Creating a character in Photoshop


This lesson was born in the wake of the euphoria of the acquisition of the Wacom Intuos5 Medium tablet. This is a tablet with a working surface size of ~ A5 and a record pen sensitivity to pressure and tilt. 2048 pressure levels and 60 degrees slope. The proportions are 16:10. This is a widescreen, which is ideal for my monitor. Whoever has a 4: 3 monitor will have to “cut off” a portion of the active area of ​​the tablet in the settings in order to maintain the correct proportions.

You probably imagine what a storm of emotions I had about the acquisition. Because before this tablet, I worked on an old Bamboo, which was purchased if my memory serves me in 2007-2008, and maybe even earlier. And that, I will not lie, I did not even use the touch ring at that time. Since it was terrible in sensitivity and did not understand when I tried, for example, to enlarge a picture by running my finger over it. It worked through time, if not less. But I loved my Wacom tablet and didn’t want to part with it.

I also had joy because I had the “pleasure” of working on other tablets, even firms do not want to write. Horror, just horror. Back to the moment when I got Intuos. I set it up and plunged into the world of professional equipment. Well, what do you say friends, comrades? Read below, I will describe everything. And also, I am not a professional artist. In the sense of not learning this. Self-taught and can do something wrong. Do not carp too much.

The lesson is intended for people who minimally understand how brushes switch and where the eraser is, I will not show any super-techniques. Just show you the steps of creating a character.

Part 1. Sketch:

Let us take as an axiom what we initially already know from what angle and what size our hero will be. And consider, friends, that you may be asked to develop dozens of such characters. We will only consider one. And then it will be delayed for a long time.

I start character development or animation storyboard always with a sketch. This is necessary, especially if the project is not your own, but you work for someone. The client needs to understand whether you have caught the meaning of his idea or whether you need to work out the details and correct the angle.

We will make with you a character for a hypothetical game of casual fantasy plan. A hero in a style like a chibi. With some liberties.

First we draw just such a blank. I think it will not be difficult to draw such a chubrika. If, however, any difficulties arose, at some stage. Take as a basis any of the sketches below. And try, try. This is the only way to achieve something.

Next, we make a more elaborate sketch and another small trick that I use for future animation. Immediately I cut the character into separate parts, see fig. 2. Only I do this if initially it is known that the game will be made in raster graphics, not translated into vector graphics.

What the layers look like. Do not forget to call them.

It’s just a pig, which tells us nothing. Not about the character of the character, nor about what class he represents. We will assume that we have on Tech. Task. the main character is a warrior. Since it’s easier to animate, it has no special effects. The fighter is easier for us to consider for ease of understanding the basic steps.

Let’s estimate what kind of face a character can have and his helmet. Since Usually, you can not draw a helmet separately, unless it is necessary to animate it or the headgear should vary according to the game. And we and we will proceed from the fact that the helmet with our head will be animated.

We remember that in our technical assignment we will have a raster graphics. This gives us the opportunity to make a more subtle drawing of parts. And for myself at this stage, I create a LAYER of CROP, where all the hatching is located. Layer that is separate from the contour. That then did not interfere with the painting of the object. To make it clearer how my character turns out. And frankly, it’s easier to approve at the customer. Since not many people can imagine a blank with shadows, but here everything looks more attractive to the eyes. ;)

We will have a little rest from the Main Hero and remember, in the preface I wrote that I acquired Intuos5 Medium and I have a few words about what to say about this tool. This is exactly what is felt when working through fine details and shading.

When I was working on an old tablet, with a high magnification of the picture I could see that the pen was not in the pixel I was aiming at. But over the years I have become so accustomed to this little inaccuracy that I no longer noticed it. And now, at the same scale, no matter where I am marked, the pen always goes where it is needed, a pixel in a pixel. Initially, it even created some discomfort for me. I’m used to inaccuracies.

Now, this is such a heavenly sense of control over the pattern that it is difficult to put into words and is explained by such a tablet characteristic as the resolution, which at Intuos5 is 5080 lines per inch, and in the old Bamboo it was 2 times lower – 2540 lpi.

We return to the character. Behind the helmet, I drew a plume, which I will also cut off later, for animation. This will create more interesting opportunities for movement.

If I draw a character for the game, I try to avoid sharp corners in the graphics, since soft lines do not cause aggression and rejection of the image of the user. And we are drawing not an object of art, and people will look at our character for more than one minute, and not five, if they are lucky, then for hours. And a person should not remain negative impressions of his Alter ego.

To make it convenient for you to work with an enlarged image, you can create a window that will show a smaller copy of your worksheet. Go to window a to order a new window for … (the name of your document). In English, I do not remember what the points are called. But there are exactly there see fig.5

As a result, my working windows look like this. I draw in the center, and a small copy of the character hangs in the upper right.

As a result, you and I should get about this pattern of our character.

As you can see, we continue to draw on the cut parts, and not on one layer. Of course, you can and on one, but then if you need to animate. You will still cut the picture and draw the missing one.

Part 2. Color and settings of the tablet.

I’ll start this part by telling you how I set up the tablet. Probably, there are more convenient layouts. I did it for myself. Intuos5 Medium can be configured with 8 Express Keys and a Touch Ring. In the properties of the tablet Wacom, you can set the settings for each application separately. It is sooo comfortable. The first thing I set up Photoshop and chrome)))). I will show the settings of the shop.

On the touch ring, I hung up the zoom and increase the brush. Four actions can be hung on the ring. But I canceled two. Maybe I’ll add something later.

What begins decorating our character? This is the selection of the optimal color.

I made two sets of colors. Sometimes you have to do a lot of sets. Since the task is blurry. And you have to look. We will consider two options with you. Light character and dark.

Not scary, that painted sloppy. The main thing is to show the sets and choose the color. For my lesson I choose a darker hero from figure 10. Since I think that it is more vividly possible to show patterns on the armor.

Starting painting, first fill all the main color. And select the contour, because man will be small in the game and should not merge into the situation. And at the painting stage, I will separate the plume from the helmet (red tail). Because it did not do this before.

Character, circled, and corrected curved lines.

When you start to paint, first lay out the colors without shadow and light

Next, draw a shadow and light. Then your character will gain character and depth.


In summary to the lesson, I can say that someone will draw better, someone a little worse. Someone even does their characters differently. I started my lesson, as you remember, in order to tell a little about the tablet I am working on now. I hope you even a bit of my joy passed, if so, then I was very happy. And of course, I wanted to show those who are interested in the subject, how I create characters in the style of a chibi.

How much time I would spend drawing details, contours and shadows without a precise and pressure-sensitive pen tablet, I am afraid to imagine. I spent two days on this character. And that is because he wrote a lesson.

In the next lesson I’ll show you how to animate our character in flash. And your homework. Draw a sword to this character. Or an ax. Since I will use weapons in the animation. Good days. And goodbye!

Like this post? Please share to your friends: