This is a slide show of WIP pictures; it is the Making-Of for a picture called "Starcraft Terran Medic" which can be found here: [link]
Many people have asked about some technical details about the picture, so I figured this would be the best place to answer them!
You can find all 170 layers on the right side. Not all of them have the same importance (some are tiny details, and others, like the "face sketch", are composed of 20-30 layers flattened together from a separate photoshop page). This is not a very creative nor efficient way to go around a drawing, but that's how I roll; I'm kind of OCD when it comes to photoshop. I am quite pathetic at speedpainting. How do they do it?!
Anyways, here are the steps from the screenshots I kept. The quality varies from screenshot to screenshot because I had to crop and stretch some of the images so they would show the same thing.
1- It all started out as a doodle I did while relaxing between hours of studying for exams (gah! thermodynamics!). I made up some brush that evoked skin texture and played around with it for two hours or so until I got this first image.
2- Looking at the AMAZING cinematic trailer for starcraft II that the blizzard team came up with, I had an idea to make a medic to go with the marine. A quick screenshot from the trailer provided the right reference for some basic lineart, but the crappy quality I got out of it was not sufficient to match the resolution on the face. Moar painting was needed.
3- I'm almost done painting her face; this is still on the original photoshop document I started with. The eyes are weird because they are not done yet. I have sketched out shapes and lines to emulate some marine armor, but nothing clear is out yet. I thought it was showing some potential at this point. Her face still had shape problems though.
4- I flattened the face into a single layer and started a new photoshop document with the final resolution I desired. I was still not done editing the face however: shadows helped me sculpt her figure into something more human. The projection on her face is almost final on the screenshot, although there is no specular light yet. Layer by layer, the helmet is taking shape.
5- Understanding the mechanics of the helmet helped me shape the frame around her neck, the details of the helmet and the microphones.
6- A regular soft brush is used to paint one side of the armor. I used tones of grey and blue. I am about 20 hours into the painting at this point, with some 100 layers individually displaying one detail or section of every metal piece in the armor and helmet.
7- The right side armor is flipped horizontally to save time, then edited again with a brush to display different lighting (thus breaking the symetry but keeping the dimensions identical).
8- there are about 70 layers added to complete the image; at least 40 of them are for the lighting only (overlay, screen, multiply and soft light layer modes primarily). I also added many textures in overlay mode to many key parts of the armor to add to its realism. Another part of the final touches to this image is in color correction layers (curve filters, soft lights...). Once the image was "perfect", in the sense I had calibrated it for best printing and viewing on screen, I saved a copy and gave my friend Casualzombie a big surprise!
Hope this answers some questions about the technical process behind this image. I am incredibly thrilled with the response and critique I got for this picture and this is the least I can do to say thanks! If you have any questions about any step of the process, feel free to ask! I will answer as fast as I can!
-Vonschlippe (Nicolas Kudeljan)