*Mohegan's Complete, Comprehensive Grayscale Tutorial!

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Mohegan
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Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:40 am

This tutorial was made in PHOTOSHOP CS2. However, as long as you know the similar tools/features in other programs you should be able to replicate these results in any program.

Let's start off by opening our grayscale.
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Our first step is to create the layer on which we will color the character. Duplicate the already-existing grayscale layer. Right-click the layer, and click "Duplicate layer"
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With that done, we want to lock the transparency for this layer so we can ONLY color where we want to. Do this by clicking the small square with checkers in it.
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Now we want to set the layer to Multiply, so we can color over the grayscale to get the desired shading effect. With the coloring layer selected, choose "Multiply" out of the drop-down list above the layer.
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Time to start coloring! The easiest way to begin is to use the color picker to select the color that your character is has the most of. Let's use a brown to show you some enhancements you can do to your grayscale. Press CTRL + F5 to fill the entire layer with this color.
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Now, we're going to go back and select (highlight) the grayscale layer to do some enhancements to make the grayscale look better.
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Go to Image, Adjustments, Color Balance (or press CTRL + B)
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We're just going to chose a base color that might bring out this brown color a little. Reds work well for warm colors. Slide the little bar over to "Red".
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That already makes quite the difference! But let's be more exact, and spend some time choosing the EXACT color we think compliments this shade of brown the most. Open up the Hue/Saturation window by going to Image, Adjustments, Hue/Saturation (or press CTRL + U)
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Use the sliders for Hue to chose which color you think brings out the pose the best. You can also use "Saturation" to control the amount of color that shows up in the grayscale.
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Now, look how much better that looks! It really brings out the color, and gives the appearance of deeper shading.

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Now, let's say you have a black, or very dark character. While grayscales are a super-easy way of shading your pose, they don't do justice to dark characters. A lot of the time, the shading will get lost in the deep colors, and your pose may be rejected due to a lack of visible shading.
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Let's fix this. Duplicate the grayscale layer again (see above for directions how). Now click and drag it so it is on TOP of the color layer.
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Click the menu above the grayscale, and change it to a Pin Light layer. There are several other layer types that can achieve this effect, but I like to use Pin Light. It keeps the highlights just right, and also adds a bit of darker shading that deep-colored poses often need.
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Looks kind of crappy, huh? Lower the opacity WAY down. Usually 10% will do the trick.
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You can see how this adds highlights and accentuates shading on a dark pose!
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If there are any other tricks or tips you guys would like to see, please let me know.

The pose used is one of my freebies, can be found here.
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Takatia
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Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:07 pm

This is awesome and very helpful! Thanks for sharing<3
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Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:02 pm

Oooo this is very nifty for sure! Added to the Tutorials List <3
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Sat Jul 16, 2011 12:33 pm

;o; perfect for Faun, thank you<33333

bah edit: im a tad confused. i use GIMP.. so .... :X
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Asch
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Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:04 pm

I use this for my refs now every pose i color :D
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