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Hand-painting the face


Designing a Retro-Style Superhero

with Deke McClelland

Video: Hand-painting the face

In this movie, we're going to paint the superhero's face. So let me show you how it works.
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  1. 41s
    1. Welcome
  2. 13m 6s
    1. Masking a person from a white background
      8m 20s
    2. Smoothing out the edges of a jagged mask
      4m 46s
  3. 28m 52s
    1. Adding power and motion with Liquify
      8m 21s
    2. Puppet warping the legs closer together
      6m 36s
    3. Applying a perspective-style transformation
      5m 34s
    4. Smoothing and removing details with Liquify
      8m 21s
  4. 28m 34s
    1. Filling and stroking the silhouette
      3m 47s
    2. Drawing with the Pen and Brush tools
      7m 56s
    3. Hand-painting the face
      8m 56s
    4. Refining brushstrokes with Median and Minimum
      7m 55s
  5. 39m 2s
    1. Adding complementary colored clouds
      5m 28s
    2. Drawing a handful of spikes in Illustrator
      8m 34s
    3. Creating a burst pattern with Transform
      9m 36s
    4. Adjusting the spikes for a better effect
      7m 20s
    5. Bringing the burst pattern into Photoshop
      8m 4s
  6. 51m 4s
    1. Creating the extreme paths for the grill lines
      7m 31s
    2. Blending the grill lines in Illustrator
      9m 42s
    3. Correcting potential blending problems
      9m 58s
    4. Bringing the blended paths into Photoshop
      8m 27s
    5. Simulating pressure when stroking paths
      5m 35s
    6. Contouring the grill lines onto the face
      9m 51s
  7. 23m 47s
    1. Drawing a hand with the Pen tool
      9m 29s
    2. Converting the hand path to a shape layer
      6m 2s
    3. Finishing off the hands and gloves
      8m 16s
  8. 28m 49s
    1. Blend, scale, and rotate photographic flames
      6m 17s
    2. Filling in gaps with symmetrical flames
      7m 15s
    3. Shooting flames out of the hero's hands
      7m 34s
    4. Stroking the composite flames
      7m 43s
  9. 19m 13s
    1. Drawing cartoon flames as a shape layer
      5m 56s
    2. Enhancing the flames with layer effects
      5m 32s
    3. Adjusting Puppet Warp and Expansion
      7m 45s
  10. 16m 56s
    1. Installing a free comic-lettering font
      3m 59s
    2. Formatting the monologue text
      5m 43s
    3. Drawing the talk balloons (a.k.a. speech bubbles)
      7m 14s
  11. 43m 10s
    1. Selecting a font-creation software
      5m 17s
    2. Drawing consistently rendered letterforms
      9m 10s
    3. Pasting the letters into Glyphs Mini (Mac only)
      8m 11s
    4. Copying capitals into lowercase positions (Mac only)
      6m 45s
    5. Generating an OpenType font (Mac only)
      7m 56s
    6. Stylizing the custom font in Photoshop
      5m 51s
  12. 4m 24s
    1. Time lapse of the retro superhero
      3m 4s
    2. Until next time
      1m 20s

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Watch the Online Video Course Designing a Retro-Style Superhero
4h 57m Intermediate Jun 30, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Learn what it takes to design and create your own custom silver-age superhero. Join Deke as he starts by tracing a photo to create the hero's body and then jumps into Illustrator for the creation of the final effects. Finally, Deke takes us through the steps to lay out our own custom type to complete the comic.

Topics include:
  • Turning a person into a silhouette
  • Adding power and motion with Liquify
  • Drawing with the Pen and Brush tools
  • Creating a dramatic background
  • Adding grill lines and flames
  • Inserting talk balloons
  • Creating a custom comic font
Illustrator Photoshop
Deke McClelland

Hand-painting the face

In this movie, we're going to paint the superhero's face. And for the sake of convenience I'm going to be doing so using a Wacom Cintiq. Which is a monitor that doubles as a drawing tablet but I'll have you know that the face you're looking at right now, I drew using a mouse. Well actually I didn't even use a mouse. I used a track pad on my Macbook Pro. It's all a matter of painting your lines in, using the brush tool and then alternatively erasing like you don't like using the eraser. So let me show you how it works. I'm going to go ahead and duplicate the face of already drawn in advance. And use it as a template and you can do so as well. By selecting that hand drown face layer inside of this file, face and body.psd. And then I'll go ahead and right click inside in the image using the rectangular marquee tool. So that I get the proper shortcut menu, and then I'll choose duplicate layer. And I'll go ahead and change the document to clothingseams.psd and I'll click ok. And then I'll go ahead and switch over to that document and I can see that I've duplicated the face so, there it is, I'm done. I've drawn the face. Actually, as I say, just going to serve as a template. So I'll press the 3 key. In order to reduce the opacity of this layer to 30%, and then I'll go ahead and zoom in so I can better see what I'm doing. And I'll rename this layer template and then I'll create a new layer by pressing Ctrl, Shift, N, or Cmd, Shift, N on the Mac. And I'll call this one hand drawn face. And I'll go ahead and turn on this check box, use previous layer to create clipping mask, so that I'm clipping the face inside of the body.

The silhouette, and then I'll click okay. All right, and I think I'll zoom in even farther just to make sure that I'm getting the results I'm looking for. And now I'll select the brush tool, which of course you can get by pressing the b key. Now if you're using a tablet you typically want to brush that's bigger than the lines that you're actually drawing, so in my case I'm going to right click inside the image window. Change the size value to 50 pixels and I want the hardness to be 100%, no matter what. If you're drawing with a mouse or a track pad or what you have you, then you'll want to take that size value down to something closer to, probably 20 pixels. Any way, you can experiment. And I'll press the enter key or the return key on the Mac.

Tap the d key in order to make sure you have your default colors so that black is the foreground color. And now, I'll go ahead and paint, once again, on my Cintiq so that I'm getting pressure sensitive lines, like you're seeing there but that doesn't mean just cause they're pressure sensitive doesn't mean they're going to be perfect, in fact, look at that thing, looks terrible. So I'm going to draw it, little differently here, I'll press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on a Mac to undo that move, and then I'll draw it a little more slowly, in order to get a nice smooth line. Now it's very important by the way, that your spacing value's down. And so you want to bring up your brushes panel, by going up to the window menu and choosing brush. And then make sure here in this brush tip shape area, so you want this guy up here at the top of the list to be selected. Make sure the spacing value is set to something like 10%. And that is going to slow things down by the way. This is a very big file, if you're working along with me, so you may get some pretty sluggish results. But all that means is that you just need to paint more slowly, and be patient of course, that's always a good rule of thumb when creating good art. All right, so, go ahead and paint that guy in, this area looks pretty bad to me, so, you know what, I'll come back to it. Press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on a Mac to undo that change. And let's go ahead and paint in this eye, like so, it's looking a little bit cruddy, but these things will happen when you're working with a mouse, as well. And, I could go ahead and rotate my image using that rotate tool, which is right here, rotate View tool, and so you can experiment with that if you want to, as well.

But I'm just going to keep things nice and upright. So I'll go ahead and switch back to my brush tool by pressing the B key. Then, I'll draw a terrible line right there. Go ahead and undo that and try again. I'll start there light and then press heavier like so. Then I've got two little nostrils. This is all curve you would've drawn is just two little nostrils for the nose, nothing else. And then, a little more challenging part of this image is the mouth. So I'll go ahead and paint that in. We want a nice, it's not so much a sneer, although it is kind of a sneer, But it's just a sneer of effort, don't you know? He's just trying so hard.

Because it must be painful to catch on fire. And then have to fly into the air. So, at least if you're not used to it. I assume over time you do. Get use to a little used to it. I'm not getting used to drawing this mouth though, so I'll go ahead and press control-Z, or command-Z on a Mac, to undo that brush stroke. And I'll paint in another one like so. And that's looking a little better, needs work of course, it always will. And then paint in the lower lip. And so you just want to get these things roughed out initially. And if you're painting freeform instead of using the template like I am then just do you're best. All right, so once you rough in the basic lines they probably are going to look pretty darn rough, in other words, they're not very smooth. So to check out how unsmooth they are, I'll turn off the template layer because it's kind of masking some of the problems.

And now what we want to do is reduce the brush size, so I'll press the left bracket key a few times in order to take my brush down to 25 pixels. You may want to work with an even smaller brush if you don't have a tablet, if you're using a mouse or a track pad. And then I'm going to paint in some refinements here so I'm just trying to fill in those areas that don't look all that great. And this area is really, really icky, so I'll go ahead and paint in that like so. And we need some smoothness down here in the mouth. Now, you don't need to get carried away with the smoothness of your brushstrokes because in the very next movie I'm going to show you a method for smoothing out some of that sort of chunkiness that you're bound to get no matter what. Just get things pretty good, pretty good is going to be good enough.

Now if you have too much brush, as we do right around here in the eye and here in the mouth. Then you want to switch to the eraser tool which you can get by pressing the e key. And right click inside the image and just make sure the hardness value is cranked up to 100%. The size value can be pretty tiny, and so, in my case it is just 13 pixels which is probably going to work out pretty well. And now, I'm painting down here in the mouth in order to smooth out some of these little chunks here. This guy's a problem so I'll go ahead and paint that away. That looks better. And now I want to paint this away and I gotta get rid of that guy right there, of course. Now if you find that you need to paint away into a corner, like that, like I'm doing right there. Then go ahead and paint right into it and then press the B key in order to switch back to the brush tool and then paint that corner back in like so.

In other words, it's a matter of really going back and forth. The face probably is going to take you 10 to 15 minutes of work maybe more like 20 but it's fun, I think to create this kind of stuff. I'm going to press the E key to switch back to the eraser tool and I'm going to lift this part of the eye up like so. And I also want a little more tapering over here. So I'm just going to paint through this stroke to that, just like that there.

And of course, your results are going to vary. I'll press the b key to switch back to the brush tool. And I'll go ahead and paint this region in to the best of my ability and I'll go ahead and paint this guy up as well. So we just kind of wanted to list that arch off of the eye and let's see here not perfect but pretty good I think its going to serve us well. That is a bad addition right there so I'm going to press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on the Mac to undo that change and I'll reduce the size of my brush further by pressing the left bracket key, of course. And then I'll just go ahead and brush these areas back in like so. And let's say, go ahead and press Ctrl+Minus or Cmd+Minus on the Mac. Let's say that's good enough. Now, you may look at that and you may say, well gosh, Deke it's still pretty rough, which is true.

I agree. And you may also say, well mine looks much better because, I did a better job of drawing. Or, you may say, mine looks really rough. Mine looks much worse than yours does. What can I do about that? Well, the solution to your problems is a combination of the median and the minimum filters. And I'll show you how that works in the very next movie.

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