Tutorial Thread.

Discussion in 'Transformers Funnies' started by Seth Buzzard, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. DilaZirK

    DilaZirK Is bullheaded.

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Posts:
    7,124
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    211
    Likes:
    +1
    Cropping Out Objects ala Fun-ness!

    I figured that if I was going to do a tutorial on motion blur, I may as well start with the very basics first.

    It's not the best way, it's not the easiest way, but it's the Fun-ness way.
    (Note: I am using Photoshop version 7.0. Icons, tools and functions used may vary on different versions)






    In a nutshell:
    Use the PEN TOOL (P) to manually trace out the object you want to crop.
    Turn the traced layer into a selection.
    Cut it out, and do as you will with it.






    In detail:
    Desired effect: Saber leaping towards Devastator, sword drawn.
    [​IMG]

    Base picture (resized and sharpened using IRFanView).
    [​IMG]

    Fire up Adobe Photoshop and select the PEN TOOL (P).
    [​IMG]

    Zoom in (through the VIEW tab or by pressing Ctrl++) and begin meticulously tracing, dot by dot.
    [​IMG]
    IMPORTANT NOTE - Trace the inner edge of the object, not the outer edge, or parts of the background will get cropped with it as well.
    USEFUL NOTE - Pressing the TAB key will get rid of all menus and toolbars to make tracing easier. Press TAB again to undo.

    Might want to set the trace layer opacity to 0% to stop the PEN TOOL (P) from filling itself up with colour.
    [​IMG]

    Finish connecting the last dot, right click the trace out and choose MAKE SELECTION. Alternatively, Ctrl-click it.
    [​IMG]

    Select the background layer (I made a copy of it called "bg copy" in case I mess something up), and then copy and paste the selected cut out.
    [​IMG]

    Hide the background to see your results (by clicking on the EYE symbol near the layers).
    [​IMG]

    Touch it up (like erasing parts of the background that got cropped as well).
    [​IMG]

    If cropped object looks too "solid", use the BLUR TOOL (R) to blur out the edges (I usually use 25% strength).
    [​IMG]
    In this case, I don't feel it necessary.

    Now just copy and paste Saber as a layer underneath a cropped Devastator.
    [​IMG]
    HOLY GRAIL, SABER IS HUMUNGOUS! O_O

    Resize her using the FREE TRANSFORM tool found in the EDIT tab, or by pressing Ctrl+T.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    IMPORTANT NOTE - Hold the Shift key while resizing to maintain the original aspect ratio.
    USEFUL NOTE - Hovering the mouse around the corner of the box allows you to rotate the cropped object as well.

    Reposition her using the MOVE TOOL (V), throw in some LENS FLARE for a little more oomph (Found under FILTER > RENDER > LENS FLARE)
    And that's it! All done.
    [​IMG]

    In some cases, you might want to create a shadow for the cropped object, so that it'd look more realistic.
    To do so, go to LAYER > LAYER STYLE > DROP SHADOW and tinker around with the settings.






    There are many other ways to crop objects, one of which is using the EXTRACT TOOL (Alt+Ctrl+X), or even simply the POLYGONAL LASSO TOOL (L), but I find the Pen tool to be more precise for the job.
     
  2. Z.U.D.O.N

    Z.U.D.O.N Camshaft's Master

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Posts:
    3,482
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +0
    Motion Blur Tutorial (Photoshop) - Easy Peasy for the Lazy XD

    Normally, you'd have to use a pen or lasso tool to outline an object, cut it out and then "motion blur" it. Wanna do this in a quicker way? Here's a way! :D  It's not very appropriate, but it still gets the job done. :) 

    STEP 1

    [​IMG]

    Get an image ready, and go to Quick Mask Mode. Press Q to do this.


    STEP 2

    [​IMG]

    With your BRUSH tool (Press B), increase the size to about 130+ pixels (depends on how big your image is) and "colour" your object to be cut out.

    In this example, I wanna cut out the black bison, so I'm "colouring" it. XD

    (You may want to use an AIRBRUSH, but it is optional.)

    After "colouring" your object, it should be something like this:

    [​IMG]


    STEP 3

    [​IMG]

    Now, exit Quick Mask Mode. (Press Q) After that, press Ctrl+J to cut out your object.

    Now, go to Filter --> Blur --> Motion Blur to get started on the blurs.

    [​IMG]


    STEP 4

    [​IMG]

    Set the distance and angle you're comfortable with, then click OK.


    STEP 5

    [​IMG]

    "Drag" your new blurred image backwards a little, so the front of the original object can be seen.

    Next, decrease the opacity of the object. You can do this by clicking a box that says "Opacity" at the top-right of your tools pallete:

    [​IMG]


    STEP 6

    In this example, the bison is attacking Brawl. I did not add an impact effect, so the collision isn't very clear. Anyways, according to Newton's third law, a force applied to a body has an equal and opposite reaction. So, that means Brawl would "vibrate" or "react" to the collision.

    Thus, go back to Quick Mask Mode, "colour" Brawl (or could be someone else in your comic) and cut him out, the same way like earlier.

    [​IMG]


    STEP 7

    Okay, so Brawl is reacting to the collision. Add the motion blur, but now decrease the distance. If you use the "same distance" as the previous motion blur, your picture might show Brawl and the bison charging at each other instead.

    [​IMG]


    STEP 8

    Decrease the opacity and there you have it! Simple procedures to making motion blurs! :) 

    [​IMG]
     
  3. DilaZirK

    DilaZirK Is bullheaded.

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Posts:
    7,124
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    211
    Likes:
    +1
    Motion Blurriness ala Fun-ness!

    It's not the best way, it's not the easiest way, but it's the Fun-ness way.
    (Note: I am using Photoshop version 7.0. Icons, tools and functions used may vary on different versions)






    Prerequisite knowledge: (Not required but preferred)
    Tracing and cropping out objects.






    In a nutshell:
    As with cropping, trace out the object you want blurred.
    Copy and paste it in a new layer.
    FILTER > BLUR > MOTION BLUR.
    Erase unwanted blurs.






    In detail:
    Desired effect: Saber being knocked back after a parry from Devastator.
    [​IMG]

    Base picture (with Saber's stand already erased out):
    [​IMG]

    Use the PEN TOOL (P) to roughly trace out Saber.
    [​IMG]

    Make a selection of the trace out. Copy and paste Saber into a new layer.
    [​IMG]

    Go to FILTER > BLUR > MOTION BLUR.
    [​IMG]

    Tinker with angle till you get something that feels right.
    I generally blur it at a strength of 5-10, just to give the feel that the object is in motion.
    [​IMG]
    IMPORTANT NOTE - You might want to create another copy of Saber for the blurring, just in case you mess up.

    Now make a copy of that blurred layer above the original (or below, depending on whichever looks nicer).
    [​IMG]

    Blur this new layer at the same angle as before, but with an insane strength of >200.
    [​IMG]
    This is to create a motion "trail" effect for the object.

    Erase out the unwanted parts.
    [​IMG]

    Hmm, the insanely blurred layer looks wee bit too "thin", let's create an additional copy of that layer to make it stand out.
    [​IMG]

    Do the same for Devy's arm, and that's it!
    [​IMG]






    Alternatively, you could use the SMUDGE TOOL (R) instead of the MOTION BLUR filter to achieve a similar effect.

    While you're at it, do experiment with the other blur filters. Some of which may very well come in handy for other effects...
     
  4. Autobus Prime

    Autobus Prime Transit Former

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Posts:
    8,679
    Trophy Points:
    211
    Likes:
    +1
    Easy and Cheap Cybertronian Interiors: Walls, Floors, and Columns.

    Folks:

    Walls and floors:

    Silver and gold posterboard
    Old corrugated cardboard
    Some sort of glue
    A Ball Point Pen

    1 - Draw panel lines on the posterboard with a ball-point pen. Make them nice and dark. Use old cartoons for reference. I usually break the whole thing up into a checkerboard of 3" x 3" panels, then subdivide the panels into semi-random rectangular pieces, trying to keep the subpanel joints staggered.

    2 - Glue the posterboard to a cardboard back to add stiffness. I used a glue stick. Spray cement would be stronger.

    That's all! I like to use contrasting colors for walls and floor. The old cartoon usually showed Autobot walls being orange, and Decepticon walls being purple. I like silver and gold better.

    Columns:
    Paint paper towel cores with cheap gray paint. I use $3/quart mismixed latex from the paint store, and string them on a broomstick to dry. Then, using a Sharpie pen, add panel lines. I do this in various ways, but a frequent one is to draw parallel rings all the way up the column, then split them with vertical, staggered seams. That's it!
     
  5. Polenicus

    Polenicus Warring At Play

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Posts:
    3,333
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +0
    Ebay:
    Here's how I make speech bubbles in GIMP:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Chaos Incarnate

    Chaos Incarnate Not just a name.

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Posts:
    4,282
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +1
    Massive shockwave effects you will all hate me for!

    And why? Because Bryce 3D users are much rarer than Photoshop users.

    Programs used: Photoshop CS2, Bryce 5

    It was requested of me to make a tutorial about how to make the shockwave effect as seen in this panel of my comic, Prime Time!

    Sadly, I don't have the pictures from that phase of my comic anymore, so I can't use the originals to recreate it. So instead, I'm going to use a completely new picture.

    [​IMG]

    Assisting me today is Figma Saber. (isn't she just so darn helpful?) Oh yeah, and Landmine. I'm sure he loses this battle.

    The first thing I'm going to do is prep this picture for the effect. I start by using the Quick Selection mode to select my characters.

    [​IMG]

    And then, using techniques similar to what was discussed by ZUDON and DilaZirK, I will add a radial blur technique.

    [​IMG]

    Next, I boot up Bryce 5. This is sort of my trump card, because it's a really easy to use, low end 3D design program, suitable for adding a little extra snazz to a webcomic.

    Once booted up, it will automatically place me in a blank environment. The thumbnail in the top left hand corner is the preview shot, if I were to render this scene right now, that's how it would look.

    Most of the controls on the left side have to do with camera positioning, and I'm not going to move anything, so that's unnecessary.

    [​IMG]

    My first step is to prepare the scenery. Thankfully, they already have more presets than you can shake a stick at, and one of them just happens to be a blank black environment, with no shading, fog, or atmosphere. If there were anything in my background, it wouldn't be useful to me for compositing.

    [​IMG]

    Next, after selecting the ground plane and deleting it, I create a sphere by clicking on the sphere icon, and centering and enlarging it using the edit tools. (steps not shown. If anyone would like a more detailed explanation, please PM me!) Now, I need to turn this featureless gray ball into an explosion!! That takes texturing. Again, thankfully, the team at Macromedia included a massive amount of textures, and in the complex FX, I find the ones I want.

    [​IMG]

    Now I take my spray render tool, and render a section of the sphere. You will notice that the edge of the rendered image is smaller than the edge of the actual object. This displacement is caused because this particular texture is a volumetric one.

    [​IMG]

    That's the outer shell of the explosion. Now I copy and paste that sphere, and scale in down slightly, making what will be one of the core explosion effects. I select a new texture map, and then copy/paste and scale again, making the explosion a bit more complex. In retrospect, I should have changed up the settings on the innermost sphere's texture map, so it didn't look doubled, but I felt that would be a bit more in depth than what people wanted. Again, if you really do want that, PM me, and I will edit it.

    Here is the picture again, after I have used the spray render to preview a portion.

    [​IMG]

    Next, I need to increase the resolution of the image, since I'm a freak of nature and do all my comic work in 2MP. (1600x1200) Again, thankfully, with a simple click of the mouse, I can fix that. I go to File>Document Settings, and click the button that renders it at three times normal resolution. That way the aspect ratio and size of my working space is the same, but I render more pixels.

    [​IMG]

    And then next I render!

    [​IMG]

    For those of you who are eagle-eyed, it did not take me all night to render this image, only about 20 minutes. I just had to stop and pick it up again the next day. Anyhow, my render is done, and I bring it into Photoshop!

    [​IMG]

    Next I'm going to drag it into my working file, and set the layer properties to Screen. And I'm going to move and scale it to go how I want it.

    [​IMG]

    And then I'm going to recenter it, and have some fun. First, I add an Adjustment Layer, Hue/Saturation. I click the box for Colorize, then move the slider to a cool blue color. I also increased the saturation. Don't increase the lighten slider, because that will screw up your overlay. When done, hit Ctrl+Alt+G to parent that layer to the shockwave layer. That way the Adjustment Layer doesn't affect the rest of the image.

    NOTE!!! That Ctrl+Alt+G is a HUGELY useful tip! Since I discovered it, I have found myself using it more and more.

    [​IMG]

    Next I just added a Radial Blur to make it a bit more spiffy, and revealed all the rest of the layers. Using Guides to zero in on the impact point, I moved the explosion to that point.

    [​IMG]

    And lastly, I added in a bit of a lens flare at the impact point, to coolify it! Ta dah!!

    [​IMG]

    Again, if this tutorial sucks, PM me, and I can fix it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  7. StarFire_MK2

    StarFire_MK2 'Till All are One! TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Posts:
    2,780
    Trophy Points:
    216
    Likes:
    +0
    Ebay:
    Simple Explosion effects

    A few people have asked me how I do my explosions, so here goes. Like all other great tutorials in this section, I don’t claim my way is the best, or produces the best results. What I’m showing you is simply the method I like best, because it’s fast, and I’m lazy.
    I’ll demonstrate how to do this on poor Sunstreaker here, using Adobe Photoshp 6.0. You can still follow along even if you don’t use photoshop, since most image packages have similar functionality.

    [​IMG]

    Firstly, I do all my special effects before I resize my comics to 800x600 for posting.

    1: Create a new layer and draw some circles using the paintbrush tool. I overlap several of them.
    [​IMG]

    2: Then I use the burn tool, and draw around the edges of my circle cluster, which darkens them.
    [​IMG]

    3: Right click on the burn tool, and select the dodge tool. Lighten the center of the circle cluster.
    [​IMG]

    4: Now click on the smudge tool (If you don’t see this icon, right click the box I’ve highlighted and select it). Using a small brush size, I draw the circle out. Do this all around and through-out the circle.
    [​IMG]

    5: For extra effect, smudge a few sections really far out, then use the eraser tool to cut away the connecting ‘strand’, so you end up with a few isolated sections out away from the center of the blast. Now we’ve got a funky pattern with some depth to it, since we’ve essentially mixed our original, burned, and dodged colours together. Right-click on the layer and chose blending options.
    [​IMG]

    6: Now check the outer and inner glow boxes, then click on outer glow. I like orange-y explosions, so I chose that colour, but you can chose any you like. The key to making this look good is making sure Element Technique is set to Precise, and anti-aliased is checked under quality. Play around with the Spread and Size functions until you find settings you like. Likewise play around with the Inner Glow function until you find something you like. I find the results more variable with Inner Glow, so I won’t spent any time on it, other than to say I likewise set Element Technique to Precise, and turn on and anti-aliasing.
    [​IMG][/IMG]

    7: Now copy your entire explosion layer and paste it in. Here’s where you get creative and bring the explosion to life. I use different layer settings for each of my subsequent layers (color burn, screen, multiply, whatever), as well as different Inner and Outer glow settings. I’ve used “colour burn” here. I often re-smudge each layer too, so each layer is subtly different than the preceding one.
    [​IMG][/IMG]

    8: Now we’ll deal with those ‘isolated strands’ I mentioned in step 5. Create a new layer, and copy layer 1 into it. Make sure your new layer (layer 3 in my example) is nearly perfectly aligned atop layer one. You may want to set layer 2’s opacity to zero to help you. Right click layer 3 and go to the blending options again. Check both Inner Shadow and Drop Shadow, then click ok.
    [​IMG]

    9: Erase most of the layer except for the stand areas, and set the layer opacity to about 65%, or whatever you like. The effect I’m trying to create here is that pieces of metal or debris are being blown out from the center of the explosion. I didn’t do it too well here, but like I said—I’m lazy.
    [​IMG]

    10: Once done, copy layer 1 or 2 and paste it in as layer 4. Set it to colour burn and add an outer glow. This helps blend the dark sections of layer 3 a little better.
    [​IMG]

    11: Now we’ll add a bright center core to the explosion. Create a new layer named “Explosion Core”, and use a thin brush tool to paint some white in the center. Use the smudge tool to create a now-familiar star-burst pattern. I then add a pure white Outer Glow, but here I usually LEAVE THE ELEMENT TECHNIQUE SET TO SOFTER, and don’t add much spread or size to it. Of course, you can do whatever you want! That’s it for a basic explosion, and it only takes a few minutes.
    [​IMG]


    Some (Slightly) Advanced Stuff

    12. Create a new layer named “sparks”. Select the Magnetic Lasso or Polygonal Lasso Tool, and draw some lines radiating out from the explosion (I used both tools in this image—the straighter sparks were made with the polygonal tool). Fill each one with colour by using the fill command (EDIT->FILL).
    [​IMG]

    13. Add and Outer and Inner Glow to the sparks. If you want, add a new layer called sparks core and use the brush tool to paint white on the end of the sparks. You can use the Outer Glow function here as well.
    [​IMG]

    14: If you want to really spruce it up, create a new layer and name it radius. Select the brush tool and set it to 999 pixels by right-clicking where I’ve indicated. Select whatever colour you wish that’s in your explosion—again, I’ve stuck with orange.
    [​IMG]

    15: Paint a circle on the image, then select the eraser tool and set it to 997, and carefully place it so you erase all but the outer edge of the circle (you probably can’t see the circle now in this tutorial, but it’s there).
    [​IMG]

    16: Set the opacity of this layer to “screen” (if you’ve chosen a dark colour) or “overlay” (if you’ve chosen a light colour). Then—you guessed it—add an Outer Glow to it!
    You can distort the radius by using the transform function if you don’t want a perfect circle. I haven’t done that here, but it’s useful in certain situations.
    [​IMG]

    Closing Comments:

    Whatever you do, take your time, and save your work in a format which allows you to edit your layers. That way, once you’ve created an explosion you really like, you can use it over and over again (like I do). Just rotate the image, use different glow effects, and the explosion will look unique every-time you use it!
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  8. TCracker

    TCracker おもちゃは今とても暑いです

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Posts:
    15,092
    News Credits:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    277
    Likes:
    +128
    Presenting.....TCracker's Absurdly Simple Method To Glow-Glow Eyes!

    First, you need Photoshop. I use 7.0, old but functional.

    Open the file you want to photoshop
    [​IMG]

    Here I chose BA, simply he wants to volunteer :D 
    [​IMG]

    Create a Layer
    [​IMG]

    Use the Lasso tool (circled in RED) and outline the eyes
    [​IMG]

    If you have more than 1 area to lasso, just hit the shift key and go ahead with the next area you want to lasso
    [​IMG]


    After that, use the brush tool and brush over the lassoed area with white
    [​IMG]

    Then, to Layer > Layer Style > Outer Glow
    [​IMG]


    From there you can play with the settings until you acheive the desired glowy-ness :D 
    [​IMG]

    Once you are satisfied, hit OK and save the file :) 
    [​IMG]

    There, easy as pie. :p 
     
  9. Chaos Incarnate

    Chaos Incarnate Not just a name.

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Posts:
    4,282
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +1
    Okay, today I'm going to teach you how to make a Bubble Shield in Photoshop. I'm using Photoshop CS2, but I think most of these instructions are backwards compatible.

    Step 1: Play some Halo 3.

    No, really. Grab a bubble shield, activate it, and just stare at it. Look at it from the outside, look at it from the inside, go all around it, and get a feel for how it looks. If you don't have Halo 3, your life sucks, dude. I mean, get some reference pics off the internets.

    To start, get your picture. I'm using the same image of Master Chief and Saber that I used in my comic.

    [​IMG]

    Next, you need another reference shot. Something that you can use to make the pattern on the shield. I just did a search for geodesic spheres. You can do the same thing, or you can scalp the picture I found. Now, add it to your picture as a new layer.

    [​IMG]

    Next I'm going to resize and reduce the opacity of the image. I've rotated it so that I can take advantage of some of the lines later.

    [​IMG]

    The next thing to do is to make a selection that's just as large as the bubble. In Photoshop, if you click on one of the rulers that run the left and top edges of the picture, you can drag a ruler onto the picture. The Move tool will move them if you wish.

    [​IMG]

    Drag a ruler to each edge of the circle. Soon you will have your working area surrounding your work area. Now, grab the Rectangular Marquee and make a selection of your area.

    [​IMG]

    Make sure you have the image layer selected, and not the sphere image. copy the selection, and then make a new document. Photoshop will automatically use the dimensions of what you copied into your clipboard as the dimensions of its new document. Once open, paste your selection into it.

    [​IMG]

    Next we are going to apply a couple filters to make the basic look of the bubble shield. First we are going to go to Filters>Distort>Glass. This filter will make a vaguely rippley look to the image. Please play with the modifiers to achieve the effect you want. I admit that I should have toned down the glass filter a bit.

    [​IMG]

    Next, go to Filters>Distort>Spherize. This will add a rounded bubble look to your image. I chose to go about 75% of the full effects, because that looked best to me. As always, making images is art, and it's not yours without some of yourself in it.

    [​IMG]

    Now you are ready to start putting the picture back together. Select the entire image and copy it.

    [​IMG]

    Okay, paste it into your original image, and put it over your background image, but under your geodesic image.

    [​IMG]

    Now, you know how you can make really straight lines in Photoshop by clicking with the brush, and then holding the Shift key and clicking somewhere else? Well you can do the same with most brushes, including the Smudge tool. Basically we are going to play connect the dots. I've highlighted the dots in this shot:

    [​IMG]

    Now, double check that you have the geodesic image up, but it's at about 35% opacity. Enough that you can see it, but not so much that it gets in the way. Also double check that you have the underlying layer active. The one with the effects on it. This is where you want the smudging to be, using the overlying layer only as a guide. Now, take your smudge tool, and simply click on one of the intersections I highlighted. You can see that this shape can be divided into many hexagons and one pentagon. We'll start with the pentagon. Click on one intersection and then move to the next one. You can hold down Shift if you wish, but Do Not drag the brush. Then, holding Shift, click the next intersection, and the next one, and the next and so on. After you come back to the original intersection you should have a neat little pentagon, like so:

    [​IMG]

    Now expand the pattern into hexagons, and continue across the entire surface of the shield. Hide and reveal the geodesic template as you see fit, to get a better look at the image, and soon it will look like this:

    [​IMG]

    Now, if you feel the need, go back over some of the lines with a smaller smudge brush to get better visibility out of them. Some line I smudges three or four times until I was satisfied.

    [​IMG]

    Next, use your Pen tool to make a new path. This path will define the edge of the bubble. Remember when I said that I rotated the geodesic image to take advantage of some of it's lines? Well here's why. The shield bubble is not a perfect sphere, but is inset into the ground a bit, so a view of it would not be completely circular. I'm circumscribing the circle, and adding a shorter arc to represent that.

    [​IMG]

    Once you have your path made, in the Paths Palette, at the bottom, there is button that says Load Path as a Selection. Click it. This will deselect your path and instead make a shape of marching ants.

    [​IMG]

    Now, in the Layers Palette, click the button at the bottom that says Add Vector Mask. The glassified parts in the square around the shield will disappear.

    [​IMG]

    Now for the final step. I'm going to add a little more visibility to this effect. In the Layers Palette, click on the Effects button. First, add an Inner Glow. Make it completely white, and fade it out to about 20% opacity. And make it fairly large. My glow extends about 200 pixels into the shield. Now, click to add an Outer Glow. Make it white as well, and make it's opacity the same as the inner glow. Make this glow considerably smaller, since it's only purpose is to soften the edge of the shield. Click Okay and you're done!

    [​IMG]

    Now you have yourself your very own shield bubble! Go make a comic!
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  10. Chaos Incarnate

    Chaos Incarnate Not just a name.

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Posts:
    4,282
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +1
    Cloud/smoke brush

    Hey again! I'm back, and this time with another new technique. This is something that Photoshop does, but in all the years I've used this program, I've never used the feature.

    I've been working on making good smoke effects for a long, long time, and have been mostly failing at it. Finally, I decided that what I needed was a new way of painting those pixels on, I needed a cloud brush. That, my friends, is what I will be teaching you today.

    I am using Photoshop CS2 on a Windows platform.

    Step 1: Make a new document

    I simply made a new document, 500 pixels by 500 pixels. Easy stuff here.

    [​IMG]

    Step 2: Make Clouds

    Now, what you are looking for here is clouds that are mostly black and white. The clouds filter makes a random pattern, so just keep repeating it (Ctrl-F) until you get something with a good definition.

    [​IMG]

    Step 3: Make Selection

    Take your Lasso tool (and for once I actually recommend the default lasso, every other time I use the polygonal lasso) and make a roughly round shape that includes light and dark areas.

    Now go to Selection>Feather and make it about a 10. This blurs your selection by 10 pixels.

    [​IMG]

    Step 4: Make new document

    With your selection selected, just hit copy (Ctrl-C) New Document (Ctrl-N) and Paste (Ctrl-V). This makes a document the exact dimensions of your selection and pastes it in there.

    [​IMG]

    Step 5: Eat a Sammich

    Go ahead, I'll wait...

    Step 6: Create the new brush

    Go to Edit>Define Brush Preset. Now, in all technicality, your new brush has been created.

    [​IMG]

    Step 7: Edit Brush Properties

    So, we got the brush made, you can even use it and everything by going to your brush selection and getting it from the very bottom. But, if you notice, the stuff you make with it doesn't look anything like smoke or clouds. Now you must edit the properties of your new brush. With your new brush active, go to the control palette on the top and open the Brushes blade. Make sure your new brush is selected, if not, then simply click it on the bottom of the list. You can edit your default brush size here, I like to make it a nice round number like 100. One more thing to remember: When making your brush, it's basically taking the image you defined, and stamping it a bajillion times to make the stroke. So, if I refer to the image as a stamp, bear with me. These options affect just how it gets stamped.

    [​IMG]

    Step 7A: Brush tip shape

    Click the next item in the list, immediately under Brush presets. There is one very important option here. The spacing must be modified, and you will probably want to tweak this again, so remember where it is. This will affect how closely together the stamps are.

    [​IMG]

    Step 7B: Shape Dynamics

    Here is where you start to inject some randomness. Smoke is random in nature, (actually, all fluidic motion is a chaotic system) so we want to jumble it up.

    The first slider says Size Jitter. This controls how likely it is to change the size of the stamp. Let's move this to 100%. Next is minimum diameter, this controls how small the stamp can actually get, randomly. Since we don't want lame tiny specks, let's move this up to 50%. After that, go to the Angle Jitter. This will randomly change the angle of the stamp. Move this to 100%. This will do for now.

    [​IMG]

    Step 7C: Scattering

    Smoke and clouds like to bloom out and have little offshoots instead of staying in their place. So, what this option does it affect how far the stamps will deviate from the actual position of your brush.

    Click the box for Both Axes, this will affect distance in both X (the line of your stroke) and Y (perpendicular to X). Then put that slider wherever you want it. I only wanted a little deviation, so I put it at 66%. Keep an eye on the preview at the bottom.

    I put the count at 2, since 1 seemed too thin, and 3 seemed too thick.

    [​IMG]

    Step 8: Test Drive

    You can't be expected to buy something until you test drive it, right? So open up an image and play with your new brush! Here's my test. Something's not quite right though, everything is flat looking. The brush is stamping them in the same shade of color. I don't really want that, so it's back to the Brushes blade.

    [​IMG]

    Step 9: Color Dynamics

    Back in the options, click on Color dynamics. This will make it do the stamps aren't all the same color. Make your settings something like mine. Feel free to play with it, of course, but I found this to work pretty well. What it does it takes the foreground color, and mixes it with the background color. The jitter slider changes how strong that mix is.

    [​IMG]

    Step 10: Other Dynamics

    Just for fun, click this box to throw in more randomness. Again, the settings are what I felt was good. Feel free to pick your own.

    [​IMG]

    Now, after testing it again, I find that it works great!

    [​IMG]

    Step 11: Play!

    What's this shiny new brush good for? Anything smokey! For instance, by picking a dark gray foreground color and a mid gray background color, I can make cool smoke, like in this shot:

    [​IMG]

    Maybe it's Prime's funeral pyre...

    It can also be used for big fluffy clouds. Here's a giant Master Chief standing tall!

    [​IMG]

    That's all I have for now! Keep on running those editing programs, and don't get discouraged! Remember, every success stands on the shoulders of previous failures. So go out and make comics and have fun!
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
  11. Pun-3X

    Pun-3X Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Posts:
    4,939
    Trophy Points:
    202
    Likes:
    +2
    Okay, I posted this how-to in my own thread, but Chaos Incarnate reminded me this tutorial sticky was here. So here we go: a quick explosion how-to.

    I'm doing this on a blue background so it's easier to see. First, I do a simple airbrush that's a super-bright yellow. I'll adjust the opacity depending how strong I want it to be. Then, I make a white center for the explosion:
    [​IMG]

    Now the fun part. Open a new layer. As shown below, I open the BRUSH box at the top left, opening the brush-type menu. Scroll down towards the bottom until you see the brush effects shown:
    [​IMG]

    Now, just go to town. Best thing to remember is that explosions are not symmetrical. Offset some of the stuff until you're happy with it:
    [​IMG]

    Yeh, looking at that image, maybe it's a bit TOO symmetrical? Eheh! :D  But you get the idea. Now, two things you can do. Blurring the particals down makes them seem more cloud like:
    [​IMG]



    Or, you can do the radial blurr effect found in filters...
    [​IMG]

    ...and in the RADIAL BLUR menu, click zoom to get this look:
    [​IMG]

    Or, some combination thereof. :D 

    Okay, for my purposes today, I'll be going with the blur effect--mostly to point out one other thing. This next pic isn't as blurred as above, and for a reason. Depending on the background, you can use your blending options and choose 'outer glow:'
    [​IMG]

    I tend to play around with the opacity, color, size and range to get the effects that I want. This is the same technique often used for laser effects. It tends to beef up elements of the explosion:
    [​IMG]

    At this point, or even before the outer-glow, you can often stop and be satisfied. In fact, that was about as far as I would take my first explosions on this comic. (maybe more of that splotch brush wherever I felt it was needed) But then comes another fun element: smoke effects!

    First, use the same splotchy brush on a new layer. I'd open this one behind the first two. This time use black, and start splotching around the outer portion of the explosion. Going with the assymetrical idea, one way to make it more realistic is by painting up one side, or at least doing one side heavier than the other. But you can play around however you want until you're happy, as there is no particular rule:
    [​IMG]

    And, blur:
    [​IMG]

    And now, for a smoke trail. Same brush tool, but much smaller. Draw a trail away from the explosion. I tend to run it a bit crooked, to give the smoke that 'blown around in the air' look:
    [​IMG]

    And blur :D 
    [​IMG]

    Now, sometimes I'll add a bit of fiery debris. Simple enough--new layer, switch your brush to the usual airbrush circle style (that fades out around the edges) and paint in whites and yellows, making a trail back into the smoke:
    [​IMG]

    A final step would be to switch back to the 'blotch' brush for the smoke effect, and on a new layer above the fiery debris, splotch just a bit of that black smoke effect on the trail's tail end. That'll make it seem more like it's shooting out of the smoke. (shown below)

    Now finally, do the same smoke technique as we did on the outside of the explosion, but on the inside! Curve it a little to make it feel more three-dimensional, and blur:
    [​IMG]

    At this point, you can add more debris on top, or add splotches and use the radial/zoom blur, add bright white fire spots or whatever combination you want. But here you have a pretty good concept for making a pleasantly detailed explosion.
     
  12. puppylove

    puppylove mini ops caretaker

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,320
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +1
    how make a sparks!

    [​IMG]

    1. find yourself a picture of sparks. i like to pick ones with the most contrast, or the easiest to erase a background for. make sure to resize your image for a web safe size, since the in all likelihood an image you are borrowing from the internet will be lower resolution.

    [​IMG]

    2. make sure you have white selected as your foreground color. then use the tool in the selection palette that says "color range...".

    [​IMG]

    3. set it to the top, at 200. then say okay.

    [​IMG]

    4. once selected, pull the sparks onto your image.

    [​IMG]

    5. next, change the layer attributes from normal to something else. i usually try 'screen' first, if that doesn't look quite right i will try another one.

    [​IMG]

    6. for this image, i actually put it on vivid light.

    [​IMG]

    7. then i zoom in, lower the opacity so i can see what i am doing and then erase around the item making the sparks. in this case i only erased the lower part of the ax and left the rest of the sparks.

    [​IMG]

    8. then restore the opacity.

    that's it!

    [​IMG]
     
  13. puppylove

    puppylove mini ops caretaker

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,320
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +1
    slightly different way to make a flying figure

    this is a trick that chaos incarnate actually taught me...

    1. first! when you are taking your pictures, have your camera totally stationary. like on a tripod if possible. set up your figure that is flying. sometimes i use the stand for the toys like the figmas & shinkis, or else i will hold a transformer from behind as still as possible. then snap a picture. then *without moving your camera* move your figure out the frame, then snap another picture without the figure.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    2. open up your 2 pictures in photoshop.

    [​IMG]

    3. drag the picture with the flying figure onto the image without it.

    [​IMG]

    4. lower the opacity of the figure layer.

    [​IMG]

    5. zoom in, and carefully erase around the figure and remove the stand set up.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    6. then restore the opacity of the top layer, and then flatten image.

    [​IMG]

    7. then grab your burn tool, and put a little shadow underneath. voila!

    flying figure!

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Sage o' G-fruit

    Sage o' G-fruit Critics gonna critique

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Posts:
    7,108
    News Credits:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +11
    I have a tutorial on how to make a lazer in Comic Life.

    Merely drag a "lettering" to the photo.

    The text should be - - - - as much as needed. You can drag the lettering sideways if you're doing a long beam.
     
  15. Sage o' G-fruit

    Sage o' G-fruit Critics gonna critique

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Posts:
    7,108
    News Credits:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +11
    Sage's many uses for the lettering tool!

    In case you don't know, every effect can be done with lettering in Comic Life.

    To make guns seem like they're glowing, do another lettering. Have the text be a period ( . )
    Once you get to the image, size the dot to fix the gun barrel.

    Cheap portals can be done by making the text @.

    EDIT: Eye glow effects can be made by creating a : using the lettering tool, then size for the eyes, and turn it around to fit.
     
  16. Zherbus

    Zherbus In Shogo Hasui, we trust.

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Posts:
    2,362
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +3
    Working with Backgrounds in GIMP. I usually have about 120-130 backdrops saved on my PC for my semi-realistic comic. If I see one that looks awesome while browsing around the internet, I save it. Sometimes it inspires scenes, other times I just figure I can use it along the line at some point.

    This tutorial is a basic way of working transformers into the scene.

    Here, well start with a night time city picture I found somewhere.

    [​IMG]

    It'll be your base background layer and for the most part will remain untouched.

    Next, we want the subject inserted. Here, I blatantly stole someones awesome picture of Superion including some sword I wish I had. We'll put this awesome picture within the city, not just OVER the city.

    [​IMG]

    Next, we have the hard part about cropping the bot from the background. Using an eraser sucks and leads to messy lines. You could use the background to transparency method, but then you get translucent bots. The best method is to use the Path tool in GIMP. Simply zoom in to about 500% and start tracing a path.

    [​IMG]

    I do mine in chunks because sometimes the path gets messed up and you end up having to start all over again.

    [​IMG]

    Once finished, you now have just the bot over the base background layer. Simply use the move tool to place him where you want. Here, I placed him right "on" the building, because I plan on having him stand on the street below.

    [​IMG]

    Now create another layer that's an exact duplicate of the background. Your layers should be stacked thusly:

    Copy of background (foreground)
    Subject (Superion here)
    Background

    [​IMG]

    Go ahead and cut out a huge chunk of whatever isn't needed. Here, I cut all the way down to just above the building tops so I can take care of that in better detail.

    [​IMG]

    Using a similiar Path tool method as we did on Superion, the foreground building rests nicely over Superions feet giving him the appearance of standing behind the build (but towering the heck over it).

    [​IMG]

    Now you have some obvious stuff around the border of the bot. I like to merge all of the layers at this point and then gently blur the edges of the bot into the background. It gives it the more natural appearance. Don't use too big of a tool or over-do it, otherwise you'll have a blurry bot with a clear center.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, add some effects. There's tutorials in this thread for nice eyes and weapons glows. It's pretty easy. All I did here was feather the sword tip, then do a smaller feather inside with blue to give it that glow look. I used a lighting effect to give it that Voltron-esque feeling of right after "...and I'll form the head!"

    [​IMG]

    Some clean up and cropping and you get a decent representation of a giant robot combiner just chillen in the city on a Saturday night.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Zherbus

    Zherbus In Shogo Hasui, we trust.

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Posts:
    2,362
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    151
    Likes:
    +3
    Colored Hue Effects (in GIMP), as requested. :) 

    Ok, as I always do, I painstakenly trim the backgrounds from my figures.

    [​IMG]

    I drop the background in and move it to fit. Some effects sit on the background layer, the figures layer, or another transparent layer.

    [​IMG]

    Now find the Super Nova effect in GIMP. Make sure you are in the correct layer first. In this case, I'm doing it on the figures layer just for the light to look better.

    [​IMG]

    Select your central point. In this case, Sunstreakers firearm barrel.

    [​IMG]

    Adjust the spokes and random hue sliders until you get the right sizing and coloration that you desire.

    [​IMG]

    Apply it and check it out for awkwardness in the main image view.

    [​IMG]

    Clean up your edges and do other effects like eyes and there you go.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. DilaZirK

    DilaZirK Is bullheaded.

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Posts:
    7,124
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    211
    Likes:
    +1
  19. Sage o' G-fruit

    Sage o' G-fruit Critics gonna critique

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Posts:
    7,108
    News Credits:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +11
    Sage's lazy launching missiles!!

    Alright, I'm going to teach you guys how to do the missile effect I did in my comic thread. Going to have to click the little black bar if you want to see what you need to do.

    First, we'll start here with the picture raw.

    [​IMG]

    Nice, huh? :p  Make sure you pose them as if the figure is getting hit by the missile. Now, we zoom in on the missile.

    [​IMG]

    We're then going to the paths tool, and trace the missle's outline. It's OK that some of the missile is in it's launcher. The hit enter to select the missile.

    [​IMG]

    Got it now, eh? Now copy the selection, and it will appear as a brush.

    [​IMG]

    From here, you've got two options. Have a large amount of missiles hit the foe, which you can do by holding down the missile brush and tracing a path. You get something like this:

    [​IMG]

    Or, you can place a copy of the missile where you want the missile to hit, and then add a smoke effect, like Coolhand showed us in his fire effect tutorial, or Chaos' smoke effect tutorial.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Once you're all finished messing around with the smoke, if you want, add some sparks, then blur them, to show that the missile had an effect.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    That's my lazy missile technique. Next time, I'll show you how to bring back a Transformer from the dead. :D 
     
  20. Chaos Incarnate

    Chaos Incarnate Not just a name.

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2003
    Posts:
    4,282
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +1

Share This Page