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Illustration Effects

Lesson 10 from: Creating a Cinematic Campaign with Special Effects

Lisa Carney

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Lesson Info

10. Illustration Effects

Lesson Info

Illustration Effects

I'm gonna talk about illustration effects briefly, and I want to talk a little bit about job flows and what's happening in our world, in my world that I live in. And I feel like I need to be honest a little bit about how this is working out. So more and more mobile filters are being used. And when I say mobile, I'm talking your phone. Maybe your iPod on a good days, but your phone. And I actually have a real job that we're gonna dissect here in just a second and talk about whether you can use these. And I want to have a moment because this makes people's hairs rise up and people freak out about this, but I feel like this is the wave of the future. Work is going mobile. It is. And just like when digital came out and they said, "Oh, it's not gonna replace film," or, "Oh, Photoshop, oh, it's never gonna amount to anything." I was around for all of that. And now look at it. It's all we're doing. So I would like to propose that it is possible to use mobile apps with your Photoshop and with ...

your compositions. It is possible, and people are doing it on a professional level. And you just need to be smart about it and communicate about it and figure out the best way to do it. So let's open up an illustration. And I just realized I forgot one thing before, but that's all right. All right. All right. Again, I want to be really clear. I'm saying some stuff that people don't want me to say because it's like "Awwwww, it's like a puzzle, that can not be. All right, this job for Grand Tour, the art director he did, used a program called Paint FX-Photo Editor on his iPad or Iphone I don't know which, I think an iPad. It cost $4. All right? And what they were looking for and what they got, is basically this look. Do you see this? I'm going to take some effects off. Here is the original composited Photoshop file. All right? The original composited Photoshop file. There is some illustration on here, done in Photoshop. Some glows and what-not put on here. But look at what happens to his hair. This is the original composite. This is that filter. So what they were looking for was like that 1980's Drew Struzan look. Yeah. Is it reproducible? Problem was he had done, if I'm not mistaken, he had done a bunch of filters, like a bunch of it. And I don't know how he made it. So when I'm, We redo it. Do you guys know this about entertainment? What would happen is everyone comps up a job. They do like a five comps, a thousand comps - Spider man, 2000 comps, And then finally they'll pick one at the end. And say "yes" This is the one we want. And when they got there, then we had to rebuild it from scratch from low-res to hi-res. And then we open it up and we're like "What's that layer" that does all that? He's like Ohhh, I did it on my iPad. What?! So what we had to do is we had to rebuild the job, and then run it through the iPad. Now, there happens to be on this particular file a bunch of effects we put on top that help, what I like to affectionately call "step on the piece". And I'd like to talk at length about this. Not at length but a bit on it. So, what we do in entertainment is we will add our variance, intel designer, a finisher would never use that. A designer would use it. Someone is going to email me for that comment. I don't care. Anyway, At this particular agency you have to build the comp and the finish the same way. So if they have eight color corrections, I have to have eight color corrections. So if there are more color corrections on here then I would normally have, hue saturation to change the color, They want to change those blues behind his head. A little gradient map on soft light. Gradient light on soft light does a nice little contrast move. A plain black and white radiant on the mode called soft light, is effectively a contrast move. So you don't have to do it with a curve. And it's pretty gentile, and generally your colors will not get jacked. Your colors will not get jacked. Here's another one. This is a gradient map on color mode at 10%. This is another way - Do you remember at the beginning I did those really hard core colors using gradient map? This is 'soft core' Oh my God, I can't believe I said that. Oh my God. Soft and gentile. Sorry, Soft and gentile, Soft and gentile on color mode. Whoops, (giggle) Anyway, so this would be the gradient map that I did, or they did, on full power. This is it genitally. It's just gentile color but look at it. Look how whacked out it is. That's a pretty wacky gradient but it adds this kinda patina of color and if you put it on a low opacity, like 10%, so they have it on 10. It, kinda like a photo filter I would say. Ya know what I mean? But what's nice about it is - under used, under used most people don't do it. It's multi tonal. So you get, on this thing you get blues and your shadows, warm mid tones, and warm but not as saturated highlights. So it's a great option. All right, then here's another thing we do to death which you guys absolutely have to consider doing if you're doing this kind of stuff. High pass on soft light modes. Let me throw this away, and I will show you what that is. It's a great sharpening technique and how you do it is you do what's called a merge up or merge copy. Then "Option" + "Shift" + "E" Ya merge everything up to the layer you want. On a Mac it's "Command" + "Option" + "Shift" + "E" Their uh, I don't use layers, commands - I don't know where it is here but it's copy .. I'm sorry but I'm not going to be able to find it. Merge up, all right. And then what you do is you go to this filter, this hidden filter called 'filter other' - 'high pass' And generally when I do this filter I don't do anything above a 1.5 or 1.7 but sometimes If you really want to jack the file and make it really contrasty people will really bump that up to something high. And what it's gonna do is if we put it on soft light, look how much it sharpened up? You put it on overlay, even more. Do you see that? So it's giving the illusion of sharpness. Let me move this around so you can see it a little better, In different areas. It affects things differently, you'll often find them masked out by the way, this effect. So that's overlay. Owww, wait 'til you get to linear light. Linear light will really jack it. Look at that. Now I'm going to profess that linear light is probably to much but what if you put it at 50% opacity? Pretty soon you're not going to be able to tell that this image was put through a phone, run through a filter, and brought back in, into a huge file. And then we add the ambiguous screen on the top, and a lot of green. And this is commonly what we use to step on an image to make it not, make seems not show? To make it look more blended? And maybe look like perhaps it were a printed piece, like actually on a printing press. You might want to add a color half tone to this. Do you guys know what I mean by adding a color half tone? The filter, color half tone? We just did this because of the, into the spider verse let me show you real quick. Again, "Command" + "Option" + "Shift" + "E" Color half tone. Do you guys know there's a show on Netflix called 'Stranger Things'? Stranger Things, yeah that's it. Yes, they had these billboards coming out and we used color half tone to make the pictured look like they was old and printed. So let's say I do a four, instead of an eight. All right, that's cool but it's way to much, no problem. Put it on a low opacity. Put it on soft light mode. And then you just get a tiny little pattern with a half tone. And again, then you put the grain on it. And then it starts looking like something. Something that's printed. And this is how you get away with these cheats. And this is how mobile Apps could be possible. OK? I have to tell you I'm all for it. I'm surrendering. I'm like 'hey we can use this stuff. It'll be all right.' All right, next, you guys doing all right? I want to show you a quick little illustration for those people that like to do illustration. It's a weird technique, I do not do this. The illustrators where I work do this technique and I think it's really interesting so I thought I would show you. I think it's weird. But I'm not afraid of weird. Do you see the high light painted on her? On her jacket? It's a painted rim light and I'm going to show you how they do it. So here's, who is this? Ellen? Yeah. This is Ellen, our friend Ellen. What they do is they make a solid black layer they put it on the mode called lighten. Ya see that? They then, you can tell it's not mine also because it's not labeled. They then paint by hand these gestures. Do you see these? It's hand painted, just a paint brush. They then use a color balance. They use a color balance. Now why do they use a color balance? They use a color balance because it gives you multiple tones. Do you see you have a hotter yellow? A different yellow and then it, the color, the orange changes? So this allows you to have a different color in the shadows, a different color in the high light. So this is the color correction called color balance and what it's doing is changing the color of the lines. The lines not one colored. The line is multi dimensional. Right? And then they put that black layer on lighten. Why do they put it on lighten? They put it on lighten because on the mode called lighten black disappears. So the only thing that's going to show are those lines. OK? And then they don't have to paint the color on the lines. Do you understand what I'm saying? They didn't have to paint hot yellow and orange and blue on those lines. They painted one white line, but the color correction gave you the variegated color. Isn't that cool? See I'm not an illustrator so it wouldn't occurre to me to do that. You need to make sure everything is linked up. So now I'm gonna turn it off and on. Color off .. White line painting .. Off and on There it is. So it's a groovy technique. Please, the key to it is the black layer, the white clip to it, just white. And color balance. And the reason you do color balance again, shadow gets one color, mid tone gets a second color, and high lights get a third color. Cool? So if you're a painter this could be a really really cool technique. If your not a painter it's a cool technique you just got to give it a try.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Cinematic Effects Presentation & Notes
Cloud Brush
Dust Brush
Light Ray Brush

Ratings and Reviews


Watching Lisa work her creative magic is so fun! This was such an incredible class, I can't wait to watch it over and over again while I practice using the tools and techniques that are covered. It's enough to make me want to move away from portrait work and into creative commercial art. Such an awesome class!


Lisa is a great teacher! She does move quickly, but I have found her instruction to be very precise, and focus. So I think the time she spends on each topic is very efficient, and thoroughly covered. I love her teaching style. Thank for for another great course Lisa!


There are so many ways to accomplish the same thing in Photoshop. But I always love to learn new ways. This is a great class if you are already comfortable with Photoshop. It is not a beginner class.

Student Work