[WIP]Streets of Rage 3 Fan Art -Help w/ Light and Form

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  07 July 2014
[WIP]Streets of Rage 3 Fan Art -Help w/ Light and Form

This is a fanart of twin game characters I had recently restarted. I'm close to finishing, until I ran into the problem of lighting and form. I started off with line work, then onto painting tones with values.

Unsure of how to apply color in Photoshop, I used Color Mode, instead of Multiply Mode, after checking out some tutorials. Then using a layer on top of everything to hand paint the rest of the image. Although the technique I learned to apply color to B/W photos is different from the technique I'm using here.

I feel I'm sorely lacking in how I'm showing consistent light, being that I wanted the fill light to be coming from in of the figures slightly, and coming from the left of the composition above them. And no reference was used.

I'm working with Photoshop CS6 and Intous3.

Below are the WIP steps leading to what it is now:

I like to draw.

Last edited by nbanezart : 07 July 2014 at 03:14 PM.
  07 July 2014
The main issue I see here, is that you're not quite far enough in your understanding of how light and shadow behaves, or how they are intertwined with the turning of the form and the readability of the forms.

I didn't quite understand what you said about where you wanted the light source to be, since I think you might have left out a word somewhere in that sentence. From what I can guess, you wanted to have the light source in front of the two women, and slight to the left. You said fill light, but that didn't make sense because based on what you have, that's definitely your main light source and not the fill light. I think you might need to study lighting basics a bit to strengthen your understanding of lighting setups.

Generally speaking, fill light can only exist when there's already a dominant main light source(s), since the purpose of a fill light is to "fill" in the shadows and either lighten them and make them not so dark, or to change the color of the shadows, or to eliminate the shadows altogether by being as bright as the main light source(s), forming a 1:1 power ratio, effectively canceling out any shadows caused by the main light source(s)

So based on what you have, I see a frontal lighting, because the cast shadow of the leg stretches out almost directly behind the leg. If the light was a bit to the left, then the cast shadow should be angled towards the right a bit.

The sitting woman and the stool she's sitting on don't have cast shadows, and this is something that needs to be addressed (unless you just haven't gotten to it yet).

The overall lighting in your scene seems pretty evenly lit all over, yet the form shadows and cast shadows are very contrasty and hard, which doesn't look consistent with the rest of the scene. You need to consider that light will bounce around in your scene and create some diffused ambient lights that will soften those shadows.

Here's a great link about lighting that will teach you some of the important the basics: http://www.itchy-animation.co.uk/light.htm
  07 July 2014
Thank you very much. As I worked on this after posting it, my approach to rendering the form had made it worse. The link you provided has been very helpful. I'll put this on hiatus until I have a better understanding of form and light.
I like to draw.
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