"Life is too short to make bad art."

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Rocks - quick and easy

Another quick tutorial while I am still reworking the space tutorial. This one is another request - how to create rocks, that don't look like clouds. 

The common mistake when creating shading is using 'pillow shading', where the shading is same in all directions, same amount of darkness and distance to the edge. It will look smooth but unbelievable for anything harder and more edgy than clouds or pillows. 

In this tutorial I use three different styles of shading:
- shading through interpolation, 
- shading with lighter and darker shapes [cartoon shading] and
- shading using transparent gradients

Note:
I forgot to use the easiest of all for the rounded rock, which would be a radial gradient. Gradient shading [linear or radial] can be very effective but tends to look off as soon as the shapes become more complex.

Let's get started with a simple rounded rock, pebble, boulder, whatever you want to call ti. 

Note:
For the veins I used the freehand draw tool, with a white stroke that I ended up putting into a clip to match the shape of the pebble.

Another shape commonly used for rocks is a lot more edgy and clear cut. I worked mainly with the straight line tool for this one. You can also start with the square, make it a path and add nodes to it, if you find that approach easier. 

I hope I made enough sense for you to create rocks on your own now and enjoy doing it.

11 comments:

  1. Thanks Chris, this is awesome and exactly what I needed to get away from those dreaded pillows. You are a legend and this is by far the best site for anyone who wants to learn how to create game art. Cheers

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    1. Thanks, Pete... I am not sure about the legend bit... not feeling old, wise or mad enough for that... but I am glad my blog is helpful.

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  2. Can't get my rocks to look as nice as yours, really bums me out :/

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    1. Can you show me what you got done? I might be anle to point you in the right direction once I see where your problems are.

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    2. Two images I've uploaded:
      http://imgur.com/7sFgwzS,yZDHEJA#0

      I could upload actual files but that would require a hosting site for files.
      It's hard to follow along when you can see the progress but not the specific steps. Thank you for any advice.

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    3. Thanks... I think you did a good job on those. The problem I see with image number one is the bottom of your rocks. Especially the white one on the right. The edge is very sharp, suggesting that the rock in sitting in something (e.g. sand, mud, etc) as it would be rounded if we saw the whole rock. If you place them on some background e.g. sand and give them a shadow, they should look rather nice. The second image is all about the colour differences. I would suggest just using a base colour and all other shapes are either white or black and you control the shading through opacity. More opacity will mean less contrast and will make the rock look more as one piece - rather than a 'layered cake'.

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  3. Please, make video tutorials.
    your work is awesome !

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    1. Thanks... but it's not that easy... I will try... even though I have to admit that I am not a big fan of video tutorials... but there have been so many requests now...

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  4. Thanks for your great tutorials.
    I started two weeks ago learning inkscape, and thanks to your tutorials I actually like my results.

    http://i.imgur.com/1f3G95f.gifv

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  5. Awesome tutorials man. Cheers from Brazil!!

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