Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Drawing Finals, iPad tutorial part 7

Up until now I've really just demonstrated how I get ready to do the final illustrations. Now's the big moment. Open Brushes and import the PNG of the borders and bubbles from the last post. Brushes will give you the opportunity to rotate and position the PNG. Pinch to zoom the image to fit a few boxes as big as possible so that 2-3 Brushes files should be enough to do a whole page. This will vary from page to page because of differing layouts. The idea is to find the sweet spot between having the fewest Brushes docs while keeping the boxes big enough to draw in. Next, import the sketch made in Sketchbook Pro that was used to set up the Photoshop so that You can reference while roughing out the final image. Obviously, you need to rotate and position this just as you did before.

In Brushes you can order up to 6 layers. By default, a solid white layer will be on the bottom. Put the sketch above this, but lower the opacity until it's barely visible.

Create a new layer above that and have the border layer on top.
Start with a brush of 1 pixel, black and about 30% opacity. With this brush you can "pencil" out the illustration. Save this brush in the Color Pallet so you can easily reset later.

When that's ready, make a new layer and set your brush to solid black to "ink" over the "pencil". You might be wondering why having separate steps for pencilling and inking when drawing digitally. I started out skipping the "penciling" stage, but later when I rendered the Brushes file at a higher resolution I found that it did not perfectly match the original on the iPad. A few things, like erasing, will not render correctly. Close, just not perfect. Minimizing erasing will save you clean up time later. Besides, I found I needed the liberty of throwing lines on paper roughly at first helpful in finding the composition. I felt more free to experiment.

When you finish inking you will color. Make a new layer beneath the ink layer and delete the sketch layer. Use the color palette to save all the important colors for you characters. You might also want to keep a bitmap of all color palettes for characters, objects, and settings since the Brushes palette has a limit to the number of colors you can keep at anytime.

Shading can be done in a variety of ways. I've created a layer at about 60 opacity (plus or minus depending on lighting conditions). In this layer, I paint solid black with sharp lines. Soft edges do not render well so I've been softening in Photoshop later. After adding any other effect layers you're done.

So far I've mentioned a few limitations to Brushes when using the PC app to increase resolution. The biggest one is that you can't export a layered file, like a PSD. To get around this you will need to make all the layers, but one transparent. Exit the app and email the brushes files with just that one layer showing. This will get monotonous, especially when you then use the desktop app to render high resolution TIFFs for each layer, since you could have 8 to 20 of these.

In the next and final post in this series, we'll complete the page by importing these TIFFs and finalizing the PSD.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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