Popular Post BlastWave Posted May 11, 2017 Popular Post Share Posted May 11, 2017 This tutorial is available as a PDF. Click here to view or download it Hello everyone! Some people on my gallery thread wanted to know how I make the semi-pixel art style trees I have in my scenes, so I thought it'd be a fun and useful thing to make a tutorial out of, so without further or do, here's how to make some neat looking trees. You will need the following plugins to do this: Red Ochre's Dryad (required) Outline-Object by Pyrochild (required) Jitter by Pyrochild (optional) Setup/making the tree First off, start by creating a new canvas that is 800 x 600 in size, or however large you'd like, then press CTRL+A to select all and hit delete to remove the white background. Next up, let's make the actual tree! Here are the settings I've used in Red Ochre's Dryad: You should have something looking like this, some of the branches can droop pretty low to the ground, you can use the eraser to remove those branches if you'd like a more normal looking tree, or leave it if you want. Create a new layer underneath the tree layer and just set the background to white, then merge the two layers together. Next, go to Adjustments -> Brightness/Contrast or press CTRL+SHIFT+T and turn the contrast to 100. This will get rid of any alpha or AA colors. Shading your tree Now, it's time to shade the tree! You can do this a variety of ways, but here is how I do it, simply by using the magic wand tool. I set it's flood mode to global, and select all the white, then move the selection further and further to the bottom left of the tree, and fill in the trunks/branches with a paint bucket that is set to global fill, and gradually make it get darker as it gets lower. It's simple, but works. Here's a GIF showing how I do it: http://i.imgur.com/AWAqMHR.gif You should have something looking like this afterwards! This already could pass as a nice bare/winter tree. It even almost looks like it has branch "shadows" because of how we shaded it. It kind of looks like it belongs in a black and white noir film though. Let's add some color and detail. A simple Sepia tone (CTRL+SHIFT+E) will give it a nice brown color. I also recommend brightening it up a little bit with Brightness/Contrast (10-30+ brightness value) before rendering the sepia tone, just to make sure it isn't too dark, and also feel free to play with hue/saturation to tweak the coloring. Here's what it looks like now: Much better now! But the darkest tones look like they kind of clash with the bright tones, don't they? Let's fix that. Smoothing/feathering edges 1. Set your primary fill color to be 0% alpha, and then use the magic wand tool set to global select and select the darkest tone/color on the tree, then press Backspace on your keyboard to fill it in. 2. Now, switch your primary color to the now remaining darkest color/shade on your tree, like so: Next, go to Effects -> Object -> Outline-Object by Pyrochild. These are the settings I used, make sure to have Softness set to zero, this is to make sure there is no alpha pixels. You can repeat this step as many times as you'd like, with each new outlined shade being slightly darker than the last, or just fill in the remaining transparency with a slightly darker shade than the outline. Here is what it looks like now. Much smoother, eh? It helped fix some of the weirder looking parts of the tree. There are still some kind of errors near the middle/higher up, which you may want to correct by hand with the recolor tool or pencil tool, but I don't think it will really be noticeable when we are finished. Creating Leaves This is the fun part! While we have a very lovely bare/fall/winter tree, to really make it pop we should add some nice leaves to it. Paint.NET unfortunately does not have a spray tool, and I know deep down inside it will never have one. I usually do this process by hand in Microsoft Paint with the spray tool and use 1-3 shades, I just keep spraying around the branches for awhile, but for this tutorial we will use Paint.NET's Frosted Glass distortion effect. 1. Start by making a new layer on top of your tree layer, and just take the brush tool with hardness set to 0%, antialiasing disabled. Make some gray blobs over the branches, like so: 2. Use outline object with a 000 value black and make a thick outline around your shapeless leave blobs. Make it set to angled downward for realistic shadows. 3. Finally, fill in the background of your tree leaves layer with white. This is so we can separate the leaves from the background later on. 4. Now let's blur it! Go to Effects > Blurs > Gaussian Blur. It should look something like this: 5. Deselect the white area around it and render some colorless Noise over it. 6. Set the layer mode to Multiply temporarily. This is just so we can see how it looks over the tree. Scale the blob's size about 2/3 of what it was, and deselect it. 7. We're almost done now. Fill in the transparent area around the blob on it's layer with white, and then it's time to render the frosted glass over it. Go to Effects > Blurs > Frosted Glass and scatter that blob around! Here are the settings I used: 8. Duplicate your scattered layer and move it a bit to the right of canvas, maybe rotate it a bit, feel free to experiment. This step is just to make sure the tree gets extra leaf coverage. 9. Merge your top leaf layer with your bottom one and then go to Adjustments -> Posterize to cut down on the color count. Here are the settings I used: It's getting there! Time to clean up all the spare/floating pixels. Cleanup/coloring 1. Set your magic wand tool's flood mode to Global, and tolerance to 0%. Left click on the white space on your leaf layer, it might be a bit slow depending on the size of your tree/leaf amount, give it a minute to select the white, then hit delete to remove the whitespace. 2. Next, set your magic wand tool's mode back to Contiguous and click on the center most color/mass of leaves and slowly turn up the tolerance until it selects all of the non-transparent pixels that are connected together. Make sure it does not select the alpha/transparent space. Here is a GIF showing how I do it: GIF: http://i.imgur.com/NbAUylS.gif 3. Finally, press the copy button/CTRL + C to copy the leaf blob, and then press CTRL+A to select all and hit delete to delete the blob mass. Press CTRL + V/paste it back into the canvas and... Voila! It's cleaned! There are no more floating pixels. The best part about this method is, each and every single leaf is connected, and not all a blur of floating pixels, which is nice. 4. It's time to color in the leaves. Brighten them up a bit with brightness/contrast however you like, and then render an Adjustments -> Sepia over them. Then go to Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation and make them whatever color you'd like. Here's the settings I've used, feel free to play around with this step: Looks much more lively now, doesn't it? Extra cleanup on the branches 1. While you don't have to follow this step, this is something I like to do just for extra effect. Set your leaves layer back to "Normal" blend mode and select your tree layer. Get your magic wand tool out and set the flood mode to global and the tolerance to 0%, then set the selection mode to Subtract. Then hit CTRL+A to select all, and click on the white space in your tree layer, you should now have only your tree layer selected. 2. Now then, go back to your tree leaf layer, and select the transparent space on that layer too, you should now only have the branches selected over the mass of leaves. 3. Click back onto your tree layer, and hit CTRL+C to copy the branches. Create a new layer on top of the leaves and paste it on that layer. Set it to multiply, with a lowish opacity, around 50-150. Now it's more like they're shaded by the leaves, instead of the leaves just being overlayed on top of them. It's a small effect, but it makes a difference. 4. For another extra effect, let's add some shadows to the leafs. Again, small effect, but noticeable. Select all on your leaf layer and then click on the transparent space to select only the leaves, then move it downwards a little bit, like so: 5. Do the same thing like with the branches, and go back down to the tree layer and click on the white space so you only have the tree selected. 6. Finally, create a new layer over the tree and call it "Tree Shadows", then set your primary color to black and hit backspace to fill it in, and set it to multiply or overlay with a lowish alpha. You now have leaf shadows. I set my shadows to a kind of orangish sepia color (AF7D5B) for extra effect, and the layer to 145 on Multiply, as you can see there are some subtle shadows there now. Final (optional) Extra Effects Quick leaf shading This is one of the last/final effects I like to do, where I simply duplicate the leaves layer, render black and white, brighten it up with brightness/contrast, and then set it to overlay. It just adds a tiny bit more depth to the whole thing. Here's a GIF showing it: http://i.imgur.com/D7zawiS.gif Rendering a jitter on the branch shades Sometimes I feel like the tree itself is too perfect with the lighting, so I select a few tones of the tree trunk and render "Jitter" by Pyro Child, it helps break it up nicely. I then fill in the white pixels with second darkest shade, using the paint bucket. The final product! Here it is! A great big red cherry blossom! I hope this tutorial was helpful and wasn't too difficult to follow and you guys can use it to your advantage. You can use this method in many other ways too, like you can make desert shrubs or bushes for example, and other various foliage. Thank you for looking! Here's an example of a scene I've done that uses trees made with this method: 1 18 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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