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3.12 Adding the Background

We will discuss creating a background for our character, using the Elliptical Marquee Tool and our Eraser. We will also visit how to implement color into the project.

3.12 Adding the Background

In this part of the course, we're gonna talk about creating a background and a backdrop for our illustration. So, now what we wanna do is go ahead and create a backdrop, a background for our character. There's a couple ways we can do that, but we'll just take the Ellipse Circle Tool and just place this, try to get it in the center. Once we have it in the center, we got a nice profile shot. Think about, maybe, something like a spotlight. If you're into photography this will be kinda familiar to you. And then once we get it in a good place, I'm gonna go ahead and select a color. Something like a soft, gray white. I don't wanna go hot white. So then I'm gonna just fill that tool. And now I'm just gonna go in, and I need to hollow it out. So if I had a prominent line outside of my illustration, I could just use that. And use the Magic Wand Tool, and select that area. So if you happen to make a prominent line, you can do that. If you don't, then you just go in and erase by hand, which is not that big of a deal, it's pretty easy. And it allows me to get gritty within my artwork. And I like doing that, I don't like everything to be automated. I kinda like to get in and work, to see what I can find that I can change, or little areas that maybe don't work as well as I'd like them to work. This allows me to get in and see them up close and personal. So just making sure that I get the edges pretty clean. I don't have to have it perfect, but just enough to make sure that everything is easily seen, because later on, we're going to put a blur on it. I'm gonna bring some of the white back into the painting, the illustration, not the painting. So now we're gonna go to our Filter > Blur > Gaussian blur. I'm not focused on the numbers as much as I am the blur in the background. So I think that's pretty good. Oh, nice, subtle backdrop, everything's okay. All right, I'm happy with this. I can make a few adjustments. Overall it's good. So, now let's start over adding color. So, let's grab green, let's grab a green here. And let's just fill the back. And so, the cool thing is, after we're done with all of this, we can simply add color to our illustration if we want. And we can go to our highlights and our shadows, and we can adjust those to overlays, and it'll pick up on the color. Or we can go in and just hit Ctrl+U, and you'll see that you have the options to adjust the colors. There are quite a few things that we could do to take our black and white illustration directly to color fairly easily. I go in and play with the layer options and see which one works for each layer. And we have a pretty strong illustration here. And even with adding colors, you can see we're pretty much done, I'd say 80% done. And then go in and make some personal adjustments or personal strokes to support it. One of the other things I'll remind you of is that if you put all of your ink layers together, you can control the colors of the ink layers, also, so you don't have to leave everything black. So just keep that in mind as you begin the work, and feel free to experiment and see if you can come up with something different.

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