Using Paint Shop Pro (Part 4)

Kanji de Manga Vol 3 cover image

Shading by itself can be done just as in the coloring stage by using the draw tool, but we might want to make the colors smooth or less transparent, thereby creating a smoother color gradient. For this task, we will need to make use of the retouch tool. It has many powerful tools within itself, but we only require the smudge tool. This tool can be used to smooth out your colors or to completely reshape the colored outline by setting the opacity and hardness values appropriately (I used opacity = 10 to 30 and hardness = 100, but play around with the numbers to see what you like best; also, adjust the size and shape of the tool).

When you select the appropriate values, click on a color and drag along any direction, you will see a trail of that color following the mouse. I found that to get the best effect, it's best to have the opacity low and do several applications of the tool in a row, thereby having an incremental effect. As can be seen, after drawing on a new layer with a white color, we can redistribute it in a way we see fit with the smudge tool, also sometimes it helps to make the edges of the color more transparent by using the eraser tool with low opacity to erase around the colored outline as I did in the above picture.


Kanji de Manga Vol 3 cover image

Another common situation is when you have some color and you would like to distinguish light and darker regions, say like the camouflage on cell for example. If you notice, on the picture shown, some light hits portions of some camouflage spots and the other half is in the shade. In this case just get the retouch tool and select darken RGB and hit the spots on the shade you want darker. (This is a rather specific example, but hopefully you get the idea, you can use this tool to make adjustments to your pic with ought using the draw tool; it's very convenient).

Kanji de Manga Vol 3 cover image

Another DBZ type effect is the aura. Initially, I found it very frustrating not being able to do it correctly, fortunately, I now know better. We can create aura effects by using the tools discussed above; first, you draw the spiky outline of the aura in any color of your choosing on a layer above the figure being drawn, then use the eraser tool with low opacity to make it less transparent, especially since you draw the aura around the body. Erase the aura covering the body directly, and leave the aura outside of the body intact.

Now grab the smudge tool and reshape the spikes the way you want them to be (the better your outline of the aura initially, the less work you have to do later reshaping it). Then you can use the darken RGB (or lighten RGB for that matter) to give contrast to different regions of the aura. If you feel like it, copy (go to Edit/Copy) the aura and paste it on a new layer (go to Edit/Paste as a new layer) then make it larger or smaller (use the deformation tool, or go to Image/Resize and give it new dimensions), and move this new layer above or below the first aura layer (go to Layers/Arrange/Move down) and make it (or parts of it) darker to create the 3D effect.

As a final note, I would recommend playing around with the textures (you can change texture on the tool options by clicking on a gear like icon) you draw on; they can have a big effect on how your pictures look.

Kanji de Manga Vol 3 cover image

Well, there is a lot more stuff to talk about, but that's beyond the scope of this little tutorial. I attempted to show that Paint Shop Pro 6 is a good tool to do the anime style drawings and to explain how I recreated the Cell picture on PSP6, hopefully I succeeded on both accounts. I also hope that this tutorial will get people interested in drawing anime with PSP6 and helped those who were looking for some pointers on how to use it.


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