Photoshop for Game VFX #1: Tools

Photoshop for Game VFX #1: Tools


– Oh, hey guys. It’s Photoshop. So, I’m gonna talk to you
a little bit about this, this wily program, it’s got all
kinds of ins and outs to it. I’m covering this in a series of videos, basically to prepare you for
an online class I’m building. You can check that out,
link in the description. Dave Shovlin did these amazing paintings for the concept art
unit, for visual effects. It’s pretty cool stuff. I don’t want you to be lost when you’re following along with him, so I’ve created these
videos for those of you who want an introduction to Photoshop, or if you’re like me, you’ve
been using it for many years, and it’s just, there’s still
stuff that you’re learning. This will just be a quick ready guide to cover all of the bases that you’ll need to making awesome hand-painted
effects in Photoshop. Okay, so, if you’re painting in Photoshop, you’re gonna wanna use the brush tool. That’s first and foremost. You can find that thing over
here on the tools panel. Your tools panel might be somewhere else. You can move it around by
grabbing this little dark area bar at the top and moving that over. You can click these little bubble arrows if your screen is really squished and you just want that kind of space. If you hover it over
the edge, it turns blue, if you hover it over one
of these, it’ll turn, like, I don’t know, you
can do it over the bottom, maybe, ah, so this panel
only goes on the side. All the windows kind of function the same, where you can kinda like tear
them off and then redock them when it turns blue like that. Okay, anyway, I digress. Tools panel, you got it,
here’s the brush tool. B on your keyboard to select brush. I’m using the latest version of Photoshop, this is Photoshop CC, it’s in May of 2019, currently, when this is being recorded. So if you have older version,
some of this might be a little different, new versions as well. Brush tool’s pretty straightforward. We’re using a stylus, it’s
gonna just come out like so. All right, so I’m gonna
create a new layer, which is down here, this
is the new layer button so that I can kind of
just predictably know how my brush is gonna look without any of the fancy
layer stuff going on. We’ll get into layers in a later video, don’t worry about that, guys,
I’m getting a little ahead. All right, so you’ll notice that when you select different
tools over here on the left, it’s got a different set
of settings at the top. Now, the brush settings
include a couple drop-downs, you got one here, one here,
you got opacity and the flow and those are really the only things that I’m gonna be using. Oftentimes they’ll have,
you know, the quick access to the brush that I want
here, other times not. And so then I have to come over here to the brushes window,
which, every window, including that tools panel, is here. Here, we’ve got brushes right here. And you can open these up,
you can twirl these out the same way that you do the tools panel. Et cetera, et cetera. All right, so we’ve got the brushes. Let’s get this going. Now, these are all ones
that have been created. I’m not seeing one in here that I want. So I’m gonna create a new brush setting. Now, if you come over here, you’ll see all these
different things going on, lots of check boxes to look at. Adobe’s done a fantastic
job of making this as confusing as they possibly can. By the way, this one at the top without a check mark next to it, it’s probably the most important and you can click it and it
does bring up settings over here that you guys, not intuitive, I know. You know what, I’m just
gonna do a blanket apology for all of the complexity
of Photoshop in advance because it’s not intuitive. You guys, I’m there with you,
I still trip over this stuff because I’m using like 10
different software packages a day and I don’t always remember all the little ins and outs of each one. But it’s fine, that’s
what this video’s for. So you come up to the brush tip shape. It’s got all these brush tip shapes. I only use two. I use the fluffy one and the crispy one. And that’s all you gotta know. You got the crispy edges here, you got the fluffy edges here. So then I come over to shape dynamics, right, and check this out, it’s giving me a little exclamation mark. This is one of those love notes
from Adobe, where basically, something’s out of sync
with like my drivers, and it detecting that I’m
using a tablet, the stylus, it’s like, you’re not using
something with a pen pressure. Well, it turns out I am, and when I move this thing closer
to it, and I use this, turn it off, turn it
back on again, it works. Now, for you, depending
on hardware you’re using, this may give you some trouble. And I’m sorry for that, I’m
deeply, deeply sorry for that. Over the years, I’ve had this Cintiq for I think like eight years, it’s like really old,
but it’s still going. And over the years, with
different Windows updates, and different updates to Photoshop, I’ve had varied degrees
of problems with this. So, sorry if your pen
pressure isn’t working. I can’t help you, try
restarting Windows, I guess. Okay, angle jitter is the other one that we’re gonna look into in a second. Give you a little bit of
preview of what’s coming. We’ve got other things in here. I never use scattering, texture, dual brush, or color dynamics. Transfer, there’s one for you. Why it’s called transfer,
what transfer even means, I don’t know, but I use
it because transfer is basically how faded out it is, but then I guess they use fade
as something different here, they have fade, sorry, they
have flow and they have opacity. They could’ve called
it fade, I don’t know, but transfer’s just not intuitive. I don’t know what that means. This is basically how translucent it is. So that’s driven by pen pressure now too. Or I can uncheck it, and
you see it changes there. If I go back to brush tip shape, something I can do with
either crispy or fluffy is I can grab the little
dot here on the roundness and make it like a chisel. So now it’s like this cool thin shape. And Dave Shovlin, when he’s
painting, he uses this a lot. It’s like, how are you doing that? It’s like this, when you’
pull down, it’s just fat and when you go sideways, it’s skinny, and it’s the real problem that I have. I don’t know how to fix it. So I asked him about it, and he’s like, well, the key is, you go to shape dynamics and some pens have rotation. I don’t, so rotation’s not even an option here on angle jitter. By the way, why it says jitter, I don’t, again, jitter, because
when you change the slider, it jitters, but I never use that. I only ever use the control part. So the angle control, to be
clear, it’s not angle jitter, it’s controlling the angle with pen tilt. So I can’t do rotation,
but I can tilt with my pen. And that’s super fun,
because now you can see it doing all this biz. And let me get this
tweaked just a little bit. I’m gonna skinny it up. And I’m actually gonna use my handy-dandy old school Logitech cam. A few generations back. And I’m gonna show you what
I’ve got going on over here. Let’s see if I can
switch over to this, yes. All right, so here I am with my brush. And I’ve got angle jitter turned on. Let me just make sure we’re good. Yeah, okay, so it seems really squirrely at first and terrible. By the way, if you push I,
that’s your eyedropper tool. And then you can get a new color. I want green. Now, the key to this is, see,
because it’ll like, it’ll go, but it’s always gonna be perpendicular. So as I turn this, it’ll turn the head. You don’t want it to be up like this, you wanna kind of lay it down a bit to get these nice, skinny lines, or you can do like these
wider lines as you please. I am so terrible. I’m watching the screen, I apologize. For anyone who’s motion sick,
I do sincerely apologize. But I wanted to show
this to you real quick. So I can carve out these lines sideways, sharp, any angle I want. And that’s pen tilt, okay, enough of that. Cool stuff, all right. Now, we’ve got pen tilt working, we’ve got the thick and thin with that, it’s a nice way to lay in our shapes. Eyedropper tool, I
touched on this briefly, another fun tip about
the eyedropper tool is if you have a brush selected,
and I wanna select a color, I just can hold alt. And if I want that orange off
his forehead, I now have that. As long as you hold the alt, it’ll stay as the eyedropper tool. When you release it, it
goes back to the brush tool. Cool, I have ruined the painting. Awesome, awesome pen. (clicking tongue) Cool. All right, let’s move
into some other tools. So we’ve got the eraser tool. Fun fact about the eraser tool: it also uses the brush settings
window and the brushes. I never talked about the brushes. You can come into the brushes
and save all the changes that you’ve made in the brush settings. So say I did something really
specific that I really liked, or say I got a set of brushes
from someone else online that’s giving away the brushes for free. And you can just pop them into here. You can create what you like, and then you can just create new and come over here, and create a new group so you can have them sorted
in these different folders, which I did not do. And you can, of course, throw them away. Which would be sad, don’t
throw your brushes away. Okay, so that works for eraser. The stuff at the top looks the same. Sometimes it looks like
you’re using a brush because literally
everything looks the same except for the eraser icon
over here is different. Yeah, sometimes I change the opacity, sometimes I change the flow. So you’re not, like, erasing a ton. Like if I wanna erase this cloud, like squeegee it away,
you know, you can do that. Come through here like a chisel. All right, so there’s the eraser tool. Next up, it’s lasso time. So L is the lasso tool. By the way, E is the eraser. A lot of these are just,
the ones that I’m listing start with whatever they’re called. Except for the one that
I’m gonna get to next. We’ll talk about that in a sec. So the lasso tool is really handy. It’s over here. And you’ll notice, if you
mouse over the lasso tool, it has a little arrow,
if you click and hold, it’s also got polygonal lasso tool, and the magnetic lasso tool. And you’re gonna have, by
default, these are all set to L. So like, if you keep hitting L, I think it’s like if you
hit L multiple times, it switches between them. I just turned that off. I’ll show you that real quick up here. Edit, and then, oh, I’ll
get my head out of the way, edit keyboard shortcuts. There you go. And you’re gonna wanna change this. So you’re gonna see Photoshop
defaults by default, obviously, because it’s the default, and then you’re gonna wanna
duplicate your set here. You can name that whatever you want. You’re gonna basically be
like hacking Photoshop. That’s really what’s happening,
you’re customizing it to do what you want it to. It’s not really hacking,
it’s just hotkeys. I call it Keyser Original,
call it what you want. So then you’ll have that option here. You’re gonna find the lasso tool. I do not use polygonal lasso nearly as much as I use the regular lasso. There are cases where it’s
good, but not usually. Magnetic is just out of the question, so I just get rid of that, you can just delete
the shortcut over here. Some other ones, while we’re in here, spoiler alert, I’m
getting ahead of myself. If you come down to,
nope, too far, too far. All right, gradient tool is G. Paint bucket tool is also G. But you know what, in
Adobe Animate, it’s K. So I just set it to K so
it’s the same in both for me. Some people come by my computer and they try using it and they hit G and they don’t know what’s going on. And I have to explain myself. I was a Flash animator. All right, I think the
frame tool is set to K, if I remember right, I took that off. There’s just, you can do whatever you want because we can always go
back to Photoshop defaults if it’s busted. All right, so we’ve got the lasso tool. What does it do, Jason,
you might be asking. Lasso tool is great because you can select an area like so,
just click and drag it, and then everything you
do, whether it’s erasing, or brushing, or anything, is just inside of whatever you’ve lassoed. And if you don’t like that
crummy border around it, you can do control, H, and it’ll hide it. But it’s still only painting and erasing inside of that area,
which is kind of cool. All right, you can hit
control, H, again to show it. H is for hide, if you were wondering. Control, D, to deselect. That just removes it and now I can brush and erase whatever the heck I want. Control, Z, a few times to undo all of our terrible, terrible mistakes. Including that layer. All right, so we’ve got
selection basics going on. We can lasso it and all that stuff. Let’s talk about paint fill. So paint fill is fun because
sometimes you’ll have like, you know, multiple things selected. Like, say I want this goo over here, and I want this goo up
here, and I want, like, I don’t know, this goo over here. And what layer are those even on? I should figure that out first. Yeah, so some of it is
on the splash there. He’s got, like, multiple
layers here and here to kind of like make up that thing, but I’m just gonna click
on this layer here. I wanted this guy. And, you know, I wanna come through and I want to brush just those things. Well, as you can see, that’s kinda crumby. So I might wanna lock the
opacity on that layer first. That’s like, for this layer, I can just come up here and do that. And now it will only paint the opacity on the things that I’ve,
in the areas I’ve selected. That’s kinda fun. Or if I wanted to come
in here with the K tool, I can do it this way
in just one fell swoop. Or, maybe that’s not at
all what I wanted to do. Maybe I wanted to use the lasso tool like one would use the brush tool. And so I unlock the opacity, because I’m gonna be
adding more shapes, right? Maybe I wanna add like a bloopy goop here. And I wanna add some gloops in here. And I don’t really know. These aren’t necessarily
gonna help the painting in any way, shape, or form. But I can go to K and I can fill those in. And, of course, I can eyedrop something a little bit brighter, I don’t know, fill those in as well. If you want, you can
use the gradient tool, which uses two colors. See, I’ve got my two colors
up here in this gradient. You can click on that gradient, it brings up a gradient selector. Now, throughout Photoshop, there’s all kinds of
different gradient selectors. The way those work, real quick, is you’ve got the color
nodes on the bottom. If you click on it, the
color will show up here. Or you can double click on it and the color will pop up there. Click on that, it pops up as well. If you click in the middle,
it will create a new node, so a new color. If you click and drag
it away from the middle, or away from the bar, it’ll disappear. If you click on the opacity,
they’ll show up right here. If you click on one of these, it’ll just give you
like a bunch of presets, which is kinda fun. I’m just gonna use this guy here. And if you want, you
can customize, create, do whatever you want, and
then name it something here. And when you hit new, it will
add it to the list up here. It’s pretty fun. All right, so we’ve got
lime slushy selected, because that’s cool. And then with the gradient tool selected, you can just click and drag and it will start with the one color you
had and end with the other. I can click and drag
out here over and over until I find just the
right gradient that I want. Yes, those are perfect. Remember, I can hit control,
H, to just check my work and just make sure I’ve got
it just the way I want it. It’s doing some weird anti-aliasing because I had it filled previously. If you don’t want that, you
can just, like, (gasping). That’s not good. I’m hitting delete multiple times and it’s like somehow getting rid of it. Photoshop, right? I don’t know what’s going on. So there’s these weird outlines happening. I don’t know what’s going on. I did something wrong at some point. And apparently, the painting
went outside of the selection. Even though it’s not supposed to do that. Okay, so we’re done with that now. Control, D, because I’m
done selecting those. Smudge tool, guys, this
one is super useful. But please, please use in moderation. I think there’s a tutorial where I really dive into the smudge tool. It has strength up here. If you get it really big, like
this, this is not advisable. Because then when you do this, I did three strokes,
and I’m done stroking, like, it’s still, and I have to wait. See how it’s smudging and taking time? So learn from my mistakes and
use the smudge tool carefully. Be very, like, judicious
about how big it is and how far your strokes are. Because if you have a computer that, and this is a pretty decent computer, but if you have a computer that tends to choke on different things, it’s gonna have some real
trouble with the smudge tool and it’s not gonna be pretty. Okay, I think it’s on
the last stroke here, going back up and to the right. Yeah, we did it, control, Z. Okay, so when I use the smudge tool, I usually use it very small
and I just kinda do this. And it keeps up with it pretty nice. And I’ll typically leave some areas crisp and other areas smudged. You’ll notice that in the
videos when Shaflin’s painting, he’s very, very cautious
with the smudge tool and only uses it here and
there just to kind of like flick out, feather out some
edges here and/or there. All right, and then to wrap it up, foreground and background colors. You may have noticed, over
here we’ve got green and white. Those are nice little colors over here. You can click on those and
it brings up a color picker, which is the same up here, but then, you can flip them with the arrows here. Or you can X on your keyboard, just X, switches between your foreground
and background colors. It’s kinda nice to just
have like two colors that you can toggle between kind of saved. Also, very commonly you’ll see, like, you do like a palette in like two colors. So you don’t need to save them here, and then you can just
eyedrop from your palette. Which is a great way to ensure that you’re keeping the right colors
throughout your painting. Okay, well, that covers it. That’s our first
introduction to the tools, basic tools that you
like to use in Photoshop, brush tool, eraser, lasso, et cetera. Stay tuned for the next video. We’re gonna talk about layers. It’s exciting, guys. I’ll catch you then.

13 thoughts on “Photoshop for Game VFX #1: Tools”

  1. Really cool video, thank you! The trick with the angle jitter is cool – unfortunately my good old wacom intous 3 doesn't know about the tilt :,(
    And yes, Photoshop and this stupid little exclamation mark drives me crazy as well. Not sure if it's Wacom or Photoshop…Wacom is good in Hardware but their drivers are….wonky as well πŸ˜€ I guess there are meeting two Softwares which never where meant to be to be together πŸ˜€

  2. I started looking for VFX courses in late 2017 and I didn't find anything good at that time I was learning game development and I made my first android game I learned the unity particle system i managed to make what i need for the game but i really love game vfx and i want to learn it from the professionals most of the time i got stuck on how to make the texture in Photoshop or nowadays how to make the shader in unity because they made a shader graph and this is very overwhelming because there is too many things need to be learned and there is very few tutorials on how to do them, for example, there are tons of tutorials on photoshop but they are not in the contacts of making textures for game vfx none of them I hope you will cover all of that and i hope you will use unity because most of the beginners use it

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