This is the most important part of any paint scheme, once it is completed you do not need to worry about the tedious parts like alignment issues. However, this section is indeed the most labourious and frustrating.. so please bare with me. Once this section is completed I promise it gets more fun.
To create the general lines we want to have access to the entire length of the paint scheme (to get the big orange arc). First of all we'll start by creating a new document, select the size as being 1024x768 under "Preset" in the dialogue box that opens.
Now, select one of the paint scheme layers from your paint kit, seeing as though they are all the same it does not matter which. Just as you dragged it onto paint kit.. you'll now drag it off into the new document you created. Do so by having the new document in view, clicking and holding on the paint scheme layer and dragging it over.
You should have something like below, if the paint scheme doesn't fit as you would like you can increase the canvas size by going to Image - Canvas Size. Change cm to pixels (if it isn't already set to it). Then type in an increased number depending on which measurement you wish to change and press ok.
Now we want to make sure we have the correct colour selected. Although changeable throughout, it is best to select a colour and stick to it to avoid unnecessary time consumption.
To pick a colour select the Eye Dropper Tool (I). Once again if the Eye Dropper is not selected click and hold on it in the tool bar, when the drop down appears select the Eye Dropper.
Set your paint schemes layer back to 100% and click on a spot that appears to have the least amount of light effecting it.
This is the colour I have chosen. If you wish to manually put in the colour code for the above colour, click on the box in the toolbar (appears orange in the above picture). This will produce the above window, where it says "R", "G" and "B" input the following numbers 230, 97 and 44 respectfully and press ok.
Before we start painting you always want to add a new layer. This is a good habit to get into.. I've had my fair share of annoyances by forgetting to add a layer and ending up with merged parts. We add a new layer by pressing the circled button on the layer palette, if you wish to rename this layer double click on the "layer 1" portion. Press enter or click off it once the rename is complete.
We are now going to create the large curve, which is the main part of the scheme. We'll use a path for this, which is a series of connected nodes. Paths are very useful as they are fully editable at any time, they can also be shaped in to literally anything you want. They can also be endlessly resized and as they aren't actually a graphic the end product does not become distorted.
Select the Paths tab in the layer palette and just like when we added a new layer above, add a new path.
Now select the Pen tool (P), once again if it is anything other than this tool click and hold on it until the drop down appears and select it. Click at the point on the left where the curve begins, a small black box should appear at that point like below. This is the node in the path.
This next maneuver is hard to explain. Click on a part of the curve on the tail, before where it curves the other way (see below). Without letting go of the mouse button after clicking drag the cursor upwards and to the right. Do so until the line is aligned with the right side portion of the curve (as below). You're probably thinking that its not a very snug fitting curve.. bare with me.
Now click and hold on the on the Pen Tool icon in the tool bar. Select the Add Anchor Point Tool. What we're going to do now is add another node along the path line in order to reshape the curve. Once the tool is selected click on a place before the curve peaks.
Place your cursor over this newly added node, the cursor should turn into a small white arrow. Click and hold, then drag the node down so it fits well with the curve line.
We can make the right side of the curve fit the image better by clicking on the small black dot on the end of the line, coming from the right hand side node. Move it slightly right and maybe up .Remember that the image is on a curved fuselage and so you maybe not be able to get an exact fit.
If any of the original nodes aren't correctly placed then you can click on them just like you clicked on the above black box, but instead on the node itself and move it.
Return to your layers palette (by clicking on the tab). Make sure a blank layer is selected and return to the paths palette and make sure the path you just create is selected. Select the Brush Tool (b) and select the thickness as being 1 pixel from the drop down arrow top left of the screen.
Look at the bottom of the paths palette, there are 6 buttons. Hover over them and they will display what they do. Click the one second from the left (Stroke path with brush) You should now see your path have an orange line (the colour you selected) following it.
Add a new path and select the Pen Tool (P) once again. As before, if it isn't selected click and hold the drop down then select it.
To finish the curve on the tail simply click where your curve finished and click on the end of the curve which should on the leading edge of the tail. Select the layers palette, add a new layer and repeat what you did above in regards to stroking the path.
If once the path is stroked it is a pixel or two out you could either adjust the node placing and try again or move the layer. To move the layer pixel by pixel, select the layers palette, make sure the layer you wish to move is select. Select the Move Tool (V) then press and hold crtl and use the arrow keys.
Remove all the template paint scheme layers and you should have something that looks like this, on two layers:
Merge both of these layers by clicking on one, then hold down Crtl and click on the other one. Then press Crtl and E (alternatively right click and select Merge Layers towards the bottom).
Then once again drag over this layer onto your paint kit and align it approximately with one of the pieces of fuselage. (I have placed it on the middle piece in the below picture)
Duplicate this layer by right clicking it in the layers palette and selecting Duplicate Layer. Do this again and move each one to the other portions of the paint kit.
To cover up the curve that flows onto the tail, click the Add Layer Mask button which is at the bottom of the layer palette (third from left).
A layer mask works in grey scale and the shade of grey instructs it how heavily to produce the mask (100% black making it invisible). Layer masking is good because it isn't actually removing what you are masking just covering it with an invisible blanket, which means you can reveal parts at any point (by selecting white and painting over).
The box to the right on the layer is the mask, if you wish to edit the mask in the future you need to click on it.
Swap the colour by clicking on the little arrow by the colour boxes (so you don't get rid of your orange) and select black by clicking on the colour and choosing it in the colour palette. Paint on the parts you wish to cover up which are on the tail, you should see it disappear.
Add the curve to the tail by duplicating one of your template layers (one of the fuselage ones so that the tail is intact). Extract the tail part by selecting the Move Tool (V) and click on the layer, dragging it across the screen so the tail part comes into view. Select the Marquee Tool (M), using the Rectangular Marquee Tool draw a box around the tail. Then either go to Select - Inverse or press Shift+Crtl+I. This will inverse your selection so the outside of your tail is selected, then press delete to remove it. Use the Move Tool (V) to place it approximately.
Then like before, duplicate the paint scheme line layer and move it into the correct place so it follows the curve of the tail. It doesn't matter much at this time whether it is exactly place.. just as long as it's close as possible.
You should also add a layer mask to this layer so only the tail part of the line is displayed.
By removing the paint scheme template layers you should be left with your creation, which should something like below:
Note: I also added the tail curve as you can see, this was done by placing the tail part of the real image on the tail and increasing its scale, exactly like we did with the rest of the template layers.
Save the psd.
You can get the completed psd: here
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