So how about some more detailed shading? Let’s look at this Imperial Soldier as an example.
Where do we want shadows? Let’s put in some ground rules.
1. Determine where the light is coming from. A direct forward light source might be the easiest.
2. Based on that, what would cast a shadow?
3. To give a sense of depth, parts that would be further away from the viewer should be darker. In this case, that generally means putting shadows fairly symmetrically around the center line of the design.
4. If possible, try to AVOID masking. It slows down Heromachine and is generally annoying and time-consuming. If you can, hide the unnecessary parts of the shading Pattern behind some other object.
Look at those shadows now.
The headpiece curves away from the viewer, so put shadows on both sides of it. The back part of the headpiece is the opposite: Its sides are closer to the viewer. Also, the Soldier’s head casts a shadow on it. So, put a shadow in the middle of it and hide the rest behind the Soldier’s head. The face curves away from the viewer, so put shadows on both sides.
The headpiece casts a shadow on the helm. The helm casts shadows on the eyes. The nosepiece casts a shadow on the nose. The nose casts a shadow on the upper lip. The chin casts a shadow on the neck. The lower part of the headpiece casts a shadow on the very bottom part of the headpiece.
NOTE: Not all of those shadows are Masked on! They are mostly hidden behind other items. This really is an important trick to keep Heromachine running fast and for your sanity!
Now look at these highlights. They are similar to shadows but use White instead of Black.
These are meant for a gleaming metal look. As a general look, highlights for metal should be long and narrow and placed on long, uniform parts of a metal item.
I don’t have any terribly specific rules for this, you’ll have to figure things out for yourself. Please, experiment and become better than me at it so you can teach me how to do this properly.