Rembranded Illustration Studios

The Official Online Portfolio of Rob van Overmeeren


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The Making of Leonard Batman Part five

Hey guys, thanks for your patience. I’m really sorry I missed the deadline yesterday, but here it is! had a lot of issues getting something going, but I eventually I fought through it. And I got the post ready. So with out further delay, here it is! So last we saw Leonard he looked like this:

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Like I said, I wasn’t happy with the face, but I decided to move on in the interest of getting it done, the Calgary Entertainment and Comic Expo is only two months away, and I really need to make progress, as Leonard is going to be a key piece, along with Sheldon Joker, Penny Harley, and Howard Riddler. So I decided to work on the body instead. I could do this because the different elements were on different layers. I always find a layering approach works for me, because I often use a lot of adjustment layers on individual parts of the piece. But Anyway, let’s get started:

I drew the various parts of Batman’s Armour on the body layer, so they would be easy to isolate, and work on the shading individually with the burn tool. I normally do this on black and white pieces, prior to being colourized, but I thought it would work here, as obviously Batman’s uniform is Dark grey. This results in this picture being the starting point:

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The next step is to use the magic wand tool to select the various regions, and start to use the burn tool along, with my favourite tool, the mixing brush, to smooth out the rough edges. This makes it start to look like this:

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So far looking good, but by the time I took this screenshot, I realized I had gone too far in this post, so I decided to start from the beginning on his legs. So let’s get started on the bottom half. Again I start by drawing lines on the legs that will eventually be the seams on the uniform, but will also create an area that can be selected by a magic wand, it’ll make the wearer look nice and cut but also slightly fake, like a costume would be and we know how they look in costumes.

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I removed the underwear and gloves and boots layer, so I could see what I was doing (another advantage of working in layers), And I notice a few things that need cleaning up first. The right leg is rough, and the lines for the knee don’t line up. I selected them here to show what I was dealing with:

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Now obviously this is a very easy problem to fix. Just draw on the new lines, fix the leg, and voila. The areas that are selected there, however, absolutely have to connect to something and the area needs to be sealed off and the layer needs to have the transparency locked. I have a shot here to show where that is on the layer tab.

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The layer needs to be locked, or the burn tools and the mixing brush will bleed out into the drawing or will look fuzzy. I don’t want either of those things. Anyway, this is what it looks like when I select the areas now.

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Now we start to burn to create the shadows and more depth. In this case, the light  is coming from in front of Leonard, and to his right, which means in the drawing above, the right thigh will be darker on the right side and lighter on the left. A little like this.

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Alright, looking good, but I noticed I made a mistake. I did say I was having problems, but even in any state I should know he wouldn’t have a kneecap on the right leg facing the camera. Boy I need to get my head out of you know where..

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There that looks better. Now to turn on the rest of the hidden layers and we end this post looking like this.

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Next post I’m going to finish the gloves, boots and cowl. See you guys then!!


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The Making of Leonard Batman Part Four

Previously on the making of Leonard Batman, our hero looked like this:

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I had blended the face and got down a lot of the basics of his face. Of course he looks like a horror movie character, but we’re going to fix that right now. Now in adding the facial features, it’s important to add the eyes behind the main face layer and the lips above the face layer. The reason is that the lips will need a lot of tweeking and won’t even be done probably until the very end of this picture. I want to make sure that he has more of a look of the confused leonard, less like the reference picture:

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And more like a later “confused” Leonard where I think he looks a little more funny;

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So with that in mind, let’s get started. I did however continue with the reference picture, since I started with it, just to continue with the colour scheme, so that looks like this:

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I can tell immediately that I need to fix his jaw, but that can wait until later. Right now we’re going to work on the lips, and use the dodge tool to get it looking cool. So that ends up looking like this:

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Now again, this looks a little duckfaceish, but I think I’ll leave it for right now, and start on the eyes. Like I said I like the newer look on later scenes, so I set the eyes behind the face layer:

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Now we add paint on the Face layer to make the eyes more squinty:

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And then give more of a dramatic colour to the over all face, we want to make sure that we do this through the use of adjustment layers, in this case, I used the Curves layer on the red channel. I do this because you can get different tones with out giving a blanket colouring (like if we used the Hue and Saturation layer)

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i like this look but I’m going to work on it a little more, however in the interests of moving on, in the next post we can start working on the rest of the uniform, I can show dodge and burn techniques to build texture. So this is where we’ll leave it for now!

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The Making of Leonard Batman Part Three

Wow I did not see that coming in the Super Bowl! Thank god I didn’t have money on the Broncos! Anyway, that was part of the delay in getting the next part of the post up! But I’m here now, so let’s get on with it, shall we? When last we left our cosplaying physicist, he looked like this:

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At this point I like to concentrate on the face, especially when I’m doing likenesses which I’m obviously doing in this case. If you look on the layers window, you can see that the layers are organized into groups. I tend to work in a lot of layers, so I like to have them set up this way, so that I can reduce the amount of scrolling that I end up doing. I obviously open up the “Leonard Outfit” group, in order to access the face base colours layer.

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I am going to start blending the colours together in the face, but there’s a few things I need to do first. The first thing I do is I usually desaturate all the colour, by using a Hue and saturation layer. I make sure the “Use previous layer to create clipping mask” in order to isolate the layer’s effects to just the Face Base colours layer. This isn’t as important in this stage of the painting, but it will become more important as I start using different effects on separate layers. I also move the reference picture, so I can see it, but it isn’t obscuring the new painting. There are some things I’m going to change later anyway, but I still need it at this stage.

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I also desaturate the reference picture, because the contrast and brightness are more what I’m interested in at this stage than the colours. After the pictures are desaturated, I can start blending with the mixing brush, which in my opinion is the best invention in Photoshop since the healing tool. I will go in to greater detail in an addendum file on how to set up the mixing brush, but for now I’ll just stick to how I use it.

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I start blending the colours, pulling them together, trying my best to maintain the shadows and tones of the face. I’m going to tweak the expression, I don’t think this is one of Leonard’s better “confused” expressions, but it was good enough to build the mock-up of the Batman pose. But again, we’ll get to that in a later post. For the time being we’re just concentrating on the face, without the eyes or mouth which I’ll add later. I decided to turn off the Hue and saturation layer on the painting to see what it looked like.

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Not bad so far, time to do the neck, hair and glasses. It’s important that the glasses be on a separate layer. The expression will need some tweaks like, I said, so that’s why the glasses, and the facial features are on a separate layer.

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Next, I removed the sketch just to see where we are so far. This is what it looks like so far:

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Ok, so his jaw needs a little work and he needs some eyebrows, and it’s very, VERY rough but ok to continue. So this is where I’m going to stop for this post:

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Now in the next post, we’ll finish his face, and his hair, Show how we flip the canvas to make sure everything is lining up and make some adjustments with the curves layer. We’ll also start discussing the remaining touches on the uniform! And most importantly next week we’ll back on time! See you guys next Thursday!

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