303 Coloring Step by Step

Sin

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Seeing as how this is only my second coloring and since I haven't seen this done yet on the board, I thought it would be fun/interesting/helpful for me to post the cover I'm working on in a step by step format.  First I'm doing this because as I go through each step I thought it would be great to get input from the real artists on the board (I'm no where near that category yet) on their approaches to doing things and getting tips on areas to improve my coloring.  Second I thought it would be interesting for someone who's never done coloring before to see what goes into a (most likely bad) coloring. heh.  So what I'm going to do is write out what I did to get my Cover looking like it did for each step, and then I'll attach the last three cover portions I've worked on.  So you'll get to see everything from the initial black and white cover to the finish attempt at a half decent coloring.  Thanks for any tips given, and I hope you enjoy

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Step Zero:

I took the cover that was cleaned by Fuzzy (thanks btw) and selected the black areas using the Magic Wand tool.  I reduced the selection by two pixels and filled it in white to give it a nice black outline as though it were drawn like that and not filled in black.  Once this was done I converted to greyscale in order to do the next part.  I went to the channels tab and click on Load Channel as Selection and then inverted that channel. What this did was give me the entire outline of the picture selected.  I created a new layer and filled in that selection in black.  Once you lock the transparencies what this allows you to do, is change the line colors of the drawing to any color you want without you messing up the rest of the colors in the cover. This is my top layer, above my Background Copy layer.

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Step One:
Here where the coloring actually begins.  Using the Magic Wand took on the Background Copy layer, I selected Yamato's clothes, holding Shift to select each part (The Sleve and the Mask respectively).  Then I created a new layer and filled it in my selection with an orangish/brown color.  Because of Yamatos wood jutsu's I wanted to keep his clothes earth tones.  I think my choice ended up being too orangey but hey, I'll know for next time.  I have the light coming from the upper right, so I wanted my shadows to reflect that.  To do my shading I use alot of the blur and smudge tools.    For the mask all I tried to do was make the shadows reflect how they'd appear off the light source from the chin and mask.  I'm still not very good at shading so I didn't try to incorporate the shape of the neck or jaw in the shades.  The shirt I was stuck on for a long time.  Loose clothes have a lot of  different shadows on them and I really didn't know how to accomplish that.  So I took a look at Remus' excellent coloring and tried to imitate it as best I could.  It ended up like it did, by starting off with the lightest color (the more orange color) and trying to slowly incorporate the shadows working my way down to the darkest color there. All the blending was done via the blur and smudge tools.   

Next I'm going to work on Shodaime's clothes but this time I think I'm gonna work opposite the way I did Yamato's and fill it in as the darkest shadow and the work my way up to the highlights.  I don't know what color I'm going to make it yet, suggestions are welcome. 

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Step Two:
Not really happy with the way this turned out.  I think I'm going to stick with doring the lighter color and adding the shadows and a few highlights instead of the way I tried this.  I really couldn't get the highlights to work.  I tried to do a couple things.  First I tried working off the body's natural contours but that looked ok only for the collar bone when I tried to add the highlighs for the chest it ended up all falling apart.  So what I ended up doing was just adding some shadows for the vest and then adding highlights for the neck and shoulder.  The neck piece  was pretty much The only thing I was remotely satisfied with on this part.  Hopefully Shodaime's vest isn't going to be near as frustrating.

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rStep Three:
The Vest went much easier than the shirt did thankfully, and I'm relatively pleased with how it came out.  Shadows seem to much easier for me when trying to do them on a hard surface such as the vest.  I wanted to go for wood for his vest, him being a wood jutsu god and all.  The browns came out much better than my attempt at Yamto's shirt.  Once his vest is done its going to make him look like a Miami Hurricane fan.   Again the light is coming from the upper right so I worked the shadows to show that, They came out alot better than anything I've done so far.  I did cheat a bit, using a photoshop filter for the wood grain, but I think thats what really made the vest look better than anything I could have done.  I'm probably going to do the same for Yamatos headpiece.  Yamato's Vest is next!

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Step Four:
Yamatos vest was pretty tricky but I did learn some new techniques finishing it.  Took me until now to figure out that putting a highlight right next to a shadow gives it a better show of texture.  I realized that while doing the collar.  You can see it a little on the right collar and around the buttons.  Over all I'm faily happy with how it came out.  I definetly need to learn much more to get to the point you see some of the covers at but this is a great learning experience.  Much better that my first attept.  Tutorials are your friend. Heh. You can see that pretty bad first attempt on the boards as well. This will be my last update for the day.  I've been working on this for quite a while and am getting a little tired.  I see there haven't been any replies yet, but please let me know what you think or if you have any advice

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Step Five:
The mask part ended up being pretty easy to do (well not so much the Leaf Crest but I'll get into that)  I basically did the same thing I did for Shodaime's Vest,  I tried to go more drastic on the shades,  I don't think that worked out as well,  I think its better to go for the drastic shades on the cloth (see the sleave of Yamato) than to do it for the harder objects.  Still with the filter applied to give it that wood grain, its  ok.   The Leaf Metal piece was a little trickier.  I've never tried to do anyhting metal before so I looked off some of the covers already done and decided on a plan.  What I did was take really dark shade for the bottom right corner and work my way up with lighter shades toward the center once I got there I worked back down to lower shades toward the upper left.  Then I made the top edge a couple shades lighter than the main piece and the bottom edge a couple shades lower.  Once that was done I used a bit of smudge on the edges and blended it all. After that I put in some streaks of lighter shades and blended those in as well.  The end result you can see below.  I hope I did an adequate job. :-)  Next up is the faces...

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Step Six:
Ok back to work on the cover after a pretty good chapter of naruto.  Faces and hair are pretty much the areas I'm dreading the most when it comes to doing this.  Messing up the shadows of the face can really give it a zombie like appearance.  From Yamatos face I was trying to go with more subtle shadows.  I guess the way I look at it now that its finished is sublety is pretty blah. Sometimes the shadows are so light its hard to tell any are there at all and the nose gave me quite a bit of trouble.  I'm much happierwith Shodaime's face  I hope the darker shadows give it more realism,  I had to look at what other people at mangahelpers were doing for their cover faces in order to figure out what to do for his face.  I realize that there so much more to learn out there as I do this, but it's fun to do and hopefully I get better and not worse as I do more of these.  Next on to the hair.. oh no

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Step Seven:
I found a brush in photoshop that I really like for the hair it was the hard bristle brush for those that use PS. The hair was all done with that one brush, no blurring or smudge needed. Added a little bit of highlights and shadows by just selecting white or black and reducing the opacity %. I think thats how I'm going to add some highlight for things with multiple coloring in them, like the metal headpieces. Did the metal headpiece on Shodaime as well. Used the same technique as above. I'm not sure if I'm going to do the background, but if I do I will post the finished product in a new topic. Hope you enjoyed and please post some tips if you have any! Thanks!
 

Miso

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Nice idea to show your work step by step! :D
 
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