Since 1987 I have been designing characters and creatures for the Hollywood animation industry, including the Animated Alf show, Extreme Ghostbusters, Godzilla: Heatseekers, Starship Troopers: Roughneck Chronicles and the Igor movie. My Photoshop techniques are pretty basic, partly because I am self-taught, and partly because I started working with Photoshop ten years ago when it was a much simpler and less robust program. Old habits, you know.
The Ice Creature was requested by a producer two days after Xmas 2005; she was rushed and needed to have something to show an investor. So I finished the image in four days and was happy to stop at this point (Fig.01 - left side) and move onto the other creatures. However she then had me modify it for a further 10 days, tweaking such minor details as the ice spines. She wanted the image to look like a photo, so I added textures from elephants for skin and polar bears for fur (right side). Adding photographic textures was a new technique for me back then, and one that I've since improved upon. Because it was speculative work, I wasn't paid and my request to at least put my name on the artwork was refused. I never liked the changed version and so put the experience behind me. More than five years later I rediscovered the file and wanted to show my version to 3DTotal to see if it was a suitable gallery piece. I'm very grateful for the positive response; it has been a nice little vindication.
I began with a pencil sketch (Fig.02) which I scanned into Photoshop. I changed the layer to Multiply and color adjusted it to purple.
On a new layer underneath I used the Pencil tool to create what I call a selection layer (Fig.03 - top left). I had Anti-Alias clicked off on all of my selection tools: Wand, Lasso, Marquee and even the Paint Bucket tool so that there wasn't any bleeding. I started with the big shapes, like separating the creature from the rock with two colors, and then selected the creature's color and blocked in the details. Here is how the two layers looked as I worked on them (top right). On a new layer I started to figure out the highlights. I didn't use any special brushes; in fact, I was still using the Pencil tool at this point (lower left). On a new Multiply layer I roughed in the shadows using the Brush tool, the basic one with hardness at 0%. I probably had the opacity at 70% to build it up (lower right).
在我下面的一个新图层上，我用铅笔工具创建了一个选择层(图03 -左上角)。我在所有选择工具上点击了反别名：Wand，Lasso，Marquee甚至Paint Bucket工具，以便没有出血。我从大的形状开始，就像用两种颜色把生物从岩石中分离出来，然后选择该生物的颜色并在细节中被阻挡。下面是我在上面做的两层图(右上角)。在一个新图层上，我开始找出最精彩的部分。我没有使用任何特殊的笔刷;事实上，我还在使用铅笔工具(左下)。在一个新的多层图层上，我用画笔工具粗略地画出了阴影，最基本的一个是硬度为0%的。我可能有70%的不透明度来构建它(右下)。
By this stage I had the background color already established. I began with a simple two color gradient for the sky and then blocked in the basic colors for the mountains, using the Pencil tool (Fig.04 - left side). To push it back I Gaussian blurred the whole thing and smudged it a little to suggest wind (right side).
到这个阶段我已经建立了背景色。我开始用一个简单的两色的天空渐变，然后用铅笔工具(图- 04 -左边)在基本的颜色上挡住了山的颜色。为了把它推回去，我把整个东西都弄模糊了，并把它弄脏了一点，以表示风(右边)。
For the foreground, I took a basic rock texture and stamped the darker part of the image to make shadow areas (Fig.05 - top left). On a new layer, with the Brush tool on 100% hardness and opacity, I blocked in the shadow color for the snow (top right). On a new layer the highlights were painted with the softer edged brush, but with the opacity changed to somewhere like 60% (lower left). On a new multiply layer I painted the shadows with the opacity on the brush down to about 40% (lower right). I had the entire foreground in a group folder with a layer mask applied that I'd taken from the selection layer I made at the start and the end result was this (Fig.06).
对于前景，我拍摄了一个基本的岩石纹理，并压印了图像的较暗部分，以制作阴影区域（图05 - 左上角）。 在一个新的层面上，刷子工具的硬度和不透明度为100％，我在阴影中挡住了雪（右上角）。 在一个新的层面上，亮点涂上了柔软的边缘刷子，但是不透明度改变到60％左右的地方。 在新的乘法层上，我将画笔上的不透明度的阴影画成约40％（右下）。 我把一个组合文件夹中的整个前景应用到我从开始时所做出的选择层中取出的层掩码，最后的结果是这样（图06）。
Putting it all together it looked like the top-left of Fig.07. By this stage I had worked the creature up with some more fur work and used the selection layer to select his skin and adjust its highlight color.
When I came back to it years later I spruced up the clouds to give some movement to the piece, intensified his eyes and added some spittle (Fig.08).
Generally I'm happy with the final result; however, there is one area I have never solved to my satisfaction. There is a peak in the lower right that is supposed to be an out cropping that his hand is behind, however it always seems to appear like it's part of the ridge he is standing on and his hand is strangely pincered over it. One day I might get around to solving this issue, but no one seems to notice so I might as well save my energies for working on another piece, but it bugs me, so one day...