Learn to create science fiction vehicles




1. Preparation of the canvas

To prepare the canvas we will begin by indicating the resolution. Although by default (72) it is sufficient for an image displayed on the screen, with a resolution of 300 we will ensure the possibility of printing our image with good quality in the future.


Next we will indicate the size of the image, choosing the format that best suits our composition.


Finally, we will select the background color. We will choose a gray color, which will allow you to visualize the contrasts more relaxed than white.


2. Workspace

Because we will be constantly changing tools, tool sizes and rotating our image, we will use keyboard shortcuts to streamline and optimize our time to the fullest. To access the shortcuts we will go to "File> Shortcut Settings".

Horizontal rotation is a widely used technique and its function is to visualize defects in our composition and to correct them while we work. It will also serve to draw with our brush more comfortably in certain directions. We will configure the horizontal flip in "Main menu> View> Flip horizontally", selecting the desired key.

To change the size of our tools quickly, having all the necessary functions at hand, we will designate the "A" and "D" keys by accessing the "options> Brush size palette" menu. In this way, we will access the undo function (Ctrl + Z), select tool and many others, without wasting time.

3. Tools and workflow

For this tutorial we will use the following tools:


1) "Shikaku brush" brush: https://assets.clip-studio.com/ja-jp/detail?id=1432120

2) "Fudepen" brush: https://assets.clip-studio.com/ja-jp/detail?id=1404701

3) "Aki sake" brush: https://assets.clip-studio.com/ja-jp/detail?id=1702965

4) Soft brush (default).

5) Eraser

  • We will use the original configuration of all brushes, except for the eraser that we will configure with the following parameters:


With the brushes downloaded and the eraser set, we begin:

With the brush "Shikaku brush" (四角 ブ ラ シ) we will paint silhouettes in search of ways that are suggestive to be developed later.

Starting with a dark gray, we will use the eraser ("E"), and the background color, pressing Alt + Click, to generate gradients and angles.

With our silhouette created, we will continue with a combination the brushes "Fudepen" (筆 ペ ン) and "Aki sake" (秋 鮭 筆) to define and add some details to the design

The process would be as follows:


1) We sketch a silhouette by selecting the "Shikaku Brush" brush (四角 ブ ラ シ) using the "B" key:


2) We add different values to it using simultaneously the brush (B) with the rubber (E) and the background color (Alt + Click):

3) In a new layer we add to a lighter value strokes of a darker value with the brush "Shikaku" (四角 ブ ラ シ) or "Aki sake" (秋 鮭 筆).

4) Later we use the rubber (E) that we have previously configured, to generate a quality gradient in a matter of seconds.

5) In the next step we will add glitter in another layer and use the same rubber technique so that the edges are degraded.

6) We add more glitters

7) And we repeat the technique once more

Having mastered the technique, we will be able to generate dozens of suggestive silhouettes in a matter of minutes.

4. Color

With the finished silhouettes we enter the world of color.

For coloring, we will use a technique that combines the powerful "Color Change" tool, the eraser (E) and the "Overexposure Color" and "Underexpose Color" layer property.

The "Color Change" brush:

It is between the brushes (B) and its operation is as simple as it is powerful. Basically, it is responsible for combining two colors, controlling the gradient and flow of each of them depending on the pressure exerted.


In this way with a single stroke we will have a gradient between two colors that we have previously selected in the palette.


Next, we will apply the technique that we have previously mastered in grayscale, but this time, making use of the colors that our stroke has left and that we will select with the pipette (Alt + Click).


We continue adding details in another layer tracing with a darker tone, just as we did with the gray ones, and with the eraser we generate the gradient that causes that 3D depth effect.

In the next step, in a new layer, we select the "Overexpose color" property and with any of these two brushes:


"Shikaku Brush"


"Aki Sake"

We draw some lines where the object should receive more light. In this way the color will saturate in that area. With the eraser we can generate gradients in these strokes to polish and soften the transitions of the most saturated areas to which they receive less light, and therefore, less saturated.

Then, using the following brush:

We will add more brightness to the areas of greatest light exposure:

And with the eraser we will eliminate the amount of brightness that we consider to be leftover:

Applying what we have learned, we will select the silhouettes that we like the most and start:

First strokes with the "Color Change" tool will define the basic geometry of your structure. Giving us a fairly approximate idea of how our design will look later.

We continue with the "Overexpose color" technique to add some more information to our palette.


And after a few glitters that enhance the structure, it should look something like this:

5. Details

With our designs provided with a rich enough color base, we can start rendering them with details. The process will be a mixture of all the steps we have been seeing throughout the tutorial. Combining brushes, eraser on strokes in overlapping layers and layer properties.

This is the part that many will consider more fun, for how easy it is to modify the aesthetics of the design based on adding angles, gradients and shapes.

With our star tool, the "color change" brush, we can simulate complex materials with relative ease. As for example the titanium of some exhaust manifolds:

You could say that the secret of this technique lies in mastering the eraser and the "color change" brush, which will be responsible for generating the gradients that give the design richness.


After a few more minutes repeating the process:

6. From the concept to a polished finish

With full-color designs and an acceptable level of detail, it's time to go one step further. With the brush that we were doing the details we will continue adding information or effects that enhance the peculiarity of the chosen design.

We will add to the tool repertoire a final brush to add effects of ambient light or fog.

With this brush we will be adding lighting effects by painting on a layer in "overexpose color" "overexpose color add":

More time in the design with the technique = more details:

7. Filters and final touch-ups

Now that we have our almost finished design, it is time to enhance it as much as possible. For this purpose, we will use a focus mask that will give a "crispy" touch that attracts more attention at first glance.

In the Filter menu we will display Focus> Focus mask:

We will play with the options until the result pleases us. We must be careful not to abuse these resources, since exceeding the amount of focus could result in a loss of quality and ruin the purpose we were looking for.

Final Image:

8. Image export

We already have our finished design. It is time to export it. In the File menu, we will click on "save how", we will give it a name and we will select the desired format. At this point you should already have your previously saved designs in * .clip format, several times, for security. So this time we will save it in JPEG and we will have it ready to upload / send where appropriate.

About me

My name is Paul Sirats, I am a senior Concept Artist at YellowBear and a professor of Concept and Illustration at FactoryArte (Bilbao). To see my work you can follow me on my networks:







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