Automation in hand made art. The Greedy Guns way!
Hi, I’m Miguel Rafael, ⅓ of the Tio Atum team. I do all the art, design and animation for Greedy Guns. A quick search of the project tells me I’ve created 1400 pngs so far. Wow! That’s quite the number.
The most precious resource of any creator is time. Repetitive tasks not only take time but also energy. So to make my life easier I rely on automation for coloring and exporting art assets!
What do you mean automate?
One thing that I realised early on is that any repetitive task should be done by the computer.
I simple can’t afford to export each PNG in a character by hand. So for every repetitive task either found a script or created a photoshop action to do it.
So my main time savers are
- Color by action
Oops. This bit of the article had to be immediately canned since a great friend of mine, Nathan (has an amazing youtube channel full of tutorials) called me out on my ignorance of photoshop’s Generator! Wow, that thing is even better than the script i was using! Will learn more about it and do a article on that next!
So, onwards to coloring!
Color with actions
My favorite! Learned this in a photoshop animation tutorial of all places. First of all, how do you color? If you want to be fast you do something like:
Magic Wand Select inside the outlines > Expand Selection > New Layer > Fill color
Again, it this is a recurring thing why not make an action of it. And so i did.
Press F2 and it bam! A color layer perfectly fitted to your character! Now I always paint inside the lines!
I usually use a color layer, so it’s easier to tweak the colors. Afterwards I use clipping masks for shadows and highlights.
Instead of clicking away, several times a day to create the said layers, make them clip etc… I press F2 and F3 That’s it!
The action for setting up the base layer goes something like this.
For those who are not very knowledgeable about photoshop actions, this is what’s happening:
When I press F2 (the binding I picked. Won’t do anything without this action).
- Select nothing (in case something is selected)
- Select with the wand at the top left corner of the picture.
- Invert that selection so it only selects what’s inside the outline.
- Contract that selection.
- Make a fill layer underneath it!
Simple right? No? Leave a comment if you want a video explaining it better!
What are your time saving hacks?
Let me know what your process is. Share a video, leave a comment, anything. I made this to share what I know and find better ways to do it.
Also, be sure to check out the Greedy Guns Kickstarter! 72% in one week and growing!
You can reach me on twitter at @migrafael !