Coloring In Photoshop-UPDATE 7/6/11 Tips for Coloring Professionally

Coloring In Photoshop-UPDATE 7/6/11 Tips for Coloring Professionally

Re: Coloring In Photoshop-11/18/09 American Comic Coloring Style
« Reply #50 on: Jun 30, 2010, 09:40 PM »
By the way, Angie, those links are awesome. I really love seeing how different artists interpret the same work, and with the explanations and everything it was really interesting. I liked the effects on the third one the best but overall I was drawn to the second one the most. When I looked at what comics he had to his credit it made sense since he had worked on Ultimate Spider-Man which I collected for quite some time.

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-11/18/09 American Comic Coloring Style
« Reply #51 on: Jun 30, 2010, 09:55 PM »
Yeah I love seeing how people do things differently, one thing that's fun is practicing on pro lines and then seeing what you did compared to a pro colorist

I did http://angieness.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d2npzv3 and learned later a pro colored it http://greatlp.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d9whiz and it was cool how we went for something different
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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-11/18/09 American Comic Coloring Style
« Reply #52 on: Jul 09, 2010, 01:10 PM »
Such helpful stuff in this thread. Thank you for that. Your art style is very similar to my ideal, so anything you have to teach I'm eager to learn.

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-11/18/09 American Comic Coloring Style
« Reply #53 on: Jul 09, 2010, 07:16 PM »
Well if you ever have questions definitely toss them in here
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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-11/18/09 American Comic Coloring Style
« Reply #54 on: Jul 15, 2010, 08:25 PM »
So I did a livestream of myself coloring one of Zsa's pages from Arma. I'd done the flats on his part so I had them sitting around so I busted them out and compiled it into a sped up video. I had to make some cuts here and there to get it under 10 minutes. But yeah, I figured it may help some people to see my whole coloring process aside from flats. The video isn't amazing quality as it was from a livestream file


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqaekBfZz6g
This is the final product


Before too long I'll try to do an actual video tutorial when I'm not being shy.
« Last Edit: Jul 15, 2010, 08:27 PM by angieness »
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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-11/18/09 American Comic Coloring Style
« Reply #55 on: Jul 16, 2010, 07:33 AM »
you can turn that yellow circle off in the options somewhere, it makes things a little less annoying but nice work as usual angie :)

Re: Coloring In Photoshop-11/18/09 American Comic Coloring Style
« Reply #56 on: Jul 16, 2010, 01:20 PM »
I was under the impression that the yellow circle was on intentionally, to make the mouse easier to follow for the viewer. I was glad it was on. :)

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-11/18/09 American Comic Coloring Style
« Reply #57 on: Aug 20, 2010, 12:09 PM »
On the note of flat colors.
If you're too lazy too make slections and expand them for every item, there's an even lazier way.
EDIT: forget it if you read it XD
It's really too much trouble for what it's worth.
You can still use the bucket on a copied line layer if you make it accept a wider range of colors, if you're really caught up with time...
« Last Edit: Aug 27, 2010, 04:14 PM by LeFred »
"I knew when I sighned up for Void years ago, Someday I'm going to prison for this site"  - Mister Kent, words to live by

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Angie's Big Overall Guide on How to Make You a Better Colorist
« Reply #58 on: Sep 19, 2010, 11:04 AM »
Angie's Big Overall Guide on How to Make You a Better Colorist

Introduction

Now that you know all the techniques, it's time to take it a step further. Fancy rendering can only do so much if you haven't put a lot of thought behind what you do. I used to think that fancy rendering was all I would need to be a good colorist and after getting

http://www.amazon.com/DC-Comics-Guide-Coloring-Lettering/dp/0823010309/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1284909649&sr=8-1

this book, I realized oh there's a lot of things I never thought about when coloring comics. A lot of this information I learned from this book, I'm just giving the same information from my own point of view so I'm not doing a straight up word for word write up from the book. I'm not going to be covering everything I learned, for that you can buy the book if you really want to know everything. I am just teaching you the stuff I felt was important.

Coloring is just like any other art form, you need to think about what you do. While some people may see being a colorist as someone that just gets paid to essentially color coloring books, it is up to you to decide if you want to be a glorified 5 year old or someone that's serious and cares about what they do.

Now before you go down the path of being a pro colorist, remember that it's a somewhat thankless job. As the colorist you are not the star and are paid less than the penciler. You will often get lineart that's a pain in the ass to color since no one really cares about how the colorist may feel about unnecessary detail lines and open gaps. Even though we're undervalued, keep in mind that you're extremely important in telling the story even though people may not realize it. I chose to color professionally because I love to do it and it's quite a bit less pressure than being a penciler. So if you are okay with making magic behind the velvet curtain then read onward!

Applying Color Theory to Comics

Many of us have taken color theory classes and a lot of us never think to use what we've learned in comics. You can use your knowledge of color theory to help your composition and push things to the foreground by using





I'm not going to go in much depth explaining each of them but essentially

value-using lighting to make a character pop from the background. Whether it be making a character dark vs. a light background or light vs a dark background. It's usually not a good practice to have the character be the same as the background unless you want to make them blend in. This may lead to some occasional unrealistic lighting situations, but in comics clarity is a big thing you want to always have so it's okay to bend the rules some. To be a great colorist it's important to know where it is appropriate to toss realism out the window. You're trying to tell a story, not paint a still life.

complimentary colors-this one is extremely common in comics. In Joe the Barbarian there you can see that that's not really the most realistic lighting situation. By making all the objects in the foreground cool colors and the background colors all very warm, we focus on the foreground. Realistically everything would overall be very warm but the foreground wouldn't pop nearly as well.

intensity/saturation-in classes most of us are taught that the further an object is away from us, the duller it should appear and this is essentially that. In this panel here the characters are extremely vibrant, whereas the background while still somewhat vibrant, is quite a bit duller in comparison to the characters. http://zsabreuser.deviantart.com/gallery/ especially uses this a lot and you all should too as it adds more depth to your colors. A lot of super heroes have extremely vibrant color schemes because it helps them easily pop from backgrounds.


Style

When you look at a comic, which ones do you think have the best colors? What do you think makes a good colorist?

Who do you think has the best coloring technique from these examples?



You don't have to tell me your answer, but most people will probably say that #3 is the best due to the fact it's the most realistic and traditionally well done. Since we're a community of artists everyone's answer might be a bit different since we can see past the technical level. The right answer is all of these are great in some way or another and I find them all to be equal.

Each image is colored in a way that suits the lineart. What would #2 look like with #5's colors, what would #4 look like with #3's colors? They probably wouldn't work nearly as well because the colors suit the style of the lineart in each image.

As amateur colorists, we all fall into the trap of trying to color things the same. It wasn't until recently that I learned oh hey, maybe I don't have to color every single comic the same way. Being able to color in different ways not only helps you figure out ways to color any kind of lineart, it also makes you more valuable since companies and clients might want you to color in a ton of different styles.

I mean, look at this badass


That looks like a different person colored each one but it was only one guy, http://fatheadwilson.deviantart.com/


Using Color to Show Emotion

When we're starting out, a lot of us don't consider that color can be used to increase the impact of a scene or give a certain feeling to the story.



These are all recent examples of color work I have done. I've chosen stuff I've worked on because it's far easier for me to explain how I used color than to try to bullshit how and why someone else did it. All of these are somewhat similar in intent but I like to think they're all different enough to have their own little category.

1.Color to Show Impact-in this example most of the comic is colored in a very simple and stylistic way which made it easier for me to alter the palette so the panel would have more impact. Something kind of makes her feel emotionally shocked so I wanted to use color to not only express her shock, but to make it feel like time has frozen. So for this I wanted kind of an odd color. I didn't do a straight up blue because it would feel more somber and I didn't go with a warm color for her as it would make the panel feel angry. One thing to consider with this is you don't want to use it too much, or it will lessen the impact. Use color to show impact very sparingly.

2.Color to Establish a Setting-These two panels are from the same page and are right next to each other. Essentially the soldiers are fighting guys in the middle east and as it happens you see scenes of him being honored with medals. Now these soldier scenes are actually part of a flashback as well. In the present the character is a drug addict and has a miserable life. So when he thought about his glory days of being awarded for bravery I wanted the panels to feel kind of somber so I went with grayscale. I left anything that was red in color because these scenes are taking place next to a blood bath so it felt appropriate and reflective of what was going on. I also made sure each scene has a drastically different palette so the viewer knows it is a different scene.

3.Color to Show Emotion-This goes kind of hand in hand with #1, this one I only messed with the color in the background. This is actually taking place during the day with a blue sky. But for this panel I made the background red to reflect on the anger of this guy. To me it just didn't feel right to have a guy holding a gun to someone's head with a peaceful blue sky in the background. The purpose here was just to show the emotion, not to have a significant impact.

4.Color to Establish an Overall Mood-in this last example the whole comic is done in an unrealistic palette. Because the story is very slice of life I wanted kind of a calm feeling. While the whole comic doesn't have pleasant things happening, when I thought of the story everything felt very dream and winter like. Now this will sound like bullshit talk to you but to get quite what I wanted this story to feel like, have you ever gone outside during the winter as it snowed and had to go to a dark parking lot or poorly lit area? Now in this kind of area have you ever looked towards a streetlight and noticed the snow slowly falling down in the light while everything around the light is pure darkness? I'm always taken aback when I watch this during the winter since for me it's very beautiful since it feels as though time is standing still outside of that little light. That's kind of the feeling I wanted with the colors so they're very wintery and cool.

So if you want to give a little more impact to the overall feel of the story, color is a great way to do it.

In Conclusion...

Color is a valuable tool that's important to help tell the story. If any of you go the route to being a pro colorist then hopefully this advice has helped you. For me I never noticed how much talking the color really did until it was pointed out to me, so hopefully I have opened your eyes a little.
« Last Edit: Sep 19, 2010, 08:15 PM by angieness »
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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-09/19/10 Angie's Big Overall Guide
« Reply #59 on: Sep 19, 2010, 11:56 AM »
I picked up that book from the library yesterday!

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-09/19/10 Angie's Big Overall Guide
« Reply #60 on: Sep 19, 2010, 09:40 PM »
Wow, that's only making my art mojo hunger even more for me to draw. I've always been passionate about CG coloring more than any other part of my art  Which can be a bit problematic I guess haha.

I figured I'd share my results with trying Angie's cuts method. The lines were done by Seel/Dingo. Friend commissioned her to draw this.



bigger version---> http://imgur.com/yGN3u.jpg

And I did it over livestream too haha, but I'd have to run to the studio thing and download it and cut some of the fat from it.

But shyeah. Bookmark'd this thread forever,

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-09/19/10 Angie's Big Overall Guide
« Reply #61 on: Sep 19, 2010, 09:48 PM »
Wow, that's only making my art mojo hunger even more for me to draw. I've always been passionate about CG coloring more than any other part of my art  Which can be a bit problematic I guess haha.


Your attempt worked out well! The only thing to watch out for is the lack of shading on the face.

And whether or not focusing on coloring mostly really depends on what you want to do. On Void where the intent is to make you a jack of all trades it doesn't work so well, but if you're wanting to do it professionally that's obviously where a chunk of your time should be going.
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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-09/19/10 Angie's Big Overall Guide
« Reply #62 on: Sep 19, 2010, 10:42 PM »
Thanks Angie! :D Shading dog faces are the bane of my existence. Though I should just do some studies on my own dog since my personal character's species is the same as hers (German Shepherd).

But yeah I definitely came to void to improve on all fronts. The coloring part, I work on that all the time, on personal art, commissions and anything in between.

Oh, and @Cherubas,

Blending modes are kind of a crutch IMO. It's best to understand shading by doing it naturally (like say you're painting, do all your painting in one color layer) and once you get the hang of that, you can use blending modes (like multiply, screen, hard/soft light, etc) to your advantage.

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-09/19/10 Angie's Big Overall Guide
« Reply #63 on: Dec 17, 2010, 09:14 AM »
If you want to see how I colored the cover for the Harahi and Angie comic, I made a tutorial here.

http://www.hbreckelcolors.com/images/howtocolor.html

It may or may not be used for a magazine that needed some tutorials, if it gets used I'll obviously take down the link.
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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-09/19/10 Angie's Big Overall Guide
« Reply #64 on: Dec 23, 2010, 11:23 AM »
http://stuff.veekun.com/pkcolor/

An extremely thorough color theory tutorial, with Pokemon!
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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-09/19/10 Angie's Big Overall Guide
« Reply #65 on: Jan 01, 2011, 06:58 PM »
Holy crap that tutorial was helpful and informative.  Gonna use that for ref for a while now.

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-09/19/10 Angie's Big Overall Guide
« Reply #66 on: Feb 05, 2011, 07:39 AM »
Another process video to see my tips and tricks in action.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjhBAkNZPHc

You'll also learn from watching this that the select:expand shortcut for flats sucks hard for lineart that isn't high res since I spend a lot of time fixing my flats throughout the video. Someday I will do an actual little how to video dealie, it just involves me figuring out how/getting software for it.
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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-09/19/10 Angie's Big Overall Guide
« Reply #67 on: Feb 05, 2011, 04:13 PM »
I'm wondering something. I'm fairly competent in Photoshop, but I've never done coloring with gradients like this. I noticed that they don't spill over into the whole selection you make over the flats. Is that because you are putting down the gradients in the seperate color layers? Like with the highlights on the skin, that gradient didn't form a huge halo around his head, even though your selection was basically a blob around his head.
- I yearn for redemption, but I'll settle for a breakfast sandwich.


Re: Coloring In Photoshop-09/19/10 Angie's Big Overall Guide
« Reply #68 on: Feb 05, 2011, 04:17 PM »
I think she locked the layer transparency before she applied the gradient.

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-09/19/10 Angie's Big Overall Guide
« Reply #69 on: Feb 05, 2011, 04:36 PM »
I think she locked the layer transparency before she applied the gradient.

Derp. just tried it for myself. Of course that's what she did. Works like a charm.
- I yearn for redemption, but I'll settle for a breakfast sandwich.


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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-09/19/10 Angie's Big Overall Guide
« Reply #70 on: Feb 05, 2011, 07:23 PM »
Yep, if you look closely at the beginning of the video I give each layer it's little name and I go back and forth with locking/unlocking layers.
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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-09/19/10 Angie's Big Overall Guide
« Reply #71 on: Feb 05, 2011, 09:55 PM »
I can't wait to give it a try in my comics!
- I yearn for redemption, but I'll settle for a breakfast sandwich.


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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-09/19/10 Angie's Big Overall Guide
« Reply #72 on: Feb 05, 2011, 10:02 PM »
Hope it helps :D

Another thing to watch for in the video is I have a little master palette file I go from. You can also use Photoshop swatches, it's the same function. But I like to keep a palette for colors I tend to use a lot, Angie has her own little section at the top of mine. Provided ideally you won't be using it to a T so your comics will have variety, but it can be a time saver.
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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-09/19/10 Angie's Big Overall Guide
« Reply #73 on: Mar 16, 2011, 07:30 AM »
I saw in the video that you went up did select>modify>expand every time. I dunno if you were just doing this to demonstrate what you were doing in the video, but there's an easy shortcut for the people that don't know.

Use the magic wand tool to make a selection.... of anything, it doesn't really matter.

Now you are going to record the action of expanding by x amount of pixels and map that to a shortcut key. So instead of going through the menu every time, you can simply press a button.

1. Go to Window>Actions to bring up the actions menu.
2. On the bottom on the window you'll see a "begin recording button"
3. Having already selected something with the magic wand, go up to select>modify>expand and expand by however many pixels you'd like.
4. Go back to the window and hit stop recording.
5. It will then ask you what shortcut you'd like it mapped to.
6. From now on, select an area with the wand, then hit your shortcut to expand automatically.


You can also use that to record other actions as well.


I also started using the palette thing like you have, I can't believe I wasn't doing that before haha.

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Re: Coloring In Photoshop-09/19/10 Angie's Big Overall Guide
« Reply #74 on: Mar 16, 2011, 08:02 AM »
Red, this combined with Angie's tut has made coloring more productive then ever! Thank you. :)

 

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