Chapter 1 Drawing the character's source image (Photoshop CS5)

    Step 1)   Draw a draft

【1】Draw the guide image

For Live2D usage, having your character facing the front is easier to work with. 
Hence, go with a pose that is directly facing the front
Add guidelines and horizontally flip your drawing to confirm whether it is as symmetrical as possible.




    Step 2)   The head part

【1】Draw the hidden area

Normally when we draw, we do not think along with logic of "parts division" that Live2D requires.
We need to be conscious of and draw out the parts with hidden area, such as the "forehead" and "lower neck" which are always covered by some other parts from an upper layer. 
Allocate the layers into folders by body parts to keep the project organized.





Keep the outline layer and color layer in the same folder together. 
(Since that the final PSD output needs the each body part to be flatten, it is fine to merge the lines and paint layers together)



The face consists of quite a lot of parts. Most of them are of fine details which requires careful treatment.
Draw the eyelash (eye line) darker, and the mouth (lips) outline with a thicker brush. 
Doing so makes it easier when you do the modelling later.




Using a perfectly centered pose offers the advantage to have only half of the face drawn. Which ever side of the half you draw, you can simply duplicate and reflect the parts to use them for the other side.




This is a completed drawing of the face.





There are not enough parts to make the movements yet, so let's move on.

If we want to add shadows to the bangs that casts on face, we would need to make a layer called "bangs shadow" under the group "bangs". 
(Be aware that Photoshop layer properties such as "multiply" will not be carried over to Cubism Modeler. However, Cubism Modeler offers a built-in "multiply" effect to use.)

※ The layer name has no particular effect on Cubism Modeler. You are free to name them in any way that helps you identifying the content, Cubism Modeler will keep the names as they are in your PSD file. 




Make the "Eye cover" pieces.
Using the skin color of the location, paint a piece for the area between the eyebrows and the eye. 
(The layers should be in proper order as they will become the drawing order in Cubism Modeler.)
Make the 4 parts: "Upper eye cover R", "Upper eye cover L", "Lower eye cover R", "Lower eye cover L".




For the mouth part, you need to make one piece for each area "Upper mouth" and "Lower mouth".
Just like the previous procedure, use the skin color around the mouth area to paint a block of it. 
Then, draw the inner mouth and the teeth. The layer is named "inner mouth".
Put that layer underneath "Upper mouth" and "Lower mouth".





Divide up the side-hair from the rest.
This character has a bobcut hairstyle. 
Having short hair, when the strands on both sides act independently during movements like tilting the head,
the hair would look fluffy; light and soft.




    Step 3)   The body

A slightly refined sketch.







Just like the face, have the body divided into parts, each with their own folder containing the "outline" and "color" layer. 
These parts include "neck", "collar", "ribbon", "body", "arm", "wrist", "legs".
Having accessory parts like "ribbon" makes it possible to move independently. You can even make it removable. 
("Hands", "Upper arm", "Forearm", and "Left and Right legs" will all be separated in the texture material. Extend their ends a little more with a simple color block so that they're always intact when moving)






    Part 4)   Dividing and integrating parts

Up to this point, we have had our layers put into folders for organizing purpose. 
Now, merge the folder for each part individually (a part becomes only one layer of drawing).
Also, apply your mask layers to a normal layer, but not remaining as a clipped layer.
(Cubism Modeler would create an error if  the PSD file has a clipped mask layer)

Have these parts remain separated: "hands", "forearms", "upper arms". 
Separate the left and right legs.

The above image takes apart the character to show how many individual parts should there exist. 
(Except the face part which is still intact, but is actually composed of multiple sub-parts on separate layers). 
This is considered a completed PSD source file.



    Bonus:   Enhancing the details

To add some Anime-style flavor, put in some details into the drawing.
Try adding some shadow, highlight, and wrinkles.



Having the ribbon on a different layer allows the following.
Since the original ribbon is removable, you may draw a different one to try it on.
You may also try other kinds of accessories, such as a tie, or even a necklace. 
Draw several variations to create a series of accessory items.

Further more, if there is a body layer underneath the clothes layer,
you may create a model with a variety of clothes to change, which makes it a dress-up doll application.
You can add in new customizing clothes any time later.

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Article copyright © 2015 Kuroi

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