Another college assignment this one I put a ridiculous amount of work into so enjoy the post. For this one we had to contact a professional artist (most of us contacted them via deviant art) and get permission to digitally ink a piece from their gallery. I chose a piece named “Uncanny Xmen” which was made by MiaCabrera. Big shout out to him for letting me use his amazing art!
To start off I just worked my way up with Cyclops. To do this I used Adobe Illustrator CS6 in order to recreate every single line using the pen tool. It took a really long time but I’ll talk more about that near the end of the post. After I Moved up to Wolverine.
The things that I had the most trouble with on Wolverine were his blades. The lines were very very small and it was a little awkward trying to get my lines and curves just right.
After I fiddled around for a bit though and with a more trial and error I think I made it look alright.
Here is another problem that I consistently had throughout my project. And it’s something that you will encounter on almost every project like this you attempt. When you zoom in really really far in order to make sure your line is spot on, or to make sure you’re getting every little detail and whatnot you are going to have to make your best judgement as the digital inker. That does not mean you should add or take away something because you find it too hard to finish (there are always exceptions to this) if you are having a lot of trouble while your that zoomed in remember that you can always zoom right back out in order to get your bearings; then you can get right back to work.
After dealing with some the pixelation I moved on to Colossus. This is where I reached a lot of difficulty and it has come to the point that I will stress this on nearly everyone of my posts.
Always. Always save your work; and while I’m making that point, ALWAYS HAVE BACKUPS this has happened to me numerous times on both school and personally projects and while it may not have happened on this one (it just closed the program, didn’t save though) I have had entire projects corrupted as a result of my program bugging out or crashing.
I didn’t really have as many issues with this as I thought. What I did find out though thanks to numerous sections like this is that the smallest and most detailed lines of the piece will take you the longest. You do not want to do a sketchy job of them and zoom out just to have it look really weird. Regardless I zoomed in pretty far for this section.
If some of you are wondering about the section in the upper right hand corner I did ink it out. However when I got to coloring everything I was coming close to my deadline and didn’t really know what it was. I contacted the artist previously to make out the sentinel head in the background. Not being able to tell what it is and leaving it out is on me. I just wanted to explain why it wasn’t there.
While putting in the base colour I ran into another issue. While looking at many references of Wolverine to come up with colour pallets I had a lot of trouble getting his arms to look normal. I tried numerous different tones and colours but I couldn’t make it work. To deal with this I just made the yellow part of his suit extend all the way down to his arms.
Here is something else that I would like to mention. I made another mistake (which I know have learned from) about shading/shadows. Make them after you finish your colours and highlights. Once you establish where your light is coming from it will be a lot easier to make out where there should be shadows and where there should be highlights. If anyone is wondering how I made the highlights/shading I used cell shading. That’s where you make a shape around where you want your highlight/shadow to be and either make it a subtle brighter tone for a highlight, or a transparent black for a shadow.
While on the topic when making your shadows always make sure you are using 100% true black. I don’t know how many 0’s there are, but the reference number is something like #0000000. It turns out that when I made all of my shadows before I did all the colouring non of them were true black. I figured out why they looked so weird and went back to change all of them.
Does anyone remember how in a previous post I said mistakes can be your greatest assets? Well if not, remember that. This is a screencap of another mistake I made. Although I don’t know why, something looked really really off to me about Cyclops’ visor. I tried a few different things to try to fix it but something would work. However, when I zoomed out it had this really awesome spiral effect, so I kept it.
The section I had the most fun inking was definitely the sentinel’s head. I was just going to use a dull grey to make his parts look like metal but after researching some pictures of the things I had this cool idea of using a gradient. (Ok, that by itself isn’t exactly a really cool idea) But what I did was, put a purple shape over the top of all the parts and made it transparent. I thought this made it look really cool, and it actually became my favourite part of the piece.
Another thing I enjoyed highlighting were the little details whether it was a piece of metal, or a section of Collossus’ arm or in this case Wolverine’s cigar! I don’t think you can actually tell the thing is highlighted when zoomed out but I know it is and I think it looks awesome. This was also another place I used a gradient, I used orange, yellow, and black for the colours.
Here’s a screencap of my progress on the highlighting. To determine where the light was initially coming from I took not of where MiaCabrera’s shadings were and made those black lines in as a reference.
Here is my finished product. (I am aware that I left all my assets in there) I really like how it turned out; I also hope that people appreciate the 73 hours I put into it trying to make every detail into it look perfect. In the corner you can see the colours I used; if anyone is interested I can post a downloadable one or just a screen shot with all of them together so feel free to comment!
Something that I will say though is that I do want to experiment with gradient mapping. I did not use it for this project because I have not used it before and didn’t know if I could finish this product before my deadline trying to figure it out. At least that gives me a good excuse to make more of there to practice though:)
Just to see a comparison of the piece with and without colour (with and without the reference). Also note that this coloured file is a JPEG and may look like it’s a lower quality.
Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment!