Post by meg on Aug 27, 2012 21:17:58 GMT -8
people keep requesting that i make a manga color tutorial, so that's what i'll be doing! teaching my method of manga coloring. if you are wondering, i use photoshop CS4 and a tablet, but the way i color can pretty much be done with a mouse too.
obviously the first step is to find the panel/page that you want to color. i usually isolate the character you'll be coloring. i'm going to color tachibiana mei from sukitte ii na yo. the next step is to set up your colors. i would suggest finding an image of your character in color, and grabbing ones that are already there to make your life easier. for sampling colors just use the color picker tool (or brush tool with alt held down) to grab samples and build up your palette. it'll look like this: LINK HERE.
now you're going to lock transparent pixels (LINK HERE) of your palette layer.
now you're going to set up your outlines. we want to get rid of all the white from your scan, so hide the palette layer and your color guide by clicking the eye next to both of them, until all that's left is your scan to color. go to your channels tab (LINK HERE) which can be found either beside the layers tab in the sidebar or by going window > channels. grab the channel labeled "blue" and drag it down to the copy icon (LINK HERE) and now you'll have a channel labeled "blue copy." click back on the RGB channel and go back to your normal layers (window > layers or f7). make a new, blank layer over your scan and fill it white. make another blank layer over your white-filled layer and click select in the top bar (between layer and filter).
go select > load selection... it will open up a dialogue box like so (LINK HERE). click the channel drop down in the dialogue box and select your blue copy. then click the invert check box (LINK HERE). hit okay and you'll see the marquee lines (LINK HERE) that dictate what you have selected (which as you can see should be the same lines as your scan). so change your brush color to black and with your bucket tool fill in all the lines. and just like magic you now only have the outlines from the scan (LINK HERE)!!
so now you have your lines all set! lock those transparent pixels just like you did before with your palette (also unhide your palette, it might be good to move it closer to what you want to color). make a new blank layer between your white background and your lines because we're gonna start coloring!! now the brush is really your personally preference i've lately used more textured brushes but for the sake of simplicity i'm just going to use a regular one (LINK HERE). make sure that spacing is at the lowest it can go (window > brushes or f5, brush tip shape): LINK HERE. so as you can see (LINK HERE) in another panel that i had been coloring i start with skin tones, so grab your lightest skin color and fill all applicable areas (i'm sloppy with it and erase it later but you can be careful).
(LINK HERE) lock your transparent pixels and go for the next color you have for shading, just the second step from the first (a little darker) and you're going to block in your shading. i changed my brush size to 7 for this. and go to your third shading and color through again, make sure that you still have your second color showing - you don't want to hide everything. (FIRST SHADING) (SECOND SHADING) i'm liking how it is, but i always go for the smooth, well blended shadows. so grab your smudge tool (LINK HERE) and you can find it with the blur and sharpen tools right under your gradient/bucket fill tool. set the strength to 18 and use a soft edged brush, i am going to use a dry-media chalk brush (LINK HERE) with some funky settings for a diverse blend (which are HERE, HERE, HERE).
now just light follow the contour of your shadows, just blending the colors gently. (FINAL SHADING) i like that, so i'm going to move on and block in the outfit colors in the same way starting with my lightest base and going up from there. you might want to make a new layer for that, i usually do myself (CLOTHES COLORED). sometimes if you have to use an off-white or very light color, its good to have something darker like a forest-green to see what you're doing and where you're coloring.
okay, let's color the eyes next. i like to use radial gradients (sometimes they work, sometimes they don't, this time they'll work because there's a pupil. first block in the whites neatly on the skin level. then fill in the irises with a base color (any will do really) and lock the layer. from there we're going to make a gradient which can be found under the fill bucket tool (LINK HERE). once there click this (LINK HERE) to bring up the gradient dialogue box (LINK HERE). pick out two to three colors. for this one i'm using a highlight where the light would hit most intensely and a darktone. make sure you have the radial gradient selected (LINK HERE). if the eyes are very small in your manga scan, just fill in the iris with one color. shines are optional (LINK HERE).
finally we come to the hair. there are so many ways to do this from gradient to fine details. i like the gradient way best. so i'll be walking you through that.
do this the same way you did the eyes. block in the hair shape completely (make sure there are no holes). make your gradient with two or three colors (i used two again, but this time the colors are closer together because i want her hair to appear darker. place your cursor (remember, radial gradient) at the top of the head where the hair part is or might be, and drag down just past the end of the hair base color. you can add another layer, draw in a quick shine with a lighter version of your hair color, and yeah. BASE COLOR GRADIENT
you have the option of leaving your lines black, or coloring them. i like to color my lines. just make sure you locked your outline layer, pick colors that are noticeably darker than the ones you used for hair, skin, clothes, ect and color your lines! FINAL PRODUCT
you are now free to turn your colored manga panel into an icon or a signature at your leisure.