Okay, so I stayed up too late the other night and did another tutorial from mickm. I really want to get comfortable with Photoshop, and I feel after this one, that I'm slowly getting there. This tutorial is really basic, but I managed to get through it and realized along the way that I felt a lot more comfortable moving around. As silly as this seems, I discovered that there is a direct selection tool that works pretty much the same way that it does in Illustrator. Another super useful shortcut is ctrl + T, which allows you to edit the position and size of the object you've created. In the past, what I have found to be so frustrating in Photoshop, is that I want to do things, but I don't know how to select the object... so obviously these two tools brought me a big sigh of relief.
Creating the shadow effects on this character (Kirby) was interesting, because I would not have thought that you would be able to draw such a dark shape and be able to reduce it so much that it blends and just becomes a subtle tonal variation. Gaussian blur was used heavily here... so again, repetition and using it on multiple areas to achieve different effects helped me to see how useful it is.
The most difficult part of this lesson, was creating Kirby's mouth. I drew it with the pen tool, then used the direct selection tool to tweak it. Getting his tongue to fit in there was also terrible. I didn't quite understand the directions, and what I ended up doing, was making his tongue from an oval, then magnifying the image and erasing the portion of the oval that overlapped his mouth. Then I merged the 2 layers, and applied the overlay effect from the last step. It doesn't look as good as the tutorial, but I think I did a good job in problem solving. I'm glad that I kept deleting and redoing the mouth portion of the exercise until I found a result that I could be pleased with.
One thing that I've noticed in doing these tutorials, is that some are more beneficial than others, in terms of me actually learning in a way that allows me to problem solve outside of the actual tutorial and on my own. The "SEXY" tutorial was a lot of fun, but it was really just a series of settings that you copied one by one, and then you had your end result. I feel that I get more out of tutorials where I am actually creating objects and building things.
In any event, I enjoy posting them here, perhaps because it helps me to see what I'm learning and to put it all into perspective.
Here is Kirby from the tutorial
and here's my Kerby