Author Topic: Illustration basic technique  (Read 28326 times)

Offline No.1

  • Administrator and Owner
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23102
  • Owner: www.letletlet-warplanes.com
    • View Profile
    • LetLetLet - Warplanes
Illustration basic technique
« on: January 13, 2006, 11:12:10 PM »
Let's begin with the color profile. First at all i have to note that could not do this if you are not common with the picture editor control. In this way this is the Adobe Photoshop, version CS2, by my personal opinion the best software for the picture editing.

Our target will be to produce color profile of the Messerschmitt Bf109E flown by Kurt Wolf from the JG52. What we need is the basic technical drawing and the photo of the subject. Drawings I have scan from the "Model Art" special edition Bf109E. Scan have to be 300 dpi and as larger as possible- I use A3 size in landscape orientation. Format is TIFF. I do not use PSD as well it is much large and there is no need for this. Photoshop memory many of data including of your actions and this give larger file. In this reason I use TIFF form and click on field LZW for the compression. This will extra reduce size of the image but this will still be capable for the high quality professional print.

Drawings must to be clean in the outline and the area out of the basic shape and this need some time to prepare before the start of the initial work. Prepared drawing then select. You can do this with regular selection tools but also with pen which is most precision and versatile tool in CS2. Fastest way to select is to choose Magic Wand tool and to click in the area out of the plane shape. All outer area will be then selected. You should then press Ctrl shift i and selection will be inverted and the airplane body will be selected. Around the plane body will be noted selection which is called "marching ants". See it on the picture number 1.

Note- best way is Pen tool for selection and you have tips explained here http://www.letletlet-warplanes.com/forum/index.php?topic=253.msg10751#msg10751
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 07:02:40 AM by No.1 »

Offline No.1

  • Administrator and Owner
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23102
  • Owner: www.letletlet-warplanes.com
    • View Profile
    • LetLetLet - Warplanes
Re: Illustration basic technique
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2006, 09:05:34 PM »
Now we come on the imortant point of the work- layer creation. Work with layer's are of the basic importance. New layer is simple to add, just press ctrl shift N and layer window will appeared on the screen. First give the name of the layer, in this sample "Blue" and leave all of the rest details as they are. Press OK and you have created first layer in which you will apply first base coat of the illustration, RLM76 color. You will note that selection stay on the same position but now is in the new active layer named "Blue".

Offline No.1

  • Administrator and Owner
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23102
  • Owner: www.letletlet-warplanes.com
    • View Profile
    • LetLetLet - Warplanes
Re: Illustration basic technique
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2006, 07:53:59 AM »
Now we are on the next important step in this guide- choosing of color. This could be done by very simple metod- click on the color square on the lower part of the tool menu on the left side and picker color window will appear. Yuo can take a sample color by direct picking in the field but most precise way is ifyou have an info of the color and it's RGB value. Input this value in the field shaded in light blue. You can see RGB alue I have put for the German RLM 76 color. Note also in the right uper corner that we have not new layer for blue color and it is noted by blue color which mean that this is active layer.

Offline No.1

  • Administrator and Owner
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23102
  • Owner: www.letletlet-warplanes.com
    • View Profile
    • LetLetLet - Warplanes
Re: Illustration basic technique
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2006, 11:01:09 PM »
Take a airbrush in your hand... in your mouse and place the first color layer. Airbrush could be taken from shortcut Alt-Shift-P and be sure that it is in normal mode, Opacity 100% and Flow 100%. You can use also Paintbucket tool but better to use airbrush and train your hand skill.

Offline No.1

  • Administrator and Owner
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23102
  • Owner: www.letletlet-warplanes.com
    • View Profile
    • LetLetLet - Warplanes
Re: Illustration basic technique
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2006, 11:28:23 PM »
On the layer panel change Opacity of the blue layer and put it on some 90%. This will help ypu to see panel on the background drawing and this will help you to precise apply next color. And the next color on this color profile is RLM 75. Make a new layer and name it ... Mid grey. Layer will apeared in the layer panel in the top. Choose from the color picker correct  color and start with coloring. Use enlargement to close up details. See the details of painting of the spots on the vertical tail. Shortcut for enlarging and minimizing of the image is Ctrl-+ or Ctrl--

Offline No.1

  • Administrator and Owner
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23102
  • Owner: www.letletlet-warplanes.com
    • View Profile
    • LetLetLet - Warplanes
Re: Illustration basic technique
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2006, 11:38:33 PM »
And at least third camouflage color to be added- RLM 74. Create new color and name it Dark grey [or how do you like]. Select new color and spray on the top surface whre this color have to be. Note that selection is allway placed in the active layer you have create. This selection still have to be there.

Offline No.1

  • Administrator and Owner
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23102
  • Owner: www.letletlet-warplanes.com
    • View Profile
    • LetLetLet - Warplanes
Re: Illustration basic technique
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2006, 11:19:29 AM »
Plane had now it's basic camouflage pattern in rough form. This sample had in the time of the operation special washable pale yellow areas on the nose and vertical rudder. So new layer is created for this and name is Yellow. Selection is still keep in place. To help our view for a short time make Mid grey and dark grey layers invisible. Simly click on the eye icon in the layer field and this layer is here but invisible. So take color and airbrush and ready for the special area markings.

Offline No.1

  • Administrator and Owner
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23102
  • Owner: www.letletlet-warplanes.com
    • View Profile
    • LetLetLet - Warplanes
Re: Illustration basic technique
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2006, 11:37:13 AM »
Triming is the step where will be precisely determinated covering area of the color. First to be trimed will be yellow color. For a while make this color layer invisible. Now all the panel could be seen and corect path could be made. yellow is applyed on the engine covling and on the fuselage up to the windscreen. On the rear side only vertical rudder is covered with yellow. Take a pen tool, shortcut i P on the keyboard, and make a path. When you make a path then you right click and from drop down menu choose "Mkae selection". In the new selection dialog box click on "Substract from Selection" and result will be cliped basic selection we had.

Now have to inverse selection as well treated are is out of the basic selection and this could be done by pressing Ctrl-Shift-I . Now take eraser, shortcut E, and erase area of excede yellow color. This is a secunde job and then deselect your image by clicking Ctrl-D. New selection have to be made to clear wing. Make selection on the wing shape. Get back all layers visible and then trip it all of them on the wing.

Color profile now had it's shape.

Offline No.1

  • Administrator and Owner
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23102
  • Owner: www.letletlet-warplanes.com
    • View Profile
    • LetLetLet - Warplanes
Re: Illustration basic technique
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2006, 11:57:12 AM »
Small detail on the nose... make a new layer for the red color and then select the spiner. Paint it all red. Then make new layer for white color. Divide the selection and remove half of selection. This could be done with poligonal laso tool, and hold the Alt and this area will be removed. paint it in white.

Offline No.1

  • Administrator and Owner
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23102
  • Owner: www.letletlet-warplanes.com
    • View Profile
    • LetLetLet - Warplanes
Re: Illustration basic technique
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2006, 02:18:57 PM »
All paint are now in place. Now we have to give a nationality to the plane and he is pure German combat plane. Making of insignia, badges and similar graphic should be for sure part of other topic. I will just explain here what to do with allready made markings. First to apply should be basic German insignia. Opet it from source on disc, shortcut Ctrl-O. This graphic will appeared in the new window in Photoshop and now take Direct selection tool, short cut V, and simply drag it into the main illustration. Move it until you find it's best and most accurate position. Using this metod I have place side cross, swastika and underwing cross on the color profile.

In this profile entering of number present some problem. I did not found match even in my 2000 instaled fonts in my PC. So I have enter most similar, rasterize it and then reshape it to get closest possible look. And the result is white 15 on the fuselage sides. Nose emblem is not a problem, I have made it much before and I have just open it, drag in main artwork and resize and place in correct position.

On the screenshoot could be seen how all of this markings look on the real plane. I have make on grey color's to make it invisible as well now coming the most important step in whole this story- sfumato!!!

Offline No.1

  • Administrator and Owner
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23102
  • Owner: www.letletlet-warplanes.com
    • View Profile
    • LetLetLet - Warplanes
Re: Illustration basic technique
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2006, 03:35:04 PM »
It's party time!!! This we have seen until now could be called anyhow but not the color illustration. Let's bring it into the real appearance.

What we need is the number of panel lines, nuts and bolts, hinge, access panel's, opening, blisters and many other thing which will give visual reality. There is a number of hard and soft object to be placed there. Hard object are:
- panel lines
- intake holes
- nuts
- bolts
- canopy glass

And the soft object is the various hightlight and shadow which illuminate each part of the plane and givig it a dimension of present object.

For the creating of the hard object use brush tool, not the airbrush, and take 3 pixel round. Opacity have to be 100 %. Color black. This is the usual tool to create all of the panels. Closed object like some holes or door, access panel is better to make first selection of the shape and then go to Edit-Stroke and take stroke path. In this manner are made all of the bolts and the nuts. Now it is the time to think about the source of light! In this color profile light is coming from front left top side. In regards to the direction of this light you should create arround the all of the hard object hightlights and shadows which give realistic visual appearance.

Now the come most important object- soft object. To create this you shold select a shape by shape on the plane and make a number of shadow and higntlights. For this purpose use airbrush tool and the opacilty should be very small. Shadow you reate with black color and opacity ranging from 9 % up to 16 % [data based on personal experience] and the hinghtlights are created with white color and double less opacity. Take a maximum care about the direction of light. One more detail- some area like the underwing are more in deep shadow and need more to be darken but some sharper and rounded parts have to be more hinghtlight. You have to practice more to learn this but also to study real obkect and to notice "game of light" on it's body.

After hard work take back all layers visible and see what did you get. Don't forget about the small details, they give important influence in the visualiation of the illustration. See for excample how the extra details are add to the tail, extra shadow under the horizontal tail and the fabric covering detail on the rudder.

Offline No.1

  • Administrator and Owner
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23102
  • Owner: www.letletlet-warplanes.com
    • View Profile
    • LetLetLet - Warplanes
Re: Illustration basic technique
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2006, 03:51:26 PM »
Aircraft is very clead, shiny and tidy machine. Yes, but only in moment when it's leave paint and finishing facility in the aircraft factory. After testing plane is delivering to the operational unit. Under permanent stress panels are not as tight as they was, color bleeding under sun light, mechanic walk on plane, surface is detoriating, fitings and connections begin to leak, oil, fuel and various of other liquid's... in short word it's areal life. So let's bring life on illustration.

This is most interesting part of artwork. Simply you select part to part of the plane and paint something what present gas exhaust, damaged color, dirt and so on. I gues what- you need new layer for this. Used color are grey brown with various shades, ranging from pale to dark. But take attntion about the brush- it is  airbrush but in Dissolve mode and opacity range from 40 % up to 70 %. Place color stroke arond the edges. let there be dark color. Then use Smoodge tool, R from keyboard and find under pallete, and distrort the stroke to create leaks in the direction of flight. Then take again brush, take very light color and apply on the edge of the panel. Then take Blur tool and take blur on the whole section.

And this have to be done for the each part of the plane. Somewhere you will put gun blast traces, but somewhere just damaged paint. see the how the paint could be damaged on the cockpit canopy. 

Offline No.1

  • Administrator and Owner
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23102
  • Owner: www.letletlet-warplanes.com
    • View Profile
    • LetLetLet - Warplanes
Re: Illustration basic technique
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2006, 03:58:56 PM »
And what now? Go to the Layer with blue color and put it back on the 100 % opacity. Then go to the Layer panel and will se on the lower side Flatten image... press this and your illustration is finished. And now the size is much reduced.

Result is on the bottom. Hope you like it and that this short guide could help you in your own creation atempts.

Mangrove

  • Guest
Re: Illustration basic technique
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2006, 09:12:47 PM »
Nice tutorial! Thought, a fair warning to everybody, it's in practice criminal to use line drawings from publications etc. in profiles without permission.


Offline No.1

  • Administrator and Owner
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 23102
  • Owner: www.letletlet-warplanes.com
    • View Profile
    • LetLetLet - Warplanes
Re: Illustration basic technique
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2006, 10:21:02 PM »
True but if you make any of changes on the same drawing this is not violation of law. This is as you could seen a pretty different then the original- so no violation here. More to say that it is not a problem to make drawing by own but matter of question is how the accurate they could be.