VFX: SMOKE #2- Basic Coloring and Shading
Table of Contents
Choosing the Hue
Smoke is a dense cloud made up from a mixture of gases, materials, and debris.
We can assume two things from this fact:
1. Saturation will be lower due to the mixture of materials
2. The color originates from the fuel source
With these concepts in mind, lets talk about how shade tones can be chosen.
Lets take an example from a friend 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. Choosing dark tones
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).
Step 4. Choosing lighter tones
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).
Yes, I know these concepts are confusing. Ill explain it better in a future video & GIF-tutorial!
Now that we’ve got color out of the way, lets discuss how those colors can be applied to our animations.
Avoid even, parallel shading
Just like natural shapes found in nature, its best to avoid parallel patterns.
When the shading is too even along the edges, it makes the overall sprite look very flat.
This flat look does not bode well with dynamic animations.
A simple way of shading is to focus the light on one corner.
This removes the flat look it would have otherwise.
I will iterate upon this basic method in future posts. So for now, keep shading the corners!