How do I shading and lighting on GIMP and Krita?

Discussion in 'Resource Support' started by Kupotepo, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. Kupotepo

    Kupotepo Fantasy realist Veteran

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    I am practicing with GIMP and Krita. How do I shading and lighting on the softwares ? I kind of know shading and lighting, but do not know how to apply in corrected place like face or side of the body. Do do you find exercises or tutorials ? What is your tips? I ask because I have no ideas on how drawing digital art. I am just draw on a paper, but I just ok with drawing on a computer, but coloring it is a different story.

    Sorry, for my ranting. I just very excited to explore new experience,
     
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  2. slimmmeiske2

    slimmmeiske2 Little Red Riding Hood Moderator

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    I believe this belongs in Resource Support, so I'll move this there.
     
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  3. Sharm

    Sharm Pixel Tile Artist Veteran

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    So you want advice on how to shade things realistically? Well, that's a big subject. Hmm, how to break this down into its simplest form. You need three things: an ability to see things as 3D in your head even though you're working in 2D, an understanding of the object and the materials that make up that object, an understanding of light. It's kind of like your brain is the rendering engine for your art, the same principals are needed. How a person gets those things is different for each, it's honestly whatever works for you, do it. Some people do focused studies, some people follow tutorials, some people get teachers, some people just copy other artists until something in their head goes "click", some people do all of the above (me). But I guess that doesn't help you much, does it?

    Maybe an example of workflow will help. Start by breaking down the object into the simplest of shapes. This is generally why you see so many art tutorials with the bouncy ball and cubes and cylinders and such. Once you understand how light works on those, you can use those shapes to build more complicated shapes, but still have a rough idea of what the light will do. Breaking things down into parts will be easier the more you've studied the object your breaking down, so if you can't figure it out, pull up more references. Take photos, or look in the mirror, or find objects in your house similar in shape, or look up photos on the internet, or whatever. References are awesome, they're always useful for improving your art. Since you asked about faces in particular, yeah, there are tutorials out there that show the planes of the face. It looks a lot like a low poly model, honestly. I thought at first that it was like gesture lines, where a person should use that reference to make the lines on the actual drawing before painting the face, but you don't have to do that at all. You can just use it to understand where the light hits and where it doesn't and why, as another reference tool.

    After it's broken down, you need to look at it as if it was a 3D object, and you're looking through a window, not at a page. Where's the light coming from? What's going to get in the way of the light, what parts are closer, which ones are further away? This is why breaking it down is good, it's easier to see those relationships in that situation. You also need to look at the materials that the object is made of. A head of hair is going to be shaded differently from a drop of water, and those both are different from a dirt clod. All are kind of round, but the water is transparent and reflective. The hair has a lot of strands, giving highlights and shadows texture, and is hopefully shiny, but not as reflective as the water. The dirt clod has loads of little imperfections, making it not reflective or shiny at all. Highlights get bigger and not as extreme, Shinier things have a lot of difference between the lightest highlight and the darkest shadow. Reflective highlights tend to be smaller/thinner, and you get more of them. In the extreme, like in metals, the shadows and highlights are right next to each other, with no middling brightness to blend it. Duller objects diffuse the light, making it more even and the highlights broader, stuff is blended between dark and light very well.

    So maybe you can see now how you need those three things. You need to see things in 3D in your head to understand where everything is in relation to each other, to know what's blocking what, to know what's poking out and what's hiding away, to know about things that aren't visible that affect the light seen in the result. You need to understand the object to be able to break it down into shapes, and to know how the materials it's made up of react to light. You have to understand light to know where it goes and how it reacts differently to different objects. Man, I didn't even get into colored light or reflected light or ambient occlusion or anything. But hopefully it's at least a starting point. Light is a basic principle of art, so there's a lot there to learn.
     
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  4. Kupotepo

    Kupotepo Fantasy realist Veteran

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    Thank you @slimmmeiske2 for moving this thread to correct place. Thank you @Sharm for advice.
     
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  5. Rukiri

    Rukiri I like to make Action-RPGs Veteran

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    Shading is very subjective... I would personally just pick a source and go with it, for example I use the right side to emphasize shading.
    Doesn't mean I won't add a bit of shadow to the other side and areas tho. Also if you are using a 2D lighting system it can really mess with sprite lighting..
     
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  6. Sharm

    Sharm Pixel Tile Artist Veteran

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    Ah, that's a misleading statement, I don't think you quite meant it the way it sounds to me. I agree that you can pick whichever light source you want, but once that choice has been made, you can't just do whatever and call it correct. Shading itself is not subjective at all, there is a right and wrong way to do it, and doing it correctly will add a lot to the quality of what you're working on. If you're using a lighting system where the light source changes then you'll probably want to shade it by ambient occlusion instead of light source, that's true, but there's still a right and a wrong way to do that too.
     
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  7. Benevolentwanderer

    Benevolentwanderer Veteran Veteran

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    @Kupotepo
    Here is the single best tutorial on rendering that you might want: http://androidarts.com/art_tut.htm

    While the text is, frankly, intimidating (and he's actually updated it to be even more wordy than last time I looked...) it covers the same stuff Sharm said, but in pictures!

    Some additional short advice for working with GIMP and Krita:
    • Don't be afraid to use layers.
    • In general, practice making your own colors instead of colorpicking from another image
    • clipping layers are useful. So are layer masks, and locking the opacity of layers. All of these let you get the base outline of something right, and THEN color and shade it
    • You can use screen/multiply layers that have desaturated but not greyscale colors on them to automate highlighting/shadowing something on the layers underneath. You can change that lower layer to play with different colors and patterns, which is good for learning what does and doesn't look good.
    • When shading, go one way on the color wheel for the highlights and the other for the shadows - Shadows are generally the opposite of the color of the light source.
    • Don't use the burn/dodge tools. Screen and multiply layers can accomplish the same basic things if you need them and are easier to edit.
    • Perfectly smooth blending usually doesn't look good.
    • Brushes with a texture are often easier to work with
    • While brushes with funky edges can be fun, avoid using them for anything other than adding details at the very end. Use a large brush in a geometric shape to lay out your shapes/fills, then work down in size towards smaller details. (This actually still works with pixel art, although your brush needs to be even smaller there!)
     
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  8. Kupotepo

    Kupotepo Fantasy realist Veteran

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