It's Not Rocket Science!
As seen on Bleeding Cool News!
by George Peter Gatsis
2012 - 01 - 14
Bringing 3D & 2D together

Greetings everyone. This is one of my characters, Joe King... No seriously... and don't call him Sheryl.

Joe is hanging around a tropical planet that's pretending to be a sun.
( Long story short: the universe is overrun with monsters that eat planets. So the planets disguised themselves as suns. Think of a spicy, peppery pizza... with just spicy peppers and no water in sight... yummy. )

These are Joe's friends in a spaceship... in 3D space.
( trust me they are in there... they just happen to be playing poker at this time. )

There are wonderful 3D programs out there like MAYA and 3D Studio MAX, which are purchasable items...
and Google SketchUp and my new hero on the block... Blender... which are FREE!

Opps!! Forgot to turn off the wireframe.

There that's better.

If Joe and his friends would come together right now, it wouldn't be a good thing.
Reality would collapse! The universe will explode! All existence will vanish... or worse.
They just don't look like they belong together.

So what in the name of William Shanter do we do? Is there a transporter that can take apart the very fabric of the two different realities and bring them together?

Why, yes Lois... there is.

We have to render the 3D artwork with a POSTERIZING effect.
All the 3D programs out there now are quite a bit in common with each other...
For one thing... they all open and save files.
Another is that they can change up the gradation of the colors of light and shadow to simplified TOON.

Wait WHAT!!? That's crazy! Why would you simplify an awesome rendering of a spaceship? You'll loose all that wonderful detail and look and stuff!

Ah... but we are going to simplify it AND keep all the detail.

That's impossible! I still think you are crazy.

It's not crazy for the Manga or Anime stuff that we all love right from birth.

What we have here is the POSTERIZING effect applied to the 3D geometry... or TOONED rendering ( with an ALPHA MASK )...

That's nice... but where are the black lines that hold this reality together... and thereby bringing Joe and his friends together?

We must render another file ( with an ALPHA MASK )... a if-you-will... a 60s era love, peace and all that jazzy stuff kinda file!

Here we have a second render with all the different geometry given a distinctly different color.
Almost all the colors in the different geometry don't overlap on each other... THIS IS IMPORTANT.

We are going to combine these two different dimensions of color files to create the blacklines that hold the artwork together and re-unite Joe and his friends.

We start off by bringing both renders into Photoshop... and layering one on top of the other.

WAIT WHY PHOTOSHOP!?? Why not some other program? And how can I get out of this chicken army?

Secure that chicken Hudson! You can use another image editing program... But for this demo... we are doing it in Photoshop.

In photoshop there is a wonderful filter called FIND EDGES.

Once you engage this filter on an unsuspecting layer all things begin... to be glorious!

That's okay... I think I see where you are going with this...

We adjust the levels of the artwork to make everything that is not white... BLACK! ( dramatic drum noise: dum, dum, dum, duuummmm! )

Yes, but there are lines that don't connect around the ship. What do we do oh great and powerful gaa-zoo!!!

This is where we use the selection of the ALPHA MASK and put a stroke around the ship.

Then we merge the black line artwork with the posterized rendering.

But the lines don't all connect! What do we do?

Simple, just touch up the little bits of area with a simple brush stroke... and THERE YOU ARE!!!

Joe's friends have just made the transition from 3D space to 2D space... and nobody spilled their hot beverages in the process.

That's nice... Hanging out in negative space looks okay... but where is the planet disguised as a sun?

Opps... here it is.

And here is all three of them in the same reality... THE UNIVERSE IS SAVED!

Brought to you by, the number 7, the letter "u" and a generous helping of spicy pizza!


George Peter Gatsis