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How do you do your shading?
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Marscaleb



Joined: 28 Aug 2012
Posts: 258

PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:15 pm    Post subject: How do you do your shading? Reply with quote

I think shading is an exceedingly critical step in making your comic look good. There's a lot of different ways to go about it, and I think we need a thread to share our methods and possibly learn something new.

Tell us the technical process of your shading method, and also how you decide where to shade your characters.

I create a new layer, call it "shading." I set the layer to multiply, and turn the opacity down to about 70%. (When I am finished I drop it to 33%, (depending on if the scene is outside or night or etc,) but while I am drawing I leave it much higher so it is easier to see.)
I set my brush color to HSL-285-21-21 and draw with a larger-than-normal brush; about six time my normal line width. I have my eraser handy to clean up where the strokes bleed over.
I only carefully erase shadows where they still cross onto the character; I freely use sloppy strokes on the outer edges. When I am finished I go to my color flats layer, use the select-by-color tool and select the empty space. With that selection I go back to the shading layer and clear the selection, thus trimming off all the excess overlap and bleeding.


As for where I draw my shadows, I come from a 3D modeling background, so I spend a lot of time thinking about light-source and angle, and I try to compute how it would look when rendered in 3D. But as time goes on, I am growing un-fond of this method. I'm watching some Justice League cartoons and I notice how they have often-repeated patterns of shading where they always have the shadows cast where they show the shape better. I want to start drawing like that.
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MindChimera



Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 317

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine's not exciting. I typically have one shade layer that sits above the base colors but under the highlight layer. I DON'T have it set to 100% opacity to start, because I've found that if I do this, I end up leaving the layer and not realizing it and shading on the ink or base color layer by mistake.

I set it to 30% opacity, select where I want with the selection tools (usually the magic wand because it's fastest), and define the shaded area with the pen tool. Then flood fill. If I feel like it, sometimes I'll just draw in the area without selecting, but it's usually easier/faster for me to select.

I think I'm usually pretty good about keeping the light source in mind. Sometimes I throw myself for a loop though; since my main character uses electric powers, sometimes he is the light source, haha. But I mostly try to use the shading to define shapes and make them appear more 3D I guess. For the most part at the moment, my areas have overhead lighting, so I tend to just roll with that. I do have these pages though where the only light source in the room is a meager red light on the camera. But I decided I wanted the shapes to be defined, so I still emphasized them with my shading.

I also try to remember that characters will cast shadows, and the shadows will look different based on the light source's location and other things. It's kind of easy to forget though.

I really hate shading my comic. I was trying to do the weird hatching thing at the start so I wouldn't have to shade, but I got enough comments on it that I switched. Now I just angrily grumble to myself every time I start shading.

As far as coloring goes, I don't really enjoy doing it in Manga Studio, but I love it in Paint Tool SAI. Manga Studio isn't bad, it's just Paint Tool SAI is WONDERFUL and it makes me sad to not use it, haha. I don't like using more than one program to do my pictures though, since if I need to correct a mistake, it becomes very tedious/annoying to correct it in the first program and send it back to the second one (where I'm likely to find ANOTHER mistake).

I shade my comic differently than I do for stand alone art. My comic uses just black, but I like to mix colors for shading. It just adds too much time to each page to shade that way.

So... yeah. There's a lot of different ways I shade and the one I hate the most I use for my comic. I'll probably change my style eventually but I need to figure out how to speed up my line art first.
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Lady Tygry



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
Posts: 237
Location: Buckeye State

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is how I used to do it, until a couple years ago:

http://ladytygrycomics.com/Pages/Xeno/Cellshading.aspx

Most of it is obsolete since I started using a tablet. At the time, I was still working with a mouse so I didn't have especially clean lineart. I still keep different levels of shading, etc. on their own layers but I find a lot of the layer grouping/blending tweaking isn't necessary with such simple coloring. I just use the color grabber on previous pieces and go. With more complex lighting, etc. sure, the routine gets shaken up. I also rely more on layer masking; I don't think I used it at all when I typed the tutorial up.
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smbhax.com
No! Don't post it there!


Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 3011
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really have a set method and keep experimenting with things to try to work out this whole shading thing, especially since I started using color three months ago. Here's what I've been doing recently:

Primarily I shade with black ink and a size 4 Raphael brush--sometimes with hatched and cross-hatched lines, or dry brush once in a while, although I'm really trying to use those sparingly and stick more with big bold blocks of light and dark--if I could figure out how to do it successfully all the time I think my pages would all be big chunks of black and white, leaving almost no linework, with a limited flat color palette giving just enough further information to define everything:



I'm coloring digitally, mostly on layers beneath the scanned ink artwork, which is above them on a multiply layer. White or black ink spatter can serve to give some idea of light in the physical piece; digitally of course there are plenty of options for shading, for instance sometimes it can work with just color rather than value, like with these overlapping "Foreground to Transparent" linear gradients (there's also a very subtle yellow radial gradient over the inked lines in the upper right area)



In that one I was also using different line weights--thin tapering lines made with the tip of the brush on the face, vs blocky thick lines drawn with the side of the brush on the tight material around the neck--to create different types of shading for different surfaces.

Once in a while I have resorted to using the lasso tool method, where you define your area to be shaded with the Lasso Tool in Photoshop, then fill that area with something, for instance a darker gradient than is used on the illuminated part of the object you're trying to shade



although I try not to do that too often because it looks a little too slick to me.
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Last edited by smbhax.com on Sat May 30, 2015 3:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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seamusoflattery



Joined: 27 Nov 2013
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:53 am    Post subject: olde schoole Reply with quote

i keep it pretty simple, that's just the style of my comic. So I just have a base color then a broad area using a shade darker and maybe two more darker colors to fill in details and shadows. Sometimes I get lazy and use the burn tool. Pixelmater.
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Beerbuca



Joined: 05 Dec 2013
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I work primarily with GIMP. I like to play with color and lighting, so I'll usually use a selection mask and a soft light paintbrush to paint tints of shading directly onto my color layer. Otherwise I'll use a mid tone blue gray with a soft edge and low transparency to paint subtle highlights or shadow and merge it down.
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hiptardandgirly



Joined: 29 Jan 2014
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:20 pm    Post subject: Grey Ink, Then Photoshop Reply with quote

I tend to go for a very simple approach when I color my comics. I tend to hand-draw the comics, then add the shades in with grey markers (I usually use Touch greyscale markers, which produce a great line quality). After that I scan the images into Photoshop, add the colors overtop on a separate layer on 'Multiply', then soft-erase parts out where I want to have highlights.

Because of certain circumstances, my new webcomic doesn't have these touches yet, but I usually make my comics with this process.
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JFD



Joined: 25 Jan 2014
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do most of my shading manually with the spray paint tool on a different layer on top of my color layer for easier editing. Some shading is done with a pathing tool such as the hair highlights and the shading near the cloak buckles of my characters.

I tried to do all shading with pathing but I found the result too clean and unnatural. Nothing like a human hand I guess Very Happy
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Lockezero



Joined: 22 May 2015
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2015 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I try to draw it as close as i would in a real life paper. Im a much better traditional artist than i am a digital so i like to keep it close to paint and brush as much as possible.

If i have the time i tidy it up a bit like the first part of this comic:



And if I'm more in a hurry i tend to do a simpler character line with a simple shading much like a SD comic like this:



Really loved the topic, we need more of those around here and less "wanna c mah comic?" ones lol
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Foeshel



Joined: 22 Jan 2014
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi All,

I can show you how I do my shading (I'm using photoshop), it's basicly the same method as with a multiply layer but I go for an overlay layer 100% black for shadows and another one with white for lighting. If I need the light to pop more it can depend and be another option in the contrast group like soft hard vivid light.
Then I use a soft brush bound to pressure to lay on the shading.

Speed drawing shading at the end


Greets,
Kevin
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smbhax.com
No! Don't post it there!


Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 3011
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foeshel wrote:
Hi All,

I can show you how I do my shading (I'm using photoshop), it's basicly the same method as with a multiply layer but I go for an overlay layer 100% black for shadows and another one with white for lighting. If I need the light to pop more it can depend and be another option in the contrast group like soft hard vivid light.
Then I use a soft brush bound to pressure to lay on the shading.

Speed drawing shading at the end


Greets,
Kevin


Nice video! ^_^

I don't do all that stuff I blabbered on about before anymore, now I just use red and blue watercolor and it does stuff on the paper : D


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