Umbra 100% View

Animation and Extension

I’ve been up a a few things since the last post. Judging from the title, there’s 2 types of news going on and I’ll get straight into it.

First off, I’ve decided Une Balle Bleu to be in an animation format, being the person that I am, this isn’t going to be a quick job but hopefully I’ll be able to frequently show in-progress work. Thus far I’ve drawn out some storyboards and made character sheets of the most important characters for the story. I’m still planning out how to sort everything on a pretty much 0 budget project, for now I’m going to sort out what I can handle and figure it out as I go along.
Here’s the character sheets I’ve produced thus far (they infact resemble that of fashion illustration but doing work like this will require you to delve into over creative areas), I’ll show the storyboards another time, I don’t want to give too much away yet (although it’s likely I’m not going to keep the first draft):

Aside from Une Balle Bleu work, I have realised lately that I’ve never really done a complete generic Digital Painting piece. You can argue that my Cel-Shading work is just another valid style of Digital Painting but I wonder to myself if I’m actually able to accomplish that generic style (generic being that smooth colour lay down and utilising brushes etc.) so I sent myself a challenge to complete a Digital Painting as fast I could plus it’d make a nice addition to my portfolio.
Here is my process:
Process Thumbnail

I’m the kind of artist that needs guidelines to work from so I’ve opted for an outlined painting. I’m also the kind of person who keeps everything so original pencil drawings are a must (until the day I get a Cintqi, I’ll be able to reduce the amount of paper I use once I get one).
Starting from the top left; I’ve grown to use a basic outline as my foundation since it’s proven to have made my work look so much better proportionally and dynamically. (30 mins)

Top right; with the foundation piece done, I scan that drop the opacity to 20% and print that out. I will straight away start to actualise the character using references from past work to help me consistently draw the character as I would like. (40 mins)

Bottom left; at this point, I’ve become so versed with digital outlining this part doesn’t take very long at all, but the lines are too thick I reckon and it’s 3px on 300dpi A4, unfortunately I don’t have access to my great computer to see if working on a bigger canvas can produce better results so I’m stuck with my laptop whom is prone to overheating and lag. (1 hour 30 min)

Bottom right; this is where it gets tough, the actual painting. I never realised how much of a hassle is it to block in areas so you can turn it into a selection without disturbing the other sections while painting, because the Magic Wand tool doesn’t completely select  you want so you have to expand the selection but neither 1px  or 2px are great; 1px doesn’t select enough so you still need to go over areas manually and 2px goes over so during the process of painting you notice over spill on neighbouring sections and you’ll end out searching that layer and erasing it.
This is just the beginning of my worries, the next part that gave me cold sweats is the blending, normally when you paint you can select another colour and go over what you painted and colour pick the mid tones and proceed the blending; I don’t know if it’s because I’m using a below average laptop or because the canvas is too small but I end up with this horrible over mixture that won’t blend away with the mid-tone unless I use a 100% opacity brush to fix it.
It was becoming frustrating but eventually I found a method that works; it involves using the blending brush modes ‘Multiply’ and ‘Screen’, the problem with this is I can’t experiment with with complimentary colours but I had to make do with what I can. (2 days)

Umbra Character Illustration

About 2 days was the best I can complete this is less than satisfactory; I sincerely don’t know how and envy those artists that can do Digital Painting so quickly (I mean I had to redo the right arm from scratch but that’s no excuse). But as they say “practice makes perfect” and my honest opinion; I’d rather inked this piece, it looks wrong seeing Umbra in colour.

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