Now you've finished the hard bit, it's time to move on to some fun stuff!
This part looks at the typical highlights and shading you'd want to add to a paint scheme. It's amazing how quickly they transform your scheme and make it stand out. The reason for adding these is to simulate the aircraft's surroundings, although the effects get better with each version of the sim.. it still needs a little help.
Here we are at our main paint scheme psd.
Before we do anything add a new layer folder and add a new layer inside of it, place this layer folder above the paint scheme layer folders.
First we'll do the belly shading. Select the Retangular Marquee Tool (M) and make a selection spanning the entire first fuselage segment. Have the selection from the bottom of the fuselage segment to just above the bottom of the doors.
Verify your newly added layer to your layer folder is selected and select the Gradient Tool (G). Obviously we'll be wanting the colour as black so select that as your colour in use. On the Menu Bar at the top of the screen select the drop down and then pick the following options.
In the middle of the fuselage click and the bottom of the selection, hold the mouse button and drag the cursor vertically upwards until it is about 10 pixels below the top of the selection. To help, hold the Shift button while moving the cursor. It should snap the tool to certain angles.
Letting go of the mouse button should draw a nice looking gradient fill like below. If not, step backward (Alt+Crtl+Z) and try again until you're happy with the result
Once you are happy, we'll do the fuselage highlight. Cancel the previous selection by pressing Crtl+D and make a new selection using the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M). Start the selection from the top left of the fuselage by clicking and holding, have it spanning the entire segment's length. Have the bottom of the selection just above the middle of the windows, let go of the mouse button to make the selection. Refer to the above image for guidance.
Due to this repaint you won't see much of the highlight, however look to the orange curve. You should have something looking like the following:
Save the psd.
Before we reduce the opacity of these layers, there's one more thing we need to do. At the nose of the aircraft we want the shading to fall away to simulate the light coming up over the nose, to do this we'll use the Eraser tool.
Select the Eraser Tool (E) and from the Menu Bar click the drop down. Set the diameter to about 50 pixels and the hardness to 0%.
Select the shading layer you previously created, start from a little past the nose door and hold the mouse button. It is better to do this in one motion to give a smooth effect so it may require some practice. Eat away slightly at the shading and gently draw the cursor down to create a slight curve. Bring the cursor down a little more by around the nose cone. Use the following picture for reference:
Play around with the opacity settings for both these layers, I suggest about 30% for both.
We're now going to add one final highlight in this section, however this is purely a basis intended for you to experiment further.
Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and draw a box once again spanning the fuselage segment. The top of the selection should be just above the door and the bottom a little below the door.
Add a new layer, select white as your colour and select the Gradient Tool (G). Unlike previously we're going to use a different gradient. In order to achieve the effect we want, we want the gradient emanating from the center and outwards on both sides.
On the menu bar, this time click the gradient 3 along from the one we have been using. Click the drop down and verify the same setting as before is selected.
Click in the middle of the fuselage towards the bottom of the selection, drag the cursor vertically up a little way above the windows. Let go of the mouse button at the gradient should be drawn.
This will once again will require a bit of practice so attempt it a few times if required. You should have a result something like the following:
Once happy hit Crtl+D to cancel the selection.
Experiment with the opacity, I suggest about 20% and save the psd.
If this were a paint scheme with colour on the entire fuselage, I would probably use the Eraser Tool (E) and Smudge Tool (R),use the same steps as when we did the curve. Eat away at it from the left in this instance a bit until at about the door area. Only do this for the front and rear section where it meets the tail cone.
Finally, we're going to add a little highlight to the wing root area.
Add a new layer and select the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M), make the section from the top of the wing root to a little way down.
Select the Gradient Tool (G), have your active colour as white and return the gradient to the original one we used.
Click at the top of the the selection and hold, drag the cursor vertically down only for about about 20 pixels You should hopefully have something similar to this:
As usual, if not have another go. When happy, cancel the selection by Crtl+D
Now select the Smudge Tool (R) and set the pixel size to about 20. What we aim to do here is simulate the light hitting the front of the wing root. Where your new gradient stops, click on the area using the cursor. Holding the button, drag to the left and downwards following the general curve of the wing root. The result should be a sweeping type effect with it tapering towards the end. Don't be afraid to let go of the mouse button and go back up to the top to start another sweep, or start mid way down to modify a previous one.
Once you're happy with the result, trim the edges that go over the wing root line, or use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L)
There end result should be something like this:
Experiment with the opacity, I suggest about 45%.
Save the psd.
The next step is to duplicate this layer group, we now need to distribute it across to the other fuselage segments.
Like when we did the paint scheme, find a reference point. We only need a reference point to transfer to the middle section, part of the front wing root will do.
Add a new layer to the top of your newly duplicated layer folder and draw the reference point, for example I used the rivets and panel line:
Now drag this entire layer folder down to the middle section using the Move Tool (V), make sure the folder is selected and not an individual layer. Line up the reference point, once done it has no further purpose so the reference layer can be deleted.
The layers may not reach the end of your mid section due to the reference point used. Select each layer and move them horizontally using the Move Tool (V) and the right arrow on the keyboard. Alternatively you can select all 3 layers by clicking one, holding Crtl and clicking the others. Leave the wing root highlight in place.
The only addition required is perhaps an extra highlight in the middle and rear of the wing root.
I made this selection by first using the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and then using Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) with its mode set to "Add" in the menu bar.
Like before, add a new layer to this duplicated layer folder and select the Gradient Tool (G). Click in the middle of the selection at the top and drag the cursor to about 20 pixels down. Let go of the mouse button and it should have drawn the gradient.
Cancel the selection by Crtl+D and use the Smudge Tool (R) like before to smudge the white down and to taper it. Use the Eraser (E) to get rid of any excess.
Set the opacity the same as the original wing root highlight (my suggestion being 45%) and you should be all set.
We now need to drag the highlights and shading to the rear of the fuselage. As this section does not contain the wing root we don't really need to worry about alignment issues.
Duplicate one of the layer folders and make a reference layer inside of it, use the bottom of one of the fuselages so you have something to line it up vertically.
Use the Move Tool (V) and select the layer folder, click anywhere on the sheet and hold. Drag all of the layers down and align the the reference layer with the bottom of the rear section.
If everything goes to plan your fuselage sections should look like this:
Save the psd.
The shading needs to follow the curve upwards of the tail cone.. so that needs sorting.
Select the Marquee Tool (M) and make a selection like the above image.
Select the layer within the layer folder containing the underbelly shading..
Before we can actually curve the shading upwards we're going to need to extend it.
Go to Edit - Transform - Scale, it should create a box around the selection like the following:
On the right side of the box, hover over the middle node and the cursor should change in to a left and right arrow. Click and hold the mouse button, drag it so it goes past the APU exhaust rim. Select the Move Tool (V) and apply the transformation.
The selection should still be retained and now be the new longer size. Now go to Edit - Transform - Skew, the box it creates should look identical to the Scale box. This time however, if you hover over the right middle node instead of left and right arrows it has up and down. Click and hold, drag the node up so it follows the approximate angle of the panel lines.
Once you're happy, select the Move Tool (V) once again and apply the transformation.
Cancel the select using Ctl+D.
Use the Marquee Tool (M) to select any excess shading past the APU exhaust rim, hit delete and you're done.
The final minor issue is of the wing root belly. Add a new layer to one of the layer folders, select the Marquee Tool (M) and draw a box around the entire section of the psd. Fill this selection with black using the Paint Bucket (G) and reduce the layers opacity to match the fuselage (my suggestion being 30%). This will do for now and can be adjusted later.
Cancel the selection using Crtl+D.
With the same layer selected, use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to select the areas of white in between the fuselage and wing root under belly. Fill the area with black using the Paint Bucket Tool (G). Cancel the selection using Crtl+D.
Save the psd.
On a side note, you may notice I have added a beige tinge to the textures. This I have done by adding a new layer above the "background" layer and using a colour value of Red: 255, Green: 253 and Blue: 236 (this can be done in the Colour Picker. I used the Paint Bucket (G) to fill the entire sheet with colour, set the layer's mode to Multiply and reduced the opacity to 40%. Try it out.. and as usual.. experiment!
Now would be a good time to see how she's looking in the sim
She should be looking pretty good, however you may see a banding type problem like the following:
If you cast your mind back, we had a similar problem when doing the basic paint scheme.
The main culprit is the middle section and this is where we shall start from. The way to correct the above banding is by moving the highlight layers up and down and not left to right.
Work from the front to the back of the aircraft, we'll keep the front section's highlights and shading in place.. then work from there.
As usual, this may take some time as you'll need to view it in the Sim or FSRepaint each time to see what it looks like.
As an example, I moved the middle sections belly shading up by 4 pixels and the middle sections top highlight down by 7 pixels. We don't need to move the middle highlight as we can see that's fairly well positioned.
Now we have the middle section aligned with the front section, do exactly the same for the rear section and align it with the middle.By moving the middle section's top highlight it's now nicely placed with the rear's so we don't need to move that.
I moved the rear section shading by about 25 pixels.
Moving all of these layers up will now have caused white areas to appear on the underbelly. Look at where the areas are in the Sim and use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to select the area. You can then use the Paint Bucket Tool (G) to apply black to the area. Make sure you have the surrounding layer selected before hand.
Cancel the selection using Crtl+D then save the psd.
The current state of our psd:
I think it's about time we moved on to the tail!
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