How to Create an Anime Artwork in Photoshop

How to Create an Anime Artwork in Photoshop
5_burn n dodge
  1. Duplicate the layers with the base color and shadow then position them above the original base color and shadow layers. The new layers will be used for dodging and burning while the old layers will be used to load selection with the Magic Wand tool. Select the layer with the base color and use the Magic Wand tool to create a selection of an area that you want to edit. In the image above, we created a selection of the hair.
  2. When using the Dodge or Burn tool, turn on the “Other Dynamics” option in the Brushes palette (Window > Brushes).
  3. Also, in the Dodge or Burn tool options, set the range option to Midtones.
  4. When using the Dodge or Burn tool, set the hardness to 0%.
  5. Select the top shadow layer (shade 2 in the screenshot). You will be using the Dodge and Burn tool to create a gradient in the shadows. Start with the Burn tool to darken the areas in a smooth motion on the lower part of the shadow.
  6. On the same layer, select the Dodge tool and lighten the upper part of the shadow.
  7. Select the duplicated layer with the base color. Use the Dodge tool to lighten the upper area of the base color.
  8. Use the Burn tool to burn the lower area of the base color.

Step 6 – Adding Reflected Light

In this step, you’ll learn how to add light reflected from the ambient light.
6_ambience color
  1. Use the same setting as previously used for the Magic Wand tool.
  2. Turn on the “Other Dynamics” setting in the Brush palette (Window > Brushes).
  3. Set the Brush hardness to 0%.
  4. For this image, a dark purple color was used to shade the area with no reflected light. The light source is from the left of the image so the right side of the characters were painted with dark purple.
  5. A light yellow color was used to shade the areas facing the ambient light.

Step 7 – Coloring the Outline

Coloring the outline will add more detail to the final image and it’s easy to do.
7_coloring lineart
  1. Leave the brush presets on.
  2. In the Layers palette, select the layer with the outline then lock the transparent pixels by clicking on the lock trasnparent pixels button.
  3. Use the Brush tool to color the outline using a color that is close to the outline.
  4. Keep using the Eye Dropper tool to select the color beside the outline.

Step 8 – Creating the Smokes

Now you’ll learn how the smoke swirling around the characters were created.
  1. Create a new layer for the clouds. Use the Brush tool with a hardness of 100% and paint some zigzag shapes for the smoke.
  2. Use the Smudge tool to smudge it in the motion shown above.
  3. Use the Dodge and Burn tools to create volume on the smoke so that it looks 3D.
  4. Load the selection (Select > Load Selection) of your smoke layer. Choose Select > Modify > Contract and enter an amount that will make the selection half its size. You may have to undo and try this several times to get the correct amount.
  5. Create a new layer for the smoke highlights. Use the Brush tool and paint inside the smoke with yellow orange.
  6. Select the Move tool and nudge the layer up by pressing the up arrow on your keyboard.

Step 9 – Creating the Cloudy Sky

Creating the cloudy sky uses a similar process as the previous step.
9_2sky and clouds
9_sky and clouds
  1. Create a new layer for the sky and name the layer “sky”. Use the Gradient Tool to create a gradient like the image above (#1).
  2. Create a new layer above the sky layer and name this “clouds”. Use the Brush tool and paint some lines to create the shape of the cloud.
  3. Use the Smudge tool to smudge the cloud layer in the motion shown (#3).
  4. Load the selection of the clouds layer (Select > Load Selection). Choose Select > Modify > Contract and contract the selection like you did when you were creating the smoke. The selection should be close to half of what it was. You may have to try this more than once to get the right value.
  5. Create a new layer and mane this layer “clouds 2”. Position it above the clouds layer. Select a color that it slightly darker than the color you used to create the clouds. It should still have the same hue and saturation. Paint the selected area with this color.
  6. Use the Dodge and Burn tools to add volume to the clouds so that they look 3D.
  7. Duplicate the clouds layer then use the Free Transform tool (Edit > Free Transform) and enlarge the cloud. Set the opacity of this new layer to 75%.
  8. Use the Dodge and Burn tools on the sky layer to create a light source.

Step 10 – Adding Light

10_adding light
  1. Create a new layer and name this layer “light”. Move the layer to the very top so that it is above all the other layers.
  2. Select the Brush tool. In the Brushes palette (Window > Brushes), checkmark the Other Dynamics option.
  3. Set the brush hardness to 0% for soft edges.
  4. Select white as the foreground color then paint the areas where you want the light to appear. The image above shows the areas that were painted.

Step 11 – Tinting With a Gradient

This step will show you how to create more realistic colors by warming the areas closest to the light source and cooling the areas away from it.

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28 comments on “How to Create an Anime Artwork in Photoshop”

  1. Thank you so much. Thanks to this, you will be the start a new artline. If my group ever gets famous, you'll be mentioned. THANK YOUUH

  2. Oh Gosh!!!

    ThanQ thanQ thanQ!!! I've been looking for something like this forever!

    You have no idea how much it has helped me!
    Your the Best!
    Keep up the amazing job! ^_^

  3. Useful tutorial, thank a lot! But one thing I cannot understand: why should we checkmark the Other Dynamics option, if we do not any changes in this palette? It seems to me the result is the same, with checked option or without it?

  4. ummm wouldnt it be better to use the gradient tool instead of the dodge and burn? its waaay easier, i tried dodge and burn, it didn't work as well and was hard to make it smooth. The gradient tool does it all for you. gradient is better

  5. Does anyone know how to perform the same function in Photoshop CS6? That is the newest version, and I cannot find the button mentioned.

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