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Shading techniques?

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JonHunter
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Shading techniques? Feb. 26th, 2012 @ 12:12 PM Reply

This question might seem stupid to the more advanced animators and sketch artists. But I still feel as though there are some secrets behind it.

How do you go abouts when you shade your animated moving character? And I'm not asking "do you duplicate your lineart, then draw with the pencil the areas of which you want shaded, then color them with black, alpha it down to 50%?" I'm asking what are the rules and physiques behind this? (and of course, I know the rules follow the rule of light, but is there any trick to making this an easier endauver?)

Anyone has any good recomendations? I feel as though shading (say a walkcycle) is incredibly hard, it's like, I can shade one picture, but if I wanted to shade it's movement, the physiques seem a bit tough. Is there any techniques you guys would recomend? Or is it just mere practice, no techniques and no tips & tricks behind it? Just follow the source of light and whatever comes inbetween is shaded? Thanks in advance for any good reply :p

(Also, if you do have any techniques besides the dropping down the alpha of a black color, share that aswell :) )

cmkinusn
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Response to Shading techniques? Feb. 26th, 2012 @ 12:48 PM Reply

First thing, try to tint your shadows either a cool color or a warm color. Straight black can make an image pretty flat. Anyways, if you really want to make shading easy, then compose your character of shapes. These shapes dont have to be simple like what I drew here, but the idea is that you can map the shadows based on how that light would affect the shape. This makes it very easy and is actually applicable to even realistic characters.

I laid out here how simple it is using shapes. One thing I must say: Dont be afraid to use a lot of shading! Too much we see characters with little slivers of shadow and it causes the character to have no depth. Also, always include the joints in your characters. You will make it near impossible to mainting volume if you have your limbs directly attached to your chest.

Shading techniques?


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JonHunter
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Response to Shading techniques? Feb. 26th, 2012 @ 12:49 PM Reply

At 11 minutes ago, Otto wrote: Also one thing I found easier was to grab the tool that cuts out wiggly lines and cut out, from a silhouette, the bits you want light to land on, as opposed to where the shadows are.

Nice explanation on the other post. But what tool are you referring to in this one?

Also the question wasn't about the colour (even though the answer is actually good and something I'll make more note of, so it wasn't in vein :P ), it was the phyiques of shading a movement. Like, when a leg in a walkcycle moves forward, the upper part of it maybe hides the lower part from gaining light, is there any technique one could make use of to realizing how the shading works a lot quicker?

Maybe the question seems like a, gimme a shortcut to succesful shadings! but I do realize there is no real shortcut. However, I'm asking if there are any techniques one could make use of,making it at the very least, a bit easier :d

JonHunter
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Response to Shading techniques? Feb. 26th, 2012 @ 12:58 PM Reply

At 6 minutes ago, cmkinusn wrote: First thing, try to tint your shadows either a cool color or a warm color. Straight black can make an image pretty flat. Anyways, if you really want to make shading easy, then compose your character of shapes. These shapes dont have to be simple like what I drew here, but the idea is that you can map the shadows based on how that light would affect the shape. This makes it very easy and is actually applicable to even realistic characters.

God I hope this doublepost won't send me to hell! But I didn't notice your post while writing mine :d

So, in addition to animating the movement with easier shapes, try and figure out the shading on the easy shape aswell?

Would you say, use the easy shape to first make the fluid movement.
Draw the lineart ontop.
Then keep the easier shape beneath, and first draw the line of shading onto IT.
THEN, when ofc the lineart is colored, shade it according to the easy shape?

Also nice picture. :P

cmkinusn
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Response to Shading techniques? Feb. 26th, 2012 @ 03:47 PM Reply

At 2 hours ago, JonHunter wrote:
At 6 minutes ago, cmkinusn wrote: First thing, try to tint your shadows either a cool color or a warm color. Straight black can make an image pretty flat. Anyways, if you really want to make shading easy, then compose your character of shapes. These shapes dont have to be simple like what I drew here, but the idea is that you can map the shadows based on how that light would affect the shape. This makes it very easy and is actually applicable to even realistic characters.
God I hope this doublepost won't send me to hell! But I didn't notice your post while writing mine :d

So, in addition to animating the movement with easier shapes, try and figure out the shading on the easy shape aswell?

Would you say, use the easy shape to first make the fluid movement.
Draw the lineart ontop.
Then keep the easier shape beneath, and first draw the line of shading onto IT.
THEN, when ofc the lineart is colored, shade it according to the easy shape?

Also nice picture. :P

What I would say is to draw the original frame using the shapes. then its up to you. Sometimes I will decide on the volumes of the character with shapes, then use lines and joints to animate. Then I would draw in the character on each frame, using the shapes as a reminder of its volume.

The important part is to know what shapes your character is made of, so that when you go to shade, you can easily shade it. If you need to figure out how to shade the shape, you have to remember that we are talking 3d shapes. Notice how I drew lines on each of the shapes. That was me showing the volume and contour of the shapes. If you can think in 3D when it comes to your characters, you should have no problem shading.


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BB-7
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Response to Shading techniques? Feb. 26th, 2012 @ 05:11 PM Reply

At 4 hours ago, Otto wrote: If you want to keep a rich colour in your shading then add in a drop of the opposite colour (referencing the colour wheel) i.e. purple to yellow, blue to orange, green to red etc. instead of just adding in black or white to get lights and lows. This is really hard to do on flash or something so sometimes an alpha of not just black on the layer above, but the opposing colour, is the ebst way to do it.

I find what Otto is saying here is extreamly, accurate, precise, correct and very helpful.

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Sacros
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Response to Shading techniques? Feb. 26th, 2012 @ 08:23 PM Reply

color theory is certainly interesting, i keep insisting people should mind it but as always noone pays attention and steals my wallet

im sorry im kind of lazy but i hope somebody will pick up and answer jons real question: how to keep shading looks consistent when animated?


ama gon chill

DillonBrannick
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Response to Shading techniques? Feb. 27th, 2012 @ 03:19 AM Reply

how to keep shading looks consistent when animated?

its the same as keeping your lines consistent you just keep re-drawing until its right.


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Damien
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Response to Shading techniques? Feb. 28th, 2012 @ 04:47 AM Reply

Just get a lighter or darker shade of colour you're using and then paint over it. Thats basically it. Shade everything everywhere. Don't leave a surface unshaded. Use as many different colour of shades you can. Like 5 types of green or some shit.

Position was already mentioned.

Technique wise? There isn't a lot. I think johnny utah covered it once. From my point of view, I tend to use the different brush type.
Just fuck around with them.

pic related.

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cmkinusn
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Response to Shading techniques? Feb. 28th, 2012 @ 10:55 PM Reply

At 18 hours ago, Damien wrote: Just get a lighter or darker shade of colour you're using and then paint over it. Thats basically it. Shade everything everywhere.

Hell, shade the lights (sun, anyone?), too. And why not shade your shading too? Just go fucking crazy with it. :P


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Pegosho
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Response to Shading techniques? Feb. 29th, 2012 @ 10:26 AM Reply

The key is to make little transitions from shade to shade, if you make irregular transitions the shade will wobble like crazy and look horrible.

I usually start adding shades to keyframes, then you little by little add shades to the inbetweens in order to make a proper transition from keyframe 1 to keyframe 2. Make the shade move fluidly.

Keyframe 1------inbetween------inbetween------inbetween------inbetwee n-----Keyframe 2

It's really useful to use this 2 keys from the keyboard: : "<" and ">", they'll make you go back and forward from frame to frame, helping you draw a fluid shade transition.

Here is neat cheap trick but it involves adding light instead of shades. (warning: This trick might work sometimes, not all the time):
1. Color your character with shades instead of light colors.
2. Add chunks of illumination (each chuck must be in a different layer).
3. As your character moves, grab those chunks of illumination and free-transform them according to the movement.

Conclusion: Shading is tedious, bear with it and be patient. :)