#1.0 Soft Cell
a quick and easy way to color a full piece with very few effects, tools
and layers. It's good for beginner's and undoubtedly useful to experts
looking to cut down production time.
Like all art
tools, you still
need to know which colors to pick, and how light and shadows work to
out the full potential of your work.
Note : With a
applying these techniques to similar programs such as Paint Shop Pro
be a snap. The tools are the same, it's the pressure and opacity levels
that function differently.
Lasso tools, Paintbucket, Airbrush, Paintbrush, and Gradient tool.
normal setting for
Background line art.
2-3 pxl for selecting shadow areas and light areas on the color
normal, opacity 4-9.
Used on lasso selections.
options set on lighten,
100 opacity. Not used until last step.
normal, 60 opacity.
layers : Most amateurs do all of their coloring in one layer, and
you could do a number of these steps in less layers, we recommend you
them separate. It's easier to make changes that way.
importance of saving
: As always, it's usually a good idea to make back up copies of
art file as you are working, including one under a separate file name
case of file corruption. Do this at least once a day, either when you
or you finish for the night, that way the previous day's work is saved
in the event of a digital disaster.
one : Scan
your drawing in at 300 DIP in text "line art" mode and save it to your
scanner uses different
terminology, "line art" is the setting where your work is scanned in as
pure black and white format with no grays)
Minor touch up
is required to make the piece clean and ready to be colored. Make
sure you get nice clean black lines by adjusting the contrast. You can
do this by going to
Adjust -> Brightness
From there you
altering the dark lines on the piece manually. Don't leave any
you don't want in the final piece.
two : Setting
up Layers. Keep your Line Art as your background, make a new layer
"colors," and set the options to Darken.
In this layer,
you will be
filling a flat, basic color for all of the objects in your piece. You
be doing no shading or light effects in this panel at all. You will use
other layers for that layer.
The easiest way
to make selections,
is to use the magic wand tool to select areas in the black and white
and then fill in the colors on the "colors" layer. Leave your original
B&W drawing untouched, you may need it later to make new selections
or change colors on items if you become unsatisfied with your previous
If you have
decided on a
background color, you can do a basic fill on this layer, or a gradient.
If you are unsure, you can always come back later and do it. Basic
will work great if you intend to shade the background like an object.
a new layer called lights, the setting should be normal. Use the lasso
tool to make the shape of light patterns on objects that are getting
light or reflected light. When you use the air brush or the fill tool,
you will have soft patches of light hitting your objects.
If you have
created a background
already, you can add extra effects to it in this layer that can be
later if you are unhappy with them.
four : Lightening
your black and white drawing. Make a copy of this layer, and lock your
black and white drawing up in case you have an accident coloring.
The copy of the
goes under the layers for colors and highlights. Use the paintbrush
to color over your lines, since it's below the color layers, you won't
need to make any selections unless you want to. For the color, use any
value darker than the color the line contains. When two objects of
colors are next to each other, like the face and her suit, use the
of the object that's in front of the other; in this case, her face.
adding a background
in later, don't worry about sloppy colors leaking outside the
or objects in this image. simply add the background into the layers
the colored line art and there will be no problem.
If you're using
it as stand
alone image and or to cut and paste into other images, fixing it up is
easy. When you're done, go to the B&W image, and select the area
of your object or character, go to the layer you just colored in, and
the excess color.
five : In
every image there is a light source, usually artists don't include them
because they can be hard to show accurately. But here we'll give you a
simple technique that will let you put a very convincing set of flood
into any image.
First make a
new layer set
at normal. You can put that layer anywhere but under the line art. In
example on the right, the background and lighting effects are done on
same layer, but you can do them separately if you wish.
If you wish to
effects that run over your characters or objects, you will need to
this layer above your color and lights layer.
Lasso tool, straight
line or free, and begin selecting areas out for your background. Next,
get your airbrush, you can play with the opacity and the options a bit,
to start airbrushing in the selections. You should use some light
like light yellow or white. Afterwards, make more selections with the
tool and repeat the process, changing the opacity on your brush tool if
you wish. Your goal is to get a light glow effect, so work slowly and
With each new layer of light you add, you will notice the center of the
light source is getting brighter and brighter, which is perfect.
More on the
Some artists wait till they're done coloring an image to color in the
some do so at the very beginning. Honestly, you can do it at any time
the coloring process you choose. If you keep the lighting effects and
on separate layers, adjusting them is easy. But if you do them on the
layer, be sure you figure out your background first, save often, and be
well aquatinted with the undo options your software and computer can