#59: SHADOWS & LIGHT (Vue)
#58: ADVANCED DIRT MAPPING (Vue)
#57: SSS IN VUE 9, AND THE "SPECKLE" PROBLEM
#56: THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL OF ART
#55: FIXING POSER CLOTHING
#54: MAKING "FOREST WAR - GOBLIN SHAMAN"
#53: MAKING A STUDIO RENDER FOR VUE
(and other apps)
#49: NEBULA MKIII (Vue)
#48: RENDER SETTINGS FOR VUE (Vue)
#47: POSTWORK - MAKING A RENDER INTENSE (Any)
#46: MAKING RIVERS THAT FOLLOW TERRAIN HEIGHTS (Vue or Bryce)
HOW TO ENHANCE A 3D RENDER, IN 2D PAINT PACKAGES
(Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop, GIMP etc)
NOTE: these techniques apply to any render program, this is an old tutorial so I used Bryce.
Post work is great way to improve your images!

1

Before 2d enhancement
After 2d enhancement
I used Poser, Bryce and Paint Shop Pro to make this picture, but other 2d Applications like Photoshop use almost exactly the same techniques.

2
How this 3D image was greatly enhanced in 2D
  As you can see from the before and after pics, there is quite a difference! When creating the original image, I knew there would be a lot of problems.

  When I created the 3D Pic in Poser and Bryce, I couldn't change somethings, so that had to be done later in 2D. Parts of the main character's cloak (Silverblade, hey, I can do self portraits :>) let the areas below show through, the same with his trousers (very embarassing that is!)
  Other problems were that the orc's breastplates (2)+ (4) showed up as blue, the shield was too plain (5), and I need to add fire for the last orc's torch (3).
 
 Additionally, I needed to add a beard (1) and some shading to Silverblade's hair, tidy the chain round his neck (it didn't reach far enough), and when all was done, darken the entire picture. I hadn't darkened it in 3D as that would have made it harder to view what I was doing and wouldn't be as precise as I wished.
  IMPORTANT TIP: copy your original image to a new layer when you work on it, saves screwing up your original image and lets you compare it ;)

3
 

  Now, I was going to work on the orcs first, as the one at the rear had a light source and I wanted to make sure he looked right. To work on him without interfering with the rest of the image I needed to make a MASK. When I made the original image I also created some masks as well, masks are black and white (or greyscale) images that act as selections.  

  (In Bryce, select objects then use RENDER MASK) So I opened up the mask of the orc I had made, copied the original image to a new layer, then using MASKS--NEW MASK--FROM IMAGE, I created the mask that you can see to the left, it cut out everything but the orc, so only the orc would be affected by changes, nothing else. A most handy trick! ;)


  Now to make his blue breastplate go brown, I carefully selected it using the FREEHAND SELECT tool, using SHIFT key to add to the selection, and CTRL to take away selections. When it was all selected, I used SELECTIONS--SAVE TO ALPHA CHANNEL to save that selection so I could work on it later should I wish. Then I used SELECTION--PROMOTE TO LAYER, so that selected part was copied to a new layer where it could be worked on without affecting anything else. To change the colour, you can use COLORS--COLORIZE, then fiddle with the settings to achieve a reddish-brown. Then I used COLORS-ADJUST--GAMA CORRECTION to change it a bit more.


4
 

A PAINTING WE WILL GO! A PAINTING WE WILL GO!...

After altering the other orc's armour like the first one, it was time to start painting. To give our hero a nice set of hair, I made a new layer (always always make new layers!) and painted on bit by bit a fuller head of hair and beard in black. This I then lightend by adding streaks of grey, getting lighter and lighter, to build up highlights, using the SMUDGE tool and blurred the highlights into the base colour. 

Then on NEW layers again, using masks and selections, I did the same to the jacket. To improve the jacket I added silver edges and buttons. I did this by making selections, filling with a colour then using the Blade Pro Plugin, making it look silver.

Another effect added a glowing red star over the top of the gem in his necklace.

 Paint Shop Pro has smoke effects in its PICTURE TUBES, this was ideal to add smoke coming from the torch. I did this then smudged and altered the smoke with some painting in grey. The picture here shows it very dark, for the final effect I turned the LAYER TRANSPARENCY down for the layer it was on, so it was not so thick and opaque.


5

  I used Blade Pro on the belt as well, and added 2 gems beside the belt with it. Then fixed his trousers by using the CLONE BRUSH tool to slowly, carefully copy small areas of the trousers over defects.
 
GENERAL RULE: always paint with brushes or ANY effect with opacity and hardness set to low or medium (50%), this lets you slowly build up the effect without making it to thick and heavy.

  Once trousers were filled, I added highlights and shadows by using the eye dropper tool to select the basic colours, then adjusting the colours lighter or darker as needed and painting, then smudging softly to blur finished result.
 Then I went back to the other orc, selected bits of his shield and used Blade Pro to give it a coppery look.

  The fire itself I painted in by hand, again, smudging, mixing in various colours and setting the layer transparency to be less than 100% solid.

  Final touch was to SAVE the original work, then save it AGAIN with a new name and MERGE ALL LAYERS, to achieve a final result and leave an intact spare copy. To makle it darker I SELECT ALL, then ADJUST COLOURS--GAMMA CORRECTION and turned the image's overall brightness down. Voila, finished pic! :)


I hope you find this tutorial of use! :)
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All original art, writing on this site, copyright of Steven James, "Silverblade the Enchanter" ©2012