Well, its been a while since I update, and was taking a break from painting for a while to build a 1/35 mech, then decided to pick up the digital brush again to do something fun before getting back into painting.
Often, I do get people asking me how do I do this, and how do I do that. so this time around in addition to sharing some of my works I’m giving you guys a simple tutorial too.
firstly, I use photoshop for all my work, so if you don’t already have a copy, please check out this amazing software. I assume you all already know how to use the magic wand, or selection tool in photoshop to do a basic crop, copy and paste. If not, look up you tube or just google it.
Right, starting off with a simple draft:
so this is the effect most people would get with very basic photoshop knowledge. Just cropping 2 subjects and impose it on a background. looks very meh. and you can tell the subjects do not belong there.
Step 1 : To improve the above draft, firstly you need to adjust the background. Currently the subjects are sharp, so is the background and the sky. this is very distracting and doesn’t help focus on the story you wish to tell. The rule of thumb is the further the object is in the background, the more de-focus it gets (or blur). so go to the background layer, select it and click Ctrl J. This will duplicate your back ground layer. then selecting this new layer, which should be on TOP of your existing background, you go—–>Filter—–> Blur——> Gaussian Blur, adjust the strength of the blur using the relevant sliders and when you are happy with it click ok.
So now you will have a blur background. next you need to do is to grab the eraser tool, and erase the closer objects like the stone pave way and grass. remember sharper on the front blur on the back.
Step 2: Now to get rid of all the sharp distracting colours of the background that is stealing the show from the main 2 subjects. Create a new layer on TOP of BOTH the original background AND the blur background. Pick the fill tool. Select a colour mode. In my case I wanted things to have this darker feel so I selected a blue similar to the sky and fill the entire layer. then go to the layer panel, and adjust the layer mode from normal —–> colour, and adjust opacity to a level that fits. in this case I used 60%
and your result should be somewhat like the below, background defocused and colour theme established.
Step 3: Lets continue on, next step should be simple, cropping. select the crop tool from the left toolbox. crop the picture to focus on the main subjects, extend the canvas below and use airbrush to blend the black into the back ground. this is where the wordings will go later. Next, I googled a picture of water flowing on window as per the below:
as you can see I have stretch the picture lengthwise using the transform tool. You can also use the Ctrl – T shortcut key to call out the transform tool and adjust the points on the side of the picture for your desired effect. This picture was placed on top of the background layer (including the original background, blurred background, the colour tint layer in step 2)
as per the same methods in step 2, I changed the layer mode from Normal——> soft light, then adjusted the opacity to 50%. your end result should be as per the below:
Step 4: Adjusting the main characters, this I would have to say is the hardest part as there is no quick fix, you need to really know how lighting falls on a character or subject and you need to have some digital painting knowledge, especially using a digital airbrush. the way I did it was to create a new layer on TOP of everything, changed the layer mode from normal——> multiply. select the airbrush, and painted in the shadows, after that I created another layer on top to paint in the blue highlights.
another friendlier way, would be to use the dodge and burn tool to darken shadows and make the highlights pop. but that’s another topic all together which can be discussed next time.
once you are done with the adjustments and you make the subjects look like they belong to the background, add another layer on top, and similar to the step 2, give it a blue tint using the colour layer mode and this time my opacity was only adjusted to 35%.
Step 5: Using an effects brush I drew in the lightning, the impact on the ground, and using the text tool, added in the text for the finishing touches. I know the instructions are a bit brief, but at least you get to understand the work flow, and hopefully this has helped you some what. Anyway, should you have any questions, pls do not hesitate to contact me.
here is another one done using a similar process. Enjoy!