Painting Stylized Props For Games in Photoshop | Liem Nguyen | Skillshare

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Painting Stylized Props For Games in Photoshop

teacher avatar Liem Nguyen, Character Artist

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

3 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Intro and Preview

    • 2. Ideas and Line Work

    • 3. Shading and Color

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About This Class

Create your first stylized prop design for games with tips and trick from Liem Nguyen a 2D/3D Character Artist!

In this class I will be explaining my thought process for creating stylized props geared towards the games industry. We will be going over.

  • Idea Collecting
  • Thumbnails
  • Line Art
  • Shading
  • Rendering



Meet Your Teacher

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Liem Nguyen

Character Artist


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1. Intro and Preview: Hello. I'm Liam, a two D three D character artists for the games industry. Today I'll be showing how I approach designing stylized game crops. We'll show you how I get inspired general ideas through some nailing, doing a little bit of line on top. And then finally, I'll be shading, coloring and refining the peace. The video is a sped up video that I would be talking over with my thought process, how I think, in how I would approach each aspect. The tutorial is a little more more events, so some Photoshopped knowledge would be great. But, you know, anybody could try. Watch the video to see how you like it. And if there's any questions, please feel free to ask. Thank you, and I hope you enjoy. 2. Ideas and Line Work: okay, I want to start and how I get inspired to Crazy part. Sometimes it's just browsing the Internet and seeing a picture or a concept that is inspirational. And it would lead me to wanting to make my own today. I wanted to make a shield. I think I wanted it to be nature sort of field on one of the best websites, I think, for doing our grabbing references. Inspiration is Pinterest. You get concept in shield you old concepts or finding real life shields by just putting ancient shield such and then just getting inspired by looking at various yield. And then, if you like a design or reference, you could just they're gonna right click, copy image and go into your full show, and you could pieced it right in. This is how I usually build a little bit of inspiration or mood board. I grabbing these various images, and that's how usually, uh, that's how I usually start all my idea generating. I think I wanted some nature in this, So my mood board, actually, this sword, my work also a copy image, go to Folder shop based in photo shop and added to the mood board and then we could collapse thes two layers by selecting holding ship and then, I believe, is tro e to collapse. So there are both in one layer. And once you get your mood board done, we could start thumbnail. OK? I grabbed a few images, nature and such of things I was inspired by. And then I'm just gonna be starting on some thumbnails. I'm just gonna try various shapes for these shields and I will be going over how I think of each of these, um shields us going along. This video is fed up, so it won't take two hours to watch through all of it. But hopefully on me, explaining my process and processes and thought ideas would help you guys designed your own thumbnail. The first yield definitely went with a more round shapes and then put a little bit of wood around it. Teoh incorporate more of that nature aspects to it. The 2nd 1 tried a totally different shape. I wanted to keep trying different various shapes. See what? Like what? Jeld? Just to get things going and I believe on the 3rd 1 I tried these diamonds, but it was a little, too, um two angular into unnatural. So I moved on from that. I want another diamond shape, but try to make it make it a little more organic. Let's see. I definitely liked He was using a little more off the branch French style of like drawing like the little branches on the outside of my shields just to hold up the nature aspect of it. And then I think this one I was just like what if we just took the bark of a tree and then created a shield out of that? Then I want a little bit of focal point. So I added a little bit of Jim, and then I like the gem ideas thought tried to do another shield with Jim embedded in the middle in this The mail. See, I think house going back to the mood board and created I guess I went back with Mark. She had idea, but it didn't last long and then and went back to the circular ship because honestly, that one was pretty pretty cool. And then I had the idea of creating some sort of face, almost like a wooden cart face and then after after drawing that protect, Feli was trying to reiterate that with the names playing with her hair, see if I could get a better flow, making a little more organic, those little asymmetry and adding those little specks of nature. It's definitely a front process to be loose and, you know, trying all the ideas that comes to mind. This is sped up, so I believe it's 2.5 times the speed. And I gave myself a little note for Amore Shell Plate as I continued to jittery because I believe the initial idea with the little Teoh portrait like it almost felt like a portrait . I think this one, I tried it in case her more in like a shield shaped. And then I wanted to make a focal point that was almost like an emblem of sorts. So I decided to try to do a little gem stone on the top of her head. Going back to Iterating with the same ideas. But using a different shape went back to a circular shape. And throughout this whole process, I'm definitely keeping it loose, trying new things, and I think that's the best way to approach idea when your thumbnail first finding inspiration but also just having fun with it. Just trying different things. See our work, see what doesn't work and always ask yourself. Do you like it? Is it cool? Is that what you want before you move on to cleaning it up? I wrote down a little question to myself. Did I like the short hair versus along here? Yeah, I kind of like how I played out the hair on this one. I definitely like dynamic shapes and tried to push that as much as possible. Dynamic chick being like it has movement. It has flow, doesn't feel stagnant. First of after a little bit. I think this is the one I decided to move on with for the final line drawing. And at this point, it was around 20 to 30 minutes of doing little thumbnails way. We were cleaning up the idea and creating more of a liner for the people. I scaled a scandal. The thumbnail did made the opacity really low and started to do a drover to refined the concept a little further. Um, thumbnails could be rough. Definitely you could, you know, go as rough as you want or as clean as you want. I generally try to stick more towards the rough side because jet going through ideas as you see like they were quicker. They weren't all the way thought out. But once something was interesting, I tried to definitely dive deeper into them. And then, you know, find out thumb. Now I really like So definitely what? Into refining it. And then you can always flip your campus flipping. Your campus could be seen. You go to the edit or you go to image you rotations and then flip horizontal to flip your image. Continue to refine. Definitely try to push the ships of the hair to be a little more natural. Organic, almost. The field is generally a little bit symmetrical just because I think when you symmetry is it feels manmade. But I definitely want to incorporate as much like a little bit of organic, um, materials as possible. I believe the whole field should I think I was designed to be mostly wood and even added some leaves just to show crease that could have been freshly chop wood going back to the gemstone idea. I think I was trying to sketch that into her head more almost last, a crown or ornament. I realize I'm definitely a messy drawer, but once again I believe you know you could go quick and loose because there's always waste cleanup. So I lower the capacity of the layer and then I'm going. I'm going to start cleaning up the work. The line work phase is pretty simple. Home. You have your idea and sketch on the bottom layer, and then you want to just had in cleaner, more decisive lines on time. And you only want to draw the lines that you believe are important, like the ones that show sheep and the details that you don't have to, um, pretty much over do it. You just start simple by getting the main shapes and then adding details where needed. This will clean the drawing a lot more clean, unreadable, and you can always add more lengthen. So definitely start simpler. Always the rice and more lines When doing your assignment. It doesn't have to be a shell, but I think when designing props, starting simpler is better. You get died designer Shields ward of sorts. Just keep it simple, and you'll have Ah, better time learning. It's very hard when you try to design like a full fledged character. With all these armor bits and stuff, you have to manage all of those. And that's most of the time. When you do design a character, you do take way more time fighting references in designing every aspect of the character. So it's kind of fun to just do small projects like your shield, a hunting knife, a a barrel of sorts just to get your ideas going before you, you know, take on bigger test. So my initial line pass. I lowered capacity just a little bit, and now I'm just doing heavier lines, two separate from forms I usually think of outlining, I almost outlining every important aspect and then also considering it how to separate each shape like the bottom of the chin from the neck. I wanted a line there and the hair a definite go. I didn't do a hardline everywhere. I just did it enough so I could separate each piece of piece of wood from each other, and same thing goes for the gym on top of her head. I had a thicker line on the bottom just so it pushes away from her face. I think this, uh, method is called Langley, using language to push and pull your design without shading. And here I'm going around the whole piece and just doing a heavier outline to separate it from the background. Now, I'm using a lasso tool, um, on your right side, to less so in shape the outline of her. And then I felt it in with the great on the bottom. But on the bottom layer, you don't want to do in the line layer. You just wanted have a layer on the bottom. But you fell in with a great At this point, I would highly recommend you guys try out designing your own problem with thumbnails of inspiration and doing a little bit of like work. Because the next video we will be going into how to color and shade these pieces 3. Shading and Color: we will be going into color now, Um, I d only drawn arrow just so I remind myself where the light direction is coming from and I just added a new layer on top. Teoh, create my shadow, and I believe I just meet the layer of multiple. I later generally just try Teoh, render out the forms by shading. It's good to think of what these objects are doing. Like, um, the area on the left side of the face currently is mostly a shadow only because her face is covered. Her face is blocking most like from entering their. So I shaded most of it darker on the left side. And here I'm going, adding a little darker shadows to separate face from the back shield and then darkening shadows underneath the gemstone so it feels like it's lifting off a little more. You don't have to be realistic with your shading. You just wanna put enough information that it feels three dimensional and definitely just considering how light works and how it hits surfaces when you decide where your shadow goes , helps. Um, I did a quick, radiant ingredients could be your bucket tool, and then you want to just do a quick radiant with the clipping mask, Thio added. Bottom up, Grady. In now that process is them. That was, I wanted a little bit of a darker bottom, just so it fades up to a lighter value, and I continue to refine some shadowing double up the line. We're just get a little bit of darker lines before you went to color and I went with a heart light layer right above everything with the clipping mask, and I'm just trying out, pouring in different colors. And then I have, ah, last selection on the colors, doing some few ships here and there just to try out different colors. I didn't have a plan on what Clara wanted it to be, so I'm definitely just trying out different color schemes. But I definitely dio suggest you try separate elements, like the hair from the face in the face from the bottom of the shield. Even though it's mostly made of wood, you get have different tones of wood. Were manning a little bit of moss around the hair. We'll lighten up the face a little bit with the lighter color wanted to her face to pop out . I felt like it went a little natural to natural, like, almost realist, like not a wood face. So I believe I did go and tone it down Lo later. Yeah, here was the tone down. Just try to get less of the flesh color, make it a little more look a wrong would carpooling Justin Shields trying to colors blue did feel a natural. So I went back. Pini in some more mosque, getting some punches of life in the mosque a little more green. I do like saturation in my concepts. So I tried to add saturation where focal points are, and then leaving the rest of a little more Dole trying to cull arise my own liner. I don't think it was that successful until the end. Some more adjustments lying. Get it a little more brown tend to visit block next. After I'm happy with overall concept idea. I collapsed all the layers down. I duplicated the grouping of the folder with color, and I collapsed all of it down so I could just refine on one layer one or two layers. Just I can move around and pushing. Poll more for the pain this is as you see. Like I generally don't try. Zoom in until this space. Only because I was focused on refining, trying to get the general idea of what I wanted to paint, um, zoomed out and announce since I'm happy with where the concept design was going at, decided to zoom in and refine it up, cleaning some edges. You know, I try not to clean all all my edges, all because it's super timeless of me. And sometimes during production work, you just need Jesse. Never information going around adding some more wood details with a little bit of shadowing and highlights tried generally to add and highlights where I want more of a kick the material. We're finding somewhere hair a bit. Any more of the would not look Yeah, Generally, I just demand find some references. Of course, unlike what type of its allies would you like? And then just continue painting it up and the salt does take some practice to get used to. I definitely have been painting for quite a bit of time, I believe. Almost two years. I do do a lot of three D work for in companies, but I do enjoy painting and campaign and stuff on my free time. Yeah, you know, giving leaves believe some shape. Some more interesting shapes definitely have ah highlight area while in the shadow area. Highlight you on leave years leak. You could go a little more yellows with it just because they feel more vibrant and a touch of sunlight. Subsurface e and the shadows. I generally go cooler. It's not hard roll, but generally in sunlight. The sun will definitely warm up. Besides, getting hit by the sun and in shadow usually would have Cullerton's because the only light hitting those areas are going to be this light from the sky or other light sources around the whole painting, adding a little more contrast on the gemstone make it a little bit more reflective. And I don't really I don't pay this fast in real life. This is to bed up to 2.5 times you could take. Definitely take your time painting up these paintings. I would even suggest get spending half a day on one of the A prop this fall just to see how far he could push it. I want to add a little bit thickness here and there, even though the land work was put down. Generally, byline work was really rough. Generally would like I usually play around with my shapes during the feeding process. Also, it's fun. It's fun, like moving around pain, training, a little bit of new shapes, you telling it up and you always ask for somewhat. What is the focal point? This her in the design, the face was the focal point, so I tried to add more of a lighter tone. Almost like her face is the lightest area. The gemstone does have hard highlights, but it's generally a little bit darker, so get pulled in the attention towards her face. And then I went with the darker, I think, almost black Tom, just to add a little bit of a mix of contrast in areas that wanted to really pop. And here I'm just cleaning out the line, work around just going up a little bit of the edges, adding a little bit more kick to the edges. Sharper shapes, always one year zoomed in painting an area always amount justice you behold, and you might be surprised that you don't have to paint up the whole painting. You just print seven areas that might look, but he needs a little bit more pain, but generally keeping it loose. It is my preference, adding a little bit more wood to her neck are like the woods knuckling splits. What you call it, kind of making it look like a little bit more like Park, just so it doesn't feel like a human basically just embedded in the shield. We will do this how far I wanted to get the rendering. So I added a black player behind the painted layer. And then that will help me, seeing if there's any, like, messy little bits I painted up so I could just delete it. The black layer isn't part of the concept. It's just earlier behind just I could see areas that are like I could really last long, really. Just select the shield, inverted my selection to delete it, and then I just remove the block later. And here I wanted to do a little bit more radiant just to push the top down like the light is coming from the top. And then I wanted to push the hit the hair and the face a little more forward from the chop chunk of here. Just add more depth to it. Added a great background behind the concept. Now just because I want I think I wanted to do a room like yeah, approaching a room light, imagining the light from the far right almost behind the mass, just causing the really hot room light. Look, you hear that only added edges that would potentially get hit by the far right. Lite. More room light work, I believe. Just a little bit more refinement and belief. I called it done. It's definitely a lot rougher, but I would call this a little bit of a concept piece, not illustration. An illustration. I would definitely render a way more just clean up as much as I can. 44 Concept. It's enough for 30 Muller. Come in, See it, model it in texture at this point, adding smile lights just to what is called a childlike. That's like it's catching. The edge generally takes a little bit. I'm having a little bit more of that would detail in her face. We had tried adding, like maybe a little magical effects, and then did I didn't like it too much. So I did it. Finish it off. But you can see a few try. Try. Try to do trying to, you know, make a very almost healing ish aura to it. This word game should be cool to have effect. I would passively healed the user over time. Almost like it's like your personal dealer. That would be really cool that goes dark ing up the background. Justice is to be effects a little more. Ultimately, I ended up deciding to ditch, stay vfx and just wrapping up. I duplicated it in the image and a level adjusted to be pure black added to the I added it to the background behind the image, and I did a blur to it. Just so you have a little supple er, I think it really helped to push it off from the bathroom at this point, that's generally the process I usually do to get a little bit of properties. I know, Um, it is a quicker, definitely a quicker process, but hopefully hopes and we're done. Yeah, generally, that's how I proceed in coloring up my concepts. Currently, I do use it thes methods while working on my portfolio pieces. And in studio, there's definitely everybody has different methods. I just wanted to share mine. I hope you guys enjoyed it, and I would love to see what you guys come up with.