[identity profile] wickedgrdn.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] bel_perdente
Happy Thanksgiving!

A Lost Girl coloring tutorial as requested by [livejournal.com profile] v_allery. This may get ... wordy, LOL. ;D

Made in Photoshop CS5.

This image of Kenzi from Lost Girl has loads of my favorite things in it: dark moody colors, lots of reds and yellows and of course, a lovely subject. Look at how nicely everything stands out. Ksenia Solo is a very pretty actress. She has defined features, lovely dark hair and gorgeous eyes. Her eyelashes in this shot really stood out for me, which made this image very appealing and icon-worthy. It's also the reason I chose a center crop for this icon. Below, I've detailed all the steps that went into creating this icon.

After resizing the cap down from its original size, I selected my crop tool -> . I always resize before I crop, whether I'm using the crop tool or pasting the image into a 100x100 and using Free-Transform (CTRL+T). My preferred method of cropping is usually Free-Transform, but for simpler crops like this one I just chose the crop tool. I don't know what made me choose one over the other, LOL.

Image at 400x225.

Cropped base.

Ok, we've got our untouched base ready for coloring. When I say untouched base, I mean that I didn't do anything to the base to improve it. It didn't need it. Other than being a little dark, this base is perfect. If you're working with decent screencaps you should rarely if ever have to do any corrections to your base image, unless there's some weird color things happening in the image or it's blurry or whatever.

Let's move on to the coloring.

Duplicated base x3 -> Soft Light + Screen + Soft Light.

See how nice things look now? The icon is slightly brighter, the colors are warmer and the contrast is pretty good at this point. Moving on...

black and white light texture by [livejournal.com profile] drankmywar -> Soft Light with Opacity at 50% and Fill at 79%. I used Photoshop's Auto functions on the light texture to make it brighter and more contrasted because originally it made the icon way too dark. I wanted to add some subtle lighting to the background with the texture and the Autos worked nicely on bringing those elements out. I pasted the texture below the top Soft Light layer and here's what we have so far.

The improvement is subtle, but that's what I was going for.

Next, I wanted to bring out the yellows in the background so I added a color fill layer below the light texture set to Soft Light at @ 10-20%. I used my color picker tool to select the exact yellow I wanted for this icon. In this case, it was #EFBD2C. I felt that using the colors that were already present in the image would be the most effective in intensifying things. Don't use the same color over and over again. Usually colors that already exist in the image are the best to go with.

I selected the top Soft Light layer and added a Color Balance adjustment layer, making the following adjustments in Midtones, Shadows and Highlights. (I didn't add the exact numbers I used because I don't remember, LOL, but you'll get the idea!)

SHAD: Increased the value slightly on the Cyan/Red channel and increased the value slightly on the Yellow/Blue channel. This helped to bring out some of the reds present in the image (i.e. Kenzi's lips). I left the Magenta/Green channel alone.

MID: Decreased the value slightly on the Cyan/Red channel and decreased the value slightly on the Yellow/Blue channel. This brings out more of the yellows (i.e. the more yellow portion in the background behind Kenzi). Again, I left the Magenta/Green channel alone.

HIGH: I left the Cyan/Red channel and the Magenta/Green channel alone here. I only wanted to fiddle with the Yellow/Blue channel to bring out more yellow in the overall highlights of the image (that yellow portion in the background again). I decreased the value slightly.

Here's what we have so far. It's subtle, but if you look closely you can see that the colors stand out nicely.

Now, I felt that the image was too yellow. I had a few options at this point: reduce the opacity of the yellow fill layer, delete the fill layer completely or add another Color Balance layer to off-set the yellow tones. I chose not to reduce the opacity of the yellow fill layer because it was pretty low to begin with. Deleting the layer was also not an option because dammit, IT's PRETTY. I decided to add another Color Balance layer, which allowed me to keep all the pretty yellows, but add more reds to the image and balance everything out in the process.

Color Balance adjustment layer settings at this point were:

SHAD: +5, 0, +5
MID: +10, 0, +10
HIGH: 0, 0, -10

At first I wanted higher values in the shadows but once I made those adjustments I realized it made the icon too dark and too red, so I kept the values low and here's what we have.

Lovely, yes? I think so. At this point I was satisfied with the coloring. Let's move on to the final touches I made to this icon.

I felt that not much more was needed to make this icon stand out other than some contrast adjustments and a touch more light effects. I created a new Levels adjustment layer and fiddled with the input values a little. I only worked with the first value, I left the other adjustments alone:

2, 1.00, 255

I then added another light texture (I think this one by [livejournal.com profile] lemonpunch), set to Lighten at @ 10-20%. Unfortunately, the light texture seemed to wash it out more and I didn't want to lose so much contrast. I copy-merged my base (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and applied a slight gaussian blur and then copy-merged again and sharpened.

Here's the final icon: Compared to the original:

There's slight variations from the original, but basically the coloring was achieved in the same way. I hope this tutorial helped explain things a little! :)

Some helpful tips from tutorials by [livejournal.com profile] imaginary_lives
Textures by [livejournal.com profile] drankmywar & [livejournal.com profile] lemonpunch
Lost Girl screencaps by [livejournal.com profile] rawr_caps

Please use this tutorial as a guide! I do not provide PSD's, sorry. This is just the first in a series of tutorials I will be posting. Stay tuned!

Date: 2011-11-24 06:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imaginary-lives.livejournal.com
Awesomeeee. Can't wait for the rest! I really love reading through all this stuff :D


bel_perdente: (Default)

February 2012

56 7891011

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 20th, 2017 02:03 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios