Thread of useful things


Wonderful thread idea Linda, very helpful. And for your brush tutorial, quite a coincidence. I was fiddling with some brush settings and creating some new brushes in Photoshop earlier today; it comes handy just at the right time. :slight_smile:
Your tips are very useful Allenatl, good to know. Thank you for sharing it. :wink:

Same goes for everyone else, i’ll sure keep an eye on this thread and try to add some of my own tips later on.


Very helpful thread idea, been very curious about da brush, so followed Furia’s tutorial at sunday, with one modification: I took scanned papier texture, set 1 layer to overlay 100%, second - duplicated one, to a difference mode, and - yes - in da moment U got plain black, but experimenting with slicers in blending options for the “difference” set layer made interesting “moire”, and I did it on the very early stage of the brush creation, leaving the both paper layers visible, and working under them on main layer made me able to see final effect. BTW if duplicating a work, (merged layers) inverting and saving as JPG one have ready to define Painter brush.

Topic by jmBoekestein reminded me a job I had ca. 2-3 years ago, with dark room having net courtains, (slightly moving in da wind). If I will find a CD that scene is archived, maybe I will compare some technology.

And small question to Furia again. After some years I have to get back to traditional media, exactly having to do oil/acrylic on canvas portrait for someone, and my question is:
If, and how would You modify Your “Thoughts on Skintones” tutorial to traditional media work? Got to finnish till saturday, already trying delicatly adding bright turquoise already gives goood effect :slight_smile:

P.S. Mostly all of digital painters use to switch to computer from traditional media, right? With me is different, I really started developing my feeling to painting in pshop & pntr.


Thanks, allenatl, for that printer tute. Been wondering about that darn “resample image”. :thumbsup:
This will come in very useful.


I’m sorry for calling You Enayla - Linda by mistake as Furia, (even not Furiae) and reason was I’v been simultaneously visiting Your site, hope You dont mind.


Actually I felt the approach to creating the shader would be more beneficial, since you’d know what to do instead of what I did because of it. But seeing it will probably help in understanding. I hate reading boring text myself, pictures will do better for sure.

So, here’s the basic shader roll-out. Some of you might not recognise some of the terms used here, the ones that do probably dno’t need this explanation.
The Color slot which has the gradient is basically <diffuse color>, which in calculations gets multiplied with Kd, the <diffuse amount>. This is more efficient than just using a color slot for diffuse, you should try and use both, so that you can adjust eventual output levels in a more balanced way without going into other applications for it.
Kd or diffuse amount has a fall off map assigned to it to control the brightness of the surface at differnt angles, this i swhat I’m talking about basically, and color of-course. I’ll explain more later after the over all.
Sheen maps. there are some assigned here, but I’ve switched them off for rendering. Basically this is what you see on edges of hairy objects, where the hairs reflect light more and differently than the objects surface, basically you culd fake this yourself using a combination of several maps, sourcing data along with the surface normal(direction).
Bump map was applied to slightly break up the surface, computer graphics simply are to consistent to be easy on the eye, break it up subtly without destroying leverage for effect and the effect itself of-course, :slight_smile:
specualr level has a noise texture added to it to make it seem more broken up and irregular, for the same reason as with the bump map. (That’ll teach you to pay attention, lol :p)


Ok, so this basically is all needed for that cloth I made, except for the SSS effect, and ofcourse you need the rendering engine to go with it, GI and bounce ligth help an image so much further into a nice complexity.

On with the shader settings.:D

You’ll notice I’ve blended the map to about 50-60% of the base colour which is red. I do this for the general balance in the shader itself, so that it seems to deviate from red and not be some collection of nifty colourschemes.

he only things I changed about the map is the colour gradient itself and the type of gradient to normal, I haven’t assigned any mapping to the object itself, some renderers will ask or tell you about missing uv’s in this case. I ignore it since it uses different data. It would only serve for texture baking. You’ll notice the colours are very dark, but upon making the gradient put in some slight variations in those darkareas, it adds complexity and interest along the different angles. :slight_smile: That’s that then, onto the next map.


So the noise is obviously to brake up the rendering, so I’ll skip that. It just adds complexity to the surface.

The last bit, the diffusion amount, is controlled by a fall off map in this case. All the settings are there. You’ll see it’s low values, but that’s because I wanted a dark cloth so I lessen the effect like this. If the hairs point at you you’ll see more cloth which should have a different raction to light in general, so that’s why I use this. That’s all. I had wanted to do more shaders at once so it would be easy to understand but this is enough I hope. Maybe otherss will follow later.


i like it … …


I’ve found that storing webpages as in saving them on your hd is really frustrating. I’ve found this aplication some time ago and I think it might come in handy sooner or later for most. You can print to a pdf file with it instead of to a printer :). It leaves a little watermark in my free version, but that’s no big deal I think.
Enjoy. :thumbsup:

pdf factory

topmost icon on the page…:deal:


Great thread Linda! Thanks to everyone for the tutorials posted it’s been and interesting read. Thanks linda for the brush tutorial really helpful :slight_smile:


Making quick rain, most of you probably know this already.
Anyway just play around with the settings and see what you can come up with, it is also usefull for a quick reference of how the rain might look.
Someone might find it usefull.


To be honest I haven’t got a clue how this would look in photosop, :surprised, could you elaborate a bit, please. I understand the idea though, pretty nifty! :thumbsup:


Opacity on Pressure means its gonna work only using a pen?


Opacity on Pressure means its gonna work only using a pen?

Sorry forgot to mention that, but you dont have to use the opacity variance, just use the mouse at different brush opacity settings, the jitter will work with the mouse.


To be honest I haven’t got a clue how this would look in photosop, :surprised, could you elaborate a bit, please. I understand the idea though, pretty nifty!

Basically you use an ordinary large sized brush with medium hardness, a step size of about 25 and change the thickness of the brush way down low and rotate the brush in whatever direction you want the rain to go and vary the brush opacity as you paint from top left to bottom right or visa versa, or up and down even, I am not sure about how it can be done in photoshop but I do know that the settings are in photoshop but probably named slightly different.


Ok cool I get it, I must be tired:rolleyes:. Thanks for the explanation.


My hint is very simple. When you are done with a picture. Put it on your desktop for a day to just have a chance to look at it without working on it. I have fixed an image or two this way after some casual looking at it found something I could fix easily. Sometimes you get too close to your work and don’t see what can be done wth it or the whole thing when you are concentrating on the minutae of it.


In addition to this,not looking at your picture for about a week and then looking back at the picture makes you realise your mistakes,too.Even if there’s an obvious mistake,you get familliar with it and consider it normal.Forgetting a pic makes it easier to objectively critisize your work :wink:


one good advice I had from two different artists was:

if you got stuck with whatever your drawing try rotating the drawing…or make a thumbnail and see how it turns out…just observe it from different perspectives…or try drawing with your left hand…or with eyes closed…you’ll come up with the weirdest and interesting things !

I’ll get back to the thread later on


Two things that help me while learning 3d, but definitely applies to pretty much anything:

  1. If learning from a tutorial, keep practicing until you can do it without referencing the tutorial at all.
  2. Don’t limit yourself to tutorials or info based on your particular software. Some great approaches are found in other software tutorials and in many cases are easily applied to your specific software.


I think if your animating you should always try and see movments in your mind’s eye until you can feel them almost. Like imagine your shaking hands with someone… Try and capture this in your mind and play it back until you almost fool yourself that it is really happening. I know this sounds like a huge load of estoteric crap and it is because it is something that is over-looked with all of todays technology and latest releases of your favorite 3d proggy. Basically I could have said get back to the basics and I am now. Practice your sketching/drawing skills. Find an object that is interesting to you and draw it until you get it as best as its gonna get. Then move on to another object. What your trying to do is make the link between the right and left sides of your brain stronger. Drawing is Right hand thing…mostly anything imaginitive is. and drawing or doing 3d is a left - Anything technical or precision is…

Another note of fact which has been mentioned before in this thread and many others i’m sure. - When you turn something upside-down before drawing it - what is happening is this. Your tricking your mind into not recognizing it on a higher level and your bypassing your learned thru-life “filters” which alter percieved reality which is what happens when one on Cg-Talk goes into a “Boekestein-ish” mode… LOL! He’ll never notice… or

Keep the mind swimming in positive thoughts also! And have a sense-of-humor! Everything I said is Fluffy but healthy for the nogon.


This is more a basic drawing tip, but even the simplest things to do with drawing apply to digital art.

A while back, I was having trouble getting caught up in the details of a picture before I had fully worked out how I wanted the picture to look. One of my professors gave me the most useful advice I ever got: For each step in creating an image, never do more than is absolutely necessary for that step. For example, if you are arranging figures in an environment, lay down only the information you need: that means no facial features (not even guidelines for proportions), no fingers, no clothes, nothing. In the next step, do the exact same thing — you may choose refining your shapes, for example, so do only that until all your shapes have been refined. Break everything into steps and be very strict about not jumping to another step before you have completely finished the step you’re on. If you’re like me, this will usually take care of the most difficult parts first, and so the last steps (i.e., refining the image, the fun stuff) are nothing but fun and come very easily.

This probably won’t be useful to the pros, but there are beginners reading this site, and this was the best tip I could have got as a beginner.