Contracting tip: Layered PSD paintovers for color roughs!

Agh, sorry for my slowness to respond to comments lately… I’ve been crunching on something big ever since GDC. I only have time for a short post relating to a thought I had tonight. I’ll expand a bit on my “Outsourcing Concept Art smArtly” article…

I’ve found an approach working with one of my outsourcing partners that I’ve liked. When putting together the thumbnail color roughs, something I love to see is a layered PSD file with different layer groups showing alternate color schemes that let me mix and match.

For example, if it’s a character, I can toggle between Red, Black, and Blue color schemes for the Helmet, Chest Piece and Boots. All are individually toggleable. With the varied layers that I can toggle on and off at will, I can mix and match them as I like, fiddle with my layer settings, then pick out the colors I like. Let’s say I choose Red Helmet, Black Chest Piece and Black Boots.

Leaving only those layers visible, I can lock down those colors I prefer, save out that PSD as a layered example for them to use. 🙂 They can lift the exact colors and settings I want from the layered PSD instead of second-guessing.

One additional VERY useful tip that I learned from a mistake is to ALSO save out a JPG from that, and deliver BOTH to them. Why? To make sure no one accidentally unhides the wrong layer and delivers the wrong color version to me later. So they have the layered AND flattened reference to ensure everything is solid.

I’m quite happy with this arrangement so far, and will be using it again moving forward. 🙂

Hope that helps you crazy smArt managers out there! And smArtists that are paying attention…

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