I want to mix tra­di­tional me­dia with my dig­i­tal char­ac­ter con­cepts. Any ideas?

Lex O’Brian, US

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Imagine Nation Artist Q & A -

An­swer

Dave replies

When try­ing to evoke tra­di­tional meth­ods with dig­i­tal me­dia, one of the qual­i­ties I find most dif­fi­cult to re­pro­duce is sat­is­fy­ing line work. Tablets have never felt right to me for this, but scan­ners, on the other hand, are quite cheap th­ese days, and scan­ning in some nice pen­cil work goes a long way to­wards warm­ing up the per­son­al­ity of your char­ac­ter de­signs.

My method is to scan in my pen­cil art, and then colour it us­ing dig­i­tal water­colour brushes in Photoshop. My tech­nique was in­spired by Wil­liam Stout’s break­down of how Rack­ham and Du­lac cre­ated their ink and water­colour work. I iso­late my scanned pen­cil work in Photoshop as an al­pha chan­nel so that I can use Layer Ef­fects to tint it and give it a touch of bleed. I use a sep­a­rate layer for main colours, with an Over­lay layer of tex­ture on top of that.

I think the re­sult­ing ef­fect has a lot of ap­peal, and stands out well from the more typ­i­cal dig­i­tal feel.

In ad­di­tion to the scanned pen­cil, I’ve used some favourite tex­tures as a colour Over­lay layer, and a scanned water­colour shape for a back­ground el­e­ment.

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