Saturday, March 30, 2013

Project One (con't): populating the island with 1 alligator

He I've added Wally Gator and guess what?  He looks entirely out of place on our little island.  Not because an alligator doesn't belong here but because he looks so "acetate cell" -like... it doesn't fit with our background.

One trick with your character is to keep your outline and your colors on separate layers.  Now you can go back and do a preserve transparency on your outline layer and recolor it to more closely match your underlying colors.

"Preserve transparency" is a command in most drawing/painting software that basically says: you can only change drawn lines and colors but leave the transparent areas alone.  Meaning you can now swipe a paint brush over outline layer and the only thing that changes are the lines themselves.  Thus, you can always go back and change the colors of your lines or, for that matter, any colored area.

It's a great tool that you'll put to use many many many many many many... puff puff pant pant... many many many many times in your digital art career.

Here's our scene with the color of Wally's outline changed:

See how already Wally is starting to "blend in?"  Well, he's an alligator, not a chameleon.  So we still have to work him somewhat.

Now remember, he's under a tree.  A tree casts shade.  So we can shade him to blend him into the scene.  Although I keep my file as a Photoshop file, remember what I said before: Photoshop is the "common currency" of art software.  I brought that file into Corel Painter and used one of their nicest shading tools that they call "soft charcoal."  It handles pretty well and is controllable.  Maybe I got a little carried away, but here's my impression of a 3-D Wally under his tree on his little island:

Now Wally is looking like he belongs there... much as he's thinking of getting out seeing the world.

Major bummer is that Wally is standing on a couple of daisies.  Daisies sprouting up from the grass means it's Spring.  Wally Gators start thinking of lady gators in the Spring.  Do you blame him for wondering if there's more to life than just hanging out at the zoo?

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