Small Town with 3D material & perspective rulers


Introduction and Workspace

Hello everyone, welcome to this tutorial, my name is Ed and I am going to show you how I use 3D material and rulers to draw a small town. From setting the perspective, drawing lines using the 3D perspective ruler and adding different materials to create the town in Clip Studio Paint.

NOTE: This tutorial was originally written in English for the version 1.9.4 of Clip Studio Paint.

▼ You can download the Workspace I am going to use in this tutorial from the links below.

Let's get started!

1. Set the 3D material

The first thing to do is to search the type of town, city or structure you want to use. You can found a variety of 3D materials in Clip Studio Assets. You can buy them with (virtual) gold but you can also download many of them for free.

Here are some important points you are going to need to start:

[1] Collect 3D Materials. There are different 3D materials of houses, buildings, structures and others. Try to collect them according of the theme of your city/town. I am going to use a material that is a set of 20 kinds of buildings so that will save us time.

▼ Here is the material I am going to use:

NOTE: If you know how to create your own 3D models you can export them from [File > Import > 3D Data].


[2] Changing the perspective. Create a new document. Select Illustration [Canvas]:
- I am going to use width 3840px × 2160 height px- [resolution] 72 with a white paper.
- You can also use width 1920px × 1080 height px- [resolution] 72.

Once you have selected your 3D material open the [Material] palette from [Windows > Material > Download].

[a] Drag the material to the canvas from the [Material] palette.

[b] You will see a house structure from a front view. You can edit the perspective with the [Object] tool (shortcut O). Click on the canvas while moving the cursor to change the perspective manually.

[c] You can also use the [Specify camera angle from preset] icon (from the bar of the 3D material) to choose one among many options. In case the material does not have presets you can use the default Male Body 3D material to set the perspective before adding the city/town material.

▲ NOTE: If you are going to set your perspective manually I strongly recommend you to add all the material first using a perspective that make the process easier.

2. Adding more 3D Material

Now I am going to use the view from a high perspective (similar to a bird eye view) to make the process of adding more 3D material easier. You can change the perspective later after adding all the structures and material.

■ To make the process of creating the town easier you can collect photos for reference. You can check how the buildings are connected, the space between them, the streets, the shadows, etc.

▼ Here are some photos that I took from my travels.

Now as I explained above the material I am using is a set of 20 buildings. To see all of them with the [Object] tool selected (shortcut O) click over the [Select layout preset] icon (from the bar of the 3D material) and choose one option. ▼

▲ IMPORTANT: If the building that you choose is too large for the canvas you can use [Specify camera angle from preset] again to make it fit.

Then select the 3D object and from [Edit > Copy] the object and paste it in the same layer. You can move the structure with the [Object] tool (shortcut O) dragging the cursor over the arrows (it will change to yellow) in the center of the object.

▲ Repeat the process to add as many structures as you need but make sure that you computer can handle many 3D objects. Remember you can check your reference to place the buildings. The idea is not to copy the same layout from the photos but to get an idea of how towns are building.

IMPORTANT: If you accidentally move the 3D material from above the ground you can use the [Ground model to floor surface] icon (from the bar of the 3D material). ▼

■ You can also add a different 3D material into the same layer by dragging it from the [Material] palette.

[a] If you drop it into the same layer the perspective will not change.

[b] But if you drag it into a new layer you could get strange perspective distortions or you will need to change the perspective from scratch.

▼ Here you can find barrels for free and for buy with Gold or Clippy.

▲ You can adjust the Object scale from the [Tool Property] palette to match its size/scale with the structures in the same 3D layer.

▲ You can also rotate the 3D material with the [Object] tool (shortcut O) dragging the cursor over the spherical arrows around the object. You can rotate the object in any plane you need it X, Y or Z.

Once you have finished adding the 3D material you can set your final perspective from the presets or manually. Here is my town with the perspective I have choose. ▼

▲ NOTE: You can use the [Move] tool (shortcut K) to move the entire layer without affecting the perspective or 3D objects. This is really helpful when you want to adjust the composition.

3. Drawing and painting with 3D perspective rules

Before continuing with the tutorial I strongly recommend you to make a backup of your 3D layer with all the structures and materials in place. You can duplicate the layer and hide it or you can save it in another Clip Studio file.

■ Now I am going to show you different ways to extract lines from a 3D layer. And how to draw lines and paint using 3D perspective rulers.

3. [1] Extract Lines

The new Artistic Filter and Auto Actions are two fast ways to extract lines in Clip Studio Paint. If you are using Clip Studio Paint EX you can also use LT Conversion for similar results.

(a) Artistic Filter. You can use the new artistic filter and select [Lines only] to extract lines from photos or 3D material. With 3D objects you need to [Rasterize] the 3D layer first. Then you can apply the filter and edit the sliders and numbers to get different results. You can see more details in the tutorial below. ▼

(b) Auto Action. You can use auto_action from the Clip Studio Assets in both Clip Studio Paint PRO and EX. Just download the material and drag it to the Auto Action palette next to the Layer Palette. Then select the layer and the action a click over the Play icon button.

▼ Here you can download two different actions to extract lines:

▼ If you want to learn more about auto action you can check:

3. [2] Drawing Lines and Painting

After using the new Artistic filter or auto action you can use the 3D perspective ruler to draw lines following the perspective. You can show and hide the ruler from the icon in the [Layer] palette bar or hold SHIFT+click over the icon next to the layer thumbnail. ▼

▲ NOTE: You can change the Ruler/Grid opacity from [File > Preference] and select [Ruler/Unit].

■ Create a New Vector Layer and with the Ruler [Snap to Special Ruler] active (shortcut CTRL+2) you can start drawing with any pen, brush, figure, vector tool or even balloons. ▼

NOTE: If you active [Snap to Grid] (shortcut CTRL+3) your lines will follow the 3D grid. You can also modify the size of the grid from the [Tool Property] palette with the [Object] tool (shortcut O) selected just click over the Ruler thumbnail in the layer palette. ▼

(a) Pen. I am going to use G-Pen (shortcut P) to draw a sign and a lantern/lamp. You can change the brush size to match the extracted lines from the Tool Property palette.

(b) Figure/vector. For the Hotel sign outside the building I am going to use the [Rectangle] tool (shortcut U) with Roundness of corner in the [Tool Property] palette. The plane of where you are drawing may change depending of where you do click and drag. Once you drag you need to press Enter or click again to confirm the shape figure.▼

▲ NOTE: After drawing the sign I used the [Eraser] vector tool (shortcut E) to delete the lines in the edges.

(c) Selections. You can also use Selection tools such as Polyline, Rectangle and Elipse (shortcut M) to paint flat colors in new layers. The click and drag behavior will be similar to the [Figure] tool as we just saw above.

(d) Brushes. I am going to use the [Airbrush] tool to paint the shadows of the church/school building place it in the center of the town. You can paint the floor with a flat color and use [Clip to layer below] to affect only the ground area.

▲ I also painted two dark structures in the first plane. You can use selections to limit the area of painting. And since these structures are in the first plane you can add a blur effect to them later.

(e) Painting. The process of painting may vary depending of each person style. Nevertheless, a fast way to get different shades/values with 3D material is using the new Artistic Filter and selecting [Color Only].

▲ In summary, first I painted flat colors, then I set the lighting in the [Tool property] for the 3D material and [Rasterize] the layer. After that I used the artistic filter to extract [Color only] with a low number of colors to extract the shades/values. Then I used the artistic filter again with two photos that I took for the floor and background. Finally, I combined the layers with blending modes in the [Layer] palette.

▼ For more details you can check this tutorial about the new artistic filter.

4. Adding Text

I am going to add text to the signs that I drawn above. Select the [Text] tool (shortcut T) and type “Hotel” in one layer and “Welcome” in other layer.

▼ If you don't know how to use the text tool you can check:

Now select one text layer and from [Edit > Transform] you can use Skew to match the text with the perspective.

Then you can change the Blending Mode to Multiply, Screen, Soft light and decrease the opacity around 40 to 90% depending of your artwork.

NOTE: You can also use Free transform or Distort to match the perspective but first you need to Rasterize the text layer. Make sure to duplicate the editable text before rasterize it.

5. Finishing touches

Once we have finish extracting lines, adding shades/values and so on. You can use blur effects from [Filter > Blur] to soft the edges of the lines, flat colors and shades. ▼

IMPORTANT: If you want to edit or change something you can go back to your backup 3D layer/file and repeat the process before adding or use any effect to the artwork. After practice this process two times or more it should not take too long. ▼

Finally, you can also add textures, patterns color map gradients and more to the artwork.

▼ You can learn more about how to add texture in the link below.

■ Remember that you can apply this process with different 3D materials and objects. And combined with the Artistic filter you can add a painterly effect with photos.

▼ Here is the final small town after adding some texture and blur.

Thanks for following this tutorial! I hope you have found some useful tips here. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below and don't forget to enjoy creating.

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