How to draw ANY background : fast and easy for all levels.

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Introduction

YOU have been procrastinating learning how to draw backgrounds since…a long time. Probably.
And while this tutorial won’t exactly teach you how to “make” them, yet, it will definitely help you make some impressive, out of the box, not so boring backgrounds, with the right perspective.

But more importantly, this will allow to make FAST backgrounds.

In fact, this is less of a “drawing” and more of a “generating” background tutorial.
This is incredibly useful, especially if you have to draw multiple backgrounds, or the same background from different angles.

In the tutorial I’ll show you how to do so, using the 3D backgrounds of CSP in just 4 steps!

**You can click on the link below to watch the video and get the full experience !**

1st Step : Find and set your background

The first step is obviously to find the background you’ll looking for.
To do that, you can either use the lateral window, Go to “All material”, then ”3D” and click on “backgrounds”.

Or, go to window => material => material background.

Here you’ll find a bunch of per default 3D backgrounds, like buildings, classrooms, houses…
If the background you’re looking for is not among this list, just click on ‘search for material on assets’. This will take you to “clip studio assets" where you can look for additional backgrounds.

For this tutorial, I'll use a per default 3D background for a character I made some time ago.
The initial drawing didn’t have any background, so I thought it would be nice to add one.
When I brainstormed a little, I thought that my character would make sense to stand like this in a park.
So I chose ‘park’ in the background list, and dragged it to my canvas.

On the left corner of the background is a navigation toolbar that allows you to navigate the 3D object as you wish. You can move it up or down, left or right, and change the perspective however you like.

Once you have your 3D background all set, we can move to the next step!

2nd Step : Convert to lines and tones.

Now we will transform this 3D background into lines and screen tones.
Go to "Layer" in the menu toolbar, and click on “Convert to lines and tones”.

When a new window appears, the first thing you should do is click on "preview" to see all the operating changes before agreeing to them.

As you can see, this option does exactly what it says,
it turns your 3D backgrounds into a bunch of lines and tones.
The transformation you see is the per default one. And this window allows you to control the lines and tones to your liking.

In order to explain all the options, I’ll divide this window into 3 parts, and demonstrate the use of every option on the background I chose with screenshots of the results.

1-The first part is about extracting the lines out of the background.
2-The second part transforms the colors and textures into tones.
3-The 3rd part contains precision tools to enhance your allover result.

Let’s start with the first part,
*Posterizing* means that you can choose to lineart the shapes that you want in your background,
You can move the arrows back and forth in order to add or generate less lines.
As you can see below, the two generated linearts are completely different since I changed the arrows settings.

** Keep in mind that you can click in the empty space between the arrows, adding another arrow to create more lines and thus even more posterization.

The *Black fill* option allows you to fill random items with black.
Usually, it’s the darkest items ad surfaces in the 3D background.
So, if you want more black, just get these numbers up.

*Line width* modifies the width of the lines up to 5,
The change is not dramatic, but it make the lines darker and pop up more.

With *process of edge detection* Clip studio offers you two options to detect the shapes in the 3D background in order to generate different lines.
you can choose either 1 or 2 for a different result.

The *edge threshold* allows the posterization to detect more or less details of the background, and therefore generate more or less lines.
If your edge threshold is close to 0, it will automatically generate more lines. (see the first exemple below)
While if it will create less lines if it is higher in number (see the 2nd exemple below).

The *direction of detection* allows you to delete the lines that go in the same direction,
In the screenshot below for example, I chose to deactivate all the direction except for the left one.

And that’s it for the first part of the convertion window !

The second part concerns the tones.

If you are going to add colors later, you can deselect this part altogether since you won’t need it, and keep the lines only, But if you’re going for a screentoned background, you basically have one main option :
Same as for the lines, the posterization here allows you to turn the colors and textures of the background into tones.
Here per default, you’ll have 3 main tones. And using these arrows, you can add more of each tone and control how much of it you actually want to include.

The two screenshots below demonstrate how different the result can be when you change the arrows settings.

Keep in mind that you can delete any tone and keep only one by dragging the arrows outside of the barre, like in the screenshot below.

in *Type* you can choose the shape of the tone; because as you may know, tones are made of small black dots, and you can give a shape to those dots if you want.
It’s convenient if you to bring out the shape itself, like a heart for exemple if you’re making a romantic scene in a manga.

*Frequency* is the option that allows you to show the shape that composes the tone.
If you drop the frequency, the shapes will become bigger, and vive versa.

Lastly, you can change the *angle* of the shapes that compose the tone. The change is not really apparent if the frequency is up, but it can change how the tone looks sometimes if you're using some specific shapes or if the frequency is down in number.

The 3rd and last part of this window actually concerns the lineart only.

It contains options that allow you to create a better and more dynamic linework.
At first, You can choose between a vector and raster layer. Whatever you usually use.

In *Line width* you can make the lines wider or thinner. This is different from the previous option with the same name. This one allows you to create really thick and not just defined lines.

*Accuracy of detection* detects the shapes in the background more accurately in order to create a better and smoother lineart,
while *enhancement degree of outer line* enhances the aspect of the outerlines.

The *depth* option is really interesting and handy as it contributes for a dynamic result.

Basically, it allows you to vary the width of the line from the front to the back of the background, helping in creating a sense of depth.
For example, this object (red arrow in the middle of the playground) and the front bench are closer to the viewer than the barrier and the benches, so it’s more heavily outlined than them. It can also help determine the importance of some objects by making them pop up in your drawing.

You can also choose to make the back more outlined than the front : just reverse the curve.

Next you can choose to apply these options to the outer lines only, and/ or to smooth the allover work you just did.

If you’re satisfied with the changes so far you can save them and you’ll find a new layer for each lineart and each tone in the layer section.

Of course, this transformation is automatic and automated things are never perfect.
But since you have all the layer you need now and most of the work done, you can still improve both lines and tones until you’re satisfied.

3rd Step : Extracting colors.

If you were looking for a black and white or toned background only, you can skip this step.

But if you were looking for a quick way to add colors too, I’ll explain that next.

In the layer window, we still have our 3D background, although deactivated.
Click on it, then click on the operation tool.
Now a ‘tool property’ window appears on the left.
In the tool property, deactivate the light source and the outline, leaving your background with flat colors and barely some shades.

You can also access the 'Tool property' window from the bottom of the 3D background :

Go back to your 3D background layer, right click and choose "rasterize".
This will pixelize your 3D background and turn it into a simple image.
This also means that you can modify your background like any other image (saturation, luminosity, contrast, copy/past, mask layer...)

In my exemple, I put the pixellized background layer on top of the screentones, and chose to mask everything but the blue parts.
This is the result :

Et voila, your flat coloring is ready!
***Keep in mind that you can change the blending modes of the tones to make them look like shadows over the colors.***

4th Step : Complete your background, achieve that natural look !

Whatever 3D background you chose to convert, there are probably few details still missing from making a complete professional looking background.
For exemple : My current background doesn't have a sky, trees and grass.
Thankfully, you can easily add those using either pre made material, or decoration brushes.

Go to : "All material", in the search bar type "sky" or "cloud", and drag the image material you like most to your canvas.
Then go to "Decoration" => "Vegetation" and choose from the different grass, flowers, and tree's brushes.

A quick reminder : you can turn your image material into screentones to match the rest of your background,
Just click on the image material layer, and choose "tone" in the layer property.

So, This is my final result !
I think that it Really looks like it’s out of a professional manga. Clip studio did a great job with this option. it’s neat, it has a natural look, and it can be done under a few minutes only.

Bonus : a quick tip !

Before you leave, I’d like to show you a quick tip!

This is even faster than the previous steps and works well in black and white. but the results are not as good. So, I advise you use this if you need a quick lineart for a small panel of your manga or small part of your illustration.

Once you select you background, click on “display object list”, “preference”, and choose “rendering settings”.

Now deactivate "use texture" and activate the outline. You can choose to add lights and shadows, but it really depends on what you need.

and that's a nice background for a manga, or a lineart to start an ilustration ! :D

So these were the 4 steps to make any background from the 3D material on Clip studio.
This should help you become faster and more efficient at inserting backgrounds, and most importantly, less afraid and bold enough to think about adding them ;)

I hope this tutorial as well as this video helped you in some ways and if it did, please consider liking and subscribing, this will keeps me motivated to make more tutorials in the future :)


You can ask if you have any questions ! I'll make sure to answer asap :)

Thank you for matching /reading !


*Blue Luminary*

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