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Terran Medic - The Making Of by VonSchlippe Terran Medic - The Making Of by VonSchlippe
This is a slide show of WIP pictures; it is the Making-Of for a picture called "Starcraft Terran Medic" which can be found here: [link]

Many people have asked about some technical details about the picture, so I figured this would be the best place to answer them!

You can find all 170 layers on the right side. Not all of them have the same importance (some are tiny details, and others, like the "face sketch", are composed of 20-30 layers flattened together from a separate photoshop page). This is not a very creative nor efficient way to go around a drawing, but that's how I roll; I'm kind of OCD when it comes to photoshop. I am quite pathetic at speedpainting. How do they do it?!

Anyways, here are the steps from the screenshots I kept. The quality varies from screenshot to screenshot because I had to crop and stretch some of the images so they would show the same thing.

1- It all started out as a doodle I did while relaxing between hours of studying for exams (gah! thermodynamics!). I made up some brush that evoked skin texture and played around with it for two hours or so until I got this first image.

2- Looking at the AMAZING cinematic trailer for starcraft II that the blizzard team came up with, I had an idea to make a medic to go with the marine. A quick screenshot from the trailer provided the right reference for some basic lineart, but the crappy quality I got out of it was not sufficient to match the resolution on the face. Moar painting was needed.

3- I'm almost done painting her face; this is still on the original photoshop document I started with. The eyes are weird because they are not done yet. I have sketched out shapes and lines to emulate some marine armor, but nothing clear is out yet. I thought it was showing some potential at this point. Her face still had shape problems though.

4- I flattened the face into a single layer and started a new photoshop document with the final resolution I desired. I was still not done editing the face however: shadows helped me sculpt her figure into something more human. The projection on her face is almost final on the screenshot, although there is no specular light yet. Layer by layer, the helmet is taking shape.

5- Understanding the mechanics of the helmet helped me shape the frame around her neck, the details of the helmet and the microphones.

6- A regular soft brush is used to paint one side of the armor. I used tones of grey and blue. I am about 20 hours into the painting at this point, with some 100 layers individually displaying one detail or section of every metal piece in the armor and helmet.

7- The right side armor is flipped horizontally to save time, then edited again with a brush to display different lighting (thus breaking the symetry but keeping the dimensions identical).

8- there are about 70 layers added to complete the image; at least 40 of them are for the lighting only (overlay, screen, multiply and soft light layer modes primarily). I also added many textures in overlay mode to many key parts of the armor to add to its realism. Another part of the final touches to this image is in color correction layers (curve filters, soft lights...). Once the image was "perfect", in the sense I had calibrated it for best printing and viewing on screen, I saved a copy and gave my friend Casualzombie a big surprise!

Hope this answers some questions about the technical process behind this image. I am incredibly thrilled with the response and critique I got for this picture and this is the least I can do to say thanks! If you have any questions about any step of the process, feel free to ask! I will answer as fast as I can!

-Vonschlippe (Nicolas Kudeljan)
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ShrillLlama Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014
This is a very effective way of displaying WIPs.  I might have to try something similar.
sadowclow Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014
pls gifl me all layer .. pls VonSchlippe T-T pls pls pls
TheSupport Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice work
AVAGAX Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hi! do you have any video o any place where I can get your way of work? I wan to learn it.
LaskunA Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012
WOW WOW WOW!!!! Lots of layers! But effect is impressive, i think this portrait is photomanipulation. Greate job.
yf19-sama Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Did at least your layers helped you to speed up the process?

I was thinking the picture was done using a bit of 3d software
VonSchlippe Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012
The multiple layers are actually quite unefficient and unhelpful when it comes to speed of process. The reason I have so many of them is that I use layers as backups for my painting process, allowing me to go back in time without erasing or using the undo button. There is also the fact I make heavy use of layer modes (overlays, soft lights, multiplies, etc.)to shape objects as I progress, and those are quite tricky to flatten without side effects or loss of flexibility.

TL:DR, I'm a cowardly painter who likes to make tiny last minute changes to my pieces, hence I keep everything in separate layers.
SycrosD4 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
kaber13 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Brilliant work. I also tend to work with lots of layers, merging as I go. Thank you for the little overview. It certainly helps to get a better understanding of how you developed this piece and I find it quite inspiering. I don't think there is a wrong way to go about this, just practice and time in developing more efficient ways. Thank you again for sharing.:D
quitlater2 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2012
man you have so many layers. Does that usually help with more detailed work? (newbie to digital rendering on photoshop)
VonSchlippe Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012
The ridiculous amount of layers on this picture is actually quite unefficient. However, it does help if I want to change some things late in the process. I do envy the people who do amazing drawings on single layers...
quitlater2 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012
Your work is awesome, I envy people who can do amazing work.
tinymachine Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012
HOLY SHIT SOONNNNNN, those layers!
VonSchlippe Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012
Horribly lacking of any sort of efficiency!
nikkinickles Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Student
this is phenomenal, how did you do the projection?
VonSchlippe Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012
It's a free-transform/warped shape, and it makes use of several layer modes (overlay, pin light, soft light). I basically put the shape without any blurring on as overlay, a slightly blurred version as a pin light, and an even blurrier version as a soft light.

All the rays and bounce-glow tones are just soft brush strokes on overlay mode.

Glad you like it!
TiagoKinomoto Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012
[link] The BEST OF vector art and digital paiting i see O_O really
tewandrayk Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012
I love how descriptive each of the layers are, good job!
Roskvape Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
YES! Someone who uses as many layers as I do!!!!!!!!!! ;)
googletoper Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
lol same here. and its good to be organized!
ortizlgnd Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2011
This is absolutely Sick! AMAZING WORK! You've just made a fan out of me.
sycamore005 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
VonSchlippe Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2011
All of 30 hours thank you very much ^^
sycamore005 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist

Eugeneration Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That is a heck of a lot of layers.....
PanoramaGeek Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2011
I have no idea how you can draw those materials so perfectly real-looking. Awesome job, i admire you :)
Avengelina Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2011
Absolutely awesome!!
Alessandro330 Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011
Awesome man!
Darketacoffee Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011
wow this is supper good stuff 0__0
EunDari Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2011  Student Digital Artist
gorgeous, amazing works XD
btw you did a good job
herbmann420 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2011
And here I thought it was going to be a two picture switcheroo. Respect.
jvrhcp Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2011
luckylinx Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2011
ArcticAvenger20 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2010
Thank you for posting this. Very helpful!

I know you've heard it before, but this is an awesome piece of work.
HPashkov Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Very cool!
tankhawk500 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
how did you do the shiny?dayum u r good. And the green lighting as well. It's not just light shining at your face but has lighting effect as well. That's what I'm amazed about.
VonSchlippe Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
Painting shiny things in general involves having a big contrast between the reflections on a object and the color of the object itself. To achieve this, use hard brushes and a color close to white. Then, I sometimes use the photoshop "dodge" tool set to "highlights", and sweep over the reflections. This makes them look more natural and further increases the contrast. It's great for eyes and metallic surfaces!!

As for the overall light adjustments on the face (including the green lighting), it's the combination of several layers in "soft light" mode and "overlay" mode. You paint a opaque green shape on the face (it will look ugly at first), then switch the layer mode and change the transparency of the layer. You can achieve incredible lighting effects like this!

Hope this helps! Sorry for the late response ^^
Miauw-1991 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I thougt the face was a photograhpy , wow , you amaze me..... :D
DarksteelWimbat Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2010
What? This is awesome, dud. You did your coloration awesomely well. And now, I know I'm not alone spending to much hours on Photoshop.
Cutter9792 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2010  Hobbyist Filmographer
Holy shit. How many layers did you use?!
VonSchlippe Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2010
I think there's around 170 of them!
Cutter9792 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2010  Hobbyist Filmographer
wow. great p[ic, by the way.
Ca9ine Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2010

That is probably the best and awesomest thing I have ever seen in regards to fan-art based on games ever. Ever-ever. Ever-ever-EVER!!

You sir, you impress. A lot.
DJMadameNoir Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
BlkBullet23 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
That is freakin badass.
Awesome work man.

I feel like painting now. :D
BobbyKing Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010
Dihan22 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2010
great work!
TiagoKinomoto Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012
Much great
TheArtistAbides Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2010
Oh. My. God. Someone have better have paid you mad bank for this. It's insanity. So you based the medic armor off the marine armor picture? Going from 3 to 4 in terms of the armor would be a stretch unless you have one hell of a visual imagination :P.

So the tones of grey and blue are pieced throughout the picture? Very nice.
VonSchlippe Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2010
Indeed this image required a lot of references for the proportions required in the armor. Still, every mechanical aspect of every piece visible on the original wallpaper is created one by one, piece by piece. It's therefore in my opinion closer to a render than a painting!

Oh and I did not receive one cent off of it... even if it seems some gaming magazine in Turkey has stolen it off deviantart and made good cash with it >_<

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Submitted on
August 4, 2010
Image Size
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