HOWTO | cre­ate fish with brushes

Mac Format - - IMPROVE -

1 Start­ing the body shape

Us­ing the Pen tool we learnt about in the first part of this tu­to­rial, we’ll need to cre­ate a rough out­line for a fish. At this stage you only need the body – we’ll be adding fins, eyes and the other fish later on. The fish looks pretty flat with­out any colour, so we’ll need to cre­ate a gra­di­ent for his body.

2 Cre­at­ing the scales

Now we have a rough body shape (it can be re­fined later), we need to cre­ate a file to use for the scales. Go to the file menu and se­lect New, make sure the im­age area is square and that it has a trans­par­ent back­ground. It’s also a good idea to leave the ‘in­clude mar­gins’ box unchecked.

3 Draw­ing the scales

If you’re con­fi­dent, draw enough rows of scales to fill the new can­vas. If not, use the Pen tool to cre­ate them. With the Pen tool don’t for­get to use the Node and Cor­ner tools to help re­fine the lines of the scales. It doesn’t mat­ter how many lines you draw, but you’ll need to cre­ate a few.

4 Adding tex­ture

Once you’re happy with the scales you’re ready to ex­port it. To do this go to File > Ex­port and make sure that you have the ‘Se­lec­tion with­out back­ground’ op­tion se­lected in the bot­tom left-hand cor­ner. As we only want to use the lines it’s best to ex­port it as a png.

5 Scal­ing the scales

To use the scales as a tex­ture, add them to the im­age by click­ing on the Place Im­age Tool, se­lect­ing the ex­ported scales im­age, then click­ing to place it. Drag the layer over the fish body, to hide ev­ery­thing out­side it. You can experiment with Blend modes to make them look more life like.

6 Adding eyes and fins

Our lit­tle fish won’t get far with­out fins or eyes and a mouth would help him eat. Cre­ate eyes us­ing the same tech­nique as air bub­bles (see last is­sue). The fins are cre­ated with the same tech­nique as the fish body. We do the fins sep­a­rately to have more con­trol over them.

7 Adding more fish

The lit­tle fella might get a bit lonely on his own, so let’s add a few more fish to our tank. It’s a great way to prac­tise what you’re learnt so far, and you can have as many fish as you want swimming in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions. We opted for three here as we’re go­ing to add some sea weed, too.

8 Cre­at­ing sea weed

For sea weed, we use the same process as for cre­at­ing scales, but here we give it a green back­ground, and ex­port the two to­gether. Af­ter ex­port­ing, cre­ate a ‘New Tex­tured Im­age Brush’ (to the right of the brushes tab). Dou­ble-click the new brush to edit it be­fore us­ing it to cre­ate a leaf.

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