Gundam Line Art colouring tutorial

January 22nd, 2010
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Since h4mster asked me how to do the colouring of my RX-78-2 Gundam Titans Ver, I would like to make a photoshop tutorial on the technique I used. There is a line art image file that I scanned and edited from the HGUC Gundam Manual.

B-Mecha’s Gundam line art colouring techinques with vector shape

If you are not familiarized with pen tools, use paint brush instead. The reason I use pen tool to draw the vector shape due to its conveniences to change colour. Later I’ll show you how.

Download RX-78-2 Gundam line art

Gundam photoshop tutorial
First open the gundam_line.jpg file with photoshop, any version will do.

Gundam photoshop tutorial
Duplicated the background layer (CTRL+J) and set the layer mode to multiply. We will call this the Gundam line layer. Don’t worry about the effect for now.

Gundam photoshop tutorial
Create a new empty layer and fill it with white colour. Although it might look the same as original file now, but these are important steps.

Gundam photoshop tutorial
Now choose the pen tool icon to draw vector shape.

Gundam photoshop tutorial
You can slowly draw the shape on your Gundam. Did you notice the line still remains there even there is colour? Make sure the Gundam line layer is on top of the colour layers.

Gundam photoshop tutorial
One thing need to beware of. After you draw the first shape, photoshop will automatic create a new layer when you draw the next shape.

Example: If you want to have both v fin’s yellow shape on the same layer, once you finish the 1st shape (the right fin), click on the icon above (refer to above pic) and draw your second shape. This is to avoid photoshop from creating too many layers and making it hard to change colour.

Gundam photoshop tutorial
Now you should see a small box in your layer window. It represents your vector shape layer. Double click on the box and a colour picker window will pop up. Change to the colour you like and click ok.

Gundam photoshop tutorial
Tada! Now you can change colour easily without paint again and again!

Due to the editing process, parts like hand and booster which is black will remain black even you draw the vector shape behind it. For those areas, simply create a new vector shape on top of the Gundam line layer.

Gundam photoshop tutorial
This is the example of layer for my Titans ver. I put all vector shape on the same colour layer to allow me to change the colour easily.

I made this tutorial post since some of us might want to do some colour test before building the actual kit. This technique is particularly good especially for those who might want to design their own colour scheme, you can change it again and again easily!

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