The first stage in applying color is to lay down flat shades to act as a base.
Before we paint, we will create a new layer called Flats. To create it, go to Layer > New > Layer (Shift+Ctrl+N/Shift+Cmd+N), or click the New Layer button to the left of the small trashcan at the bottom of the Layer window.
When a new layer is created, it is always placed above the one you currently have selected. The new Flats layer should be in between the Background and UV Layout layers, so that the UV Layout layer always overlays your work. If things are not so arranged, you can simply select Flats in the layer window and drag it into the correct position.
We will now paint the base colors onto the Flats layer. These colors should be medium tones, because we will need to apply lighter ones for the highlights and contrasting darker ones for darker areas and shadows.
Use the Paint Bucket tool to fill the layer with whatever color dominates the page. In this case, there is more skin on this page than any other, so we will use that (Figure 9.3, middle). Click the Foreground Color box in the toolbar to open the Color Picker and select the color.
Figure 9.3. Block in the base colors. (See page C1 for color version.)
Continue around the page, blocking in the base color for each element. First select the area using the Lasso tool, and then fill it using the Paint Bucket tool and the appropriate color (Figure 9.3, right).
Now save out two versions of this file, one to work on and a combined, flattened version to view in Maya. Note that if you are running Maya 6 or higher, you can use the .psd file directly. There is no need to save out a separate Targa file to use in Maya.
Go to File > Save As, saving the file as KilaHead.psd. This will be the main file that you work on. Saving it as a .psd (Photoshop) file means it keeps all the layer information.
With the .psd version saved, remove the UV Layout layer. You can make it invisible by clicking on the eye icon to the left of the layer, or delete it by dragging it to the trashcan at the bottom right of the Layers window.
Next go to Layer > Flatten Image. This will flatten all the layers, baking them onto the background layer. If you turned off the visibility for the UV Layer, you will be asked if you want to Discard Hidden Layer; select yes.
Now save this version as KilaHead.tga, saving it as a Targa file. After you click OK, you'll be given the option to change the file's bit/pixel setting. Since we don't have any alpha channels, 24 bits/pixel is fine (we will discuss bit depths later in the chapter).
Follow this procedure for all the other texture pages you have, saving them in both Photoshop and Targa file formats. You should have six pages for Kila, a .psd and a .tga each for KilaHead, KilaBody, and KilaHair. At this point, you can also work on the pages for Grae, calling them GraeBody, GraeMisc, and GraeWing and saving a .psd and .tga for each.
I recommend creating a separate layer for each item of Kila's clothing. This will make editing them much easier later on.
Before we add more detail to the textures, we will apply them to our models in Maya so that we can view them interactively as we work.