Friday, October 26, 2007

A Quick Photoshop Project

Now, I'm hooked on Photoshop. I've gotten the handle on all the basic tools I need to turn a black & white doodle into a full color extravaganza: coloring, shading, highlighting, layers, cloud effects/textures, "magic wanding", gradients, etc., etc., etc.

This piece I drew in about 35-45 seconds in pencil (I usually spend less) & about a minute-&-a-half to ink it just right. Looking back, I shouldv'e scanned this in before I inked it to show you what it looked like in quick sketch-stage, but it's too late for that now. Oh well, maybe next time.

The Photoshop process probably took me about 20 minutes. Unlike my first Photoshop tryout or the one I did over at Toon Platoon this week, this one was a lot less complicated to do. No haggard lines/shapes, not too many broken lines... just a simple composition between two people. Like I said on my last Photoshop post, the hardest & longest part to fill in is the eyes since they're not closed off. Practice makes perfect, though.

Instead of placing them in a plain, empty, colored space in the middle of nowhere, I decided to put a background behind them. After doing this, I realized that Steve-O & Randy stood out too much, like they were just pasted in there. While the background has heavily-detailed grass, sky & leaves in their path, they're basically flat & too 2-dimensional. The shading & the slight highlighting aided that problem slightly, but they still stand out quite a bit.

Also, the most common mistake I make when coloring is forgetting to switch layers. On this drawing, there were 5 layers: the original drawing, a duplicate of the drawing (with a few misplaced colors slipped in by accident), the main coloring level, the background level (path, leaves & grass) & a sky level. By the end, I knew what was wrong with the thing & the problems & brought up during the process, but since it was a practice piece, I didn't mind TOO much. I'm learning, aren't I?

Either way, I'm glad I now know how to handle this program better. With little more practice, I'll get a better hang of it.

I might use the original drawing for a future banner for the blog, but I'll have to figure out how to lay it out first. We'll see how things go. Maybe I can reach my Christmas goal after all!


thedoreenster said...

photoshop layering might as well be quantum physics! i never quite got the hang of it but i can use the program for the most part (i had to self-teach myself! sigh!) hope all is going well over at SVA - denise told me you guys stopped by on halloween. sorry i missed ya, but i was actually at the village halloween parade - you should put that on your to-do list for next year! it's quite the show! :)

Michael J. Ruocco said...

Hey Doreen!

I'm still learning a bit, but it's getting easier everytime I use the program. I'm actually starting to use Flash again, too (I forgot everything)!

My classmates & roommates told me about how great the parade was. One of them said it's one of the 100 things you have to do before you die. I'll definitely go next year.

I hope to see you around sometime. Maybe when SSBB comes out I can vs you (if you play, that is).