Character Art : A Tutorial Guide by Ice Dragon Art

Character Art : A Tutorial Guide by Ice Dragon Art

Creating effective and compelling character art lies at the heart of most Daz Studio art projects. How do you create characters that prompts you to know more about them, to ask questions about their story and character traits? What decisions do you make along the way to produce characters that you can believe in?

Sonja McClung (IceDragonArt) has created many fantasy characters using Daz Studio and provides a wealth of high value tips to guide you on your character creation journey.

Software used in this tutorial : Daz Studio and Photoshop.

Duration : 1 hour 50 minutes

  • 1. Laying the foundation in DAZ Studio and considering backgrounds
  • 2. Learn crucial elements for successful character artwork
    • Focal points
    • Contrasts
    • Mood
    • Theme
    • Setting
    • Colour sets
  • 3. Faster art : Sonya's favourite shortcut keys for speedy art
  • 4. Powerful editing tools : learn Photoshop blend modes. Which are the most effective and why!
    • Multiply - Darkens an image
    • Screen - Lightens an image
    • Overlay - Boosts contrast
    • Color - Blends only the color
    • Luminosity - Blends only the brightness
  • 5. Using "dodge and burn" layers in PS
    • Multiple ways to apply
  • 6. Adjustment layers in PS
    • Curves
    • LUT tables
    • Gradient maps
  • 7. Textures and mapping
    • Applying textures - playing with modes - using mask effects in selected areas
    • Applying textures on top for blending and effective artwork
  • 8. LUT (Look up tables)
    • What are they?
    • How to add LUTs
    • Uses of LUT
  • 9. PS Filters including the NIK collection
  • 10. Ice Dragon Art's best resources for character art and where to find them

About Sonja (IceDragonArt)

"I've loved fantasy for as long as I can remember. Fairies, elves, dwarves, centaurs, and of course, dragons. I love the possibility of the impossible that fantasy brings, the wide open opportunity to get lost in a world that is far different than ours, full of magic and wonder, feats of heroism that defy the odds and best of all, good always conquers evil. What's not to love?

I've always loved to draw as well. I can't remember a time that I didn't have a crayon (or a pencil, or a paintbrush) in my grubby little hands. I took a long hiatus from drawing when I was raising my kids (best art project ever!) and started to really get back into art in the last 6 years or so. I picked up Photoshop and immediately fell in love with being able to draw and paint digitally. A couple of years later, I found Daz Studio, a 3D art application and was totally hooked!"

What's Included and Features

  • Main Tutorial : 1 hour 50 minutes
    • 00:00 Introduction, Sonja’s content library
    • 00:05 Keeping the character fixed in the scene
    • 00:10 IceDragon’s categories - how she sets them up
    • 00:15 Character : KamilyAnn - customizing
    • 00:20 Matching the lighting direction and strength on separate elements, when considering compositing in Photoshop
    • 00:21 Which light sets IceDragon uses’ the most to get the fastest results
    • 00:25 3Delight lighting sets
    • 00:30 Using contrasting ideas to create an interesting render
    • 00:35 Character : Hell Horse
    • 00:40 Working on the eyes of a character : using the curves layer
    • 00:45 How to highlight features in your character render
    • 00:50 Layer types in PS to help emphasize parts of the image
    • 00:55 Secondary focus in a character render
    • 01:00 Character : Vara. Using Dodge and burn to stand out some features
    • 01:05 What is a lookup table and how they’re useful
    • 01:10 Background texture to suggest more of a story
    • 01:15 Character : Roselyn. Lighting up a character's skin/hair
    • 01:20 Lighting used with the Roselyn character scene
    • 01:25 Color Efex Pro plugin
    • 01:30 Q&A Segment. IceDragonArt’s favourite Stock sources
    • 01:35 Character artwork : Falling
    • 01:40 Character artwork : attitude bundle
    • 01:45 Character artwork : treasure hunters
    • 01:50 Character art billboards and colour gradients
  • Supplemental Tutorial : 23 minutes
    • 00:00 Ice Dragon Art’s content library + render settings
    • 00:05 Character - “Calendar Guy”
    • 00:06 Iray preview or spot render?
    • 00:10 Treasure hunter render - telling a story and setting a mood
    • 00:15 Character : Vara - overlay and screen in PS “burning” the colours
    • 00:20 Emphasizing aspects of the image
    • 00:23 Q&A - better control with masking
  • Sonja's PDF Guide including Shortcut keys

Install Types:

Install Manager Manual Install