Ok so quite sometime ago someone asked me how I was able to tone so nicely in photoshop. My first answer is usually the worst because I don’t think it through even though it was true. I went through Deviant Art and found some great tutorials on it but without thinking that was really only half of the details. Now a few days ago I wrote a blog update about installing these patterns because I had planned to make a video about toning with the pattern stamp tool in photoshop. I know a lot of people prefer bucket fill. But to be honest, you limit yourself if you don’t at least try the various brush shapes in pattern stamp set to a nice tone… if any of that made sense. So, as always, watch the video first, then read on ^w^
Firstly, find and install some screentones that you have made or found and make sure they are PAT. files. Go HERE for a breif tutoiral on how to install and make them. Or go find a better tutorial on installing PAT files. Select the pattern stamp tool! Not the clone tool, it must be Pattern Stamp tool! This is very important. After you have done that select a hard edge brush and set the size to something nice to work with. Then select the patterns you’ve made or installed. Test them out and see how they are. Now, before I go on there is one issue I’d like to address before anyone asks.
If your tones aren’t coming out at the size you thought they would, it’s probably because your resolution and paper size is too small. I work at either A5,A4 or B4 and have a resolution of either 300 or 600 and in some cases 1200. The resolution effects the size of the dots and if you’ve ever used Manga Studio or Deleter Comic Works then you probably already know a bit about this already. I won’t go into a big explanation because frankly there’s tonnes of tutorials and explanations on this already. Everywhere from wiki to Deviant Art. Usually though working from 300 res or 600 would do for most of us. The picture in the video is A5 at 300 res or dpi.
For most of you, testing out the stamp tool like this, it’s probably all the information you need. I bet you can happily tone now as well as make hundreds of new tones and textures to use. There’s nothing extra I have to say about screentoning this way. Except to try out other brush shapes while toning and check out the amazing backgrounds you can make in a matter of seconds. This video is only double speed. This took me under 10 minutes to tone using the Pattern Stamp Tool. All I really want to say is play with adding white dots and highlights and using light tones for light shadows, over lapping tones and experimenting with the layer blend modes and the tones. You can make some amazing new tones with layer blend mode colour dodge and colour burn.
I know this is a terrible not-quite-a-tutorial, but it really is that simple. After you install the PAT file the hard part is over. All you have to do is carry on toning like you normally would and remember to use them where you want either shadow or emotion displayed and that’s it. Screentoning is only as complicated as you want to make it. I usually like to keep it simple because I like to focus on mood and emotion more than I do lighting so usually I just shade the eyes and under the nose and under the lip but that’s my personal preference. The main reason for this video was to show that it is possible to tone in photoshop and to get it to look nice. I’ve seen some of the WORST tutorials with the wrong tones used in photoshop and that’s where all the negatives on the stamp tool come from. Because people do judge the end results on these tutorials made by very beginner artists. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to help but if you don’t fully know the in’s and out’s then you really shouldn’t be making a tutorial. I’ve seen bad drawings in some tutorials but the explanations and examples were amazing, it sort of cancelled out the presentation factor so I guess what I am trying to say is, read thoroughly and try it yourself before deeming it a bad way to make art.
Anyway, if you want in depth tutorials on toning and where and what’s effective and what not then search youtube and deviant art and you will turn up hundreds of results. You can try google but turning up a good tutorial is pretty hard because of page ranks etc.
Here’s my list of favourite screentoning, colour and other art tutorials. These are way more helpful than anything I could ever write up:
- Prisma Marker tutorial
- Toning in GIMP
- One of the best screentoning Tutorials
- Colouring skin/noses
- Digital Painting Tutorial
- Bitmap Comic+Manga Halftoning
- Drawing Realistic lace
- Hair tutorial
- Sky Tutorial
- Nifty Digital Painting Tutorial
- Mini Tutorial About Everything
- Pen Tool Tutorial
- IFX- Strike A Pose
- A heap of manga tutorials