In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a stunning image of Iron Man in Photoshop using the technique of digital drawing. We will start this lesson by creating an outline, and then we will gradually recreate the metal fragments of the image. Next, we combine the textures of Smoke and Sparks to add realism to our picture. So let’s get started!
1. Cooking Basis
When I create sketches for pictures, as in this lesson, I use the guide lines, and sometimes the tool Pen ( Pen Tool), with which you can create clear and precise lines. When I create an ordinary portrait sketch, its lines are not always clear and neat, but for inorganic and monolithic objects, to which our Iron Man sketch can be attributed, the best solution would be to keep the lines as clear and precise as possible.
Create a new group, name it “MASK” (“MASK”). In this group will be located all layers with a helmet and a mask. Inside the group create a new layer (New Layer). Create a contour around the entire base of the helmet.
Usually I draw by hand on separate layers using a hard brush, but sometimes I use the tool Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso Tool) or Pen (Pen Tool) if you want to achieve maximum accuracy. This is the best solution to keep the edges as precise as possible.
Once you have created the outline, fill the selection with the standard red color.
Create another new layer, name this layer “Golden Mask“(” Flat Gold “). Do the same by creating an active selection around the outline of the golden mask using the tool Lasso (Lasso Tool) to get beautiful and clear edges.
Create a new group below the group layer. “MASK” (“MASK”) and name it “Case” (“Body”). In this group will be located all the layers related to the body. Inside the created group, create a new layer. Fill the base body.
Further, I will simply divide the iron body into separate fragments, and then perform the fill on separate layers. Here I will use the tool Pen ( Pen Tool), because with this tool you can create really smooth curves, as well as precise outlines of armor.
In the screenshot below, you can see my layers, as well as how I divided the iron hull into fragments (starting from the lowest point to the highest point). All fragments are located on separate layers (almost like vector fragments).
2. Add Volume
At this stage, I decided to change the background and add something very simple, perhaps the effect of the sky or clouds. It doesn’t bother me much now, I just decided to add something as a basis. For these purposes, I used a round hard brush that I applied on the layer with the background.
So, we are ready to begin the process of shading. Hold down the key (Ctrl) and click on the layer thumbnail. “Golden Mask” (“Flat Gold”) to load the active selection. Now I can proceed to staining without fear of going beyond the boundaries of the selected area.
Next, I just used a round hard brush with opacity (Opacity) not more than 10%. I wanted to keep the transition as smooth as possible, leaving as little brush as possible.
You can see how forms begin to slowly emerge as you add light highlights to areas where the light falls, and also add shadows along the edges, creating a three-dimensional view.
When you are satisfied with the first stage of the mask shading, go to the layer below. Create a shading in the area that is shown in the screenshot below (on the new layer).
Next, I shaded the rest of the mask on a separate layer. To do this, create a new layer below the layer we created in the previous step.
Create a new layer on top of all layers. On the new layer, create an eye contour, and then fill the selected area. Use the tool Pen (Pen Tool) to create clear and neat lines.
Fill the selected eye area with a dark brown color, and now leave them for a while.
Next, go to the Corpus group and create new layers to work with each fragment separately. Fill the darkest parts of the body to create shadows. These fragments represent separate parts of the case, therefore, I decided to create them on separate layers separately from the other fragments of the case.
Next, we proceed to adding shadows and highlights to individual areas. The technique of applying light and shadows will be the same as in working with the Golden Mask: try to create a smooth transition, as much as possible, using a brush with very low opacity, gradually adding light and shade so that brush strokes are not visible, and also eliminate the type of processing with a digital brush .
Next, I will add small silver details along the neck area. Here also add chiaroscuro.
I continue to process fragment by fragment until I am satisfied with what the whole picture looks like.
Next, I once again carried out the combination. You can see how all the fragments harmoniously fit together, and this is due to the fact that we have previously created everything on separate layers, and the edges have become smooth and distinct.
I also used this feature to add individual fragments, such as round parts on the shoulders. I used the tool Ellipse (Elliptical Shape Tool), as well Pen (Pen Tool) to outline the contour before the individual fill and add light and shadow.
Next, I decided to create a glowing fragment on my chest. Create new layer (New Layer) and using the tool Ellipse (Elliptical Shape Tool) create a beautiful oval shape, as shown in the screenshot below.
Next, I applied the tool Transformation (Transform Tool) to slightly deform the oval in accordance with my draft and the angle of the armor. Do the same with the outer ring located around the white glow, to do this, create a new layer below the layer with the white glow.
Result at the moment lesson!
3. Add a Texture to the Created Coloring.
Next, we move on to my favorite part — texturing! Choose a soft brush The texture of the skin (that’s right … a brush with the texture of the skin!), Which I’m going to use as the main tool for combining, and also use the tool Pipette (Eyedropper Tool) to find the right color shades.
In the screenshot below, you can see how with a brush, you can give the surface a beautiful, soft look, while maintaining the texture, making the surface almost matte. (the larger the brush size, the more “stains” will be; try to vary the brush size to balance the texture!)
I continue to work on the mask until I am satisfied with the result, then I moved down a couple of layers to combine the outer red fragments of the helmet.
Usually, at first I create shading, and then add light highlights to the areas where the light hits the most.
Next, I went back to the eyes layer to add light highlights to the eyes.
Zoom out to see the result at the moment of the lesson. Brush strokes are not already visible so much, and I really like the metal surface. I also turned off the visibility of the draft layer to see what my rendering of the whole picture looks like.
As soon as the helmet is ready, move to the body and do the same as before. Hold down the (Ctrl) key and click on the layer thumbnail to load the active selection of one of the body fragments. Create a new layer on top of the layer with the selected fragment (name the new layer “Texture” (Texture), and then, using all the same brush, hold the combination of color shades).
You can see how the fragments begin to take shape as you add light highlights along the edges and smooth alignment.
The result of the current lesson before and after.
Now that we have combined the color shades and created a smooth transition of brush strokes, it’s time to start adding details. I’ll start with the helmet. Create a new layer on top of all layers inside the created group. “MASK”(“Mask”). Name this layer “Details” (“Details”).
What I want to do is apply the airbrush on fine details, and also add light highlights along the edges and corners of the metal fragments. It will combine and soften the edges a bit, while maintaining volume and shape.
Below you can see how I create chiaroscuro along the edges to give the appearance of a beveled edge.
Let’s go back to the eyes. Create an active selection around a fragment of the eye, as I did earlier.
I added some tonal shades and also painted over the edges to add a little depth.
Create a new layer. Using tool Pen (Pen Tool), create shapes on the eyes, and then, fill these shapes with a light blue tint.
Next, with the tool Clarifier (Dodge Tool) (set the range to Sveta (Highlight)), just click the brush in the center of each eye to add a soft white glow to them.
Result at the moment lesson! I completed work on the details around the mask and the helmet, paying attention to the small light highlights that fall on the edges and corners. They first create a common metallic luster in the end!
Next, go to the folder “Case” (“Body”) in the layers palette. Create a new layer on top of all other layers, name this layer also “Details“(Details).
The first thing I pay attention to is the addition of small light highlights on the edges – in this case, in the neck.
I also used the opportunity to add small details (such as bolts on the armor). Bolts are easy to create with the tool. Ellipse Elliptical Shape Tool), and then you can simply fill the selected area. Even though these are small details, they are very important!
To create a groove around the luminous center, I used the tool Pen (Pen Tool) to create a contour followed by by pouring (Fill) on a separate layer.
I blacked out the inside with a tool Dimmer (Burn Tool) to add some depth!
Go back to the other areas on the “Details” layer. Next, clean the edges and add light highlights.
The result of the lesson at the moment, including texturing and adding details!
4. Create a Background
Next, I’m going to add a background. There are too many details in this image, and I would not want it to distract attention from the whole picture by loading the image around Iron Man. So I had a great idea to create a background similar to the sky / clouds. I found an interesting source image with clouds that fits perfectly!
I filled the background layer with a light blue tint – this will be the bottommost layer in the layers palette. Next, I moved the source image with the sky to my working paper. Make sure that the sky layer is located below all the layers in the layers palette, but above the light blue fill layer (the background layer).
Next, activate the tool Free transformation (Free Transform Tool) to rotate the image counterclockwise, as well as stretch so that the image completely covers the workspace. Position the image so that the clouds are located diagonally, and the diagonal goes at an angle from the upper left corner to the lower right corner.
Next, select the tool Eraser (Eraser), set a soft brush and gently hide the sky on the image with clouds so that a brighter blue sky appears in the background on the layer below.
Create a new layer on top of the layer with the background with clouds, and then using a soft-brushed airbrush, brush white (#ffffff), click once in the upper right corner of the image to create the effect of a glowing sun.
5. Add Final Effects
Next, I will create the final folder on top of all the other layers and name this folder “Effects” (“EFFECTS”)!
The first effect that I decided to add is a soft glow to the central fragment, which is located on the chest. I used the same soft airbrush brush and did the same when creating the sunshine effect, just put a large white dot in the center of the fragment.
Leaning back in my chair, I appreciated the whole picture with the added background and felt that I needed to add a little bit of contrast. To do this, add a new adjustment layer. Levels (Levels) on top of all layers by clicking on the icon “Create a new adjustment layer or fill layer“(Create new fill or adjustment layer) at the bottom of the layers panel
In the settings window of the adjustment layer Levels (Levels), move the center and right slider one or two divisions to enhance the contrast of the whole picture.
Next, we continue to add effects! This is a glow on the edge of the image! Since Now the sunlight is located behind the iron man, then I decided to add a glow to the edge of the contour, which will look most effective in this case! Create a new layer (name this layer “Edge Glow” (“Rim Lighting”)) and with the help of a hard round Airbrush brush add a light effect along the outline of the Iron Man figure.
I continue to add glow effects to certain areas where the sun’s rays can fall.
It still seems to me that the picture is missing something, so I decided to add a couple more effects. The first effect is the smoke effect. Open the original Smoke texture.
Do the same thing as the cloud image. Move the Smoke texture to our working paper, placing the texture in a folder Effects (EFFECTS). Next, with the tool Free transformation (Free Transform Tool), zoom in and rotate the texture at a slight angle.
Change the blending mode for the Smoke texture layer to Lightening (Screen), and then place the texture where you think it will fit better. Next, use a soft eraser to hide the edges to give a more natural look.
Repeat the whole process, adding a couple more layers with the Smoke texture. Place the textures on different parts of the image.
As a final effect, I decided to add … ..more Sparks! Open the original Sparkle texture.
I zoomed in on the Sparkle texture, and then selected some of the sparks that caught my eye.
Do the same as with the Smoke texture, move the Sparks texture to our working paper. Place the Spark Textured Layer in the folder Effects (EFFECTS), and then with the tool Free transformation (Free Transform Tool), rotate the texture, and also apply the distortion.
Also change the blending mode for the Sparkle texture layer to Lightening (Screen).
Add more Sparks texture to different parts of the image, until you are satisfied with the result!
Great job, we have completed the lesson!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and you learned a lot of new things, and also learned how to create a smooth metal surface using simple Photoshop brushes! After going through the whole lesson from beginning to end, you can understand that now it is not as scary as it might have seemed at first!