Advanced Photoshop Tutorial: Cruise Ship Cutaway

Painting and Color Work with Photoshop CS to CS5


4320 x 1968 DPI Version

Illustration Stats - Size: 36" @ 350 dpi, 640 mb CMYK File with 35 Layers / Illustration Time: 720 hrs.

Adobe Photoshop CS-CS5 Painting Tutorials

Photoshop Paths | Airbrush Tool | Basic Painting | Layer Masks | Color Management

All Tutorial Text & Images - Copyright © 2011 KHI, Inc.

Continuing from page 1, once all of the line art was completed and converted to a Photoshop .psd raster file it was time to move on to the coloring and painting phase. The line art was exported from Adobe Illustrator into Photoshop using the "Export" function, retaining all layers and converting to a greyscale file. The file was opened in Photoshop and up-converted to a CMYK file. At this point in the project the photographic reference started arriving from the client.

Note: The following hardware and software was used in the creation of this illustration: An Apple Mac Pro desktop computer, a Wacom Intuos 6x8 drawing tablet, Adobe Photoshop CS-CS5 photo editing software and a properly calibrated monitor.

The first step in the coloring process was to create the carpeting and floor-covering patterns in an overhead "plan view" by duplicating each repeating design motif in Illustrator Vector art, then converting it to a CMYK .psd file. In the example below, Illustrator was used to create the tile flooring in the ship's Solarium atrium/pool room. This process was repeated room-by-room and deck-by-deck until all 14 decks were completed.

Creating the Solarium Floor

Once each deck level was completed the file was distorted into the correct perspective using Adobe Illustrator's "Free Transform tool" or Photoshop's Free Transform distortion tool.

Creating the Centrum Floor

Many of the carpet patterns were created in Illustrator or Photoshop working from carpet samples that were supplied by the client. To achieve the look of carpet texture, Photoshop's monochrome "Noise" filter and "Blur" or "Blur More" filters were used to create the correct randomized texturing.

Creating Carpet Patterns

Once the right look and feel was created, each room's carpeting or flooring file was scaled and merged into the overall deck "plan view" template in its correct position. When each deck was completed it was time to distorted it into the correct perspective using Photoshop's Free Transform tool.

Carpet Layout Close Up

The sample below shows the plan-view of deck 6 with all of the carpet and flooring patterns located in their correct positions within the template (below, top). In the same sample you can see how this template looked after it was distorted into perspective (below, bottom).

Deck 6 Carpet Layout Distorted into Perspective

After all of the decks were distorted each deck was placed into position in the main file and merged into one "flooring" layer. Then it was time to paint all of the wall surfaces, fixtures and furnishings, each on their own layers. When that was completed, drop-shadows were added underneath all of the furnishings. This was done using black paint on a "multiply" layer that was set to an opacity of around 20 percent.

Final Photoshop Layers Pallet

The final painting phase of the project resulted in a Photoshop file with 29 color layers and 6 line-art layers, and a total file size of around 988 mb. At this scale, the "physical" size of the illustration would be around 12 feet wide. This file was then merged down to a more manageable 14 layers for delivery to the client. The sample below shows a close-up detail view of the ship's atrium area at 100 percent of the final artwork's native resolution.

Detail of Final Painted Artwork

Many people will ask: why not use a CAD program to create an illustration such as this? Although CAD is a powerful tool to create and render 3 dimensional objects, it has inherent limitations that would make it impractical to use on an illustration of this scale and complexity - so far. As computing speed increases, CAD will eventually be capable of rendering an object of this size and complexity.

For more information on mechanical and technical drawing techniques, please visit the technical illustration tutorials section of our website.

High-Resolution Cruise Ship Samples

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