(different anon) I'd love to see a tutorial someday too. Specifically, how the heck do you get your pastries and ice creams and bread to look so soft and natural?! I've made a couple simple food pixels myself, but they all seem so stiff in comparison.
hum well personally i think making things look natural starts wi sketching out line work. (i did a comparison of a bread bun, starting with the same blue sketch to show the differences) i always do rough sketches & work over them bc i think it gives me a better idea of the form.
i know sometimes it seems right to have everything perfect & symmetrical but it all depends on what your drawing in the first place - because you mentioned like bread & ice-cream etc those things are rarely perfect anyway, so i guess avoid being too structured
then i think another big thing is the colour choice & the balance of the halftone dots for shading. I feel like too much half tone & its one big ordered gradient & yeah that looks kind of odd. & for the colour.. its tempting to just pick out the darkest tone & just gradually make it paler for the highlighty bits - but in reality when you really look at something there’s usually a lot of different kinds of colours (even if it is just white bread). So yeah id say experiment with that - i usually exaggerate and go for much warmer colours tbh.
the last thing that i think makes a huge difference is how you do the shine (if any). it helps to just think about the actual thing your drawing (goes wi out saying but curved and squishy bread probably has a softer curvy shine) and it’s probably not such sharp stark white
i feel like the picture just explains it all way better haha
I’ve seen a lot of really cool recolored FR items floating around, so I thought I’d pass along this trick since I think a lot of people use hue/saturation sliders to achieve this and there’s a better and less frustrating way!
This is also how I recolor painted adoptables and even sometimes my normal art. I often render my art straight to greyscale, then use selectively-applied gradient maps to color. You can also use a low opacity gradient map (maybe set to soft light or color mode) over a piece of artwork to unify the colors gently or help suggest lighting! Since discovering gradient maps I’ve used them in nearly every piece of digital art I’ve made in some way or another. They can even be used to fine-tune brightness and contrast!
DISCLAIMERS: This tutorial only applies to Photoshop–specifically CS5, although the steps should be similar to any other recent PS release. I have no idea if this is possible in other editing programs, sorry! T_T Also it’s possible someone’s already made this tutorial and if so, mea culpa, I couldn’t find it T_T I hope this is new information for some people, at least.
SO HERE IS HOW IT WORKS:
First, you need to create a new adjustment layer. This is better than just making a gradient map for the image (which is also an option) because you can selectively apply it. Here’s where you find the option.
A note: this works better on high-contrast items. You might want to bump the contrast of the item icon before working, but if you don’t mind fiddling a lot you don’t have to. Really dark items may need to be lightened some, and really light items may need to be darkened. The item I chose is a nice middle ground with good strong values throughout, so I didn’t do any prep work.
Make sure this box is checked if you’re working on multiple icons or if you have a white background. I check it anyway, just to be safe.
It applies your last used gradient, so you’ll probably get something bizarre like this. No worries! Find your adjustment box (same one you use for hue/saturation adjustment layers). It might be docked with another menu (like your brushes, as mine is), and you might need to turn it on this way. Then click on the gradient bar to pull up this:
Get acquainted with this dialog box, you will come to love it.
Basically, the far left dropper-box indicates what color the gradient map is making out of black. The far right indicates what color the gradient map is making out of white. Everything in between is all your shades of grey (or non-grey, since the item is in color), applied on an even scale.
It’s important to note that the scale goes from *black to white*, not from darkest to lightest in your image. It also applies to the *ENTIRE* image including any adjustment layers already applied! If you apply a really pale gradient map to an image and then layer another over it, you’ll need to push everything over to the right hand side of the scale, etc. This makes more sense the more you work with maps.
And here’s an example of how it looks in use! Because there’s no pure white here, the very furthest right hand color isn’t showing up in the image. But you can fix it!
You can move all your sliders! You can also move the dots between shades to adjust and fine-tune. Click anywhere on the scale to add more sliders. You can double click a slider or click the color box below in the Stops dialog to change it.
NOTE: Unfortunately because Adobe hates its users you can’t use an eyedropper in this dialog. If you want an exact color you need to write down the hex or RGB value. :(
EDIT: Apparently in some versions of Photoshop you can use the eyedropper! You’ll need to double click the slider tab and eyedropper from *that* dialog box.
This is largely an intuitive process: some understanding of color theory helps (highest saturation in the middle/top values; hue shifting, etc.;) and fiddling around will help the most! Some really cool iridescent effects can be achieved with judicious use of dramatic midtone hue shifting. As a general tip for FR items, you probably want the darkest shade to be pretty close to black, especially for the background, if you care about preserving the border/etc. If you don’t, go nuts.
But we don’t want to apply the whole image, that’s boring. Click directly on the layer mask in the layer dialog and use black to color out the background. If you have more than one element (petals, leaves, background, or whatever), you will need to do this for each element. If you only have two (item and background), you can apply color to the background this way:
Make your gradient map for the BG, and then Ctrl+click ON THE MASK ITSELF and drag it to the BG map layer. PS will prompt you to replace. Click yes, then use ctrl+I (or the menu) to invert that layer. Instant BG mask!
You can also see that it’s possible to create cool ombre effects and have total control over them by applying gradients to your masks, or even paint on stripes/whatever! You can also try changing the blend mode of your gradient maps for other cool effects (especially useful for “glazing” greyscale artwork).
Also, once you’ve set your masks up once, you can just adjust the gradients again. Although you should probably set them up more carefully than my messy ones I used in the examples below, lol.
AND THAT IS ALL! If you have questions please feel free to reblog with them or send me asks, I use gradient maps daily and am happy to help!
Companions crushing on sole (or not, in the case of strong/dogmeat) reacting to getting a valentine's day gift?
Cait: “Oh. Oh, u-uh, thanks, Sole. I guess.” Her surprise makes her stutter, until she catches herself and plays it cool. “I, uh, I’m sorry I didn’t get you anything. Don’t really… celebrate holidays, but um… thanks.” After Sole leaves, she panics, rushing around to find a return gift. At the end of the day, Sole finds a pile of flower-like weeds on their bedside table, covered in a faint dusting of dirt, beside a piece of paper with a heart scrawled on it.
Codsworth: He’s very pleased. “Oh, Mx. Sole, thank you! It’s been such a long time since we’ve celebrated anything, don’t you think? I think I’ll make us a nice Valentine’s brunch. Where do you think I could get the, uh…” He floats off, gift in hand, putting together a meal plan for Valentine’s brunch. Using various produce and preserved ingredients, he puts together a lavish, heart-shaped feast for everyone to enjoy.
Curie: She gasps. “Sole! How sweet of you! Does this make us, ah… valentines?” She claps her hands together excitedly with a wide smile. “Come with me!” She gathers everyone together and hands out handmade valentines, made from rose-colored paper she dyed herself, all with sweet, personal messages. She even kisses Sole on the cheek for being so sweet.
Danse: The gift seems comically small in his large hands, and he stares at it blankly. “You got this for me?” His cheeks darken. “I… Thank you. It… means a great deal.” He runs off, embarrassed, before returning later that day with a bunch of hubflowers, handing them over with a stiff expression on his face and some mumbled, self-conscious words of affection.
Deacon: “Aw, you shouldn’t have.” He takes the gift with the faintest of smiles, pleasantly surprised. “I know it’s sappy, but I’m a real sensitive guy, and I got you something too. Just, you know, since you remember Pre-War holidays like this.” He gives them heart-shaped sunglasses, red-and-white polka-dotted rims with dark shades. He already has a matching pair, and insists they become sunglasses-buddies for a day.
Dogmeat: More food is the best Valentine’s Day gift a pupper could ever get. He doesn’t understand the holiday, of course, but he understands that everyone’s in a great mood, and feeds off their energy, accepting treats and pets and following Sole around all day, enjoying the spring air.
Hancock: “You’re a peach.” He flashes Sole a toothy grin. “I had a little something planned, myself.” Hancock ends up taking them on a special outing rather than giving them a gift. They go to the Third Rail, and Hancock snaps his fingers. Mood lighting sets in, Magnolia croons a lovesong, and he and Sole dance in between drinks.
MacCready: “Oh, wow, Sole. Uh. How much did this cost?” He stares, either baffled at the potential price or just shocked anyone got him anything at all. “And it’s a gift? You don’t want anything in return?” he asks suspiciously. When assured that, no, it’s just a gift, he finds himself in a good mood for the rest of the day. Even daring to hold Sole’s hand every now and again, and blushing whenever anyone catches him staring at Sole with their back turned.
Nick Valentine: He takes the present without a word, turning it over in his hands with a surprised, soft expression on his face. “That’s real kind of you, Sole,” he says at last, meeting their eyes with an uncharacteristic smile. “You’ll make an old man blush.” He takes them out to Diamond City market, and gets them whatever Valentine’s present catches their eye, taking them out for lunch afterwards.
Piper: To Sole’s surprise, she’s nowhere to be found. At least, not until Nat hands her a copy of the latest Publick Occurrences with a wink. A big, black-and-white valentine is printed on the front, with “Happy Valentine’s!” printed in big, bold letters. Piper appears around a corner after that, blushing like a fool but still excited. She accepts Sole’s gift with a squeal, throwing her arms around them in a bear hug, and talking way too fast due to her nerves.
Preston: He blushes dark upon receiving the gift. “Oh, wow, Sole. That’s sweet of you.” He toys with his hat - a nervous gesture. “Haven’t had time to think of Valentine’s things, been so busy with work, but…” He tells them to meet him at the back of the Castle, after dark. That night, they sit under the stars in the relative privacy of the rear of the Castle, watching the stars wink into life and exchanging jokes and stories.
Strong: “WHAT THIS?” He stares at the present. “… GIFT?” He doesn’t quite understand. All he knows is that humans give each other gifts today. So, that afternoon, Sole receives the… back end of a half-eaten cow. “GIFT!” Strong bellows. “FOR VALENTINE.”
X6-88: “… Valentine’s day. A human custom. A day for expressing affection through the exchange of goods.” He pockets the present. “Thank you,” he states, with a simple nod. Later that night, Sole finds a box sitting on their bed. It contains a pristine copy of one of Sole’s favorite books, or toys, or other meaningful item. Where did it come from? Who got it? How did they find one in such good condition? X6 insists he knows nothing about it.