How to Highlight/Shade…….

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Funkmachine7 6 months ago.

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    This is a beginner’s guide to show you how to highlight or shde a character. Hope it helps!


    Step 1- Select item.
    Step 2- Choose coloring.
    Step 3- Add secondary pattern gradient


    Step 4- Goto to Patterns-Standard, choose indicated item.


    Reduce color to ZERO on the Primary color and choose color to highlight with for your secondary. After you have place in desired location, reduce line color to ZERO.

    Step 5- Voila! Highlighted Item!

    If you want to shade, use black or a darker color on your secondary color of your pattern item.
    Don’t be afraid to experiment with all colors!



    Great job.



    It took a little bit to understand what picture 4 of the body was supposed to be, but I follow it now! And so now I have been abusing this technique thoroughly. Thank you for posting it!



    So, I hate to sound incredibly dense, but I’m new to this version of Hero Machine. I can’t seem to find some of the places/things that you mention in your tut. Can you elaborate a bit on the steps?



    What specifically don’t you get?


    Herr D

    K! One of the clearest tutorials I’ve seen.Cool



    I guess I’m not quite understanding how to add the gradients, and what is being explained in Step 4. After I click on the gradient, it darkens half the figure. Then, I select the Item tab–>Patterns–>Standard, Click on the indicated circle, and I just get a big circle covering most of my figure. Where am I going wrong?



    that’s what’s supposed to happen. on the gradient there are colors, on inside an one around it (fading into each other), with the circular border around both. when you first select it, both colors are white, so you cant see where they are. what u need to do is go to the color tab, and make color 1 transparent, using the (i’m not sure what it’s called), labeled “Alpha” in the top right, by dragging the little bar-thingy left (or typing 0 into the number box next to it). change the line color to 0 as well. next you can change the color of color 2 and modify it’s transparency however you like. you might want to change the item’s size (in the Transform tab), as well. i think it says how in another thread. i dont know how to explain that part.

    hope this helps.



    I’m trying to experiment with this a little, but I’m having a lot of trouble figuring out how to shade hands, hands that are grasping something are even harder. Do you have any advise?



    I think you could try just shading them in a normal way first- dark gradients in shadowed areas, and lighter ones as highlights. Then, use small white gradient circles on each of the knuckles. Not sure how useful that is, but it’s an idea- hope it helps.



    If you can’t figure out where the shadows should go, try working from observation – find some pictures, or look at your own hand to see where the shadows fall.



    My problem is with the shadow gradient, it doesn’t work the same way with hands. I’ve tried hiding a duplicate hand under the first and masking a transparent grey insignia over that, but it’s hard to get it to match up with the arm.



    The gradient side of things can be a bit tricky to get right with the smaller items, such as hands. What you can do is to duplicate the hand or item, making it with the same size and location values as the first one, and then mask a gradient on to that. After you’ve masked the gradient to the hand, turn the colours down to zero on the duplicate hand and send it to the back layer of the image (layer 1, probably) so that it’s out of the way. The masked gradient, though, will stay where it was, and you can then change the size, colour, etc, to your heart’s content, knowing that it will always only show up in the boundaries of the hand.



    This might be an obvious and/or dumb question, but you would use this same technique to do lighting effects, right? I’ve seen some pretty amazing effects…a great, recent example would be like DJuby’s Rustbuckett (



    Yes you can. Good example. I also use it to get a reflection/shine effect off of metal items.


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