Oct 21, 2008

Walltip: "Let Sleeping Wolves Lie" Walkthrough

Today's walltip is a quick walkthrough of "Let Sleeping Wolves Lie".
Step 1: Vector trace
This is a pretty straight forward step. You go into a vector program and you trace your images. I started with Amaterasu of course, and then built the rest of the scene around her. I traced varying elements of the waterfall image and placed them in appropriate places. By tracing, I can make sure all the elements match and are consistent with each other. You'd never know there was supposed to be a shrine in the image now!

Step 2: Mix with original image to get colors
A vector can't capture everything about an image. In this case, there was a lot of great texture in the rock face and island that would not have been feasible to trace, so I matched up those elements of the waterfall image to the trace. I also added some general texture and did a color tint towards yellow, since in the end I want the image to have an aged feeling.

Step 3: Blend colors
A lot of the colors have sharp transitions (from the vector trace) or are messy (aligning the waterfall image with the vector) so I went and used the blender brush in Painter to meld things together. This is prepwork for the watercolor clone stage, as we'll want more gradual color transitions in the watercolor.

Step 4: Watercolor clone
The image was repainted with Painter's watercolor brush. The outlines are on a separate layer so they remain nice and crisp. There's not much to this step but a lot of work, since I limited myself to a max brush size of 10px (it takes a long time to cover 3840x2880 worth of canvas!) The key to the watercolor is to match the direction of the brush strokes with the color transitions/gradations. At this point I also added in the flowers of the island that I blended out in the previous step.

Step 5: Texture and color corrections
I have a bunch of paper textures in Photoshop from old wallpapers, so I just reused them here. Adding the texture increases the yellow tint (since I am basically adding yellow-colored texture) and this made the water and sky too green, so I did some quick color correction to make them blueish again.

And there you have it. 5 easy steps to a great wall... or is it?

1 new wallpaper (Okami - Let Sleeping Wolves Lie)

1 new wallpaper:
Okami - Let Sleeping Wolves Lie (Ukiyo-e)
It's been a while, but I'm still here and walling... As you can see, I still love Okami artwork. The image of a napping Amaterasu was too sweet to pass up. She looks so relaxed and cozy... [more]