Tips thread


OK this thread will be about tips and tricks for whatever. Everyone can post tips or you can ask away at anything. All tips go here.

Artist in need of guidance! any tips or videos on how to draw anime style characters?

I’ll take this one

Ok, first you have to remeber a few important rules on character design.

  1. Is it a Hero or Villian or Neutral?
  2. What is the time period?
  3. What is the said charcter/s personality or background
  4. What ethnicity is the character?
  5. What does the character specialize in? i.e guns, swords, magic.

Once you establish all of the above you can start designing a character. Hero’s usualy dress casual to a slight grunge. depending on their ethnic background, base some of their clothes/accessories accordingly, but you dont wanna get sterotypical. Villain usualy wear dark colors or leather. Alot of times you can throw a villian in a buisness suit. It all really depends on the time and character/personality. Originality is very hard to come by. All the solid Ideas are taken, nowadays you have to extra simplify a character so that he/she dosent look like some one else.

For book reference, there are some Anime books that show you how to design male and femal characters. They sell it at books a million and i’m sure at other places. There is a Marvel book also but I cant think of the name.


how do i shade the nose. and the area around the eyes.


good tips, but i was looking for things more details then just how to get started i suppose, i’ve have two of those how to draw manga books, but they are in perspective and illustrated battles, and not really on characters, i guess i have to find some more, i borrowed this marvel book from my friend and it has good tips in there on how to make a character, originality is really hard to get, i’ve done so many sketches of my characters, i can’t seem to get the look that i want… thanks :smiley: i just gotta keep at it


Ill post some tuts on eye and nose structure for you tomorrow d fist, gotta do some comps right now.


awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh


I need some help too

can some explain layers to me when using photoshop?


would anyone care to provide some pictures (rather than tips) of muscle/skeletal structure (from different angles if possible)? i dont care if it is drawn by someone on srk or if it is an image from the web or something official. thnks.


re: character design:
character design is largely influenced by what’s cool at the moment. Neon spandex isn’t anywhere considered cool design today, but it was the standard garb of superheroes in the Golden Age of comics. Art reflects life… so study what is applicable to your character and stylize it.

An interesting character take to look at would be Johnny Depp’s character in *Pirates of the Carribean. *While he is still very much a pirate (hat and all), there are some things very unique about him that stand out - (1) swaggering, self-absorbed yet comical manner in which he carries himself; (2) one shot loaded in his pistol, reserved for his mutinous First Mate; (3) daredevil/suicidal antics in a movie world of stiff opponents (British naval officers); and (4) his Kohl-lined eyes.

if you’re concerned about designing characters beyond their appearance, think of their psychology and their motivation.

psychology is how their brain works - something like personality, but it goes deeper than that. eg; how bullies are usually cowards. Using that classic example, the character goes around looking & acting all thug, trash-talking and lording over people who can’t/won’t stand up to him. However, once he realizes he’s in over his head, he resorts to any means possible to get himself out of the situation. He steps on those who are weaker than him, but is really impotent whne confronted by a formidable opponent.

motivation is important too - what are they trying to achieve? world domination? to be the best fighter in the world? revenge? make sure your character is clear about this or else he/she will seem unfocused.



I love martial arts, everything about them. But when I try and come up with cool characters of my own it looks like a Ryu,Ryo,Goku, like guy. I mean if I could make him move and animate him then yeah people would see the difference but thats not the case with a still figure ya know. Like if you ever look at some pics of Toriyama’s characters standing there, u never would guess that those characters would do some crazy shit in movement.

How do I come up with an original character and stay true to what I like with out looking like a copy cat? I dont wanna be one of the guys that draws a shitty guy and tells you about all these cool things the guy can do ya know. Its like well that would be cool if I could see all that shit.:lol:



Researching your gear and costume would help. If you wanted samarai type character then you would look up the samarai. Mix and match the costumes to get your own original design.


this is very, very true imho. Research can make your designs look more accurate. Lack of research/understanding will limit your possibilities and help you propogate the stereotype.

“God is in the details”



great tips!! i’ll take all those in concideration when revising my character, they are pretty crappy looking right now, my instructor told me to fix it, i’m gonna have to look for more references, i should post my characters to show u guys how crappy they are…too lazy :stuck_out_tongue: thanks


yeah so i made this character a while back and needed some suspendors and spurs. I looked up reference on how they really should look. He also had a tribal like tat, so I copied the tat, but added a twist to it to make it look original.

As for the boots i looked up womens fashion boots for slick design and bulked it up for my male character. Remember reference is the key to victory. Wow that sounds corny, but at least it rhymes.



I still need layer help! Dont forget about me…



I could’ve sworn I replied to this post… scratches head

Photoshop is a rather deep program, so I’d recommend you check out some tutorials (whether built-in or online) to really learn about the program.

anyway, the concept behind layers (whether in Photoshop, Freehand, etc) is simple - think of a basic ham & cheese sandwich.

The bottom (1st) layer is your bread, the 2nd layer is your cheese, 3rd layer your ham, 4th layer the top slice of bread.

Ordering layers
They have an order (bread-cheese-ham-bread). You can change the order around (bread-ham-bread-cheese), add layers (bread-ham-bread-cheese-bread), and delete layers (bread-ham-cheese-bread). You can also hide layers but that’s not applicable to the sandwich example.

What this means is that if you put something on its own layer, you can edit it by itself (run filters, change its hue/saturation/opacity/etc) and not affect the rest of the pic. In sandwich terms, that’d be taking out the slice of ham & grilling it with BBQ sauce. The ham now tastes of BBQ sauce but the rest of the sandwich is unaffected.

Transparency on layers
Assuming we’re talking about the kind of Swiss cheese with the holes - when you slap that piece of cheese on the bread, you can still see the bread through the holes, right? Similarly any layer with parts that don’t have anything on them (transparent areas) will reveal what is in the layer(s) below it. Your layers start out empty, so it’s intially all transparent.

that’s about the basics of layers. good luck.
if you need more help, there’s always Google.


what does the link option on layers do?

The little chain icon.


It links 2 or more layers together, and so helps you maintain the relationship between them. If you move or transform (scale/rotate/skew/etc) one of the linked layers, the others will also move/transform to the same degree as the layer you worked on.



I’m gonna link the Image Maipulation Q&A thread in IMM:

there are lots of links to online tutorials and stuff.

happy digging :slight_smile:


Here you are dreaded fist of legend.