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Coloring Tutorial

By D-MAC
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I had a question about how to do the "cell shaded" or animated style coloring on my Mutants & Masterminds pieces.

If anything here doesn't make sense, let me know and I'll try to revise it.

The finished illustration can be found here:
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© 2012 - 2021 D-MAC
Comments14
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wwatson1970's avatar
tojisuzuhara's avatar
Huh. I had never considered that you penciled over your pencils via lightbox. It all makes so much sense now.
Cecilia-Of-Sweden's avatar
Thank you for this! :)
jamesewelch's avatar
Awesome. This is very similar to what I've been doing, but I never thought to use purple to find the shading color. I've just been estimating/guessing or using grays. Wow, that tip is going to save me lots of time and make things look a bit more consistent. Thanks!
TalisonComics's avatar
Is there a general opacity you use for the multiply?
D-MAC's avatar
In those example swatches I showed, it's at 100% but, as I said, sometimes you'll want to play around with it a bit. If you don't want that much contrast, just try it at 50 - 75%.
maxmblk66's avatar
I really love this. You make it sound simple. Especially like the shading with purple bit. May have to try that soon.
D-MAC's avatar
Thanks. The big key is don't shade with grey, it just kills the color. Shades of desaturated purple/violet seem to work the best overall.
GentleGiantDK's avatar
Wohoo! Thanks!
Now for some questions:
1) Do you just paint in the shadows with a hard-edged brush? No selecting areas with the lasso tool and then filling the selection? Just wondering because of some of the pointy shade areas.
2) Do you use the original flats to select areas with the magic wand tool, then go to the copied layer, so you don't paint into the other areas?
3) Are all the original flats on one single layer?
4) Can you expand on the desaturated purple? Seeing how multiply is a layer option...?

And again, thanks for doing this! I'll also echo mariosilvaartdesign and hope you do more tutorials! :-D
D-MAC's avatar
1) Once in a while when there's a geometric shape to be filled, I'll use the lasso tool the way you're describing, otherwise it's just a hard edged round brush and my tablet for control.

2) Yes, that's exactly how I do it. The nice thing about hiding the copy is that Photoshop won't let you paint on it by accident.

3) Yes. If I'm doing something complicated like multiple figures or figure + background, I will usually create a separate layer for each subject.

4) Usually the way I do it is to set my brush to multiply and try painting over a small area of the base color with the purple. Then I just eyedropper that color, adjust it if I feel it needs it (brighter/darker/different shade) and then set the brush back to normal and paint it in.
GentleGiantDK's avatar
Thanks for the extra clarifications!
I've already started using the tutorial on a drawing. :thumbsup:
mariosilvaartdesign's avatar
serious good stuff ... now one on the inking process... cough.. cough...
incogvito's avatar
While not a colorist, I'm always fascinated by how a comic is put together. Just learned how to letter last year, so I've added that to my repertoire. I don't think I'm artistic enough to every try coloring, but this is a great resource to hand off to folks I work with. Thanks!
Skaramine's avatar
This is fantastic!
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