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Making the Graphics of Faery Tale

The most common question I get asked about the game Faery Tale, is How did I do the graphics?

The short answer is Photoshop.
-- Every image is a multi-layered photo-manipulation that was heavily filtered multiple times to make them look like fairy tale art.

I'm a big-time art nouveau fan, as in the art of Alphonse Mucha, so that was the style I was aiming for.



While I am not about to give away every single secret to my techniques, mainly because they took months of experimentation to figure out, I am willing to reveal the basic process.

It all begins with Photoshop and quite a few Art Plug-Ins, such as:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Topaz Labs: Clean 3, Adjust 4, and Simplify3
Alien Skin Snap Art 2
Imagenomic

And yes, I used ALL of these plug-ins for each image; background and characters.

The most important part of the process, however, is the Line Art. That was done using the Color Sketch action from 10 Sketch Effects, a Photoshop actions set that is available free on Deviant Art.

How I do it:
-- In Photoshop...

Stage 1: Pick a good image.


Stage 2: Photo-manipulate the image to suit your needs, then duplicate the finished image so that you have two layers.


Stage 3: Make the lines on one layer using the Color Sketch action from 10 Sketch Effects.


Stage 4: Clean and Darken the lines, then Art Filter them to make them look more like a sketch.


Stage 5: Art Filter the untouched layer to make it look like a painting or drawing, or both.


Stage 6: Put the Lines layer on top of the Art layer. Set the Lines to Multiply, then Merge the layers.


Stage 7: Soft Light artistic textures over top of the whole thing to make the image look even more like art.


All done! Click HERE to see full-sized image.

The Secret to Clean Character PNGs.
-- One of the most common problems with using an image that was originally a photo for something like a character or free-floating object, is that damned White Outline that tends to show up no matter how closely you clean it.

I got around that issue by first cleaning each image at 300 magnification, and using the Eraser tool -- NOT the Outline tool then hitting Clear. Yes, it's a pain because it takes a while to do, but it's the cleanest you will get it, and you won't get a ragged, pixelated edge.



Photo-manipulate as needed...

Next you add Inner Glow set to a Dark Color. I like to use a dark red or brown on character images because it blends well against skin tones.





The Dark Inner Glow effectively erases any white that might have snuck in despite your cleaning efforts.


THEN art filter your PNGs to your heart's content. Just be aware that many art filters will ADD a white outline that will need to be cleaned off again.

Once you have finished Art Filtering your images, add inner glow AGAIN, only set to Black this time.



And there you have it, characters that actually blend in with their backgrounds.

Enjoy!

Posts

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In truth, I wasn't really curious about HOW you made the graphics, just whether they were made for this game, or just stolen from somewhere. It's a pretty impressive technique, and the result is uberawesome and tasteful!
author=calunio
In truth, I wasn't really curious about HOW you made the graphics, just whether they were made for this game, or just stolen from somewhere.

Oops... My mistake. Nope, they weren't ripped from elsewhere. I made them all myself in Photoshop. However, 'how I did it' really IS a common question. (This was posted on the LemmaSoft forum and Deviant Art first.)


author=calunio
It's a pretty impressive technique, and the result is uber-awesome and tasteful!

I'm glad you like the end results!
author=calunio
In truth, I wasn't really curious about HOW you made the graphics, just whether they were made for this game, or just stolen from somewhere. It's a pretty impressive technique, and the result is uberawesome and tasteful!

Mmh- I don't know, I don't quite like the result. Specially not while having 'Art Nouveau' in mind. The result is way too busy for my taste, and perhaps more reminiscent of 'Collage' than any other artistic movement... But anyway, this is a rather interesting method/tutorial, nonetheless, and some people may find it useful. So, kudos to the author for that.
I don't even know what Art Nouveau is, but I love the overall looks of it, and I think, considering how it's one, it's surprisingly consistent and harmonic. Not to mention unique.
Man I dig this. This is a really nice look at the behind the scenes.
author=alterego
Mmh- I don't know, I don't quite like the result. ... The result is way too busy for my taste...

Different strokes for different folks. The problem is, when you're using places and objects made in the Rococo style, busy is something that can't be avoided. Unless of course, you want to do a LOT of erasing. LOL!

author=alterego
...perhaps more reminiscent of 'Collage' than any other artistic movement...

I'm still experimenting. :) Sooner or later I will get it right!

author=alterego
But anyway, this is a rather interesting method/tutorial, nonetheless, and some people may find it useful. So, kudos to the author for that.

Thank you!

author=calunio
I don't even know what Art Nouveau is, but I love the overall looks of it, and I think, considering how it's one, it's surprisingly consistent and harmonic. Not to mention unique.

Thanks! Visual novels are traditionally done in the Anime style. Sadly, I can't draw that style to save my life, so I figured I'd work with what I could do; Photoshop. It looks consistent because I used the same process on Every image.

Believe it or not, since the original images were all Photo-manipulations, the hardest part was matching the Perspective. I wanted the Characters to look like they Belonged in their backgrounds.

author=Shinan
Man I dig this. This is a really nice look at the behind the scenes.

Thank you! Some of those graphics to Days to complete.
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