This is a robbery, gimme all yer cash!

March 1, 2012 at 20:22 (Blog, Drawing) (, , , , )

I decided to play a little around in Manga Studio EX4 today. I’ve had the program for almost 6 months now, but haven’t used it much because it just looked like a pain to get started in.
Two weeks ago I looked at an episode of Comics Are Great (episode 46 I think it was) where a guest showed a little of the program and it piqued my interrest enough for me to fire it up and experiment a bit. So far I’m pleased with the results.

Anyway, I took one of the sketches I made earlier today and imported it into Manga Studio and drew over it on another layer. I think I love the vector brush and all the features it allows my to use, like atuocorrecting wiggles in the lineart and insta-erasing lines that intersect each other.
I’ll probably make another post about the program later, explaining things a bit more thoroughly. Until then, here is the lineart of the tentacle-thing.

Truth be told, it looks a bit “flat” and boring. I’ve been wanting to experiment with black shadows and thought this might be a good time to try it out. I made another layer and used the crayon/chalk tool to draw in some severe black shadows. Made everything look very metallic, I think.

Next step was exporting it as a layered file in Photoshop format. Manga Studio is a great program for inking and making tones/grayscales, but lack some features when it comes to colors.
I opened it in Photoshop and used the Lasso tool to select areas that I filled with colors. This is what I call the Flats-layer, where I have easily distinguishable colors. This is NOT the final colors of the image, but rather filled with highly contrasting colors so I later can select individual areas using the magic wand.

Ugly, no?
I now select a color/area (started with the furry colar) and create a copy of it on a new layer (Hotkey: Ctrl + J), set it to lock transparency so I don’t draw outside it, and then I go to town with the brush tool. I paint it all flat in one color, then use Multiply and Screen using the same color to darken and lighten it. On this drawing I used a weirdly shaped brush to create a little texture as I painted.
Once all areas have been rendered thus I collapse all the layers into a single layer I call Render (Hotkey: Ctrl + E). Well, all except the lines, shadows and flats, that it. That way, if I want to touch up on a piece I can use the Magic Wand tool on the Flats layer, and then go to the Render layer and tweak things without worrying about painting over things outside that area.

Here’s the final result. Be sure to click on it to see the final, HUGE size with all the details.




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