VFX: SMOKE #2- Basic Coloring and Shading

Table of Contents

Choosing the right color

Finding the right color for your sprites can get confusing. There is no clear distinction between correct and incorrect colors. But make no mistake that some colors are better suited than others.

Lets dive into what colors work with smoke.

Smoke is a dense cloud made up of mixed material, debris, and gases. 

Our colors should lean towards the left side of the color picker. 

Shade color

Lets take an example from the talented artist, Mamoruhik. 

Step 1. Choose base color

The base color should be quite saturated and luminated. A higher saturation/luminosity value allows for a wider range of color.

Step 2. Shift in a diagonal pattern

Many artists, including myself, fall victim to stale color usage. The reason? Only the luminosity is changed, and the rest stays the same.

To avoid this habit, try shifting colors in a diagonal pattern while shifting the hue (color bar on the bottom). This creates an interesting combination of colors that has depth to it. 

Step 3.

Step 3. Darker shades shift towards Blues, higher saturation, and lower luminosity.

Simply put, darker shades move in a downward-right direction on the HSV color palette. And the hue moves towards lower wave-length colors (Blues & Purples). 

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Step 4. Lighter shades shift towards Yellows, lower Saturation, and higher luminosity.

The exact opposite method applies when choosing lighter shades of color. Choose colors that have higher wave-lengths (Yellows & Reds).

Shading methods

Now that we’ve got color out of the way, lets discuss how those colors can be applied to our animations. 

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Categories: LearnSmokeVFX

jasontomlee

jasontomlee

I'm an indie-gamedev specializing in 2d Animation & VFX. I work on LearnIndie to help other creatives create & learn awesome things.

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