Posted by Laura Johnston Illustration/PhotoShop 2015


Fall Red of a different variety

RBC  - Petite Graphics

GIF Red blood cells.

After reading an article about pathogen reduction technologies, I wanted to try and create red blood cells (RBCs).
Here was my approach (give it a try).


1. Create a line art: RBC outlineI used #CC2229 for stroke color.

2. Select the outline and choose 3D revolve options

3. Rotation: You can experiment with this option. My first RBC used the following settings:
RBC Settings
-38, -27, -2; Perspective 0; Angle 360; Cap; Offset 0; from Left Edge

4. Shading
RBC Shading
Diffuse shading: 100% intensity; 38% ambient; 97 blend steps; shading color, black.
I would encourage you to experiment with different settings. To create different cells, simply change the rotation step.


Once you created the RBCs, it's time to import them into PhotoShop. Due to the divot like appearance, it's best to add some shading to your RBCs.

1. RBC brushSelect the air brush; size will depend on your RBCs. The image shows roughly the proportion you will need for your brush..
Paint color:#9d1c1f

RBC Paint Area2. Create a new layer

3. Time to paint. You want to focus on the hard inner divot area (around the yellow outline).

4. Amount you are going to paint, is somewhat subjective. In the areas that are lighter, I created a new layer and painted with the brighter color (#d21920 and #b81319) but decreased the opacity of these layers. Here is an example of a RBC which I added three layers. RBC SampleThe principal is to smooth out the RBC while maintaining the shading which gives your RBC a more realistic look. 

5. After you are satisfied with the RBC, merge the paint and RBC layers for each individual RBC. You will need to individually paint the set of RBCs. I started with 5 RBCs that were created using different rotation settings.

6. You will need to duplicate the RBCs and shift their position, and rotate different ones to create and montage.  For the gif above, I had approximately 40 RBCs for my base. After which I copied the RBC layers, merged, placed them behind the other set, rotated slightly, and decreased the opacity to 80%.

7. Background, I used a diagonal gradient #ac291f, #6e1710 (middle), and #ac291f. RBC Background

8. For the GIF, I merged my full opacity and 80% opacity and placed them across the background.

9. I simply created the GIF by using the basic Photoshop layer animation.

Good luck!


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