A study of the elusive pattern
by Charlie Echo
I hope a few of you will find this useful. I put a lot of time into this and only a few of us are crazy enough to make everything match for the sake of paintball.
This study of the pattern is shown as MultiCam, but with digital stencils, can be converted to SpecOps version, OMNIPAT.
This How-To IS: Only a study of the pattern.
This How-To is NOT: how to apply Duracoat or any other paint for that matter. It is not a reference on how to use masks or airbrush techniques.
Why am I doing this how-to?
If it took me awhile to figure out the pattern, it quite possibly has been difficult for others as well. And I must admit, speaking here from the view point of an airbrush artist, photographer and graphic designer, it has been difficult for me to figure it out. However I modified the production of the pattern somewhat as to not get into trouble with Crye Precision, the owner of MultiCam patents.
Also, I have seem some horrible attempts at MultiCam and Omnipat. I am not saying mine is the best either. I could have done better if I used frisket material for my airbrush work and mixed my own colors. Simply, use this as a guide.
I had promised this for quite some time now. This is my last endeavor for the paint section of SpecOps since I have completed my A-5 in MultiCam Duracoat and my Custom 98's.
I believe Duracoat is the ultimate over other paint products, but you may use this pattern with any color process you see fit that is in-line with your budget and time. You can use Krylon, Brownells, etc. I won't go into the different paints here since there are enough references in this forum. Look it up.
You may be tempted to take short cuts on this pattern. IF you do, I warn you of the dire consequences - it won't work as REAL MultiCam or Omnipat. (I will let you be the judge. You know how much time and money you have. If you have more money than time, I suggest you read this to appreciate how much time is involved and send it to SpecOps to have it painted.)
If you change it; here is why it won't work.
First, we will look at how MultiCam is successful and how it works.
DISGUISES VOLUME AND SHAPE
The design takes advantage of the way the human eye/brain perceives shape, volume and color. By using proprietary high resolution digital fades from one color to another, the colors and shapes of the pattern become hard to recognize and define. The wearer's profile begins to loose its edge and fades into whatever color or shape surrounds him. It works on the principle that an observer can see something but still not recognize it as anything to be interested in. Since only a very small portion of the human eye perceives color, the brain does a lot of “filling-in” for the eye. MultiCam™ takes advantage of this principle and helps the observer to “see” the pattern as part of the background.
Read More from MultCam's website
Here are the colors I used. They are the basic set that comes with the MultiCam kit(They call it "Multicolor", I guess because they can't say "MultiCam" for infringement reasons) from Duracoat . The colors are close - but not exact. The only problem I have with the kit is I really don't like the dark brown. It is too light or thin and won't darken as deep shadows. Make sure the dark brown is dark brown and almost black. Maybe someone here can suggest more accurate colors, but here is a guide you can use for now.
MultiCam Swatch Chart (colors may vary from screen to screen)
Always be sure you prep the surface - Sandblast, thinner, Scotchbrite or sandpaper, brake cleaner, etc.
Production Note: Depending on how you use your stencils, you may want to reverse the order of painting. Or reverse male, as opposed to female pattern stencils.
I used female stencils from a cutout sheet of paper. moving the stencils around until I have the object covered.
Put down the base coat of Multi Tan
Feather in Multi Medium Brown in large areas. No stencils needed here. Be sure to feather it smoothly by hand. The key is to get a subtle transition. Sometimes I use male patterns to let some of the base tan show through with hard egdes as well as smooth gradients. Keep in mind some feathering techniques can't be obtained by taping down patterns.
Using stencils lay down the Multi Medium Green
Before removing the stencils (this is harder to do unless you are using a stencil with adhesive), feather in the multi dark green
Arbitrarily reposition the stencils and feather in a second layer of dark green
Then ad in a few small shapes of solid dark green for break up.
For the shadow detail, it is important to make sure it is dark brown for good contrast use the dark brown sparingly. Only a few dark spots goes a long ways.
Now drop in the highlights, like the shadow, a few spots goes a long ways.
Note about highlights and shadow details:
I noticed the highlights and shadows are usually clumped together in strips. So don't evenly spread the highlight and shadows around, rather clump them together.
Finish up with sealer or matte finish coating.
Well, I hope this helps anyone trying to replicate painting the Multicam pattern to your project. If you mess up, you can always send it to BigBone. For the most part, this pattern is very forgiving if you don't get it exactly right. If you followed my instructions without modifying it, you should have something that looks alot like MC. As I said before, it can be modified to apply to OMNIPAT by using digital templates. Feel free to ask any questions. I will do my best to update and reply to any inquiries.
This post has been edited by Charlie Echo: 13 May 2008 - 09:30 AM