How to make digital painting visually better tutorial

How to make digital painting visually better tutorial


Hi guys my name is Camille Kuo. This tutorial is for intermediate artists who already knew basic object lighting and rendering. There’s no real time creation process but multiple layers explanation of how I achieve the result and how to make the image better with some photoshop tips. The best thing about this tutorial is that it does not require any special brush or a complicated filter adjustment but just default Photoshop brush and the basic knowledge. So let’s get started. Of course we start from a new canvas and I have to have this canvas set at 20 by 30 centimeter 300 dpi. So first lay down a basic background with lighting in color. It is the purpose of atmosphere,
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so in this case I have the lighting coming from top to bottom to represent a feeling of tight environment or suffocating in space with no escape. So before the whole creation already had in mind of what kind of stuff I’m going to create. So I got this simple ground shape for online as well as those hum metal texture. You can visit cgtexture.com for free texture or there are plenty other websites provides royalty-free images. I wanted to have some light coming from underneath, because the floor now looks too dark and in order to have futuristic filling you need lights, artificial lights. And since it’s in battleground it will be dirt all over the place or the sand or the brick, and those thing are painted with Photoshop default brushes, and it’s like right here. Oh I already selected. That’s right like this one, and you can adjust those features. You know make it more interesting. Okay now you’re probably gonna scream or complain that why didn’t I have step by step of creating this hero or spaceman. Well you can watch my further coming tutorial which includes step-by-step lighting of an object. So for this character, I had the general shape or a silhouette black down in a dark purple blue tone, by using’n selecting this brush have your transfer click on, so it’s softened when you draw in and out. So it’s like this. The shape is gonna be like this. Give it a main source light from the top and reflection light from the bottom. By the way don’t forget the bloom light as well. At this stage don’t need to worry about perfect lighting or coloring, because those can be adjusted anytime later. All we need to do now is just laying down the base of painting, and you don’t want everything in full detail, because it would only make the viewer dizzy and shift away the attention of the main focus which is around the head. So detail it up and loosen it at the bottom. To enhance the detail, let’s apply overall texture set in hard light overall property which is here. I just add more texture making it more realistically. Well it can be photo texture or just painted texture. To make it more dramatic, blood is definitely needed. Yes I love blood, because it really spice thing up. So make a new layer and set it to hard light. Well the reason of don’t paint or add blood with normal color is because blood is some what transparent. You don’t want it to cover or affect the lighting information underneath, so that’s like before and after. Okay for the monster or the creature, it’s same creating process as the character. Just block in big shape and form of silhouette and using default brushing in ps. So always go from rough to detail. See here’s how rough is here right at the bottom and detail of the head, because that’s where the light shooting at. I also added some sweet tasty saliva, so the creature looks more nastier. Now I feel those kick-ass monsters are interacting with our main hero character. I need to push them back into the background more in order to pop him out so what I do is just duplicate the monster layer in case I mess up and or I need to go back to the original. What you can do is just also adding a mask. Anyway I just erase the part of the monster that I felt it should be blended back into the background and bring down the opacity of the layer. Now you see my hero is popping out. Here I added some mist at the bottom to further distinguish them from the hero character, also give it a mood. Last but not least add some particle texture effect. Again this particle I created with this brush. Now I need a foreground composition to better indicate the main focus point. The composition will be like this. Create a triangle which is to lead your focus pointing to him. Now we have our background, midground, and foreground objects ready, so it’s time for overall lighting experiment. I wanted a dramatic lighting coming from the top, so I airbrushed in a light ray as well as some particle effects. Look at the small particles. Then I set a layer in linear dodge. In this case you can freely choose whatever layer property that suits your image better, by selecting it and hitting up and down arrow key, just to experiment everything out like to see which one it fits your image the best. Next I added a soft particle effect and set layer property to overlay, because I want the polluted air quality. Dirty and dusty texture particle effect is one way to straighten overall moods. The reason I don’t set this layer in solid color is because dissolve effect will block information underneath, so I set it just trying to blend it into the whole image and be affected by the lighting, so if I set it to normal it’s gonna look like.. you can clearly see this particle like ants or that little bugs. So I set it to overlay, and it would smoothly gradually just blends into the background. The ground looks too plain so again some blood is added in hardlight property on the ground. The color of image is kind of flat and gray out so adding a light blue color light to spice up the saturation. Set the layer property in soft light. but again you can adjust it however it suits your image. The overall image is dull so I’ve flatten everything to one layer tweaking and adding lighting and details. Also I light up everything, because when applying overlay in the next step it will darken everything. I’m adding overall lighting adjustment or enhancement or correction or where you can say. This stage is a Photoshop tip that I commonly use for most of my works. All you need to do is holding ctrl shift alt + e on the keyboard to create a new layer based on flatten everything you have to that layer, then apply Gaussain blur from the filter menu, and then set the layer property to overlay and bring down the opacity, because overlay strenghten colors and contrast between light and shadow, as well as color saturation and also the lighting because I said now overlay it’s gonna be exposed, so see that’s before and that’s after. See how much change it has. Final touch of adding more texture to the lightest and darkest area, I also didn’t like the shape of the head and blade that I did befor, so I fixed them. I light up part of the image in the level adjustment by ctrl L. So here’s the final lighting adjustment. The focus need to be centered even more. so create a new layer and set it to soft light. Well again you can set however use however a layer property you want then repeat the step of Gaussian blur before and also bring down the color saturation to fully gray, because here I only want the lighting, and that’s before that’s after. And yeah the reason that I use overlay layer with blurred images is because to balance out overall lighting. It’s easier for eyes to read. Okay now we’re ready for a very third final wrap up. It’s actually a detail adjustment. So again ctrl shift alt e, that will gives you a new layer which flatten everything then just go to filter>others>high-pass and then look you should adjust to just slightly and hit okay, and then set the layer property to.. set the layer property to let’s say still overlay I love overlay. And also you can adjust the opacity again. The reason is that I don’t use sharpen tool in the filter is because I don’t like it. The sharpen tool would be too easily to create noise, but this way I use which is widely used by other 3d textures. It will sharpen your thing without giving you too much amount of noise. So that’s the final image enjoy.

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