Below is a little chart of the process on the Willie painting. When I paint realistically I don’t usually do a line sketch, I just go to town with big blobs of color. Well, in the cases of these moviestill paintings at least, since I already have the composition by looking at the framegrab, so no sketch is needed. I just sort of estimate the proportions and refine as I go along.
On the right you can see the sweet detail that the Mischief vectors bring. You don’t have to set a canvas size or resolution, you just start painting and whatever size you need it as you enter in the export dialog and it takes care of it for you. Massive headache saver.
I watched Die Hard 5 recently, and this scene captured my attention. I had to paint it, it has everything: rimlights, specular highlights, subsurface scattering, indirect global illumination, bruce willis…
I didn’t do this one in Photoshop but in Mischief! Gabe from Penny Arcade pointed me to it, and it is pretty incredible.
What you see below are vectors.
That’s right. You can paint as if it were pixels, there are brushes with pressure sensitivity and opacity settings, but everything is infinitely zoomable. And the resulting file was only 300 kb! It’s lightweight, responsive, and only $65. It might be a few features and hotkeys away from bumping photoshop from the top spot for me in terms of painting. Check out the free trial to see for yourself.
It will be really interesting to see where it goes.