has asked me a few questions about my line art process. While I'm still flailing about, trying to find a good colouring method, I am pretty pleased with the line workflow I've found in the last year or two.
So here's the line art of page 4 of Out of Reach. Let me answer those questions, and a few more others have asked me.Q1> What program do you use?
Photoshop CS6. That is all.Q2> Do you use references?
To varying degrees. In Luxuria, I've taken to getting what reference I can of the environments from screenshots of DMC4. In Out of Reach, the first page was lousy with screenshots from the Illium part of the game, but now I'm just using what props I need in XNALara, for example, the desk and Shepard's chair in panel 3 here.
When it comes to the characters, I take a while gathering shots of them from all angles to pull up whenever I'm having trouble capturing their look. It helps to space their features out properly, but I'm on my own with the actual expressions. For example, in panel 5, I had difficulty getting the shape of Liara's alien head right. So I just found a screenshot of her in profile and looked at that for help getting all the tentacles positioned well.
And thank god for the armour selection screen in ME2! Getting Shepard's armoured silhouette right takes some studying.Q3> Do you draw straight onto computer?
Yes. It's just quicker than having to mess around with scanning. And I do a lot of trial and error, so drawing on physical paper would get very messy very fast.Q4> Why so many lines?
Because my colouring is not very good. Some people are good at keeping tones simple before textured. I can't do that, so I rely on my lines to make surfaces look busy. That's the main reason I fill in a lot of shaded areas in the line art stage, so it's one less thing I have to do in colouring.Q5> How large do you draw?
Right now, I submit pages at 22.5% the size of the photoshop file which is 5120x7895px at 300ppi. Although I try to work with the file magnified to no more than 50%, because if I get too close and get used to looking at the picture at that size, I might end up with details that are too intricate for the final sized output and will make the page look too busy and crowded.Q6> What kind of brush do you use?
Just the default hard brush with no pressure sensitivity. Keeping in mind the size of my page, I have been working with a brush size of 5, but for the page above, I'm trying out size 4 to see if that ends up looking better. But don't obsessed with that, I think you know you've achieve a definitive style once you can work with any tools and still make art that looks like you made it. I just keep track of my settings so that the pages of a single story look consistent.