From line to ren­der

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Artist Insight | An RPG Full Of Life -

I love de­sign­ing with line be­cause corrections are ex­tremely fast. My first draw­ing is never the best, so I usu­ally do a few vari­a­tions of im­por­tant char­ac­ters to get the more ex­pected stuff out of the way. Once I’m sat­is­fied with the de­sign, I de­cide on a light­ing scheme and start sculpting us­ing form and cast shad­ows. Then I use dif­fer­ent layer styles to roughly colour the piece (I like Hard Light mode since it al­lows for value ad­just­ments). Once this is done I fin­ish the piece with ma­te­ri­als, ex­tra light­ing and spe­cial ef­fects.

1 Visualise the de­sign

The sketch phase is key. Keep in mind that no amount of ren­der­ing will save a bad draw­ing. Start loose. Re­fine your de­sign un­til most dis­tract­ing el­e­ments are gone and only the rel­e­vant re­mains. Be mind­ful of pro­por­tions and com­po­si­tion, but also of the emo­tions you want to con­vey.

2 Block and colour

Start ren­der­ing by block­ing in your shadow shapes and turn­ing your forms. Cast shad­ows are a pow­er­ful ren­der­ing tool, so don’t be afraid to go sharp and dark. I usu­ally colour my el­e­ments with Color or Hard Light lay­ers – any­thing that can get me a quick rough pass.

3 Bring your char­ac­ter to life

Fi­nally it’s time to make your ren­der­ing come to life. Use ref­er­ence for your ma­te­ri­als and look for op­por­tu­ni­ties. Maybe your char­ac­ter’s clothes have a re­flec­tive pat­tern, or per­haps their trousers are caked with mud. Use tech­niques such as sub­sur­face scat­ter­ing, a fres­nel ef­fect, sharp re­flec­tions, rim light­ing and lost-and-found edges.

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