5 Coloring Part 4 - Cuts-styled Coloring

Cuts-styled coloring is a little more complicated than anime color. "Cuts" refer to the narrow selections made with the lasso tool. These selections are then airbrushed and, when built up in layers, produce a very slick highlight.

Cut-styled coloring is pretty popular; you see it a lot in commerical comic coloring. Currently this style dominates the superhero genre and is probably the the style most synonimous with computer coloring. Understandably, there's a lot of interest in this style.

Despite looking exteremely complex, it's not too difficult to do. The technique is simple and fast and produces impressive results. It does, however, require some practice to do well.

In this example I'm coloring a superheroine graciously provided by Will Allison. Again, I'll take you from beginning to end. Of course, the lineart is on the CD so you can practice on this piece as well. My final version is also saved on the CD as a .PSD file so you can examine it closely.

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Here's the lineart. Set it up for coloring according to the steps outlined in chapter 2.

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Just like the previous tutorial, my first step is to fill the entire canvas with a neutral color.

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I being selecting the hair with the Lasso Tool. I then fill the selection with a fairly desaturated and dull brown.

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I also select and fill the exposed skin areas. For her uniform, I pick a desaturated blue color. Desaturated colors make an excellent base for brighter highlights. By juxtiposing saturated colors next to desaturated ones, bright colors can really "pop" and look much more powerful. Colors are highly relative so power is muted or strengthened by the colors next to them. Use this to your advantage whenever possible!

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I continue "flatting" the image until it's basically all covered with flat colors. Notice they're all somewhat dark and dull.

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Mode: |Color Dodge 3 Opacity: |100M | > | Flow: |30K | > \

I File Edit Image Layer Select Filter View Window Help

Mode: |Color Dodge 3 Opacity: |100M | > | Flow: |30K | > \

Mode: |Color Dodge 3 Opacity: |100M | > | Flow: |30K | > \

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► Click and drag to paint using foreground color. Use Shift, Alt, and Ctrl for additional options.

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► Draw freeform selection or move selection outline. Use Shift, Alt, and Ctrl for additional options.

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Mode: |Color Dodge Opacity: |100M | > | Flow: |30M | > \

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► Click end dreg to peint using foreground color. Use Shift, Alt, end Ctrl for edditionel options.

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► Click and drag to paint using foreground color. Use Shift, Alt, and Ctrl for additional options.

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I File Edit Image Layer Select Filter View Window Help

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I File Edit Image Layer Select Filter View Window Help

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Now I select highlight areas on the nose and cheek with the Lasso Tool and lightly apply the airbrush in them. I also switch the airbrush to normal mode to add some shadows in the ear and under the nose.

I File Edit Image Layer Select Filter View Window Help

Mode: |Normei Opacity: |100M | > | Flow: |30K | > \ ^fr.

Mode: |Normei Opacity: |100M | > | Flow: |30K | > \ ^fr.

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I File Edit Image Layer Select Filter View Window Help

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Comic Coloring Airbrush Tutorial

Now to render the lips. I select a dark red color and set the airbrush back to color dodge. I make selections and airbrush the center of them again. For the highlight, I just airbrush in some white, with the airbrush set on normal mode.

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Mode: |Screen 3 Opacity: 1100% | ► | Flow: \30% \ *■ |

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Now I Magic Wand the torso. I color dodge the upper area with a dark blue.

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Mode: |Color Dodge 3 Opacity: |100M | > | Flow: |30K | > \

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Channels Paths ^ Layers \ (Q

Again, I highlight the areas that would catch some light and continue to layer more airbrush work.

I File Edit Image Layer Select Filter View Window Help

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Mode: |Color Dodge 3 Opacity: |100M | > | Flow: |30K | > \

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I refine the edges with some more highlights. I also carry the rim lighting from her face down along the left side. Again, I'm simply making selections and airbrushing into them.

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More rim lighting along the left and right sides. For the rim lighting I'm using screen mode.

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Now for the pants. I Magic Wand them and then airbrush to top area with a pretty large brush. Don't be afraid to use large airbrushes!

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The concept is to always go from broad areas of color to specific ones, so use large brushes initially, then move to smaller ones for the highlights and details.

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More thin selections where feel there should be highlights. I use screen mode for the rim lighting along the left side. I'm trying to keep that rim light somewhat even along the entire side.

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Mode: |Color Dodge Opacity: |100M | > | Flow: |30M | > | ^

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Since I have the color selected, I do the other sleeve.

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Next, I select areas of the gloves and airbrush them. I switch to screen mode, since I like it better for highlighting reds and yellows.

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► Draw freeforrn selection or move selection outline. Use Shift, Alt, end Ctrl for edditionel options.

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I File Edit Image Layer Select Filter View Window Help

Mode: |Screen 3 Opacity: 1100% | ► | Flow: \30% \ *■ \

File Browser

I File Edit Image Layer Select Filter View Window Help

Mode: |Screen 3 Opacity: 1100% | ► | Flow: \30% \ *■ \

File Browser

I File Edit Image Layer Select Filter View Window Help

Mode: |Screen 3 Opacity: 1100% | ► | Flow: \30% \ *■ \

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Mode: | Normal Opacity: |100M | > | Flow: |30K | > \ ^fr.

I swap to screen mode again and airbrush in those cool rim lights on the left edge of the figure.

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The concept is to always go from broad areas of color to specific ones. I run a medium-sized airbrush right down the middle of the shield.

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I File Edit Image Layer Select Filter View Window Help

I File Edit Image Layer Select Filter View Window Help

I make some selections along the top and bottom edges of the shield and then airbrush some highlights using color dodge and normal modes.

I File Edit Image Layer Select Filter View Window Help

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Mode: |Color Dodge Opacity: |100M | > | Flow: |30M | > \

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Now for the stars on the chest and shield. Magic Wand followed by some airbrush set to color dodge.

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Mode: |Color Dodge Opacity: |100M | > | Flow: |30K | > \

I File Edit Image Layer Select Filter View Window Help

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I add one more layer of highlight to the belly, make a few touchups here and there and I'm done!

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Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Adobe Photoshop can be a complex tool only because you can do so much with it, however for in this video series, we're going to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, in this video you'll see an overview of the few tools and Adobe Photoshop features we will use. When you see this video, you'll see how you can do so much with so few features, but you'll learn how to use them in depth in the future videos.

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Responses

  • lempi
    How to do cuts comic coloring?
    6 years ago

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