Now we have pixelshaded pants. Pixelshading is when you use only the pencil
to paint on the colors one by one. If you like the look of you pants you can
leave it at that and continue to pixelshade the rest of the doll.
You can also choose to play around with some tools which will give you: toolshading,
ta-daa! Or really a combination of pixel- and toolshading to be precise ;)
The advantage of pixelshading is that you'll only use a limited number of
colors... even if you use 10 or 12 colors in each palette you will probaly
not use more than the 256 color that the gif format allows for. And thus you
will have little or no color loss on the finished doll.
Toolshading on the other hand can give a very smooth look and create fantastic
effects but will also leave you with an insane amount of unique colors used.
Usually you will be able to get them into a decent 256 color gif without too
much quality loss, but sometimes the infamous gif monster will eat a lot of
These steps are totally optional, but I just wanted to show you some of the
neat tricks that's in the toolbox... so, toolshading it is:
First thing I'll do is go over the pants with a smudge brush. For backup reasons
I copy the Pants layer and hide the copy before I start to play around, that
way I can always regret my experiments.
The smudge tool I use with these settings:
The trick is not to distort
the pixelshading, but to go along the lines in short strokes to smudge the
colors together. Do not overdo it, a little bit of blending is enough. And
use a small brush and do more strokes rather than a huge brush that will turn
everything into the same color (=boring and dull).
With the smudge tool you
can also drag shadows or highlights out. Play around with this tool on differrent
settings, it's really very cool.
Here's how my quickly smudged pants look:
On to the dodge/burn tool: A quick example with different settings:
Using first the burn tool and then the dodge tool on the smudged pants (these
gave me this result (the pants outline was darkened a bit to match):
Trying out the blur tool: These are my settings:
I go over the pixelshaded pants with a big brush in long strokes.
This is a very fast technique, it took me 10 seconds to get to this:
A fast and easy (and lazy?) alternative to the dodge/burn method is to increase
the contrast on the pixelshaded pants, decrease the saturation and use a gaussian
blur filter. Very nice if you're lazy and it gives a smoother look than dodge/burn
in my opinion. Here's how I did using the pixelshaded pants as a base:
Layer -> Colours -> Brightness-Contrast...
Layer -> Colours -> Hue-Saturation...
Filters -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur...
This will be the result:
Comparing the results and the number of unique colors on the pants layer:
#1: pixelshading - 6 colors
#2: smudging - 245 colors
#3: blurring - 175 colors
#4: smudging+dodge/burn - 759 colors
#5: adjust contrast and sat + gauss blur- 282 colors
Play around with these tools on different settings to see what they can do.
Note: remember to keep the transparency locked while using these tools and
filters. Otherwise the edges will blur too and make and ugly transparent gif
in the end :-S
>>> next page, Drawing and shading the shirt