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Tutorial: Comic Coloring 2

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Date Added: 8th December 2009
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Next you go back in and do the same thing in some of the lighter parts of your cloud (Fig.21)

Fig. 21

At this point your clouds are basically finished, but if you feel they're a bit rough you can blur them a little by going to the top menu and going to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur (but be careful not to overdo the blur).

Also if you want to tweak the contrast of the clouds, then, also in the top menu, go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast.

I did just a little tweaking with those two options and then I turned my line art and character flats back on, and the result I had so far can be seen in Fig.22. (Don't worry about the lines destroying your great lightning; we'll fix that later on!)

Fig. 22

Part 3: Rendering Emma Frost

Now let's get down to the interesting part, the rendering of our characters. Let's start off with Emma Frost, because she's a little less complicated.

Before rendering, we need to prepare some things.  First let's decide on the brush because the technique here varies depending on your equipment. I'll show you two different settings that I learned from two great colorists.

Paintbrush (with Wacom Tablet) - learned from Marte (Fig.23).

Fig. 23

The Mode setting changes between "Hard Light" and "Normal", depending on your needs. This isn't enough though; we still have to go to the brush setting and change some things. To go to your settings, click on the button in the top right hand corner with your paintbrush selected. You should get a menu similar to the one in Fig.24. Change your settings to match.

Fig. 24

Paintbrush (with Optical Mouse) - learned from Andy Poole (Fig.25 & Fig.26).

Fig. 25
Fig. 26

Now I have to say that with a mouse it's a lot harder, because you constantly have to change the "Opacity" between 15% and 30% and, like the brush above, we'll keep changing the Mode setting between Hard Light and Normal.

So now we're set, let's get going on the rendering.

Emma's skin and costume

First off let's change some layer settings. Create a new layer above your flats/character layer and while keeping your finger pressed on the ALT key, pass your cursor between the layers in the layers panel until the cursor changes to what seems like 2 circles overlapping. Then click and you should now have a setup similar to the one seen in Fig.27.

Fig. 27

With the flats layer selected, use the magic wand tool to select Emma's skin, then change to the layer above and fill it with the bucket tool. Here I used the color #b99c93.

Some of you might be asking how I knew to choose this color, or what made me choose it. There is no sure fire way with skin colors. In this case I took into consideration that Emma Frost is usually depicted as having a very pale, soft complexion and so I went for a colder, darker purple. But don't worry, because if we get to the end and find that the color isn't right then we can change it easily.

Now it's important to note that the next few steps are some of the hardest and yet most important parts of the whole process. If you get this wrong in the beginning it's very hard to fix when you're finished.

Let's define the light source(s). As you can see in Fig.28, I decided to add two light sources. Obviously the one on the left comes from the lightning, while the one on the right comes from an overall area. I could have opted for a dark and moody image, where the only light sources came from the right, but I guess I just wanted to give more impact to the characters.

Fig. 28

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