Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 321

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

HELLBOY. 2016. Watercolor on paper, 9 × 12″.

Although Photoshop is primarily known for its pixel-pushing power, it's actually a great tool for lighting quick and easy 3D models. I sculpted this bust of Hellboy when I was working on BPRD: '53 last year and it came in handy again for this SF Comic Con commission.

Using just 2 "infinite lights," I was able to create the look I was after. You can also do "spot" and "point" lights, but the infinite is the easiest to set up with just just one parameter: direction.

It presents a passable approximation in real time (pictured below) but if more detail is needed (and you have the time) it can render every nook and cranny. I'm usually on the hunt for large forms and cast shadows, so the rough pass is usually good enough for me.


The sphere set on the right is how you change the lighting direction, but it also serves as a nice guide in case there are additional objects you'd like to add to the painting (but don't feel like sculpting).


  1. Questions: in what did you sculpt the 3-d model?

    1. A free program called Sculptris. Definitely worth a look.

    2. been playing with it...good stuff

  2. I recently met the owner of this commission. they said it was going to the grave with them. One day i'll have one of my own.


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Design out of the FlyBird's Box.