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561

Anime-style art: Samples, Techniques, Tips and Ideas
Topic by: ChiyoDad
Posted: January 28, 2005 - 4:43 PM PST
Last Reply: April 27, 2005 - 1:03 PM PDT

page  1  2      prev | next
author topic: Anime-style art: Samples, Techniques, Tips and Ideas
ChiyoDad
post #1  on January 28, 2005 - 4:43 PM PST  
What started out as an exchange of suggestions for our daughters' readings transformed into a discussion of digital art methods that Chiyo-chan could apply to her gallery work to achieve the look of this artist (Clicking on the thumbnails will enlarge the images). hamano provided many tips and links to useful tutorials.

Chiyo-chan does mostly chibi-style illustrations but she learned her technique using Tadashi Ozawa's series of books which, IMHO, are better than the more popular How to Draw Manga series.

I thought that it'd be worthwhile to see if other GCers have experimented with, or are actively involved in, the creation of anime/manga stylized art. This topic is intended to give you an opportunity to share links to your work and to share ideas on techniques.
ChiyoDad
post #2  on January 28, 2005 - 10:13 PM PST  
This evening, after adopting hamano's tutorial and adding masking techniques, Chiyo-chan created this.

Not bad for her first digital rendering.
hamano
post #3  on January 29, 2005 - 7:12 AM PST  
Beautiful! Great color choices and the shadow on the ground is really nice!

You need to clean up your lines, though. Did you scan this from a pencil drawing, or did you draw freehand on a tablet right into the computer? I think you scanned in a pencil drawing... before you colored this, did you see that the lines were not an even black, but jagged with lots of grey pixels mixed in?

If you take a look at bleedman's "drawing mandy" you'll see that he starts out with a very clean b&w pencil drawing that has solid black lines. This is essential if you use the "bucket" tool to fill in the white spaces, because the tool will fill all the contiguous white space. It will NOT fill in grey spaces, even if it's a really light grey. It will NOT fill in one white pixel that is surrounded on 4 sides by light grey pixels, even if one of its corners is next to the white space you're trying to fill.

You also have the "jaggies" which means that you had a very small pencil sketch to start with, or you set the resolution very low when you scanned. At 72 dpi the pixels that make up the lines become visible, and you can see the jagged contours they make.

What I do is after the scan, you set your image's resolution up to 200 dpi or so. This makes the lines smoother... then you can play with the contrast to take out the grey pixels. Setting your image to 256 grays or even 16 grays at this point will help. Or even just black and white.

Once you've achieved a solid black line drawing against a white background, reset your image to color. Make sure all the white spaces where you are going to use the "bucket" tool are closed... if there is even one pixel of missing outline, the color will fill the next space over as well.

Note: The "fill sensitivity" of the "bucket" tool is often adjustable. This means that if you set it to low (low fill percentage, not low sensitivity), the color you're pouring will only fill the contiguous white space. If you set it to high, the fill color will invade pixels that have a lighter color (like a light gray) as well. You can play with this setting to see if you can obliterate the white and light gray pixels along your lines, but the danger is that the fill color will also jump the outline and invade the white space outside of your fill area as well.
hamano
post #4  on January 29, 2005 - 8:47 AM PST  
Cleaned up version.

The "line" "smudge" and "blur" tools judiciously applied to the original.
ChiyoDad
post #5  on January 29, 2005 - 9:05 AM PST  
> On January 29, 2005 - 8:47 AM PST hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Cleaned up version.
>
> The "line" "smudge" and "blur" tools judiciously applied to the original.
> ---------------------------------


Nice improvement! Chiyo-chan normally uses HB pencils (HB is a measure of hardness or softness of the lead. HB is the midpoint.) for her illustrations but she's using a .2mm marker for her next hybrid digital work. We'll be scanning it at a higher resolution and see how it turns out.
hamano
post #6  on January 29, 2005 - 9:36 AM PST  
Do a pencil sketch, then just go over the final lines with marker. Like bleedman mentioned, it's easy to remove the rough guide and sketch lines later, before coloring (I use the "eraser" but I also find using the "spray can" or "airbrush" loaded with white to be useful).

If you can't scan in grayscale or b&w, convert your image to grayscale or b&w first, as well as jacking up the resolution to 200 dpi. Use "sharpen" on the entire image to further define the line, as well as increasing the "contrast"... these are things you can play with to see what gives you the best result. I have 16 levels of "undo" on my software, so I feel pretty free to experiment... I can always go back a few steps if I don't like the way something is turning out. Usually a raw scan is low or medium contrast, and shows stuff like wrinkles in the paper.

Once you have a nice clean outline image, you can convert the image back to thousands or millions of colors, and then add the fill colors using the "bucket" tool.

At the end I usually convert back to 72 dpi, because that's the default resolution most people's computer monitors are set at. It's likely you'll get some more artifacts when you downconvert from 200 to 72 dpi, so one more cleanup is usually a good idea.
hamano
post #7  on January 30, 2005 - 12:35 AM PST  
Wow, is it raining over there today, or is Chiyo-chan just an anime drawing freak? Very nice progress on the CG enhanced drawings! I really liked the one of Ran, and also this one...

You gotta be careful not to miss filling in all the white spaces, though.
Look at Umi's left pinky, the space behind her left wrist, and her left toes. Her right side looks purrrrfect.
hamano
post #8  on January 30, 2005 - 12:43 AM PST  
> On January 29, 2005 - 9:36 AM PST hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> At the end I usually convert back to 72 dpi, because that's the default resolution most people's computer monitors are set at. It's likely you'll get some more artifacts when you downconvert from 200 to 72 dpi, so one more cleanup is usually a good idea.
> ---------------------------------

Oh, when you convert back from 200 dpi to 72 dpi, you also have to remember to scale your picture down to the size that you want. That picture of Umi looks like you just changed 200 dpi to 72 dpi, making the image look (relatively) bigger! My software lets me change the resolution and apparent size at the same time. Depending on your software, you might have to change the resolution, then use "scale" to adjust how big the image looks on a computer monitor.

If you meant your picture of Umi to be that big, I'll just shut up and go sit over there quietly.
ChiyoDad
post #9  on January 30, 2005 - 7:44 AM PST  
> On January 30, 2005 - 12:35 AM PST hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Wow, is it raining over there today, or is Chiyo-chan just an anime drawing freak? Very nice progress on the CG enhanced drawings! I really liked the one of Ran, and also this one...
> ---------------------------------

Both. She's feeling very empowered by her new techniques and she's finished four works within a span of a few hours (broken only by her basketball game). This is the most productive day of hers that I have seen and her work, as you've seen, is getting rather good. Her last one, the hand-drawn and Photoshop-colored Umi from Grrl Power!, looks very true to the original as you've seen. I think she mentioned that she would be doing all three girls.

She is inking in the edges to give them nice solids and is erasing all her pencil guidelines. At 200 dpi it works very well. Methinks she's keeping the current size since some of the other deviants on DeviantArt are posting large images.

I'm now just letting her work on her own so she can let her imagination run and practice her newfound abilities. After several works, she's good at self-analysis and improvement. She's entitled to her undisturbed creative time particularly after yesterday's basketball performance.
hamano
post #10  on January 30, 2005 - 10:11 AM PST  
Yeah, I noticed that some of the files that are published on deviantart are pretty big... for publishing purposes, I like to make sure the image comes out about the size of a computer monitor screen or smaller, just as a courtesy to viewers. I hate it when I have to scroll up and down and sideways to see the whole image.

Now, Chiyo-chan, I'll tell you about the most useful (and fun) tool that you have... it works well with a graphics tablet and pen, but you can use it pretty well with a mouse, also.

You've used the "select" tool? It's the one that looks like a rectangle drawn with dotted lines. You can use this to select a rectangular area of your drawing to copy, cut, resize and to apply effects like "blur" to just the selected section. The "magic wand" tool is a variation of the "select" tool that selects an area all of the same color.

One variant of the "select" tool is represented by an irregular polygon drawn with dotted lines (the shape looks like a scotch tape dispenser, a bit). This is the tool I wanted to tell you about.

This "irregular select" tool lets you outline a shape on your image, and select everything contained inside. You can also use "invert selection" to select everything outside the area you outlined.

This is a really fun and powerful tool! For example, you can outline a whole area with pencil lines you want to delete, then just press the delete/enter key and poof that part disappears. No more using the "eraser" to erase each one of those lines. I often use it to outline one person in a photograph. You can just select and copy that one person, or use "invert selection" and delete to get rid of the whole image except for that person.

One tip for using the "irregular select" tool. Once you've outlined the area, you can use the "grow selection" or "shrink selection" function to make your selected area smaller or bigger by one or two pixels. If you are going to cut or copy, shrinking the selection by one or two pixels often gives you cleaner results.
ChiyoDad
post #11  on January 30, 2005 - 3:26 PM PST  
She's been toying with color gradients. She found that tool on her own. We also read about the use of line smoothing in this book at Borders. I think after a couple of months, we may experiment with 2D Flash animation. I'll let her get really comfortable with Photoshop first, though. There's still a lot to learn from that app.

She's going for some just-futzin'-around this afternoon. I can hear her playing some video game on her PC. Sounds like the faint strains of the Inu-Yasha theme running on a Gameboy Emulator.
hamano
post #12  on January 30, 2005 - 6:06 PM PST  
Well there you go, grasshoppa, I have nothing left to teach you... Next week I'll be asking YOU for advice!
hamano
post #13  on January 30, 2005 - 11:07 PM PST  
So ChiyoDad, I noticed Chiyo-chan has drawn a second picture of Ran Kotobuki. And both of her cardcaptor87 personal icons at deviantart have been Ran Kotobukis. Are you SURE she didn't want to see any more Super Gals? Maybe she's sending us some kind of subconscious signal!?!
ChiyoDad
post #14  on January 31, 2005 - 8:54 AM PST  
> On January 30, 2005 - 11:07 PM PST hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> So ChiyoDad, I noticed Chiyo-chan has drawn a second picture of Ran Kotobuki. And both of her cardcaptor87 personal icons at deviantart have been Ran Kotobukis. Are you SURE she didn't want to see any more Super Gals? Maybe she's sending us some kind of subconscious signal!?!
> ---------------------------------


She's actually added DVD #2 to the queue. I'm guessing that her taste is changing.
hamano
post #15  on January 31, 2005 - 10:25 AM PST  
Well, I guess now we've gone around full circle back to THIS thread....

I'm surprised and a bit disappointed that a CG or art professional (like RWaller) didn't chime in with advanced skills advice... I'm always on the lookout for interesting tips! RWaller, it's not too late! Impart some of your wisdom upon Chiyochan and me!
ChiyoDad
post #16  on January 31, 2005 - 1:05 PM PST  
> On January 31, 2005 - 10:25 AM PST hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I'm surprised and a bit disappointed that a CG or art professional (like RWaller) didn't chime in with advanced skills advice... I'm always on the lookout for interesting tips! RWaller, it's not too late! Impart some of your wisdom upon Chiyochan and me!
> ---------------------------------

There's no way that we could have coyed them. They're head and shoulders above our abilities.
ChiyoDad
post #17  on January 31, 2005 - 5:51 PM PST  
Chiyo-chan is psyched this afternoon! Her work appeared in the February issue of Newtype-USA on page 107 in the lower left-hand corner. It's a drawing of Sumomo from Chobits. Of course, this sketch was done before she had learned to work with Photoshop.

She's already hatching a plan to combine CG-enhanced drawings with one of her stories for this summer's library book-writing competition. It might be a first for our library.

Now, if only I could finally get her to submit some of her writing and other illustrations to Stone Soup (they pay $40 and $25 respectively for selected works).
hamano
post #18  on January 31, 2005 - 7:00 PM PST  
Congratulations, Chiyo-chan! You gotta put up a scan of this Sumomo picture on your gallery!
ChiyoDad
post #19  on January 31, 2005 - 8:13 PM PST  
> On January 31, 2005 - 7:00 PM PST hamano wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Congratulations, Chiyo-chan! You gotta put up a scan of this Sumomo picture on your gallery!
> ---------------------------------

She did put it up. Maybe she'll want to CG-enhance it.

I think I saw her working on an Pyoko sketch but it's getting too close to her bedtime for her to finish tonight.

Sometime this weekend, I may take a shot at doing some CG-enhanced work.
jross3
post #20  on January 31, 2005 - 10:46 PM PST  
> On January 31, 2005 - 5:51 PM PST ChiyoDad wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Chiyo-chan is psyched this afternoon! Her work appeared in the February issue of Newtype-USA on page 107 in the lower left-hand corner. It's a drawing of Sumomo from Chobits. Of course, this sketch was done before she had learned to work with Photoshop.

I saw that! (oh, and excuse the intrusion, you fathers yous.)
It's pretty good (as is most of Chiyo-chan's stuff!), I'm pretty impressed. I myself have always drawn very badly, but I eventually learned to be a very bad artist. With this energy and talent, Chiyo-chan can possibly do pretty good stuff in the future.
Certainly, Sumomo (and therefore Chiyo-chan-by-proxy) shows more promise than quite a lot of fan art many older and much less skilled people (like me - I never got published in any magazine! boo hoo for me :-P)

> She's already hatching a plan to combine CG-enhanced drawings with one of her stories for this summer's library book-writing competition. It might be a first for our library.
>
> Now, if only I could finally get her to submit some of her writing and other illustrations to Stone Soup (they pay $40 and $25 respectively for selected works).
> ---------------------------------

(dare I suggest this...)
...but maybe (*gulp*) she could combine these two seperate and equally important arts and (*gulp*) make some manga when she gets older?
.....
Waah! Concerned parents shouldn't throw books! Waah! That one almost hit me! Manga isn't the end of - Oww!!! Hey, that hurt!! Jeez, okay, fine already...
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