Rendering a Basketball Shoe by Mark Kokavec

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Rendering a Basketball Shoe by Mark Kokavec

Post  Admin on Sat Jun 06, 2009 5:45 am

This Tutorial takes you through the step-by-step rendering process of a basketball shoe using Sketchbook Pro along with some textures created in Adobe Illustrator.

First, begin your design with a simple line drawing. Decide on a perspective view for this demo I chose a typical Lateral side-view. I typically do several quick studies of various design lines, once I like a particular direction, I commit to it and expand those lines with more detail. From here we can move to the rendering phase.

Once you have your final line drawing figured out, add a new layer and select your brush (in this case the airbrush). Begin to block areas of the design with solid colors. I wanted the base of the shoe to be pretty dark so I chose a 75% grey color so that I could still make the form darker by adding black to it. Don't worry about going beyond your shape boundaries because you can erase what you don’t want with the eraser tool.

Continue blocking colors for all your different parts and erase what you don’t need. If you want a more translucent look, change the opacity of the brush down to about 50% and it will give your shape more depth. What that does is by overlaying your brush strokes the area of stroke that overlaps begins to darken with each pass. After all the shapes are blocked you can start to add shadows and highlights on new layers.

Lets apply a nice dark reflection to the lower patent synthetic part. On a new layer called “Reflection” choose a dark almost black airbrush and start spraying from the middle of the part downward. Erase the top edge and notice how the reflection curves up the strap along its sides!

Here is a close up of the forefoot strap area with most of the black reflection erased using the soft eraser with low opacity. Add some white to the reflection portion by adding another layer called “white reflection”. To increase the hardness of certain forms use the pencil tool (2H/1.1) and pick out some of the highlight hard edges.

Continue the same reflections and highlights on all areas. Since this design has sewn down synthetic material, you can add some stitching along the edge using the pencil tool with white selected. On a lower layer you can add a shadow with a small airbrush along the path of the stitch.
The heel contains a plastic technology part which You can also add reflections and highlights

Next, lets create a perf hole pattern that we will use on the upper white material of the shoe. First we need to take a screen shot of our image in sketchbook and import that into Illustrator. Create a rectangle that covers the area you want to perf and fill the shape with a swatch pattern that best fits your concept. You have a lot of control over the size and angle of the swatch fill as show in the upper left call out image.

If you want to add some effects to the perf shapes, you can apply them using the effects window in Photoshop. Here I’ve added an inner bevel highlight so as to make the holes look like they are actually holes. Remember the angle of your light source!

Back to Sketchbook Pro! Here is where we are at with the upper and its perf pattern applied to the white portion of synthetic. Using the airbrush make a background gradient that is dark on top and bottom and has a backlight highlight. I chose to go with a black gradient to compliment the shoe colors. On another layer add a dark shadow below your shoe so it looks as though its sitting on a surface and not floating.

Next, using the selection tool. Only grab the layers with the shoe parts and leave the background and shadow locked. Copy paste and flip the layer. Move it down so the outsole rubber looks like its reflected in the bottom surface in which the shoe is sitting on. Turn down this layers transparency and use the soft erase tool to erase the lower area. You can see in the next image how this all played out.


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