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Submitted on
December 2, 2012
Image Size
8.7 MB


260 (who?)
The Making of : Conference Call (step by step) by DanSyron The Making of : Conference Call (step by step) by DanSyron
Decided that since I actually had the resources to do this, that I'd make a Step by step of how I made Conference Call:

1.) sketch on 11x17 printer paper (nothing special)

2.) Lineart done with photoshop's pen tool. Unfortunately I don't and cant use paint tool SAI because i'm a mac user. Some line variation, but canvas is at 6500 px, so the size makes alot of pressure sensitivity unnecessary. Background lines are also incorporated, giving me the shape of the buildings and helping me establish the vanishing point I had set up.

3.) Further Background completed. I made a load of skyscraper textures in a separate file and brought them into the image, perspectivizing them (with the transform > perspective tool) along the buildings I set. I also add basic glows to the building and some of the billboards.

4.) Finished up with the entire background now. I added the color to the falling sign and the park on the left. Now the characters are separated from the background. The further background uses a cool color palette and the closer background uses a warm color scheme to better differentiate the two in terms of depth. Remaining billboards are added.

5.) I begin to add the multiplicity shading in greyscale under the lineart. Notice that there is a slight blue hint. this is because it works with colors better (i think). I do this because it helps me focus on accurate lighting and making sure that there is good balance. Keep in mind the primary light sources are the spheres, the building close to the characters, and the further skyscraper.

6.) I turn off the multiply colors and add the flat/semi gradient colors in. It looks funny here, but I get the proper hues this way. the metal gets an extra little reflection too.

7.) i put the color UNDER the multiplier layer and do something cool.
•first i make 3 duplicates of the multiply
•set bottom most to 100% opacity OVERLAY
•set secondary to 50% opacity OVERLAY
•set top to 45% MULTIPLY
it causes the colors to fade and pop accordingly, making a realistic light source.

8.) i refine the lighting and details slowly, adding the small little quirks in that add depth, including the gravity spheres, mathis' eye, the blue outside of faulkner's suit for the glow, the cybernetic lighting, etc. I also add the super vibrant highlights with a white and an outer glow of the light color. it adds intensity.

9.) Time for glass! i use the pen tool over the top to create glass shapes, set them to color dodge and overlay, and sharpen the image slightly, adding in the remaining rain streaks using a light opacity color dodge, I also add some back glowing that imitates how real light 'bleeds' over objects. this includes the small little flares that occur from when the human eye sees light (pretend you're driving at night and you see someone's tail lights. the little red light streaks? that's what i'm talking about.)
I also have a gradient action I made that helps get the color balance and composition to coordinate and drift together much better. It balances the piece.

10.) i collapse the image, sharpen using the smart sharpen (about .3 px and amount at 78 does the trick.) I touch it up by importing my signature and add some text and it's all done! I post a 1024px copy to the main picture and upload a 6500 px version for prints. that way I can get a poster :D.

that's it! I know alot of people wanted to see this, so here you go! While it was one of the hardest images i've done, it was certainly one of the most fun.


artwork © *DanSyron 2012.
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AshiroKei Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:bulletred: Thank you per wisdom, i love your art, very impressive, i'll try better my art with this amazing material.
:happybounce: Heart +fav I love deviantART!
arutsu Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013
how did you make those skyscraper textures ? :O can you just download them or do you have to make them yourself ?
DanSyron Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013
those in particular were done by me by making a few window textures, duplicating them over a hgue area (like 4000px), and then perspectivizing them into place. Needless to say it was very lengthy and tedious
arutsu Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013
oh i see would probably be a lot to ask but...could you make a tutorial about this ? your backgrounds are always sooooo good and it would be really helpful :)
Akoora Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
ill never understand how people can make this that good. What tablet do you use cause all my lines come out jagged
Bublio53 Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2013
Daaaang... O_o
WootieNoodles Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh WOW *0* forgive me if you've already answered this, but how long did this take you?
hobfrog07 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
There is a version of Paint Tool SAI for Mac. It just doesn't do pen pressure. Here: [link]
It is contained within a Wine wrapper, so it might need some setup, but it works well generally.
LoanSkunk Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
so cool
thegrayabyss Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Huh, you color backgrounds first. Never would've have dawned on me to do that.

Does it make it easier to do a picture when you color the background first?

It's very interesting to see how other artists create pictures I gotta say :D
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