Make It on Mobile: Character Design by Luke Choice
Australian graphic artist Luke Choice and his Los Angeles-based studio, Velvet Spectrum, are well known for dynamic and often surreal 3D illustrations, typography, and animation—Choice’s portfolio features work for clients like Nike, Google, and HBO. But his experience during a recent Make It on Mobile event reminded him of an illustration style that had inspired him in his youth, before he started working in 3D. So he decided to experiment.
STEP 1: When you create a new project in Photoshop Sketch, you can add a photo from your camera roll as a layer (by clicking on the plus sign on the right side of the interface), adjust its opacity, and then use that layer as a guide when you draw. Later on, you can delete that layer if you like.
STEP 2: Choice used Adobe Capture to create custom color themes. He started with a photo of denim and a photo of brass wall hangings in his studio. Then he adjusted the colors, adding a bit more saturation to achieve the graphic look he was going for.
STEP 3: Next, Choice began blocking out areas of solid color as the basis for his painting. He says, “Color often dictates the direction my artwork will go in, so I started to fill out the base of the image with smoke, using the watercolor brush. Having the ability to continually bleed the colors together helps create great depth easily.”
STEP 4: Choice says, “Typography will play a large part in my graphic novel, so I put in a placeholder to get a sense of how the type fills the space.”
STEP 5: “Part of my character’s story is tied to an amulet,” says Choice, “So to create the amulet, I borrowed one of my girlfriend's earrings and took a photo using Shapes in Adobe Capture. After editing the shape to remove unnecessary details, I exported it as an SVG file and then added it as an image layer in Sketch.”
STEP 6: Choice used the watercolor brush to add texture to the amulet.
STEP 7: “I wasn’t sure what weapon to give the character,” says Choice, “so this composition ended up dictating what it eventually became. I quickly built a 3D model of a flail and then used my iPad to take a photo of the render right on the screen of my desktop computer. Using Capture, I created a shape to bring into the scene as a base to work from, as I had with the amulet.”
Using a mixture of shapes and a variety of brushes helped Choice create a striking image and a rich, textural environment. See the final image below.