people ask me a lot about drawing poc, more specifically “how” to do it. my kneejerk reaction is to get frustrated by it, because the answer is “just like you’d draw anything else.” it’s like the main excuse artists and writers use to not include poc in their art and in their worlds — they “don’t know how,” implying that we somehow operate by a separate set of rules, that while white characters don’t require a special set of considerations to be varied and textured and interesting, non-white characters are just an elusive series of step-by-step instructions that most creators just can’t be assed to learn or to include
i still feel that way
i guess i can understand that most instructive media focuses specifically on white aesthetics, proportions, skintones, and features, so there really is a need for more instructive material that is more inclusive
i can dig it
that said, there is a lot that i don’t know and am not good at and i don’t really feel comfortable trying to instruct other artists, but i’m fine with taking you through my thought processes a little
SO here’s some stuff about skintones. it’s not perfect, and there will never be a better teacher than the world around you for showing you what things look like and how to express them
first off, if you’ve ever seen me stream you know i don’t usually block in my shading with hard lines like this. i like to paint and sample colors as i go, but i’m trying to communicate my ideas about color a little better
but i’ve always used the same basic process for coloring skintones, any skintones, forever and always:
this is going to change up a little bit with directional lighting, colored lighting, environmental lighting, shit like that, but this is your basic procedure. the biggest mistake i think artists make is using skintone+black for shadows and skintone + white for highlights, and that results in pretty dull looking skintones
in the former image, i only varied the value of the main skin color, but in the latter i also varied the hue and saturation. doing so gives you more of an opportunity to add warmth and depth to your colors, as well as bring in environmental colors if you need to
you want to sample around the palette, use reds and purples and oranges, don’t just stay within the range of your base tone!
this applies for all colors, not just skin, but especially skin! you want skin to look alive, not plastic and dull
these same rules apply for most skintones
though it’s always going to be incredibly helpful to just look at references of the skintone you’re trying to draw, for little details like (for example), very dark skin, because there is a more extreme light/dark variation, will often look much more reflective than very light skin under the same lighting conditions
because of this, you’ll want to work on using light more than shadow to describe form on dark skin
again, this is true of all colors, but especially skin, because you don’t want skin to look flat and lifeless!
the same rules can apply to fantasy skin tones. start with a base tone, then use warm, saturated colors to add light and shadow. sampling around the palette becomes really important for fantasy skintones if you are trying to make them look realistic/believable
this is especially true if, for whatever reason, you wanted to make a character with grey skin that looks alive and believable
OKAY THAT’S THE END OF OUR SHOW
LOOK AT THIS GOOD ASS RESOURCE MOTHERFUCKERS
Right now I’m assuming that you have a VLC media player and Photoshop. If you don’t, you could download VLC for free and there are several legal and illegal ways of acquiring Photoshop :))
So let’s start!
In the Preference box, go to “Video.” Choose the folder where you would like to store the snapshots. Click Save.
Load the video that you would like to capture.
Position the marker in the beginning of the scene that you would like to capture. It would be better if you position the marker before hand so you wouldn’t have to miss the beginning just in case.
Press play and press the Hotkey you chose (Mine was ‘w’) till the end of the scene that you’d like to capture.
This is what VLC looks like when it takes a snapshot
Open Photoshop (I use Photoshop CS5 but older versions are okay)
Go to File > Script > Load Files into Stack…
A box will open that looks like this.
Click ‘Browse…’ and select the pictures that you have captured then click ‘Ok’.
Wait for it to load.
If you don’t have your ‘Animation’ window open, go to Window > Animation. You should have this:
You will only see one frame. To change that look at the right corner of the Animation box and click this drop-down menu:
Choose “Make frames from layers”
Your Animation box should look something like this:
Since the order of the animation is in reverse, click again and choose ‘Reverse Frames’:
Now apply your editing skills if you want to add some coloring or if you want to adjust the lighting of the photo. It will easily apply into all of the frames. If not, try selecting all of the frames before adding your effects.
If you’re not satisfied with the speed of your frames, you could easily change that by going to the animation box and selecting all the frames and choosing the speed you prefer:
When you’re satisfied with the everything go to File > Save for Web and Devices. This should appear:
The trick is to cut the size of the GIF to less than or equal to 500K since Tumblr only allows up to that size. You could see the size of the GIF you’re making by looking at the lower left-hand corner of the ‘Save for Web and Devices’ box . You will see:
There are different ways to cut down the size of the GIF. You could:
Trim down the Image Size by going to Image > Image Size. You could play around with the Pixel Dimensions Width and Height.
You could play around with the options in the “Save for your Web and Devices box.” You could adjust the number of colors that you could apply.
You could also play around with the ‘Lossy’ option. The higher the number the grainier it looks:
The more frames you have, the harder it is to reach the 500K mark so try and play around with the different options available.
d. UPDATE: I figured out another way to cut down the size of the GIF :D This option applies if you want an automatic adjustment, gave up on the manual adjustment all together and if you’re willing to sacrifice the colors in trade for having 0 Lossy.
All you have to do after resizing the image (let’s say 500 or something), in your “Save for Web and Devices” box, look for the small thumbnail in the upper right hand corner and choose ‘Optimize to Files Size…’
Now that will open this box:
You could input ‘500K’ if you want the exact size limit but you could go in for less.
Once you’ve reached the 500K or less, click save and name your GIF.
CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’VE JUST MADE YOUR FIRST EVER GIF!
UPDATE: TUMBLR NOW SUPPORTS A 1MB GIF LIMIT! Yaaay! Go crazy!