Sunday, April 26, 2009

New Adventures in Digital

I have been playing around with Photoshop (CS3) the past week or so. Scanning in drawings and then digitally painting them.

The following screen-grabs show the before and after. Pen on draft paper quick sketches are transformed into pretty cool images. (Well, I think they are pretty cool, and I only really want to please myself here.)

Basically all you have to do is the following...
  1. Scan your image into the editing software of your choice. In this case Photoshop.
  2. Duplicate your image, make the blending mode 'Multiply' and keep it as the top layer.
  3. Create your painting on layers below it using various brushes.
  4. Shadows, highlight, colours and background can have their own layer. Having layers works best because you can edit each element separately.
  5. Play around with blending modes and layer transparency to get the effect you want.
  6. Save a copy as a flattened image. Save the original as a layered file so you can go back to it and tweak the image if you want.
Photoshop is my first choice for projects like this but you could also use Painter, OpenCanvas, Microsoft expression or the free program Gimp. (Hate the name but it does the job.)

Above is really just a general idea of what is involved. There are many more techniques that can be used, different layer blending modes, filters, creating and using various brushes. The learning just goes on forever and never stops. Thank goodness for that!