We’ve exceeded our initial goal of 31 assets and now have stacks of paper ready for scanning. How did we get the art of Luminky from paper to computer, keep some areas transparent, and others opaque, while maintaining the inky quality? Easy. Photoshop.
We wanted to keep the wet edges that result from hand drawn ink rather than lose that quality to crisp lines, or even worse, white artifacts along those wet edges.
Getting everything animated and inked is only half the battle. Now comes the digitization process so we can successfully composite all of this together to actually make a game that visually preserves it’s paper ancestry. We wanted to keep the wet edges that result from hand drawn ink rather than lose that quality to crisp lines, or even worse, white artifacts along those wet edges. How did we do this? Photoshop has a nifty feature, here’s the process.
1. Scan in the art then level adjust. We made sure we blew out the whites (highlights) as much as possible around the art. This was important for getting a clean selection later on.
2. This next step is specific to the character. The inside of Lumi’s mouth wasn’t maintaining enough contrast, so we lightened it to better stand out. This is also where we really made her eyes and teeth pop. Sure we used a “white” colored pencil on paper, but once scanned it was more of a dull gray.
3. Now comes the trick some of you may not be familiar with. If you press cmd + alt + 2, Photoshop will select all of the white pixels (highlights) in your composition. Then we hit delete cause we have no need for them.
4. Unfortunately, now we’re left with a less than stellar looking asset. Placed on a medium gray background, you’ll see it has those pesky artifacts we don’t want. Just lock transparent pixels and fill with pure black. Fixed.
5. At this point, the asset is mostly transparent but provides a great base to work with. Next, we added a layer below and painted the areas white that are not meant to be transparent and voila! A nice looking asset, ready for game.
This week is all about getting art to the coders. Which means repeating steps 1-5 hundreds of times. Yaaaaaaaay…