• The Making of the New SOTW Logo – Part 2

    In Part 1 of The Making of the New SOTW Logo, I covered the steps of sketching Buddy, cleaning up the sketch and the Thick-and-Thin outline.

    In this second part of the article, I'm going to go over the steps involved in the coloration and adding shadows and highlights.



    After scanning the clean outline of Buddy in grey scale mode (will change to RGB colour mode later, before applying the colours) at 300 dpi (that’s Dot Per Inch, which is the same as the SOTW Logotype I made earlier) I’m also going to open in Photoshop the images that I’m going to use for the montage or for colour reference…


    1: A screen shot of the SOTW page – 2: An existing cartoon for colour reference for Buddy – 3: Layout of the logotype (which I’m going to refine later in Part 3 of the Making of article)



    Once scanned, in Photoshop, I put Buddy on a new layer that I will name “Line-Out” and threshold the layer to get a sharp, crisp line – Then using the Magic Wand tool, I’m going to select all of the white (the “Select Similar” feature in the Select menu also comes in handy in order to not omit any tiny parts of white) and hit delete so that I get just the outline on a separate layer.

    This is what it looks like if I turn-off the background layer:

    After verifying and correcting any little irregularities in the Line-Out, I’m going to lock that layer to make sure that I don’t accidentally move it or draw on it – Staying organized is essential when working with different layers in Photoshop – Then I’m going to create a new blank layer under the line-out layer, or if you prefer in between the white background and the Line-out layer. I’m going to name it “Flat Colours”. This is the layer that I’m going to be working on.


    From an existing cartoon, I’m selecting the colour using the Eye Dropper tool – This is part of some more self-established rules that I’ve come-up with over the years – Besides being an alto, Buddy is only distinguishable from Sam (the other alto in my cartoons and Buddy’s alter ego) and other sax characters by his colours – Simply put, all saxophones share the same colours but Buddy’s body colour is a lighter yellow than his keys, pad cups and rods, while it’s the other way around for the other saxophone characters.


    Zooming into the graphic with the Flat Colour Layer selected and using the Pencil tool, I start to colour around the outline's interior. Clicking once to position the tip of the Pencil tool and then holding the Shift button to create a straight line.


    I make sure that the colour contour goes just about halfway under the outline of the drawing and making sure not to leave any gap.


    I navigate using the space bar to transform the Pencil tool into the Hand tool to move my way around the graphic. This requires a bit of practice to coordinate both hands (right hand on the mouse and left hand alternating between the Shift button and Space Bar) but once used to work like this, one becomes very quick at it.


    Once the shape is closed, I’m going to fill it up using the Paint Bucket Tool. I’m going to apply the flat colours to the entire saxophone this way.



    Like many Classic cartoon characters, Buddy is wearing white gloves. So in order to see what I’m doing and in making sure that I close the shape to be filled up, I’m turning off the white background under the Flat Colours Layer.


    I make sure that the glove’s white extends a little bit into the arms, to prepare for the next step.

    While some cartoon characters have a hard, black line-out separating each colours, some other cartoon characters have no line-out where some colours meet – This is the case for Buddy’s arms and legs.

    So I’m going to create a new layer right above the Flat Colours layer and name it “Arms” – Then after applying the colour to the arms, I select in sort of a rounded shape, part of the arm’s colour using the Polygonal Lasso Tool. Then choose Feather from the Select menu, enter a value of 6 and hit delete.

    Normally, I don’t go further than flat colours for my cartoons but since this is for the SOTW logo, I’m going to add some shading and highlights to give Buddy and the logo a little extra wow effect – To prepare for this and to help me gauge values better in context of the SOTW logo and page, I’m filling the background layer the same colour as the SOTW header – In this case, Harri has given me a specific hexadecimal colour code to enter.

    I’ve gone ahead of myself here and added highlights to the sunglasses. I’m not going to show through every steps of the shading and highlight process, that’s going to take too long. Instead, I’m simply going to explain the principle and show the main steps.


    The use of flat or uniform colours makes them easy to select using the Magic Wand tool. If say I want to add shading or highlights to the saxophone’s body, on the Flat Colour layer, I just click anywhere on the sax’s body to select that colour, then choose “Similar” from the Select menu – Everything of that colour, including little tiny parts are going to be selected.

    Once the colour is selected, I create a new layer called “Shades” on top of the Flat Colours layer – With the Brush Tool I’m going to add touches of a darker orange colour into the selected shape. Then I’m going to apply effects to the Shades layer, usually darken or multiply; whichever is better. I experiment a little with the effects and fiddle around with the opacity level until I'm satisfied.


    Using the same method, I’ve added several layers of shades and highlights, experimenting with different effects until I’m happy with the results.


    In the next and final Making of the SOTW Logo article, I’m going to paste Buddy next to the logotype I started earlier, modify the fonts, colours and add more special effects.
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Kahtra's Avatar
      Kahtra -
      Wow!

      That's really good!

      I need to practice more to get this good.

      I use GIMP, which is similar to photoshop,
      but I'm still learning.