Thursday, December 13, 2012

What If: Thunderbolts - Week 2 Behind the Scenes

Yay! It's the second What-If behind the scenes post!
Also, watch my YouTube channel for an upcoming Thunderbolts video, which will only be available to people who read this blog! :D


Alright, so the time has come. There is a slight lull because this week didn't show anything new that you hadn't really seen before. So you know what that means? Yeah! It's time to get REALLY DETAILED! Today, I'll be talking through all the steps I take to deliver one of the images in this week's What-If: Thunderbolts post!

Which image?

This one.

Okay, so, where to begin? First of all, you have to have a model of the character. I make my own models, but some people can't do that. What do you do if you aren't a 3D modeler? Well, my advice would be to manually paint over a character, which takes less time, but is probably not as fun. So, anyway, what if you actually model a character? Well, what I do is I take a photo of a hero in the game. Like this.

This image is a good one, because you'll notice Elektra is on a nice, neutral background. It's mostly one shade, so blending her into it shouldn't bee too hard. I've also turned off the Hero Name and Squad Name, which you can do in the settings, because if they were on that would, frankly, be a nightmare.

The next step: render out your character! The program I use, Cheetah3D, (shameless plug), lets you lower the anti-aliasing a bit, so that it looks like a game, (anti aliasing makes an image have jagged edges). What I normally do is put the normal picture in the background, and render my character on top at first.

That gets the position of your character right. Now I open up my background image, and select and copy and paste parts of the image, smoothing it out with the eraser tool, erasing Elektra from the image. Usually this is easy, because I select easy backgrounds on purpose, but sometimes it isn't, and that's where you want to be careful. I wouldn't try TOO hard, after all, it's going to get covered up by your hero, but keep in mind that bits of it will still show under your hero.
Now, I bring it all into Photoshop, and paste in my rendered out hero, (this time with a transparent background).

Photoshop cleanly pastes in my image, I position it correctly, and then I usually have to edit the hero's name. For this, I currently use the font Webletterer BB,  but the actual one is, I suspect Tekton Pro, which is not a free font, and that's why I don't usually use it for these What-ifs.
Then it's time to make the hero icon. I use the CBR forum's template, (discussed in an earlier post), and I delete the name of the hero from the template, which doesn't appear in the game.
I should probably make my own icon background for it, seeing as the game doesn't have the same ridges around the outside. So... expect that next What-If! Now I have to render out an image of the character in "Hero pose".

Then I import it to the Photoshop template, scale it down, and cut it so that it looks like she's inside, and I have this!

Once this icon's done, I save it as a .png, reimport it as one layer, and then put it over the real hero's icon, and there you go, it's... almost done.

There's one last thing that I do, which is scale it down to 600 pixels wide, and add Contrast, and then I apply a lighting effect, like I do with all my pictures on this blog. :)

And there you go! That's how I do it. :)

Any questions? Comments?
Leave them in the comment section.
And for now, I'll leave with a small, small spoiler for next week:
Something spiky this way comes.

-- SHSOFan.