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Cel Shading

I figure it’s time to start adding content of some kind to this site of mine, and why not start with a quick Photoshop tutorial? This is the first tutorial of any kind that I’ve done so if you want to drop me any feedback, please feel free to do so.   You can e-mail via the webmaster link at the bottom of my site.


This tutorial is just going to walk through the steps of doing a quick and easy cel shading style that I recently picked up.   The advantage of this style is that the shading and the flat colors are on separate layers, so screwing up something doesn’t mean the end of the world—it just means fixing a layer or two.

Most Cel Shading techniques rely on you choosing a shade color, or colors, or each flat color you use.   This one will use a separate layer of a base shadow color, and then using the “Hard Light” blending mode will create a nice looking cel shaded effect.   You control where the shade drops just by using a simple black and white mask on the shadow layer.

The final result from this tutorial is going to look something like this:

Actually it's going to look exactly like that.   I’m going to go through all the steps, so lets start with just the initial sketch.

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