Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Shading
hat at 6:04PM, Nov. 3, 2006
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Hey, how do you do your shading? I'm not good at it all, so I'm gonna try any techniques you have (if you've got any). Usually I just take a darker color and shade the parts that are away from the sun or something basic like that, though I've seen much cooler and more proffesional shading done.

I have Flash and Photoshop.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:45PM
Rimbaum at 6:13PM, Nov. 3, 2006
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I personally use a cel-shading technique, which really only seems time-consuming at first. Once you do it for a little while, it's very easy and looks pretty good to boot.

Really, the key to doing most kinds of shading (especially if you're using a program like Photoshop) is to use layers. If you want, I might be able to do a fairly simple tutorial for it, though I'm sure you can find ones that would be much better just by typing in “cel-shading tutorials” into Google and searching.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:08PM
subcultured at 8:12PM, Nov. 3, 2006
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more tutorials here: http://www.drunkduck.com/Subcultured_Tutorials





J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:00PM
gigatwo at 2:25PM, Nov. 4, 2006
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I usually use bezier curves to cell shade with the paths tool, and then create a layer set to “overlay” and airbrush over it. The end result is crap.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:35PM
deletedbyrequest03 at 9:49PM, Nov. 4, 2006
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Hmm. Since I ink, I do my shading with lines and cross hatching. Here's an example pic:


I occasionally use screen tones if I want more detail. That's about it :D

This year, school's full of BS!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
kyupol at 10:14AM, Nov. 5, 2006
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hat
Hey, how do you do your shading? I'm not good at it all, so I'm gonna try any techniques you have (if you've got any). Usually I just take a darker color and shade the parts that are away from the sun or something basic like that, though I've seen much cooler and more proffesional shading done.

I have Flash and Photoshop.


I use burn+dodge most of the time.

Airbrush sometimes when I dont get the desired effects of burning and dodging. When shading something, always imagine your drawing as a 3-d object and imagine a light source going at it.
NOW UPDATING!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:25PM
ShadowsMyst at 10:08AM, Nov. 6, 2006
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I've experimented with a lot of different ways. I did the dodge and burn thing for ages, but really, it doesn't produce very good colors. I've also used the ‘multiply’ layer technique and the ‘darken’ layer technique. Right now I'm working on a cellshading technique, which I used here.

To use my techniques, you'd have to have a rudamentary understanding of vector tools and how they work in photoshop with paths and have a good grasp of blending modes and layers.

Technically however, I'm still not a very good colorist. I work best in a limited palette of colors.

Essentially what I do, is seperate my lineart and clear out all the white using the ‘channel trick’ so there is nothing but clean, black lines and a transparent background.

Then I put down a background color of a sort of dusky blue so I can see where my color is ‘leaking’ when I do base color.

Then I make another layer and put down all my base colors using selections and the paint bucket. Sometimes I will do seperate layers for all the colors. So skin is one layer, hair is another layer, clothing is another layer, etc.

Now, overtop of lineart layer, which would be the top layer at this point, I create a ‘multiply’ layer. I use the ‘path’ option on the pen tool to draw in the shape of the shadows using a vectored line. I use the paths palette to fill the paths and erase them as I go. each area is shaded with a sampled color and then the layer's opacity is reduced to where I like the look of the midtone shadows.

I usually then do a darken layer over that one with a color reflecting whatever the mood or light color is in the scene and do the deep shadows.

After that I create a lighten or overlay layer with white or a very light color such as yellow, pink, or blue depending on the mood to create highlights, again using the pen and paths to create the shapes and filling them via the path tool.

After I get allll that done, I start going back in and adding the special effect stuff like highlights on hair, sparklies, glows, etc. Each effect has its own set of instructions so i'm not going to bother here.

But thats the general gyst of it. BUT that being said, if you don't understand lighting, body shapes, and color, your shading will always look like crap. Which is why mine still sucks to a great degree. My light sourcing is terrible.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:32PM
Knuckles at 11:00AM, Nov. 6, 2006
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I've been doing a lot of cartoon cell shading. Not a lot of colors to mess with.
but I've been trying to do a more realistic shading technique, as well.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:19PM
Rich at 11:42AM, Nov. 6, 2006
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I like to dodge and burn. Sure, a lot of people will tell you not to, but like any tool in Photoshop, it's all in how you use it. Ya see, the trick is to vary your intensity and style of dodging and burning to produce the right effect. It's great if you like having a lot of contrast in between your base and your shading as well.

Also, you should use a LOT of different layers with the preserve transparency option when D&Bing. It will allow for greater control.

You need a good example of what D&B can do? Look at my avatar and sig.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:06PM
Darth Mongoose at 12:57PM, Nov. 6, 2006
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I went through a phase of ‘noes! Dodge and burn are evil when used for shading!’ a while ago, then one day I just used the dodge and burn a little on a piece and found that, so long as you don't over-use them, they can be pretty effective, though it does vary depending on the colours and settings you use them on. I did a few bits of highlighting on this image with dodge and butn (but most of it was normal cel shading:
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/41443194/

Obviously with markers, shading is fairly straightforward. I start by filling in an area of a certain colour with the lightest shade, then get out a darker version of that colour and work it in to where the shadows need to be. The only hard thing with markers is, of course, once the ink is down, you can't change it, so you have to be very confident with them. I tend to use the same basic technique with CG, though I do vary it depending on whether I want a soft look or a more cel-shaded look.
I have two ways of picking colours. The first, the ‘simple way’ is to put the colour pallete onto ‘web colours only’, which automatically gives you a simpler pallete of nice, clean colours and it's easy to distinguish what shades what. The other way involves having a spare file open or a part of the page that I use as a pallette to test colours. This makes it harder to find how much darker to go, it does allow for more subtle colours to be used. One thing I can say is that very rarely does shading yellow with dark yellow look good. Shading yellow with orange is nearly always preferable, unless you are specifically going for a drab, muted or dirty look.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
Rich at 1:12PM, Nov. 6, 2006
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Another fun technique is to copy your flats layer, set the preserve transparency on, and make it white. Then you set the layer to multiply and airbrush with various shades of gray. This allows you to completely change the colors as much as you want without having to redo the shading.

And best of all, for highlighting, you do the same thing, only make the layer black and paint the highlights various light grays and set the layer to screen.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:06PM
Darth Mongoose at 1:20PM, Nov. 6, 2006
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Whoah! I'd never thought of doing that! That's a really handy hint, thanks for sharing it. Might save me a lot of time in the future.
One thing that's pretty fun to do for colouring pencil sketches, is to shade in pencil, then after you scanned it, use the brush on colour mode and just colour the areas appropriately. I used to use this technique a lot, it's epecially good when used in combination with a layer of colour as well.
The hair and the cloak show the advantages of using this technique, sometimes it can come out looking surprisingly cool.
http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/28239508/?qo=49&q=by%3Adarthmongoose&qh=sort%3Atime+-in%3Ascraps
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
Rich at 2:06PM, Nov. 6, 2006
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Ah, I know that techinique. It's great for a nice textured look.

The way I've always found to do cel shading is rather obscure, time consuming, and inefficient, but disturbingly easy. You see, what you do is color EVERY section on a seperate layer (This prevents mistakes and makes is somewhat quicker). Then set all the layers to preserve transparency. Now, what you do is using the vector tool, select the areas you want shaded for your current layer. Right click, and pick the selection option. Then you press CTRL+U and lower the brightness a tiny little bit. Repeat for every layer, and flatten the colors together.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:06PM
ShadowsMyst at 3:45PM, Nov. 6, 2006
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Dude, I was the QUEEN of dodge and burn for YEARS. Trust me when I said that I know how it works and where its limitations lie.

Shifters was done using it for at least a few hundred pages. But the main reason I could get away with it was that it was black and white and it wouldn't have looked any different if I had done it with an airbrush or dodge and burn. But people still called me out on it. I still took flack for it. And I still looked like a photoshop noob for using it.

(We'll completely ignore the fact that I've been using Photoshop for the last 11 years.)

The only reason I use dodge and burn now is if I'm in a hurry, or feeling exceptionally lazy. But that doesn't change the fact that it looks amaturish, the colors tend to end up looking burnt and flat, and to actually correct that, I might as well have done it ‘properly’ in the first place.

If I want to do quick and dirty shading now I generally grab a paintbrush with black, set a layer above to 30% darken, and just paint with my tablet. Looks better than D&B, takes just as little time. One layer, no waiting. Thats how I'm doing Brymstone now and it looks MUCH better. The old version pales in comparison ( which used D&B ). And I can shade it just as fast.

If you don't like the cell shading with the darken layer technique, just add a slight gaussian blur when yer done.

I'm not saying D&B is bad, but I am saying that it doesn't look as good as other techniques.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:32PM
Vixus at 9:15AM, Nov. 8, 2006
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Shading is very hard. The important thing to do is NOT to just create a new low-opacity layer and then stab away with black and white. Try working with a fully opaque layer and practice your shading for real, as if you were painting a picture on canvas. Remember that shadows are not black, they tend to be dark blue. Use gradients for highlights and shadow only once you're confident.

Just practice, practice, practice! Take a look at objects around you, do a quick doodle of them and then try shading them with just your pencil.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
AQua_ng at 10:52AM, Nov. 8, 2006
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I can help you with shading, but I need the help of THE RATHER DASHING JESUS NATHANIEL CHRIST, EARL OF HAMPSHIRE, Hampshire, Hampshire…





My way of shading is so simple, you can do it on MSpaint. I use this shading on Flash, and I call it two tone. All you do is colour you drawing or whatever in normally, paint an outline of what you want in shade and paint fill it in with a darker colour. EASY.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 10:55AM
Vixus at 8:55AM, Nov. 9, 2006
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No, don't shade like that. Avoid cel-shading as well, unless your comic is going to look like Wind Waker.
Really, look around for some good tutorials. There are billions. Here are some to get you started:
http://www.nethersphere.com/howto_colorsketch.html
http://www.comiccolors.com/tutorials/sweeney/
Tending my fruit, tending my fruit
Ah, you've got to have a hobby
A man must have a shed to keep him sane.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
AQua_ng at 11:40AM, Nov. 9, 2006
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:(

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last edited on July 14, 2011 10:55AM
ShadowsMyst at 1:45PM, Nov. 9, 2006
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Vixus
No, don't shade like that. Avoid cel-shading as well, unless your comic is going to look like Wind Waker.

Thats bull. There is nothing wrong with cellshading if thats the kind of coloring you are going for. And it won't look like Wind Walker. :P Just because it might not be YOUR taste, doesn't mean its not a valid coloring technique. Not everyone cares for photo realism.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:32PM
deletedbyrequest03 at 2:05PM, Nov. 9, 2006
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ShadowsMyst
Vixus
No, don't shade like that. Avoid cel-shading as well, unless your comic is going to look like Wind Waker.

Thats bull. There is nothing wrong with cellshading if thats the kind of coloring you are going for. And it won't look like Wind Walker. :P Just because it might not be YOUR taste, doesn't mean its not a valid coloring technique. Not everyone cares for photo realism.

Yeah, I mean, look at the shading technique for Seraph inn: http://www.seraph-inn.com/

It uses cell-shading and still looks amazing.

This year, school's full of BS!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
Darth Mongoose at 3:11PM, Nov. 9, 2006
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…I thought the Wind Waker looked really cool personally. Though I use blended shading sometimes, Cel shading can look just as good, and generally fits my style better (plus blend shading would be a pain with markers). Some people might say blended shading looks more realistic, but often light and dark can fall in distinct areas like that, especially if there's a strong light source and little diffusion such as the sun on a clear day. Both shading styles look bad if you make a bad job of them, but both styles can look fabulous when done right.
A famous comic artist said not so long ago, ‘style is everything you do wrong’. I don't actually like the guy that much, but I think that's one of the best statements about art I've ever heard. What makes your style your style is how you deviate from photorealism. Simplifying areas of light and dark into blocks is just a stylistic device, there's nothing wrong about it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
AQua_ng at 11:32PM, Nov. 9, 2006
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:)

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last edited on July 14, 2011 10:55AM
Mark at 8:32AM, Nov. 12, 2006
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simple solution: Black and White
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:54PM
deletedbyrequest03 at 8:35AM, Nov. 12, 2006
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Black and white is good too :)

This year, school's full of BS!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
hat at 8:55AM, Nov. 12, 2006
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Oh snap, I got replies!
Thanks much for all your input, I will experiment with these and see what I can come up with.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:45PM

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