Page name: Lighting magic - part three [Logged in view] [RSS]
2005-07-18 21:56:16
Last author: liiga
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Back to Lighting Magic: The Dolphin
Back to Lighting magic - part two
On to Lighting magic - part four

3. Hair

{image at the bottom}

This part was truly a pain in the back, because I decided that the hair would be mostly in the dark if the dolphin were to be the only lightsource, and had the bright idea to remedy the situation by introducing another 10 lightsources scattered around the hair – the glowing orbs. Words of wisdom: don’t do it. It’ll make you want to beat your head against a hard object, trust me. But the decision was made, so consequently I had the joy of shading all those floating strands of hair. The main things to keep in mind here were the depth of the globes in relation to the image, and the intensity of their glow. Since hair is a rather shiny surface, I decided there was no need to make them really bright, which definitely made things easier with cast shadows. Also, to avoid the fuss with all the little stray hairs that one would have floating around if it really did stand up like that, I went for a somewhat stylized, ribbon-like approach, while still maintaining hairy texture and fuzzy ends.

I drew the hair starting from back to front, just blocking in the separate strands. Then, on a separate layer, I blocked in the little globes. Then I proceeded to shade the strands in the proximity of each orb, going from back to front, left to right (no particular reason for going left to right, it just seemed like a good idea at the time). You can see roughly how it went in the accompanying image – there’s even a very blocky globe to the right to show what they looked like before I had them all nicely refined. The shading process of the hair involved going from dimmer highlight to brighter, and simultaneously, from larger brush to smaller. I promise to make a more in-depth hair tutorial in near future – for now you’ll just have to believe me. The highlights went from violet to lighter blue to very light blue, and the brightest ones were done with a pale salmon color. The salmon color only concerned the highlights that were catching light from the dolphin, as the globes were meant to emit blue light, whereas the dolphin would emit light much warmer in color. Asides from creating some order in this chaos, this also added variety and pushed the blue highlights to the back where they belonged, simultaneously bringing the warmer ones forward.

As for the globes themselves, I tried to vary the patterns on them to make them more interesting. They were all marked on a separate layer in a blotchy way, so what I did was tuck them into neater shape by attacking the edges with an eraser, and then making the outline a little lighter, ditto for the very center. That left a darker ‘gap’ between the two, creating the impression of translucency. Then I decided which side of each orb would be the lightest, and embellished it with various patterns. For some, I also put a highlight on the side exactly opposite to the lighter one, enforcing the idea that light could pass through them (regardless of the fact that it was their own light that I was drawing). Then I created a new layer, and drew a soft, barely noticeable glow around each globe. I also had the idea in mind that bigger globes should be brighter, but only kept to it to a certain extent. That concludes the part about hair, and I do wish that it were as quick and easy to do in practice as it is in theory. Hair is evil.


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