Digital Character Painting Using Photoshop CS3

DON SEEGMILLER

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Book Details
 Price
 2.00 USD
 Pages
 433 p
 File Size
 22,927 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 ISBN-10
 ISBN-13
 eISBN-10
 1-58450-533-8
 978-1-58450-533-4
 1-58450-602-4
 Copyright   
 2008 Career & Professional Group  

About the Author
Don Seegmiller has been an artist as long as he can remember.
Some of his earliest memories are of getting into trouble in
school because he was drawing pictures in the margins on his
math pages instead of doing the addition and subtraction.
In 1973, he was accepted into the art department at Brigham Young
University on scholarship. As with most artists, academics were of secondary
importance to the drawn image, yet, in the spring of 1979, he did
graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design, with a
specialization in illustration. He was promptly employed by one of the
departments at the school as a graphic designer/illustrator. While employed
at Brigham Young University, he decided that commercial deadlines
were not what he wanted to be dealing with, so he became a fine
artist. He began to paint egg tempera paintings in the evenings, and, after
trying various subject matter, decided that his heart and talent were most
at home with the human figure. In the fall of 1980, with three paintings
under his arm, he traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico, seeking representation
in one of the many art galleries in town. His work has been shown in
Wadle Galleries of Santa Fe since 1981. He has painted more than 500 oil
paintings of the figure and is represented in public and private collections worldwide.
In the spring of 1995, two opportunities that could not be ignored
presented themselves. Don was asked to teach figure drawing at Brigham
Young University for both the fine arts department and the graphics department.
Since that time, the departments have merged, and he continues
to teach senior-level illustration, traditional head painting, figure
drawing, and digital painting for the department of visual design. He also
joined the staff of Saffire Corporation, where he was the art director for
six years. Saffire was a small developer of video games for publishers such
as Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Titus, and Mindscape. Don continues to be
active in game development with clients such as Microsoft, Wizards of
the Coast, and Bethesda Software.
Don is a regular speaker at the Game Developers Conference. In the
spring of 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005, he did full-day tutorials on character
design and digital painting and creativity.
Don was the keynote speaker at the Association of Medical Illustrators
convention in New Orleans in the summer of 2003 and continues to teach
workshops at their annual convention. He has taught workshops at individual
game developers conventions around the country. He also has
taught at the University of California, Irvine extension, and the Ringling
School of Art in Sarasota, Florida, and the Art Institute of California San
Diego. He teaches online workshops for the CG Society and writes and
teaches online courses for The Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
Don traveled for a while demonstrating Metacreations Painter 6, 7, 8,
9, and 10 at the major trade shows. His work is featured in The Painter 6
Wow! Book, The Painter 7 Wow! Book, The Painter 8 Wow! Book, The Painter 9
Wow! Book, Electronic Step by Step Design, Spectrum 7, and Spectrum 8, and he
was a judge for Ballistic Media’s Painter book.
Don continues to pursue his traditional fine art, digital art, character
design, and teaching passions.

PREFACE
Why strive to be an artist? There are certainly easier ways to
make a living, and there are definitely better paying vocations.
Combine those two points with the fact that most artists are
not at all satisfied with the results of their efforts, and the question almost
becomes absurd. Why on earth would anyone want to do this? Why does
someone continue with an activity or profession when a sense of failure
or disappointment with the final product is so common? If you were an
air traffic controller or surgeon and failed to reach your goal at the end of
each landing or surgery, I doubt you could continue in that profession.
Why, then, do we keep trying to do this? I really think that there is only
one reason that we persevere in our efforts: We love the feeling that the
process of creating art instills within us. It is the travel and not the destination
that we love. Professional artists or not, we feel the same inner reward
when we are in the process of creating art, and this alone is reason
enough to continue to struggle and call ourselves artists.
I myself am an artist through and through. I just cannot seem to control
myself. Give me a crayon at a restaurant, and I will draw on the
tablecloth. I carry a sketchbook with me always. My hands permanently
smell like turpentine. For as long as I can remember, this need to draw
and paint has been part of my existence. As for a label, you may call me a
professional artist in as much as creating art is how I support my family
and lifestyle. Up until 1995, I was only a “traditional” artist. I painted in
oil and sold the paintings through a traditional art gallery. Never had I
seriously considered the possibility of doing art on a computer, and yet
I remember vividly in the late 1970s going into an art supply store and
seeing a massive machine in the corner. It was a computer, and the darn
thing could make pictures. As I look back, the pictures were not very sophisticated,
being mostly primitive shapes filled with colors or gradients,
and the output was on Polaroid film. Nevertheless, it did not matter that
the machine was as big as a small car or that it cost as much as a small
house. I was hooked on digital art. The possibilities seemed endless.
Here it is a new millennium. Computers are small enough to be easily
carried when you are traveling, imaging programs have now reached
a level where virtually anything is possible, and movies, games, the Internet,
television, and even the printed media are relying more and more on
digital imagery to communicate ideas. It is now economically possible for
artists of all experience levels to create digital content, and as an audience,
we are becoming more sophisticated in our demands on the quality
of images we see. The future of art is here whether you like it or not.
So what does all this philosophy have to do with a book on character
design and digital art? Plenty, I hope. What you have in your hands is my
attempt to merge two distinct yet intimately interrelated subjects: character
design and digital painting.
Character design is all about ideas and how to put those ideas together.
Any time that you need to design a character, your mind starts spinning
and the cogs start turning. You come up with ideas that will fulfill the
client’s vision but that are also merged with your thoughts and ideas. Possibly
you are lucky and you only have to come up with ideas for yourself.
Your ideas may be very concrete or amorphous. It really does not matter
who you are designing for; the design process is all about ideas.
On the other hand, the digital painting process is about the combination
of method, techniques, and artistic theory. It is all about how to do a
“thing,” and that thing is how to make something that is ultimately
viewed in two dimensions imitate three dimensions. The subject is not
only about the theory of how to make images in two dimensions but
often how to create a specific effect in a specific application.
This book is about merging these two distinct subjects. Though different,
neither of these subjects—character design and digital painting—can
stand on its own. A great design is nothing if you can’t communicate that
idea to the audience; conversely, the most beautifully rendered image is
nothing without a good idea.
This is the crux and solution to the problem at hand. Why not have a
book that deals with both subjects? The first section could explain how to
come up with great ideas, and the second could explain how to visualize
those ideas so that others could appreciate their beauty. So here is that attempt
at merging two very creative and different disciplines that nevertheless
require each other to be successful.
The book is in three parts. Part I deals with character design and coming
up with the ideas that are worth visualizing. Part II is a brief review of
some traditional artistic principles that will improve your art skills when
you incorporate them into digital painting. Part III shows you how to
solve some of the visual problems that will always be present when you
are painting digital art.
There is only one reason for this book, and that is to help you merge
the differing disciplines of character design, the ever-expanding digital
universe, and good old-fashioned artistic skill and creativity. This book
has been written so that anyone from the seasoned professional to the aspiring
artist will find something of use. Professionals will possibly find
ideas for ways of doing things that had never occurred to them before.
Aspiring artists will find valuable information on basic artistic principles
and specific techniques for designing a character. If you are neither a professional
nor an aspiring artist, I hope that there is some art you will find
intriguing to look at.
I found it rather difficult to write a book about the technique of digital
art and how it merges with traditional principles because there is no
definitive right or wrong way to create art. Almost everything that you
find here is a result of my study and experience as a professional artist
since the early 1980s. The artistic ideas presented are for the most part
not new but rather are as old as art itself. I have found that, while artists
have been taught the same basic principles, sometimes the implementation
of that knowledge is less well taught.
I hope that you gain some insight into the creative process as well as
some additional skills while you paint.

Table of Contents
PREFACE xvii
INTRODUCTION xxi
PARTI CHARACTER DESIGN 1
CHAPTER1 INTRODUCTION TO CHARACTER DESIGN 3
What Is Character Design? 6
Character Design Issues and Limitations 8
Conclusion 11
CHAPTER2 DEVELOPING A WORKING METHOD 13
The Need for a Methodical and Successful Way of Working 14
Identifying and Understanding the Problem 14
Analyzing the Problem and Breaking It Down into Simpler Elements 16
Choosing the Best Idea 16
Drawing the Character 16
Evaluating the Results 16
Conclusion 17
CHAPTER3 EXPANDING ON YOUR IDEAS WHEN CREATING THE CHARACTER 19
Basic Strategies to Help Generate Creative Ideas 20
Learning to Relax 20
Locating Useful Reference Materials 22
Using Wordplay 22
Fantasizing About the Character 22
Using Symbolism with the Character 23
Building the Character Around a Myth 23
Snowballing 23
Visiting Special Places for Inspiration 23
Developing Your Basic Idea 24
Using Caricature 25
Using Humor 25
Using Blotter Pictures 26
Using Exaggeration 27
Using Satire 28
Using Parody 28
Doing Some Expression Exercises 28
Doing Some Five-Dot Action Exercises 29
Using Folded Paper 29
Using Idealization 29
Adding and Subtracting 29
Using Repetition 29
Using Combinations 30
Transferring Characteristics 30
Superimposing 30
Changing the Scale 30
Substituting 30
Distorting 30
Disguising the Character 31
Using Analogy 31
Creating a Hybrid 31
Evolving the Character 31
Changing the Character with Metamorphosis and Mutation 31
Using Metaphors 31
Using Visual Puns 32
Doodling and Scribbling 32
Making Things Look Strange, or Transforming the Ordinary into the Fantastic 32
Using Mimicry 32
Conclusion 32
CHAPTER4 MAKING THE CHARACTER REAL BY CREATING A
CHARACTER HISTORY 33
Creating the Character’s History 34
The Character’s Past, Present, and Future 34
The Character’s Everyday Environment 35
The Character’s Personality 35
The Character’s Personality Traits 36
The Character’s Look 37
Conclusion 37
CHAPTER5 DESIGNING THE PHYSICAL LOOK OF YOUR CHARACTER 39
Describing the Character 40
The Character’s General Physical Characteristics 40
The Character’s Body Type 40
The Character’s Proportions 42
The Character’s Makeup 42
The Character’s Gender 42
The Character’s Surface 42
The Character’s Color 43
The Character’s Facial Structure 43
The Character’s Movement 43
Other Considerations 44
The Visual Issues of Character Design and How to Communicate Your Ideas 44
Conclusion 45
PART II ARTISTIC PRINCIPLES FOR A DIGITAL AGE 47
CHAPTER6 BASIC PRINCIPLES FOR IMPROVING THE DRAWING,
SKETCHING, AND PAINTING OF YOUR CHARACTER 49
Some Basic Ideas About Drawing 50
Some Basic Ideas About Painting Figures, Hair, and Flesh Tones 52
The Art Part: Sketching, Drawing, and Painting the Character 54
Conclusion 55
CHAPTER7 VALUE AND ITS USE IN PICTURE MAKING 57
What Is Value? 59
How to Use Value Effectively in Your Art 64
Rules for Using Value in Your Images 69
Conclusion 71
CHAPTER8 COLOR AND ITS USE IN PICTURE MAKING 73
The Four Primary Characteristics of Color 74
Hue 74
Value 75
Chroma 75
Temperature 75
Secondary Color Characteristics 76
Color Quality 76
Color Distance 76
Color Weight 77
How Color Acts and Reacts 78
Simultaneous Contrast 78
Color Contrast 79
Using Colors Effectively 79
Conclusion 80
CHAPTER9 USING LIGHTING ARRANGEMENTS TO LIGHT A
CHARACTER EFFECTIVELY 81
Using Lighting to Create Striking Art 82
The Main Types of Lighting 83
Positioning Your Lights 87
The Color of Your Lights 94
A Last Word About Shadows 94
Conclusion 96
CHAPTER 10 USING EDGES WHEN PAINTING A PICTURE 97
Types of Edges 98
How Edges Interact 101
Edges and Value 101
Edges and Color 102
Where You Will Find the Different Types of Edges 106
Conclusion 107
CHAPTER 11 BLENDING EDGES IN YOUR DIGITAL PAINTINGS 109
A New Method for Blending the Edge Where Your Colors and Shapes Meet 110
Optional Blending Method 123
Conclusion 126
CHAPTER 12 CREATING TEXTURES AND PATTERNS FOR USE IN
DIGITAL PAINTING 127
Creating Textures 128
Creating Textures from Photographic Reference Materials 128
Photoshop’s Pattern Maker 136
Creating Hand-Drawn Textures from Scratch 139
Conclusion 141
CHAPTER 13 PHOTOSHOP BRUSHES 143
Section 1: The Basics of Photoshop Brushes 144
Where Are the Photoshop Brushes? 144
How to Change Brush Properties 148
Section 2: The Photoshop Brushes Palette 152
Brush Presets 154
Brush Tip Shape 154
Shape Dynamics 159
Scattering 162
Texture 163
Dual Brush 165
Color Dynamics 165
Other Dynamics 169
Section 3: Creating Your Own Photoshop Brushes 172
Creating and Saving Brushes in Photoshop 172
Creating a Custom Brush in Photoshop Using a Photographic Texture 175
Creating Brush Libraries of Your Custom Brushes 180
Conclusion 182
PART III DIGITAL PAINTING: BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
IN PHOTOSHOP CS3 183
CHAPTER 14 PAINTING AN EYE 189
What You Need to Know About Photoshop for This Chapter 190
TUTORIAL 14.1 Painting the Window into a Character’s Soul, the Eye 190
Conclusion 195
CHAPTER 15 PAINTING A FACE 197
TUTORIAL 15.1 General Working Methods You May Want to Use When Painting a Face 198
Conclusion 210
CHAPTER 16 PAINTING HAIR 211
What You Need to Know About Photoshop for This Chapter 212
TUTORIAL 16.1 A Technique for Painting Long, Dark Hair 212
Conclusion 226
CHAPTER 17 PAINTING FISH FACE 227
What You Need to Know About Photoshop for This Chapter 228
TUTORIAL 17.1 Painting Fish Face 228
Conclusion 251
CHAPTER 18 PAINTING A STRANGE-LOOKING CHARACTER 253
What You Need to Know About Photoshop for This Chapter 254
TUTORIAL 18.1 Getting Started 255
TUTORIAL 18.2 Painting a Face Using a Cool Color Scheme 259
TUTORIAL 18.3 Painting a Face Using a Warm Color Scheme 272
Conclusion 280
CHAPTER 19 PAINTING A FRIENDLY DRAGON 281
What You Need to Know About Photoshop for This Chapter 282
TUTORIAL 19.1 Painting a Rather Silly Looking but Friendly Dragon 282
Getting Started 282
Removing the White Areas in the Image 286
TUTORIAL 19.2 Painting the Green Character 287
Conclusion 303
CHAPTER 20 PAINTING THE FABRIC OF A CHARACTER’S COSTUME 305
What You Need to Know About Photoshop for This Chapter 306
TUTORIAL 20.1 Painting Fabric 306
Conclusion 326
CHAPTER 21 PAINTING THE DRAGON’S LAIR 327
What You Need to Know About Photoshop for This Chapter 328
TUTORIAL 21.1 Painting the Image 328
Conclusion 351
CHAPTER 22 PAINTING A MONSTER FROM SCRATCH 353
What You Need to Know About Photoshop for This Chapter 354
TUTORIAL 22.1 Painting the Image 354
Conclusion 371
CHAPTER 23 PAINTING THE PROFESSOR IMAGE 373
What You Need to Know About Photoshop for This Chapter 374
Tutorial 23.1 Painting the Professor Image 374
Conclusion 398
APPENDIXA ABOUT THE CD-ROM 399
What Is Photoshop? 400
System Requirements 400
Windows 400
Macintosh 401
INDEX 403

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INTRODUCTION
Have you ever doodled creatures on the edges of the phone book
while waiting for directory assistance? How many of you have
scribbled on a scrap of paper while sitting in a boring meeting?
I would venture to say that almost everyone has at one time or another
spent some time drawing the characters and monsters that populate
our minds. For a few of us, this random doodling begins to become
something more. We take these random images and expand on them
until they are more fully realized. For an even smaller number, this
drawing becomes a painting. For some, this compulsion to draw and
paint the population of our mind ultimately becomes, if not our vocation,
then an activity that we feel almost an obsession to engage in.

This book is for all people who have ever felt the need to put the images
in their heads down into a more solid statement to share with others.
There is something in this book for you whether you are a complete
novice wondering where to begin to draw the characters of your imagination,
or whether you are a seasoned professional looking for information
to help improve your current skills.

The book is divided into three basic parts. Part I deals with ideas and
is about things of a more cerebral nature. It covers such topics as how to
get ideas and how to get them out so that others may see them. It serves
as an outline for a method of turning on the tap in your brain and letting
the ideas flow and develop. Artists of all levels should understand the
chapters in this part.
Part II is about artistic fundamentals that will help you take your
ideas to the next step: drawing and painting them so that others may appreciate
your efforts. This part is laid out somewhat like a textbook and
specifically focuses on things that seem difficult for both beginning and
more advanced artists in their struggles with drawing and painting. In
most areas, a basic understanding of artistic principles is not needed. Most
subjects are covered so that both the beginning and more advanced artist
will understand the concepts.
Part III is a series of tutorials that show how I have handled different
subject matter when drawing and painting. This part does not give you an
exact formula for duplicating what you are seeing but allows you to work
along through the creation process and then use what you have learned in
your own work. These tutorials contain completely new material.

SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS
This is a book on digital painting, so you need certain equipment to follow
the demonstrations and exercises. You obviously need a computer
with lots of hard drive space as well as a monitor capable of displaying at
least 24-bit color. You will have greater success if you use some sort of
stylus when painting. Painting with a mouse is possible but feels a lot like
painting with a bar of soap.
As for software, I’m using Photoshop CS3. It’s assumed that you have
a fundamental understanding of this software. If you do not have Photoshop
CS3, Photoshop CS2, Photoshop CS, or Photoshop 7 will suffice.
Earlier versions of Photoshop are not recommended, as the brush engine
in later versions was significantly improved over earlier versions. In Part
III, where the tutorials appear, great detail on how to achieve a particular
effect is not necessarily provided since this is not a Photoshop “how-to”
section. Rather, Part III is more about getting into my brain and watching
the process as each painting is completed.
Many other 2D applications will suffice if you do not own Photoshop
CS3. Be aware that you will not be able to reproduce the effects exactly,
but you will be able to use the general principles discussed.
It is my hope that this book will serve you as you strive to be a better
character designer and artist.
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