Secrets of Corel Painter Experts: Brian Haberlin
Brian Haberlin: About the Artist
I am an artist and writer working in most entertainment media from film to comics. I am known as an innovator and creator of most of the modern production and computer art methods used in the comic industry today. I have created many comic book properties, including Stone, Aria, Hellcop, and Area 52. I write for 3dWorld Magazine, and I teach at Minneapolis College of Art and Design and my own online company: DigitalArtTutorials.com. For another company of mine, Anomaly Productions, I am currently creating new graphics novels that will be coming out in 2011.
Software: Painter, Photoshop, Poser
Hardware: i7-980x PC, Wacom Cintiq
I have an “everything but the kitchen sink” approach. I believe in being an all-rounder — able to paint in oils one day, sculpt digitally the next, write and create later the same day, and then fuse all these skills into one product. Illustration and sequential storytelling are that ticket for me. I have always felt that a pretty picture deserves a good story to go along with it.
Great artists, both fine and commercial, influence me. Let me break it down for who does what really well: for dynamic action, I admire the work of Marko Djurdjevic; for expressively rendered figures, Egon Schiele; for design, Gustav Klimt; for awesome painting, Phil Hale; for simplicity in storytelling and design, Moebius (Jean Henri Gaston Giraud). Really, my list could go on and on as I look around at the books in my studio. It really depends on who I’ve been looking at lately — so it is fluid and changes. Great directors like Peter Jackson, David Fincher, and Alfred Hitchcock, and great shows and movies, from Lost to Seven, also influence me.
Step-by-Step Tutorial: Create a Pattern Brush… “The Spawn Way!”
I was lucky enough to draw Todd McFarlane’s comic Spawn for a couple of years before moving on to my own creations. I learned a lot — especially about timesaving techniques. A comic is twenty-two pages, plus a cover, every month, so it’s a lot of work. One of Spawn’s powers is the animated chains he uses to… well, kick ass! I have a fairly detailed and realistic pen-and-ink style, so doing hundreds of chains would take me a long time! My solution was to create a Chain Pattern Pen that would allow me to freely draw hundreds of chains in mere seconds. Here’s how:
1. Acquire a chain; it can be a photo, a drawing, or even a 3D model. For this example, I use a 3D digital model: I use Poser software to render a length of chain and save it as a PNG file. See Figure 7.1.
2. In Figure 7.2, I import and open the image in Painter. I select the layer with the chain to be the active layer. Because this is a PNG file, the chain is already nicely masked off.
If I was using a different image file type, I would have to select the part that I want to be the pattern. Also, if I choose an image with a white background, it will not be transparent when drawing, and it will not look correct.