Digital Landscapes: Painting Environments with Photoshop | Hardy Fowler | Skillshare

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Digital Landscapes: Painting Environments with Photoshop

teacher avatar Hardy Fowler, Digital Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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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.



    • 2.

      Equipment & Basic Setup


    • 3.



    • 4.

      OPTIONAL SIDEBAR: Creating Depth


    • 5.

      OPTIONAL SIDEBAR: Painting Skies


    • 6.

      Rough Color 1 - General Color Statement & Atmospheric Perspective


    • 7.

      Rough Color 2 - Painting Grassy Valley


    • 8.

      Rough Color 3 - Painting Rocks


    • 9.

      Photo Texturing


    • 10.

      Refined Painting


    • 11.

      Details & Effects


    • 12.

      Final Polish


    • 13.

      Magic Tree Scene - Part 1


    • 14.

      Magic Tree Scene - Part 2


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About This Class

This class teaches a fun and easy-to-grasp technique for creating amazing digital environment paintings using Adobe Photoshop. This class if perfect for students seeking to enter the concept art field or for professionals looking for ways to improve their workflow. Virtually anyone interested in painting beautiful scenery on the computer will enjoy and benefit from this class.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Hardy Fowler

Digital Artist


Hardy is a professional concept artist and illustrator working in New Orleans, LA.

He has designed and painted hundreds of characters, creatures, machines and scenes for numerous entertainment industry clients; and his artwork is featured in elite digital art annuals such as Exposé.

In his courses, Hardy distills down years of industry experience—into transformative courses for serious concept artists.


Project Based Skill Development

His project-based approach will guide you every step of the way, as you learn performance enhancing techniques, professional processes and the creative mindset that will set you apart.

The imaginative, lifelike and detailed projects you create in his courses will become the digital art portfolio ... See full profile

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1. Trailer: Hi, everyone. My name is Hardy Fowler. I am a concept artist and illustrator working in New Orleans. This course is called digital landscapes, Painting Environments with photo shop. It will teach students and effective, accessible way to paint beautiful and imaginative professional level environments from scratch. Students will learn how to create the illusion of depth on how to use light to add mood and drama. This course is packed with tips and tricks that will help you bring the world's that you imagine life so enrolled today. I look forward to seeing your projects. 2. Equipment & Basic Setup: First of all, the computer I'm using is just in my Mac. But this lesson should apply to a PC or Mac. So no worries. There just want to let everyone know what I was using. Um, I also got a wake on into his three is my pin tablet. Something like this is really a must. When I first started digital art a very long time ago, I decided I didn't need one of these and I actually used a touch pad on my laptop. And it's just not at all the say of these. These air must. It simulates the traditional experience of creating are much better. There's a sensitivity with how much pressure you push on the pad, and there's really no substitutes. I would strongly strongly recommend one of these in this particular model has worked well for May for a very long time and finally amusing photo shop CC. But none of the the things will be doing in photo shopper particularly unique to this version, so feel free to use whatever version you like. I think the work tool might be the only relatively new invention that I use from time to time. I think that comes back to photo shop CS or something. So any recent, reasonably new version of photo shop should work just fine for what will be using. So we're gonna look at some very basic photo shop stuff. Ah, the first thing is image size and resolution. Um, I like Teoh. Do 300 dp isa standard. Just always want to make sure you have more resolution than you need. That way you don't end up with anything too small. It's your finished product. I also wanted to include the shapes and set ups of the main brushes that I'll be using. So here they are. I have one for sketching, one for painting and one that I use with the smudge tool for blending. So here they are. This isn't hugely important, so certainly feel free to use whatever works for you. But I just wanted to include what I'll be using 3. Sketching: in this lesson, we will begin sketching. So here we go with our blank canvas. And, uh, let's just dive in. I've got my sketching brush and I created a layer called Sketch on Set that 20% opacity. I just kind of like Teoh to make my sketch kind of ah, semitransparent Just so that none of the lines seem to permanent to me. Um, so as we started diggin let's keep some some goals in mind here, how do we define success? Very important. First and foremost is we want our landscape to have a great sense of depth and scale. We wanted to be evocative. Give us Ah, nice, moody feel on. We also wants a nice, dramatic and realistic type lighting. So we're gonna keep those things in mind. And we also want to tell a story. What's the point of the landscape? What? What kind of, ah, a story. Are we trying to tell and how do we make the features back that up? So just some things to keep in mind is we're making our initial marks in making our early decisions here. Um, I had an idea of just sort of Ah ah Valley. Just a great, expansive, kind of epic looking, grassy valley here with a a canyon in the distance. And, uh, at this very early stage, you can sort of make out. I've got a river coming between that Big Gap Canyon there, and that's sort of where the idea started. Really? I've got that Rocky Mountain thing in the foreground, on the right. And from there, you can just sort of start stepping back in, layering things, just bringing things closer and closer to the viewer. Because, as we uh as we will learn in our perspective lessons the the way that we create the sense of depth is by layering. Things will have something way off in the distance like that, that canyon gap there. And, ah, as we come forward, we'll have some hills that that that river is running through and, ah, more detailed mountain. And I think I'll put a cave there, goes on the left, and then finally, in our extreme foreground, we have this, uh, this mountain sort of going up on the right side of the page here. So that's what I'm doing in these early steps is just thinking about layering how to make it seem like something that you could just walk off into. That that's always the good test of a good sense of depth is if if you can imagine yourself sort of going off into the distance. And, um, I'm also trying to keep some compositional elements in mind. What are my my areas of focus? And I think right where that canyon opens as probably one of my most eye catching points, So just is a good compositional rule of thumb. I don't want that to be dead center, sort of off near, uh, near near 1/3. You know, if you divide the page into thirds somewhere around the line, where it would divide into thirds, if that makes sense, but just kind of refining here, getting some general ideas down, you know, coming up with the little ideas on the fly of things, it might look cool. I thought I might try to make this look sort of like a fantasy type of a video game setting where maybe they had carved Cem some buildings into that canyon. But I I think I end up opting out of that and just going for a a pure landscape here, Um, and you'll notice. I like to put paths in little areas that a player could walk on because if you are doing this is concept art for a video game. And by no means is that the only application here. You could just be doing this for for the fun of an imaginative landscape. But if it is for a video game or even entertainment industry of any kind, it's always good to have have elements that might factor into, uh, to game play or storytelling. So little walking paths or areas where ah, human interaction could take place. That always does a great job of sort of activating the viewer's imagination and just thinking, Wow, you know, wonder what's up that little staircase or wonder what's on the other side of that mountain . Little details like that are really what helps us set your landscape off and makes it really interesting. And evocative is how do you get the viewer's imagination working? So that's that's a big part of our job is to kind of, ah, come up with interesting settings that can allow the viewer's imagination Teoh sort of fill in the gaps and, uh, make it with their own mind, will and ah, that's a lot of the fun is if you just, uh, get the ball rolling in a certain direction. Often the viewer can can really connect the dots, and, uh, their imagination can take over and do a lot of your job for you. So it's always interesting to hear impressions from other people once you have a finished product of what what they thought and what what types of things they imagine when they see your your image. So that's, ah, the beauty of an imaginative landscape. It could be anything that you want and you can tell any kind of story that you want. And once you just have the basic tools that that I'll teach you here, this guy's a limit. You can make anything that you want and make it as believable as you can in your imagination is the only limit, so this is a very fun thing to learn how to do. It's a very free form of ah painting and certainly creative and very enjoyable, so you'll notice I'm going to stick Teoh pretty outdoor natural type settings. We do have to keep perspective in mind, but I don't want to get into a lot of man made structures for for this this course that that requires quite a bit of, ah, of adherence to a perspective grid. And this is just more of a fun intermediate to beginner type course. And I didn't want to get everyone bogged down in all of those details. So we're going to stick to natural landscapes for the most part, maybe with some vague man made structures, but nothing that requires us to really adhere to a strict perspective. Grid not really free everyone up Teoh to make make anything that they want and it won't won't have to follow any strict perspective rules here. Of course, we do have some general perspective that we have to keep in mind where that river kind of trails off into the canyon. That's just about the flat point of our horizon, so anything below that we should sort of be looking down upon in anything above that, like the mountain in the foreground that I was just doing some details on. We need to feel like we're looking up at that so those things should be above us and we're below looking up in the things below, like this river and the river bed, those air things that we're looking down on. So, general rules of above and below the horizon in terms of perspective. And I'll actually overlay Ah, loose perspective grid because we do want toe put some lines in there that sort of back up the perspective grid that we've we've got in mind here. But I'll get to that later. For now, I'm just sort of taking a second pass and putting some bolder lines around my more, uh, decisive shapes. And I noticed this rock in the middle of sort of pointing right at the canyon and kind of an odd way. Well, I do want to lead the I there. It was a little bit too obvious. Kind of, ah, things. Ah, things kind of overlapping there in a strange way. So I just made a change there, and you'll notice it throughout the process. Things just the design changes at everything can change on the fly, so never feel limited. You can always go back to an earlier step or just change your painting even when it's almost finished. Changed entire design elements. If something isn't working, that's the beauty of the digital medium is. It's infinitely re workable and nothing is ever said in Stone. So you'll notice several several points in the course where I take new directions. So just sort of changing some elements here that they were quite working. Um, and now I am starting to think of a loose perspective grid in mind so you'll notice I start making some subtle straight lines, kind of pointing towards a vanishing point that I have in mind. And, uh, I'll overlay that here just that you can see what I'm talking about. Um, even though we don't have any buildings or any square, you know, right, angles, shapes. It's still good to have some lines pointing back at that vanishing point just to establish are realistic three dimensional space. So that's what I'm doing. Here is just a quick second pass on the sketch and, uh, putting in some line work that points back at that vanishing point just to let that that great to one point perspective system work for us here to help define things. So just some little breaks in the terrain or little Rocky Plains on the cliffs. They're all good stuff. Teoh, to use your your perspective lines and point those back towards add vanishing point. And you can see that that really helps drive the sense of three dimensional space home in a nice way so that that's the point there. It's a good way to really draw the viewer in and make your entire space seem more realistic . So is I, uh, refined things here a bit. I think I've got my perspective grid pretty well established, but just adding some refined marks here and there, tightening my sketch up just a bit. But I think we've already got a pretty nice sense of of the landscape. The general forms the far distance, the middle ground and the foreground are well established, so I think we're just about ready Teoh to paint. We can take a look at that perspective grid one more time here, and everything seems to add up fairly well again. The beauty of just all natural outdoor landscape is that nothing has toe has to add up it. As long as you get close and it's giving you the general sense of three dimensions. That's good enough. If if we had a building with a bunch of windows that that was a manmade shape than we would , we would have to follow that perspective or it wouldn't wouldn't look right. But not the case year. So it's very friend. I think we're just about finished and up next we'll start our painting step, but that's it for sketching. 4. OPTIONAL SIDEBAR: Creating Depth: everyone. In this lesson, we will discuss a few things about perspective and some general principles to keep in mind , to create the illusion of depth in our landscape. So I've got a simple canvas and a very simple exercise set up just to show how we can layer Cem landscape elements and give the illusion of depth. So let's get started. I've got a bunch of different layers here, and I'm going to start with something to put in the far distance. I've just made the silhouette of a mountain. You can see it's very far away. It's just a very global shape. I guess we could say Ah, huge and scale. We can't see much detail at all. Just the contour, Really? So the farther away something is, the less detail we can make out, and the more of a general shape it takes on. So moving from far too near. The next thing nearer to us is I've, ah, put a far away hill that would be between the viewer and the mountain. Um, the hill also has a very general shape. We don't want that to be too detailed. Just a nice, smooth shape. I've also started to put some some minimal details. Some trees on top of the hill just far away again these air Very simple shapes. We don't want too much detail here. Just a simple indication to give this far Hill some, uh, some context in some some scale. So moving nearer again we have a near hill. Um, noticed. This time the hill has a lot more featured to it. There are little rocky shapes and, um, sticks and things like that sticking out of the ground just to give this hill a little more . Uh, I guess details. Since it's closer, we would be able Teoh appreciate those details more because the closer we are to something , the more detail we want to render with it. And finally, after that, I've got some trees in the foreground, thes air, very large and, as you can see, have put some some stick details. And this is simple. But I've rendered the leafy needles to this kind of tree with a little more time in detail . Just Teoh make this seem like a detailed object in the foreground. So those are some things to keep in mind about shape. Now, if we put these all together and they're all just black silhouettes. It's tough to make make anything out. So what I'm gonna do is use this to illustrate our next point, which is atmospheric perspective. Uh, the farther away something is, the lighter it's based value tends to be so we'll make this far away Mountain nearly nearly white. It's ah, it's just about, you know, a few steps below pure white. So moving forward to our far Hill gonna make that whips of get that layer group backwards gonna make that ah few value notches darker and carrying that concept for it. We're going to keep going down a few notches in value. And just like that, we've got a, uh, suddenly a pretty believably deep looking image. We can go from our foreground these detailed trees and you can almost pretend that you're sort of walking over these hills off into the far distance. So those are some very handy things to keep in mind with landscapes both with the shapes that you're creating and with the value range that you use for each layer of depth. We want to move from a high key value in the far distance all the way up to a darker value in our foreground, and that will really help give you a good sense of depth. 5. OPTIONAL SIDEBAR: Painting Skies: This is an optional sidebar just to go into some detail on how to paint skies. So I've got a document set up with four little windows here. I'm gonna render four quick difference, guys, and I'm not going into much detail here, not going to get ah, super sharp with all of the clouds and everything. But this is just to get a few general principles across. I'm just starting with the basic, you know, blue sky kind of a nice sunny day in, ah, assuming Earth on most of these But obviously you congee Oh, pretty wild with your imagination if you want to try and do, Ah, some kind of an alien sky. But, um, one thing that all of these guys are gonna have in common is you'll notice there will be some clouds that are closer to its, like I've got in the upper left corner here. And then there are clouds that are farther away, like that one near the upper right corner and one very, very important thing to keep in mind when rendering skies, Is it? The cloud that is closer to you needs to seem like it's overhead, so we're sort of looking up at the bottom of that cloud is if it's sort of floating over the top of our head and the clouds more in the distance, like the one kind of in the upper right corner that when we're sort of looking at the side of it more so that really gives us an illusion of depth. It makes us feel like we are underneath the clouds that are closest to us. But we're looking far away at the side of the cloud. Often the distance really makes your sky seem three dimensional and more realistic. So that is gonna be a ah, a theme you see in all of these clouds. And basically I'm just sort of picking different color schemes and trying to do some sort of different looking skies. But, um, for the most part, it's it's the same general formula. Just have a some clouds that are, ah, over the viewers head seemingly and, and make sure it looks like you're looking up at the underside of those and then have some clouds farther in the distance that you can see the side of and, um, those ones in the distance. It's always fun Teoh to smudge. Cem, you know, round fluffy, kind of Ah, I think it's cumulus cloud shapes. And then you can also pull out those little wispy, stranded clouds, too. So that distant cloud is is usually one where you can get more creative and, um and here we go. I'm adding in a distant cloud here just to juxtapose with that cloud closer, the foreground that the sun is peeking through and just doing some smudge with my smudge tool. Kind of like a blender brush, Um, and just just sort of adding a little bit of detail here. Uh, another thing you'll notice. Common to each of these is there is a heavy use of atmospheric perspective. You'll notice near the horizon, sort of near the bottom of where that far cloud is. It starts getting very hazy and that that really makes it look like those clouds air sort of disappearing into the atmosphere. The closer they get to the horizon that that's something that they can really help sell the sense of depth. And you'll also notice that the foreground cloud is almost always darker, or at least has more contrast in the clouds far away. in the distance or a little bit more subdued on again, that that helps us sell the sense of death. So I'm moving on to 1/4 1 here and just picking some kind of wild places to start color wise just to try and show something a little different. But, you know, feel free Teoh to use, um, photos. Just a starting point. I'm certainly not against Using photo textures is, ah, in your image, but I actually sort of moved away from using photo textures. It skies just because I think it's something that looks really nice and you're finished painting if if it does have a highly painterly quality. So that's that's something I tried always render by hand and not not just leave up to a photo. I just think it's ah nicer thing, you know, shows a little bit more of the hand of the artist in the image, but you know, again, if you want to just do some very vague colors in the sky and then add Cem photo textures of some photos that you've taken. That can certainly be an effective way to create a very believable sky, especially with some over painting or maybe Cem filtering to the photograph to, But I wanted to be sure toe go into some detail here cause this is Ah, this is the process I use in my professional work, and I think it's the nicest effect and again, just being very quick and rough here. This is just to get the general principles across, but we'll put a little more, uh, more time and attention into our project painting. So China show some highlights is if the sun were sort of peeking around that foreground cloud, and that foreground would have actually sort of made it seem like a giant cloud. It's got both. It's sort of fades away into the distance, but it's also looming above us in parts. So, um, you know, find ways Teoh to satisfy both requirements, I guess, have a distant cloud in the foreground cloud. But of course, there are endless variations on how you can stack things up and, you know, layer the clouds as much as you possibly want to. You can have cloud after cloud going farther and farther into the distance until they're barely visible. And, um, the whole point is just to create a profound sense of depth and scale. It really it can help set the mood for a lot of your other landscape painting. So this is a good place to start, or at least a usually the place where I start adding some detail first. Once I have the general values and color statement established just because this is such an important mood setting part of the image. So try and do a really bright kind of, ah sunset image here for this last one, just trying to keep these a little bit different, but the principles are all the same. Um, and, uh, yet back to just why this is important is it sort of establishes the three dimensional space that the rest of your landscape sits in that that atmospheric perspective has to be really strong in your sky or the whole. You know, all of the rules that we use to make the rest of our landscape features won't really make sense. So if if you have a cloud that you're looking at from the side way up near the top of the painting, some somehow that doesn't make sense, you know you should be looking up at that and seeing the bottom of it. So be sure that your clouds fit in the general sense of perspective that you're trying to establish with your sketch. Um, again, if it's near the top, you should be looking up at it. And if it's, ah near the horizon, we should be looking at the side. And, uh, really, once you have those Teoh general rules nailed down, the rest of it is just a painting in details to make it look cool. And this is also a fun part where you can start adjusting color schemes a bit just to see if something wildly different on the huge scale works better for you. So I hope this is helpful. Justin intro into painting skies, and we'll carry that over to our course. 6. Rough Color 1 - General Color Statement & Atmospheric Perspective: in this lesson, we will begin our rough color. So let's get started to begin with, we're just going to try to establish a very general color statement with our painting. So what I mean by that is what do we want? The feeling of our painting to be and color can inform that to a large extent. So I'm gonna make this kind of a nice, bright, sunny day. It's gonna be a happy looking place. I want a lot of blue sky and kind of green grassy fields. Obviously, if this was supposed to be more door or something, you you'd have kind of a burning red sky and, you know, lava ash in type ground. But that's what I mean by color statement. What do you want the viewer to to think about this place when they take a look? And for this one, it's gonna be sort of the happy, idyllic, scenic type Valley. So I'm just putting in a general sky. Teoh sort of set the whole tone for our images, as we talked about in our our skies step. And, um, the goal of this will also to be to establish general depth of our image. Excuse me? We're going to show, um we're gonna use atmospheric perspective to establish a ah far distance, middle ground and a foreground, just like we did know Our perspective. Sidebar in the previous lesson. Eso that's That's another important part of this early rough color phase. But for now, just having some fun with the sky again, trying to make that that cloud closer to us look like we're looking up above it from below . And then that cloud above the canyon out there, we want to be able to see more of the side of that. So that's how we we use our sky to help help make the old the whole image seem deep in three dimensional. Those distant clouds look very far away because we can see the sky. But that one kind of floating near the top of the screen looks like we're looking at the bottom of it. So I'm starting to separate my planes here. I'm coloring in my foreground with a darker tone of the same general, uh, sort of a grey scion that I'm using as my base. And, uh, for this one, it will essentially weaken, treat our areas here is if they were just silhouettes, like we did in the perspective exercise. But it's important that we follow the rules of the The distant objects are much higher in key. And the closer we get to the foreground, the darker their base value gets. So just to say that again, the things in the far distance like that canyon is there gonna be much higher in key than the than the objects in the foreground like this? This mountain here, Um so that's really the main goal of this step is to establish atmosphere perspective. We can treat these various various planes in various near far elements is ah, is silhouettes for now, we're gonna add highlights on top of them in later steps to establish their color and, you know, material what they are rock grass, etcetera. But for now, just treat these as if they were flat shapes that, um, that just needed atmosphere perspective to tell you how far away they are. Another good trick with atmospheric perspective is, uh, I guess it's something to do with the air and how it settles. But if you make it seem just a little lighter near the bottom, as if missed were kind of settling near the bottom of that canyon. That can also be a really nice trick. Teoh to help sell something is being very far away, so you'll notice those canyon peaks over there. They're a bit lighter near the ground because I've added sort of the illusion of mist. And in all that is is just a few brushstrokes showing a slightly lighter value near the bottom of those canyon peaks. And that's all there is to it. And already you can tell that that canyon is is far, far away, especially because it's got such a light value right next to the foreground mountain right where those things meet. It goes from a fairly light value to a pretty dark value, and that's that's how you can tell the distance. That's how you separate those two elements of the image is Ah is with value, and that's that's really the point of this step separating planes with value. So, um, this mountain over on the left here is sort of an intermediate step. It's ah, pretty near to the viewers, so we're gonna have a pretty dark, pretty dark key over there, but not as dark. Is that mountain on the right. That's our extreme foreground object. And then I'm just going to kind of start layering back into the distance. The farther away it goes, the higher and key it is. But, um, already you can you can really feel the sense of depth you can imagine. Uh, I don't know, paddling a canoe down that river. It really, really sells the whole whole sense of, ah, epic scale already. So once you can establish that the picture becomes more about detail and, um just, you know, making all of the storytelling elements kind of the fun part work for you, but it's very important to establish this sense of depth and perspective. Early on, Teoh, I'm doing the paint daubs filter here. I've merged my sketch with my painting and this is available in the filter gallery. But really, all we're doing here is just applying this filter Teoh to make the brush strokes in the sketch layer sort of look a little more painterly that that's a pretty useful filter to use . And here's a little before and after of what? Just a normal photo looks like before you use paint daubs and after, so ah, handy one to use what we use that again when we photo texture layer on it can help make this photo textures J. L. A little bit better with our paint strokes if they're not quite so sharp in Super Photo. Realistic high def. You can apply that paint daubs filter to it Teoh to give it a nicer, painterly quality that that's what the filter is designed to do in a A normally wouldn't preach, relying on filters to heavily. But I think this one is, ah, rare exception to the rule. It's actually quite useful, and consejo you a good bit of work and make things look painterly. Pretty, uh, pretty readily, so very handy to have that in your artists, uh, you know, a bag of tricks. So just refining the clouds in these distant mountain peaks a bit. Now that we're all merged together, the sketch brushstrokes Aiken sort of smudge those in with other things and start using those to make some minor details. Um, this is a nice kind of traditional type process that the fewer layers you use, the more it feels like a traditional painting and of course, layers have their use, especially in the early steps. But I would encourage you to try to limit the layers you use because while there are great for keeping things organized and if their specific elements that you absolutely have to separate out thin layers can really be a savior. But if you really want to get into the spirit of this ah, this process it it certainly has a much more much nicer traditional feel. If you can use one or very few layers and just start painting things in is if if you were painting on a canvas. But of course, with all of the the wonderful perks of the digital medium, you can always hit undo our reduce something, but try to keep that that nice organic process alive by limiting the number of layers that you're using. So at this point, got another neat trick here. If we just copy the sky and make a new layer and flip that suddenly we've got an instant reflection, uh, that that would work for a body of water. So what I'm gonna do is ah, name that river, and I'm going to create a layer mask and then put that in all black. What I'm gonna do is just paint white on the layer mask and sort of reveal that, uh, that mirror image of the sky. And just like that, you can paint in a river and it's it's mirroring all of the colors from above, just like water does reflecting the sky. And it's a really nice, quick way to ah to get your water. And there if you choose to include any in your landscape and ah, this is certainly a handy trick. It it saves you a ton of work trying. Teoh, make the water match the, uh, the sky above it. So, uh, certainly think this is a great time saver. And, um, just to speak on a subject matter, Uh, please don't feel obligated to do anything remotely similar to what I'm doing here. If you if you'd like Teoh, you know, sort of copy what I'm doing, just ah, exercise. Feel free, of course. But I would really encourage you guys to try and turn on the imaginations and come up with something on your own. I think it would be a much more satisfying final product for you. That being said, this is Ah, you know, a learning experience for everybody. So do whatever makes you more comfortable. Whatever helps the material, uh, you know, soak in for you, by all means. Just a suggestion. So just, ah, doing a little fine tuning on that mask and even putting a little bit of a motion blur on that water to make it seem like it's ah, moving a bit. If if it were perfectly mirroring the sky, that would be a perfectly still body of water. And for the type of river I'm going for here, I wanted to have a little bit of movement. So we're gonna end up smudging around that that water anyway. But just is an early step. I ran a little bit of a motion blur on it. So this is shaping up. I think we've got a nice sense of debt. Fear. A nice color statement certainly looks like a nice sunny day. So I think this step is successful, and, uh, we're just about ready to move on to our other steps. 7. Rough Color 2 - Painting Grassy Valley: in this lesson, we will begin to add a grassy texture in value. So now that we have our general color statement and atmospheric perspective established, it's time to start adding some materials. I want this to be a nice grassy looking valley, and I had saved a copy of my sketch, and I've just switched that on just to get these general forms down. Just Teoh, give me a reference. I want to make sure I'm not missing anything that I decided in the original sketch. So I've selected a green color and I want this to be a pretty idyllic kind of paradise looking place. Just, I guess. Imagine the shire from Lord of the Rings or, you know, any any kind of, ah, epic fantasy looking, uh, terrain where we're sort of the happy part of the video game. I guess so. Adding in a whole lot of green here, uh, thought that would work Well, this one will have a lot of grassy texture, and we'll juxtapose that with some rocky textures as well. But this will be a very, very nice looking, grassy meadow type vibe. So that's what this step is gonna be, is just establishing those grassy textures and also to make sure that our values start coming across. So I have established that the sunshine is coming from the upper right corner. And what tells us that is that bright light peeking between the crack and that that foreground mountain and also our clouds in the distance as well? So this is the first step where we have to really start thinking about the light source and where are values are going to come into play. So, uh, I always want Thea this planes that are facing the sun to be a little bit brighter. And, um, you'll notice I'm using that that paintbrush and, uh, hitting the altar or option key, a good bit to just sort of pick up colors and then paint with them again. It's It's a nice organic process when you can just have your brush tool and sample colors from anywhere on the page. And the more you do that, the more it starts kind of blending things together, making them Seymour cohesive. So it's ah, a nice a nice, organic way to to start laying in tone is just brush and then sample and then brush and more. Um so as we get into the distance, I can start doing a little bit more fine line work just because it can make those those hills and stuff Seymour far in the distance, if there tighter, grouped and more bunched together, I guess one large, curving shape in the foreground is a hill. Would would conceivably be a bunch of smaller linear shapes, sort of overlapping far in the distance, so you'll notice those Ah, those hills kind of overlap, tighter and tighter the farther they get to the horizon. So that's Ah, that's That's what the thought processes there. It's another way to enforce a sense of three dimensions, and perspective is, ah, is these layered hills, but just sort of picking up paint and laying it in? Uh, and already this is certainly looking like a nice grassy area. And, ah, just ah, picking out some details here on the canyon entrance, trying to keep my light source in mind. But not going for any huge highlights at this point is sort of very general values. We'll go into much more detail in our refined painting steps, but, uh, this is just sort of Ah, establishing general general texture and inform and light sores. And, uh, we'll also photo texture a good bit here. So you don't have to worry about detail we're going to Ah, we're gonna certainly make this one a very interesting and detailed in later steps. But for now, just, uh, just lay in that grass and keep the light source in mind. Of course. Don't feel obligated to do Ah, grassy meadow either. You know, a desert scene with sand dunes that that would certainly, uh, use a lot of these same principles of overlapping hill shapes that go off into the distance . A mountain range with snowy peaks. Same thing you'd have foreground middle ground and distance elements that would all need Teoh use atmospheric perspective to to help sell the sense of three dimensions. So this this technique can be applied to virtually any kind of environment. Just chose Teoh. Do something grassy and sort of happy here just so I could do a couple of other special effects for you later in the course. But, um, I'm doing something with these distant mountains to standing. Cem Very bright highlights, because if the sun were sort of shining down on the valley. Those hills, that air arching up like that would really catch a lot of it. And it also gives me a good opportunity to separate that foreground mountain from those cliffs off in the distance because the light is affecting them so differently. That helps ah clue in the viewer that that that's something way far off in the distance versus the mountain in the foreground. So some fine brushwork here just Teoh establish those little areas, and it really has a nice payoff. You can you can really feel the three dimensions, especially in those distant mountains there. So just picking out some fine detail here. And this is kind of the fun part where you can just switch your brain off and listen to some music and sort of let your your hands take over. Once we've got all the brainy stuff, like our atmospheric perspective and the things we really have to think about, this is the nice part of ah, digital orders. You can just sort of turn your brain off and and let let the details fall in where they may once once you have a good understanding of of Ah, of how your light sources working. So this is Ah, this is the fun part. We can just sort of relax, doesn't take too much brainpower and, uh, just sort of lay in the fun parts, trying to add a little more detail to this mountain. I guess I'll call it in the near ground. It's not quite the extreme foreground, but that that area over there certainly needs in detail. And it's got some nice contrast between the darker key based value. And we're putting some brighter greens just because conceivably the light would be sort of shining in their from from from where the sun is in the sky over in the upper right corner here. So it all has to add up. Think about how light would play. If there's something that would be casting a big shadow, that's always a nice thing to include. If you have a cast shadow, Um, I'm a taking this opportunity to do just a little bit more darkening on that foreground mountain. I want that to really pop out. So I brought the key down just a little bit, and I'm, uh, excuse me, adding some more atmosphere. But we're getting getting close to having our grassy meadow defined here. It's certainly making the color statement that I want. This looks like a very happy and idyllic place, but we've certainly got some details that had later on Teoh Cell. This is, Ah, realistic environment. But for now, just just worrying about our general color scheme values, light source and backing up our atmospheric perspective wherever we can. So that's it for this step, I'll see in the next lesson. 8. Rough Color 3 - Painting Rocks: in this US and we will begin painting some rock textures. So now that we have our grassy elements defined, we're gonna put Cem Rocky elements Just Teoh give it some variety so that it's not quite so one note in terms of, ah, color scheme. So ah, dark, kind of ah gray with just a hint of blue rocks that that always looks nice next to, ah, bright green grass, especially for this type of Ah, this happy setting, You know, the mood we're trying to establish here. So, um, Lord of the Rings keeps coming to mind, but, uh, check out any pictures of New Zealand where that kind of stuff is filmed And, um, you have a good idea of what I've got in mind here, So just adding in little rocky shapes, just kind of cropping up out of the ground a little bit. And this is also where I'm gonna try and make all these little rocky pathways that, uh, that add add interest to your image and make it seem, you know, like something someone would want to go explore. If this were concept art for a video game or even not, it's always good to have something that draws of yours I and sets their imagination off. So that's that's what we're gonna work on. Here's one, uh, letting the rocky colors give some variety to the image, but also will use him a lot. Thio Thio add interest to our image and give it that imaginative quality that were after here. So just adding rocks anywhere, basically that that we left bare anywhere the grass isn't covering. I think I'm gonna make that a rocky texture. So doing a mixture of, ah, pretty large brush drugs versus some finer detail And of course, we're gonna have a lot more detail to that in our refined painting and in our later steps. But for now, just, uh, just kind of dropping in some chunky brushstrokes just to establish color and value and in material, you know, Is it covered in grass or is it a rocky, bare patch? That's basically all we're doing here, and, uh, still got my sketch on a layer up above a copy of it that I saved just that I can refer back to that remind myself what? What? The general idea is because you can you can definitely get lost in the details once you get get down the road on these a little bit. So I'll merge things from time to time. But it's a good idea to keep that. That sketch saved is a copy on its own layer, just in case you need to check things out. But I'll try to work on one layer as much as I can without without relying on too much stuff and you can see I'm jumping back to the grass here again. You can always go back to an earlier step, but it is. Things get more and more refined. You can just start adding detail as you go Teoh any material so that that's why you'll see me jumping around. And also, if the general color scheme anywhere needs some work, you can always pick up paint with the, uh, the dropper tool by hitting alter option when you're using a brush tool and just pick it up and lay it down. So making a little path kind of come out of the river. This'll video game. Maybe you cross that on a horse or something, or maybe on foot. Or maybe there's a guy you have to fight before he'll let you cross things like that, any kind of, ah, gameplay or imaginative elements you can build into your image. That's Ah, it's almost always a plus. Especially with concept are your clients will love you if you can keep things like that in mind, but doing a bit of smudging and painting here, just all part of the refinement process smudging can really help you. Add details if you just have rough areas of paint, Uh, smudging can can sharpen things up and give you more defined edges between 22 planes and really, really help sell your your values and colors and make your plane seem three dimensional. So I'm refining that that sort of shadowy area where I'm gonna have a cave entrance and again the cave is one of those imaginative elements that I want the viewer to sort of wonder what's in there. And if this were video game, you you would sort of be curious to cross the river and go find what's in that cave. So I want to have a few elements that that sort of lead the eye in that direction, and that's what that path going up that that far Hill does for us. And that's also why it's Ah uh, noticeably darker value over there is because it's in shadow. It's it's different from everything else on the page, so it's immediately an attention getter. So, um, always look for ways to let value in color, help you tell the story that you want to tell, and often times those opportunities. You know, it's something you never thought of until you just dive in and start painting. But suddenly you think, Oh, hey, I could make things darker over here to give it some contrast and draw interest to that side of the page. Um, things like that can just occur to you as you're going. There's nice, happy accident type things. It's a nice organic process. But to finish up this step, I'm just adding a little more grassy detail in rocky detail. And, um, we're getting close to having our rough color phase to its final stages. Just, ah, just adding some some last minute detail here. But, uh, I think already we've got a pretty good sense of the scale, the color statement, the value and the light sores. So I think this is just about right, and we'll move on to our next step 9. Photo Texturing: in this lesson, we will begin adding some photo textures. So I have ah, taken another look at everything. And this is kind of a good time to do. Ah, last check on your general color painting before we had photo textures. And I've noticed a few areas that I want to find Tune a little bit. I think it needs a little more atmospheric perspective to push back that distant, distant canyon there. So that's what I'm doing there. And, uh, just ah, racing away as it gets to that foreground mountain. So I think it needed that it those distant cliffs weren't looking as far away as I wanted them to. So some other areas on the pages, Well, where you can make those nearer elements pop out from the ones in the distance. And that's what I'm doing here just is ah, kind of some last minute corrections before we get into two photo text. Oring. So I am, Ah, just adding a little more atmosphere here. And ah, once we're done with that, I'm going to do a little bit of value. Correction is well, but, uh, I've merged those two layers. The atmosphere layer is now down and part of, ah, part of the other layer. I've switched my brush to color dodge here, and I use that to brighten things. Kind of newsom spot brightening where you want something to pop. And, uh, normally I would I would say, use a, ah very, very de saturated color almost a gray or absolutely a great, but because I want this grass to be so brilliant green, I'm actually using color dodge with a ah green color just to make it super bright with color dodge. You have to use it sparingly because every brush stroke that you make it increases the value. It makes it brighter, but it also takes a saturation way up. So if you're not careful, things can become just totally blown out. So you use color dodge sparingly as a brush mode, but it's a very nice way to add some pop to your color and value. And, uh, that's ah, something I'll often do is a kind of a last step before I call a painting finished. But I wanted to do that a bit here before we get into photo texture ring, so I've also made that river brighter if the sun is really back there behind the foreground mountain than, uh, that water would be reflecting very brightly as it curves back there. So here I've got some photos that I've taken, and you're welcome to use thes but these air photos that I took personally with my cell phone, just a grassy area by train track a rock and a little wooden column thing. So I'm gonna start with the wooden column thing, and it's got this really nice wood grain on, and I'm not trying to make it look like anything here is made out of wood. But I just like the splotchy sort of ah, variation in color that it it can give and then actually does kind of look like a craggy rock face. So the good thing about these photo textures, and I should say that this entire layer group called photo Textures is in soft, light blending mode. That's extremely important. This doesn't work unless you put the blending mode is soft light. So, um, please make sure that that you do so that's kind of the whole, uh, the whole secret. Here is the soft, light blending mode, but back to the wood grain. It both gives you a nice texture, and it it modulates the color. Just a little bit of the color flavor comes through on that. So I've got those nice cracking features that make it look like a natural Ah, landscape, you know, enhance the realism. But it also modulates the color just so that things don't look quite so flat, green or gray or ah, it can really make your color scheme a lot more sophisticated and rich eso just adding some of that rock texture. And I know the Google images is a very tempting resource, but I've really had a lot more success just going to find things on my own. You can spend ah half an hour looking for something just right online or, ah, you'd be amazed if you just go take a walk around, walk around the block in your neighborhood or at your office. Uh, there are things everywhere that you never would have expected, and they often have applications that that you wouldn't have thought so. I would certainly encourage GTO. Just use the cell phone camera and go, go grab your own photos. It's It's so quick and easy, but just a sort of copying and transforming that rocky texture as long as it stays within that photo textures Layer group, which is set to soft light. Then you can copy and paste things within that layer group and they'll they will already be in soft light mode. So that's why I make that layer group. It's a handy way Teoh keep things organized. Ah, here I'm running the paint Dobbs filter just to make especially this rocky texture, seem just a little bit more painterly. It was looking very sharp and photo realistic and wasn't quite jelling with the rest of the brush strokes in the background. So I took it out of the layer group just to get a better look at it. But then just put it back in and doing a little bit of clone stamping here, Teoh to move that that rocky texture around. So now I've got this ah, grassy texture that I found near the train tracks in my house, and I'm brightening that up a bit, just that it wasn't too dark, but, um, just like that, it looks like a realistic grass on that farm meadow. So I'm just gonna kind of copy this and transform it, make it fit the various little sloping hills in the distance here, and, ah, do a little bit of clone stamping as well to, ah, to drop that texture into other areas. But, um, do whatever you need to do to move these textures around. Clone stamp, Uh, which is s is a keyboard shortcut. That's a great way to go. You just hit Ault and sample an area, and then you can paint that area, and it will. It will repeat elsewhere on the, uh, on the page. It's It's a really handy way, Teoh to get that texture spread around the entire landscape with with very little effort. So Ah! Ah, handy timesaver and good way Teoh. Start getting their rewards back immediately. This is a really fun step. It starts making your image look very realistic. And, uh, you know, those things that were just a couple of brushstrokes that you made a minute or two ago suddenly looked like a very believable three dimensional space. It's ah very artistically satisfying part of the process. Enjoy this. Take your time. You know, don't, uh, don't overdo, but, um, you know, make make this work for you and just masking things out. That's another point. Is, uh, you can really overdo photo textures if if you get carried away, they start a really making you feel like you're painting super cool cause it looks photo realistic in parts, but lied a bit of your painting showing through. So I'm asking out of it here. And with that, I think our photo texture step is just about finished. I'll see you in the next lesson. 10. Refined Painting: in this US and we will begin our refined pass on our painting. So let's get started. The first thing I'm doing is putting everything in a layered group and just copying that and flattening it so that I have a emerged copy of everything. Eyes I mentioned before is I go. I like Teoh keep things on its few layers as possible just to make it more of a painterly traditional type experience. But as we get started in this step, I'm just picking out some, uh, some fine details and just adding a little individual blades of grass. And, um, once I get a good area of detail established, I'll just switch to the clone stamp a lot and ah, sample that detail area and then just sort of clone things around, so you'll see me switch back and forth between the brush tool and the clone stamp a good bit. Um, once you have the clone stamp selected, you hold down alter option, and you can sample an area of the painting like I'm doing here with that rocky texture, and then you just drop it in elsewhere on the canvas and it, uh, it's really nice it if you, uh, you know, use it carefully. It doesn't look tiled or repeated like you're just copying and pasting texture. But it does still look quite painterly, cause you still are painting. It's just you're you're bringing over, ah, lot of texture from your sample area as well. So it's Ah, it's kind of the best of both worlds. It it's painterly, but you're still preserving a lot of texture. So it it keeps a nice quality throughout your painting, and you can have a consistent level of ah texture density, I guess throughout if if you stick to this a good bit. So just painting in some details over on the cave area here just tryingto give that's, um, interest and, uh, having some of those converging lines go go down towards the cave just to lead the eye into the cave. Wanted that to be a point of interest. So that's what I'm doing there and just sort of adjusting things. Get rid of that kind of hanging rock formation, thought it was a little bit over the top and didn't quite fit, but, uh, I decided to go for more of a rocky highlight edge on this mountain had it kind of grassy, but this made a little more sense. I'm just cloning in some rock texture, and I think I'm sampling from that rocky area on the lower left. So that's where that's coming from. But just sort of sampling in dropping in. That's that's all I'm really doing here. And it's a very quick way to get a pretty large amount of detail from from side to side, one end of the other of your canvas without a whole lot of effort. So, uh, just sort of picking out areas that look like they need a little more detail. And again, you can be selective with that. Not not every area of the painting needs to be super detailed, and in fact, you can overdo that. Actually, if if you kind of put a huge amount of detail on too many parts of your canvas, it it sort of gives it a dead quality. If if you don't have any painterly, you know, visually, I guess calmer parts of the page for those visually active parts to contrast with. And it gives the whole thing sort of a a dead feel, so don't don't overdo here. You don't want too many highly visually active parts of your campus to leave a few simple areas. Aziz they are. It will give the painting a nice, nice bit of character and in some contrast, and that's, Ah, that's a big part of a successful design is contrast and sort of knowing when to, ah, to be restrained with your mark making and when to keep it more. You know when to be detailed versus ah, loose and expressive just actually did do a little cutting pasting to give that grassy hill in the foreground a good bit of detail, cause obviously, it's the closest thing to us so that that's gonna have the most most detail. So we can pretty much see individual blades of grass and that that foreground part and I'm just sort of cloning in a little grassy pathway, something that sort of disappears between those two rocks and goes over toe to the river again, just little pathways that can help lead the eye around and inspire the imagination of the viewer. Just toe kind of want to go and explore the painting that you set up here and, uh, pretty much just a whole lot of the same, just ah, you know, rely on your artistic eye and just add in details. This is another one of those fun parts where you can kind of just turn off your brain and let your hand take over and just make details wherever they seem appropriate. We know we've got our basic feel of our painting set. All the big decisions are made. Its it's just time to fill it with little interesting things that someone who would want toe really give a close look to our painting would enjoy. So that's what we're doing here in, ah, putting a little bit of detail on this far cliff of copied part of that rock, and I'm got it set on a way low capacity, about 30% cause obviously, I want that to remain very high key so that it still seems far away, but that we should put a little bit of texture on that Far mountain. And I think that it's just about right and a little more cloning just to give this, uh, middle ground hill area a little more detail and some rocks just to sort of break it up. Make give some variety to everything I don't want. Don't want too much of a single texture in any one part. Another thing you'll notice me doing from time to time is using the history brush. And that is why on your keyboard, um, as you'll see in the history panel, there's a little camera icon right next to the trash icon. That's an extremely useful button. It's the snapshot button, and if you take a snapshot, you can then use your history brush to paint back to the snapshot. So if you have something you'd like to try, but you're a little worried that it might not work. Just go ahead and take a snapshot and, um, and you'll be able to paint back with the history brush if you end up not liking it. Or if you feel you did the effect too heavily, you can paint back just parts of it s So it's an extremely useful way of setting up a little safety net for yourself. And you can, ah, you know, feel have no fear of, ah, anything getting getting lost are making a move you don't like with that snapshot button. So I would encourage you to try that. Once you make a snapshot, it paints back toe to that point. If if you said it to do so and just adding a little detail the river here, one of that water to be a little more visually active give this image some movement. Such what I've done there, a few little blobs of ah, paint to make it seem like they're rocks. The water is kind of battling over on then, in some smoother areas that I'm just smudging through with the smudge tool, a nice, nice bit of detail developing pretty much from from the far distance to the to the foreground. So this is coming together quite nicely, and the clone stamp is a big part of that. You can just put as much detailed textures is you care, too, with very little effort. It looks like you have to paint in a bunch of different colors or have a 1,000,000 brushstrokes and in some of these places to get that effect. But no, once you have one area set up with a good, slightly photo textured, painterly area, you just sample it and, uh, and just start cloning it. And you can use that quite a good bit without without worrying about it looking copied and , uh, repeated too much. And I thought this sort of middle ground needed a little bit more interest. It started just looking like repetitive rolling hills. So I've ah, copy that, that little pointing rock. And I'm just making a little rock cropped out of the ground here and going to do a few things to make that fit at a little atmosphere to push it back and then, um, make it fit the area. Little better, do a little highlighting merged that now that it's working for me. Uh, not not quite yet actually gonna resize it a little more and give it a few. Ah, a few friends here, just Teoh make it seem like it's not just all all by itself. There a few little random rocks popping up through the grass gives that middle ground a little more visual interest Andi certainly makes makes things less repetitive in that part of the image. So always good to take a look with fresh eyes. In fact, it's several points in this painting. I did take a few decent length break. So, uh, I'd encourage you, especially if you feel like you're images Hitting a plateau is just go, go eat lunch, Go take a break or come back the next day. And, um oftentimes the solutions will be very clear if you just can look at it with some fresh eyes. So, um, you know, don't be under the impression that I did this all in one sitting. This is quite a few hours here, put together to get this painting finished. So this is an efficient and pretty quick process, but, uh, there still is, you know, their their minimum amounts of time that you you need to put in Teoh to give your work the quality that it needs. So take breaks and come back with fresh eyes and that'll keep your image from ah from stagnating. And of course, you'll notice me flip the canvas horizontally quite frequently. And that's Ah, that's in that same line of thought There. If you flip the canvas, it suddenly looks like ah, same a completely new painting. Even though it's it's the same thing. It suddenly totally fresh to your mind's eye. So flip things back and forth from time to time just to keep it fresh and make sure you're not going off on the wrong path. Oftentimes, perspective or scale issues can seem OK and one side, but they really jump out at you once you you flip that Candace. So I've actually set up my own keyboard shortcut to do that. And, ah, there are tons of good resource is on how toe how to do that for yourself if you don't know how. But it's a very handy resource. Is setting up your own keyboard shortcuts if none exists, But flipping the canvas horizontally something I do so often that I did set up my own short cut their and I encourage you to do the same. So just painting in a little of brighter light is that river curves towards the light. Source wanted that to be brighter. And ah, it also sort of helps our sense of layering cause you can see there's something very bright going on just around the corner of that foreground rock formation. So it it adds a good bit of interest and, ah, as you can see, our paintings taken on a good bit of ah refinement here it's it's starting to look very polished. And, uh, other than a few details and finished product finished, you know, final Polish steps. This'd is practically a finished painting. So our next a few lessons will deal with just some fun little tips and tricks on how to add detail and polish. But basically the broad strokes. We're just about there, so these final steps will be a lot of fun. But congratulate yourself. You've accomplished a lot to this point, so I'll see you in the final lessons. 11. Details & Effects: Now we will add some details in effects. These were just a bunch of handy tricks that can really help give Cem punch to your image. And the first thing I'm going to show you how to do is my ray of light trick. So I've got a light color off white, almost pure white. And I'm, ah, just painting in some little linear shapes. A ziff. They were kind of radiating away from where I think the light sources. So I won't have the sun kind of peeking through this little spot. And I'm just loosely adding in paint because we're going to do a filter radio blur under the blur filter. You switch it to zoom and you move the center point of the zoom up to about where you think it is on your page and you turn the amount way up. So let's see how that looked close. But I think I had the point off a little bit. I'm gonna move that over. Let's see if that's any better. I think so. So now that I've done that, I'm gonna run this filter maybe five or six times, and every time I do and sort of blurs that tone out a little bit. And once you do that a few times, you can see it looks just like volumetric lighting kind of pouring through there. And I'm trying a few different layer blending modes just to see if anything looks better. But, um, I think that's looking pretty good on normal modes. I've masked it out. I don't want the the effect to be too heavy, but just sort of revealing some of that coming through again. And it's a pretty nice, dramatic touch. The next thing I'm gonna do is the bloom effect. That's another lighting term when ah, your light sources so bright that it it's actually making the colors around it glow so again where the light is coming through there. I'm having some color sort of bright in the areas around it, similar to the lens flare filter. That filter is a little too cheesy for my taste, but it sure does add instant drama. Um, I've got that set again, trying different blending modes, and I'd encourage you to explore all of those, but usually normal, or maybe lighten or even overlay work well for that effect. So it just adds a little bit more of, ah, lighting effect there. The next thing I'm gonna do is I've got a scatter brush set up here that will have. It'll sort of spray a bunch of little dot shapes, and you can see me setting up all the different jitters in the brush presets. But basically I want this brush to sort of scatter a bunch of little circles around. And what that's going to do is just look like little bitty grains of dust floating in the air. And it's particularly nice looking in that ray of light, but it's It's also good to just sort of scattered that around the air a little bit. It can just look like pollen flying through the air or something like that. It's It's not something you consciously see when you're looking in nature. But, um, he can really give your image a more realistic sense of being riel air with the dust and pollen things like that flowing in it. So, uh, the next thing we're gonna do is I'm gonna add some flowers, and we're going to use the clone stamp in a. The first thing I'm gonna do is just paint a simple little set of flower petals. Um, and I'm going to do about five or six of these by hand. And that's really all you have to do. Because once you've got a good grouping and they look sufficiently different kind of random and shape and spacing, uh, you can just start clone stamping them. And, ah, if you're careful about it, you'd never know that it's a repeating pattern. So, uh, you can really get a whole valley full of these little flower shapes with very little effort once you just paying a few and then start cloning in copies of it. So just like that, you can, ah, you can really add a lot of detail and, um, disclaimer here these effects and certainly their use here or a little bit cheesy. So I I'm not saying this. This design will work for everybody. I know it's a little bit of happy go lucky, but, um, even if it's cheesy, these techniques can be useful, and your application of them obviously will have a huge impact on how it works in your final image. So I know these air cheesy but cool techniques to know anyway. So it's up to you to, ah, to apply them in a responsible way, Let's say, But, um, I think that looks pretty cool, especially in our foreground, and gives us a good sense of scale. The flowers, they're fairly large up close, and they get smaller as they fade into the distance. So it's Ah, nice, Nice way, Teoh. Establish some scale as well. So that's how we add little flowers to our grassy areas and a little more cloning. You can just sort of, ah, scatter those around to your heart's content and it's a nice little detail to add. There we go, just renaming my layer there. Up next, I'm gonna add some birds in the distance and again a little cheesy. But this has a very nice effect. I call this visual animation, and obviously nothing is really moving on our page here. But if we have a group of repeating objects like this flock of birds, for example, and they're all flapping their wings in different wing beats, it sort of let your mind connect the dots on how that bird flapping its wing looks and it creates a huge sense of movement in your mind's eye. You can really see those birds flapping their wings. It's almost like different frames of an animation, but this effect can be applied. Teoh falling snow or some leaves falling out of a tree blowing in the wind. Anything like that, that sort of moves through the air. It can really add some drama. And also visually animate is I call it, um, your image. And along those lines, I'm gonna add some flags here blowing in the wind again. Just something to be ah, moving visually, something blowing in the wind. You can really picture it kind of, ah, flapping around and flags are always a a good, good way to do that. But it could really be anything. If you have a character in your image, he could have a caper, a big scarf or something, anything that can move around in the wind that can help a lot. If you have trees with leaves, you can have some of them bending in the wind a good bit. Uh, wind and movement always seems to add instant drama to your image. Uh, things like this are always nice to include for that purpose. And, um, if this was for concept art. Obviously, this would be a very good clue as to where the character is supposed to go. Because you look at this and you wanna walk right between that little, uh, that little valley between those rock formations where the two flags air marking. And I'm doing a little bit of smudging on that because you want to use to look slightly blurry if they are blowing in the wind and just adjusting the scale on that. Also, these air helpful for setting your sense of scale to so all of these things can really help you establish your sense of scale. So a some neat little tricks just to give some detail on some added life to your image. I hope you find those useful. So up next we'll do a little final polish and we will be finished. 12. Final Polish: for a final step, we're gonna add some final polish to our image just to really make it shine. So let's get started. First thing I'm gonna do is just smooth out any kind of rough edges anywhere where two planes look odd is a interact or where I'm having some kind of ah detail that's a little out of place. This is when you just kind of want to make these last minute little touch ups and get everything is perfect as you can make it before you send it goodbye. You know, either posted online or send it to your client if they're printing it. Obviously you want very carefully check everything and make sure everything's just do what you want it so any any instance where it's your your last chance to make changes? Uh, want to do a really good job and make sure you get it right. So just adding a tiny bit more atmosphere here. I've got a new layer and I'm painting in with a soft brush just to try and push some of those more distant parts way back. So I'll erase away where I want the foreground objects to be and let that atmosphere really sit back there. You can see it makes that that rock we just added in really stand out. Um so just kind of adding a little bit more detailed, Essam or cloning on our painting layer Just any any areas where you see last minute room for improvement. This is this is your chance. So be sure to get it right. And also like, Oh, it's making those birds kind of disappear into the mist is well, that that adds a lot of depth to those birds. Make them seem like they're flying through a three dimensional space. And that's Ah, that's exactly what we want. Now I'm gonna do a little last minute color adjustment. I like how green everything is, but it's looking a little bit. One note. There's just this one single shade of green throughout, so I'm gonna add in a ah color balance adjustment layer and just sort of mask that out to see if I can add in maybe a little more hint of yellow or brown just so that the grass doesn't seem quite so One note. So I'm kind of just feeling my way through that, seeing what looks right. Um, also doing a hue saturation adjustment layer a similar effect there, but they work in slightly different ways, but basically we're just trying toe modulate our color here just a bit. And I've got the mask totally blacked out. But I'm painting into it with white, and that will reveal that adjustment so you can see up just adding some areas where the green has just a slightly browner flavor to it makes it seem a little more realistic to my eye. So that's Ah, that's the point. There's just a little bit of color modulation to give it a little more visual interest and make it seem not quite so. One note, because I doubt any grassy field in nature. Seems that brilliantly and, ah, you know, monochromatic Lee Green. Um, so just just checking that out, sort of switching the layers on and off, and I think that works well. So going ahead, emerge that down, not making a selection here, just Teoh just to maybe darken up this foreground mountain. Just a touch to separate it from those distant mountains again, using ah value range, as are our big seller of depth there. So Now that that's working, I'm gonna paint back with the history brush Just a bit, Teoh. Smooth out the edges of what I've changed there again. The history brush can be, ah, be your good friend. So I'm going back in history. Just Teoh. Look, look at everything before and after I changed it to make sure that I like it better, and I do. So I switched my brush to color Dodge here, and I'm just gonna pick out some little spots where I wanted to have a little extra brilliance and shine. And I'm just painting in with a flat grey to make that a little bit brighter and, uh, that the sky could maybe be a little bit brighter, but I wasn't too sure. Think that's just about right. And yet picking out any little points of interest where you wanted Teoh to shine and have a little extra pop. And that's ah, very handy. So I've gone back to normal brush mode here just to do some little final treatment to the water. I thought it looked a little dark over there, so, um, just last minute adjustments, But we're very, very near to a finished product here, Uh, hope you've enjoyed this class. I'll try to add additional videos from time to time, but that will be based on requests from the students. So if there's anything in particular any kind of natural, imaginative landscape that you'd like to see me paint, just go ahead and start a discussion, and I'll do whatever is popular. So here's one last look at our finished product, and I think it's very successful. I hope you enjoy these techniques and please let me know if there's anything else you'd like to see painted. But I really look forward to seeing your project. 13. Magic Tree Scene - Part 1: in this video, we will recap the entire course by painting a new seen something. I'm just going the magic tree, seen for lack of a better term. And, um, this one I have sped up quite a bit. It's about four times normal speed just because this will be quite a lengthy one, we're gonna fit it all into one video just to kind of recap everything. But bio maids don't feel the need to try and paint this quickly because this is a good bit faster than real life. But this one, I think, in real time, took about three hours from start to finish over a couple of sittings. So, um, I've got it sped up. Teoh be just about 40 minutes and running time. So just a word on the time difference there. But, um, starting as we did in our first scene with just the sketch phase, and I'm just, uh, kind of coming up with ideas here. I knew that I wanted to have this tree to be in the middle of kind of a pond or a little reflecting pool type thing and just thought that would be an interesting little environment and Ah, thought I'd make the tree a little bit weird to kind of like a bonzai tree, but with oddly Spiric als shaped little groups of leaves. I just thought that would be an interesting look. But, um, unlike our first scene, we're not really going for a giant, expansive outdoor environment. This is more of an interior, but kind of like a giant cavern. And, um, this idea actually evolves quite a bit. Is I goes, You can see here in the early phase. I'm thinking of possibly some little cliff walls that were open to the outside and maybe I can show some sky in stuff, but I eventually kind of closed the whole thing in like it's an interior cave. Um, one of those types of caverns were It's, ah, kind of just the bottom of a big pit where there's water. But there's clearly a light source kind of like a spotlight from above. I thought that would give us a great opportunity for some very dramatic lighting. So these were the things I'm keeping in mind when on doing this initial initial sketch phases, just looking for opportunities to tell a cool story and also setting myself up for some some cool lighting opportunities later on, and you'll certainly see the idea evolved. This is, Ah, great part of the process because pretty much just just scribble in anything you think might work. And if it's not looking good, just scrap it. And several directions here get abandoned. Ah, I have this little stepping stones going out to the tree, which is sort of on a little island in the middle of this pond at the bottom of this cave. But I end up removing the stepping stones and there's that little stone pillar in the foreground. My initial idea was to kind of lead the I out to the tree. But it becomes such an obvious focal point later in the rendering process that I end up scrapping both of those things because it it just didn't need them. And it was, uh, I don't know, sort of taking away from the serenity that I was going for with this one. Um, so I'm kind of setting up some foreground middle ground and background elements here, just like we did in our outdoor scene. Uh, but it's, ah, bit closer oven environment. Here. We're not going for quite such an epic sense of scale, but I still want there to be a good sense of depth in scale. So that's that's what all of these early steps air about. And, uh, I think the sketch is just about there. There's no need to have your idea 100% locked down before you start applying color eso. Once you've got the general broad strokes in place, go ahead and start your color phase and just let the idea ive Also, I'm using the Grady Int tool just the various different ways to do it. Circular Grady int is well, is that line Grady int That kind of extends outward from the middle just to set up some very basic lighting scheme things. And I'm just sort of starting to block in silhouettes of the foreground shape and, uh, pulling some Grady INTs there as well to see if I can get some color variation. Just so it's not all quite so monochromatic. Um, in right off the battle start kind of defining some of the texture of this interior cliff like cavern wall. So just really smudging around some little light spots with with that chalk like brush that I showed you in earlier videos just to sort of establish some very basic details. And, um, I'm sort of starting Teoh. Think like a video game concept artist already here and looking for little places to put walkways or just interesting places that you can imagine the viewer or the player would want to go explore. So that's always a great thing to keep in mind with your concept. Art is just have these inviting little parts of your image that that bag exploration so little broken down walkways and things like that. You'll see a lot of that in this image, but really just sort of starting delay in the broad strokes here in terms of color. Um, I'll do a lot of this, uh, on one color layer. I've just got It is the background layer right now, but eventually I will make a silhouette of the tree. It's such a central focal point of this image that I think it needs to be on its own layer just so that we can do things like paint little foggy atmospheric things behind it without having to worry about painting over our tree And it also lets us keep that selection of the tree shape and that that can come in very handy if you want to apply certain effects just to the tree alone or just to the background alone. So, um, going a little bit off of my usual process for this one, but that the tree sort of deserved to be its own tone category here, so you can see it started to outline it without just on the background layer. But I've made its own layer, and I'm just cutting out a general silhouette for the tree trunk, and I'll actually do the leaves on a different layer as well. For those same reasons, I have some very, very specific ideas in mind for the leaves, and they're actually a focal point is, Well, you can notice everything in this image is is very cool value scheme. It's all kind of greenish blue and in pretty dreary. But that's deliberate. I want the leaves to be this bright, magnificent red eso. I'm sort of saving that for later. I just applied that paint daubs filter emerged the sketch or a copy of the sketch down so that we can still see some of our sketch, but it's all kind of jelled together now and, uh, more unified. And I just starting to paint in some details on the water here and there we go. Just made a copy of the tree layer and flipped it so that we have an instant reflection in the water below. And already this one is kind of coming to life. You can sort of see what I was going for. Ah, little more treatment to the water there, but yeah, the lighting and the color juxtaposition are kind of gonna be big, big selling points in this image. So bear with me in these early phases, it's gonna be very monochromatic and kind of dreary, but that that's all for contrast. When we had those bright red leaves later on, it's really gonna shine. So just adding some foreground elements here that I was thinking some kind of like mushrooms in the bottom right corner there. But I think I eventually revised that as well, Um, a little bit more color treatment and just like in others are other scene. It's just sort of ah feel feel it out as Ugo type of Ah, process. Um, I'm keeping where the actual tree sits in the image behind it is fairly dark. You've got that rather bright spot on the cliffs to the right. Those will be sort of a secondary focus. But I wanted to be sort of dark behind the tree because again, those red leaves that we have planned for later. I want those to really pop on a relatively dark background. Excuse me. Eso pinging in their little walkway I've got in the corner along with that being a neat little element to invite exploration or just Teoh be a cool little I don't know a point of interest. It's also got a compositional roll. It's sort of frames in that that half or that that side of the the image, so that the eye doesn't just sort of wander off that side of the page. It's sort of focuses things back in towards the tree, and, as you can see the walkways leaning in of that also sort of gesturing towards the tree. So once again using using elements in our composition to try and reinforce the focal points that they were trying to establish here and just painting in some cliffs, And, uh, this happened totally by accident. But I made that sort of circular shape, and you can see me pause here because suddenly occurs to me that that looks kind of like an archway. And I had intended this to be entirely a natural looking cave. But suddenly I've got the idea that this could be some kind of cool, dilapidated chamber to some kind of ah palace built into this underground cliff system. I don't know that that idea just sort of occurred to me during the rendering. So this is a great example of of sort of those happy accident moments when something you hadn't planned on just occurs to you as you're painting. And, uh, this ends up being one of my favorite parts of this image. Is this whole new spin on the concept Reminded me of that awesome castle in. I think it was the last Crusade Indiana Jones movie. The one where the Holy Grail is. It was sort of built into a cliff, and actually, I think that that is a real place. But I forget where in the world that is. But something like that is what I was kind of suddenly steering this towards Maybe this is an underground palace in this, uh, this inner sanctum is is what it's protecting. Maybe this tree has very special significance, or it's ah, place of power. You know, something like that. Just start thinking like an adventure video game, and, um and these things can really take off for you. So lots of possibilities that we can go with here. So I'm starting to make these sort of dilapidated ruins of ah, of an old medieval type fortress all sort of crumbling and maybe half sticking out of the water. I've got what looks like a a crumbled column hanging off of there, and there are some other columns near that arch archway that are sort of falling apart. So again, the video game angle. But that could be something that the character has to jump from one to the other to get up to that spot or things like, you know, little platform in game elements like that didn't really fit well and just, uh, just sort of starting toe. Add in some detail here. But once we get to our photo texture step, we will, of course, take that quite a bit further. So just putting some highlights on my foreground element kind of pile of bricks here is well, and, uh, doing a little detail ing on some of those those foreground framing elements that I've got set up just sort of Ah, a step by step process. And is I said before this does say, take some time. But, um really, that that's sort of the blessing of the whole thing is, uh, it it isn't nearly as intimidating when you just think of it is one step at a time. If you look a final finished painting and you look at your blank canvas, you think, My goodness, how am I ever going to get from from here to there? But just trust in this general process and you will get there, but just it takes some works. As you can see here, I'm probably on on our and 1/2 in this point, but just keep at it and work through the parts and sort of trust in your idea and and follow those those leads as they come. Little happy accidents just allowed that stuff to happen organically in your image can really benefit from it. So just doing a little bit of, ah, retooling the value, the color scheme a bit here, that was an attempt. But then I remembered that I wanted to do the the juxtaposition of the bright red versus the dark green. So I gave up on that. Now I'm just going to start painting in the leaves on this tree to see how how that idea is panning out. So, um, just kind of doing some broad brushstrokes mixed with some little small tick marks. I don't have a special brush or any kind of cheat for painting leaves. I just kind of do it, sort of Ah, graphically for lack of a better term, just I make them kind of broad, solid shapes and then just sort of start cutting out little leafy groups. And I think it's kind of a nice effect. It's not photo realistic by any means, but it's a kind of a cool, um, graphic design kind of feel to it that I really like, and it usually juxtaposes well with the other more realistic stuff. So I did a shadow color first, and now I'm coming over the top with a much brighter highlight. Red, Um and you can see it kind of makes those leave seem very. I guess the leaf group shape seemed very round and three dimensional, like there, curving around the tree. And that's Ah, it's exactly what we want And that Red is really accomplishing what I wanted it to in terms of color scheme. That's Ah, this is already a pretty interesting image to look at just because of that cool juxtaposition all those very cold colors in the environment. And then, ah, this bright, brilliant red, you know, just makes you wonder how on earth this tree came to be. And what six. What's its significance? Things like that. So it's certainly doing its job for us in terms of being an interesting possible environment for a video game. Tons of ah gameplay opportunities. If you notice I just actually flipped the entire leaf layer, and I'm coming to a decision here on what I want to do. It actually occurred to me that the light source should becoming possibly from the upper left of the screen so that it's casting light over towards that archway. But even if that's a bit of a cheat. What I really wanted to do was have the leaves in the darker side of that. That image, those leaves should be brighter so that they pop against that dark background. You can see me going back and forth just to make sure I do like that. This is a decision, but that's what I end up going with. I like how the brightest leaves are against the darker part of the background. So if you can seek out ways Teoh to find those opportunities for contrast that can. Ah, it's always a nice a nice thing to accomplish it, including your image. But it won't always work out. You can't force these things, but when those opportunities present themselves, by all means take advantage. And, uh, I really do like that better, it's you can have a good sense of light source. And even though the highlight is in the darker part of the image, it it still makes some sense that the light could be coming from that that corner. So just adding some detail to the tree trunk itself here, um, using the smudge tool to just kind of pull out some some little twisty route or branch shapes here, just toe. Give it some more interest. But, um, I think the leaves air certainly doing the bulk of that work for us. But that's ah, cool part about these bonds. I type trees is the nor Lee twisty branches that they have and just ah, darkening some of the leaves so that so that they sit back in the background. And I'm actually a racing away little holes where my brush strokes look a little too chunky . I'll go back and just erase in some details just to make the contours, um, more interesting and more leaf like. But, um, again, I kind of like this. Look for the leaves, where it's it's pretty graphic and, uh, and simple, adding some highlight on the tree here. But I think I forgot about my decision to switch the light source because, as you can see, putting the brightest lights near the archway. But then I remember here, um, so now the light source is consistent with the leaves that I'm painting in here. And as you'll notice, I'm kind of trying to make my, uh, my highlight on the tree trunk kind of splotchy is if the light was filtering through those leaves. Just an interesting detail. I'm including there. And if you dio have ah leafy tree and your is a focal point of whatever idea you're working on that that's a neat trick to try and incorporate is that filtered light through the lead ? 14. Magic Tree Scene - Part 2: So just tous, actually just making sure that there's not a better color for those leaves and obscuring it just a little bit orange. But then I, uh history brush back so that it's got some red kind of fading into orange. That that modulation is is really nice. Um, always good to to try and have some very subtle gradations in the flavor of your I guess. Ah, the color scheme of your main selling points of your image? A. So you can see that that subtle variation between red and orange it really adds a lot of interest. Putting a little bit of atmosphere on the leaves here is, well, just Teoh. Make it sit back in that environment as well. And presumably there's quite a bit of mist coming off of that pond surface so that that fits here. And, ah, I'm just a cutting out this water's edge to sort of, uh, start making that foreground little sort of pathway that it goes right into the water sort of stand out a bit. I'm starting to toe add some details here, but we're ah, we're sort of getting into the final final stage. We're going to start photo text during soon because I think our values and colors are just about where we want him. It's got a good sense of scale and atmosphere, and, uh, really, at this point, I think it would be OK to show to a client Justus a general idea. But, um, we're gonna take it the distance here and do a full photo texture ring and then a final Ah , final, final, you know, level of finish and polish on this to make it completely. Ah, ready. So decided that I didn't particularly like those, uh, those footsteps. But here are my photos. I've got a collection of photos from a ah family member, took a trip to Europe and took all these great architectural photos for me. So, as you can see, I'm just dropping those in to a photo texture folder layer group. Now I have got that layer group set on soft light, and this is very important. So one by one, I'm putting those into that folder so that they're switched into soft light blending mode, and then you can see I'm just sort of transforming them around and copying them, finding different places to make these all work out, and it just starts giving some really nice texture and tooth to this image and ah, thes brick patterns that are over in these. These ancient buildings in Europe are perfect for this kind of thing. So is always I certainly encourage you to use your your own photography for this type of thing. I know, Ah, trip to Europe isn't in the cards for all of us That was fortunate to have a family member who could loan these to me. But I think a lot of us can can usually find photos that way. So I would certainly encourage that it's, ah, a lot more fun when you have your own stuff. So just putting some rocky elements back in the background. But, um, a lot of this ends up being dialed way back and just sort of, ah, just sort of erased away. But it's all good Teoh to give the image Cem, Samora tooth and grain equality. The more interest your image has, and I guess, texture in the background, the less digital and, um airbrushed it will seem, and that's that's always a danger we have to keep in mind. Is digital artists is We don't want our work at the end of the day to look extremely digital and photo shop e that airbrush e highly digital look is always, always a sure sign of an amateur. And, um, you know, some something we all have to suffer through with the growing pains of becoming a digital artist. But this, uh, this technique will go a long way towards helping you avoid avoid those pitfalls. And, ah, I've got the really nice brick wall texture on this little collection of ah, crumbling foreground bricks here eso that that's working very well just distorting that a bit to make it fit the perspective and using my clone stamp a lot as I usually do. It's ah s is your keyboard shortcut for that one? Do a little paint dubbed Filter on that one. And, uh, that's not really showing up on the screen cast. But we've discussed the details of that and earlier steps. So I'm sure you all have a pretty good idea of what's going on there and just trying to clone in some other stuff. But no one ends up not really working out too well in that part eso just cutting these up just sort of paced him around and and see where they work for you. And, uh, you know, it's just sort of a feel your way through kind of process. They're, ah, some bricks that have some stains on them that I thought would look really nice around that arch waste. That's what I'm trying to get out of that photo right there, and I do end up grabbing a little bit. It's just got that great, dilapidated old underground castle look that I'm going for. That's a pretty specific look, but just ah, just sort of fine tuning all these textures that air that air dropped in and you can see my folders probably looks like kind of a mess because everything's been copied so much. But it is long as it's all inside of that photo texture layer group than it'll all work out . So it'll keep everything on the right blending mode and always nice to have ah have things in a layer group just to keep things organized. When you do have to have, ah, quite a few layers going on at once. And of course, once we get things generally how we we want them. We can go ahead and and just flatten everything, and we'll do that in later steps. So I'm just, uh, just copying that that brick texture. Actually, that one was sort of working the best, this little group of bricks here. So, uh, I really take that and run with it, you know, ran the risk of over doing it. Possibly. But if you change the scale a lot, it doesn't. Doesn't really look like something you've copied a 1,000,000 times. And it, uh, it can really sit well in the background. So, as you can see, this is really starting to take on a nice, rich and certainly more realistic textured look. So these photo textures air certainly doing their job for us. And I've, ah, I've merged the background into its own zone group. And then, just like in our first painting now, I use the clone stamp a lot. I'll just find ah, little areas of texture on the page that I like. And this is really maybe my favorite part of this process is you can just start painting in details. It's ah, just like you're Ah, you're painting in real life, but, uh, you're just sampling areas from the other page, so other other parts of the page. So as you paint that in your ah, you're repeating that texture, it doesn't become just flat photoshopped paint. But you get Teoh bring all the texture with it as well. And that's Ah, that's one of my favorite parts of this. This technique is, if you suddenly can, can have such an unbelievable amount of detail because every little brush stroke you make your carrying all of the detail and texture from the other part of the page with it, too. And if you ah if you're careful with it, it doesn't look all ah, repeated And, uh, you know, tiled, I guess, for lack of a better word. But, um, you use good discretion there. And don't be afraid to go back to the brush tool and painting some details like these bricks. I'm painting by hand here just to give it a more very look, um, but that that clone step is extremely handy, and it can really give your your image a head to toe, uh, really polished look, and not very much time you can see this. This part of it really starts moving fast. Things start really coming together. It's It's certainly an exciting part of the process. It's it's the payoff. Um, just adding some little details here to that archway just now. That's gonna be a main point of interests, probably the secondary focal point after the tree itself. So I want to make sure that that's looking pretty sharp and will hold up to scrutiny just painting in some more little crumbled brick details around the archway as well. Just toe back up the whole dilapidated. You know, no one's been here in centuries kind of vibe that it fits so well in an adventure game. Or or what have you, uh, wanted to put a little more detail on that column that fell over into the water? Thought that was. That's possibly the third point of interest on our hierarchy and just putting some details on that. But I want that to really fade into the mist and wanted to be kind of mysterious back there , putting in some sort of blue reflected lights on some of those columns just to give them a little more dimension and ah, cloning in some brick texture on the side of that stairwell. And, ah, just like that, that really looks like a believable, solid staircase that, uh, potentially our character can walk up and maybe get out of this big, cavernous pit once he is solve the riddle of the magic tree or whatever the narrative might be. But plenty of ah of opportunities for for the game developers toe have some fun with this and come up with some story elements and even some gameplay elements. The platform ing stuff. Or maybe you have to swing on one of these vines or, uh, solve some way to get over to the the island of the where the tree is. So just fun things like that to keep in mind while you're coming up with these ideas and even as the image is taking shape, Um, it's it's Our job, after all, is to create interesting stories for, ah, for entertainment markets, and, um, you know, if it's something you would want to go check out, then you're doing your job well. But if it just seems boring or pointless or or doesn't really make sense than you may need to explore the idea a little bit more until it's more solid. And, uh, you know that that's the beauty of photo shop is. You can always save something even if it's ah doesn't seem like it's working. Just set it aside. Come back in a little while and, um, and the idea might might suddenly jump out at you are. You could just rework large parts of it. You don't really lose anything. The digital medium is infinitely re workable, and that's Ah, that's really why it's It's the forefront of the industry right now. Eso just doing a little bit more clone stamp detail work and ah, and we're really getting there. This thing is getting very close to a finish state. We'll get to our final Polish steps pretty soon, but, um, just sort of doing the fun stuff right now, adding in details and, um, making this seem is ah, rich in realistic and interesting is as I possibly can, so use every trick you've gotten in your bag. And, um, this is when your image can really start to shine. Once the idea is solid and your values composition and your colors are solid, it's time to just kind of have fun with it and make it is ah is visually polished and beautiful as you can. That's ah, you know, the idea has to be there, but, um, it also you need your artistic skills to be able to sell the idea. So this is really a fun part once, Ah, you've got the hard stuff settled. Um, then you can just really cut loose on the whole idea and just start rendering. And that's that's really the fun part for May. So, um, changing the lay of the land just a little bit Thought I wanted that path to sort of curve down and around a little bit, sort of rounding things out just a tad, but not a huge change, but just oughta. There's that sort of strange little area in the middle that I I wanted to rework a bit. So even at this late stage feel Frito change your composition a little bit if you need to, Um, and I'm adding a little bit of atmosphere. There's little staggered pillars. Need to sit back just a bit from that foreground pile of bricks There. That's what I'm doing there. And in just some last minute value correction and a little more detail ing and, uh, we're almost there. I think I'm gonna add a few special effects. And in just a moment, Teoh really make this thing pop a sort of a final step. Um, but we're getting there. Excuse me. So emerged this once again, and, ah, I'm putting a little bit of brick texture on the little stone steps that are sort of the roots of the tree or growing out of, and ah, I I didn't do a layer group. I just made this a single soft light layer just cause I'm only using it for the tree here, but, uh, one of those bricks that looked realistic as well I'd kind of forgotten about the brick steps under the tree when I was doing the photo texture layer. So just sort of backtracking a bit here and certainly want the tree to have Ah, I have enough, you know, textured toe, hold up with the rest of the image. Um, I'm attempting one last attempt that the sort of stepping stone type idea. I thought I'd try some little pillars that you might have to hop on, but I trashed that. I I just thought it was cooler having the tree sort of isolated and by itself. And maybe the ah point of the game at this point is you have to figure out a way over there . Who knows? Some guy on a boat brings you across or something like that. I thought it was more mysterious without the stepping stones. So now I'm gonna add in some volumetric light. I'm just painting some very bright rays of light. And I'm just doing a motion blur filter. You just go to blur motion blur, and I'm distorting that a bit. And just like that instant drama, we've got some beams of light radiating down from from wherever. The opening of this cavern is, um, and trying a few things here too. Make it brighter. I end up copying the layer and sort of masking it out. I wanted it to be brightest right over that. That group of leaves in the, uh, in the top left here. But that's really working. Well, uh, like that a lot. So, um, doing a little bit more detail ing jumping back to the steps under the tree. And the little brick walkway kind of had that brick brick walkway kind of going back and forth. Just thought that would be more interesting than a straight staircase up to the top. Of course, you wanted to seem ancient and decaying, you know, presumably the routes air busting all those stones up. And, um, you know, you want this place to seem centuries old and very mysterious. So that's Ah, that's the thinking there. And just just picking out some details. Gonna paint in some little cracks on the step. Just ah, little one pixel detail ing fun stuff to do with the very end can certainly help. Help sell the the image doing a very light blend on the leaves just so that the edges aren't quite so cut out, but not too much. I kind of like that cut out look and just a tiny, tiny bit more detail ing here and then we'll go back. Teoh. Special effect. Now I'm gonna do some debris in the air, particularly in the rays of light. I've got that scatter brush that just sort of sprays little circular brush strokes. Um, so as you can see, it's just a bunch of those tiny little dots like particles of dust that you see an array of light sometimes that always really gives your image a nice sense of, ah, of just being a riel air environment. I guess, for lack of a better term, I thought it puts him, Ah, leaves falling here. Just Teoh kind of give Cem animations and visual movement here because it is a very still image. Um, tried a bunch of things here, and usually this is a good kind of thing to include, but, uh, actually end up scrapping it. Sort of like the stillness and the serenity of this this image. So, um, I didn't really make that a focal point. Plus it it sort of suggested that the tree might be dying or, uh, early, you know, losing its leaves. And I didn't really want to go there. So I dialed that effect way back and is another detail. I'm just putting some little white ripples of water. I've just got a sort of a squashed circle shape, horizontal type, brush, liken. Cut those lines across. And I'm doing a motion blur on those as well, just to make them perfectly horizontal because obviously water this still is perfectly flat . You don't want it toe look like it's curving or sloped in anyway. So that's what the motion blur accomplishes for me. There is is it pulls things perfectly horizontal and makes that look like some really still mirrored water. So getting very close to the end here. I've switched my brush to color Dodge now, and I'm just ah, really making that, uh, that group of leaves in the upper right just shine. I wanted to leap off the page because that that is the focal point, and, uh, brightening up a few areas around the images. Well, just Teoh give it some interest. And normally I would just do this with flat gray, but I thought this was actually a pretty de saturated image, So I'm I'm using some other colors. So here's a final look. I think this came together really nicely, and I hope you enjoy this sort of tied the whole process together and hope you enjoy this course