Background Design: Art for Animation | Siobhan Twomey | Skillshare

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Background Design: Art for Animation

teacher avatar Siobhan Twomey, Artist, Illustrator, Instructor

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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.

      Background Design - Art for Animation


    • 2.



    • 3.

      Setting Up Your Workspace


    • 4.

      Photoshop Tools


    • 5.

      The BG Design Process


    • 6.

      Staging and Framing for Background Design


    • 7.



    • 8.

      Making a Rough Sketch


    • 9.

      Drawing the Base


    • 10.

      Drawing the Interior


    • 11.

      Finalizing the Drawing


    • 12.

      Intro to the Painting Process


    • 13.

      Base Colors


    • 14.

      Base Colors for the Overlay


    • 15.

      Blocking in the Interior


    • 16.

      Layer Order


    • 17.

      Creating the Floor Boards


    • 18.

      Walls and Ceiling


    • 19.

      Creating Texture


    • 20.

      Window Frames and Panelling


    • 21.

      Table and Carpet


    • 22.

      Table Items


    • 23.

      Chest and Wine Barrels


    • 24.

      Curtains, Lamps and Ropes


    • 25.

      Adding Shadows


    • 26.

      Final Lighting


    • 27.



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About This Class

Welcome to the world of background art and environment design! This class is going to teach you the fundamentals of creating artwork for animation, including concept art, layout sketches and final background painting.

This is your chance to learn the skills and concepts to become a background designer!

You are going to learn how to paint digitally, how to draw backgrounds and how to develop a sketch to a fully realized background for a scene.

You’ll work on a background project that I’ve crafted for you so that you can learn and practice different and varied styles of background art. Along the way you’ll also learn all about the principles of background design for animation, as well as tips and tricks that I’ve used as a background artist throughout my career in the animation industry.

I’m going to show you how to draw a detailed rough layout with all the elements and props. Then I’ll walk you through my entire process of painting this up to a finished background, step by step. I’ll teach you how to block in flat colours, how to craft shapes and objects within the scene and then how to add layers of textures and effects to make the final painting look like you can step into it and experience it yourself.

This course is packed with insights into the creative process of designing artwork for animation. I’ve worked really hard to make sure that in every video you can learn something new, from practical photoshop tips and techniques, to advice on how to speed up your workflow and be a better, more efficient background artist.

Meet Your Teacher

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Siobhan Twomey

Artist, Illustrator, Instructor

Top Teacher

Hello, I'm Siobhan (pronounced: Shivon ... an Irish name! )

My work spans the disciplines of Figure Drawing, Painting, Filmmaking and Animation. To say the least, my art journey has been varied, scenic and multi-faceted!! However, the one thing that was missing on this journey was a guide, a mentor, or someone who could advise and give me feedback.

Here's what my journey looked like:

Starting out, I studied Film in Dublin, and I spent a semester on a scholarship at the Tisch School of the Arts, at NYU, shooting 16mm short films in New York. Later, I studied Drawing and Animation. Since 2005, I've worked in studios in Vancouver and Dublin: I've worked as a professional Background and Environment Artist; I've worked as a Storyboard Artist, Concept Artist; I've also di... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Background Design - Art for Animation: Hi there, my name is Siobhan. I'm an artist and an animation professional and this class is all about making background art for animation. I'm going to teach you exactly how to make a fully realized and detailed background for a scene in an animated film. In this class, you'll learn design principles such as staging and framing for your background, as well as the fundamentals of perspective and how to draw in perspective. You're going to learn how to take a rough and suggested background from a storyboard panel and work that up into a completed, fully finished layout drawing that's ready to be painted. Then I'm going to walk you through the process that I use when I'm working on a TV or a film production for a show. I'll show you step-by-step how to create your flats, how to add textures, and also how to make shadows and light. The project in this class is to come up with a background for the captain's cabin. This is a scene that's taken from my sample script for the pirate story, The Metal Queen. If you've taken my storyboarding course, you will be familiar with that script. This is a really fun and inspiring class, and I've worked hard to make sure that you can learn something new in each video. From learning efficient processes in Photoshop, to techniques that will make your work more artistic and painted it. Included in this course is a brush path for you to download, as well as a set of online resources for visual development and also my own Photoshop files for you to dive into. I've got over 15 years experience working in the animation industry. During that time, I've directed short films, I've worked as a storyboard artist and a background designer. I've worked for studios in Dublin and in Vancouver for clients that include Disney and Sony DreamWorks. I'm really passionate about teaching the skills and processes that took me on that journey so that you can have the opportunity to learn this amazing skill set and start your own journey. In my opinion, being a background artist is one of the best jobs in the animation industry. It's rewarding, it's highly creative, and above all, it's actually easy and enjoyable. I hope you're ready to dive in and start your journey towards becoming a background artist for animation. 2. Introduction: In this introductory video, I just want to give you a quick overview of the structure and let you know what you'll need for this course. I'm going to be doing all of my work in Photoshop, and this really is the industry standard. There's no doubt about that. In the animation industry, whether the production that you're working on is animated in Adobe Animate, or Toon Boom, or some other software, nearly 90 percent of the time, your backgrounds will be created in Photoshop. I am working in Photoshop, as I said, but you don't really have to in order to follow along with this course. You can certainly use any other digital painting software that's out there. But if you are interested in learning Photoshop processes, you can even download a free trial from Adobe's website. I think you get that trial for about seven days and then you can decide whether you want to continue with it or not. It's up to you. But if you've got any questions about what software to use, feel free to contact me. When you are working digitally and painting digitally, the other thing that you have to use is a drawing tablet of some kind. You can't really get around that. You're just going to be very frustrated if you tried to make background designs with a mouse, especially if you want to get painterly effects. So I highly recommend looking around. You don't have to go with the most expensive option that's out there. You don't have to start off with the Cintiq or anything. My setup is actually really, really simple. I use a Wacom Intuos Pro medium, and for my purposes, that's perfect. It does everything that I need it to do. But if you didn't want to go with a Wacom tablet, you can search around. There are definitely cheaper alternatives out there. The project for this class is going to be to create a background, a fully finished, completed background from scratch, right the way through to final paint. In order to get there, I'm going to start out the process from the very, very beginning. I'm going to take a suggested background from a storyboard panel and I'll show you how I develop that into a layout drawing, and then move into the painting phase. You're welcome to follow along with me and make your own sketch for your background painting, or you can use the sketch that I did in the class. It's totally fine. It's up to you. Then please send me your final projects once you're done. I'd love for you to share them in the class so that other people can be inspired by your work. I will be adding video critiques and analysis of student work. So if you'd like me to take a look at your project and give some feedback, then please do send them in. Up next, I'll explain how I set up my Photoshop workspace. 3. Setting Up Your Workspace: In this video, I'll show you how my Photoshop workspace is set up and I'll show you how you can make sure that yours looks similar to mine, so that you can follow along with me fairly easily. Generally speaking, I like to have as much screen space as possible. I have everything nested in at the side. If you've got Windows that are maybe not squeezed in at the sides like that, you can move any of these Windows around, you can drag them out to have them floating, they stay open, or you can even close them altogether and you don't have to worry about them. If there's any Windows here that you see on my screen that you don't have, that you want to have access to, at any point, you can come up to Window and find the relevant Window down here. I just closed down properties. If I want to open that up again, I would just scroll down and find it right there. It pops up, it's floating, and then I can just click and drag it over to the side. On this Menu bar down here, anytime there's a blue highlight, it means I can release and slot it in there. The two main Windows that you're going to need or that I'll be using the most are the Layer stack and also the Color Window. It's best to just have them open at all times rather than opening and closing it. I'm going to click and drag my layers out and then put it way over to the side, release it there. Then I'll also go and grab Color. From my drop-down menu, click on "Color", and I will place that at the top. Then if you wanted to increase the space, you can just drag this up and down. Now, your color window might not look the exact same as mine, it could possibly be set to this layout. It's totally fine, it's the exact same color, it's just a different way of presenting it. I prefer to have my color represented like this in the color wheel. These sliders here, this is the Hue slider, is which sort you want to pick. Saturation slider means if it's desaturated or very saturated, and this B slider refers to the brightness. You can slide those or you can use this handy triangle. Then in the layer stack, really, all you need to be aware of is how to create new layers which is the plus icon at the bottom. If you want to delete layers, it's just the trashcan you just delete dash. It'll ask you and you can say yes. The only other control that I use is the folder or a group icon. That's this little icon here. What you do is just select whatever layers you want to group together. You can either hit that icon or Command or Control G on your keyboard as the shortcut, and it instantly groups them together. Then if you want to delete that group, you could Backspace. But a good way to know about it because very often, I might group things and then I want to ungroup them, I just go down to the trashcan and hit dash, and then it actually gives you a choice. Do you want to delete the group and the contents or just the group? If you choose just group, you're back to having just the layers. If there is anything else that pops up, I'll be sure to highlight it and let you know. Similarly, with the tools over here on the left, I will explain in much more detail and the tools that I'm going to be using and their functions. But just to let you know, these are your drawing, painting, Vector tools, Shape tools. When you click on one of them, the properties for that tool will always appear up at the top. For example, in the Brush mode, you can choose the size, the hardness, choose different types of brushes. You will also play around with the Opacity up here. For things like the Vector tools, like the Pen tool, here's where you set your shape or path. We leave it on shape always for this course with the fill and just with no stroke. If your stroke actually does have a color and it looks something like dash, what you can do with the Pen tool selected is just come up to stroke and choose no color, which is this red line go through and that'll reset it back to having no outline. That's about it for now. Make sure that your Photoshop layout or your Photoshop interface is set-up the same way so that we're on the same page. If you've got any questions about how to set up your Photoshop workspace, just send me a message. 4. Photoshop Tools: Let's take a really quick look at the main tools that I'm using throughout this course. The brush tool, you can hit B on your keyboard or click on this icon. As I mentioned in the last video, the properties for this tool are all up here at the top. This tool down menu is where you access different brush shapes or different brushes, and where you can affect the size or the hardness of that brush. The way I like to do, I'll probably just drag this panel out and have it flourishing so that I can constantly just choose different brushes as I go. But I'll show you about that in a later video. But just so as you know, that's where that is under brushes. There's another icon here which also gives you "Brush Settings". Now I tend to not really tweak the Brush Settings because all of the brushes that I've downloaded are pretty much set for me. I don't ever need to go into here and dial it in any further. But just so as you know, that's your Brush Settings control over there. As I paint, I will also use the eyedropper tool. Now, the "Eyedropper Tool" is in your tool stack somewhere down here. I'm going to hit I on my keyboard. There it is, Eyedropper Tool. If you click on that, it allows you to sample colors on your canvas as you go, and you can paint and choose different colors. Let me just show you, say I've got an orange next to it, you can just use your Eyedropper Tool to paint and select. The other tool that I use when I'm painting freehand like this is the selection tool. If you click and hold on this, you've got the rectangular marquee or the elliptical marquee, that allows you to select an area. You can paint inside it or you can even select the "Inverse" by going up to Select Inverse, and then let's say paint the outside. The other selection tool that I use a lot is the "Lasso Tool". When you click and hold down on the Lasso, you've got the regular one, you've got the polygonal or "Polygonal Lasso Tool" and magnetic. I never use the Magnetic Lasso, I find it best for working with photos. When I'm drawing, I just use these two. Much the same way as a pencil or a pen, you can draw out a shape, you can fill that shape, or you can paint over it. It's a very handy one. Similarly, the polygonal gives you straight lines and is very good for getting really detailed work. The last tool that I want to introduce you to is the "Pen Tool". That's the other one that I'll be using quite a lot. You can hit P on your keyboard or click on this icon over here. The Pen Tool works by simply clicking on what are called anchor points to create a shape. Each anchor point will create a straight line between the previous one. If you wanted to create a curved line between two anchor points or between three anchor points, you click and drag. When you click and drag these handles, which are called bezier handles, these appear and you can drag them out, and that'll create a nice curve. Let me just delete that for a second. A handy thing to know though about the curves is that you can also, not only can you create a nice curve between three points, you could also click and drag out and then close down one side. If you wanted the curve to go this way and then to have say, a straight line or a curve going the other way, you can delete this handle of the anchor point by holding down Option on a Mac or Alt on a PC. You'll see there's a tiny little symbol that appears and click back onto the last anchor point, and that'll just close it off. Then you can say, go the other way. The main thing to know about working with the pen tool versus working with the polygonal or regular lasso is that the pen tool creates what's called a vector shape. If you come over to your layer stack, you can see that this layer is not actually called layer, it's called "Shape 1". All of the shape tools in Photoshop like the square, rectangle, the ellipse tool, those are all vector graphics. What a vector is, is it's basically a set of these anchor points. Whereas a Lasso Tool, if I create a new layer, is a rasterized or a bitmap graphic and dash, doesn't have any anchor points. It's essentially a bunch of pixels. You can actually delete or paint on this. Whereas on the vector shapes, you can't paint onto them, you can't delete some of them. All you can do is affect the color by double-clicking in this icon to change the color or change the shape by changing some of the vector points. That's the main difference. It is possible to right click on any vector shape in your layer stack at anytime and just choose "Rasterize Layer". What that does is it converts it from a vector shape into a bitmap shape, so I can now edit that shape. Really those are pretty much the only tools that I'll be using. Now, there's a lot of processes involved with each of the tools and I'll be sure to go through all of those techniques and processes in detail as they come up. But for now, just to get started, that's all you need to really familiarize yourself with. The pen tool, the selection tools, and the brush tools. 5. The BG Design Process: Now, over the remainder of the course, I'm going to teach you how to draw a rough sketch for a scene based on a storyboard panel and then I'm going to show you how to bring that to a fully painted background, just like this one. I want to point out from the very beginning that this might seem very complex and very detailed and possibly a version itself feels a bit overwhelming. But really, I want you to be aware that what's going on in a background like this and in the creation of something like this is really only about, say, two or three processes. This level of detail and complexity is achieved by repeating those processes over and over again. Once you know that and you're aware that if you can successfully make one item in a scene like this, and then you have the patience to work with that and to repeat that process, then you can achieve artwork that looks very detailed and complex. The other important thing that you need to know about is that there really isn't one way of doing this, there are many ways to achieve the same effect and I'm going to show you the way that I think is the easiest. If you come across other ways of creating floorboards or creating a wine barrel or something like that, then by all means, use that if that feels more comfortable to you. What I want to do though is take this step-by-step and I've clarified things as much as possible and I want to walk you through from start to finish. Before all of that, I do want to teach you some basic design principles for background art and also give you an overview of how to work with perspective. Up next, in the next video, I'll talk about staging and framing. 6. Staging and Framing for Background Design: Creating a background that's going to be used in an animated film or a TV show means that your painting is not the main attraction. It sits behind the main focus of the audience's attention, which is the characters moving around in front. The main difference then between creating a background for animation and creating a picture of a scene purely for illustration purposes, is that the background has to support the story point of the scene and the staging of the characters. Even the most beautifully illustrated and painterly backgrounds don't detract from the main action. The very best backgrounds enhance the story points and adds the atmosphere or the mood of the film without the audience even realizing. Though all of this means that you have to consider staging when you're creating your backgrounds. Staging in animation is how you arrange the elements of the scene for the clearest possible view of the action. That means giving room for the characters to move around. If the character has to enter the scene or exit, you need to be aware of that as a background artist. You get that information from looking at the storyboard panel that's been drawn for that scene. That's where the board artist will have indicated what the animation is or what the screen direction is. For example, in this panning shot, the characters are running from left to right. All of this area is clear of any elements, so that action can take place in just that part of the screen. In this example, in this background, the scientist's lab, there is a big background elements in the middle, but the character is actually off to the left. Also there's room in the front for the character to move around. With staging, you are literally setting the stage, and that's the stage that represents a totally imagined world in most cases. Now one way to bring your audience into that world is through framing. Framing in background design refers to elements of the scene that block out the screen and literally frame where the characters are. Most people think that framing is just dash and that it serves only to lead the viewers eye to where the subject is, but I would argue that that's only part of what framing does. Yes, it certainly can lead the eye, but then so can a lot of things like the leading lines within your composition, the staging, the general mood, the lighting, all of that goes along way towards foregrounding the action or the animation. But for me, the most important aspect of framing is that it has the effect of making the audience or the viewer feel like they are part of the scene. If you've got elements of your scene that are so close up to the camera, they're really foregrounded, they're almost blurry or out of focus, that can really help the viewer feel as though they can almost reach out and touch them, and that they're in person, they're not watching a play where they're very separated out from what's going on. Just using random shapes for framing devices can end up being a little bit weak visually. What you want to achieve in your background art is the feeling that the audience or the viewer is like in this example, crouched behind the barrel or standing behind this curtain and looking out at the scene. It's important in animation, because in animation we're creating imagined worlds, and we want the audience to feel like they can really step in and experience these worlds, not just sit off to the side. Framing devices are used when you're establishing the scene, you'll use them in wide shots, or your establishing shots, or in what's called the key location, something like this. Then as you move into the scene progressively through a series of close ups and medium shots, you'll start to focus less on the background, more on the animation, and the audience will come along with you with much more involvement. Those are just some principles to bear in mind about staging and framing for background design. In the next video, I'm going to talk a little bit about how to work with perspective. 7. Perspective: In this video, I'm going to cover the all important aspect for background art, and that is perspective. Perspective can be a very complex and really highly technical subject matter. So in this video, I really want to stress that. As an introduction to background art we're going to be covering it from the point of view of how you'll most likely be using perspective as RBG artist. That is to say that we will not be making technical drawings or architectural or engineering drawings, we're going to be making straight-up background art for animation. Now you want your background art to be exact and to look like it has proper and correct perspective, so I'm going to explain the two aspects of perspective that you'll be called upon to implement in your work probably 99 percent of the time. I'll also explained how you can master the simple building blocks of perspective in order to draw a very complex multi-point perspective drawings. If we jump into Photoshop, first up, one-point perspective. This is where you have just one vanishing point on the horizon line. If this is our horizon line then the vanishing points is the direction that you're looking in. In this case, you're looking straight ahead, it's in the middle of the viewfinder, the camera is placed in such a way that it is taking a shot of the scene from straight on. It's not looking to the left or to the right of the scene. The camera view here is just slightly higher than the midpoint. So from this point of view, everything will get visually smaller the further away it is from you, and it'll be larger the closer that it is to you or to the picture plane. In order to draw this scale of big-to-small, we use what's called a perspective grid. You make the grid by just using radiating lines coming out from the vanishing point above and below the horizon line. These lines are going to be our guides for the scale of the object. What I'm doing here is just simply tapping the brush in the center. Then I'm holding down Shift on the keyboard and tapping at the edge, and that will give me a straight diagonal line. Then to complete the greater miniature parallel lines going from left to right, and these also go from the picture plane in towards the horizon. These lines you can simply hold Shift and draw as you draw from one side to the other. Now that you got your grid or you need to do is simply fill your drawing in by following these diagonal lines and parallel lines. For example, the standard classic example I always give is if you're drawing a city street, because it's the easiest thing to visualize, especially if we're working with blocks or rectangles. I'm just going to follow the grid and draw blocks like this and these are the buildings. Note that one edge or one face of these rectangles is actually parallel to the picture plane, and it's only the side of the block or the building that travels towards the vanishing point. So the front side is parallel to us, to the camera. It doesn't matter how big or small they are, as long as you just follow the grid, you're actually representing the scale correctly. If there are something like street lights, you can also put those in getting progressively bigger as they come towards the front plane. That's straightforward. That is one-point perspective. Now the second type of perspective that you'll most likely be called upon to draw is two-point. So let's assume that we're looking at the same scene. It's a city street. Instead of standing in the middle of the street and looking straight down, let's say that this time we're just off to the side. So we're going to see the buildings from an angle. I'm going to draw the exact same horizon line. But this time I'm going to use two vanishing points, one on the left and one on the right. Now I want to make the point that you should nearly always place your vanishing points for two-point perspective outside of the frame. If you place both of them inside of the picture plane or inside of the picture frame. You'll run into trouble, your drawing will start to look a bit distorted. So nearly always have them as far apart as possible. Have one if not both vanishing points outside the plane. We've got one here and here. Now from each of these points I'm going to draw radiating lines. With that in place, there's actually no need to draw parallel lines because each set of these radiating lines will intersect and they'll form the grid. So just like that. Now I'm going to draw the buildings. You imagine that the street is now running from right across the screen. I'm just going to follow the grid and draw the rectangles as before, don't even have to think about it really. Now in two-point perspective, nothing is parallel to the picture plane in terms of your cubes or your blocks like this. One side will be going to one vanishing point and the other side will go to the other one. There isn't a side or a plane that's parallel. You can see the sense of scale is still working, and as things move away into the distance on the right, they become smaller, and if they were visible going away off to the left, then they get smaller the further away they are. So that's one-point and two-point. Now the next two things that you need to know about are whether or not your point of view is a high-angle or a low-angle. This concept can be a little bit tricky at first because if you think of a high-angle, you might visualize that you're looking high up at something, but instead try and visualize the idea that you or the camera are up really high and you're looking down on something. When you look down on something your horizon line or vanishing point is high up, but your viewpoint is looking down. So let's put our vanishing point off to the left, the radiating lines are the same and the parallel lines are the same. This is one-point by the way. I'm using one-point perspective for this example. Let's just say this scene is a room with a table in it. I'm going to use the grid to draw a table like this, and you can even use the grid to draw the floor and the walls. So that's a high-angle. The thing to know about that. If your vanishing point is above the middle section of your picture frame, then that'll be a high-angle and you'll always see the top surfaces of things. Like the top of the chair or the top of the table because you're looking down. Then for a low-angle, you can think of the camera or yourself as being low, almost on the floor and you're looking up at something, so your viewpoint is looking upwards. This time you could draw the exact same scene from a low-angle and you'll be seeing the underneath of the table, the underneath of the chair, you'll be seeing the ceiling of the room. We don't see the tops of things. So anytime your vanishing point or your horizon line is below the middle of the frame, then you have a low-angle and you're looking up at something. So these four things are the most important concepts to understand and to practice. Over this hundreds of assignments that I've gotten from my students, I can really see that the one thing that's going to make any difference to your drawing or to your proficiency of perspective drawing is to practice with simple blocks and rectangles. I know it's probably not the most exciting thing to be doing, but until you can confidently and easily draw a cube in one-point and two-point perspective from a high-angle or a low-angle, you really can't move on to drawing complex three-point perspectives. I hope I've stressed that enough. What I would suggest is if you've never really drawn in perspective properly, then spend as much time as you can to just draw squares and blocks and cubes following this grid. Don't try and draw scenes yet until you've spent at least a half-an-hour or an hour doing your drawing drills of cubes and grids. The last thing that I'll say in this video is again, to talk about perspective and story point. I keep going on about how you need to try and make your background underscore the story point, but really, there's no need to draw an extreme down-shot with three-point perspective if the story doesn't call for it. Think about whose point of view you are trying to draw or whose point of view you're representing with your drawing. If you had a script where there was a character in the ceiling looking down at a scene, well, then yes, you would have to draw complex down-shot like that, and you would need to use three-point perspective. But if you don't, then having a random shot of a scene from that high up of an angle is not going to read necessarily for your audience, it's just going to be a little bit strange. So if you've got a straightforward story where characters are moving around and interacting normally within a scene, then keep your perspective or your camera angles at that level as well. I hope this makes sense and what I want you to do is really maybe pause the videos and just practice drawing with grids and blocks and cubes. Then when you're ready, meet me in the next video and we're going to start our rough thumbnail drawing for the Captain's cabin. 8. Making a Rough Sketch: As a background artist, when you're working from a storyboard panel, you'll very often be working from a suggested background or maybe just a very rough drawing of the actual layout, and your job is to redo that background and bring it to fine and paint it up. In this case, I'm actually going to change the storyboard panel quite a bit. The first thing that you'll do, is you'll want to grab that board panel and place it into your document that's going to be your background. I'm going to go up to the marquee selection tool, I'm going to click and drag around this panel here, copy it, Command C, and then I'm going to hit "Command or Control N" to make a new document. My usual standard go-to size for creating artwork is usually 1920 by 1080, but for this piece and for most large backgrounds like this, it's always better to go a bit bigger than that, so I've doubled the size to 3840 by 2160. That should be big enough. As I say, you do this in order to accommodate any cuttings or zoom ins that you might need to do. Then I'm going to hit "Command or Control V" to paste that board panel onto here. Now, naturally, it comes in very, very small. I just have to scale it up, Command T. Now, it doesn't matter if it's blurry because this is just a guide. Double-click on the layer name, and I'm going to call this layer board panel, and then I'm going to lock that layer so you don't end up drawing on it. Then, create a new layer above it. I'm also going to make a frame just to have some boundary. To do that, I'll click and drag out with the marquee tool. It doesn't have to be exact. It's totally just a arbitrary frame, so that I have a sense of where the edges are. Then I'm going to right-click. Let's say, we'll make the stroke about four pixels. That's okay. Click "Okay". I want to make my perspective grid with a red color, so that it stands out, and I'm switching to the brush tool. I'm just using a hard-edged brush, very, very small, and that is my horizon line. The horizon line in this image is just a little bit above the center. That means that any object that's below this, we're going to be looking down on it. I've placed the vanishing point right in the middle, just there, and now I'm going to draw my radiation lines going outwards. You can use the brush tool to do this, or in this case, I'm using the line tool, because the line tool is just easier to make straight diagonal lines. Now, as you see, I've got quite a lot of layers in my layer stack, so I'm going to select them all, right-click, and merge them into one shape. Then I'll right-click again and rasterize that layer, so now it's just line work, and that's my grid. I'll double-click on the name of the layer to call it perspective grid. Then to finish it off, I need a horizontal lines going left to right, and that I can do easily with the brush tool. It's just a matter of holding down Shift as you draw, and that'll give you a completely straight line. I'm going to lower the opacity for both the grid layer and also the board panel, and now I'm ready to start to draw on a brand new layer. I hit "D" on my keyboard just to set my colors to black and white, and I'll be using the black just to draw this image, an irregular hard round-edged brush. The first thing that I want to do is get the floor and the wall plane sorted out. Because this is going to be completely symmetrical, what I'm going to do is select the section of the floor and the wall. I am going to copy it and paste it, and then go to Edit, Transform, Flip Horizontal, and now I can drag it out across. I can erase that other bit underneath. Here we go. For me, it's really important to get this right, to get the walls and the floor correct and in proper perspective, because this is the base of the entire drawing and the entire background. If your perspective or your drawing is wrong at this stage, it's really hard to correct that later on. All of the details can be changed later on, but the basic structure can't be changed at all, so that's why I take a lot of time just to make sure it's correct. The other thing that I'm going to try and get right at this stage is this front section, because this front section is not actually following the same perspective. I want to give the impression that the window is slanting outwards. What I'm going to do is draw the window frames for now in this slanted orientation and that should be okay. It's got some paneling in the front window frames like that. So that's done. Now, I know it doesn't look much, but if you achieve this much, and if you take the time to get this correct and working properly, the whole rest of the drawing will actually be a lot easier. Join me in the next video, and I'll finish doing the floorboards and the walls and the ceiling. 9. Drawing the Base: In this video, I'm going to finalize the base of the drawing, and get the whole structure of the interior working, and correct. Really, that just involves finalizing the floors, and the side walls, and the ceiling. I'm going to make a new layer above my drawing layer and create a bit of a guide for myself to draw my side beams. Because this composition has such a strong one-point perspective on us, I want to make sure that I'm getting symmetry on either side, and that, especially in the structure of the room, I want to make sure that things match up. Later on, I can play with that symmetry a little bit and use it in terms of balance rather than in terms of marring. But for now, I definitely want each side to mar the other. You'll also notice that I'm not really being exact or precise with these curved beams that are supposed to be the whole of the ship. I'm being very loose and sketchy really, because I'll work up the details when I actually redraw this for the color phase. Right now, I need to just place them in. I do want them to be in correct proportion, but I'm not going to worry about details. I'm going to erase out my guide for now. At this stage, if I turn the grid off, you can see it's coming together. I'll right-click on this layer and merge it down to my sketch layer. Then I'm going to create a new layer above it because I want to now draw the floor planks. For this, I'm going to use my vanishing point and literally create straight lines radiating out from that vanishing point. Still on that layer above my drawing, I'll do the exact same thing for the sort planks for the walls on the side. Now, all I need to do is just get rid of the part of my line work that I don't want, that's overlapping the underneath drawing. Using my Lasso tool, I'm just going to select it to razors. I'll select these outer edges as well just to keep it a bit neat. Then I can even switch to the eraser tool and get rid of some of the overlapping lines using the eraser. I'm finally happy enough with that. I'll right-click on that layer and merge it down so that I just got one layer for my drawing. Well, that's perfect. Last thing, I'm just going to draw a couple of lines for the ceiling planks. That's it. That's the interior finished. Now, I'm going to move on, and start filling in this room, and drawing all of the details. I'll see you in the next video for that. 10. Drawing the Interior: Before I go any further though, I do want to arrange my layers a little bit. I'm going to drag my board panel up to the top of my stack, followed by the frame and the grid. Then I'll select all of these layers by holding "Shift". I'm going to command "J" to group this, and I'll call my group, I'll just call a scene for now since it contains information about the scene, like the board panel and the perspective. Let's call it scene. Now I'm ready to go. I'll make a new layer above my base layer. On that layer, first of all we going to draw in the things that are over here on the left, like the curtain. This is going to be in the very foreground, so I'll draw it a little bit going off the frame and just loosely sketch in a big shape. Now the original board panel does have a lot going on in it and I'll aim to get most of it down, but I'm not going to copy everything that's in that board panel. I'll see how I get on and see how far I can go with it. Maybe behind the curtain, we see the sand bags or I don't know if they're sacks of grain or something like that. We'll call them sand bags for now. Maybe they're piled up over there on the left. Maybe behind this curtain there's a table. Things are a bit cliche but it would be nice to put in maybe something nautical, like an hour glass or something like dash. Just sketching in one of those old-fashioned hour glasses. That's fine. Just a basic shape for the table, doesn't have to be too detailed at all. I know on the right-hand side over here, there are a couple of very obvious items like the pirate chest, that'll go over there with the sea chest. Now, the chest is basically a box. Just think about the perspective of a box to start. Then after that you can start putting on the curved edges or the details of it. Then possibly a lamp on the wall. I'm working with symmetry, but in terms of balance within the picture, I want to copy exactly everything that's on the left, on the right. Maybe on this side here, we'll go with what the board pile suggested, which is a barrel in the front. To make dash barrel, I'm literally just going to draw a couple of lines, an oval circle for the top to give that sense of perspective, we're looking down on the top of it, got maybe one of those lids, and then just a curved shape underneath. It's always nice to do details like this on things like a wine barrel or things like that. But really you don't have to do too much at this stage because when we redraw, that's when I'm going to actually put in details like the grade of the timber, that kind of edges of the planks and all of that. Echoing this foreground item or element, there's going to be a few barrels back there along the side wall. That's a very common compositional thing to do in background design. If you've got one item in the foreground and you repeat it in the background. It actually really helps to establish scale. It tells you immediately how big things are in relation to each other and gives you a sense of depth within the picture. The eye picks up on the fact that this item in the foreground is the same as those in the back. Also having repeats of one item adds a kind of rhythm throughout the picture. It's nice to have three of one thing and if you arrange them throughout the composition, they can lead the eye and the eye can travel from one to the other. At this point, you can scale things to your liking. It's totally fine to just select part of your drawing and scale it up. Sometimes you'll find that you have drawn one thing a little bit too big in relation to others. So it's fine just to grab the Lasso Tool and tweak and scale part of your line work accordingly, just make it fit, whatever works really at the stage. I'm going to draw the table next and I'll do that on a separate layer. If I just turn on my grid, I'm going to follow the grid exactly in order to draw the table. It's literally a rectangle for the tabletop. Then I'm going to give it a little bit of detailing, some kind of curved sections to it just to give it that authentic sort feel. I'm going to draw just one leg. Select it, hit "V" on my keyboard and then hold down "Option" or "Alt" and drag it and that'll copy it over to the other side. Then I'm going to go up to Edit and choose Transform, Flip Horizontal to turn it and that's fine. That looks good. Return the rest of the drawing back on. It's really come together and that's just in a couple of minutes with a few sketchy lines really. Maybe just the last thing is a couple of lamps on the ceiling. Again, using this idea of repeating elements, that helps establish scale, helps to bring the viewer in further into the drawing, and I'm also thinking I better add in those ropes that are on the overlay and maps obviously in the corner, lots of maps and scrolls. Now if I turn on my character, I have copied in already, I think it fits in just fine. I think that looks really good. Starting to set the scene a little bit, starting to feel like this is going to come together. All I'm going to do next is finalize this drawing. I'm not going to take it too much further, I want to get onto the painting and coloring stage as quickly as possible. As I said, remember this is just a guide. It's not a final layers. Meet in the next video. We'll finalize the drawing and then we'll get ready to start coloring. 11. Finalizing the Drawing: What I want to do in this video before I move on to painting is to just consolidate my layers and tweak the details maybe add one or two final items to my sketch. What I'm going to do is move the character up into my scene folder. Then I'm going to select all of these layers and group them. Now I'm going to duplicate this group, and the reason that I do this is because I want to flatten my drawing completely, but I also want to keep a bit of a backup of the separated layers just in case I need to go back and revert to an earlier stage. Once you flatten things out, it's a bit more difficult to tweak or edit them. So just as a backup, I'm going to keep this group with all of its layers in it, I'll call it sketch layers. Hit "Command J" to duplicate it. Then before flattening it, I will go down to the base layer. I'm going to use the eraser tool just to take up some of those overlapping lines. Now I'm ready to right-click, merge the group. Okay, great. My drawing is all on one layer. That is perfect. I'm going to grab sketch layers, move it up into the scene folders, I don't have to worry about that and then just concentrate on this drawing here. I'm going to add details onto this maybe. On the table, I'll add in things like the map or a jug and a bottle of wine or a tablecloth onto some table items. Great. I definitely feel that it's looking a little bit more authentic. I think it's a finalized sketch for sure. Everything is okay, perspective's working. It's time to actually start painting this and adding color. The whole next section of this course is going to be about how to paint something like this up to a fully finished finalized background. If you wanted to, you could take this sketch and refine it even one or two steps further and make it into a fully cleaned up proper layout. But because we want to get to the painting stage, I'm actually just going to leave it here as is and move directly onto that. When you are ready, join me in the next video and I'll talk a little bit about the process that we'll be using going forward. 12. Intro to the Painting Process: Before we start getting into the painting process, I did want to remind you that, as I said before, even though the final background might seem a bit overwhelming and this sketch looks very complex and detailed, really there are only three or four processes that are just going to be repeated over and over again from here on out. If you can get to groups with just a couple of these techniques or processes and you have the patience to repeat them again and again, then you will be able to move through this very efficiently and quickly, and get a really good-looking background out of it at the end. In this video, I just want to highlight some of the main processes and the main functions that I'm going to be using from here on. For the most part, I will be using the pen tool, and I've gone through this with you before but just as a refresher, when using the pen you can just click and drag out your vector points, and if you wanted to close off one of the vector points, hold on Option or Alt on your keyboard, and that closes one side of it, then you can make another curve and another curve, or you can make a straight line. When you do that, you have created a vector shape layer, and the way I tend to work is that I keep most of my shapes as vector shapes until I'm completely sure that I don't want to change them again. Because it's very easy just to double-click in here, and let me bring up my color window, and choose a different color. It's also easy to change the shape. If you select the shape and use Command or Control on your keyboard to click and drag, you can also change the direction of the handles. So I tend to leave it as a vector shape until I'm much later on in the process. At which point I will then right-click and rasterize that into an editable bitmap layer, and that's when I add texture or lighting or shadows onto that shape. Another way to add texture onto a layer, you can paint directly on it and you can also add a layer above it. Let's just go to b, let's say round brush like that, I'll choose just a random color just to show you. But if you wanted to put some texture onto a layer, you can use a clipping mask. So that texture is on a layer above my, let's say curtain. If you hold down option as you hover over the space between both layers, this little icon pops up and if you click down, you can clip the layer that's above to the layer below. So you'll see the edge is now completely gone. So that's a very handy way to clip textures to layer or to a shape, and the other tool that I use over and over again to draw shapes with is the Lasso tool. That's up here, or you can hit L on your keyboard. You just draw with the Lasso tool or draw with Polygonal lasso if you want to access that hold shift and L to cycle through, and there is the polygonal lasso. When you're in either the polygonal or the regular lasso and you're working away, if you wanted to, you could hold "Option" and that lets you switch to the other version. So here I've switched to the regular lasso and then if I release option on back in the polygon or lasso. So you can use a combination of both versions of the Lasso tool. I'm not sure if that tool is called the lasso or the lasso. So forgive me if I'm saying lasso wrong or even polygonal, I don't know if it's polygonal or polygonal. But you know what I'm talking about. Let's call it the lasso for now. As you can see, I don't really use the Lasso tool to select something, I just use it to draw. Now if you wanted to select an item on your Canvas like a shape, there is a very easy way to do it. You could use the wand, the Magic Wand. But what I tend to do is I just go over to the layer that that shape is on, hold on Command or Control on your keyboard, and click into this thumbnail. When you do that, you immediately select everything that's on that layer. I'm going to deselect by going Command D. So say I had other shapes on that layer, and then I Command click into the thumbnail, everything on that layer is going to be selected. You could deselect these if you wanted to, if you hold down Option or Alt on your keyboard, it allows you to deselect certain things and keep one thing selected. But I find and the process that I'll be walking you through is I generally have, believe it or not, one shape per layer. So I don't necessarily run into that issue very often, it'll make sense anyway as we get through it. I think that's everything, outside of those functions, the pen, and the Lasso tool, I really don't work with very much else, and the brush, obviously. The brush and the color window. But as I say, as I go through every step, I will be explaining in detail what I'm doing and if there's anything that's unclear or if you've got questions related to any of the processes that we'll be using, just please ask me. Please send me a message, I don't want you to be confused or stymied in any way due to the fact that something is unclear. Please send me a message, I'm here to answer any questions that you have. So the painting process is going to involve creating base colors and then adding textures on top of those, and then adding lighting and shading. So meet me in the next video, we'll start working on the base colors and blocking in. 13. Base Colors: I've got my sketch layers flattened out, and I'm going to start creating basic shape, colors for the floors and ceilings in this video and with the Pen Tool selected, I want to select the generic brown color for the timber, floors and walls and then just click out the shape. So I'll double-click on that layer and call that floor. Then do the same for the walls. Literally tracing out these shapes, tracing out the edges according to the drawing. But obviously, I can move it if I need to and tweak the corners a bit. That's wall 1, let's say wall right. I'll call that wall left. Underneath these, I want to do the ceiling. If I click on the background layer that sets me up to be underneath the walls, that's great. Then call the ceiling, and then this section, whatever, it's going to be slightly different tone to the rest of the room. I'll hide these layers for now. What I'm doing here are the actual timber pieces on either side. It's not exactly the window frame as such. These are like the big beams that maybe support the window frames. I'll just draw them in first, then I'm going to merge all of these shapes together. That's going to be one shape. Let's just call this front for now. Then for the section in front of that which has I'm imagining it has paneling and detailing on it, that can be slightly larger in tone for now. Then on top of that, it will be the rest of the structure. Over top of this, I'm going to draw the glass for the windows. I'm going to choose a dark tone because it's going to be night-time, so something blue like that, and call this layer window. This will be the windowsill and this is going to be window frame. Now I'm just going to tweak my vector points to get them into shape a little bit better because there's some gaps between the different layers. I'm just dragging the points in, making sure that they all overlap correctly. All right, so the ceiling, I'm going to make slightly darker. Just double-click and tone it down a little bit. Then the floor, it will be lighter because it's going to be receiving the light from overhead, so just nudge it up a little bit. Yeah, I think that looks okay as a set of base colors. I select all of these layers in the front so the window, windowsill, and window frame, I'll group them, and I'll call this section just front for now. Okay, so the next thing that I want to do is draw the frame of the room, and these side beams. With the Pen Tool, it's easy just to make those roundy, curvy shapes. Just click and drag out. Option click back in to close off the curve. I can just copy this shape directly over to the other side. So holding down Option or Alt on your keyboard, just click and drag, go up to edit, transform, and flip horizontal. Then you can nudge that into place, then I'll do the same for that corner beam, flip it over, and put it in place. Okay, so let me just group these layers together, call this frame for now. Then I'm just going to finish off the other two beams or side beams. I don't know what to call those, the skeleton or the structure of the hull, the ship's hull. Okay, so that's the base of the room done. In the next video, I'm going to block in the overlay, which are the curtains and the ropes and wine barrel in the foreground there. When you're ready, join me in the next video. 14. Base Colors for the Overlay: In this video, you'll start to see the blocking and process in a little bit more detail because now I'm going to be creating the more specific shapes like the maps, the ropes, the curtain, and the wine barrel here in the front. First of all, what I want to do is just put all of the layers that have made so far into one folder. I'm treating dash as the base for the whole background. I can just call that folder base, really. Now, I make a new layer and I'm going to start drawing at the curtains with the pen tool, and just tracing that underneath drawing as closely as possible. These items are all going to be pretty much silhouettes at the end of the day, so what I want to do is keep them in the same general dark tone. So I'm going to change it to slightly bluer dark tone. It's really a placeholder tone or a placeholder color at this point, it's not until much later that I'll actually decide the colors and change them up. But the idea for now anyway is to keep it quite neutral and almost even a dark gray would be fine. I'll name that curtain left, and I'm going to nudge it over slightly just I feel like we need to see a bit more of the room. It's too far in the frame on my drawing, so moving that over slightly. Underneath that curtain, you can just see the corner of maybe a table or something. Really that's just a very simple shape. I'll just make a square and I can change that color slightly just to separate it out, then I'll drag it underneath. For the maps, I'll still want to keep them quiet silhouetted, but I will do them individually. I will come back as I keep saying, I'll come back later to do the details. But for now, keeping them as separate items will be very useful when I do go to the details because you'll want to treat each one of the them as separate. I will make them a little bit slightly different in tone just to differentiate them a bit. At this point, they're all just call shapes: 7, 8, 9, and that. I'm just going to group the whole lot and call the group maps, and call that layer table. Now for the ropes, ropes can be very tricky to draw. All I'm going to do is use the pen tool carve out one like this, get the points rise, and then just duplicate that one. On that shape, I'm going to hit "Command Ctrl+J" that duplicates the layer. Then just with my transform tool just a justice, so it's offset, and there you go. That's all I need to do there. I'll group those two layers now, "Command G" and just call that ropes. The barrel: Now many, many ways to do a wine barrel. I could do the pen tool, but I'm really not confident about drawing exact circular or oval shapes freehand. For this, I do want the shape to be quite exact, especially since it's so close up. What I'm going to do, I'll show you by method of making a circular shape like this. It's not the only method, but you might find it useful. I'm going to grab the Ellipse tool over here. I'm going to come over and just click and drag out an oval shape. It takes me maybe a couple of times always to get it right. Let me just make it the dark colors so we can see it. That's the top, but the top also has lid. If you know what I mean, like a lid around the edge. To make that what I'll do is duplicate this ellipse layer. "Command or Control", click and drag to copy it, so now have two ellipses. But now I'm going to go back over to the Shape tool and choose a rectangle shape. Just click and drag out a rectangle shape like that, which gives the edges. If I turn off the drawing you can see now it looks like a proper decent lid. It's fine. I can tweak it a little bit just to get an exact. When I'm happy with it, I'm going to right-click and merge it into one shape. I'll go back to the Ellipse tool, and on top of this now it's called rectangular in my layer stack, but it's the lid. I'm going to click and drag out another oval or another ellipse and make this one slightly lighter than the one underneath. Now it looks like that's the top of a flattened lid on top of the wine barrel. Happy enough with that. I'll turn my drawing back on and I'll draw the rest of the shape, which is really very simple. That's most of the overlay done, but I do think that looking at it now it needs a bit more balance. So I'm going to just copy the curtain over to the right-hand side. Just drag it over to copy, holding down "Command or Control". I'll turn it around, transform it horizontally, bring it up to the top. The answer that to me, it looks a little bit more balanced as a composition. I think I'm going to leave it at that. Keep both curtains on either side. 15. Blocking in the Interior: I'm looking at my base layers and in particular, the front section of the ship here and I really feel like before I move on, I need to give it just a slightly better Sort of a little bit of resolution or a little bit more detail. Really all that means is if I look at the drawing, I can see that the drawing defines the structure of the beams. What I'm going to do is over top of this front layer, going to just draw in like a shade darker of a shape and that will indicate the interior of those beams. That looks a lot better already and then simply doing the same thing at the top, I'm just going to draw in that dark shape. Just with that simple tweak that looks much better, gives it a lot more structure. I'm happy to leave that there as it is. Now tackle all of the interior items. The interior of the shift from here on now is going to all be created on layers between the base folder and the overlay folder. In between here, I'm going to start out and I think I'm going to start with the table since it's the main item in the center of the composition. It's just a matter of tracing the drawing. Using the anchor points, tracing out and when it comes to the beveled edges, I'm going to click and drag the pen tool to make slight curved corners of the tabletop. Very small, nothing too huge. That's one shape. Then I'm going to come down and do the underneath shape on a separate layer. Can drag. For these underneath swirly detailing, I'm going to just do one side like this. Close that shape off and then simply copy that shape over to the other side. Dragging it out, holding down option. That duplicates it over and then edit, transform, and then flip it and then nudge it into place. Okay, that looks good. Looking like a nice ornate table and similarly for the legs, I'm only going to do one leg and then duplicate that item for all of the other ones. Just need to trace this one out as best I can. There we go. Now looks good. With that in place, I'm going to hold down Option or Alt, drag it over to the other side, put that in place there, and now I'm going to select both of them. Picking on both of those, I'll come over to the layer stack this time and just hit command and control J, scale both design at the same time and put them in place. Table done. That was easy enough. It's great when you can just trace a really resolved drawing and you don't have to worry about making things up that's where the drawing phase is so crucial. For the carpet, I'll just do a square or a rectangle. I'll come back in for details later. Now, over here on the left, we've got these sand bags and they are just- we've got these sand bags so I'll just trace out a basic shape and again, copy. You don't have to do it each time. I can just scale them down accordingly and maybe I'll change up the colors of each one successfully just to differentiate them. Sand bag is done. Next thing is this part in the back that has, you probably can't tell from the drawing, but it's got a bunch of swords. For the part, I just want basic tone and keep the shape very, very simple or stylized. Here we go. If I turn off the drawing you can see. Then for the swords, I'll try and get away with copying just one a few times, but after two or three iterations of the same object, you do have to change things up and not have it look the exact same. It'd look weird if they were all the exact same shape. Just in case you ever need to modify something completely by deleting anchor points, go over to the pen tool and click and hold down on the pen tool until you see a couple of options and this one here with the minus sign, that means you can delete anchor points. Click on that and click on the points of the object that you want to get rid of. If you do that a few times, then you got a completely different shape. That works out fine. I'm going to group dash and I'm going to group all of that together and I'll call that one swords. Great. What's next? Next up is the chest, the treasured chest. Believe it or not, I'm looking at my drawing. I've decided that I want to change the orientation of this chest slightly. I'm thinking that there are too many uniform things lined up along the edge and we want to maybe pull some things out and make it a little bit more interesting. I'm going to turn the chest so it's at an angle like this. It's just something like dash, then I'm going to change that color to a darker tone and then on top of that, I'll draw the casing for the chest. Really you can do that in one shape if you like, all you have to do is just trace around the edges and then change that color so it's like a metal kind of a color and then one more shape on the top. That looks okay. The chest, I will group dash and that's done. Now for the barrels. The lid of the barrel, I'll do exactly the way that I showed you in the previous video where we did the overlay item. That's going to be using the ellipse tool and the rectangle. Then for the base I'm going to just freehand with the pen tool and then merge all of that into one shape and you guessed it, I'll just duplicate that shape for the other ones. Perfect. I'm looking at this. I think I want to have one over on the left-hand side. I'll drag this wine barrel over here. We're getting through this very, very quickly and very easily. The very last thing for this is the lamps on the ceiling overhead. It's straightforward enough. The only thing is how I make the chain that the lamp is hanging from. For that, there's obviously a few ways to do it. I mean, one way is you could just draw chain. But to make it as a vector shape, the way that I do it is, first of all, I'll click and draw as an oval like this, come up to the properties of the ellipse tool up here and if you click and hold down on this icon, you'll see that there are other options. One of them is called Subtract Front Shape, so we want that. Now, sometimes this happens to me if you click on dash, this happens. All you have to do in this case is Command or Control Z to undo. You are still in Subtract Front Shape mode and because you can see there is a minus sign beside your cursor, drag out another one inside. You've got one link for your chain. I'm just going to option drag it up to duplicate it so that it looks like a chain. Perfect. That's really all of the interior section of this background blocked out. What I'm going to do for the final thing is grab all of these layers together, put them in a group, call them folder interior. Perfect. I'll see you in the next video where I'm going to explain a little bit about layers and your layer order. 16. Layer Order: It's time to take a little bit of a coffee break, take a pause on all of the drawing and the blocking in. I want to just take a moment to take a look at our layer stack for a minute because as we move forward from here onward, the layers are going to just increase in number and it's good for you to know exactly how to deal with that. The layer order is essential for you to understand and apply a good layer's order structure in your work if you want to be efficient and effective as a background designer. It's also really important to have clarity in your layer order, in order to create the depth that you want to achieve in your design. What you've seen me do up until now is more or less name everything as I go. At the very least, I've named folders that contain layers. Maybe the layers inside aren't named, but the folders are all named. For example, in the base folder, I've got subfolders for each of the items like the frame, and that contains all of the individual layers that make up that item. Then I've also got some loose layers for items that are just on their own at the moment. If you look at this folder in the Front, these are all the individual layers. The way that I would do it, is that I'll keep it all into a group and we can work on it over time until I'm really sure that that's done and it's finalized. At that point then you can just right-click on the group itself, merge it into one flattened layer. Well that's like the absolute final stage when I know I don't need to change it anymore at all. Now, the other thing to note is that I also make sure to name the main folder in capitals or all caps and then subfolders inside of that, in small caps. That's just my method or my methodology. The main folder is in capitals., then I know that that folder contains subfolders, which themselves will contain layers. A lot of people like to section out their layer stack in terms of foreground, midground, and background. I don't necessarily find that very helpful to me, doesn't make sense that you could have a floor that's also in the foreground. I don't know, for me, it's a very small point, but I prefer to name things more intuitively. In this instance, it just makes sense to me to name my three sections; base, interior, and overlay. Overlay, I don't know if I've mentioned it yet, but overlay is a technical animation term and it refers to any element of your background that is going to be over top of the animation. In other words, characters generally speaking, move around and interact in front of the background. But there may be times when you want your character to walk behind the curtain, for example, or behind the wine barrel and the ropes. Those items are called overlay. This really is the clearest way that I know to organize my layers. I really encourage you to follow a similar system. If it isn't this system, then make sure it's something that you know that you can understand, but also if you have to hand off your background to somebody else, that it would make sense to them. Remember, as a background artist, you're going to have to hand your work over to the composer or the editor, so they're going to be opening up your Photoshop file and they'll need to understand what your layer structures is all about. Because from here onward it is going to get very busy in terms of layers, I think what I'm going to do from now on is I'll just keep this tab up here floating or attached to this side here so that you can see it better. I'll drag it out so it's beside the color. In fact, I'm probably not going to use too much of this color wheel from here on because I'll be using the color picker instead, but I'll leave it open just in case. We're all set. Coffee break is over, now it's time to get back to painting. I'll see you in the next video. 17. Creating the Floor Boards: This next phase of the background design is actually where it starts to get a bit creative, and a bit painterly, and maybe a bit more enjoyable. Because I think the blocking in phase can be a little bit tedious and a little bit boring. Here's where it starts getting a bit more interesting. Let's get started on the floor. What I'm going to show you is how I generally tend to make floorboards. As I've said before, this isn't the one and only way, there are many ways to do this. You could do it all by hand, or by the brush using brush techniques if you wanted to, but I'll show you the way I do it. First step, I'm going to duplicate the floor layer. With that floor layer duplicated, I'll go back down to the one underneath, and change that color to a really dark tone. Not quite black but much darker. Then I'll rasterize the top layer. Rasterize layer, there we go. Now I can cut into this layer and make edits and changes to it. I'm going to switch to the polygonal or polygonal lasso, and I'm going to make some really small selections, very thin slivers of selections like this, following the perspective of my drawing. Actually, I think at this point I will turn on the perspective grid so that I can get it to be right. I'm not necessarily following the perspective grid, but I'm using that as my guide. Now, if it ever happens to you that you've made, because what I'm going to be doing is making tons of selections, and holding down the "Shift" key each time I do that to add to the selection. If it ever happens that you've made a whole bunch of selections, and then the next thing you forget to hold down "Shift", you can see as what happened here, you've lost all of your previous selections. Don't worry, don't think that you have to go back and start from scratch. All you do is closed off that shape and then hit "Command+Z" or "Control+Z" on your keyboard and it brings you back to your original selection. That happens to me all the time, by the way. It's very easy. Just keep going and make really thin selections. Then once you've got all of that done, what I'm going to do is just delete out those selections from my layer. Just hit "Backspace" and that deletes everything out. Now, I'm going to hit "Command+D" to show you. Those are essentially the floor planks, but I'm not finished with the process. Let me go back to my selection, I'll create a new layer above the floor copy layer. In this layer, I'm going to choose a color that's much lighter. Dragging that up to a much brighter tone, hit "G" on my keyboard. What I'm going to do is actually tap the paint buckets into that selection. Now I'm going to de-select and you can see. What essentially that I've done here is I've created highlights for the floor planks. I want to be able to see the recess, or the technically it's called the shadow of occlusion, which means the gaps in between the planks. But I also want the planks to have a strip of highlight on top, set them off really well if you do that. I've got this layer is totally separate from the floor layer. I'm going to hit "V" on my keyboard for the Move tool. I'm using my arrow keys on my keyboard, just nudge that layer over to the right. There you can see the effect, hopefully. When you're happy with that, what I'm going do is just actually merge those highlights down. I just have the one layer which is the floor layer, and then the underneath, the dark sort of shadow layer. Next up, I'm going to make the floor planks on the horizontal plane. In other words, coming into this floor layer again to create these horizontal gaps. The next thing that I'm going to do is I'm still in this selection mode, I'm going to use the selection mode to draw the grain of the wood. Using the Lasso tool, wood grain is often quite linear, and that's why I like to do it with the selection tool as opposed to drawing it with the paintbrush. I'm going to work my way around this whole layer, just drawing in a shape of the grain. This part is very time-consuming and it does take a lot of patience, but it really has a good payoff. It's also very good practice for paint control and for practice drawing, so it's worth sticking with this. I'm switching between the polygonal lasso, and the regular one, and holding "Shift". While you're working with polygonal lasso, I think I mentioned this before, you can switch to the regular lasso by holding down "Option" or "Alt", and it allows you to toggle between the two. Then when you release All, you're back in the previous one. What I want to show you with this whole process, I'll select an area of color and then I pull up the curves editor to change it to darker or lighter. I finished my selection for this whole floor. Hit "Command+M" or "Control+M" on my keyboard. That brings up the curves editor, which looks like this. This graph here is what you want to change. Just pulling that graph down slightly makes the selected area a little bit darker. That looks good. I'm going to do just a tiny bit more. I'm going to select again, but not to the same extent, and I'm going to make it a highlight color. Just selecting a few more areas. Hit "Command+M" or "Control+M" on my keyboard, and I'm going to push the graph up slightly, and just very slightly. Click "Okay" and deselect, and there hopefully you can see how effective that is. That's all on the same layer floor copy. I haven't needed to add any other layers on top. As I said, if you did want to go back over and add a distressed look to the floor planks or make worn split, and make the wood look a bit split or anything like that, you can do that now. Something like that. But I think I'm pretty happy with how this looks, and I'm ready to move on to the next phase, which is actually going to be the same process for the walls and for the ceiling. I'll see you in the next video. 18. Walls and Ceiling: To do the walls and the ceiling is going to be the same process as that I showed you for the floor planks. Going to use the polygonal lasso and just draw out very thin selections. Holding "Down Shift", and then once I'm happy with those selections, I'm going to Backspace to delete. Now I forgot to mention I did already make another layer underneath the wall that's a dark color so that's going to come out fine. Before I deselect though, I'm going to make my highlights. So I'm going to choose a brighter tone for that highlight and then with the bucket tool just tap the color into that selection. Now I can deselect. Going to use the arrow keys to nudge up that top layer slightly so it reveals the underneath dark layer and that's that. Pretty good and cool. I can merge that down to the wall write copy. Now for the left wall, I'm going to turn that wall into the dark one or duplicate the layer and change the name to wall left. Then come up to edits, transform, and flip horizontal and then drag that over. Command T sometimes it's useful to move things around, and double click to release. That's the second wall done. Now I'm going to go back over and just add in the details of the grain in all of the planks by making that selection holding "Down Shift" to keep all of the selections active. Make sure that you're on the correct layer. I was on the wrong layer there where it says, "It couldn't do the curves editor I need to be on wall right copy." I'm on that layer. Command M to bring up the curves editor, and I'm going to drag it down very slightly. I won't do anything too dramatic, but it just gives you that feel of the timber, and I'm going to do few more selections to make the highlight tone of the grain. Not as many as the dark tones, just a couple, maybe one on each of these planks. Then Command M and make it lighter. Going over to the left hand side, do the same over there. Command M. For the curves editor, drag it down and click "Okay". Doing this by hand is a little bit of an involved process, but it gives it a much more organic and natural looking feel. Next thing is the ceiling. So when duplicate the ceiling layer, and turn the underneath one of those to black or to dark, and then rasterize that. Rasterize it so now it's editable. In my drawing I did have the planks going horizontal, but it just makes much more sense to have it matching the orientation of the planks on the floor. I'm going to just do it according to perspective again like this. There, I've just lost my selection. You can see it happens to me all the time. Just hit "Command Z" to undo, and you get back to your original one. I've deleted out the areas, and for the highlights on the ceiling planks, you're going to have to manipulate it just a little bit because of the perspective. It's not going to look as seamless as before. Just bear that in mind that you might not use the transform tool and skew it into place. That one is okay. You can always go back in by hand and refine it if you need to. Last thing just make some texture grain onto that. I'm happy with that. I think it looks grayish. It's not completely finished the way it needs to be. At the moment it's looking a little bit too clean, and I want to add a layer of texture on top of all of this just to roughen it up a little bit. Meet me in the next video, and I'll show you how to use your brush this time to create nice texture. 19. Creating Texture: Creating those individual floor planks might have seemed very tedious and very time-consuming. But in this video, I'm going to show you how that pays off, because what I want to do now is add a layer of texture over on top. Because I've done all of the lasso work and cutting into that layer, I can now select the entire layer as individual planks without having to select one at a time. I'll show you what I mean. Over in the layer stack, I'm going to command control, click into thumbnail icon and then create a new layer on top of that. Then switch to the brush tool and for this one, I'm going to go all the way down to the end and choose this round rough bristle brush. Then select color from the floor and I want to make it just a tone darker. Not too much, just very slight changes here and then very lightly just brushing on some brush marks on top, nothing too hectic. Then color select again and choose a bit of a brighter or lighter color, keeping it within the same color range and do the exact same thing again, just very light brush marks over top. If I de-select, you can see how instantly that gives a really good look and feel to the timber floor. Let me group that and I will do the same on the wall on the left. This is one of those techniques or one of those situations where really less is more. You really don't need to do a lot of this work. It's very fast, very quick, but very effective. I'm going to group those all together. That's all left in a group and then I go over to the right wall and the same procedure again, just sweeping over it with one or two light brush mark. I'm going to call that group all white. Now, the last thing that I'm going to do is I really want to sell the idea of individual planks of timber. I'm going to change up the tones of some of these very slightly and this is where you can use the hue saturation slider to great effect. If I just click over like a couple of these planks for now, command or control U to bring up hue saturation and I'm going to just very slightly adjust some of the sliders and de-select, so it gives it just a much more authentic look, it doesn't make it so uniform and one tone through out. It's worth the time just to do that. It doesn't take very long. Again, make your adjustments very slightly. It's much better to make adjustments incrementally than making huge, big adjustments and then it's wrong and you've got to undo it and go back over. It won't look good if it's too extreme. Try and keep it as subtle as you can. Sometimes all you need to adjust really is just the saturation slider. The hue can get a little bit crazy. Often just saturation and lightness. If you adjust those, that's all you need. That is looking much better to me. That really looks like, the floor especially looks great. I think I'm going to leave it there for now. I've worked for long enough on the floors and the ceilings. It's time to move on and I really want to get to the interior items. In the next video, I'm going to spend some time to fix up the front section of this room and get detailing into the window and then I'll move on to doing all of the interior items. I'll see you in the next video. 20. Window Frames and Panelling: I'm going to go over to the Window layer and just change that color up a little bit, it needs to be a bit darker. Adjusting it like that. Once I've done that, I'm happy with that. It's night time, so it's going to be a dark window. I'm just going to hide some of these layers. The over layer, just so I can see things a bit clearer. Then I'm going to rasterize that front layer. I click into it and over top create a new layer called texture. Here I am going to literally make a few brush marks. I'm not going to do detailing to the same extent as I did on the walls and the ceiling. Just a couple of brush marks should do it. So the window sill is next, create a new layer above it. This is where I want to give the impression of some paneling on that window sill section now. It's not going to be too detailed. I'm literally doing this with the hard round edge brush, drawing in a rectangle like this. So I want to have a lighter tone and then a darker tone to give that impression. So it's very simple. I will switch to the Marquee tool and selectors and then hold down "Option" or "Alt" on my keyboard to drag that selection over. Because it's on a new layer or separate layer, it's just that rectangle, so that's okay. Then I'll click and drag over both of them, "Option" or "Alt" click to copy them over. That's all I'm going to do for the front of the ship. I think already it's starting to look really good. That detailing just sets it off very nicely. Then the very last thing is to draw in the window frames. I want to keep them very minimalist, very stylized, let's say. That's the whole front section done. I'm not going to do much more than that. In the next video, we're going to start working into all of the interior items. I'm going to do the carpet and the table. I want to create all of the items on the table and then finish off the wine barrels and the chest to give that some nice texture, and then we'll be ready to move on to the lighting after that. So join me in the next video. 21. Table and Carpet: Let's tackle the table and the carpet in this video. First off, I'm changing the color of this table. So just want to make each of the individual shapes slightly darker just double-clicking into the "Layer" icon and changing the color. I'm happy with that color. That's looking a little bit better. Now, I will add some texture on top before I flatten that or rasterize these layers. Just on the tabletop there, the light is obviously coming from above so I'm going to choose a bit of a lighter tone to add some texture and using a very rough brush, same one that I've been using up until now, really, just make a few brush marks on top, like that. Then making a little bit of a dark texture underneath to show that that's the underneath of the tabletop, like a bit of a shadow. Then I'm going to right-click and rasterize that layer. That's done. I can move through the rest of the table as well, giving a little bit of highlight where I think it needs and a bit of shadow. It's important to note that you can also use a soft ground brush to add texture. For example, maybe the item, like the table that you're working on doesn't need to look to distressed or too grainy, you can simply add a lighter tone with the soft round brush that works really well. As I go, I'm rasterizing these layers because I know I don't need to change them. In fact, I'm going to merge all of these layers into one. All that's left are the legs. I can merge them into one layer. That's one shape now. Then on top of this, add dark tone for shadow where they meet the table and I'm using the soft round edge brush for this. I'm going to rasterize that now. I'm going to use the Lasso Tool. On these legs, I'll just curve out the left side, Command M on my keyboard to bring up the curves editor and just drag that down. Now, it doesn't make a huge difference, but it's a great technique to in an instance like this, make one-half darker or lighter. I'll do this same technique and make a bit of a highlight on the outer edges. Pushing that graph up, and that looks pretty good, happy enough with that. I'm going to move on to the carpet. I'm happy with the color of the carpet, so I'm going to go ahead and just rasterize that. That's my base color. On top of that, I'm going to make some patterns. What I'll do is with the Lasso Tool, I'm going to, first of all, draw out another rectangle. I'm thinking maybe the inside is a bit lighter. With the curves editor, I'm going to adjust that selection to make it a bit lighter than the outer edge. That looks okay. Actually, what I'm going to do now is I'm going to draw texture on top of this carpet using a brush. I'm going to keep it as simple as possible with a hard-edged round brush. I'll just draw in a very minimalist pattern. I don't want to get too crazy. I had thought that maybe this would be a very detailed Persian rug or something like that, but that's not going to work so I'm just going to keep it very simple. I'll just finish off the pattern with a bit of a dark edge around the outside. Now, I can merge that down. I've got all of that carpet now on one layer. On top, I'll do just a little bit of texture with that round bristle brush. With B on my keyboard, just a couple of marks will give a nice carpety texture. The very last thing that I want to do is make sure that it has a bit of depth into it. It's not just a flash mat on the floor. All I need to do for that is I'll create a new layer underneath the carpet and then in there, just put a dark, dark color, and nudge using the arrow keys, nudge that layer down. It's just peeking out underneath. Now, it might catch your eye and look like it's too flat layers. This is a very tiny detail but it will work, it'll will help. I'm going to zoom right in to this corner here and on that underneath layer, just use the Lasso Tool to round out that edge. That means just selecting a little bit like that and dumping color into that selection. There we go. Great, that's the carpet done. Let me group that together, call that group Carpet. The very last thing is I'm just going to throw down a little bit of a shadow underneath the table for now. That's just simply a basic rectangle, I'll tweak the corners to make it fit like that, and then I'm going to go up to the blending mode, set it to multiply, and then bring the opacity down. Once that's done, go to filter and blur. I'm going to choose a Blur to put onto this slide, like Gaussian Blur. You can affect the blurriness by dragging the slider. I'll just keep it very low at the moment but it will help sell the idea of the shadow, maybe adjust the opacity. Great. That is all done. Looking very, very good. Next up, I'm going to do the items that are on top of the table. I'll see you in the next video. 22. Table Items: This next section is going to be about tackling the items that are on the table. I'm actually going to freestyle this a little bit, I'm not going to be tracing from the drawing, I'm just going to try and make up the items as I go. I have in mind that I want to put a bit of a table cloth draped over one side. I want there to be some maps and scrolls, candle sticks and maybe bottle wine or something like that. You can follow along with me, this process is the exact same as what I've been doing up until now. I'm going to create all of the shapes with the pen tool and then add detailing on top using texture and some of the other techniques like the curves editor and the hue saturation sliders. Let's get started. Over on the top of the table, I'm not going to go into that group, I'm going to create these items on a separate layer on top. I'm going to go from my pen tool, grab a dark color, and the first thing that I'll do is the tablecloth. That's going to be draped over the side of the table. I'm going to use the pen just to drive at those vector points. How I imagine it would be falling off the side. Then I'm going to do this exact same way that I did the carpet for the pattern on the table cloth, I'm just going to paint it on or draw it on with a round-handed brush. Drawing this on a separate layer, but that layer has somehow managed to get up to the top of the stack, but that's fine. I'll just keep going and I'll bring that back down afterwards. I know it looks a bit weird, but from a far, from a distance it'll look fine. That's the layer with the pattern on it, and that's the Shape layer, that's the base color, let me just rasterize that layer right now, and I think what I'll do to finish this off is drawing those tassels. Again, literally with the brush, I'm going to draw in the tassels and I'm switching between the two colors using x on my keyboard to switch from foreground to background color. If I hit x, the background color becomes the foreground, and I'll just draw these tassels on. Here we go. That looks fine. You can always save things anyway by adding texture over the top, but I'll leave it for now. I'm going to go ahead and draw in some maps and scrolls on top of this. What I want to do is try and draw the inside of the scroll. This is a very tiny detail, but it's going to help if I can do it now. What I'm going to do is just select this area and make it a bit darker. Then come in with the polygonal lessor, select one section like this because I want to give the impression that it's a rolled-up paper, then switch to a soft edge brush. I'm trying my best to brush on just the outer edge, so that it looks like it's in shadow inside the scroll. That looks okay. I think it works if you use the soft brush as opposed to the hard edge brush, because it gives that little bit of a shadowy feel. You can also make it smaller using your square bracket keys. Looks all right. That looks okay, especially from a distance. You close your eyes. So that scroll, that's one layer. In addition to the scroll, I will probably do other parchments lying on top of the table and can just copy those and tweak the vector points to make them different from each other and change the colors. Once I've got a bunch of papers on the desk, I will go in and do some details. Obviously, parchments, pirates, eighteenth-century, it's going to have torn edges. I might even just put a bit of tone or color along the edges to make it look like it's burnt paper or something like that. I'll admit you don't have to get this detailed at all, but that's just an example of how to create a few objects very, very quickly, very simply. I'm going to leave it over to you to create some table items yourself. I suggest trying your hand at creating a bottle of wine, maybe a jug, and some candlestick holder. That's what I'll do, but I'll leave that for you to experiment with and use this exact same process that I've been doing. Keep it very simple, create your shape, and then on top of that create some texture or some detailing with your brushes. When you're ready, then meet me in the next video, I'm going to walk you through how I create textures on the treasure chest, the wine barrels, and finish off this interior sections so that we can move on to the lighting and the shattered treatment. 23. Chest and Wine Barrels: Definitely, coming together. I hope you're still with me and I want to encourage you to keep going. Don't lose momentum at this point. There's not much left to do actually in this background, all we have to do is create texture and structure to the rest of the interior items. The important ones are the treasure chest in the corner, wine barrels, and the sand bags, and swords. Now, for the wine barrels, we're going to make just one and duplicate it over. Actually, we just have to do the treasure chest, one wine barrel, and those other couple items. Then we'll fly through the overlay items, because by that point, we're going to be really up to speed with this technique and this process. Then we'll get to lighting this whole scene. At this stage, you know exactly what my process is going to be on the chest over in the corner. I'm going to zoom in a little bit closer. This really just needs me to do the exact same thing that I did on the floorboard. I'm going to rasterize that layer, switch to the Lasso tool, and using the curves editor, I'm going to create selections and then Command N to bring up curves, dragging my curves graph down to make those lines a dark color. Then on top of that, I'll do a bit of a freehand, freestyle grain texture. Then throw on texture using the bristle brush. If you wanted to, you can experiment with blending modes on your texture layer, see if it goes to overlay or selfless. Now, the reason I do this is because sometimes with the texture layer, if you painted on, you paint over those dark areas that we created with the curves editor. If you apply a blending mode, that works out very well, it doesn't look like it's covering it up in anyway. For the metal casing, I merged it into one shape. But what I want to do is give it a little bit of detailing so that it looks like it's standing out, that it has a bit of thickness itself. I'm actually going to duplicate the layer, Command J on my keyboard, and turn the color of the underneath layer to really dark tone. Then using my arrow keys, I'm going to nudge it to the right so you can see it's coming speaking out there. Maybe it's not dark enough. There we go. Then I'll go in and just push those either edges in so we don't see them. Now, I'm going to rasterize the layers, and I can apply texture, highlights, and details on top of that. If I Zoom in, the next thing I want to do is just add some rivets. I'm going to use the oval selection tool, drag out a few shapes. Doesn't have to be exact. This is really a minor detail in the far off corner. I don't have to get to exact to that. But what I'm going to do is make a second selection and make that a lighter color. That does look pretty good now from a distance, looks like it's got rivets. I can merge the layers because I'm happy enough. That is the rivets layer. I'm going to merge that down so that the metal casing is all on one layer. With the Pen tool, I'm going to draw the lock. That is the lock and it's a very rudimentary looking I know. As I say, it's not going to make any difference because it's so far away. But it just gives that feels. That's my chest done, and it's already in its folder. Now, I move on to the barrels. For the wine barrels, let's just choose one and work that up to a finished rendered look, and then we'll copy that one barrel for the other ones, and then slightly change the colors to make them different from each other. Let's go with this one, so I'll hide all the other ones. Keep it very simple. I'm going to make that metal casing as well. For this, I'm going to use the Pen tool. I'm not great at making exact curves. Let's draw a lid or metal casing around the top of the wine barrel. I'm going to actually use a clipping mouse to clip it to the layer below. Then change the color and make it darker, obviously. Perfect. Now, I'm going to draw in a shape. Also, that's going to be a clipping mask as well for the other side of the lid. If you can imagine that we're seeing a little bit of the top of the barrel there that other shape will indicate the far edge of the lid. That's good. Now on the base layer, you can get really detailed here and maybe add in couple of lines to indicate the top of the barrel. Going to use Command M. I'm just going to drive that down, click Okay. Now, it looks like there's a bit of information, visual information for the top. Let's just finish this off. Let's create a couple more of these round metal casing things around the edge, around the side of the barrel. Again, this is going to be a clipping layer that's in the clipping mask stack. You can have actually have a few layers and they'll be clipping masked. They'll be clipped to the one base layers. That's very handy. Now, select all of these shapes that are clipped to the barrel and right-click, rasterize them, and then merge them all. Merge layers. Now, I've just got one layer that's clipped. That's great. On the barrel layer itself, I'm going to start drawing in the details for the wood grain, just like before the Lasso tool curves editor. Doing as much as I can with the Lasso tool before I switch to a texture brush. I'm going to create another layer up there and then just put one or two strokes of texture over top. Roughen it up a little bit. I'm pretty happy with that barrel. It looks fine. It's good for now. That's all in one folder. I'm going to call this barrel 1. Then I'm going to duplicate that entire group, barrel 1. I'm going to hit Command J, that duplicates the whole group barrel 1 copy. I'll drag it out and scale it up a little bit. Food portion. Let me go down to the base of that barrel and select that layer, Command U to bring up the hue saturation sliders and just change the color a little bit so that it's not the exact same as the one behind. I'm going to go back to the original barrel and duplicate that. Command J to copiers. That's my barrel. Copy to and drag that out. I'm going to duplicate this, drag it up, and I'm actually going to merge this group down so it's just one layer, and drag it over to the left side where they're supposed to be a barrel over here on the left. Scale it into place. Then I can delete the placeholder one that's gone. That looks okay with the overlay turned on. Join me in the next video, then let's tackle curtains, lamps, and ropes, and the move nearly finished. I'll see you in the next video. 24. Curtains, Lamps and Ropes: All of my interior items are done, I just added a couple more details. I finished off the swords in the background, and put a wine bottle over on them. The barrel over on the right. In this video, I'm going to finish up the entire background by just doing the overlay items. Again, there's nothing new in this process whatsoever, but I did want to show you or point out anyway how I created the folds of the curtains, so let me walk you through that. First of all, I'm just going to change the actual color of the curtain to get it to the right tone. Even though it is just a silhouette item, I want it to have some color or some tone. Then I am going to rasterize that layer. Now, what I want to do is create the folds of the curtains, so I'm going to use the pen tool to get that nice curve. Just dragging out the vector points. But this shape that I'm creating is not going to be the fold. I'm going to use this shape as a selection. So you can see it's over in the layer stack there, I'm going to control click into it, and then create a layer above that. I can even hide that shape layer now altogether. So on that top layer, I'll choose a color that slightly darker than my bass tone. Click "Okay" and then switch to a soft edge round brush. So quite big and very soft. I'm basically painting along the edge of my selection, being very careful to just apply the soft roundish brush to the very outside of the selection. So I'm not painting in the middle with this, just on the very outside. Then I'm even going to go to the inverse, so select "Inverse" and choose a lighter tone. Again, on the edge, just paint on the edge. Identify, de-select you can see that it's got a great effect. It really feels like the folds of the curtain are made of soft material. If you do it another way, if you just paint that whole selection with one tone without making the little bit of a faded edge, it's going to look very cartoony and very flash. So what it does is by using the soft edge brush and just painting on the edge of your selection, you're allowing the new color or the new texture that's on top to have a bit of a fade off or a fall off, and that really helps to give the impression of soft folds material. Hey, this is going to be the thing that's holding the curtain back. Here we go. You don't have to do too many folds in the curtain as this is just really an item that's off to the left. It's not going to be hugely noticeable, but maybe I'll do one more thing like one more section just like that, then I think I'll leave it there. I want to go over and do the other curtains. So I'm not going to duplicate this and flip it over because that will look a bit too obvious. So it's just the same process on the other side. I'm going to use the pen tool to make my shape. Once I've got the shape done, I'll just use that as a selection. Paint ovalish. Select the Inverse and just apply a lighter tone along the edge. There you can see, it's very effective and it's very, very easy and straightforward. All right, curtains are done. Next up I'm going to tackle the ropes. I'm going to keep them silhouetted out and I'm going to add knots onto the ropes. With just a small, round, hard-edged brush, I'm literally going to draw on some details. So I'm imagining that there's bits of rope tied together like this. Maybe we got some frayed ends, some knots in the rope, and this is literally just me drawing little squiggles. That's all for these knots, and a couple of frayed ends. Maybe there is a loop in the rope that will give a bit more of a rhythm to this Asian, and then I'll do the same on this rope. Whoops. Here we go. Perfect. The last thing that I'm going to tackle is the lamps. The lamps fairly are going to be very simple. I've made it up is, to quite a lot of shapes. But what I'm going to do is select everything, rasterize everything, and then curve in to those layers, bits of highlights where I need them like underneath, I think might be a shade lighter, top there. Then for the actual light that's coming out of the lantern, I'm going to use the pen tool to create a shape at the top like this. So that's above everything else. Then I'll change it to color of the light, which is going to be a yellow light, something like that, and then use a clipping mask to clip it to the shape underneath. Then I'm going to draw another shape over on the right-hand side, like so, and clip that as well. That's it. Easy, easy, easy. Because the lamp on the far end of the room is obviously on a different level of perspective, I'm just going to rasterize that whole thing or merge that whole thing together and use a clipping mask to place the light color on top. That pretty much looks like everything to me. I've done everything that I wanted to do. You could go on and on really an add in extra details. I'm going to finish this off, I think on this rope, I'm really liking the bits of rope that are hanging down. It creates a nice visual leading line for the eye, brings it into the composition. So I might just do one more, coming down like that. But I'm going to leave it at that. If you wanted to, you could certainly add in the chair. I haven't done a chair, obviously there should be a chair on the other side of the table. There could be a lot more things in this background like, I also thought about putting 25. Adding Shadows: To completely finish off the painting, we're going to add shadows. Now, like everything else, there are many ways, different ways to apply shadows to your background art. You could use the brush tool and just simply go in and paint shadows under every item, or you could use the pen tool. The way that I want to show you in this video is a technique using layer masks. I didn't want to leave it out of the course because it's a very important aspect of background art. A lot of people like to use layer masks in their artwork, so I wanted you to know how these work and how you can apply them. The beauty of working with the layer mask is that you can affect color and tone and the hue of something without disturbing the actual item. Layer masks are a non-destructive way of working on your image, but I'll walk you through the process and we'll look at it from the point of view of creating shadows. Essentially above my Base folder, I'm going to make a new layer. I'm just going to use the paint bucket to fill that entire layer with one color, so just hit "G" and that fills the whole layer. Then I'm going to come down to this icon here, which if you hover over it, it says Add Layer Mask. I'm going to click on that. What's happened is that the layer itself has become masked inside itself. It doesn't mask anything beneath it. It's not like a clipping mask. What you've got essentially are two modes of painting. You've got this icon here which shows you the actual color that you're working with, but the thumbnail next to it is white and that's your mask. If you come over to your color picker icon down here on the left, you'll see that it's black and white. I'm going to switch to black. What that does is it changes my thumbnail now to black. Then if I go to white on my Canvas and paint onto it, you can see that what I'm doing is actually revealing the color, revealing that base color that I initially put down. I want to work that way. I don't want to work by taking out stuff, I want to work by adding color in. With white in my brush, I'm going to brush on shapes of shadow just like this. Then when I've got everything painted in, I can turn that layer to multiply, hard light, and then bring the opacity of that layer down slightly. That's looking quite shadowy now. You're essentially just working with black and white to add or subtract this mask to reveal the shadow color. If you wanted to take away some of the shadow that you created, switch to black and paint on black, if you know what I mean. Let me drag this layer into my folder, into my base layer, because this is going to be on the floor. This is shadows for the floors. Above the ceiling, I'll make a new layer and fill that layer with my shadow color and then add the layer mask. Click on the Layer Mask section. For this one, I'll show you how to subtract it using the lasso tool. Let's switch to the regular lasso and just draw out a bit of a circle. With that selected, I'm going to go Select, Modify, Feather. I want to make the radius have a bit of a feather. Let's say 25 pixels will do. Then go select Inverse, fill that inverse selection with white. That's another way of doing it. You can make the edges of your shadow softer as well by just using a soft rounded edge brush and painting on with black. I'll just do a couple more of these layer mask layers for the walls. Again, same process. Make a layer, fill that layer with your shadow color, apply a layer mask. Make sure that you are clicked onto the Layer Mask section of that layer. Then fill that with black, so my Layer Mask is now black. Then with a white brush, I'll paint the areas of shadow on the walls. That's it. That's how you work with layer masks, how you create shadow layers. In the next video, we're going to do our final parts on this background which will be the lighting treatment. I'll show you how to add beams of light and how to give it that final atmospheric effect. 26. Final Lighting: We've got to the final stage of the background painting and this stage, in my opinion, is actually one of the best parts of it because when you add lighting to your scene, it can transform the scene from being a little bit dull and uninteresting to something really moody and atmospheric, and it's so simple and straightforward. I'm going to show you how to do that in this video. I've already gone ahead and I've added some texture to the lamps just to make them a bit more greish and grainy and what I'm going to show you now is how you can add a glow to the lamps. We'll start there. Underneath the lamp itself, I'm going to create a new layer. Then I want to switch to a round soft-edge brush and make it really big and I'm going to just paint on a circular glowy thing, which is pretty much a light yellow color. Then in the blending modes, let's change that to overlay or maybe hard light, but more warmer. Then with the transform tool, you can scale it down if you want to, if you think that looks good, I think that does look okay. I might see what it looks like if I stretch it out, so just skewing at the corners, that's all right. Then you can bring the opacity of it down if it's too strong. I'm going to duplicate that layer and scale it down over to that far lamp and that's looking good. Now both lamps have that lovely glow. So we've grouped those into a folder called Lights. The next thing I want to do is give a little bit of a spilled light coming out from these cracks or these holes in the ceiling planks. On a new layer above everything, I'm going to go in and just start to select an area in between where the timber planks are, those gaps that I created earlier. I'll just do maybe three or four, I can't do every single. On that layer with the same yellow color I'm going to use the bucket tool and just fill those. Then deselect, and then come up to Filter, Blur and go with the Gaussian Blur. There, that looks like a little bit glowy, you can change the radius of the blur if you feel like it needs to be a bit bigger or something like that but I think that's okay. You don't want to overdo it, it's just supposed to be a hint of light coming from above. Let me just call that layer light beams and from there I'm going to draw shafts of light spilling down from above with the lasso tool. There's one, and I want them to be directionally pointed towards the table, which is the point of interest. With those selections made, I'll just fill them with the same color and then set that layer to soft light, that looks very nice. Go up to Filter and give it a little blur. You can play with the opacity, drag the opacity down. You don't for it to be in your face so that it detracts from everything else, it's supposed to be a subtle touch. I might even use the eraser and knock it back a little bit. Great, that looks really good. I'll do one more on the left-hand side and then I'll group all of these together and call this light beams. Believe it or not, that is it, we are finished. That's the artwork completed, finalized, and finished. The only thing that's left really to do on this background is to maybe consolidate your layers, flatten out groups, merge groups into one layer where you can just to keep your layers a bit more ordered and not to have hundreds and hundreds of layers. But as far as artwork goes, we're finished and all that's left for me in the next video is to wrap up. Please join me in the last video and we'll finalize and finish up. 27. Conclusion: I just wanted to say in this last video that you could go on and on and on with this process, certainly creating items. You could also tweak the lighting, tweak the overall hue saturation of the image. As you can see, I did spend a bit of time darkening up my foreground elements and adjusting them. I also wanted to consolidate my layers and merge folders where I could. So this is my final version with my character in the scene behind the overlay. It's just left for me to say, thank you so much for being part of this course, for choosing this course in the first place. I really appreciate it, and I'm so grateful that you stuck with me all the way to the end. I just want to make the point that I am involved in this course way after it's published. Whenever you do take this course, make sure that you get in touch with me, that we know if you've got any questions whatsoever and send me your work if you would like any feedback or indeed any help or support. I hope this is the start of an incredible background journey or background art journey for you. I certainly intend to create more background art courses, and I look forward to seeing you in the next one.