Friday, 6 May 2016

Rain Rain Go Away, Come Again When You Look Passable - A Rain FX Tutorial

So I decided (stupidly) to have an entire sequence in "Heroes of the Dead" #1 in the rain. I thought it would look super cool if the heroes fought zombies in a dramatic, torrential rainstorm. Then I tried to draw the rain. And it didn't look like rain. At all.

Soooo, I slogged through the sequence, and it looked like they were fighting in a snot storm. But today I decided to redraw the rain FX and I think I came up with a good solution.

Step 1 - Reference your FX

First, I decided to actually look at some footage of rain on YouTube. Real-life reference is so key to making things look right (duh!). I remembered the final fight in Matrix Revolutions, and I looked closely at how they made the rain look and feel.

Very grey and very streaky. I also became aware of the depth of the shots, how the rain was layered into the background. And it obviously doesn't just come straight down, there is subtle variation in the angles of the streaks.

So I went back to my page and hit DELETE and got rid of the old rain and started again.

Step2 - Make a rain template

I realized drawing the rain for each panel would be ridiculously time consuming, so I thought I should create a rain "template" I could use over and over.

Luckly, I discovered a cool tool in Clip Studio Paint (or Manga Studio) that helped a lot. What was it? The "Rain Tool"! I kid you not. I'd never noticed it before and it was a "WooHoo!" moment.

So all I did was create a small canvas and proceeded to use the rain tool, found under Figure Tool -> Stream Lines -> Rain.

I made the rain streaks black, as this is just a template and the colour can be changed later.

I did a few passes, changing the angle value each time to give it some subtle variations.

And that's it! Template done. Now I just copied the layer into whatever panel I was working on and proceeded to customize it for that panel.

Step 3 - Change Size, Colour, and Transparency

I can't give too much advice at this point, as everyone will have a different look they are trying to achieve. I can say that I put a dark layer in behind the characters, followed by a lighter layer, followed by a light layer over top the characters. I fiddled with the size, colour, and transparencies until it started to look more like the Matrix and less like a giant snot storm.



Anyway, I thought I'd share some of this with you, as I was much happier with the result. Happy FXing!

As I said before, I'll be posting about the new Image "Creators For Creators" money grant, which I'm super excited about. I've also finished the cover for Heroes of the Dead #1! I'll post it soon!


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