Matthew M., with the help of instructors Anisah and Justin, has been perfecting this snazzy sci-fi creation for weeks – and it’s finally complete!
Throughout the making of this project, Matthew learned a great deal – not only about Clip Studio (the art program in which he made his masterpiece), but also about art techniques and principles that apply to digital and traditional artwork alike.
Once he had the basic shapes of his superhero (affectionately nicknamed “Gridman”), Matthew began refining the details, researching a variety of reference photos in order to better understand the types of materials he wanted to portray in his creation, and how differences in those materials would affect the highlights, shadows, and reflections. Anisah and Justin helped Matthew heighten contrast (a method of simulating realism common to both traditional and digital art), include light sources, sharpen highlights and shine, and add special effects to the background (such as the highlight on each of the three-cell patterns).
Additionally, Matthew learned how to make a 2D ambient-occlusion map for secondary shadowing, in order to make Gridman really “pop” out of the screen! He accomplished this by duplicating a base layer twice, then setting one to a higher brightness and saturation while simultaneously setting the second to a lower brightness and saturation, in order to obtain lighter and darker variations of the same base colors. Once those two layers were established, Justin showed Matthew how to use Clip Studio’s masking capabilities to control where the subsequent shading and highlighting effects show through on the main painting. This trick enables the artist to avoid searching for several different shades and tints to achieve shadows and highlights for each base color in the painting. To finish, Matthew polished his work with particle effects and added “glow” via the airbrush tool – and there you have it! A truly awesome superhero.
Great work, Matthew!