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Skillshare – Characters in a Scene: Sketch to Digital

Skillshare - Characters in a Scene Sketch to DigitalCharacters in a Scene


Characters in a Scene: Sketch to Digital : Concept art, game design, character design: they all rely on a solid basic sketch, a sense of color, and line drawing skills. You will learn how to work with strong outlines to hold the artwork together and I will explain my style of colouring, lighting and shading. I will also explain how to use different brush presets to get those nice textures that really bring the picture to life.

What You’ll Learn

It’s great for an artist to be able to draw on paper, but if you have sketching skills and an artistic eye, this class will challenge you to take it to the next level. Not only will this refine your skills, but it will also make your work relevant in an industry that is mostly all digital.

  • Setup and preparations. I’ll walk you through sketch preparation and digitizing your work, starting by showing you the best width and height to use for creating a digital illustration in Photoshop. You’ll learn how to prepare your imported hand-drawn sketch for digital work, and how to choose the right brush tools for digitally redrawing your sketch.
  • Line work (part 1). We’ll go over brushes and digital line weights, and you’ll learn how to create outlines in a separate layer in Photoshop. I’ll show you how to draw characters by hand while thinking about how they’ll fit into your final digital design.
  • Line work (part 2). You’ll learn how to make lines that match your original sketch, down to the hairs in characters’ beards and the folds in their clothing. I’ll demonstrate how to tackle overlapping elements in your composition using the magic wand tool.
  • Line work (part 3). I’ll use line work to distinguish minute details in my character art and maybe even give you some ideas for caricature drawing.
  • Flat colours. We’ll give your piece base colors. You’ll learn to designate sections for different color fills by creating additional layers over your characters.
  • Lighting. You’ll discern a light source and learn how to use the dodge tool to bring highlights to your digital drawing. I’ll teach you some highlighting tricks using layers and the gradient tool.
  • Shading & lighting. One character at a time, you’ll learn shading techniques in Photoshop. You’ll add depth and shading, and color using the eyedropper tool. After learning how to shade large sections, you’ll narrow in on shading details, catching small grooves in faces and hair and shading all of the characters in your composition uniformly.
  • Details. You’ll add details to your work to make it more interesting and complete. You’ll learn best practices for coloring your original line work to correspond with your fill shades. I’ll introduce you to the burn tool, and you’ll play with the color balance settings to create more convincing shadows and highlights.
  • Background. You’ll fill in the background to complete the narrative. Working in a new layer, you’ll learn the difference between how to draw a body in Photoshop and how to depict inanimate objects by adding uniform texture to elements in the background of your composition. You’ll learn shortcuts for creating small details on structures like buildings and cars and discover how saturation adjustments can add texture to flat backgrounds. You’ll watch me create visual effects like dirt and rust.
  • Background, final steps. Finally, you’ll incorporate your foreground elements into your background, making sure the shadows and hues align throughout.

What You’ll Do

You will select a character, scene, or topic that sparks your interest and will motivate you in your work. This could be from a video game, movie, or TV show. With the efficiency tools, rendering techniques, and coloring tips, you’ll create a final digital illustration of your scene.

  • Deliverable. You’ll create a digital rendering of your favorite scene or character in Photoshop.
  • Description. You’ll sketch your concept and character, and digitize that sketch in Photoshop. You will add line, color, dimension, and texture to your piece with efficiency and technique. You will finish the piece with lighting and effects.
  • Specs. By the end of this class, you will have a final digital rendering of a character in a scene.

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