Sohhhhh. I've been getting quite the number of inquiries as to how I color/setup my layers. I already uploaded this one
, but that one is probably complicating for beginning peeps to understand. So I've provided you with a bare-bones setup as to how I order my layers and their settings. This is for both Cel-Shades AND blended/Airbrushed styles.DISCLAIMER:
There's no one way to cel-shade/paint. Sometimes you can pick each individual color, others you can color it in manually with a brush, paint from a palette, etc. This is also for PHOTOSHOP USERS. I don't use GIMP or Painter, but the same rules apply.TOOLS I USE:
Lasso Tool - (Usually for cels) I mainly use the freeform lasso tool to select my sections where I will be placing the light/shadow/flats. For straighter sections, I'll switch to the Polygonal one.
Custom Blender - I use that for blending colors together, usually for painty pieces. Either I slap down some colors and blend them or I'll blend from a filled selection. Either case, it's pretty nifty and valuable. I show how to make this in that same tutorial.
Layer Styles - These are settings you can apply to a layer to give it a particular effect (glows, skin tone variance, noise, etc.) I slightly touched upon this on this process.
I'm not gonna hold your hand on that one, you should experiment for yourself.
Gradients - The use of the gradient tool to, obviously, make color/shadow/light gradations. Again, experiment.
Now when I color, Lighting and Value is key and forefront in my mind.
If you don't know your values, then you're not going to get very far in your colors. So let me breakdown each layer to show you my thought process:
MAIN LINEART - I usually put my lineart layer on Multiply. Meaning that any color value that passes under it will be multiplied & DESTURATED on the color's value alone. So if you have red lines, and put a light-blue flat underneath, it'll just be a darker red. You're not blending them (a la Color burn does that, "Red + Blue = Purple"), you're just playing with the color's value pigment. Note that the lineart is separated from the Background (no white, pure lines).
BASE FLATS - As you see on the example above, these are simply my base flats. Nothing else to go off of. For my colors, I choose the color in pure light, because again, I'm letting my lighting discern how colors look in the end.
Now on top of my base flat, I have three lighting layers (hold alt-key and select between the base flat and the lighting layers to mask it to the base flat, that way everything you color stays within the base flat). These layers affect the lighting.
HIGHLIGHTS - This is on SOFT LIGHT Blending mode, and I select a light warm or cool color, depending on the direction I'm taking the pic. (See hex codes below).
SHADOWS - This is on HARD LIGHT Blending mode, and I select that dark purple color for my shadows.
SECONDARY HIGHLIGHTS - This is on OVERLAY Blending mode, and I select a light warm or cool color. I usually use this to double up on hot spots where my highlights fall. I also use it for underlighting/faint secondary light sources, as this will go UNDER the shadow layer.COLOR HEX CODES:
The color I use for Shadows is #474253.
The color I use for Warm Light is #ffe9c7
(Sometimes I go orangey, depends on the illustration.)
The color I use for cool light is #dcf1ff.
That's pretty much all I got and I will refer anyone who asks in the future here. It's up to you to try things out/experiment.