How to Draw Cities | Rob Loukotka | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Class Trailer


    • 2.

      Structure & Mapping


    • 3.

      Background Buildings


    • 4.

      Giant Death Robots


    • 5.

      Atmospheric Perspective


    • 6.



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About This Class

The tips & tricks of world-building. Rob Loukotka — Chicago based designer and illustrator — takes a deep dive into one of his massively detailed screen prints: The city of Chicago in ruins from a robot apocalypse.

This class jams well over 50 hours of illustration into just one hour, still plenty of time to gain insights into mapping, cartography, creative illustration, texturing, perspective, custom half-toning, and more!

You can learn about my work or work with me directly at

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Rob Loukotka

Artist & Designer @ Fringe Focus


I'm (get ready) a creative director, graphic designer, web developer, illustrator, photographer, motion graphics artist, woodworker, marketer, and entrepreneur.

A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.

That more complete background of the 'jack of all trades' idiom is a fantastic explanation of my work history and interests. I've managed employees, laser engraved tables, shot landscape photography throughout New Zealand, developed custom Wordpress sites in PHP, designed enough logos to kill a horse, started a successful downtown graphic design firm, had my illustrations published in The Wall Street Journal, animated v... See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Class Trailer: Oh, this class is 50 hours of illustration compressed in the one hour. What you're viewing right now is that one hour pressed into a single minute. So essentially you're viewing the entire class at hyper speed, which is the illustration of a vast apocalyptic cityscape in this case, Chicago, my hometown. My name is Rob Luca. I'm an artist and designer in Chicago. This class covers cartography, mapping perspective, atmospheric perspective, drawing giant death robots, shading in buildings, capturing detail, screen printing, half tones, a whole bunch of other concepts that I throw into one hour of tips and tricks as I illustrate this massively detailed cityscape. So hopefully you can learn along with this project and draw your own hometown or try to draw Chicago. 2. Structure & Mapping: So starting off you can see my black and white sketch. I probably did 10 or 20 of these. It's obviously not very good. You can hardly even tell what you're looking at. But the trick is that I did these rapidly dozens at a time to kind of figure out where the light areas would be, where the dark areas would be and then adding, in some color, like thinking what inks are gonna be added? What, uh, how they're gonna be laid on top of each other, whether it's gonna be a three color screen print, a four color. And then I grabbed a photo, which you can see here just a standard Google image search and then laid down some colors trying to figure out How is this print going to look once it's actually full of detail? Obviously, Right now, nothing has been drawn, but I kind of figured out a color palette, which is similar to the Chicago flag. And the Chicago flag is white with kind of some light blue bars and read, uh, stars. So that's what I ended up picking here, and each time you see one of these layers, that's actually a process shot that I've screen capped throughout this illustration. And then what will find in between is some longer videos where I show step by step, how I've been using the tools and which things are coming. So next you can see I've added the Sears Tower and the ruins of the Trump Tower and a few grid lines. All this has just taken basically from Google Maps. You could go into Google maps and figure out which area of the city you want to draw. So if it's not Chicago, maybe it's, you know, Houston or Austin or Los Angeles. Or, uh, you can use Google Earth. You can use Google maps and start figuring out How is this going to look into perspective? How am I going to lay all these buildings and still have been be visible on a single poster ? Is obviously in real life. If you're trying to look at the entire skyline, it's actually pretty difficult. But if you can get the perfect angle, and if you can in this case, delete some of the buildings because robots destroyed them, you'll be able to fit in all of your favorite buildings in the skyline or whichever buildings you think add to the composition. So what you can see right now is really rough blocking in of where some of these buildings were gonna be. Uh, some of them are basically just cubes. I know that there's gonna be light coming from the left. In this case, that would be the East side of Chicago coming from the lake. And I'm not sure if it's daytime, if it's nighttime, if it's Sunrise Sunset. But I know that there's gonna be really harsh contrast coming from the left. And what that does is lets me kind of, uh, bring one of the faces of the buildings in tow high detail and lets the sides get to be darker in less detail. You can already see once I start adding in these buildings that I'm gonna added a lot of windows and details to the front face of the building. But maybe on the sides, I'm just gonna fill it in with the dark blue or the red and be able to get away with not a crazy amount of detail. So I know I've been talking really fast, and that's because I didn't have any video recordings like this in the initial parts of the poster. But now that this is running kind of See, uh, we could take a chill pill, slow down a little bit and see what it's like as just a single building is created. This is not playing in real time. If you think this is playing in real time, then I would look amazing. But, uh, no, this is actually sped up about four or five times, so I'm drawing pretty slowly here in order to get all the lines equal. What each of the lines is gonna represent is actually a row of windows. Uh, I'm taking Google image Search. Just looking up where this building is in Chicago, kind of figuring out OK, how many rows of windows there are. And I actually count the exact amount of windows because I'm a crazy person that feels the need for everything to be accurate. Uh, I don't think I get the number of floors right, but I definitely do pay attention to how many rows and things there are the windows. So right off the bat, you can kind of see this look sort of like a building it's drawn in perspective. We have a vanishing point on the horizon. There are some lines, but it's really, you know, not drawn that much more advanced than like a kid would draw building. Uh, and that's something that will repeat throughout. This poster is that you actually don't have to. You don't have to be amazing at detailed drawing in order to pack a poster with a lot of detail on that kind of means being willing to accept flaws in minor shapes like this. Like you can see how rough some of the sketching is. But this is only a fraction of a square inch of this 18 by 24 inch poster. So you're I'm drawing in rebar, or something that feels like chunks of concrete, chunks of steel, kind of the skeleton of a building. And all of this is done in perspective. In a program called Clips Studio, which is very similar to photo shop, you can do a lot of the functions that wouldn't photo shop if you're used to digitally illustrating in photo shop. Most of the stuff in this class still applies, but the reason that I'm able to quickly draw these perspective lines is I've actually set up some rulers for myself, and you can notice as I draw Windows here, they're following that perspective and you can kind of see every once in a while I'll get the wrong ruler and it'll, uh, draw the wrong direction. But instead of me having to find the point on the horizon and like eyeballing it or taking , uh, a specific marquee tool and tracing that, I can actually follow the perspective lines within the program and basically signal. Hey, this is the vanishing point I'm trying to reach. And I could just draw rapidly a bunch of lines towards that managing point. And I can execute something like this a whole bunch of Windows. Ah, lot faster than I'd be able to do in photo shop. That said, it's not really necessary to be so accurate with perspective. I mean, I think as long as you know, uh, where the top of the building is and the bottom of the building is, you can pretty much approximate all of the windows yourself. If you've done perspective drawing in the past, you know that, uh, it is, you know, there's a mathematical accuracy to it. But there's also a visual accuracy which I think has less, you know, less stringent rules. And so you can kind of block out exactly how maybe your buildings will go block out how your blocks will go your streets. But a Sfar is filling in the windows. You can approximate that perspective, and if you get it wrong a little bit, nobody's gonna really notice. So there are plenty of places in this poster where I probably have something that isn't quite in the perspective that it should be or I'm turning rulers off and just straight up drawing it however I want and that is spy. So you can see all these chunks of the building and the way that the, uh building has been deconstructed. None of that is, you know, probably accurate toe how a building would come acquired. It's not accurate to the perspective of the drawing, and and that's fine is this is really going to take up a small amount of space and get covered with smoke. And the important thing is that I'm starting the building on the ground in the right spot. So this street that we're looking at in front of the building is, uh, Wabash. And here you can see the finish version of that building is there. And I started adding in this giant rift in the middle of the picture, which is essentially, I want there to be a pit where these robots had come through and just dug up all the streets and, like, almost a whole like to hell or something that the buildings had fallen in. And that's sort of what that, uh, little sketch there is. You can see these red ruins in the middle of that, and this will get filled out more later. Uh, but here we are, back to another video of sketching. And my original intention for this project was to have giant robots destroy cities. So not just Chicago, but, uh, no. Maybe trying Teoh destroyed Detroit destroy Austin, destroyed Jacksonville like, take cities that aren't normally in Hollywood movies that get destroyed and start giving them the destruction and cool, you know, ruin porn that they deserve. And I know a lot of people like seeing all these famous buildings get attacked by monsters and stuff, and it just doesn't happen. Toe any cities outside of maybe New York and Los Angeles. I will say that Chicago definitely has some more destruction things going on recently with , uh, Transformers movies. And they've been filming some of the D. C movies as Metropolis here. But that's besides the point. I live in Chicago, so I wanted to draw, you know, my own hometown getting destruction and what you can see me illustrating here, which looks like crazy pants, is. Actually I wanted to have conveyor belts for legs, almost like a tank for the robot, and I'm drawing the boxes in perspective, similar to how I draw the buildings. Everything is just a cube cube on a cube on Cube on Cube, and this kind of lets me draw something, uh, with the same perspective as the buildings. But it's gonna be a completely organic, crazy character once it's finished. I do end up abandoning this idea of the treads. I don't know why, but it was partially that they just looked too big. You can kind of see if there were robot treads that were actually that size. They be each taking up a city block themselves, and it's unlikely that there's a robot that's going to take an entire city block just for each of its feet. It just started to look a little, I don't know, insane or off, even if the idea of treads was pretty cool. Uh, I'll say one thing about color as well. What's happening here? Is there the intent years for this to be a screen printed poster? So you're gonna have a limited number of colors. So the dark blue that you see the red that you see in this cream color are ideally gonna be laid on top of, ah white paper. Or it will be, ah, cream paper with the white pink red ink and the dark blue. So I haven't decided that at this point in the illustration, uh, but I'm setting up my file in a way where I'm only using those three colors, technically four colors. But one of them is paper. And that's the only thing that you'll ever see throughout this whole print is me trying to figure out, uh, values and contrast with just these colors, which is why you can see I'm starting with a bright red on the front of these treads and anything that's gonna likely be in shadow. It's just completely disappeared into that blackness. I did spend a lot of time trying to make these treads, and I really gave up on him. Which is why I'm trying to discuss other things about the poster because you're going to see a number of times in here where I start doing something and I think it's a great idea, and then I just abandon it or I measure something wrong, and I do that wrong. And that's okay when you draw something this complex full of, uh, this many details, not everything you draw is gonna make it in. It, uh, just doesn't make sense. And at a certain point you'll draw something so complicated that may be the thing that was in the background doesn't matter. So the more robots I added in more buildings, I added in, uh, what started to happen is I realized I couldn't add many more buildings because it just your I couldn't make sensitive anymore for in order to have atmospheric perspective, which is, uh, lots of detail on the front medium detail in the middle and very little detail in the back , similar to how you would view things with your own. I in real life if you're looking a mountain range. Whatever. I noticed that as I got towards the back of this map, I really couldn't have too much detail on that. A lot of my visual needed to be up in the front as smoke and other things would start Europe, uh, or the opposite of clear up. Rather a zai added more details. So this is me trying to figure out OK, what is a robot body going to be? How big is it gonna be? What is it made of? And I didn't want to just freehand draw the outside of the robot. I think a lot of times of character design, uh, or drawing in general, you can get stuck on the lines on the outside and then here you can see I ended up building kind of the core shapes. I knew I wanted a big chest in like a tiny, almost a ball bearing of hip joints and then small feet. See, I abandoned the treads on. Only Did was come up with the essentially the negative space of the robot. I knew it wanted to have like a big, glowing eyeball and a big, bulky chest, and I just wanted hints of red and stuff on top of that. So what you can see right now is a lot of buildings that aren't finished a lot of blocking out, aware these robots are gonna go. And then I started sketching in some buildings, right break behind the robots. Justo have a little bit of detail, but not so much that it's overwhelming. And the more stuff you put in the foreground, the less stuff you have to draw in the background. So that's part of the reason there's a giant hole in the middle of the city. I don't have to draw any of those buildings. That's part of the reason the robot eyes right there in the midst of the city. Everything behind him essentially can be skipped. 3. Background Buildings: uh, when you're trying to draw an accurate cityscape and every single building is to scale, it can get really tedious and monotonous. So the more opportunities you have to destroy things better on here. One of the buildings in the background, I decided to have falling over and on fire. Each of these buildings is accurate to where they're located in Chicago. So you can see the one that was on fire on the left had these sort of round, uh, kind of see it on the bottom left. Their rounded windows is kind of an oval shaped building that was fun to draw, but obviously I don't have video the whole thing because I don't know how many gigabytes it would be to take 50 60 hours of footage. But I did. I do have many hours here which were going through, So this is a building again from start to finish, really basic stuff. The only thing that matters is the main cube lighting up the front face and then adding detail in destruction. And a lot of these lines here are scratches implying that there was a clause or things thrown at the building and things air falling off, and this is only going to be maybe two inches of the poster, and you kind of see it grid. I don't know if it'll be visible because of the compression, but there is a little bit of a light grid on top of all this so that I know am I drawing something that's one into big, two inch big three inch big? Because once you're under an inch, especially in a screen print, you're really limited down to just dots and lines of what kind of himself will be in there . So I'm not fussing over texture on this building. It doesn't matter if it's made of brick or concrete or glass. The only options available to me are, uh, the red color, the dark blue color and, uh, the cream in the white. So I'm not focused on what buildings are made of at any point when they're in the background here, I might be in something in the foreground, but this building, even in real life, I don't know how it's made. I don't know what's on the inside, and I'm looking at photos from, uh, Google Image Search and trying to figure out what this building looks like. I have two monitors. I should mention that on the other monitor I'm looking at ah, building. And I'm counting how many rows of windows are there? How? Maney. Uh, pediments are there. What's what's happening with the building? And I'm trying to accurately space out the windows, But I'm not using a ruler. I'm not, uh, magically, uh, getting every single window height accurate. Uh, I'm probably super off on a lot of them, but it doesn't matter. I mean, once you once you look at it, it's pretty much, uh, these are even less detailed and probably don't even sync up with the other winter house. But, uh, it gives the impression of a grid of windows, and that's what matters. One of the things you can see on the front here is that in order to indicate shadow, I'm kind of drawing a vertical line a vertical shadow against all of these beans. Right there. Um, it gives the illusion of death by kind of taking ah highlight and then just erasing it. Ah, And then what you see here is I wanted to add a highlight under the glass of the buildings . Uh, and I'm making selections of the windows that are already there. So taking a selection of the red layer, expanding that selection and then deleting space around it, and that lets those highlight lines eclipse. So I drew in a bunch of these highlight lines and essentially made sure they're not touching the red because the more colors that are touching, the more messy it starts to get. And I really just needed an impression of, uh, you know, death here. So this is more destruction marks. I draw them chaotically. I kind of pick out where the big parts of the destruction would be. And then I add highlights. So start with the dark hole and then kind of ad in where concrete and debris would be same with the roof here. I'm just putting a bunch of random dots that in case dirt, the bottom dots and defeat dirt, A bunch of beings. I have no idea where the beans are going. It doesn't matter if they're fully in perspective. There just chaos. Any line you drives will be accurate, because there's just a pile of beans and every which direct. So this is going pretty fast again. This is going not at normal speed, but I'm starting to use selections again to figure out OK, how how bright do I want the front of the building? How much destruction do I want on the front of the building. And by making selections with the, you know, just by control, clicking on a layer, I'm able to, uh, drop a whole new color and drop no put cream on the front of the building. Put black on the front of the building, figure out what color is gonna work best, and you'll notice I have these big black blocks on the, uh you know, just squares on top of the poster. What I do sometimes to encourage me to finish this because it takes so many hours, is when I finish a part of the poster or when I think something is good, I just cover it up. So these these black box that you see your essentially meet saying to myself I'm done with that part of the poster. Don't fuss with it anymore. You don't need to worry about it. And so it's ah, sort of awaited. Lessen your mental load as your illustrating that there's so much going on here. There's nothing that isn't crisp, You know, everything's really in detail and it saying, It's so covering up some of the space Let's your brain take a little bit of a break, which is nice. Uh, here. I'm actually drawing a little bit of the Chicago River because the Chicago River loops around here around the loop and behind that building is just a shimmer of the light cream color. It's indicate. Maybe there's some light bouncing off, uh, water. So next up is this building, which is behind the building that we just through, uh, I'm pretty sure this is the Lyric Opera Building. I drew this poster a while ago. It's hard for me to remember, but I do know that I remember, like googling every single building and be like, OK, this was built in such a such a year. It was this tall. It takes up this many city blocks because if you can figure out the city blocks from something like Google Maps and you can draw the foundation of the building, then you can essentially build up that whole world from the Google map because you know that you got your streets right. You know that you can take an image and put it in perspective mathematically, just by using the free transform to on the Google maps in it. And then everything else falls into place. It takes a very long time. You have to be super tedious with your lines. But this building is, you know, as accurate as it's gonna get for how small it is. And what I'm doing is just sort of repeating anything that I do. So I'm like, this will be a vertical line with an X on it. So I repeat that vertical line of the next time I over and over and over. And as long as I repeat that mark that I make, it looks as if it's, you know, the accurate building tiles that were actually there, the actual concrete blocks or sculptures, whatever that on top of the building. And who the hell knows what was actually there? Uh, you know, it's windows and hinges and, uh, blocks that have things carved into them. Maybe it's plaster or something like that, but I just make little marks, and I repeat the marks, uh, so here again is using vertical lines to represent the windows and then horizontal lines to break it up. And suddenly you have. What does that mean? It only takes a moment to fill up an entire facing building because there's so repetitive. But the issue with some of this repetition is it gets a little boring, right? Like you don't want this entire poster to just be a grid of boxes. And fortunately, that's why drawing city in ruins is a bit more finals. You get toe, highlight some of these windows and, uh, it's room up. And breakem. The building had some churches, so I'm really quickly sketching in arches where the arches were and adding more vertical lines to represent where sections of the building are. And there's a lot more detail in the actual building. I'm really picking and choosing which things I think are gonna be represented, because when you're boiling down an image to a screen for it, especially with the half tones and colors, and you're limited by how much detail could be printed in the screen, you really just have to pick the details that you think makes sense and roll with that and not everything about the building is gonna make it again. Making a selection of the lines that I already had shrinking that selection cutting It allows me to draw all of those blocks without actually having to draw all of those blocks. Uh, here I'm using a radiant tool to fill up the area and then half toning the radiant into some dots, filling up the windows and flying that there's maybe some kind of, ah highlight from a sunrise somewhere in the distance. Or maybe it's a giant nuclear fireball lighting up Thea imagery. I never really decided if it was day or night, and it doesn't really matter. But what matters is that there's a light source coming from that direction, and I just draw hints of it, especially on the edges of buildings, especially in windows. Andi. I try to avoid using that color anywhere on the no negative side of the building on the Liberace, because if you start using your highlight color in dark areas, even if you think OK, there might be something glistening or whatever. It starts to get really muddy, so I limit myself to the dark colors when were drawing something that just doesn't have any light on it. And then I only used the cream and white colors when I it's on the very edge of getting lit up. So here it sort of made a radical decision to cut a hole through this whole building. So we had drawn it. But, uh, I was like, you know, be coolers had a hole that you could see through and filled with fire. Uh, and this is an excuse to use the cream and white colors and then, uh, the fire really basic again. It's almost how a child would drive is just a little loose. This is, you know, less than a centimeter big is what we're looking at. Eso this is back to full shots of the poster. You could see those buildings are, uh, pretty small in comparison to the rest of the poster there, right underneath the titles where it's a Chicago, they're not taking up too much space. So using really basic lines, really basic geometric shapes, even basic fire and just paying attention toe the contrast and highlights was the main important thing. I didn't money it up by using a lot of the green color. I didn't make too many large bright objects because that's sort of reserved for the front of the poster. You can see the robot starting to get some detail will be cutting into a video in a second . That, uh, shows a little bit more of how he made the body parts. And right here should be that video. For whatever reason, this is, uh, uh 4. Giant Death Robots: So here I have the robots main Body Chunk, and I'm just drawing, uh, drawn Cem ovals. And I just copied the thing I made from the arm. So I made a bunch of ovals that stacked on each other, and then I took it again and stretched it out for his chest. Uh, a lot of this poster is trying to do things, uh, 234 times without having to draw it. Because if they have to draw every a single square, you know, millimeter, it would take forever. To actually finish in your hand would hurt me. So I tried to recycle pieces when I can And again, these circles probably not in proper perspective, probably nonsensical in terms of how this robot is constructed. Why does he have a giant, you know, barrel chest? Why does he have it's crazy loops on the terms? I don't know. Uh, maybe its armor. Maybe it's telescopic, you know, some kind of robot like the transformer that can compact in on itself. But, uh, I wanted to add detail and really, uh, exacerbate, like the difference between how big is chest is and how small the hip joint is I wanted it almost to be, like kind of like the Iron Giant if you've seen that movie. But if his chest was, you know, way radically different than his hip size, like a top no stuck to something. And all of this is just free, like Freehand Martin Tool. Just take your geometric marquee and freak out and cut stuff because you're starting with this black color, which is essentially the invisible part of the robot. And, uh, it doesn't matter what you put in, what matters is the details that highlight after. So, uh, I took you know, a random ball and made that his life to that point, I fully copied his arm and just and really, you know, abusing the logic of how this would actually get fit together. It's not like a person where you are intuitively aware of where a shoulder blade minutes ago, how the shadows need to fall so that they don't look awkward. There's no uncanny valley situation happening when you're not crying, human figure. So, uh, pretty lazily blocking in this dark colors. And then I I spend a lot of effort just on the red highlights and green highlights and things like that, especially on his eyes. The glow in the eyes, by the way, is 1/2 tone pattern, the half tones that are on the arm, the half tones that are on the chest or actually lines. So if you're somewhat familiar with half tones, you'll probably think dots right. The dots you see on a magazine C m y que dots. Uh, that's you've seen on ah, different styles of screen printed posters. But really 1/2 tone could be any any shape or any different. Uh oh, this is I was gonna have these lights that were on the ground shooting up in the space like laser beams like maybe they're calling down the robots with laser beams. Uh, I'm not sure what I was, but anyway, uh, building the robots was fun because you just get to start with the negative dark space and then add in the highlights later. Uh, I've already abandoned the idea of the lasers shooting up in the space here and again. We're going at a pretty quick speed compared to how I actually drew it. So these decisions aren't made so quickly. You can see the buildings in the front are still in the sketch phase. They I think I drew out what colors I thought would make sense pretty light colors for the building of the foreground. But they're drawn with a very big brush, drawn with no details on with no windows versus things in the back that have every single window drawn out. And things like that. The treads of the robot obviously abandoned, going with more of, ah, almost like bell bottoms like Imagine, metal giant steel. Bellbottoms is what's happening. Joints with bolts for kneecaps, making everything linked together with pipes and balls. Balls being like a ball. Don't not gross sexual robot reference, but, uh, so here I'm, uh, putting the pivot point on the selection and kind of rotating the legs around until it looks like he's doing something cool. Uh, had a running, maybe running through a street, destroying some buildings. There's a lot of attitude that you can get from the way you angle the arms the way you angle the legs, since there's not a real face and all I have is this aggressive. I line it was important toe try to give a little bit of emotion or attitude to the robot by basically on showing how he's running. So here. Geometric marking tool over and over, Taking highlights, putting lots of little detail right where the light is going to be hitting the robot. You can see giant bolts on the side of his head. I'm drawing in little 80 panels. Somehow it's chest is constructed with little panels and a lot of them that I draw in. I just delete because I'm adding in detail that starts to make it look worse. Apparently, this was the perfect just peace at this. Yeah, okay. Apparently I drew in a smiley face, knowing that someone would watch this video eventually. Nostrils Mouth is trying to add things in to make the robot a little more expresses and abandoning that idea like I do with a lot of things on this poster. The robots are probably the most organic, freeform things in this since everything else in the poster I wanted Chicago to be accurate . I wanted the city to feel like it would if you were flying through the city on a helicopter and actually getting the proper view. But the robots air violently made up. You could put something ridiculous and out of place into something that's really, really in place. And it kind of works. You know, you're taking something that doesn't have any logical form or function that doesn't make sense in order to build. Like it's possible that this robot would collapse under its own weight. It's pretty nonsensical. But once I put it in the context of all these buildings that are hyper accurate, it makes it seem like the robots are accurate as well. So I think here I probably got up to get a beer or something. Eso That's actually what I have right now, and I encourage everyone to have a beer if you're of eight. And if you're not, then you know, maybe, uh, in orange juice. I like one shoes. Uh, but for real, this video is pause just because I probably got up and did something. So let's talk about how these half tone lines work. You can see on the ground that there's a lot of repeating angled lines, almost horizontal, but not quite. What I'm doing is taking a Grady int tool and dropping that radiant across the entire ground. In this case, the cream color laid on top of the red, but in clips studio, instead of keeping, uh, the Grady in as a fully mapped pixels with the really smooth, radiant like you would see in photo shop, it lets me live. Uh, use half tones in a line form A. Uh, you can do this in a photo shop. The trick is that you have tow basically render out each layer by hand, like save it as a bit map or something and then put it back in and Photoshopped but in ah, in Clips Studio, formerly called Mango Studio the same thing that it's a pretty cheap program make $200 compared to $50 a month for photo shop or something. So these lines there Oh, formerly a Grady int tool, And I've chosen to take the lines, uh, angle to match, whatever the object. ISS. So I could have done half tone dots on the arm, and it would have looked a little money. It would have looked the same way that the the dots look on his eyes. But I decided that everything in this poster gets dots if its atmospheric or light and I get lines if its structure. So there's half tone lines for the structure of the robot, half tone dots with light, and it kind of lets me, uh, play with a lot of different Grady INTs on top of each other. You can see the eyes here. There's dots on top of lines. He has this medium between red and blue on his helmet and the dots of the light shooting out of his eyes. On top of that, and it would be really difficult to approximate that just with half tone dots. But by laying down lines and halftime dots, I get, I get this extra texture to play with. That lets me separate. Uh, light from dark in a different way is again. This is just three colors on a piece of paper. It's It's a lot of detail. There's a lot of atmosphere. There's a lot of things going on, and you're you're super limited by color and by the detail of shapes. And so being able to have a different texture following the shape and following the right angle of these half times is pretty important 5. Atmospheric Perspective: you can have the half tones go it. Any angle that want it could be completely vertical, completely horizontal. Sometimes it's nice to do it that way because Wen's into the background. If something's completely vertical or horizontal, you don't think of it as part of the material. It just blends in. Uh, this is about to be a crazy part. So you see me just drawing wildly different trails like smoke trails and when I'm trying to figure out is where the destruction is coming from. Maybe it's Ah, there's a big park in Chicago called Millennium Park. And maybe maybe some of this stuff is wafting over from from that area down a few blocks, and it looks like chaos, which it is. But I'm just taking the pen tool and wildly predicting where the wind is going and then blur time. So this appears to be a motion blur. The difference between a motion blur and like a Gaussian blur is that instead of just blurring everything in the same amount in every direction, think of you know, just a soft focus, uh, using a motion blur. Uh, what's a little bit more blur on a direction of intense. So if there's a wind blowing from left to right, it's going to blur the horizontal, miss, I guess of the pixels and not so much the vertical miss. I don't know what the word would be other than horizontal nous and vertical miss, but, uh, anyway, I spent all this time describing what motion Blur is. And here I clearly went back with a gauzy onboard. Anyway, finally, is it Goshen Blur or housing? I feel like the dude's name. I believe it's named after a person, Uh, is kaos not gauze. So the galaxy, that's a question for maybe vomits. So here, now that I have my blurred lines, I'm taking the paintbrush, which is also blurred, and I'm blurry Lee painting inside the blurred selection. You can see you know the running ants on the marquee here, and I'm deciding which clumps of cloud are gonna be thicker, which clumps of platter. And this is nice because you're not necessarily painting clouds the way that they would form or the way that they appear in real life. But you get to use them compositionally. You get to build the shape of the poster and hide certain areas and have it appear really organic. But it's actually super specific. Like I'm purposefully covering up parts of the robots leg that I didn't pinch right. It's smoking down near the bottom, his legs, because I didn't draw anything there, and I didn't want everything to be so full of detail that, uh, go crazy. And so, by exposing some places where there's detail and hiding places that don't have detail, essentially filling up the poster with with detail just by masculine, I'm asking things that aren't drawn well and exposing the things that are drawn Well, also, this whole time, the robot is actually missing the rest of his arm. Uh, I wasn't sure how it was gonna finish the arm, so you'll notice that eventually more is going to come. Right. So this is me giving depth to atmospheric clouds. Uh, basically, I do a layer of dark move it, uh, you know, up and down. And then take the same selection of cloud that was already there and deleted. So, uh, I'm putting a little bit of the dark blue underneath the red, and so you can kind of see the clouds get more voluminous There's light on top, dark on the bottom, and all that is is just taking the same selection and doing it. This year, I'm doing the same thing with the, uh, light green color. And as I move it up, it's like magically making the clouds look like they're really there like those depths like you're, you know, envision clouds that you would see when you're on an airplane. Uh, this has that same vibe in all I did is make some blurry shapes and put dark on the bottom in late on top. Uh, there's no, you know, crazy difficult way to have to map it out. All I know is that my light source is coming from, you know, the left and relatively up in the air. And, uh, I can build smoke by adding these highlights on the tip top of layers and putting shadows underneath. I'm fussing a lot here because I don't know how much of the detail to obscure with the clouds. There's You wanna have smoke? You wanna have destruction, but you don't want it to be so thick with smoke that all your entire poster is just, uh, smoke. So it's be kind of fussing with How how much am I gonna reveal how much you gonna hide in seeing turning layers on and off? I really struggled with how much I wanted to show here, and, uh, I ended up having it be pretty dark, but, uh, still see through enough that if there was something like a fire behind the smoke, the fire comes through. The highlights come through. But maybe the darkness doesn't get so a lot of dropping radiance integrating its We're making a circular Grady int tool indicating that there's a lot of detail in the clouds near where the robot is and less and less and less focused until as it goes backwards. Um, because ideally, this smoke is gonna dissipate and it's the smoke dissipates into the horizon. It's going to have less detail. It's gonna have less highlights and shadows and just basically, do the red stuff. Um, the red looks great on its own. Uh, it's kind of creepy, but it looks more of a luminous with everything else. Why? I'm moving it up and down right here. You can see adding in the highlights and shadows. I really wanted to smoke to have a bit of that reddish nous to it. And I did that by doubling up, uh, layers in some cases. So let's say something isn't as opaque is you initially started out with. Grab that layer, double it up. We'll make a duplicate copy of it. And you already you'll be able to add sickness to your smoke without having no redraw. So here I'm really, really getting crazy with smoke. Uh, thinking, you know, maybe there's lake effect wind, and I'm adding in this giant, you know, smoke bomb that's coming in from the high winds that get in Chicago near the lake, but second guessing that trying to not do it. Every piece of smoke here is going to be half toned as dots so similar to the light on the robots. I as long as all of the atmospheric effects are dots that dissipate into smaller dots. And all of these structure is hard concrete lines. I feel like I can get away of printing this where you can sense the atmosphere on top of complicated. There's only you know, there's a limited about a detail that could be put into the screen print. So by by having these different textures. It definitely helps make it appear as if there's something wafting over on actual object. And it's pretty difficult to describe these sorts of shapes in these sorts of textures when you're limited with just three colors on a piece of paper. But I do think that this is sort of working, right? I don't know. I mean, it looks. It looks like a detailed city with some smoke on it. I don't think it's, Ah, crazy mistake. What I'm playing with here is Do I want the robot, too? Have some atmospheric perspective on himself? Look as if, uh, there's more smoke in front of his arm. We're behind him, then the Rays elsewhere. This is wayto create the illusion of death like Is he taller than the buildings? And that's catching more light than his surroundings. Will his legs be dark and the top of the like? So here I'm just sort of playing with whether or not that's going to happen, whether or not they'll be any atmosphere and atmosphere. Perspective is really just a fancy name for, you know, some blurry shit that's, you know, you're just taking something in obscuring it and saying Hey, you know, you can't see this as much because it's further away. And so I'm trying to take a lot of the detail that I put in and purposefully hide my own work because if these things in the middle ground have too much exposure, too much light coming off of them, then they're gonna look like they're there in the front, and that's not what you want. It's sort of a shame, because I like spending all the time on our building. But, uh, if there's too much detail in the background, it's going to distract from the foreground, which sort of makes things look silly again. Here's that hit covered in smoke. I don't have to fill the pit with tons of detail because I've covered in smoke. It's another way of saving time. A lot of this posters me trying to save time, doing something that doesn't look like any time was saved. But, uh, I'm getting to avoid a lot of work by taking huge sections of the map and filling them up with a degree or smoke. In this case, Ah, there is a building here. This chunk that I envisioned it is breaking in half and, like falling down but not completely getting destroyed. Like a building that was able to maintain its structural integrity but got snapped in half . Probably impossible and super unlikely. But it looks cool. So here, you can see, uh, somewhat how have settled on the smoke with quite a lot of it coming out of the ruins of the Trump Tower there. Uh, if I didn't destroy that building, that it would kind of in the focus, which I'm sure nobody would want. And so it's sort of, Ah, steaming cauldron of black smoke coming out from the Trump building and a little bit of black smoke coming from the left to go back its legs. 6. Troubleshooting: it's starting to fill out. But I have all these buildings here that just have nothing in on this. This is where my detail, my eye for detail, starts to really get the better of me. Uh, this building that I'm drawing is called the Marina Towers Marina City. And I used to live here in this building. I lived on the 48th floor and it was beautiful. I got a vision of the sunset every night, and there's two towers that are identical and circular. They kind of look like corncobs or something from the Jetsons. And designer in the sixties did some kind of not not necessarily brutalism. It was a lot of concrete, but it was these weird organic concrete shapes. And there's other buildings in Chicago designed by him as well. But this one is one of the most photographed buildings in the world. So I told myself, Okay, I really got to get this right. I can't miss draw. You know, Miss illustrates something that is, you know, gets as many pictures as you know, the Eiffel Tower. Uh, which sounds crazy. But this building is, uh, pretty popular. Even if you don't know the name of it. When you're a tourist in Chicago, you stop and take a picture of it anyway, because it's, uh, fascinating to see in real life. Of course, I'm describing a building that is not completely drawn yet, so I sound crazy. But, uh, there's a section of balconies that hang off the edge of the buildings there scalloped falcons. There's a whole bunch of, uh, semi circle balconies coming off of a circular buildings. So you essentially get this bouncing, scallop shaped and there are offenses on each of the balconies, you know, to prevent you from Mollema. And of course I had one of these balconies. I lived here. It was very cool. I wanted I wanted it to be accurate because I sort of loved this building. I think I had too much love for the building. And so I started drawing in these details on the balconies that ultimately are never gonna be seen. I'm adding in detail here that is beyond what is even drinkable. So at a certain point, I'm just wasting my time creating a drawing for no one. I guess we get to see it in this video. So it's great, but you you'll laugh a little at how much of this is gonna be? It's obscured at the end. Like, why did I bother so much with getting every single great of the fence, right? I could have just drawn a couple little lines, and it would be fine, but I wanted to get you know, the number of, uh, vertical posts for each of these. Be correct here. I'm shading in, uh, how much light reaches each balcony? Uh, kind of a scalloped edge. And the whole problem with this and reason that I bring it up is that I'm drawing this balcony without having done in measurements. I didn't do the math. You got to do the mass. This building is, let's say, 500 feet tall. Uh, the main chunk of it. 400 something feet off. And I start drawing this balcony and then I want to copy it and paste it down. Pace, pace, pace, pace, paste. Philip, all the floors building done right. But I made this balcony too tall. I didn't think about the scale of from this. This is an absurd, absurdly tall size for the balconies. It doesn't make sense and I should know better because I lived there. But, uh, once I start taking this balcony and repeating it vertically, I'm gonna realize, you know Oh, I have made this too big. I have to redraw this entire section. I can't just copy and paste something because I'm not fitting in 60 floors and fitting in, like, 20. So there's 12 This is me as I suddenly realize what's happening. Four floors. Keep in mind. I need 60 of them and I'm counting 12340 like, how am I gonna fit 60 all the way to the ground? If, uh, I've drawn it so big, and this is me sitting there, you know, figuring that out, which is sort of a bummer. Um, I could have probably just put in 30 floors or something, and nobody would notice Nobody. Nobody's sitting here looking at this poster counting it like that, and you can't just take everything and shrink it because it has to be in perspective, right? You can't. You can't have these ovals or ellipses just get shrunk. Because then it's as if you're viewing it from a lower angle from of a more of a side view or worms. So I try to make up some space by moving these up and down and what you'll see here for the next couple of minutes. It's sort of my struggle with, uh, making these floors the proper hi. I suddenly realized if I shrink it in Okay, let's save some space, like a bit more. Eventually I do figure it out, get all of the balconies laid in and approximate you no accurate number, which is exciting. And then I cover the whole thing will smoke, which, uh, kind of defeats the purpose because I have all these nice little balconies grown and I cover it with 1/2 tone dots. And it's not even a big deal, but this is ah, maybe a lesson on don't get sucked into something. Uh, the mathematical detail of something so tight that you're kind of wasting your time. I think I spend more time on this building than on any of the other buildings in the poster and probably more than several buildings provide on. I had to draw dozens dozens of buildings, and you really gotta let go of some of the detail. So this is a mistake on my part. I do think it looks Who, Uh, you could see that there's a ton of balconies going down it down it down. But they're supposed to be 40 of those fluids. So I'm just not not getting that. That looks like to be maybe two dozen. That's just not We're meeting them. The bottom of this building is actually a spiral parking garage, which is really cool part of the building. But I know it's gonna get covered up by the ruins of the Trump building here. And the smoke when all that Once you get to the base of the building, I'm just not gonna be able to draw the spiral. So here I just extended the height of the building, which is not accurate, desperately trying to figure out a way. How do I get 40 of these, you know, lay vertically and opposed, and you probably won't run into something this crazy. And I would imagine if you're drawing your own hometown or drawing a fictional city or trying to apply some of these principles to, um your own projects that you probably won't get sucked into too much detail of a specific thing. But, you know, maybe you do maybe your favorite theater, something you're drawing that you want to get the martini right when you get every bulb. Or maybe you're not like me and you don't care about this. But I dio for whatever reason I get, I get sucked into certain amounts of detail that just nonsensical. So this is a much dinner version of the balcony of more logical version. And if I was really drawing this in perfect perspective, each individual, uh, balcony would be slightly more vertically like taller than the next one. Because you're viewing this in three points off the top of the building is going to be a little bit thinner vertically than the bottom would be. And I think I maybe think about that when I'm drawing it. But for the most part, uh, it's just a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy, and I'm really messing with the overall perspective of these circles, and it doesn't matter like it. It's OK that this building is not accurate toe how the geometry would really be in that location. It's close. It's close enough that you can tell. And I'm counting all the balconies. They're happy with myself. But I was able to count out the correct number and then looking, you know, Hey, here's where the parking garages were gonna go and I don't have a lot of space left, so you can even see a reflection A little bit of this building on the glass building to the right. Since I lived in these, I knew that by building reflected off the building that was there. And I hadn't really thought about reflections on a lot of the other buildings because there's so much detail already happening, drawing the reflection of the building on another building. When you're already during with the atmospheric smoke structures of the buildings, it's like bananas. Uh, but I thought it was kind of cool, too. Kind of hint at the reflection of these marina towers on the glass building for the right, and you can see as I add the smoke on top. Look how much of this is gone, right? Like you can barely see any of the balcony. It's, you know, any of the details. It was nice that I built it this way, like it's neat that I tried to get it accurate, but once I cover it with smoke, who really cares? So sometimes it's good, you know, maybe leave your degree layers on your you're smoke on, Leave your fire on. Don't turn off layers that are obscuring what you're drawing because you realize you probably could have just gotten the tippy top right, and you didn't have to draw everything else. And I think if I had just left the smoke on and stuff, I would have been in so much trouble. So here I'm seeing that smoke covers up the bottom. There's no need to draw the parking garages, but I get a little sad that how much work I had spent and how much of it ended up being invisible. So I do. I do go back in and try Toe essentially are conveniently strategically erased some of the smoke to allow for some of the building detail to get through. There's these weird kind of giant knobs on the ah top of these buildings, so I'm just really quickly blocking those in. I think my dog wants to get into the, uh, room here. I'm not gonna let the dog in because it would disrupt the class. But, uh, I do think that she hears me talking and wants me to be more of a dog. So these are offenses that go on top of the buildings just Freehand. Sort of sketching those in. I know that nobody's going to pay attention to them. This is where I noticed that you know, the buildings airway to dark, considering how much in the foreground they are. So I'm taking the entire smoke layers and selectively the leading bits of the smoke that I figured don't be there. So allowing for more the red and cream maybe less of the dark, you know, blue black color to show up. And the more that I add these highlights, the more that the red smoke comes through. The further forward these buildings seem to be, there are other ways to do atmospheric perspective. Ah, common one is just to simply do the less detail in things that are further away in high detail on things in the front. But I am so like anal about getting the correct number of windows. That pretty much everything I draw is perfectly in focus and always full of details. So I have to rely on sort of these smoke hazy layers in order to give myself the atmosphere . So we're approaching the end of this poster. I have the really bright river flowing through these buildings. I started to add detail in the front buildings, and you could see there's just this whole section that's just missing windows missing the destruction, missing the robot arm. And so I started blocking out each area there and adding in the windows and missing pieces . This this'd jewelers building. It's a famous building in Chicago, and, uh, you could see I added a sneaky telescoping arm connecting from the robots like upper arm to the top of this truth, but actually used to be, uh, uh, dome on the top of the building. That was Al Capone's speakeasy. So here he is like a claw, and he's sort of grabbing the top of that building. You can see each one of these buildings now full destruction, full detail, lots of windows, and they're constructed the same way that all the other buildings are. It's just cubes on cubes, on cubes, on cubes pulling up from the Google map, and this is the final poster. Three colors on a piece of paper. You can see the claw there grabbing the jewellers building. You can see my my plight of the marina towers there. The destruction of the bridge is the destruction of the Trump Tower, the Tribune tower here, and the right side is one of my favorite buildings in the city. So I spent a lot of time getting the arches right, and I also did an alternate color version, uh, different print, different colors using blue and sort of a great color, too. Approximated again looks really, really cool person, and it's nice to be able to do screen printing because you get the option of having different color ways in different ways of showing all of your work, and you can really quickly swap out an eight color and get another version.