Soft Shaded Counterpick

Soft Shading Illustration

Since cel shading took the spotlight last week, I figured it would be fitting to give soft shading a similar profile. Who knows, maybe next week they’ll fight to the death.

Anyway, now that I’ve got less than an hour to write this post because soft shading takes for-freaking-ever, let’s get this show on the road.


Soft shading? Does it involve plushies?

Soft shading, as should be obvious, is, well, soft. Harsh shifts in shades rarely occur; it’s more about the smooth and/or realistic rendering of light. That doesn’t mean gradients. It means blending of color. What’s the difference, you may ask? Gradients tend to look like dookie; blending has the potential to look better than a photograph. Still confused? It’s like V8 versus tomato soup.

Oh yeah, and if you didn’t read last week’s post, soft shading is the opposite of cel shading.


Artistic wizardry activate!

My soft shading process is simple: draw on paper, scan it in, then use some sort of sorcery to make it look cool. Or, at least that’s what people tell me when I say I use a mouse.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s not magic. I just gyrate my wrist and slam my mouse against a table over and over in carpal-tunnel-inducing sweeping motions (not unlike the swinging of a magic wand), saving every few minutes because if Photoshop crashes I’ll be on the news for what happens next.

I could go into vivid literary detail about the process that would cause you to envision a happy, wondrous land full of imp-like creatures singing with glee while making candy (except with some dude making art), but instead I’ll just use a flow chart. It’s a simple process: lay down flat colors, shade them, and then add a background. Unfortunately, it takes long enough to make me want to reconsider my life choices.

Bleh, enough about me. Show me a flow chart!

Soft shading process flow chart

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *