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Anime Style Background Tutorial

This is a follow up to my last painting tutorial for noob like us. I have found out a few things that I like to share with peoples that have great interest in making their own anime/manga.

Disclaimer: I suffer from partial colorblindness and never went to any art school. Technique and theory in this tutorial might not be correct. This is also not an in-depth step by step tutorial and it is meant for people that have some knowledge on Photoshop.

The Artwork “Bus Stop”

bus stop
This is the finish artwork I did yesterday. It will be use as the base to cover a few area for this tutorial. If you haven’t read the first part of this tutorial, which is more detail. I suggest you to do so, as this will be a quick run through.

Sky

anime background tutorial
Start painting the sky by using the gradient tool. Touch up or refined the sky gradient with soft edge round brush. If you are not sure what color you going to use, find a few pictures for color reference.

Clouds

anime background tutorial
Not the best clouds here, but a quick way to paint clouds.

  • 1) Select the chalk style brush for both paintbrush and eraser.
  • 2) Start painting the clouds with this chalk brush and erase part of the clouds when needed. Scale up or down your brush while painting, to give it a more random feel.
  • 3) Add the highlights of the clouds, with a hard round edge brush with pressure sensitivity.

Trees, Bushes

anime background tutorial

  • 1) Select the Chalk brush. Enable “shape dynamic” and “scattering” option. Start painting the base of the bushes
  • 2) Choose a brighter color and start painting the brighter part with the same scattering chalk brush.
  • 3) Choose the hard round edge brush. Enable “shape dynamic” and “scattering” option. Start painting the brightest leaves.

NOTE: You can use custom leaf and bush brush to get a better result.

Atmospheric Effect, Haze, Fog, Shadow

anime background tutorial
One of the area we always see in Makoto Shinkai artwork is the beautiful blue, purple, grey color everywhere.

  • 1) Default trees from last step.
  • 2) Add a new layer, start painting blue color where you think it should be(Far away, shadow area etc). In my case I have use 2 shades of blue.
  • 3) Change the layer blend mode to “multiply” or “screen”. If you are using “multiply” mode, most likely you will end up very dark shadow without any blue, like what I have here.
  • 4) Duplicate this layer and change the blend mode to “color”.

NOTE: If you are using “screen” mode, it will result in a brighter color. Just play around with layer opacity, and different shades of blue to get a desire result.

anime background tutorial
Some time, you can just use “normal” blend mode if you dont want to play around with the settings. Like what I did here for the distance fog. Just remember to paint it in another layer so it is easier to change if you make a mistake.

Sunlight, Glow, Glare

anime background tutorial
Another thing we always see in Makoto Shinkai stuff is the glow/glare from light source.

  • 1) Default.
  • 2) Add a new layer, use a soft edge round brush to start painting orange/red color where you think it should be(sun direction).
  • 3) Change the layer blend mode to “screen” or “linear dodge/add”. In my case, I am just using the “screen” more.

NOTE: “add/linear dodge” mode will result in a brigther color. If will be useful in certain case.

The character

anime background tutorial
Nothing much about painting the character. But I seperate the color and shading layers so it is easier to make changes. And I use different shades/color for the shadow

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Comments

10 kind souls comment on “Anime Style Background Tutorial”
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  1. Kelly says:

    can you plz help me out …i want to create skies n clouds but its hard to do with mouse i don’t have graphic tablet …. :)

  2. mclelun says:

    About the line, I guess it depend on the artwork itself. adding lines do make it look more like a drawing. But I mainly add outline to man-made objects. I guess trees, bushes or any other nature stuff can be skip

  3. exoddinary says:

    Hey McLelun, this is truly amazing tutorial. I wanna ask abut the artline for your work, like the tiles as well as the railing. When do you think its necessary?

  4. Archsider Exia says:

    this is really easy to learn ,simple and looks incredible, :D thanQ whoever thou art.

  5. farheen says:

    i wonder to make like this

  6. […] Makoto Shinkai Style Painting Tutorial Anime Style Background Tutorial […]

  7. Hime says:

    Excuse me, what software did you used??

  8. [...] Bus Stop, 2012 December 8 Wrote another brief walkthrough about my artwork, Anime Style Background Tutorial. [...]

  9. [...] had written another anime style background painting tutorial, which focus on painting trees and [...]

  10. Amat says:

    Thanks for the guide man….appreciate it for you to share it over….

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