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4.3 Creating a Metal Effect

In this lesson we are going to paint in the metal parts of this illustration. We will be using brushes as always, some effects through the Layer Style options, and textures to enhance these materials as well as give it a more beaten down look. We’ll also work in some color reflections.

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4.3 Creating a Metal Effect

Hi, and welcome to The Fundamentals of Digital Painting. My name is Nas Peters and in this video we are going to be painting the metal materials in this illustration. We will be using brushes as always, some effects through the layer style options, and textures to enhance the materials as well as give it more beaten down look and work in some color reflections. Start off my darkening the shadowed areas further with one of the custom cloud brushes on a new layer. After, lower the opacity on the layer. You can repeat that process again, as the left shoulder area barely has any light. Next up is blending the lineart in with the color it touches. I start with the highlights. Create a new layer, and use a very thin brush just painting it along the edges. Make sure to change the color when you paint over a darker area. If bigger sections of the highlight need adjustments, use a larger, round hard-edged brush with the opacity level set very low to touch up those areas. You can do the same for the darker areas. When you're done, create a new layer and then use the same brush with the opacity at 100% to fill the areas in completely. We are going to apply a layer style on this. To do this, once you finish covering the areas with a solid color completely, we first want to hide the fill color. Underneath the opacity options in the Layer panel, you have the fill option. Bring this all the way down to 0%, then double click on the layer so the Layer Style panel can pop up. Select the Bevel and Emboss option. You'll notice that the shape you filled in is now affected by the style you just checked. I set mine to Inner Bevel and brought the size down to 8. I soften the edges by tweaking the Soften option. It's at 7. You can see that the shadow is interfering with the light source, so lower the opacity on the shadow a lot. You can lower that of the highlight as well. Let's add a gradient to the shape now, using the Style options. Check the Gradient Overlay option, and then make sure that in the options the gradient is one that goes from black to white. Click on it and select that gradient. Set the Blend Mode to Color Dodge so the white is almost overpowering. You can adjust the angle if necessary by rotating the degree. Be sure to lower the opacity of it as well so the white isn't as harsh. And that's it. Now click OK so we can return to the illustration. You can lower the opacity on that layer a bit if you find the style to be too overwhelming and want it to be more subtle. The right shoulder piece is looking a little faded compared to the other. Use the Brush tool to darken the shadows a bit further. We are going to take a look at adding texture and light reflections on the chest plate. Repeat the process of darkening the shadows with the Brush tool, and fading the lineart away into the highlighted areas with a thin, white colored brush. Also repeat the process of layer styles. To add texture, we need to load the textures in first. I bought them through PhotoYou. Generally a scratched metal texture or rusted metal texture works really well to make metal materials and armor look a bit beaten down and worn. After having chosen your textures, load them into Photoshop by going to File > Open, and after locating the file in your computer, click OK. Use the Move tool and drag and drop the textures into the illustration's canvas. Use the Transform Selection and move the texture over the metal area you want to apply the texture on. If you intend on using it several times, which I will be to apply it on different metal sections in the illustration, duplicate the layer first. Lower the opacity on it so you can see the illustration through it. And then move it around until you are happy with the texture pattern that is overlaying the metal material. Now use the Lasso tool to select the excess of the texture surrounding the chestplate. I you need to make multiple selections, remember to hold down Shift while adding to the selection, or the first one will release. Use the Eraser tool next to remove the texture from around the chest plate. When done, chose a blending mode for the layer the texture is in. I went with Overlay and set the opacity somewhere between 30 and 40%. I also wanted to remove the red tint from the texture, so I desaturated the layer by going into Image > Adjustments > Desaturate. And that's how to easily add a texture to a specific element in the illustration. Now let's look at light reflections. Using a relatively large brush size with a round, hard edge brush, I select the color red and create a new layer. The opacity is lower on the brush itself. The red acts as the hair's reflection and light source. I'm also add in some brown for the shield and sleeve color. I then change the Blending mode of the layer to Color Dodge, and lower the opacity between 20% and 30%. That way it's just a subtle light reflection. Creating a new layer, I want to add a shine onto the metal which will give it a bit of a glowy effect. To do this, select the Gradient tool and pick a color off the canvas. I went with a light brown for her right side and red for her left. Use the Eraser tool to remove the excess. Tweak the blending mode and opacity on the layers so it can merge in smoothly. And that's it. Now we want to repeat this process on all the other metal materials in the illustration. You could draw the texture in by hand if you felt like it of course, but this is a much quicker way of applying it. So it really depends on how much time you want to spend on the illustration. Drawing it by hand is usually also a bit more complicated. A nice way of practicing this is by using a texture on the material and then painting over it to enhance certain areas. As you paint over it, you'll get a better understanding and will be able to reproduce a similar look. For the sword, you can use the Lasso tool to create abstract shapes onto the blade, and fill these in with a color or colorful gradient. The abstract shapes will sharpen the look of the blade. Because blades are often very smooth in aspect, adding a higher amount of light reflections will make it stand out further, as well. The chainmail is a little bit different. The pattern is already defined, thanks to the lineart, so all we need to do is give it some extra detail. Use a very thin brush with the color white, zoom in on a chainmail section, and create a new layer before starting to paint. So of course we want the lineart which touches the highlight to fade. Now simply draw very small half circles or ovals on top of the chain mail pattern where the light is the brightest. When you're done, lower the opacity on the layers so the white detailing isn't as sharp and blends in smoothly with the pattern. There we are. The metal is complete. In the next video we are going to apply the final touches to the illustration. Thank you for listening.

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