Monday, June 26, 2006

Coloring in Photoshop

Everyone has a different method for coloring their images in Photoshop - I have developed a very specific pathway to help me zip along with my animated film, but of course it might not be the correct pathway for you. When coloring, experiment a little. If you don't like the texture or look of an image, don't settle for it, just keep on pushing!

First I draw an image on a piece of white animation paper. Sometimes, I draw directly onto a Photoshop file using my Wacom tablet. I looooove my Wacom tablet. For the uninitiated, it's a super-sexy sort of mouse pad that uses a sensitive pen (with eraser on the opposite end) to pick up not only the length of a line, but uses a pressure = line thickness ratio that is divine. The only people that I've heard complain about it either A) don't pick their pen's settings themselves (which are extremely adjustable and easy to do) or B) wanted a Tablet PC in the first place.

After I've scanned my image in, I open it up in Photoshop, and make two new layers underneath it. Since I'm animating, I've previously made the backgrounds and merely drag and drop the background layer from existing artwork in another tiff or jpeg file.

One layer I name "edgefinder," and make it a bright, obnoxious color that is markedly different from my current color palette. The edgefinder layer becomes useful in helping me spot where I color outside the line. Then I change the original drawing layer settings from "Normal" to "Multiply," which you can do in the layers box.

I name the layer sandwiched between the original drawing and "edgefinder" something with "color" in the title. Then I select colors from my color comps (using the eyedropper tool, and then saving the colors in the palette box), and use a brush tool to color the area. Sometimes I use the fill bucket, too.

Once I turn off the edgefinder layer, I save the new file as a jpeg or tiff with no layers, and I'm done!

Since my belly is full of strawberry shortcake, and writing in my blog is just a fancy form of procrastinating, I'm going to go work on my film. Happy coloring!

All images on this website: copyright Michelle Lopes 2006.


Michael said...

Thanks Michele.
That was fun and I learned a few things. I never used layers in photoshop and now I can see why and how.

take Care

Michelle said...

I'm glad that you found the article helpful, Michael! I love using layers in Photoshop because it increases the flexibility I have in altering my images. Have a great weekend, and thanks for including me in your blogroll - you're a sweetheart.


Michael said...

Michelle (spelled your name wrong last time, sorry)

I will certainly play with using layers now. *blush*

Take Care