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... that's the question.
All advice is much appreciated.
Okay. So, I'm going to do my best at this, with a limited amount of time. If need be, I will clarify or add it to it later.
What It Is:
So, Object Source Lighting, or OSL, is one of the coolest, most realistic, and advanced techniques that painters can employ. It is, in essence, exactly what it sounds like: the representation of a lighting element emanating from a source. (Usually a sword, light, crystal, or something that produces a glow.) The technique itself is used to accent the the source, and give the illusion that it is producing visible light.
How It's Accomplished
We've already established that it's a very advanced technique. That being said, it is also, predictably, one of the most jaw dropping effects that painters can use. Actually doing it is really tricky, as you are attempting to not show a color of something, but show visible light reacting with that color. Take, for example, a Blood Angel's Land Raider, with OSL used around the headlights. The hull of the tank, usually, is red. The lights, usually, are yellow. So, wherever the light from those headlights would fall, a yellow-ish effect is painted on, in order to to demonstrate the light being produced by the headlights. In the LR's case, it would probably be directly under the headlights themselves. It is important to remember that the color of the source itself is not the only thing that has to be considered, as the color of the object will, realistically, affect the color of the light that touches it. This has to do with simple physics; darker colors absorb more light.
Actually painting it is where the fun starts. There are two main ways that it's commonly accomplished. The first and easy one is using an airbrush. Airbrushing gives you that perfect almost transparent lighting effect that you want, without erasing the red underneath it. Using an airbrush for this process is relatively easy, compared to brushing it on in several, diluted layers. (We'll get to that in a bit.) Anyone who uses an airbrush already will know how to do this, and, with a little practice, can drastically increase the quality of their models. When painting it, one must always consider the source. Unlike highlighting, where you color the areas that are hit by light from above, OSL needs to cover the areas that light would hit from the source. Painting it with a brush is much, much more difficult, as an array of techniques are commonly used. The easiest way is drybrushing. Drybrushing, in layered shades of colors, the light from a source, can be a great way to accomplish it. It helps to focus the intensity into the center of the area that is being painted, and automatically blends down on the sides, top and bottom. Another, more advanced way is to layer up very slowly on the target area, using thinned out paints, only slightly thicker than the average wash consistency. Then, wet blending is used to blend the sides of the area into the color behind it. Not for the faint of heart, especially when you're smattering layers of yellow on your gorgeous red Land Raider.
When To Use OSL
OSL is really one of those "less is more" things. If every vehicle that you have has OSL by the lights, and every powersword reflects blue energy into the face of its wielder, it lessens the effect. I, personally, save OSL for things that I really want to stand out, like an HQ choice, or a prized display unit. The less of the effect, the more stunning the areas of your army where it's actually used.
I hope that this helps. I can throw up some pictures of models that have OSL technique when I get home later, but this should hopefully do for now. Let me know if I can clarify or expand any more.
Wow, thanks for the essay champ! You really seem to know your stuff. Unfortunately I don't own an airbrush so I'm just going to have to do it the hard way
Thanks man. Feel free to message me if you want advice or help when trying for the first time.
I'm warning you ahead of time, though: It's a lot like blending. In other words, it's gonna take a few tries to get right.
I absolutely would recommend that you practice on something first. Also, take a lamp and hold it up to a desk or something. See where the colors begin to fade out, and at which angles. It may help give you an idea of how the light looks at different angles.
(Thanks again for the Rep! )
No worries mate, you deserve itOriginally Posted by JKoby123
Yeah I've done a lot of work with blending before (wet blending and normal blending) so I know how tedious and frustrating it can get. And yes, that is a good idea about the light. I'll also have to consider what the intensity of my OSL is going to be. I will have a few practices first. Thanks again! I'll message you if I need some further advice
Sounds good to me! And intensity of the light is really important, for proportionality.
In other words, a tank's high beams are gonna be brighter than a power sword's glow on the face of its wielder!
Last edited by JKoby123; October 6th, 2011 at 22:55. Reason: Word Choice
I find the easiest method to use is glazing. Start with a dark tone of the light source and hit every area the light would hit then use progressively lighter glazes as you get closer to the source. The important rule is to finish your glazes a shade darker than the source and your done
Glazing if you don't know is basically a very thin paint... Like a wash consistency but obviously don't overload your brush, simple paint it on.
Brokendoll Miniature Painting - (Coming Soon)
Muse2k8's Painting Antics (WIP and Finished Models thread)