Kitiara | 4 April 2003
you're a dab hand with the mouse, you could always draw your
artwork straight off onto the screen, but most of us mortals
are going to need a picture to work with as a base. If your
creative skills leave a little to be desired, or you're new
to working this way, it can be easier to use well drawn
artwork by an established artist. Screenshots are also a
good idea. Or of course you can sketch something yourself.
Whichever way you choose, all you'll need is a .gif or .jpg
that you can import into Flash and size up to the movie
is an image that I've scanned in, and this is the one that
I'll be demonstrating with in the tutorial. Feel free to
download it to experiment with.
you've chosen your starting picture, import it into Flash,
place it on Layer 1 and lock it. Create a new layer just
above it - this is the one we will start drawing on.
Depending on your drawing skills, you can either draw
freehand or with the line tool. Anime artwork especially is
generally composed of a lot of curves, and I find that to
get the quality of these with the pencil is very difficult.
Having said this, there are times when you find that lines
won't cut it, and you just have to use the pencil. If you
do, I recommend clicking on the smooth or ink options first.
The smoothing effect that you will get depends on the
magnification. Too far out and it may smooth over too much,
and you won't get the line that you need. Play around with
the zoom to get an idea of how it changes your lines. Ink
allows those of you with very precise drawing techniques to
get exactly the line you have drawn.
are ready to begin drawing. I always draw two sets of lines
- one for all the major outlines, and one for minor guides.
The major lines (which we will draw first) define the
general shape of the image. Minor lines act as a reference
for colour and shading.
up the stroke panel, and select a weighting of .75 to draw
the major lines. Go over the main parts of the drawing,
drawing a line then curving it as need be to fit the
Draw a line...
...then curve it to fit.
an eye out for the snap to objects tool. If it is selected,
you may find that your lines will join together when you
don't want them to, especially if you're drawing two lines
very close together. Either try zooming in further or switch
the option off if you need to.
Occasionally, you'll find that the lines you're drawing will
intersect, and you can't curve them properly. If this
happens, create another layer on top of the one you're
working on. Draw the line(s) that you need, then cut them
and paste in place on your working layer. Once you've gone
over the main outlines of your picture, you'll have
something that looks like the image below. If you hide your
base layer, you'll get a good idea of how your drawing is
[ Image with
major outlines. ]
see that there are still a lot of lines in the original
drawing that have so far been ignored. Now it's time to
define these as areas of shading that you will use when you
colour your picture. Choose the finest weighting available
on the stroke panel, which is .25, and create a third layer,
locking the one you have just been working on. It may be an
idea to use a different colour in this layer, so you can see
where the divides are clearly. It's also helpful to decide
where the light source in the picture is coming from, to
help you get an idea of highlights and shadows.
this point, things will start to look a little strange with
lines all over the place, but don't worry about it. The
guides get erased and it all comes together in the end.
with major and minor outlines. ]
all the lines are completed, select the entire third layer,
copy and cut it, then paste into place on the second layer
so it combines with your major guides. If you chose to draw
the minor lines in a different colour, now's the time to
make them all black. You can also delete you base picture,
unless it's in colour and you'd like to follow it when you
shade your own drawing.
to colour in the picture. I've found it's better to begin
with the faces and hair. However, getting the skin tones
right is quite a challenge. On the right is a small palette
of colours that you might find helpful for skin and lips.
Occasionally as you fill in the shapes you might find that
some of the lines don't quite meet, so the fill will
overflow. All you have to do is drag the end of one line to
meet the other, and erase any overspill.
Beginning to colour. ]
and mouth tones ]
also be adviseable to draw a bounding box round the picture,
especially if there is no fixed edge to it. This way you
won't run into any problems when filling in. Tidy up any
little bits that need adjusting as you go.
[ Image with colour and
boundary box. ]
you've finished colouring, all that remains is to choose
which lines you want to erase. The minor lines always need
to be discarded, as we only used them as a guide. However,
you might decide that you prefer the picture with the major
lines in tact. If so, try reducing the stroke width to .25
to get a clearer picture.
to erase all the lines - simply double click on the black
outlines and delete. As the vanish, you might find little
gaps in the colour. Simply fill them in as you go.
Finally you will end up with your finished image.
[ Finished image ]