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nadhi final by mhazaru
nadhi final
Final version of Nadhi, the angel. She's one of the main characters in the game we're making.

Speaking of which, we'll be launching our Kickstarter for it in the first week of January. We'd really appreciate any support towards hitting our goal, which is just going to be a few hundred dollars for mainly software costs.

The game is a kinetic novel. The basic story is that a newly arrived spirit is lost in the next world, and it runs into Nadhi, who personally guides it onward. As they travel, Nadhi tells it about the heavens, while the spirit gradually recalls its past life.
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Tutorial: Adding color to a grayscale painting by mhazaru
Tutorial: Adding color to a grayscale painting
Heyo! This is a tutorial for creating a grayscale painting, and then coloring it, in Photoshop. Download for the full view.

So, why paint in grayscale first?
  • You can easily establish values without worrying about color.
  • You can easily change colors via Adjustments or Adjustment Layers.
  • Coloring becomes super quick to do. For example, the entire color process for this portrait took about twenty minutes.
Quick Note: You should generally always use Adjustment Layers, versus just direct Adjustments, since they don't actually modify your work. For the purposes of this tutorial though, I'm just going to apply direct Adjustments (if you don't understand the difference, it's explained later on).

So, this is just a basic process. It changes all the time, but this is usually how it goes for me.



Step One        
  • I start my stuff on smaller canvases, and then later blow them up for details. For this portrait, I started at 1000 x 1000 (the picture is cropped). It just makes it faster/easier to get a basic idea down.
  • Make a new layer, and call it "sketch". Then, sketch out your drawing!

Step Two        

  • Set your "sketch" layer to Multiply.
  • Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels. Adjust the values until you've taken out any intermediate grays, and are left with a clean black and white sketch. 
  • Make a new layer underneath "sketch". Name this one "values".
  • Paint in your basic values. Decide a light source(s), etc. I recommend painting gray all around your sketch as well, because painting on a bright white background can alter how you see the colors (plus, it's not good for your eyes!).
  • If your values aren't coming out well, then you might still have some gray on your sketch layer, and Multiply is messing up things. Just go back to the "sketch" layer and clean it up.

Step Three        

  • When you've got the basic values down, then it's time to start doing the details. Make a layer called "details" that sits over everything else. At this point, I increased the canvas size to 2500 x 2500.
  • Now you can finish the form out. This "details" layer allows you to paint freely, without the stuff from the "sketch" layer getting in the way.
  • Eventually I do a CTRL + A, which selects everything, and hit CTRL + SHIFT + C. That copies all visible layers. I then paste that into it's own layer, so I now have one layer at the top that has everything. I named it "final".
  • So, your layers will look something like this so far:
    • Final (normal)
    • Details (normal)
    • Sketch (multiply)
    • Values (normal)
    • Background (default layer)
  • At this point, you're working on the "final" layer. I usually place my old layers in a folder called "build". It's just nice to have those starting layers around, so you can go back and see how your original sketch looked, etc.

Step Four (optional) 

  • If you aren't going to paint the whole canvas, then you can clean up your painting now by erasing anything you don't want. In this case, I cleared everything around the head, and made the default layer, "background", a shade of gray. This step will feed into the next step.

Step Five        

  • Now it's time for color! Make a new layer, and set it to Overlay.
  • If you did Step Four, you can hit CTRL + ALT + G on this layer. Now, any paint you add to this layer will only affect visible content underneath. That's why I erased stuff around the head. Your colors will touch the stuff on the "final" layer, but leave the background untouched (in this case, the gray background). You can turn it off as well by pressing the same buttons, and see how your colors then go outside of what you want.
  • Ok, now, pick some colors and apply them to your painting. This is going to serve as the base. Overlay tends to darken darker colors and lighten light ones. Just mess around with it and you'll get a feel for it pretty quickly.
  • Remember, these are base colors. They are not going to be what you actually want (most likely), so, let's change that.

Step Six        

  • Ok, now comes the fun part. There are a few tools you can use to quickly change things to the colors that you do want (be sure your Overlay layer is selected):
  • Go to Image > Adjustments. You can pretty much use any option there to quickly change the colors, but I find the following most effective:
    • Selective Color: What this does is only change colors in a certain hue. For example, if Red is selected, you can move the sliders around, and any, and only any, red hues in your painting will change.
    • Color Balance: This option controls how much of a certain hue you want in a painting. Move the slider to yellow, and your painting gets yellower. You get the idea. This is basically glazing in traditional painting, and really helps to quickly unify a whole painting. Remember, this affects the whole work, not just one color like Selective Color. You can change the hues in Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights.
    • Vibrance: You can quickly control the 'punch' of your image, meaning the saturation. Just mess around with the sliders to get a feel for it. If your version of Photoshop doesn't have a Vibrance option, then use Hue/Saturation instead, and just mess with Saturation.
    • Levels and Brightness/Contrast: These two options let you quickly change the tones in the painting.
  • In my case, I wanted to adjust her skin color. I opened Selective Color and adjusted the Reds to get it closer to what I wanted. Then, I messed around with Color Balance to adjust things more, and then finally, brightened the colors up with Vibrance. Remember, you can use each option as many times as you want, and just gradually get your way to what you want.
  • Picture 6 is what I ended up with after fiddling around with everything.

Step Seven        

  • At this point, I made a duplicate of my "final" layer. Then, I did CTRL + E to merge my Overlay layer to my "final" layer duplicate. I like to keep things to one layer if possible, but you don't have to do this. The layer is duplicated in order to have a back up, in case I don't like how the colors are turning out.
  • From here on out, I made a normal layer and started to touch things up. Above that I did another Overlay to fix things more, etc. Just keep experimenting around with different blend modes, and then adjust each layer with the Image > Adjustments options.
  • And eventually, I arrive at my final result:
7 by mhazaru 



The coloring took around twenty minutes. Most of the work is always going to go into the black and white phase.

Some tips!
  • In Image > Adjustments, there's also another option called Gradient Map. This allows you to map certain values to specific hues. You can use this to quickly add some colors to a monochrome painting for a good starting base, or to just play around with different color setups.
  • If you want to use non-destructive layers, then go to Layer > New Adjustment layer. This has all the options from Image > Adjustments, but creates the effects on specific layers. This allows you to, say, add a Color Balance layer, and then you can easily toggle it on or off. What's really cool is that each has a mask, so that you can even pick which parts of your image you want the Color Balance/etc. to affect. Since none of this affects your actual image, it's called "non-destructive".
  • Color adjustments work inside selections. Maybe you just want to change the color of one eye. Just use the Lasso tool to enclose it, then do your adjustments.
  • I recommend always duplicating layers before you make major changes to them, so that you can easily go back to them if you don't like how your painting is turning out. It also allows you to quickly compare your current step in the painting to a previous one, because quite often, you'll actually like how things were turning out earlier, before you ruined it!
  • Window > Arrange > New Window creates a duplicate of your painting, and this duplicate is in sync with your original. You can keep it zoomed out easily see how your overall painting is turning out.
  • When merging layers with different blend modes, start from the bottom layer and work your way up. Merging things from the top-down will give you weird results.
  • Blend modes act differently with each other. For example, if you make an Overlay layer to place your dark base colors on, you can then put another Overlay layer on top of that, and use the same colors from the first Overlay to add highlights. They're both Overlay layers with the same colors, but they 'stack' differently, so you get different colors.
That's it! If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask them.
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Hey guys! So here's a little test of a kinetic novel engine I'm making. Art and programming are by me, and the music is by Photoperiod

It's just a short little demo. In a few weeks we'll be starting a Kickstarter to raise some money to help cover the software costs (only a few hundred dollars), and we'd really appreciate any help towards it! The novel itself will be free when it's done, and the planned platforms are PC/Mac, and then mobile if we can manage it.

When we're further along on the actual game, I'll put previews of that up + a story description.



nadhi by mhazaru
nadhi
A character from a kinetic novel that a friend and I are working on. I'm doing the artwork/coding/story, and he's the SFX/music guy.

I'll put up a very short video of it today or tomorrow for people to check out. We're going to do a small Kickstarter to raise a few hundred dollars to cover the cost of the engine and other things as well (I use Construct 2). We'd really appreciate any support when it's launched!
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Hey guys! So here's a little test of a kinetic novel engine I'm making. Art and programming are by me, and the music is by Photoperiod

It's just a short little demo. In a few weeks we'll be starting a Kickstarter to raise some money to help cover the software costs (only a few hundred dollars), and we'd really appreciate any help towards it! The novel itself will be free when it's done, and the planned platforms are PC/Mac, and then mobile if we can manage it.

When we're further along on the actual game, I'll put previews of that up + a story description.



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:icontakeuchi15:
Takeuchi15 Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You have an amazing art! :heart:
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(1 Reply)
:iconkaiser-969:
Kaiser-969 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014
Tanks so much for :iconllama3dplz:
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(1 Reply)
:iconxunini:
xunini Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
hey! you're amazing!!
+watch ;)
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(1 Reply)
:icontanukid:
Tanukid Featured By Owner May 29, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for the llama!
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(1 Reply)
:icondaeien:
daeien Featured By Owner May 21, 2014
Happy Birthday! :D :party: :cake: :party: :D
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