New to Rendering Using AI and PS

I’ve have a few goes with scanning in a sketch, outlining in Illustrator, and Using Photoshop for the colors and value. I’ve tried going through skinny’s Illustrator to Photoshop Tutorial, but I’m having trouble with the part about channels. Suffice to say, I know nothing about channels, what they do, and how to use them. Can anyone kinda walk me through what Channels are and how they’re used? Attached below are a couple of my attempts at rendering with AI and PS. All criticism is welcome and encouraged.

Your off to a great start! Good renders.

Channels are essentially saved selections. When you use the magic wand or polygon lasso (or combination of), you can go to SELECT > SAVE SELECTION and you will make a channel. After you de select, and do other things, you can go into your channels (under layers) click the MAKE SELECTION icon and get your selection back.

I almost never use this anymore. Typically what I do is copy in my illustrator line art, and then copy that layer, so I always have a clean line art layer I can use the magic wand on.

You can do it that way, or also even simpler is to just keep a layer that is just the solid block color, say the red for instance. Then you can always just command-click that layer to select whatever is red, etc… so that you won’t have to keep recreating a complicated selection of multiple parts. So you can steer clear of channels if you want, just fill a selection with a block color and keep it in a lower layer and it’s pretty much the same thing.

i dont use channel either, but do sometimes use the solid black layer method Yo mentioned. another method is once you make a selection to save it as a new path, which then also gives you he option of modifying it later if need be with the pen tool. plus, depending on your render resolution, sometimes using the magic wand on a black or colored area gets a funny dithered edge. like almost everything, there is more than 1 way to accomplish a task, and finding your own workflow that works for you will make your process as smooth as possible.

My method is here, in case you missed it on the sticky, btw.


I recently went back and tried changing the color and the result was less than pretty. How can I get the shading to work with the change in color? Is this where channels would have come in handy?

It looks like you changed your “grey color” layer to blue, but the “shading” layer above it is still grey.

I’d recommend using an adjustment layer to change the color.
Here’s a quick tut for changing color, maybe others will find this helpful.

  1. Select Layers > New Adjustment Layer > Hue and Saturation…
  2. make sure “use previous layer as clipping mask” is unchecked, click OK
  3. Adjust the color with the slider- you can go back and edit this anytime
    (select colorize if necessary, experiment)

4. Make the adjustment layer mask black (hide). Click it and flood fill black, the color change should go away.
5. Create a selection around what you want to be changed (apple+shift click layer to add to selection, apple+option click layer to subtract from selection) in this example I selected the back housing, then subtracted the logo, camera, and flash bar.
6. Select the adjustment layer mask, and flood fill your selection white.

You may need to play with the mask and the layering to only change what you want.