Meet Michael H.! He’s teamed up with instructor Clint as part of Game-U’s New York Accelerate program. Michael’s interested in digital art and animation, so recently, he and Clint dug into Photoshop to practice designing 2D facial expressions. Check out the many faces of Michael!
Using a friend of Michael’s as a model, Michael and Clint drew a simple, upright figure on a transparent background. Rather than operate Photoshop’s draw tool with a mouse, Michael used a digital drawing tablet that interprets stylus pressure as brush strokes. Photoshop’s layer feature, which separates projects into layers of content that can be hidden or shown as-needed, allows artists to draw more detail while keeping the lines and colors of their designs clear-cut and clean. Layers also offer artists the ability to reuse portions of their work, promoting efficiency and consistency. Michael started his project by creating a figure layer, which served as the base for each new expression he sketched.
Once the figure layer was complete, Michael added other layers in order to show a wide range of emotions. He and Clint considered what shapes combined to portray different states of mind – like happy, sad, angry, offended, scared, confused, and embarrassed. They also thought about how to show actions like yawning or shouting, and how those actions might affect the head’s position as well as the position of the facial features. Once Michael was satisfied with each expression, he merged it with the body layer to complete the figure. His character is ready for whatever use Michael has for it – even animation!
Very expressive work here, Michael! Thanks for sharing it with us. Keep drawing! 2D and 3D art play an important role in game development, and we need more artists like you capturing what life looks like. We look forward to your next project!