Using a 3D render as 2D drawing base (kinda tutorial)

SnowSultanSnowSultan Posts: 2,482
edited December 1969 in The Commons

Recently I had fun using a 3D reference as a base for drawing a cartoon version of my character, and a few people have asked how I did it. I feel kind of silly writing a tutorial for something that I just learned how to do myself, but hopefully this can least explain how I used a 3D render to create 2D-looking art and give a few tips on how you can do it too. Just to be clear, you CANNOT make a 3D render that looks like the one on the right without drawing a lot of stuff by hand. You can however, use 3D to create the basic figure shape and pose, along with lighting and shading references that will make things much easier. Be sure to morph your figure's body to a more anime or cartoon shape before rendering too (I think I used Girl 6 body at .40 or something here).

Creating using DAZ Studio 4.6, various products from daz3d.com, and Photoshop CC (and a few Disney princess images for drawing references). :)

Larger version of the final image here: fav.me/d7g512b

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Comments

  • TimbalesTimbales Posts: 1,623
    edited December 1969

    That looks really good.

    There is a current DC Comics artist named Mikel Janin who uses a lot of Daz content and figures for the base of his work. I have fun playing 'spot the product' when I read a book he's done the art on.

  • jade monkeyjade monkey Posts: 111
    edited December 1969

    thank you for sharing this! it's always fun to see how other artists work, you never know when that one tip will solve that problem you've been having forever, haha! and your final image is pretty sweet!

  • Miss BMiss B Posts: 3,068
    edited December 1969

    WOW, that's great! I can't draw to save my life, so trying a 3D render as a reference wouldn't help me much, but I'm sure there are those who are talented in traditional art forms who will find this handy, and inspiring. :coolsmile:

  • SnowSultanSnowSultan Posts: 2,482
    edited December 1969

    @Tim: Hm, I haven't seen any of Mikel's work where he uses 3D content. Do you happen to have a link to a pic that does?

    Thanks Jade Monkey and Miss B, it was fun to make and not nearly as hard as I was expecting (I can't really draw either). :)

  • VaskaniaVaskania Posts: 5,999
    edited December 1969

    That looks really good, and gave me an idea about dragging renders into Inkscape. Thanks for sharing your tips. :)

  • TimbalesTimbales Posts: 1,623
    edited December 1969

    @Tim: Hm, I haven't seen any of Mikel's work where he uses 3D content. Do you happen to have a link to a pic that does?
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  • SnowSultanSnowSultan Posts: 2,482
    edited December 1969

    Thanks Tim. His stuff isn't bad, but the faces still look very 3D.

  • SixDsSixDs Posts: 2,324
    edited December 1969

    I'm amazed that you were able to do that in Photoshop, SnowSultan, especially when you say that it wasn't that difficult! The reason that I say this is because Photoshop was originally intended as a raster image editing program (i..e. photgraphs), although it has come a long way from its roots. One thing you might want to consider is trying a vector drawing program like Illustrator or CORELDraw!, etc. which were really designed for 2D content creation and may have more tools specific to this end. Just something you might want to explore in the course of pushing the envelope. :)

    Very nice work, BTW.

  • SnowSultanSnowSultan Posts: 2,482
    edited December 1969

    Thanks SixDs, I appreciate it! I've tried vector programs several times (I have Illustrator as part of the Adobe CC bundle), but I find it more awkward than convenient. It's great to be able to adjust lines after you draw them, but it's also tough when you need to make a tiny correction that can be done in a moment in Photoshop. If your image is large enough, you zoom in enough, and are careful, you can make clean enough lines in a raster program. ;)

  • icprncssicprncss Posts: 3,647
    edited December 1969

    The original reason Poser was created.

  • maraichmaraich Posts: 391
    edited December 1969

    This is exactly what I've been wanting to try my hand at. Thank you so much for the overview and tips - I've always admired your work. Once finals get over with next week I may have some time to give this a go.

  • ghastlycomicghastlycomic Posts: 2,468
    edited December 1969

    The whole reason I got into 3D was because I was getting annoyed that my wooden artist's pose doll wouldn't actually pose very well. Even the expensive pose dolls don't do a very good job posing. So I was looking to see if there was a simple computer generated doll that had better flexibility. Then one of my fans recommended using Daz so I gave it a try. I've done a few drawings posing the genesis figure on my laptop and then drawing on my android tablet with Sketchbook Pro.

    As an added bonus I've discovered I actually like modelling as an art form in and of itself. Don't really do much rendering though.

  • Serene NightSerene Night Posts: 15,077
    edited December 1969

    Wow Snow Sultan! That is really cool! You bet I will have to try this now, but I can't promise results as nice as yours. That looks... Awesome. You have such talent. =-)

    I have downloaded your tutorial to try later. =-)

  • SnowSultanSnowSultan Posts: 2,482
    edited December 1969

    @iceprncss: That's right, I used the first three versions of Poser for making drawing references...of course, the meshes were so low-res that it's all you *could* use it for. Poser 4 finally gave us conforming clothing and better figures, and then we were able to make good renders.


    Thanks for your interest, I really hope it can help you make some new art. :) It's still a fairly slow method, but it's really fun to be able to make something that you never thought you could otherwise!

  • zigraphixzigraphix Posts: 2,813
    edited December 1969

    Nice work! I'll have to experiment -- I think it's actually pretty possible to get results close to this with ToonyCam Pro, too, though it would take some tweaking from the default settings. For example, switching the line color to brown. But it's definitely possible to get shading close to this.

    One of the keys to getting this kind of look is definitely getting rid of textures that try to provide too much detail. Solid colors work best, or very simple patterns. This is especially important for the skin tones.

  • Serene NightSerene Night Posts: 15,077
    edited December 1969

    Well, I did try yesterday. I think one of the challenges, I ran into was that I chose to do M6, and he is perhaps not toony enough. Perhaps a larger eyed character would be more expressive or something.

    Also tough to choose a viable anglo tone. He looks so beige.

    May try again when I get a drawing tablet. Hard to draw with the track pad on my laptop!

  • SnowSultanSnowSultan Posts: 2,482
    edited December 1969

    , I ran into was that I chose to do M6, and he is perhaps not toony enough. Perhaps a larger eyed character would be more expressive or something.

    Yes, it's definitely harder using a realistic human shape. You'll want to try to morph the figure into something much more like a Disney toon or anime character if you're going to use flat colors and simple shading. :)


    Bishy pointed out something in my tutorial that I need to fix; you do not *need* an environmental/ambient light to use this method. Setting the Ambient to 100% and the Diffuse to 0% will be enough for the 'flat' render. I used an ambient light here so that I could see some small references on the figure that would not be visible with pure 100% Ambient values, such as the chin line, the nose, shapes on the arms for shading muscles, the inner ear, etc.

    Thanks!

  • Serene NightSerene Night Posts: 15,077
    edited December 1969

    Argh... This is proving a fun and addictive challenge. =-) Now I'm determined mind you, to make something with your tutorial.

    exaggerating the eyes helped, as did making the character thin.

    Eyebrows are certainly an issue. as are making the lines clean and somewhat crisp. But I will persevere! ceratinly an improvement over the last dude I tried. =)

  • i just looked up mr janin and I can clearly see some daz3d content in his work LOL. he used g2 superhero parts in one image. its funny but cool at the same time

     

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