TUTORIAL >>> quick concept sketch (pencil + photosh

a quick demo on a quick technique I am using lately.
Sketch: 10 min
Rendering: 20 min

Step 1: scan, clean up, and set layer to multiply
Step 2: create a new layer, and loosely brush in a medium grey
Step 3: erase out overspray with block eraser
Step 4: select surface facing viewer looselt with polygon laso and use dodge and burn to add form

Step 5: Select surface facing away from viewer and shadow with doge and burn tools
Step 6: select smaller surfaces and shade with dodge and burn
Step 7: use paintbrush tool to ad highlights
Step 8: zoom out and make sure form is reading and lightsource is consistant

Step 9: add a new layer and zoom out, using a large soft brush, lay in a simple background that reinforces the ligh scheme.
Step 10: add a second tone to the background and erase it out from behind the secondary sketch
Step 11: Select the side panel using the polygon laso and copy and paste it onto a new layer. To create the look of a white panel increase the brightness on this layer
step 12: Select the front face plate and copy and paste onto a new layer

Sep 13: Using the hue saturation window add color to the front panel. Check the “colorize” box and use the sliders to reach the desired color.
Step 14: Copy yhe base shading layer and use brightness contrast to darken this part
Step 15: with the linework layer off you can see how slopy the rendering is
Step 16: using the add noise filter I add noise to the background and the face plate layers to add some texture to the sketch

The final:

feel free to ask any questions, or add any comments…

Step 5: Select surface facing away from viewer and shadow with doge and burn tools

Really good tutorial, when you say the above, what do you actually do with the dodge and burn tools to create shadow? The same for below as well.

Thank you

Step 4: select surface facing viewer looselt with polygon laso and use dodge and burn to add form

thanks, good question.

For these quick renderings I allways use a simple light source scheme. I think of the light as coming directly from the viewer, so every surface facing the viewer is highlighted, and every surface facing away is in shadow.

In this case, the large surface facing the viewer is a large, gentle, convex one. The upper left corner is most facing us, so with a large soft brush, I hit that corner with the dodge tool. The bottom side, where the leg juts out, wraps more agressively, so with a smaller brush, I use the burn tool to darken it. The faceplate surface is concave, to the surface of that panel closest to us, is actualy facing away, a quick brushstroke of the burn tool showes that form.

Sorry for all of the typo’s above, I think that goes without saying at this point though right? :wink:

BTW, this was sketched with prisma pencil on 8.5 x 11 copy paper.
For the rendering I did use a 6x8 Wacom Intuos II, but I have used a mouse before for these as well.

Just a quick tip, as I’ve been practicing my PS painting skills.
One of the most frustrating issues was painting vertical lines with a comfortable brush stroke - I found the horizontal much easier and looser.

In order to help myself out, I setup a couple of action buttons.
F3 now rotates the canvas 90 degrees counter cw, and F4 90 degrees clockwise.

I’m sure I’m not the first to discover this, but I hadn’t read it posted anywhere. Hope it helps.

Any one have some additional tips?

is this the new version of ps? i have photoshop7 and the f3 f4 rotating does not work for me…holding shift while making a stroke either horizontally or vertically will give a straight line

Sorry; it’s a custom action you have to create. Simple to create; just look in the help files on creating an action. These are great for other, production type, multiple keystroke tasks.


oops missed that, thanks i got it to work but it is does not work as well as it does in painter…it is way too slow iin comparison but its better than nothing

oh yeah, big ups to yo for the demo! question: do you scan it b&w, grayscale or color? when i scan b&w i lose detail, grayscale picks up all the invisible smudges, and color usually introduces weird anomalies into the scan, i dislike scanning, its fustratin’.


I scan it greyscale, 300 dpi. Once in PS I use levels to adjust the smudges out (move the white triangle left) and darken the blacks (move the black triangle right) and adjust the midtones. I also apply the despeckle filter to get rif of some noise. Once there I can reduce the dpi down to like 150-200 for an easier file to work with.

As far as the angle thing, I’ve gotten good at rotating my tablet to get nice vertical and horizontal brush strokes, but that is an awesome tip! I’ll have to set those up!

Tasty stuff, as always, Yo. Thanks for the post - very informative.

What kind of tablet do you use?

Thanks man.

Tablet: at home (and for this) just a small inuos 2, and at work I use a 15" Cintiq

Wouldn’t this be much easier to do with Adobe Streamline and Illustrator. I’ve done this for years with gradients and masks and it’s much more simple than what you have described.

Generally, it’s easier to get custom gradients and nice fades in photoshop than in illustrator, since in PS you can just paint them on instead of defining a shape and gradient angle.

This page is definitely getting PDF’d for reference. Thanks Yo.

No problem dude.

To each their own, throw us down an illi demo diabolix I can give you the same linework if you want to show how illi can do it better/faster, and not loose any of the character of the sketch.

not to nit pick…but i think your perspective is off. you always have killer work…so i could be wrong. but i believe its impossible to have the top of the box going to one vanishing point and the bottom to another set of vps. also the cut line for the disk drive on the face has diverging lines. what do you think?

What are everyone’s opinions about leaving the sketch lines in the final image? I’ve heard other designers criticize leaving-in outlines because it flattens the image and makes it seem childish.

Personally, I like leaving the sketch in, even if I have to clean it up a little. I think it leaves a visceral connection to the act of designing, and can enhance the conceptual spirit of a rendering.

Does anybody use a variation on this technique to create a final view without sketch lines? Does anyone have a good way to mask off different regions of a drawing to independently shade?

Yo, good demo Yo

I disagree, by using simple line blends you can get the correct curve without haphazardly “painting” it in. I tried your method last night on a simple sketch and it took me about 30 minutes to do one drawing and with Streamline and Illustrator, it took 5 minutes to get the same results. I love Photoshop as much as the next person but some things are very time consuming and don’t really measure up, I’d rather do more concepts or more thought-out concepts than spend my time fooling around with Photoshop. And my clients all appreciate that.

no need to get snipey about it.

on this sketch, you are right, this could be done in illustrator. But something things with more complex, organic forms, tend to get stiff in there, maybe I just don’t know illustrator as well as I know photoshop.

horseshoe, the perspective is a bit off, but this was just a quick doodle, so I don’t think it takes away much…it’s nothing the liquify filter can’t fix… :wink: