View Full Version : Need help with character design/shading.

03 March 2006, 04:50 AM
I'm trying to teach myself how to paint in photoshop. This is my 4th iteration of this character and my first painting study. I'm not happy with it at all. I do have some ideas that might improve it, but I don't think they will make it sing. I would appreciate any input that might help me progress.


03 March 2006, 07:44 AM
Well my general thoughts are these.

1) The human head (especially a shaved one) is round. Unless it is very harsh lighting it will smoothly blend from light to dark following the contours of the head

2) Don't be afraid of the extremes of shading true white and true black in very small amounts are very useful for emphasizing things

3) Take the shading to the full extent of the spectrum not light gray to medium grey, the human eye equalizes things naturally and it is looking for this in a 2d image to "believe" it

4) Take one light source at a time and apply it to all it shines on, unless there is a light bulb like 2 inches from his forehead, the shadows on the various parts of the picture don't agree on the light source. Unless this is intentional it just looks weird

5) Especially in full black areas (his hair) a subtle shading of dark grey does wonders

6) Sharp edges are your best friend, blurry edges even a couple of pixels (4-10) just look unfinished this applies to the features on the face but especially the silhouette. Shade all you want to over the edge but then go back over it with an eraser to clean up the edge to where it is supposed to be and sharpen it.

Iím sure there were more things but that is what i can remember from my going over of the picture.

Here is my playing with ~30 minutes to clarify my thoughts
Ebola's Editing (http://WWW.WOODRELL.COM/joe/Ebola_msmall51va.jpg)

Anyway good luck and keep us updated on your stuff :)

03 March 2006, 09:17 AM
This is a good start. You might try boosting up the contrast to give it more life. Also maybe shortening the head alittle and also building up the shoulders to make this tough guy more beefy. keep going!:thumbsup:

03 March 2006, 10:02 AM
Thanks for the great feedback everyone.

I made some proportion changes. Shortened the head and neck. Beefed up the neck width slightly. Move the nose and mouth a little more to the left on the head - construction seemed a bit off. Amped up the contrast and changed the background colour...I plan on blending it from left to right eventually. I also pulled the head tilt down a bit as it was feeling a bit awkward. Again thanks for the feedback.

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03 March 2006, 10:02 AM
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