Things have been going smoothly this week! I’m nearly done with all the tricky scenes from the next episode, and looking forward to focussing on some of the simpler ones. This Friday, I’m posting a deeper look at the shading process that I started to talk about last week, using one of the recently finished pages from the next episode. To begin the shading process, I work on top of a dark-grey background. Since there are lots of different light sources in the exterior scenes, I add them one by one, by dropping a textured white gradient onto the page, and masking off the areas where shadows would fall, or the light wouldn’t reach.

Here’s the page with the remaining light sources added in (unless there are visible torches or windows, I just add them where it looks most dramatic)…

Then I add in solid white for windows and doors, along with greys to show light falling on and shining through cloth…

Once this process is done [technical photoshop babble coming up…] I hide the linework, deepen the grey to black, and use the resulting black-and-white image as an alpha channel for some adjustment layers. Those layers are then placed over the flats to darken the colours and increase the amount of blue and red in the areas where the shadows are…

Then I do the same, only inverted, for the areas of light. The amount of yellow is increased, and the colours are lightened. I also blur out the lighting adjustments a little to get a subtle bloom effect.

Finally, textures, patterns and painting are added for clouds, fabrics and sky!

The people in the scene are in a separate folder, and I shade them second…

The lighting on the figures is much less complex. I pick a single dominant light-source (whatever the closest is), and add cel shading on the figures using a similar technique involving adjustment layers and masks…

And it’s done! See you next week with more progress!

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