perfect by any means (you're just going to be painting over it anyway), but it is extremely helpful to capture the basic shapes at this stage.

    Begin to Paint

    At this stage, copy and paste elsewhere any line art that you think you might accidentally paint over so that it's not lost forever. Then, start painting!!!
    Show Hide
    [​IMG]

    The brush tool (circled in red) has a few different options; I prefer the Watercolor brush (lower left-hand corner of the drop-down menu you get from clicking that box), because it's somewhat transparent but still gives you a paint-like texture. It looks nothing like watercolors, though-- in general, the brushes are poorly named.
    You can experiment to see which ones you like best, but in my opinion, the watercolor brush really is the superior option in most cases for basic painting.
    You can select different sizes of paint brush by clicking the big button on the top menu that says "Sizes". There are only four different sizes for each brush, though, so it's kind of annoying, but it's easy enough to get used to.

    Beginning to shade
    When you have enough of a part of the Pokemon colored in, you can start to shade that part.
    Show Hide
    [​IMG]

    Usually, I like to zoom in on the part that I'm shading so that I can be more precise. Above, I've zoomed in on Magnemite's screw, and I'm just beginning to shade it.

    Compensating for lack of layers

    As I've said before, MS Paint doesn't have layers. That means you can't just do a different part of a pokemon on a different layer, and you have to know what colors actually work in terms of shading rather than playing around with transparency.
    To compensate for the former, you can just color a problematic part of a Pokemon elsewhere, and when you're done, just select it (make sure you select Transparent Selection on the drop-down menu) and drag it to its destination, like so:
    before (open)
    [​IMG]

    after (open)
    [​IMG]


    You can copy, paste, and drag parts as often as you'd like, so take advantage of this.
    Now, this is MS Paint, so of course there are drawbacks to this method. The main one, which is extremely annoying, is that the brush makes the edges of the selection white, and it's glaringly obvious when you try to paste a part elsewhere. To make the white parts blend in with their new surroundings, go to the Brush Tool, select the Colored Pencil, and blend until you're satisfied. The colored pencil is also useful for more subtle shading effects.

    Playing with Color

    The last thing I do to an image is the more complex shading. To do this, I use the watercolor brush in whatever color I think would look best (usually, yellowish colors for highlights and purplish colors for shadows, but it varies) and applying liberally to the area I'd like shaded. I do this with a medium-sized brush relative to the area I'm working on. Then, I switch to a bigger brush and paint over the bright patches of shading in the color the area originally was. This sort of mimics the effects of playing with transparency in photoshop, but it's a bit harder, so you might have to experiment a bit with color before you find the shades that are exactly right.

    If the color you want is a bit darker or lighter than the color you have, use the eyedropper tool and click the edit colors button afterwards, and then slide the arrow up and down the gradient until you find your desired color. Then, click the Add To Custom Colors button and click OK. (all the relevant buttons are circled in red in the picture below:
    Show Hide
    [​IMG]


    If the color you want is in between the color you used to shade something and the color of the base coat, just use the eyedropper tool on the area where those colors blend, click the undo button, and re-shade in your new color.

    In general, just experiment, and if you don't like what you see, just click Undo and try again. Eventually, you'll get what you want.

    Finished Product

    After you're done with all the coloring and shading, crop your image, and you're done! Here's Magnemite:
    Show Hide
    [​IMG]


    Of course, you can also work on a background for your Pokemon, too! I was just lazy this time. If you're going to do that, open a separate MS Paint window and work on it there. Then, copy and paste your Pokemon into the picture and smooth out the transition with the colored pencil. Or else work on it in the same window, but good luck not coloring over some of the lines of your Pokemon.





    Well, that's it. Hope you enjoyed reading! :heart:
  4. Chou Toshio

    Chou Toshio @Fighting Necktie
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    That is impressive Lanturn (still think I'd go insane). Adding it to the OP
  5. blastoiseboy19

    blastoiseboy19

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    Wow. thats awesome. Never thought MS paint had any use over sprite fusions. but wow. Unfortunately, i only have like... 03' in paint, so for a long while ill have to wait before i can try this stuff out.
  6. Nastyjungle

    Nastyjungle fat and sassy
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    india ink to digital drawing how-to

    [​IMG]
  7. Chou Toshio

    Chou Toshio @Fighting Necktie
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  8. Whiteboy Willis

    Whiteboy Willis

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    What software would ya'll suggest i use, right now i've been experiencing with CS5 is that a good program to be using?
  9. Chou Toshio

    Chou Toshio @Fighting Necktie
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    CS5 should work great.

    btw, updating with more speed videos from yours truly
  10. Todris052

    Todris052

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    Do any of you know a program with a Pen tool beside Photoshop?
    Also, I'm very suprised no one mentioned Paint.NET. It's pretty great - Kinda like Photoshop little cousin. It's obviously not as good as Photoshop, but for guys like me who can't afford it, Paint.NET should be good.
  11. Moo

    Moo Professor
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    Gimp

    Chou make us a tut on how to do huuuuuuge boobs please :( Or a speed vid... or something
  12. Todris052

    Todris052

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    Can somone please make a good, in-depth tutorial about shading? I realy, realy need it... Thanks in advance!
  13. Moo

    Moo Professor
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    It's incredibly simple, use a darker colour.....
    Use a reference if you're not sure where to shade
  14. Todris052

    Todris052

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    THAT'S the point... I don't know where to shade when I'm making a new pose...
  15. V0x

    V0x o:
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    Try taking a picture of you doing the pose yourself? Basically you just imagine a light from wherever and surfaces it illuminates are lighter, surfaces that block it are darker. Looking at fate's twewymons could help because those are shaded in black and are more pronounced so you can get a better idea of what gets shaded and highlighted.
  16. Shinxe

    Shinxe there and back again
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    Todoris:

    It may sound very simple to say, but when you make a pose, the first thing you should do before even beginning to color or shade anything is determine where and what the light source is. Is it the sun? If so, what time of day is it/which position is the sun in? Is the light behind the character, directly in front of them, below them, at an angle? Is it a lamp, a street light, a candle, refracting light, subtle glow? Or is it just neutral lighting?

    When you do that, you can then either take your own ref photo (I love doing this) as V0x suggested, or you can just, well... Google it! When you have the specifics of the *light* nailed down, you then have a much better idea on the shadows.

    Shadows can be deep dark next to starkly lit areas, have a smooth transition between light and dark, be only a midtone and not too intense, have colors of their own, and so on.

    So I'd say the essentials to shading is not the shading itself, but Light Source and Range of Values needed.

    James Gurney keeps a great blog. Along the sidebar, there are a great many tags to choose from.

    Lighting: http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/search/label/Lighting Keep an eye out for the photos where he shows different types of lighting on a plaster bust. It's SO HELPFUL AAA
    (pay attention to the helpfully labeled photos, like here: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_Eiwce13X738/TQpu9-Fo5ZI/AAAAAAAAJD0/il0jWGte62s/s1600/Cheek_Closeup.sm.jpg )

    Color: http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/search/label/Color
  17. Todris052

    Todris052

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    Thanks.. I will try. Also, Im trying to get use to GIMP: I don't really like it - it's a little... Uncomfortable, in my opinion. I'll try out that vectoring thing though.

    Edit: Here's my first vectoring attempt:
    [​IMG]
    I did Cleffa because it has a simple design. I think it ended up pretty well...any feedback?
  18. Mr. Munchlax

    Mr. Munchlax

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    How do you upload after you've made something on MS Paint? I've been having trouble posting my work in a thread.
  19. Fatecrashers

    Fatecrashers acta est fabula
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    google an imagehosting site like imgur or imageshack

    upload your stuff onto the site

    paste the the html link for your stuff in between image tags - [IMG!] [/IMG!] without the exclamation marks

    make sure that the extension for the html link is something like .png or .jpeg first though
  20. Mr. Munchlax

    Mr. Munchlax

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    Thanks!
  21. Whiteboy Willis

    Whiteboy Willis

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    Would you suggest that I pick up one of those pads that you can hook up to your computer and write on with the pen?
  22. Nastyjungle

    Nastyjungle fat and sassy
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    if you are serious about drawing

    if not it is mostly likely a waste of money
  23. Todris052

    Todris052

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    Any C&C about my Cleffa?
  24. Pravinoz

    Pravinoz

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    Sharpen the lines
    The color of the body does not match the darkness that the shading in the ears imply
    Smooth out the shading on Cleffa's ears
    The line for the mouth is too thin, making Cleffa look like it is sticking out its tongue
    The light in the eyes do not match up, nor are smooth enough of ovals

    You should work on an image zoomed in, or of a larger size, then adjust the size of the image to that of a smaller one when you are finished so that minor mistakes are harder to notice.

    Vectoring is extremely useful (heck, it's what I'm doing without a tablet), but there is a reason SS jokingly calls it "cheating". To me it seems that using vectors to create art based off of another person's original art, especially without adding any alterations on your part (except maybe "imperfections" created through re-rendering of the art), is like tracing. There is nothing wrong with tracing, it is just that in many cases, the copy is never as good as the original, unless you add your own personal touch to it.
  25. Todris052

    Todris052

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    I guess you're right. I'm currently doing Vectors mainly for practice - both my posing and shading are bad. I'll try again sometime, maybe.

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