View Full Version : Snake/Reptile/Dragon Scales Tutorial

07 July 2005, 11:24 AM
Hi there. This is in response to the call for Threads to this Forum.
Its a Tutorial I recently did for one of the other Artists that works for the same company I do.

Its a fast tutorial I put together quickly that lets you do scales in Photoshop quickly and easily. And is no doubt adaptable to Painter and other programs.
I hope you find it useful.

OK, here we go.

This is how we start. Lay down you base colour and go over it with cross hatched diagonal lines following the body of the creature in a darker colour. You can use a paint brush or the Burn tool to do this.

Next we get the Smudge tool and with each scale(Diamond), just push the edge out a bit to create a rounded look to the edge away from the head of the creature. I have used the smudge tool, but you can use the paint brush to create the same effect.

So it looks like this when done.

Next, with either the Burn Tool or a Dark colour on the paint brush, add in a shadow to the inner edge of each scale where it goes under the preceeding scale.

Now, with either the Dodge tool or a lighter colour on the paint brush, add a hightlight to the outer edge of the scale where it lays on top of the scale beneath it.

Now you can see the scale effect coming out and its beginning to take shape.

Now we add the over all highlight to give the body a rounded feel. I used the Dodge and Burn tools here, but Darker and lighter colours on the Paint Brush work just as well. Maybe set the mode of the paintbrush to Soft light or Overlay or Multiply (experiment for the best mode) so you donít loose the underlying detail.

Finally I went in and added a little more detail to the scales with some highlights and shadows to finish off.

Now, the example here is VERY rough and done very quickly. But you might want to take a little longer then this and get it looking really good.

But you can see the process here from what I have put together.

This is basically the process I used to do this recent Image of mine.

But I took much longer over it and added in much more detail.

Have a go at your own scales. Draw a Snake or a Dragon or something else Reptilian to show us how you put this into practice.


07 July 2005, 05:58 PM
What a great tutorial! I love your finished image. Thanks!! :thumbsup:

Could we see a small section of your finished snake scales enlarged?

07 July 2005, 07:11 PM
Nice!:)...this may be a bit off topic but does anyone know where I could find tutorials on texturing human skin in photoshop?

07 July 2005, 11:23 PM
Could we see a small section of your finished snake scales enlarged?

Yes, but not till next week. I am off work now till tuesday, when I will be able to do that, as the Artwork is there.

does anyone know where I could find tutorials on texturing human skin in photoshop?

Sorry, nope. Might be one someone might do on CGTalk though sometime.

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07 July 2005, 11:23 PM
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