In this tutorial, i'll show you how to take a background image (usually I get mine from Clip Studio Assets) and colorize it fast! Let's go!
Step 1. First, find a background image. The one I'm using I found on the Assets store and was about 100cp (see link above). However, there are a ton of free ones as well. Line art works the best. Open that up in CSP.
Step 2. Colorize the image. Go to Edit>Colorize>Colorize all.
Step 3. As you can see, there are some coloring problems the program has. I had to remove the color inside some of the electrical wires in the background. I also, recolored the street to a darker color as most streets are not white.
Step 4. Select the sky and add a sky background color. The gradient tool has several premade skys to choose from. I prefer "Midday sky."
Step 5. You can then add some clouds. You can find some premade clouds on the Assets store or just make your own with a brush. You can't go wrong with clouds!
Step 6. Add a shadow layer. I choose a dark blue or you can just use black. Mask out where you want the shadow to fall. I use hard, straight lines to give it a more anime feel. Set the layer to 50% opacity. or try to use a blending mode such as overlay or soft light. You will get several results and then you can choose what looks good to you.
Step 7. I added an electric pole on the left side and a 3d taxi on the right. I also darkened up some of the elements on the left side. The idea is to make the alley kinda dark and the sunlight shining through at the end of the street to create depth.
Step 8. Here's where you can really make this background shine! Add some sunlight coming through at the end of the street. I do this by making a new layer, then using the airbrush in a cirle. I use a bright yellow and set the blending mode to add(glow).
Step 9. Create two gradient maps. go to Layer> New correction layer> gradient map. The first one is under Sky called "night sky." Use this for the bottom portion of the image to cast the taxi and lower street into a darker shadow. Set it at 100% opacity. The second is under sky and is called "Sunrise." set this to 30% opacity.
Step 10. This is subtle, but I add some grainy textures over some of the buildings to mimic everyday wear and tear. You can find these in the Assets store and I'm sure most of them are free. I simply added the grunge and made the blending mode soft light. Then I usually set the opacity to 50%. I included an example of the grunge I used.
Bonus: Well, the background is finished with step 10, however, most streets have people so you can add those as well to make it seem more realistic. Many of the figures I used were from the Assets store. Thanks, and I hope this was a BIG HELP!