Roger and Klaus
(click image to enlarge)
Last summer I first messed with illustrating toons
with quasi-lifelike reinventions in Adobe Photoshop. I wanted to try an experiment, starting with illustrating the characters and then overlaying photo textures. I don't know what to call this... the result is more "Pixar-real" than photo-real. I'd be happy with that label. These particular American Dad!
characters were picked because I dig the show and there's not yet a long-established exhausted fan art base around the series. And, quite frankly, I wasn't going to entertain the notion of touching any of the classic characters Pixeloo
has done amazing treatments to. (Click that link if you are unfamiliar those works, they're super cool.)
Roger (alien) seemed like a perfect character to do because he's got such an overblown personality mixed with the simple fact that he's an alien. Klaus (fish) would be next logical choice to render. The rest of the family didn't appeal to me much for this approach; apart from Stan's massive chin they're pretty "normal" in appearance. I still want to do a sequel or two of the Futurama chop
--the basic ideas are laid out. Hopefully this summer will present me with the time for more of these things.
Anyways, I hope you like. Thanks for stopping by my blog. ^-^
All comments are appreciated!Summary of steps:
It took me a couple days to find what I thought was an ideal family or living room for lighting, color, angle, and furnishings that were at least in the same ballpark as the cartoon family's societal class and decor preferences. I'm happy it at least paralleled the show's green couch and cream walls.
Next I simplify the background elements a bit, cleaning up behind the glass and changing the carpet to a cooler color (see original source linked below), and "straightening" the couch. This just made the setting less distracting and more simple... cartoonyish. Originally I cloned out the stars and planned to hang family portraits in the background, but in the end opted not to clutter this image, and just reduced the contrast of the pattern.
Needed some guides here. The cartoon version of Roger is a compilation of about three poses and a bit of liquefying for expression and perspective, and re-coloring. Klaus is nearly untouched. (It wasn't until I was searching for references did I notice how Klaus always seems drawn twice as big when he's in his "sitting" bowl as he swimming is in his regular fishbowl.)
After the characters shapes are masked in individual folders, each get redrawn with the smudge tool and airbrushing.
Basic coloring and lighting are added, giving immediate depth. The basic color scheme for Roger uses a gradient Map Adjustment layer, with additional Hue/Sat and Photo Filter layers "painted" on with masking.
Texturing. This kicked my butt a bit, but I like the results. Klaus was basically rebuilt from parts of fish sources (linked below) that were blended and liquefied into shape, and the result was overlaid and color adjusted. Roger's texture is a mix of various fish parts and "hand" painted parts.
More lighting, color, shadow and detail are added until the characters' basic final stage is reached. Really, most of this step is done with many many trials and errors and experiments on "nanotweak" levels. In many ways I may have overdone the lighting effects, but I really wanted these characters to pop out and have depth.
These steps just show the building of the glass bits and details. Klaus' bowl is completely illustrated, whereas Roger's glass is based on a wineglass source (below). The cigarette "offscreen" wasn't much more than resizing and shading of the source (below).
Finally, I color adjust the image as a whole and add last minute atmospheric details. I tend to desaturate my chops a bit and then bring them back up with an overall color overlay and add a subtle grain. This emulsifies the image, making the added elements seem more integrated.Main sources
were purchased from istockphoto.com.
Labels: photo steps