Painting Environments - Creating Concept Art Worlds with Photoshop | Hardy Fowler | Skillshare

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Painting Environments - Creating Concept Art Worlds 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.



    • 3.



    • 4.

      Depth & Scale


    • 5.

      Atmospheric Perspective


    • 6.

      Mood & Story


    • 7.



    • 8.

      Custom Brushes


    • 9.

      Custom Shapes


    • 10.

      Rendering Skies


    • 11.

      Rendering Trees & Foliage


    • 12.

      Rendering Rocks & Mountains


    • 13.

      Rendering Water


    • 14.

      Project Briefs


    • 15.

      Project 1 - Hidden Path - Sketch & Rough Color


    • 16.

      Project 1 - Hidden Path - Refined Color


    • 17.

      Project 1 - Hidden Path - Texture & Polish


    • 18.

      Project 2 - Epic Valley - Thumbnails


    • 19.

      Project 2 - Epic Valley - Rough Color


    • 20.

      Project 2 - Epic Valley - Refined Color


    • 21.

      Project 2 - Epic Valley - Final Polish


    • 22.

      Project 3 - Ironwood Forest - Concept


    • 23.

      Project 3 - Ironwood Forest - Rough Color


    • 24.

      Project 3 - Ironwood Forest - Adding Detail


    • 25.

      Project 3 - Ironwood Forest - Texture


    • 26.

      Project 3 - Ironwood Forest - Final Polish


    • 27.

      Course Recap


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About This Class

Welcome to Painting Environments. My name is Hardy Fowler and I am a professional illustrator and concept artist. I’m calling on all artists out there with a passion for creating worlds - if you’ve ever dreamed of making a career out of  this, I’m here to tell you that the dream is real. You can make a living doing this!

All you need is a killer portfolio to launch you into an amazingly fun and rewarding career. 

This course can get you there. I’ll show you all of my professional level techniques and tricks that will demystify the entire process of create stunning environments and landscapes with Adobe Photoshop. This stuff is way easier than it looks! In an easy to grasp, step by step process, I’ll share all of my digital painting techniques and custom tools that will have you amazed at how stunning, expansive and detailed your scenes can be!

But this course is so much more than just a painting demonstration. We’ll teach you everything you need to know to start thinking like a professional environment designer. To tie it all together, we offer responsive support and loads of other course resources to make sure that every student can take their work to new heights.

Don’t miss your chance to create worlds. You can do this! It just might lead to a dream career. Enroll today, grab your stylus and let’s paint cool stuff.

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

Level: Intermediate

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1. Trailer: welcome to painting environments. My name is Hardy Fowler, and I'm a professional illustrator in concept artist. I'm calling on all artists out there with a passion for creating worlds. If you've ever dreamed of making a career out of this, I'm here to tell you that the dream is really you could make a living doing this. All you need is a killer portfolio tow launch you a noon, amazingly fun and rewarding career. This course can get you there. I'll show you all of my professional level techniques and tricks that will demystify the entire process of creating stunning environments and landscapes. With Adobe Photo Sha This stuff is way easier than you might think. In an easy to grasp, step by step process, I'll share all of my digital painting techniques and custom tools. Have you amazed at how stunning, expansive in detail your scenes can be? But this course is so much more than just a painting. Demonstration will teach you everything you need to know to start thinking like a professional environment designer to tie it all together, we offer responsive support and loads of other course. Resource is to make sure that every student can take their work to new heights. Don't miss your chance to create worlds. You could do this. It just might lead to a dream career. So enrolled today. Grab your stylists and let's paint cool stuff. 2. Introduction: Hi, everyone. This is Hardy and welcome to painting environments. This is gonna be a super fun and super valuable course for any artist. So get on you for signing up. I've got some real game changing techniques to share here that will make new levels of awesome work possible for any artist. Let's check out some prerequisites for this course. You definitely need to have completed art fundamentals and Photoshopped fundamentals before getting to this point for this course will assume that you're comfortable with basic art principles and photo shop operations. Most of what we'll do in this course is in the intermediate skill level range. But we're gonna take things one step at a time, so no one should worry about being out of their death environment. Painting is a super cool skill toe have, with the techniques will learn. In this course, you'll be creating worlds in no time. The best part is you can really make a living doing this. Landscape painting is a timeless and chair start form that will always have a market. And as for concept art, all kinds of entertainment industry clients create a huge demand for artists who can imagine and render beautiful environment concepts thes air skills that you can really bank on and they will make you much more valuable is an art professional. Let's take a look at the course outline The lectures Ahead will focus on concepts and theories to get you thinking like an environment artist. These include environment painting over Butte, depth and scale, mood and story and composition. Once we've covered those subjects, I want to share some special photo shop tools and techniques that will make environment painting way easier than you might think. Custom brushes and custom shapes. After exploring these tools, I'll show you my specific complete techniques for rendering each of the main elements you'll find in an environment fading will do specific rendering exercises for skies, trees and vegetation, water and finally, rocks and mountains from there will put all of this knowledge to use with three awesome environment painting projects that will simulate riel world paid assignments. I'm really excited to share this course with you guys, and there's a lot to dig into. So kick back, grab your stylist and let's bring some amazing worlds toe life 3. Overview: Oh, hi, everyone, This is Hardy in this lecture will take a broad look at the art of environment painting and discuss some key guiding principles. Most of what we'll learn in this course can apply to either more traditional landscape paintings or environment concept art now traditional landscape paintings, as they have been for centuries, our artistic representations of the natural world as it exists in reality. Basically, the artist is capturing the beauty of nature that we can all observe in the real world. These images air typically created is fine art to be enjoyed his beautiful, standalone work. On the other hand, environment concept Art is an imaginative depiction of a fictional world that is based on real world analog thes images. Air typically created is cool looking concept art or promotional illustrations for video games or movie client, just to name a few. The cool sounding name for this world is world creation, and it's not much of an exaggeration. The rial fund of environment concept art is that you can push the boundaries of reality, scale, color and structure can all be exaggerated to come up with truly epic, all inspiring images for the player or viewer's imagination to explore these two disciplines, air very close cousins and require many of the same skills to pull off well. We'll focus a bit more on concept art, but after finishing this course, you'll have all of the tools you need to do either, like a professional before we move on to the actual concepts and techniques of environment art. Let's ask ourselves, how do we define success? What do both landscapes and environment concepts need to look cool? Well, here's a checklist of core goals to keep in mind, regardless of its intended purpose. All great environment art should have the following depth and scale. This is a big one. All environment art needs to feel huge and deep. You need your viewer to feel like they are a tiny speck in an enormous, majestic world. The viewer should be able to check out a close up detail in the foreground and then let their eyes sore out to infinity in the vast distance that you'll create. I have lots of really cool techniques on how to create this effect to share with you, and it will be a recurring theme throughout this course. Strong sense of mood. This is the emotional resonance that your image should inspire in your viewer. Does the environment look cheerful or gloomy, Inviting or foreboding? Color choices and contrast play the biggest roles in determining this. But every detail you include should serve to support the mood and feeling you're hoping to inspire. So make sure you really give that some thought at the beginning of your project. It will be a guiding light story. Every environment that we create should tell an interesting story. This could be very subtle. Just a suggestion of background narrative told through little details in our image. Make the viewer want to know more about where they are, What has happened here, who might live here if we can spark the viewer's imagination just a little and make them want to spend some time in the worlds that we create in are, images could start to take on a life of their own beautiful rendering. Now this one is a bit of a no brainer, but it does bear pointing out our environment. Paintings need to be beautiful to behold and well composed, even if we have great depth, mood and story. If our rendering is handled poorly. No one will pay attention long enough for your work to be appreciated fully. We'll go over some specific techniques to make sure that every rock, tree, river and mountain that you render will shine. You won't believe what you're able to achieve, so that's a good idea of the broad strokes of environment art. Keep these general guiding principles in mind as we move forward and you'll be off to a great start. 4. Depth & Scale: Oh, hi, everyone. This is Hardy. In this section, we will take a look at one of the most important concepts and environment art, the illusion of depth and scale. Creating a sense of hugeness is one of the best ways to make an environment painting memorable and all inspire. So this lesson is gonna be super valuable. Be sure to check out the perspective Infographic attached to this lecture. It's a super handy cheat sheet for the general concepts. It will go over here. Okay, let's discuss several key ways to achieve a sense of depth. Thes are vanishing point, linear perspective, layering and scale, surface compression and atmospheric perspective. Obviously, there's a lot to unpack here, so let's dive right in. Let's start with Vanishing Point linear perspective. This is when we use straight lines converging at a vanishing point on the horizon to create the illusion of depth and its simplest form, which is one point perspective. There is a single vanishing point in our image where all parallel lines converge. Artists create thes perspective grids is underlying guidelines for the environments that they sketch. Here is a simple line drawing to help illustrate this concept, all of the parallel orthogonal lines in the image converge in a single vanishing point on the horizon. Even in this simple example of a cube, you could see how powerful this concept is. Taking this concept a step further, you can set up multiple vanishing points. Here is a look at another queue, but this time we have to perspective vanishing points to describe it in three dimensions. It gives a cube a bit more complexity and realism. Almost a cinematic quality. Three point perspective is the furthest degree to which you can take this vanishing point concept. It is most commonly used for cityscapes like this one, or images where there needs to be a strong sense of both depth and height in this image. Not only do we have converging perspective lines, giving us a sense of depth in two planes, but the lines created by the building's converge as they go upwards. It creates a really dizzying sense of height, makes the building see massive and towering. Let's zoom out and take a look at all three vanishing points and the perspective grids that come from. We have three vanishing points, one for each axis, and it creates a really powerful sense of three dimensions. Now is a great time for you to do some perspective grid exercises with Photoshopped to start experimenting with these concepts. Photoshopped makes construction of these grids incredibly easy here, the techniques that I most commonly used. You can turn off shape dynamics on your brush editor and hold down shift to make perfectly straight lines. Once you have your vanishing point determined, all you have to do is use this shift clicking technique to do line after line until the entire canvases filled with converging lines. Super easy. Another great way to make a quick perspective grid is to repeatedly copy a single line and then distort the copies together. Let's check out how to do this. I'll draw a single straight line by holding down Shift, which makes you brush tool, either go perfectly vertically or horizontally. Once I have this line, I'll switch to the move to which is V on your keyboard shortcut. If I hold down Ault and shift when I move this line, it will automatically make a copy. From there, I'll merge this new layer down so that I have both lines on one layer Now I can repeat this process. Two lines become 44 lines become eight and so on until I have very quickly created an entire page of parallel lines in practically no time at all. Isn't Photoshopped awesome? Now we just hit command T to bring up the free transform function. Hit control, and it gives you more transform options I like to use distort for this. Once we have hit Distort, you can modify these bars out on the edges, and you can distort the entire array of lines into any perspective. Plane that you want. Photo shop is automatically keeping the lines parallel and in perspective so that you don't have to plot out each line on the vanishing point. Very handy. Shortcut. Give this a try or feel free to download the layered perspective Grid file. If you'd like a template next, let's check out the concept of layering and scale. Simply put, this principle states that objects that are nearest appear larger and will cover up more distant objects. This is very useful for creating the illusion of depth when we have multiple similar objects in our image. If the viewer can assume that the objects air roughly the same size, like the people in this image, that all we have to do is make them smaller and smaller as they recede into the distance, and it will create a powerful illusion of depth. The layering of these objects, where the nearer ones cover up the more distant ones, makes this effect even more compelling. Now let's check out the concept of surface compression. This is where we make surface details on the planes that we define compress as they recede in our image. A cobblestone path is a perfect example. The stones in the foreground seemed quite round, but as they recede into the distance, if we start to squash them so that they seem flatter and more numerous, it creates the illusion of depth. We can use this concept to make things seem round as well. Let's take a look at a circle with this pattern of smaller circles. Inside looks pretty flat, right? Like a pizza. Well, if we start to compress the circles out near the edges of our main shape, making them flatter and more numerous than suddenly, this circle starts to look very spherical in three dimensional. Apply this concept to a tree trunk or a column on a building and you'll be amazed by the results you get. Okay, so that's a basic look at some great devices to create the illusion of depth up. Next, we'll take this a step further. 5. Atmospheric Perspective: Oh, how everyone This is hardy. In this lecture, we will discuss atmospheric perspective. This concept is part of depth and scale, but since it's possibly my favorite tool for creating the illusion of depth and because it's so powerful, it deserves its own dedicated video. So atmospheric perspective. This is where we put darker objects with higher contrast in the foreground, and we put lighter objects with less contrast in the distance. Simply put, things get lighter as they get farther away because there is more air or atmosphere between the viewer's eye in the distant object. This is an incredibly powerful tool to give your images a sense of depth and distance. Let me show you a quick exercise. To demonstrate this concept, I've set up a layered file with some black silhouettes of some landscape features. These air split up into four levels of death, a foreground showing some trees close up with a lot of fine detail. A near middle showing trees in the forest floor slightly farther back, Ah, far middle, showing a rolling hill with treetops and finally a far distance, showing a mountain with only vague outlines of trees lining its contour. Now when we make all of these layers visible, even though everything is black because of the different scale, we can sort of tell which objects are closer and which are farther away in the distance. But we're gonna make this depth effect much, much more powerful by using value to give the image atmospheric perspective. Let's start with our far distance layer. I'm going to hit command you to do a hue saturation adjustment. I'll adjust the lightness of this layer so that it's a pretty high value of very light grey , almost white. Next, I'll do a similar adjustment to the far middle layer, the rolling tree lined hill. This time I won't lighten it quite so much. I wanted to be a few steps darker than the mountain in the distance. You can probably already see where I'm going. With this. I'll do one more adjustment to the near middle layer so that it is a dark grey distinct from the black will leave on the foreground layer. Isn't that amazing? How deep and interesting this image suddenly looks? All because we've used value to give it atmospheric perspective. In fact, even though this images on Lee silhouettes with absolutely no interior rendering on any of the forms, it practically has a sense of being an entirely believable realized landscape. That's how powerful atmospheric perspective and silhouettes can be when defining your environment painting. Let's check out a really beautiful video game that makes great use of this concept. It's a platformer that came out a while back, called Limbo by play Dead. This entire game is black and white and uses nothing but silhouettes and atmospheric perspective. Check out how descriptive and rich and beautiful all of these environments look. They're amazing. Use this concept to give your environments, other natural landscapes or vast cities, incredible death and interest. With this one simple trick, let's jump back to our exercise and take this one small step further. Before we finish up, I'm going to create a few layers in between the ones that we already have. Let's name each one of these new layers missed. Now, with a soft round brush, I'm going to very subtly paint in some soft glows two spaces between our landscape layers. This will look like mist settling in the low points of our landscape. Now it doesn't have to look like a super foggy day. But if you add this effect with some subtlety, if you give just small hints of thicker air or atmosphere in these spaces between the layers of landscape, it becomes very natural looking and starts making the three dimensional space even more tangible and believable. We can also add some bloom effects, as if the sun were shining through the tree branches. You can even imply a subtle Gaussian blur filter to your foreground layer to give it a really cool depth of field effect. Feel free to download this layered file if you'd like to play with adjusting the lightness of each layer and perhaps keeps in practice to painting the mist in the spaces between. I've also worked up a cityscape version of this exact same concept. The principles and techniques are identical, and you can see how the illusion of depth and scale is just is powerful. Regardless of the subject or setting. These are a lot of fun to create, and they take very little time since you don't have to worry about any interior rendering, so take a crack at creating your own. I hope you found this principle helpful. It's really one of my favorites, and I think you're really gonna love using it in our course projects later on. 6. Mood & Story: Oh, everyone, this is Hardy. In this lecture, we will discuss mood and story. This is how to make your environment are resonate with your viewer on an emotional level, Mood and story are very interconnected. Environment are, but let's try to address them one at a time, starting with mood In order for any work of art to be successful, it has to evoke a feeling in the viewer. We want the environments that we create to feel like a living, breathing place that our viewers can occupy in their imagination. So how do we do that? It all starts with early decision making. At the beginning of a project. Decide on the mood and feeling that you want your scene to evoke and make all of your design decisions around that build up from the desired mood. If you want your image to be gloomy or foreboding, try a dark or muted color scheme. Perhaps make it cold or raining or have dead looking trees. If you want to make something seem idyllic or evoke happy feelings, use bright colors, warm shadows and make things seem alive and hopeful. Mood is one of those big picture concepts that we need to decide early on in our process. Now let's talk about story in a way. Visual storytelling is what all art is meant to do, but it is especially important and environment art. The implied narrative that the viewer gets from our image can really engage them and draw them into your world. Now, this doesn't mean you have to spell out a sequence of events in every image, but we want to create a sense of wonder. Make the viewer want to explore your world. Here's some great general ways to tell a visual story With your environment are signs of life. This is a fun one. Show your viewers that people inhabit your world, even if none are visible now. You can literally include a character in your scene, but you don't have to. In fact, sometimes it's better to imply the presence of people rather than show them directly. So it'll clues like smoke coming out of the chimney or a light shining in a distant window , an old fence in a forest or a small foot bridge going over a river. Little details like this make your image very human and relatable to your viewer What happened here. This is a great big picture question to ask yourself when determining this story. You want to tell what events lead up to this moment that we're seeing in your world. An old rickety barn in a field or a fallen tree with its roots exposed. Things like this give us lots of back story about what has happened in your world leading up to this moment where the viewer is invited in Something is simple is a puddle on a sunny day could show us that it might have reined assure. While ago. These subtle hints at narrative are all that you need. I find that it's better to show a tiny clue and then let the viewer fill in all of the details in their own imagination. It's a powerful way to make your image resonate. Paths to explore. This must be the video game fan in me, but I love to show paths in places to explore in my environment art. Now these can literally be foot paths or roads or more indirect paths, like a clearing between trees. It looks like a cool place to explore in video game concept. Are our main job is to create somewhere that will be a fun, three dimensional environment to play around in. So we want to really lead the eye around our image and invite the viewer to come and get lost in our world. Get these ideas in mind as you start any environment project and you'll really enjoy the results you get. 7. Composition: Oh, hi, everyone, This is Hardy. In this lecture, we will take a quick look at composition. Basically, composition is the way that we placed objects and divide spaces in our scenes in a way that is pleasing to the eye. College and art school can devote entire semesters to this subject, but this will be a quick set of easy to remember tools to gadji. Composition guides can sound very concrete in mathematical, but it's very important to remember that these air only guidelines your own. I is the best judge of what looks good, so go with your gut first and foremost. Okay, that being said, let's check out to handy time honored guides for composition, the rule of thirds and the golden ratio. With the rule of thirds, we divide our Candace into three equal sections, both vertically and horizontally like this. Now think of the points where these lines intersect as Little Bull's eyes try to put your main focal point Whatever it may be on or very near one of these points. And it will give your image of pleasing composition pretty simple, right? The next guy that will look at is the golden ratio This is that cool mathematical spiral pattern that you may have seen before in movies or on TV. The pattern is based on a ratio of approximately 1 to 1.62 that is one unit high and 1.62 units wide, or vice versa. This was discovered by 1/12 century Italian mathematician named Fibonacci. It's incredibly cool. This ratio occurs in countless places in nature. Spiraling Nautilus shells the inner ear in human anatomy. All kinds of proportional relationships found in nature strangely adhere to this ratio for our purposes. We can use this pattern to help us determine nice looking compositions. Place focal points within that spiral pattern, and you will have a pleasing point of interest every time. You can also try to include elements that lead the eye around. The parking curb of the spiral is, well, anything you can do to send the eye around. The image in a pleasing way will make your composition more solid and interesting. Play around with these guys. It's really fun to apply them to existing artwork and see how often it works out. That these add up before we finish it bears repeating one more time. These air Onley guides don't feel trapped by these numbers. And remember that if it looks good to you than it is. Okay, that's our crash course on composition. Remember these simple tricks and they will serve you well. 8. Custom Brushes: Oh, hi, everyone. This is Hardy. In this section, we will take a look at some amazing ways you can use Photoshopped rushes to get some incredible effects. So far, this course has been pretty heavy on information. It might be starting to feel a little bit like school. So from here on out, a promise it will only be fun stuff. In this lecture, I'll show you the brushes that I use but also walk you through how to make your own before we get too far along in this section. I need to tell you all that there is no magic tool or button that can make great looking art thes special tools that I'll show you how to use our really great. They can help create beautiful effects when used artfully, but use these with great restraint. These tools get addictive and nothing chosen amateur more obviously than a painting full of leaf brush stamps everywhere. Remember that practice and good technique are the surest passed to success in these special tools, namely, custom brushes and custom shapes are just one small part of the well rounded overall skill set that you'll use to create Amazing are okay with that small word of caution. Out of the way, let's check out all the ways we can customize brushes. I've got a pack of very cool brushes that I've developed that are all available for download as a B R files These air really easy to install by clicking on the brush preset picker, clicking the small gear icon and then clicking import brushes. There may be subtle variation in these steps, depending on which version of photo shop you have, but the basics are all the same. I'll also show you how to make your own custom brushes in this election. Let's go over some brush basics. Hit F five Any time you want to bring up the brush editor, each brush is comprised of a brush tip shape, which we can inspect in this first window. Lots of brush shapes here, but for now, let's just check out a simple circle. We can edit this size of the brush tip shape, either by sliding this size bar or by hitting the bracket keys up or down to enlarge or shrink any brush. Here, you'll also find the shape roundness editor. This lets us either flatten out or even rotate the shape of our brush to this could be nice . If you want to transform a circle into an angled oval for a nice kala graphic effect, see how nicely that works. I'll return this brush to its previous shape, and next we'll check out how these handles can edit hardness and spacing hardness. Onley applies to this basic round brush. If we reduce the hardness, the edges of the brush gets soft and less defined. This is really nice if you want to do some soft airbrush work. If you hold down, shift and hit the bracket keys, you can edit the brush hardness on the fly. A super handy shortcut. Spacing is another interesting shape adjustment we can make. Photo shop is actually stamping down your brush tip shape in rapid sequence. Every time you draw a line, the spacing editor controls how often those stamps air happening. The default is usually 25% and this is enough to give the impression of a continuous line unless you're zoomed way, way in. If you increase the spacing, you can see it starts making your continuous line look more like a series of dots. These effects can be cool to try. So certainly play around with this if you want. I rarely have any need to put the spacing below 25% and it can cost processor lag time in your brush work. If you do. Okay, that's about it for the brush tip shape editor. Now let's look at some of the amazing jitters and other effects we can apply to any brush tip shape. Shape dynamics. This is a very important one. I like to keep control of size jitters set to pin pressure. This gives our lines that great thin to thick control. Depending on how hard we press on our pressure sensitive tablet, we can adjust the size jitter to give our brush some random variation in line thickness. You can also set a minimum brush diameter with this handle if you don't want your lines to taper down too much. Next is angle jitter, which adds rotation to your brush tip shape. And finally we have roundness jitter, which kind of squashes the shape of the brush. Each of these jitters has a drop down to let you choose which factor controls the Jeter. I typically reserved pin pressure from my brush tip size, but you may find other configurations that work better for you. Already. You can start to see the dizzying number of possibilities for each brush tip shape and these air just the Photoshopped defaults. Next, let's take a look at scattering, and I think I'll check these boxes individually because these effects start to get really complex when you stack them on top of one another. Scattering is very cool and pretty self explanatory. With this jitter, you can sort of speckle around your brush tip shape and with scatter count and count jitter , you can control how far out from the center line the shapes occur and how many there are. This could be handy if you want to create a brush for debris or snow or falling leaves, for example, the next one on this list is texture. Actually, don't use this one much, but it lets you a sign and adjust an underlying texture to your brush. This can provide some very cool depth and layering to your work. Very cool stuff. Dual brush can have a similar effect. What this does is subtract away from your brush stroke with a different brush. It's sort of like you're painting with one brush and erasing away parts with another, all in a single brush move. You have full control over which brush tip shape you use for this effect, and you can even find tune it with size, spacing, scatter and count. I really like dual brush because it does a nice job of random izing. Each brushstroke. A problem with a lot of Photoshopped brushes, is that they start to look like the same stamped pattern repeating over and over, which makes it look very phony. And computer generated. Dual brush really helps shake things up and can avoid this effect. Color dynamics is also kind of self explanatory. It lets you assign a jitter to any number of color modifiers, such as hue and brightness. I like to use this when using a brush to paint trees or foliage, you can give your vegetation and I subtle modulation so that it doesn't seem so uniformly green. Finally, we have transfer. This lets you assign a jitter for both flow and opacity so you can modulate the intensity and boldness of your brush work a very nice way to add some randomness and interest to your brush. I always have smoothing, checked, but otherwise I tend to leave these other jitters alone. The best way to familiarize yourselves with how these functions work is to just grab a brush and start messing around with each Jeter. It can lead to some really fun and unexpected results. Now that you understand the basics, let's try to make our own custom brush. Photoshopped makes us really easy for this exercise. Let's make a brush for painting leaves on a tree. First, we'll need to create some shapes. Obviously, these early choices air very important, since this shape will determine what the brush will look like. I'll use black and a round brush to paint a few leaf shapes while I'm creating these. I'm mainly keeping in mind that this collection of shapes will be repeated over and over, so I want them to look fairly random but uniform enough so that there isn't an out liar that is noticeable. Okay, now that I've got these shapes painted in solidly, I'll command click the layer that they are on to create a selection of these pixels. From there, we go to edit, define brush, preset we'll give it a name. And just like that, our new brush tip shape is now visible in our brush library. Pretty cool, right? Our work isn't done yet, Man. Let's start tinkering with all of the jitters that we've just discussed to see if we can make this look like a cool tool in a useful brush for paintings of realistic looking leaves . Okay, so there we have it. You now have the power to create and adjust your own brushes, enjoy this powerful tool and use it artfully to add texture, detail and richness to your work. 9. Custom Shapes: Oh, hi, everyone. This is Hardy. In this lecture, we're gonna look at custom shapes. This is an incredibly powerful tool that I've just learned about recently, and I'm really excited to share this with you. Custom shapes lets you turn any image into a vector stamp tool that you can apply to your artwork because it's vector based. That means you can skew in scale these shapes in any way that you want, and it will not lose pixel resolution here. I'm just using some of the custom shapes that I've made from photos that I've taken just to give you an idea of what this tool does, You can see how quickly these could make a landscape seem incredibly deep and detailed. The possibilities are endless. You can apply a rocky texture and detail entire mountains with just a few clicks and adjustments. You can use tree silhouette shapes and quickly populate an entire forest. Basically, custom shapes can add tremendous depth in detail to your artwork, and it could cause all kinds of happy accidents that God you do ideas you might not have seen otherwise. A super cool tool toe have at your disposal. But like everything else in photo shop. It needs to be used artfully and with some restraint. Okay, let's go over some of the technical aspects of how this tool works, and then I'll show you how to make your own custom shape from a photograph. First of all, custom shape appears is this little blob shape on your toolbar, or you could just hit you as a keyboard shortcut on this first drop down, make sure that it is set to pixels. That's all we really need. For our purposes. You can adjust the blending mode or opacity, but I typically leave those alone at normal and 100% since I mainly end up using the shapes I lay down as selections to paint within afterwards. More on that later moving over here, we see our shape library. Now Photoshopped comes with some defaults, like the pushpin and light bulb icons. But as a digital painter, I never really found much use for those which may be why ignore this awesome tool for so many years scrolling down? Let's find some of the shapes that I've made Now, if you want to use thes shapes, you can do so by downloading and installing the provided CSH files. Once you have these files, click on this little gear icon and go to load shapes from there. Navigate to where you put the downloaded CSH files. I've separated them into a few sets by category, but for now let's load the one called trees. Just like that, the full set of custom shapes is now in your library. Let's try some of these out, as you can see weaken, drag out the size and proportions that we want. You could hold down shift if you want to constrain the default proportions where you can just place the shape freehand and make it taller or wider than normal. Just like that, we have a pretty cool looking row of trees. Let's try another shape. I'll create a new layer for this. This is a really cool when I created from a photo of a rocky cliff face. Let's place a new shape and will make this one kind of tall and skinny. Now I'd like to transform this one a little bit further. I'll hit Command T to bring up free transform and then I'll use distort and warp to mold this shape to fit this indication of a mountain I've got here that looks pretty cool. I like all the detail and complexity of every little crack and nook that this shape indicates, but it's a little too bold. Let me show you how to apply this kind of shape with more finesse. We'll just treat this shape as a pattern or template. I'll make it invisible for now, and I'll create a new layer. Now, remember, if we command click any layer, Photoshopped creates a selection of all the pixels within that layer. So since we have this cliff face shape on its own layer, I'll command click. And then I can paint inside of this selection on my new layer. I'll hit Command H to hide the marching ants and we'll start painting. See how nice and subtle and refined this effect can be. This is really one of my favorite ways to add detail to any painting. It makes it seem like you've been agonizing over details for hours, but it just takes a few clicks. Okay, now I'd like to show you how to create your very own custom shapes. You can do this with practically any photo you come across, but it's best to find something with quite a lot of contrast and your main focal point somewhat isolated and silhouetted. For my example, let's use his photo of some tree branches. So you this is pretty much already a silhouette against the sky that makes it perfect for creating a custom shape. These next steps air fairly technical, so pay close attention. Next, we'll need to remove all color from this image. So I'll hit, command you and bring up hue saturation, and then I'll take saturation all the way down. Grade out completely. Next, we need to do a levels adjustment to max out The contrast on this image hit command L. And it will bring up the levels adjustment. Let's slide these handles on the ends closer together, and you will see the contrast increasing sharply. Keep going until all mid tones air gone from the photo and you can only see black and white perfect. Now that we have reduced this to pure black and white, let's create a selection using a cool trick. Make sure you have black selected is your foreground color and then go to select and then color range you can then use this little medicine dropper tool to select the black of the tree branch silhouette. See, have a little marching ants appear. OK, we're almost there. Next, we'll go over to the past tab, which should be right next to your layers tab. If you've got your workspace set up like mine. Next we go to this little icon. It looks like a circle with little vector handles around it. This icon is the make work path from selection, but click that and it will turn your selection into a vector shape suddenly are outlined. Tree Branch is described by thousands of little vector points and handles. It could be kind of dizzying, but don't worry, it's not as scary as it looks in. Your computer is not gonna explode or anything. With this work path defined, we now go to edit and then define custom shape. Give your new custom shape and name, and that's that you can now access this new custom shape anytime you need it. I hope you can really imagine the possibilities with this. There are so many applications for this tool, but if you're not quite a psyched about this or if it seems overly technical. If you're just having trouble finding good photos, please feel free to use my custom shapes for this course, and you'll still get some really cool results. 10. Rendering Skies: Oh, everyone, this is Hardy. In this next entire section, we're going to check out some supercool, specific rendering techniques for each main type of terrain that environment artists are commonly as to create. I'll be getting very specific in these lectures, going through the technicalities of each brushstroke and special tool. This is basically a step by step look at how to create these effects and will help make everyone better equipped to tackle the main course projects afterwards and on the great professional work there. After that. Being said, if you want to keep this course quick in breezy or if you're just not interested in technicalities, feel free to skip these rendering technique lectures and jump straight to the main course project. Now. I definitely recommend checking out these techniques first, but I wanted to mention it is an option since we'll get a second quicker. Look at all of this in the main projects later on. Okay, that being said, let's start this section out with a very cool lecture on how to paint great looking skies. I think you're really gonna enjoy this one will be starting from this painting that is available for download It's a fully rendered landscape, but this guy has been left pretty much is a clear blue sky, the perfect blank canvas for us to try out some really cool cloud rendering techniques before we dive in. Let's talk about skies a bit and how they can be best used to enhance our environment. Paintings. First of all, skies are an excellent way to set mood for your painting. A clear blue sky makes things seem happy and hopeful, whereas dark or grace guys can make things seem bleak and gloomy. There are all kinds of ways to use the colors and skies to help out the rest of your painting. They can add either dark or light background contrast to make a focal point of your image stand out. Most importantly, skies provide a powerful sense of depth and scale. When done correctly. Skies making environment seem huge and deep. Since guys and clouds air so abstract they could be practically anything that the artist needs him to be. Nothing is out of bounds as long as you can render things in a realistic manner. OK, back to our demo painting before we get started. Let's talk about a few aspects of this sky that are already in place even in this clear blue sky, notice the atmosphere perspective in the sense of depth that it creates. This guy at the top of the campus feels much nearer to us, since it's darker and more intense. Blue. The sky out on the horizon is much lighter and grayer and feels very distant. The clouds will pain and will make this effect much more pronounced when rendering clouds. Remember the concept of surface compression. If you recall this sketch of a cobblestone road, the stones that are closer to us appear more round. They get flatter and more numerous is a receipt out into the distance. Skies follow a very similar principle, but sort of upside down. The clouds that are closer to us have more of their underside visible. The clouds that are far away on Lee really show us their side. If we look at these cubes in this three dimensional space, notice how you can see a lot of the underside of this nearer cube. But the one that's way out in the distance mostly just shows its side if you render your clouds with this idea in mind. It will make you feel like you can look up at the cloud over your head and then look way out at the cloud in the distance. It will give your sky huge sense of depth. So let's get our demo started here. I've got two colors mainly picked out here, and I've got them on their own little color palette layer. Basically, I want a shadow color in a highlight color, and we'll paint in the shadow color first, just to sort of define our cloud shapes. And even though it's a shadow, technically notice, it's still lighter than the sky behind it, for the most part, especially in our near ground here, what I'm doing now is just dropping in basic cloud shapes with that concept of surface compression in mind. I wanted to have the sky overhead look huge, and we want to be able to see a lot of the underside like we're looking up at it, and then all of these smaller clouds, it's sort of scale out into the distance. We want to be able to see a lot more of the side of those clouds, makes this really cool effect and even a few seconds into our demo Here, you can see this already creates a really great sense of death. So super cool. I think those shadow shapes air just about right. So I'm going to start in with my highlight color. This is where we make these clouds really look cool and three dimensional. I'm just using a default round brush. Mostly, it's almost all the way on maximum hardness. But I softened it every once in a while just to make these little paint jobs kind of Chris , because we're gonna do a little smudging later on. Find. It's a nice, painterly look. I'm basically rendering hundreds of little spheres. We've got our light source established with this bright, sunny spot, kind of often the corner here, so the light would be coming from that direction. So if we imagine a cloud is just hundreds of little spheres, we want that highlight to really kind of round things out on all of those fluffy round shapes. The clouds are made up of notice. I also erased away. Sometimes it's cool toe punch some holes out in your cloud shapes just makes him a little more interesting. And you start getting some cool little wispy shapes where clouds sort of just have little tendrils that kind of stream out through the air, Seeing some places where I could add in some more. Here, you can also sort of use clouds to kind of lead the eye around you. Notice there's sort of ah, a sweeping curvature I'm trying to mimic in all of these cloud shapes makes everything seem sort of curvy and, like there's a camera lens involved. It really gives it a cool cinematic effect. And you can, of course, adjust any of these clouds just by making a selection, rotating them or distorting them however you might need. But these highlights air really making things look cool. The more detail you put in on some of the closer ones that can really help that scale effect to makes it ones that air clothes seem much more detailed, and it gives it an even greater sense of depth. And that is what we're really trying to achieve here. So just making some adjustments, scaling things is needed. It's almost a little miniature composition exercise, but with clouds, it's very liberating because there's practically no wrong answer here. clouds could be practically anything. That's sort of part of the fun. Kind of what makes him fund look at in real life is that they could be anything your imagination wants him to be. A. So we're obviously not going to try and make these look like Turtle or a spaceship or whatever you might imagine A cloud looks like on a sunny day, but it's all of these neat little highlights and all of the scale and epic hugeness that these clouds create. That really makes him kind of breathtaking to behold on a nice, sunny day or a wide open space like we're trying to depict here. Also notice a a race away a little bit. Some of these clouds off in the distance don't want them to be nearly is pronounced or have . As much contrast is the clouds that air nearer to us or above the viewer. And I think that that atmospheric perspective effect really helps enhance the depth. So we've got lots of layering devices going on here to give this image this sense of depth . Pretty much everything that we've discussed so far applies to rendering clouds. But it's such a nice abstract exercise in such a fun thing to do that this is a great first exercise for attempting to create a really deep looking landscape and, of course, feel free to download this template and paint your cloud of exercise on this file, or by all means, use your own background that you may have prepared already, but a Superfund exercise. And I hope you can start to see the possibilities of all these really deep in interesting shapes you can create and and the levels of depth and hugeness that you can bring to the world that you create a really cool technique, one bit of final polishing. We can add to this guy some cool rays of light coming through the clouds. I have a super easy trip for this. Let's create a new layer and grab an off white color. I'll use a standard round brush, but practically anything work for this. Let's just tap in some fairly random dabs of paint here and there will end up stretching these marks out, so make sure that you paint them where you want the rays of light to be brightest in most estate. Try to leave some gaps between marks and vary the boldness. Randomness is key for this effect to look natural. Okay, that should do it. Next. Let's go to Filter and from the Blur list will select motion Blur. This will sort of stretch these marks out to any angle and length that we set. Let's go ahead and max out the length so that they were fully stretched out. That looks really cool, but I'd like it to be a bit bolder, so I'll make a copy of this layer and then merge these two layers together. Much better. Now let's distort this a bit so that these parallel lines converge where we imagine the sun is coming from. I'll hit command T to bring up the free transform menu, and then I'll select Distort. If we had just a few of these control points, we can change up the angle of these rays and make them seem to be coming from the light source we've set up. Isn't that awesome? A little cheesy, perhaps. But when used artfully, this could really add an epic quality to your skies. This is a pretty cool looking finished product. It has a great sense of depth and I really feel like I can look up at the near clouds and then look way out on the distant clouds, which is exactly what we're going for. One final trick I have for this. If you want to test this guy you've painted for this sense of death, just flip it upside down. Whoa. If it makes you feel dizzy like you're about to fall off the face of the earth, then you've done your job well. But if you aren't getting that fear of heights feeling, try using that surface compression concept a bit more. Okay, look forward to seeing some awesome skies in your environment paintings. 11. Rendering Trees & Foliage: Oh, hi, everyone, This is Hardy. In this section, we will check out some cool techniques for rendering trees and foliage the plants and greenery that we, including our environment paintings, could do lots of great things to help us get our ideas across. First of all, trees and plants are all just so naturally beautiful that they bring a lot of built in charm and appeal to our paintings. Since they can take almost any shape, it could be great composition, framing devices or fillers for large areas that you want to be nondescript. They just make environment paintings feel more alive and inviting. So as environment artist, this is definitely an area that we want to be a strength. Now there are tons of different ways to paint trees and foliage with Photoshopped. I'll admit I have struggled with this over the years. Here's the main challenge. Trees, bushes and grass are all comprised of thousands of tiny elements. Blades of grass leaves, twigs. When you look out into a forest, there's just so much to process Now. Photoshopped has the power to let you render every single one of these tiny elements. If you choose to in fact, most photoshopped tree or foliage painting tutorials use some variation of a custom brush designed debate. Hundreds of leaves in a few brushstrokes. That's cool. But the problem with that is you end up with a painting that is so visually active, so cluttered and overpopulated that it just becomes hard to look at and ends up feeling computer generated and kind of phony. Now there is no single right way to do any of this. But one answer that has really been working for me is to get kind of impressionistic. Let's try to simulate the way that traditional painters use brushes to give the impression of leaves and foliage without actually describing each one. This gives us a much more artful and visually pleasing effect. We can use those active shapes and certain places of focus, but for the most part, we let our foliage states subtle and subdued the way it's interpreted in our minds. When we observe nature in real life, we'll go over a few techniques here for getting great looking trees and foliage. I'd encourage you to use all of these methods together rather than relying too heavily on anyone alone. First of all. Let's look at trees. I've got a vague scene set up here that's basically just some colors indicating a forest in some atmosphere perspective to give it a bit of depth. This will be a great starting point for this exercise, since this phase is when I would usually start painting in some realistic looking trees, I always start a tree with a silhouette. Let's try the paint by hand method first. I just use a basic ground brush for this, and I start blocking in the general tree trunk. In some main large branches, tree trunks can often just be straight, but try to include some points of interest, maybe an old knothole or a broken branch. Some area where the bark has fallen away. These little details really help tell a story and make your Treem or interesting. Once we have these main items in place, let's start adding some secondary branches. You can use the same brush, but shrink it down to progressively smaller diameters as the branches well branch. I find that I get a nicer effect if I paint branches with a little flick of the wrist rather than trying to slowly scroll along give your branches all kinds of unexpected twists and turns, and it's even cool the paint part of one and then erase it away. Kind of chop it off to give it an abrupt end. And then you start a new line at that cut point. It gives the effect of a branch that broke at some point and then started to grow again. Very cool Effect kind. Have to think like nature. Make your branches fork and shrink as you taper out to finer and finer divisions. Okay, now for some Photoshopped magic. Once you've got a few nice secondary branches painted in, you can just copy and paste them. As long as you transform them a bit. They'll look different enough not to seem like a duplicate. Even with this hand painting technique, it's incredibly easy to get a lot of detail on the canvas in a pretty short amount of time . If you just repeat this process, okay, next, let's create a different tree using custom shapes. Over here, this is almost too easy using custom shapes, either those that you've downloaded or created yourself, you can drag out entire tree silhouettes in a couple of clicks look how much detail fills the canvas almost instantaneously now. I would certainly recommend using a variety of custom shapes to give your treaty some variation and just says you feel like you're creating something rather than just dropping a stamp onto the page, add some dead branches or even put one tree shape on top of another to give it all kinds of unexpected personality and twists and turns. Now that we have our basic tree silhouettes in place, let's add some bark detail. I do this with custom shapes as well, but we'll need to make sure that we add these on their own layer, since we'll just be using them as a selection more on that later. These rock shapes actually work really well for this, but we stretch them out vertically quite a bit. They start to look like all those cool striations that you would expect to see in tree bark . After we've added a few of these shapes. Let's hide this layer and create a new one. Now, remember, if we command click on a layer, it will create a selection of all the pixels on that layer. So let's command click these tree bark patterns to create a selection. Great. Now I'll hit command H toe Hide this election, and we can paint within this election with a subtle color. See how that works? I try to keep tree bark fairly subdued, since it's mostly gonna be covered with foliage. But do whatever you're painting in lighting scheme dictates Pretty cool. A nice indication of a tree trunk. OK, now it's time to add in some leaves. Here's where we'll use that impressionistic technique that I mentioned earlier on this kind of bare tree trunk. Let's add in some silhouette shapes of some leaves out here on these branches. I'll use this custom brush called shrub for this, but basically we're just adding in some dark silhouettes that will hold our highlight color later so these shapes will be covered up in aren't super important. Okay, that works pretty well. Some indications of foliage out on these branches. Now let's use this really cool brush called foliage three. Here's a quick look at what this brush does. I've got a pretty bright, greenish yellow color picked, and I'll set the brush to 100% flow and opacity. Full blast. Let's pain in a few little shapes. See what kind of looks like a paintbrush dogging the canvas rather than some computer generated leaf particles? That's the effect we're going for. It's a great way to avoid that overly active, computer generated look I mentioned earlier. Okay, now let's paints him. Highlights on these areas of foliage silhouette that we've defined. There are all kinds of brush shaped dynamics at work. To get this one a nice vari look. With just a few taps, we can create some really nice highlights in very little time. Here's another cool effect that I like to use. If you've got these highlights on their own layer, try changing their color. Let's hit command you to bring up huge saturation. I'll adjust the lightness in saturation to make them a little bit darker and less intense. Green. Let's also hit command. Be to try a color balance adjustment. If we make these seem a bit more blue or scion, it starts to look like these clumps of leaves air now in shadow. Now let's use the history brush to bring back some of that bright color in a few selective areas. To do that, we just put a check mark on the history panel on the last recorded operation before we did that hue saturation adjustment. And then let's just grab our history brush from our toolbar. But you can just hit. Why on your keyboard now if we subtly paint back in some of that bright, yellowish green kind of going back in time in our history panel, it almost looks like the sun is filtering through the canopy above and only hitting certain parts of the foliage below such a cool effect. It really makes you feel like you're in a forest Now. After this, you can hand paint in some other little leaf shapes just to give it some variation in a more hand rod effect. Again, we should never rely on just one technique to heavily with how cool these are. It's kind of easy to get carried away. Okay, cool. We are now master tree painters. Now let's check out some similar techniques for rendering shrubs and grassy areas. This really works pretty much the same way is rendering trees, except we don't have to worry about branches or tree trunks. I've got a little hill or path to find here in the foreground. Right now, it's pretty much just a dark, vaguely rocky looking area. But I've got a custom shape to indicate some shrub silhouettes as well. Okay, let's paint in some foliage and bring this to life. First, let's use that same brush that we used for Tree's foliage. Three. I'll use the exact same marks to indicate some college in these shrubby areas. We can even use those color modulation and history brush tricks that we use for the tree exercise to get these shrubs some shadows and highlights. Very cool stuff. I've got one more really cool brush that I'd like to share called grass, too. We can use this to kind of speckle in some grassy areas where there aren't any bushes. Start with a larger brush in the foreground and then shrink it down. Is these lines of grass get farther away? It creates this really cool surface compression effect that can add some serious death. Before we finish this lecture, let's check out a great way toe artfully use photo textures to add a bit of interest. I love this zoomed in photo of some fuzzy algae stuff growing between train tracks. This area in the middle makes a really great texture for some grassy, rocky terrain that I often need to use. Let's put this photo in a layer group and then set that layer group too soft, light blending mode just like that. We get all of the cool texture from this photo, but it doesn't cover up all of your cool painting beneath a race and transform. The photo is needed to make it fit. You can also dial back the opacity. If the effect is a little too strong, remember to use all of these techniques together. You'll have a really balanced, artful look to your work. Okay, look forward to seeing some great looking trees and foliage in your paintings. 12. Rendering Rocks & Mountains: Oh, Harvey one, This is Hardy in this lecture will learn some cool techniques for rendering rocks and mountains. These air always a really cool type of terrain to include in your environment, paintings they can, and tremendous depth and scale. And the best part is this is by far the easiest terrain to render. Let me show you how it usually approach these. I've got a simple scene set up here again. We're basically just starting with Cem atmosphere, perspective and some basic shapes. Now I'll start dropping in some custom shapes with rocky textures. If we hit command T and use all the different transform functions such as distort in warp, weaken, reshape thes rocky custom shapes to fit just about any perspective plane. Look at how much instant depth and interest these shapes create. It's amazing I'll apply some shapes to the near rocky elements, but it works just the same way on this mountain out in the distance. In fact, it's amazing how you can often use the same custom shape multiple times, but because we transform and work things so much, you don't really need to worry about it looking repetitive. Okay, now that we have all of these custom shapes in place. Let's put them all on one merged layer by selecting them all in hitting Command E. Now that all these custom shapes air on one layer, I'll make it invisible. Now, As you recall, we can command click on any layer and make a selection out of its pixels. Now that we've selected all of these custom shapes, I'll hit command age to hide them, and we can start painting inside of these really cool selections. It's like magic. All of these amazing rocky details start to emerge. We have complete control over how much, or how little paint we want to add. This is where you make all of your value and color decisions, depending on how much highlight you want to put in a given area. Your clients will think you've spent hours agonizing over every crack and nook in these surfaces, but it just takes a few clicks. One other variation I'd like to show you is how to use the lasso tool for a slightly different effect. Sometimes our images call for some specific rocky plains to catch some light. Often there's no custom shape that fits exactly what the situation calls for. So that's what it's time to freestyle a bit. Let me show you what I mean. Let's say that there are some Rocky Plains that we want to emphasize in this area. I'll switch to the lasso tool, and I'll start making some fairly flat oval shapes. Freehand. Now, if you hold down shift, you can add additional shape, so I'll do that here. Basically, I'm trying to define some little rocky facets that are gonna catch some light when we paint within them. Oftentimes, this looks best when you add lots of small shapes. So with shift held down, just kind of let your stylist go crazy and start making all kinds of small, flattened oval shapes. We aren't even really that worried about what the's will look like, so be free and expressive. But try and have them all basically oriented in the same direction, which will be the light source. Every one of these little marks will work together to give the impression of rocks, nooks and divots in your rocky surface. Okay, that should just about do it. You cannot release shift. Don't worry, your selections will remain, but we can hide them by hitting command h so that they won't be a distraction now, just like we did before. Let's use our brush tool to paint softly within these selections. See how these cool little details start to emerge. This is a really nice way to add a very customized detail area to any rocky surface. Okay, that about covers my techniques for rendering rocky surfaces an amazingly powerful and easy method, so I can't wait to see what you're able to come up with. 13. Rendering Water: Oh, everyone, this is Hardy. In this section, we will check out some really cool and really easy ways to render realistic looking water. Water always adds instant drama and movement to any painting. It's one of those visual elements that creates a really immersive experience for the viewer . When rendered well, you can practically hear that trickling stream or crashing waves. Water can also be a great focal point or I leading compositional tool since we could make it follow just about any path that we want. The best news is water can be rendered with very little actual painting. I've got some great custom shapes for this that you can use. And that, coupled with some photo textures in a bit of touching up, is really all you need to get some really cool results. Let's check this forest set up that I have here notice that I've left this middle area fairly dark. That's gonna be where our stream will flow. So this is a great starting point now with water. There are all kinds of dynamics going on, their reflections of the sky above wave motion and the transparency of water showing whatever riverbed might lie beneath it could all get kind of confusing, so I'll dramatically simplify that with this process and tools that will use here. First of all, let's paint in the indication of the bottom of this little stream, say this for just a few areas. We want it to look like an area where the sun is really burning through and making this little stream kind of glow. I'll use some warm brown tones and maybe kind of ah, modeled rendering to make it look like all kinds of rocks and sand down their great. Now what's we have this foreground area rendered? Try copying this somewhere upstream and kind of repeats the effect and will give your image some depth. We can even apply a bit of a Goshen blur to either of these areas to make it a little more vague and obscured, since it's going to be underwater after all. Okay, here's where the digital magic comes in. We'll use the custom shapes from our water group. Let's start with a couple of waterfall shapes off in the distance to make it seem like this stream is rolling over some rocks or fallen logs in the water just cools storytelling elements like they had to give our image some interest. I've also got some great rippling water highlight shapes that give the water and incredibly realistic shine drag out multiple shapes and make them bigger and bigger. The closer we get to the foreground, you can even overlap or distort some of these shapes to fit the flow that you envision. Check out this shape we've put over the glowing sandy river bottom that we painted in earlier creates an incredibly realistic effect, all with just a few clicks. Once you've got a really good set of shapes in place, we can merge all of these custom shape layers together by selecting them all in hitting Command E. Now that they're all on one layer, let's hide that layer and create a new one will command click on that shapes layer to create a selection of all the shapes we've placed. I'll hide that selection, and now we can paint in some off white with a soft brush to get this effect. A little refinement. Save the brightest spots for areas where you really want the water to sparkle and it will look amazing. So there we have it, a very fun and easy way to get some realistic looking water into your pain. 14. Project Briefs: Oh, how everyone This is hardy. In this section, we will discuss project briefs. Is a concept artist or illustrator? You first need to thoroughly understand the finished project. It's your clients want good communication is key, and this often comes in the form of a document called a Project Brief. It comes from the client. This is just a set of instructions and Web image visual references outlining the scene or world that they want you to create. Breach can be many pages long or just a few quick sentences, depending on how much creativity the client is leaving up to you. They need to communicate the general ideas like general environment type climate in terrain . But they also need to give you an idea of the feeling and mood that this environment is meant to evoke. To get you all familiar with this process I've worked up some quick project briefs is a starting point for our main environment project. So let's check those out for our projects have chosen a good variety of fairly mainstream environment project ideas. This will give us the opportunity to explore a lot of design and rendering solutions that you might encounter in your own work and will help these projects simulate a real world paid assignment. Check out the descriptions and references below and see what kind of ideas start coming to mind. Do a Web search to start gathering your own visual references is inspiration, but not for copping. Never let thes Web images influence you too much. We're going to rely on our own visual memory and design knowledge to come up with a new and even cooler design than anything you might find online. So don't let Web images live it. You we need to make sure toe work within these provided brief guidelines. So read carefully and always feel free to ask your client to elaborate. If anything is unclear, questions are your friend. Now that we have our project briefs and we've already discussed all of the elements of successful environment art, let's put all of this awesome knowledge to use in Start our first project. Grab your stylist. Let's dive in 15. Project 1 - Hidden Path - Sketch & Rough Color: Hi, everyone. This is Hardy and welcome to the Hidden Path project. This is our first environment projects. I'm excited to get started. Let's jump in. So I got are blank canvas here and I'm just going to start a new layer and name it sketch, and we're just going to start making some marks. So our first project, we're gonna start with something pretty simple here. We got our project brief that we've read through this is basically gonna be kind of a mysterious, hidden cave path type place. So it's gonna be kind of dark, but have a very strong light source. It should create a really great sense of mood. In fact, for each of our main project, I'm gonna set aside a few little artist goals, things that I want each of these projects to really teach you something you should really take home for meat. And for this one, I wanted to have first a very simple and very strong composition. So, as you can see already here, I'm sort of dividing this into third using that rule of thirds, we get this main gap in our canyon here, and that's right along that 1/3 line. The main subject. The focal point of this will be this sort of magic flower that I've got very roughly indicated here in the foreground. And that's roughly on the 1/3 line to. But if you'll notice that Fibonacci golden Ratio spiral, I'm gonna really try to bullseye that flower, that focal point right in there. So we have simple, strong composition. I also wanted to definitely have a strong sense of mood. And we're also going to really make it use strong use of custom shapes for texture. Really want this to be a great experience for you guys getting used to using that tool. And since really stone rocky textures are all that we're gonna have going on here, there's no other vegetation or any other types of terrain, just rocky mountainous type stuff going on here. We're really just gonna have one type of texture to render. We're gonna make great use of custom shapes for that. It's an incredibly useful and incredibly time saving techniques. So that's sort of our little goals. I'd like you to keep in mind for this project. For now, though, As you can see, I'm just sort of jumping all over the place, keeping that those compositional elements in mind. I've got that gap in the canyon where our light source is gonna be pouring through. And I've got a little magic flower here that I'm defining on that 1/3 line as well and inside of that golden ratio, Bullseye. But for the most part, I'm just making little sketchy lines to sort of define these shapes, and it really just needs to kind of be three dimensional in my own mind. But I think that's working so up. Next we'll tackle are rough color phase. I've got a really nice technique for this. We're gonna use photos and kind of warped them altogether, just sort of borrowing the cool colors from each of these to come up with a color scheme. This ends up giving us all kinds of cool, unexpected results. So a great way to go rather than just trying to randomly pick colors yourself out of the color picker. So I just sort of like the terrain and colors in this one, that that's all it takes. It could be anything, and we'll just blur this to get rid of all the actual detail. All we want from this is the color. So once you blurt, it kind of removes all those extraneous details from your mind and just let you kind of freestyle with the colors. That's why blur is always a great first step for this, and you just start transforming copying these things around. You can use only your photo shop tools, toe grab colors from one area and lay them down in another. And I'm just finding ways to make these different color areas work together. I've blurred this new photo as well. If you ever want to repeat a filter, you can just hit command F. So it just ran that same Gaussian blur on this new photo. And as you can see, I just copy these around, transform them to fit into these sketch shapes that we've defined. And it's just really kind of a cool, artistic, collage type process where you just grab all kinds of different elements, splash them around to make them work in interesting ways. A lot of times early in this process, everything starts seeming very far apart. A lot of disparate elements trying to work together and you end up sort of unifying things is that go? So it's looking a little bit to rainbow right now. There's just so many different colors going on. So I'm gonna start painting in here to sort of unify things, using my artistic eye to refine things just a little bit here, making things make sense a little bit more and start, start really thinking about the color scheme that I want my finished product to have. That's what this rough color step is all about. Kind of borrowing some interesting colors, unexpected things you might not have come up with from photographs and then making it all work. Using your knowledge of color schemes and design team make this all fit the story that we're trying to tell. So that means, for the most part, I want my color scheme here to be pretty warm, mostly reddish orange and yellow, because I wanted to have some really interesting contrast with this bright blue flower that I'm gonna save for one of our very final steps. So this one is gonna look extremely warm, very warm color scheme for the most part, but it's going to really have an awesome contrast with that that final main focal element that we're gonna add in a the end. So that's mine design thinking there in terms of color. Now, I definitely want to point out that whenever we're using photos in our artwork, we have to make sure that we blur out all of those details. Obviously, even at this point, we have completely obliterated any recognizable element of the photos we've used for color . We've done a lot of painting in transforming, but whenever you're using any other photo in your artwork, you need to be very respectful and mindful that that's another artist work. So be sure to obliterate all details, and it will be fine. I think it's perfectly cool to borrow color schemes, especially when you change them and incorporate a few different ones into your work. There's some really amazing free stock photo websites out there that all link in this course, and really those those air free, creative common you can use them for anything. Even commercial use is so a great place to start. But the main point is to be respectful of other artists, work and make sure that you obliterate all details so that you're creating something that's truly unique and original every time. We're really seeing that warm color scheme that I was after here, doing a little bit of a color balance adjustment here just to see if a little more science or blue, a little bit of coolness would make this work a little bit better. And you can also use the history brush. See, I like to have this who's working in the foreground, but I wanted to keep that really burning warm color from my light source. So I just painted back with the history brush, just like we did in the foliage demonstration video and history brush can really come in handy, also starting to think a little more about light sourcing. So through this sort of crack in the cave wall, we see a little path where maybe that light sources hitting a little more directly were not so hidden in the shadows like we are from our viewpoint. So a little bit of bright, sandy terrain down on the bottom there just for some light source starting to really think about some of these lighting details that will help bring this toe life. Another thing I've got going to sort of define these different spaces is the grain of the rocks. We've got them going in one way in our foreground. But I'm gonna have it really carved out in a complete opposite direction on that stuff that we see through this crack. So it's gonna be all these cool little effects that really create that sense of depth. And of course, we've got some great atmospheric perspective going on because those elements out in the distance kind of out on the other side of this little gap in the cave wall, we really see those much lighter. The light is affecting him differently because of atmospheric perspective, there a little farther off. So this is our first use of that Maybe most powerful perspective technique that I hope you can get some great results at. I'm also using a little bit of orange in these dark near ground items to use a little reflected light. And here, of course, I'm adding a little bit of spotlight where maybe that sunshine is actually finding a way through. It's not blocked by all of these cave walls and is even shining a little bit of direct sunlight on some of these rocky elements really creates a cool sense of wonder. And of course, that is one of our main goals who want this one to have a really strong sense of mood. You could just imagine some explorer kind of peeking through this path like maybe he's finally found this one spot where this flower grows. One less thing. I thought I'd tries. I saved a copy of this desert photo, and I just changed it to soft, light blending mode just to see if we could unify everything a little bit. Sort of bring a little bit of this same orangish color to the entire piece. So I'm sort of warping this one again. We're gonna blur this so that details practically don't matter. We just want these colors to kind of work in a way that helps is bringing a lot of really nice, intense red and even that sort of greenish color from the sky is kind of neat to is sort of an accident. So blur this and wow, I really like how that works. In fact, some of those dark bush shapes even look like cool little dark spots on our stone. So one of these great happy accidents that we can make workforce when we just try something at the very end. So I encourage you to experiment with this. You can come up with results that you really might never have have come across on your own . Just picking colors, a masking out this soft light layer a little bit. But I think I'm going to keep this. I'll go ahead and merge that with my rough color layer. So it's permanent now and with a little more touching up with the brush tool kind of refining things, making it all fit just right before we start adding detail. But I think this is a really nice rough color statement. We've got our light source and our mood established well, so I think we're ready for the next step. 16. Project 1 - Hidden Path - Refined Color: Oh, hi, everyone, this is Hardy. In this lecture, we will move on to our refined color steps. So let's get started. So we've got our basic rough color statement in place. We've got a cool light source and some great colors interacting here. So now I'm making copies of everything this sketch layer and the rough color layer. I'm gonna leave those at the top and invisible because I'm gonna merge those copies that we made together I like to run a paint daubs filter on this merge sketch in rough color, maybe even run it twice just to make this look a little more painterly. Give us some nice, vague lines before we start. Our rendering just looks kind of cool. Now, what I'm gonna do to organize a bit is to divide this rough color painting into three layers of depth. So I'm using the lasso tool to kind of carve out this foreground this near area here, and we're gonna put that on its own later. So I'm using the lasso tool to to just define this little hill we've got closest to us and I'll kid command, see, to copy and command V to paste and we got a new layer. I'll name that foreground. And as you can see, it's just this little triangular area that we can move around. But I'm gonna leave that exactly where it waas and now we'll move on to this middle ground area. So sort of the rest of this interior near part of this cave, I want to carve that out and put it on its own layer. So again, just the lasso tool. I'm sort of vaguely tracing these these dark silhouettes that I've defined and I'm holding down shift when I'm doing this. My hand just isn't really steady enough to go around the entire contour of this cave. So I do it in small pieces that you can see if you hold down shift, tell you, add new selection so you can do this and as many as many operations as you need to get it done. And you just sort of loop around to connect these areas you've defined. And of course, now that I've got that silhouette defined, I'll just fill in the rest. And there we get up. I've got a selection made of this middle ground. Ah, copy and paste that again and you can see we've got a new layer called middle ground and that just leaves the distance, which will just leave as its own. So now that everything is separated out nicely and we're sort of organized, I'm going to define some of these edges a little bit. So I'm painting on this middle ground layer. I've got it selected with a command click, and I'm just painting in some hard edges where these little silhouette shapes happen. But what that to be a really cool, stark contrast between that distance that I'm brightening up a bit here now and those nearer cliff edges. I really want that to be an eye catching bright contrast toe have there. So that's that's what I'm doing here, darkening up some of these little spotlight areas to because I'm gonna do so more refined rendering on that later on. Now notice that I kept a copy of the rough color layer. Sometimes when you start rendering things in a very fine way, you could sort of lose sight of some of the expressiveness that you captured on your rough color layer. So I keep that copy up there just to sort of keep track of everything and make sure that I never lose sight of the original feel of the painting. I've put everything into its own layer group notice, foreground middle ground and distance. I hit command G to make a group for each of these because now we're going to start adding custom shapes. And I want each of these new custom shape layers that we create like this 1st 1 here to be grouped with its color painting in the background. So even though this is going to start looking complicated like there are a lot of layers and folders, all that we're really doing is separating this into three groups the distance, the middle ground in the foreground. And I want each element that applies to those areas to sort of be grouped with them so that they're all together and we don't just end up with a mess of custom shapes all over the place. So it this is really a smart wayto organize things so that it all stays kind of coherent and together. But this is really some of that photo shop magic where we start adding in these custom shapes, as you can tell. I'm very excited by this tool. It just makes so much incredible detail possible with just a few photo shop operations. So a really great tool. And as you can see, we've already added tons of incredible detail to that distant part. I'm really defining that wall entirely with custom shapes and just some color. Now we'll add a shape down to the bottom. Just Teoh. Give it a bit of an impression of a floor again. We want this to be sort of a hidden path that somebody could walk around and explore, so that's looking really great in the distance. So now I've switched to the middle ground layer group, and I'm just going to start adding in some shapes to this again. Once we drag out a custom shape, we hit command T, and that brings up all of these transform function so that we can make it fit and whatever perspective plane that we have to find. So we've got atmospheric perspective, giving us a great sense of death because things get kind of lighter far away, especially on the far side of that cave gap, but noticed us some of these rocky elements have sort of a linear quality. There are a lot of parallel shapes. It all sort of go in the same direction. That actually gives us sort of a sense of linear perspective. So we sort of imagine that vanishing point somewhere out near that the cave gap and that's where all of these parallel lines are kind of converging together gives us an incredible sense of depth, like things get smaller as they were seed and converge towards that vanishing point. So atmospheric perspective is definitely a main concern. But even though we don't have rigid parallel lines, even these vaguely parallel rocky shapes should fit into a perspective plane. So use all of these depth creation trick tools together to really make any environment seem incredibly deep in like a really tangible space at our viewer can occupy. And I think this is really working well in here. So on this nearer side cave, all kind of got some of these curvy rocking shapes, sort of something that you can look up at really makes it feel like a very deep and massive environment. When you can see something near the ground near eye level and then look up. So there's little rocky outcroppings, sort of parallel perspective lines that were implying. Give this such an incredibly powerful sense of depth. Now I'm going to apply a little bit of texture to our foreground layer just to make this little hill area. Where are magic Flower will sit, look kind of cool and interesting, and that's pretty much achievable, with just one custom shape and a little bit of warping. Going to use that same one with some distortion to make it seem like it's receding away gives us such a nice sense of a path going out towards that gap. You could just really see where you're supposed to walk. If this was for a video game, for example, just makes it incredibly clear, also just invites the viewer to imagine what it would be like. Toe occupy this space, and that's really what we're after here. We want to create that sense of wonder about what it would be like to explore these worlds that we create, and that's definitely what we're achieving here. Doing a bit of clone stamping just to make these things fit a little bit better. Sometimes it takes a little fine tuning. But for the most part, these things seem to just fall into place like magic with a little bit of warping. So I think we got all our shapes in place, and now I'm going to start a bit of a rendering. I'm gonna do our middle ground first will hide all of our shape layers so that they're invisible and then just command click them to create a selection, and this is where the magic comes in. We'll grab a soft, round brush, and I'm just going to start softly, painting in low flow low opacity just very subtly start adding in some light to these awesome, detailed shapes that we have defined. This is really part of the real magic of this process. We spent all this time getting organized and putting in custom shapes so that will be able to make these selections. And here's kind of the big payoff, the wow moment. This is one of those things. It's still exciting for me is that moment when the marks you're making on the canvas really start to trick your eye and seem like something riel, even after all of these years have been doing this it still gets me pretty excited. That's why I go to work every day. It's a cool moment where we're what you have imagined. What you have set up actually starts fooling your eye and seeming like a living, breathing world, especially with environment art, one of the best payoffs and any kind of digital art, because it starts feeling like this living, breathing world that you can occupy. And that's what your viewers air after. That's what's gonna impress your clients is when you can create something that's just so tangible and realistic and relatable that it that it feels like something cool, a place where people would want to spend time and explore and learn more about. So that's really the highest aspiration of environment. Art is to create that sense in your viewers, for the most part, trying to just crab colors from around the canvas so that our color schemes stays cohesive . If you have the the brush tool selected, all you have to do is hold down ault or option, and you'll notice it turns to the eyedropper tool so you'll notice my brush turning the eyedropper from time to time. That's just because I'm holding down the option key to sample a color from somewhere else on the canvas. I want these near rocky surfaces to look like a really bright burning orangish red. I want it to be kind of a cool focal point that will paint in an indication of this floor. It's sort of like a reflection. It's almost the same way I would treat painting water. You want the floor to sort of reflect whatever brightness is above it. So I'm sort of just shining that brightest light right below where that cave gap is. Thea other sort of a special little highlight there. It almost looks like we're doing a water type treatment, but all we're doing is is reflecting that light that's above in those rocky textures and wow, that looks so realistic. That rocky footpath receding away towards that cave gap gives it so much depth, really gets the imagination going. You can really imagine some little explorer peeking around that corner to come into this kind of secret place, giving us a great sense of wonder and a lot of mood and atmosphere as well. And as you can see with pretty much one brush stroke once we had that distant rocky texture selective. I just added in some light color to define those striations. They're sort of going in a different grain. Is those near ground rocks is we talked about in our sketch phase gives us great sense of things, sort of moving in one direction in the near ground and in a different direction in the far ground. Sort of like a blind corner just inviting you to come check out what's around the next turn again. Part of that wonder and exploration. But I think this is coming along really well, guys. So up next we'll add some final polish and we'll call this one Finished. 17. Project 1 - Hidden Path - Texture & Polish: Oh, hi, everyone. This is Hardy. In this section, we will finish off our hidden path project with some photo textures and final polish. So let's get started. So off camera, I've pasted in a bunch of really cool, rocky texture photos, and I've put those in a layer group that I'm just calling photos. So as you can see, we can hide the whole group, move these around individually and just sort of get a look at everything. I'm gonna make each of these photos available to you to download. But there tons of really great free photo libraries out there so link you to some great websites for that to a lot of these air mine or they are free artistic, common market licensing. So all of these are fully free to use. You definitely don't want to find anything on Google images. That might be copyright. It's a little word of caution there these air all definitely free and permissions free to use. So what we're gonna do is use soft light blending mode to use these to add a little bit of texture and color interest to our layers. Now, the way we've got our our image set up here, organized in the layer Groups really help us here because we're gonna apply these textures to each distant level individually. So we'll start with this far distance area. I've grabbed one photo and have put it in a new group called Photo Textures. Now we said that photo group too soft light and that blending mode change will totally change the way that this photo looks. We're still seeing all of that really cool rendering we did on the layers beneath. But we're getting some color variation and a lot of the cool texture from this photographs that were sort of taking all the good without covering up the really cool work that we've already done. And from there, it's just a matter of copying and manipulating these photos to make them fit. So I've adjusted the opacity. I've done a little bit of transforming and some erasing away so that we're not seeing those margins. And here I'll apply that paint daubs filter to make it seem not quite so photographic. I still want it all to feel like a painting. So from here we just sort of repeat this process. I'll sort of do the same thing on the middle ground layer, creating a new layer group called photo Textures. This time, I'll command click on our middle ground paint layer and create a layer mask. And what that does is on. Lee lets his photo exist within the selection so that mast out layer mask on the photo textures group make sure that this photo doesn't go outside the lines, so to speak and same deal. I'm just sort of transforming and manipulating this photo to see what kind of cool, little happy accidents Aiken stumble across. A lot of times, these photos really come in handy on the areas that we've left kind of dark, so shadow areas that you left nondescript. You can really add a lot of interest, some color variation, all kinds of cool effects. So already, these little rocky facets from this photo are really adding a ton of great interest and extra detail to these areas that I didn't really render with our custom shapes, rendering so a really cool way to add a lot of punch and pop to your image in this little final Polish step. It's very subtle, but I think it's important and really adds a little bit of a final polish, um, professionalism to your image. Remember, this is the last step that will have for our our image here. So we want to make sure toe finish strong, give it the best ending we possibly can because the next step would be sending it to a client or a teacher, whatever the case may be. So we want to make sure that we're leaving on a really strong note, but just jumping around. I've got that photos layer group at the top of my layers stack here so that I could just go grab them individually and drop them into the layer. Groups below is needed. It starts to seem like a lot of layers to manage, but this really is the best way I've come up with to organize things, just putting them in groups moving things around is needed. It keeps everything organized and nicely ordered so that you can always find what you need . Love. This photo this really cool kind of greenish sort of stratified layers of stone. I don't know how this rocky formation could have happened, but it's such a cool picture, and I've really found a lot of great uses for this one. So we're gonna make heavy use of that here, a really unique rocky texture. And it will really make our cave seem kind of other worldly and magical. That's definitely what we're going for here. So I'm gonna copy this one and manipulate it quite a bit. And remember, since it's inside of that photo textures layer group and that has a mask applied to it, we don't have to worry about these textures going outside of the lines. It would never accidentally go out to our distant layer, for example, so a great way to set that up. You never have to think about drawing inside of the lines. It's all set up pretty automatically for you. And as you can see, I'm finding some cool uses for this texture. Even in all kinds of different orientations. It's really working. So I went ahead and copied all of those photos together. You don't really have to, but I thought I'd do a little clone stamping, so I wanted to have it all merged on the one layer. I've got this really cool kind of bluish green rocky texture just to bring a little bit of a different flavor. I don't want everything to be so one note. Orange and red. So this nearer side cave wall here it's a really cool opportunity to apply some of these neat, bluish green colors, and I love that effect really came out well, makes those little rocky surfaces that we defined with our custom shapes. Really, pop looks like something very new and interesting, using that same kind of algae pattern to make this path. This footpath on the cave floor here look really realistic is well and notice. I'm adjusting the opacity of these individual photos that were using a good bit. Sometimes they can just be too bold, are too strong. They kind of takeover. He never wanted to totally kill any of your painting that you've done. These were just sort of a little accent, something extra to give your image a little bit of extra interest in polish, maybe even a little bit of color variation. But we never wanted to get so dominant that it just looks like a photo collage. That's definitely not what we want here. So we have that video specifically devoted to just the artful use of photo textures. This is supposed to be a very subtle technique that we just used to help a little bit, never wanted to take over the hope that makes sense. Applying the same kind of effect to our foreground layer, I kind of like working from far away and work up to the nearer ground. So here we are in our near ground here, the foreground, adding a little bit of texture and manipulating that a bit to make it fit the color scheme a little better, didn't want it to get to green and just trying a few other things. This one's kind of a strange angle we've got here, and I wanted to be interesting. Since it's so close, however, the focal point will be that flower that we're gonna pain in. So now we've got all of our photo textures applied. It's time to do a little bit of organization. I'm getting group everything, make a copy and then merge it. This is gonna sort of simplify things. Now we keep all of those creditable layers in a group, but once we copy it like we'll do here, copy the group and then hit command eat emerge. That gives us everything on a sort of flattened layer so that we can start editing. It is just one layer. So that copy put it in a group, copy it and then merge. That sort of lets you edit it without worrying about editing each layer. Hope that makes sense. It's a way to sort of simplify things as we get to more of these final Polish steps. So in our layer groups, I'm really just working on one layer per group. But I have kept those custom shapes layers handy to in case I want to command click them for a selection. So that's how I have things organized. At this point, it's time to start doing some painting and final polish, really start giving this an individual flair in a more hand painted feel. So I'm going to use that lasso technique. Teoh Makesem, Selections of some little rocky facets want to start painting in a little sunlight, shining really brightly on this little edges of the cave wall. It might actually be catching a little bit of direct sunlight, so I'm painting directly onto this middle ground paint layer, and as you can see, we're just adding a little highlight grabbing a brush Now this is where I'm going to sort of start freestyling and that do some hand painting just to start making this seem a little less photographic in formulaic and really give it some hand of the artist type treatment. So for this, I just use this really standard brush. It's just sort of a squashed circle at an angle sort of something I usually use for calligraphy line work. But for some reason it gives us kind of a nice painterly effect when we're adding in these little details. So I'm doing these little extra lines, all kinds of little cracks in detail. I'm just grabbing local colors by hitting Ault to grab something with them, the eyedropper tool and then just painting in a little bit of line detail. And really, this is one of the only hand painting type parts of this process, and each for projects. In this course, it's interesting. You feel like you are doing something by hand at the very beginning when we sketch into our concept work, but there, after it really feels like a lot of formulaic stuff, just we're making decisions and using Photoshopped tools to get results on Lee. At the very end at this step, does it really start feeling like a painting again? So I always want you guys to feel that creative process coming through. That's why this is always a great way to end. The project is really get that hand of the artist feel back into the mix. We've done a lot of great work with all of this digital magic Photoshopped tools to get all of these amazing effects. But now that we have that framework in place, let's really see what we can do artistically with our hands and finish on a really nice, charming hand of the artist type note here. I hope that makes sense. So just a little bit of highlight and shadow just painting in some little details by hand just to give it a nice hand rot feel. Another thing I'm doing is sort of adding a different plane to some of these rocky outcroppings. Make it look like these really jutting out. So we've got some little features. Sort of receding inwards into those dark cracks gives it a whole new dimension, something really cool and sort of sets it up to give way to those interesting rocky photo textures that we've got there, this little stratified, linear looking elements. I thought this could use one more little bit of custom shape work just to add a little bit more interest to this corner things. They're sort of fading off the darkness here, so it's never too late to jump back to earlier steps in the process. You never have to follow this step by step rigidly. It's just a nice sequence of events that I usually try to do. But as you can see, we can definitely jump back to any earlier phase. Used these techniques in any way that works for you, cause results were really all it matters. So as you can see, I've got all of these little details on one layer. I think they're adding a ton of charm and interest and a really great hand of the artist feel to our painting here so that it doesn't seem just like a ton of custom shapes and photo textures. Although we're certainly relying on those primarily to get these effects, I always want to be able to see a little bit of artistic hand painting and everything that we do. And I think you'll always have, Ah, much nicer experience if you try to do that yourself. So I think our middle ground layer is really coming together nicely, doing a little bit of work to try and find out little extra areas where I can refine things , working in that negative space on the outside of the custom shapes, just to see if anything needs to be darkened of applied a paint daubs filter to this near ground as well, just to give it a little more of an artistic hand rot feel and sort of blending this out. So it's not such a defined little hill in the foreground. It's sort of becoming part of that footpath. Leading away gives us a nice continuity out to the outside of our image. And again, I keep imagining some little character exploring this path kind of peeking around. It's such a nice focal point. It's always nice when it's very obvious where you would place a character in your painting . That's usually a sign that you're doing something right in your environment. Artwork. I'm putting a little crack in this near ground had an idea that this should be kind of a craggy looks. I'm even bringing in this cracked paint texture just to give it a little bit of a different feel and even set that on hard light, which is a little different from what I usually do with soft light. Just wanted to give it a different feel, darkening that one a little bit. And that's really cool. That photo, very luckily, really fits with everything. So after that paint daubs filter that really gives us an entirely different look. So now I'm trying to decide how I want this flower, this magic flower that is the whole subject. We've been waiting to add how I want to incorporate that. I'm thinking it'll be some crack in this near ground like it's got roots growing out of some little gap in the rocks, but just sort of playing around with a few ideas to see what I can do, really to make that work. I think this little cold that we've gotta work, so I'm gonna get started on an implication of a little stem here. Just suggesting some very basic elements wanted to look like it's really in a spotlight. So I've got a really nice highlight, very bright green, stark lights and darks here to give it a little bit of interest. And here comes that color that we have been waiting for. It's really nice, bluish green. It just really sets off the entire rest of the image because it's also warm. So many reds and oranges that it's almost like this is images just parched and need some cooler colors. That's why this is really a very satisfying part of this painting, because it's just been dying for some cool colors. And here we are, with our main focal point, adding in something that's just such a beautiful color complement to the rest of our color scheme. And it's just working so nicely. You could really just even add a blue dot to this place on the canvas, and it would look kind of nice because of our composition we have set up and also because of the color compliment Nature. Blue and orange always look great together because of their relationship on the color wheel , so this is just really set up to be a no brainer, and this will always work if you use these compositional tools in these color compliments, a great device toe lead focus. We're telling a really cool story here. It's all really working nicely and sort of a moment in our painting that we've been working up to for most of the paintings, setting up all of these really warm colors in the specific composition. It was all to get us to this point where we have this really nice, cool colored focal point to just set the whole thing off and just adding little pedals. Little flowery details, not putting a whole lot of time into this. It's it's pretty abstract, but from here I have created a merged version of Everything. So see that layer called Merged. I just copied everything and made a new merged layer. You do that by command shift see and then V to paste it. So that's how we made that merged layer, and now I'm adding a bloom effect. I've created a new layer named Bloom, and I've said it toe lightened blending mode, and with my brush and color dodge, you could see I just added some really bright light. It's kind of a camera lens effect where that light is just burning through and over Bright Ning. Everything really adds a lot of drama, and you can see that That's really working nicely. Now we're gonna add some rays of light is we Didn't our skies demonstration? We just dab in some paint. We want thes light beams to really be shining down on this flower. And instead of motion blur, I'm going to do a radio blur set on Zoom. See how that works. It's very similar to Motion Blur, but it pinches all of these elements to a center of a kind of a vanishing point. So it sort of builds in a little bit of perspective, but it's practically the same thing. Is Motion blur just changing the angles a little bit? And then I'm doing a little bit of that myself with Distort. So a lot of these effects are very similar. But wow, that really obviously brings a lot of attention to our main focal point here, even adds a little cool background story like maybe this flower was able to grow because that's the one spot where the light shines something like that. So always, always cool to add a little bit of instant drama. These rays of light condemn finitely. Do this. Now let's add some little little debris, little dust particles kind of dancing in this little spotlight we've got. And essentially, this is just a round brush that I have adjusted the spacing on so that it sort of scatters around all of these little dots. That's all there is to it. If you need to check out how to do this, just check out our custom brushes lecture. But basically it's a round brush that I increase the spacing on. I'll make this brush available to download if you like, but it's very, very simple. I'll make a copy of this and then put a Gaussian blur on the copy just to make it look like these particles are kind of glowing in the light. Then let's play around with blending mode a little bit. See if overlay works. That's cool, but it's disappearing a little, so I am making some copies trying a few different things. Then we'll mask the whole thing out, make it the mask entirely black, and I'll just paint in some white to reveal just a Ziff thes dust particles air only visible in this little beam of light really gives it such a cool cinematic quality. And there we go. We've got some nice camera lighting effects, a beam of light, the bloom effect of that over bright ning. And that is really, really bringing this together really nicely. It is extremely clear what our focal point is, and that's what we're after. A lot of attention drawing devices at work here to make that look really cool. I'm gonna do a copy, merged again, again command shift, see, and then command V to Paste, and that will bring in emerged layer. I've got color Dodge set up, and I'm just over brightening a few areas just to put a little bit of pop an extra shine in a few spots just to make some of these areas really bright, really want those to be burning bright and bring a lot of attention to them. Maybe even add a little bit of, ah, blue glow to this flower just to make it seem a tiny bit magical, like it's glowing, and I think that's awesome. With that, I'd say we just about have a finished project. Congratulations on completing the Hidden path Project Hope you really enjoy this first full scale environment project. Let's take a look back at our project steps and see how far we've come. We started with a rough sketch to get our main concept and composition in place. Then we used photos and some rough painting to establish our rough color scheme. From there, we used custom shapes to add some depth and rendering detailed. Finally, we finished things off with some photo textures and final polish. All in all, we came from a blank canvas to a finished product loaded with depth, atmosphere and story. A very successful first outing up next, joining for our next project where we'll take what we've learned here and bring it to the next level. 18. Project 2 - Epic Valley - Thumbnails: Hi, everyone. This is Hardy and welcome to the epic Valley project. This is gonna be a really fun one. In this kind of fantasy concept, art is a great thing to have is a strength in your portfolio. So I think you're gonna like this one. Let's dive right in. We're gonna do something a little bit differently with this one. We're gonna start with some value thumbnails just to get our general concept in place. So as you can see, I've divided the canvas up into four little windows Were gonna do four quick thumbnail sketches just using very simple values. This is a lot like our atmospheric perspective exercise where we just have a few tears of depth and our structures get lighter as they go out and distance. But this is a really easy way to come up with some general ideas for what you like. You're seen to look like and even get get some early indications of depth and atmosphere in these concepts as you're coming up with them. So our general goals for this one what are our artist goals? We want this to have a huge sense of death. That's gonna be our main hook for this one is just a massive, expansive sense of hugeness. So that's our main thing. We wanted to be really epic in scale. We're gonna imagine this is for a video game. So we wanted to have that hugeness, that really awesome, majestic type of you for this one kind of a real wow image for our video game universe that we're creating. So that's a main one. We also wanted to have a strong sense of story. Now is our brief said this one needs to have some stone hinge inspired elements on it. So it'll be sort of a rolling fantasy type landscape with rolling hills and maybe some really dramatic epic clouds going on. But we also wanted to have these cool little rock formation, something that looks man made, maybe very old, like it's ah, it's ruins at this point, but that's definitely going to be our storytelling element. So with those general ingredients in mind, I'm just sort of sketching out little tears of depth, trying to keep composition in mind, too. I'm sort of mentally dividing the canvas into that rule of thirds. I don't always need toe pace that onto the canvas with me. At this point, I'm usually pretty comfortable doing that by I. So we want our main, our main focal points to be in those third areas. Or if you want to try one of those golden ratio spirals, Certainly try that. But our composition will be very critical here to lead our I around the canvas. In fact, I'm starting to think we should have multiple it orations of these little Stonehenge rock formations so that we have maybe one in the nearer ground, something that we can see in detail and I'm sort of thinking about. These are king curving little stone tourists shapes, but we'll see. I'm gonna experiment with a few options. But if we can see one of these stone formations in detail in the near ground, what we can do is show some smaller ones with much less detail in the background. It's great because our our viewers consort of mentally connect the dots on that. If they see a shape that they recognize in the foreground and then we repeat it farther off , it actually automatically gives a little bit of scale to our image. Really helps your sense of depth. So a lot of good uses for this repeating stone element cool story, and it also gives us some relatable object that we can scale out into the distance sort of leads the eye off. Since we're thinking this will be for a video game type of concept piece, it's really important that it has that inviting sense of exploration. We really want our viewer to be ableto want to just roam way out into this distance that we're creating. So that's what I'm basically thinking of with all of these little concept, and they're all variations on the same idea. I just always want to make sure to try a few things for this kind of image, just in case. That super great idea was one quick sketch away. One of my favorite teachers once told me that the greatest enemy of a great drawing is a good drawing. So basically, don't settle if you have something that you kind of like keep going because that great drawing might be one quick sketch away. So always a great argument for thumbnails. Do you take a little extra time? But with this very quick value sketching technique, it really can go super quick. You can fill up entire pages with these options, and it really works well. And I'm really liking this one. I'm working on here trying something a little different rather than those curved kind of semi circle rock formations. I'm thinking I'll try these three kind of curbed obelisks arranged in kind of a triangle that that seems to fit with this whole idea I've got going here. Maybe there's some ancient culture that worships the triangle or something like that. You can kind of really fill in the dots on all of these kind of background story elements. So I want this one to have all of that great stuff going on and will really end up with a very cool, very explore herbal type of fantasy video game universe so that that's definitely a huge selling point here. But just using these different values to establish different tiers of depth, kind of a far distance of middle ground and then a foreground. So I'm really following that formula and each one of these sketches to to really get that sense of depth, and it's obviously can change a bit when we get to the full painting. But this is a great way just to conceptualize and get those concept art ideas out there in a way that you can understand and even has a great sense of depth at this early phase. So I'm really liking this one. This one might be my favorite so far, but we're definitely gonna keep going. Keep exploring. Finish our our full page of thumbs here just to give it a shot. And, as you can see, these air also edible if something just doesn't feel like it's working, all you have to do is just sample a color and paint it out. Super rough there no riel pain, not paying any attention to details whatsoever. Just just getting basic shapes and concepts, all about ideas at this point and in solving your design problems before we get to our more refined steps later on. That's coming along really nicely. I think we have three pretty solid ideas here, but we want to keep going. Finish off our four here just to make sure that we have a full design exploration here. And of course, this is a great step that you can submit these to a client's ask which one is your favorite . If they're elements that are working in some but not in others, you can kind of mix and match a great, just simple ideation technique to get some very rough ideas out there and see what's working for you before you take it to later steps. And that's on doing here. Same kind of process on this last one. We're gonna finish off here and just creating a sense of death. The needs getting R and D is out there, and we'll pick a winner and refine a little bit later on. So we've got a set of nice thumbnails here. I took a little break just to give myself a little time to reset, and after looking at him again, I've decided to go with this one kind of the triangle rock formations. I think it's gonna be great. So that's our winner. And next we will take it to our sketch face. So I think created a new document, and I have said it to our normal resolution of 16 by nine inches at 300 DP ice of full resolution now and I've just pasted in that value thumbnail just to get us a good start in , and what I'm doing now is just kind of going over the top of this with a line art layer. That sketch that we're doing now is what we're gonna take to our painting eventually. So basically just another pass of refinement to our concept. I'm even sort of trying to define some of the terrain a little bit. You can see I'm doing a little bit of surface compression to make that foreground. Hill sort of seemed to roll out, give it a little bit of depth and dimension like it's a curving hill. So here's where we use all of those Leinart techniques and all of the things that we've learned about depth in in the illusion of distance to make this kind of a compelling Leinart drawing here. And that's another thing that we could submit to the client is Take it to this face for something that looks a little more polished in presentable and just submit is a slightly more refined idea. We don't have much time invested in this this entire piece, really it all at this point. So even if you take it a step or two past simple thumbnails. You don't really need to worry about losing too much work. If if an idea gets rejected, so starting to think a little bit more about this video game exploration type angle, you can probably see. I'm trying to imply some little footpaths, maybe little rocky areas that are coming up through mostly grassy type of surfaces. What I'm thinking is, maybe there's something to discover in the middle of each of these rock formations, some little element to a story. Some scroll you have to read for a clue, maybe some power up item that you have to collect it. Each one of these points, any kind of cool little story detail to keep driving the player or the viewer onward into your image wanting Teoh, Go reached that next rock formation to get the next piece of the puzzle and continue the adventure. So really thinking like a video game explorer on this one, trying to make little points of interest. It's sort of dot the landscape and recede out into the distance, and again, it's all about inviting our viewer out into the distance to explore finding something that's really compelling and interesting and just begging for anybody to go find out what the answers are to all of these great mysteries that that we're creating here. So that's all I'm doing. Also thinking ahead a bit, too. All of these little tears of depth, just like we had in our hidden path cave painting. We divided our image up into a foreground, a middle ground in a far distance, and we're going to do the same thing here, maybe with a little more complexity, because there are quite a few layers going on here. So we may add, Ah, second, middle ground before we get all the way out to that far distance. But the technique will be virtually identical, will just divide things up in the layer groups later on, and it will all be organized nicely. Won't get too confusing. But at this point I'm just adding some very subtle, very small details out on this far distance. You don't want to put too much time into dotting every little blade of grass on this distant mountain, but a few little surface details do make this look kind of cool. And if you're trying to sell this idea to a client saying, Hey, this is what I think is really gonna work It's worth spending a little bit of time adding these little Polish elements, making things look cool. And of course, I have to add in a few birds. Maybe they've made some nests on top of these rocky formations. I think that would be kind of cool. And, of course, birds always add a nice little element of scale and movement to your image. For some reason, it just makes the world seem more alive when it's got living things flying around in it. So birds or one of those things that you see in so much concept art, they just appear everywhere, and it might be a little bit overdone. But you know what? There's a reason for it. They really do add a lot of dynamism and movement, just something kind of interesting. So deal free to include those. But with a little more detail. I think this line art is just about finish will take it to rough color up next 19. Project 2 - Epic Valley - Rough Color: Hi, everyone. This is Hardy. In this section, we will continue our epic Valley project with our rough color step and maybe even go a step or two beyond that. So let's get started. So now that we have our sketch finished, I've got some images pasted in here that I've cobbled together and blurred everything to obliterate any distracting details. It might be there because we're just here to borrow the color scheme. And what I'm doing now is just picking up and laying down different colors from from different parts of the image, so borrowing something that might work in one area and just painting it in to the other. So although we really need from these, these photo images that we make for our color scheme is just a very general starting point , just a a grouping of colors. It looked like they work well together and captured the general mood and vibe that you're going for in your painting. So I've got a lot of really cool burned oranges here in a little bit of a cooler, darker, foreground color. So once again, sort of playing off of that really great relationship between blue and orange that I really like and I think that'll work really nicely for this. Didn't want to go with a super grain rolling grassy hills. Didn't want to seem quite so friendly and idyllic is that I just wanted it to have a bit more of an ominous kind of, Ah, foreboding nature make this seem like somewhere you really want to explore. But it's also not without danger, not not necessarily taking all the way to something that looks gloomy or threatening but just enoughto give it some mystery and pause for for the viewer. And I think that this color scheme that we're looking at here really captures all of those qualities very nicely. So for now, just like in our first project, we're using that dropper tool a lot by holding our brush and then just hitting the option key to switch. And it's just sort of a pick up and lay down process. This is a really free and expressive part of the project. You're kind of just splashing paint all over the place, see what kind of relationships work well together. And since we're taking this off of a photo, there are just so many different colors already going on that that it's always gonna look cool. Everything will look like it belongs cause we're sort of starting from a a nice, cohesive place. It's not gonna have just a rainbow color scheme that you have to piece back together. This one's sort of gonna work, no matter how how you approach it. So that's basically where I am now. Of course, we're keeping atmospheric perspective in mind So you can see we've got those tears of value that correspond to how far away things are that very distant mountain. And those rolling hills are a lot more subdued, kind of grayed out and not not nearly is dark and stark in contrast, but are near ground. That little hill that's closest to us is very dark. And of course, when we had highlights to that, it's gonna have a tremendous amount of pop because of all the contrast, so cool. Little things like that really helped to sell our illusion of depth. And of course, that is. One of our main priorities for this piece is to make it seem just massive and expansive in a big part of where you achieve that is these color decisions that you make early on in the process. So I'm just sort of playing around with these little stone formation. Seeing what kind of a lighting scheme I wanna have here exactly. I'm not really committed to much of anything in terms of light source, because it's a very cloudy sky. I think I'm gonna have a few breaks in the clouds where we have really cool dramatic beams of sunlight shining through. And that does a lot of great things for us because, first of all, it just looks really cool. Having beams of light pour through these gaps in the clouds gives it that really epic fantasy game vibe that we're going for, so that's great. But it also lets us sort of just shine a spotlight anywhere that we want to because it's plausible. There could be a beam of light coming out of virtually anywhere in the sky, and it could just happen to be illuminating some point of interest. So it sort of gives us a license to shine a bright light anywhere that we want to draw attention and it'll make sense with the lights game that we've set up. So that's always a really nice feature of these cloudy skies That sort of let you decide where you want to shine those spotlights, and it will always make sense. But that's basically all I'm doing here. Every once in a while, I'll zoom way out to get sort of a big picture. Look, sometimes when you're really close in working on little details or tryingto make decisions about small parts of your painting, you can lose track of the big picture and sort of start to lose sight of your rough color painting. So that's although zoom out steps are, and that's something I really recommend. So I think this is looking pretty good is a rough state. So I made emerged layer, of course, kept a copy of everything the sketch and the original rough color layer. But now I did a merged layer, and I am just going to start cutting out these little tears of depth just like we did in our first painting. So now that we have our basic color statement made, we're gonna take a minute or two to sort of get things organized so that all of these layers of depth don't get away. from this, and we don't end up with a crazy, unmanageable painting later on. So, just like before, using the lasso tool to cut things out and then paste them and we're gonna just put things in their own layer groups, is we go. So I've got foreground covered here, and it's sort of this is the time when you need to decide which elements belong to which layer group. Sometimes it's nice to not have so many tears of death because it becomes a little bit unmanageable. But also you want to separate things out nicely so that if you need Teoh, use an airbrush and paint in a little bit of atmospheric perspective behind one tear. You don't have to go through the trouble of having to separate those out. So sometimes you you want to keep a few things separated. But but on the other hand, it's always nice to have not quite so many layers to deal with. So I'm trying to do this in a logical way, mostly just foreground middle ground in distance, but with all kinds of little rolling hills and different elements in this one. Specifically, these things that I have selected right now. Sometimes it's nice to just put them all together. So that's what I'm doing here. I've got a nice middle ground to find here, and I'll put that in its own layer. Group is well, and we're making good progress here. This is definitely not the funnest part of this process. I will admit it makes things feel a little tedious when you have to start tracing work you've already done with the lasso tool. But it really pays off in the long run. And of course, if you're using this technique professionally, all professional artists know that time is money. So anything that will save you grief in time later on in the process is definitely worthwhile. So that's why I'm definitely including this step in our on our course here. Just a great thing to know in a good habit to form if you're an artist, just starting out in a professional setting, doing a little bit of polishing as I go here to just to define some of these edges that have defined with those selections. But now we're getting out to sort of the far distance, and I actually would like to separate this out too. Even though this mountain is in the far distance, I would like for it to be distinct from the sky so that we can treat the sky in a different way from this mountain. So I'm going to go ahead and cut this mountain out to and put it in its own layer group so that we can pain in the sky really freely and not have to worry about any cloud shapes we paint overlapping this distant mountain. You are messing any of that up. So this will kind of be the last separation that we really need to do before we can get back to some fun stuff. And I think I want a little peek over here sort of deciding this on the fly. But I think that'll work too. So including that in this distant mountain layer grouping, and I think we're in good shape. I've got a foreground, a middle ground in a distance, and I've just left the sky to be rendered on that background layer. So now that I have all of these selections made and remember, all you need to do is hit command. Click on any of these layers that you have cut out and they are selected so you can paint within them freely without going outside the lines. A really handy trick. Another one of those great professional tips. A great time saver will keep your work moving quickly and smoothly. So just doing a little bit of polishing up here in the background, starting to make some of these cloud shapes a little more defined with some smudging and some some over painting. And I'm keeping this cloud cloudy sky pretty nondescript. For now, we're not really doing any super defined clouds like we did in our sky demonstration. I'm deciding this will be sort of more of a turbulent kind of abstract sky. Might use, um, photo textures later on. But really trying to keep that that kind of ominous fantasy quality to this one? And I think some puffy white clouds might sort of detract from that. So just is part of an art direction decision on that, keeping these clouds sort of nondescript, just sort of, ah, gray boiling sky kind of ominous and mysterious, but polishing up some of our color choices here. So we've got a rough color statement pretty well established that this point. We've got some really nice oranges in those rolling hills in the distance, and we set the stage nicely for some great highlights on some of these closer tears of depth because they're on a pretty dark base right now, and that's a great opportunity to have some really bright lights shining down on them. That really nice contrast between a dark base and a bright highlight always catches the eye and looks great so that that's really a nice set up we have there, and your images can feel a little bit dark at this step. But don't worry, we're definitely gonna do some rendering later on. That will counter act that a bit. But back here on this sky layer, I'm just doing a little bit of work, even switched to color Dodge mode a little bit to see if I could get some really bright, burning, glowing lights coming through to some of those fantasy like elements where we have those beams of light burning through the clouds like we're gonna have. But we'll do a lot more fine tuning on that later. I'm still sort of in this impressionistic phase where we're just trying to get general color statements in a feeling out of these color decisions that we're making. Not too worried about detail yet, but we're doing pretty well in this later in this. In this lecture, I may even continue a little bit by by doing some of the detail work in our distant mountain layer. I think we're making some pretty quick progress here, so I'll include that step in this video. We'll start doing some custom shapes at on these rolling hills. Really? Is the moment where these details start coming to life. So a lot of fun. I'm kind of eager to get to that step, but for now, a few more rough color items I want to make sure to include. So I'm using the lasso tool to subtract away a few parts of this middle ground stone formation because I want to put a nice highlight, something bright hitting the sides of these little pillars. That's really cool. Just like a beam of light is coming from above and just illuminating our main focal point. Not too sure about this color that looks a little too cold and metallic right now, so just messing with that a little bit, warming it up a bit to seem like it's some kind of warm, natural, light colored stone. And I think that's gonna work really well. Very nice. So we'll add some stone kind of brick textures to that later on, just to make it very clear that it's a man made kind of rock formation that's maybe centuries old and is now in a state of disrepair, even experimenting a little bit with some some highlights. And this is just sort of almost like note taking. We're not quite ready to to really do all of these steps, but I'm just sort of checking this out, doing some early experiments with lighting schemes to see what kind of attention that draws , how it leads the eye around. And I think that's cool. So I'm going to keep that in mind. But we're still a good ways off from any kind of polished rendering, and this is just sort of some testing at this phase to see what looks good. I always want you guys to feel very free to just experiment, feel free to go outside of the exact steps that I'm defining here. My highest aspiration is to teach you a general formula and then just kind of turn You lose with your own ideas and even your own variations on the process. So I think we're in good shape there now. I think it's time to start adding some custom shapes into these distant mountains. And this is really the exact process that we did in our hidden path project The interior of the cave were just grabbing various rocky shapes, transforming them and warping them around. I'm gonna vary it up a little bit and just to see what looks cool. In fact, I didn't really like that when I'm gonna try something different just to make all of these little tiny, rocky details just come to life on this distant mountain even far away that looks like tiny little trees or rocks peeking through this grassy area. So a super cool way to add tons of detail. But you guys can probably tell I'm get very excited about this custom shapes tool because it has really been a game changer for me. Alas, you to just add so much detail with so little work, it's made ah, whole new level of of work reachable for me. And that's why I really wanted to share it with everyone here, a game changing tool if ever there was one. But, of course, use it artfully and make sure to include a variety of tools because and note no tool will be a magic bullet and make everything work for you. Still still got to apply your artist I to everything but that being said a very powerful tool. So, as I was saying before, I want everyone to feel free to kind of branch out a little bit and explore things on their own and don't feel obligated t really color within the lines. I think the greatest bounds that any artists makes is those lessons that you just start to learn for yourself. So practice this, get get a hand of these tools in these general concepts, but then really start to make it your own, really start doing some experiments, try things that that might work differently because even though I think this process is great and it works perfectly for May, there are there always many ways to do just about everything in photo shop. So if you discover something that works well, please share with our community here. We'd all love to hear about it. And I certainly would love to see what you come up with is well. But anyway, these custom shapes were just sort of scattering them around the landscape here to get the impression of these hills that role closer and closer. So I'm sort of using these shapes larger and larger, but I think that's good. So I've merged all the shapes on the one layer. I've been hidden that layer, and I've created a new one. This is gonna be the layer that we paint our detail on. So I grabbed that sort of bright orange color to start painting in this orangish sort of grassy terrain. I'm even painting in some shadows, too. If you just select the inverse, then you'll be painting outside of the custom shape. So if you want a little more dark in the cracks between the grass, that's what I'm doing there. But selecting those custom shapes again so that I can paint in some really bright orange, I decided I want that distant cliff face that grassy area to be a really bright highlight. So I've really made that a nice burning orange, definitely an eye catcher. I want the viewer to kind of let there I go way out there. Sort of is, if that area was the ultimate goal, that distance that the player where viewer is striving for as we explore this really cool landscape. So if you can see that we set up with our composition and our sketch, these little rock formations kind of dot the landscape kind of connect the dots and give you a nice point a to point B path to follow. It's it's very clear and really make sense decided. I want a little reflected light on this cliff that's kind of facing down towards this valley. So I'm doing another custom shape, a very tall, skinny one. To show some surface compression like this rock face is kind of in a different plane, one that sort of facing away from us. And I think that's just about perfect. Little bit of adjustment is all that these take, and they become super realistic looking, even using the clone stamp to repeat that texture on a few of these other little jutting out outcroppings. One really cool fantasy landscape element that I've kind of gotten addicted to is one of these grassy, plain areas that sort of looks like it's bursting up out of the earth. So there's grass with rocks underneath it, just like it's this little jagged outcropping that sort of had some tectonic shift. And then it emerged. I think I first really noticed those in those great Lord of the Rings New Zealand area shoots that. That type of element is everywhere, and it just gives it an instant fantasy type of look. So you'll see those a lot of my fantasy type of landscape paintings. And that's a cool little technique, something I definitely wanted to include here. I've got wow, five or six of those going on in this painting. So something that I'm definitely sold on, kind of repeating some shapes you can see. I've been doing some copy and merged selections, and again, if you ever want to grab one part of your image and just copy everything all of the layers together, just make your selection with the lasso or even the marquee tool and you hit Shift command , see, and that will copy everything. Copy merged and then you paste it in. So that's how I sort of copied that little jutting out Rocky Hill and then pasted it and just sort of transformed it. I repeated that element a few times coming into the foreground just to repeat that effect. And suddenly we've got a pretty realistic, very deep, distant valley set up here, and that took very little time. We just threw in some custom shapes, did a little bit of transformation painted into those selections that we made with the custom shapes. And then I just did a little bit of copying and pasting. And now here I'm using the clone stamp tool to do a little bit of detail work, even though this is in the way distance. I still wanted to be kind of detailed, have have a few little points of interest that we can check out, sort of defining this little area in the top corner of the page. I had thought I wanted this to look like a distinct peak sticking out, but the more I look at it, I kind of like how it just fades into darkness like it's going up into the clouds, maybe even some stormy clouds. So I've decided to let that cliff and the entire upper corner sort of fade off into darkness. I think that makes it a much more mysterious and inviting type of distant element. You've got to find out what's going on up there when you finally get to the end of this path that we're following. But I think this one's really coming together for us. We've got a really cool composition that's achieving all of our project goals. So far, we've got a really nice rough color scheme that's giving us all of the mood that we're after. And I think our details in this distant Rolling Valley is really, really working well. We've got all kinds of great details. It's very inviting to come and explore. So I think with a few little touch ups, we can essentially call this distant part of the image detailed and ready for our next step . So in our next lectures will sort of carry these staying detail ing steps into our nearer elements, so we'll do that up next 20. Project 2 - Epic Valley - Refined Color: Oh, hi, everyone. This is Hardy. In this section, we will continue our detail ing process with some refined color. So let's get started. Basically, we're going to continue our process of using custom shapes to add detail and texture, toe all of these different tiers of depth. And then later on in this video, we're going to use some custom brushes to start adding a little bit of foliage to This is Well, so it's gonna be really cool. And so moving into this middle ground level of depth here, I'm going to start just adding in some of these little rocky textures, sort of in a different plane. We want these to look a little bit different, so I'm trying to think of it is is a different scale. We wanted to start looking like little individual grassy areas and little rocky cleaved planes, and that's that's what this shape is doing for us here. And it's already making a pretty cool effect, So I'm coloring a little bit outside of the lines here. Remember that each of these custom shapes is just gonna be used as a selection, so you don't have to be super worried about where they end up and we can always just sort of trim them out with a selection of our painting anyway, So that's that shape works well, I'm gonna make that invisible. And then I'm just painting in some of this nice burn orange color to some of these shapes that have defined here just to start establishing some detail on this little middle ground area. This little raised outcropping here what? We've got that middle ground stony formation there. So that's looking really cool. I have an idea Might copy merged this sort of distant shape that we've got here cause I think it might work is a nice, quick detail we can add, and with a little brightness and contrast adjustment, we can make it fit the atmosphere perspective that we have set up there trying some different blending modes to just to see what might work. I'm not sure about that. Some of these intensities aren't quite working. So get our race away a little bit just to add a little bit of detail there. And there we go. We sort of borrowed ah finished part of another part of the painting and added it. Teoh, near apart and also has a really cool highlight. So I'm grabbing some of that color again, just making a selection of that custom shape that I created whenever I need it. And I'm just painting in doing a little bit of brushwork here to what we're gonna do a lot more of that near the end steps. But every once in a while I see an opportunity where I could do a little bit of refinement as we go here. So coming together, Well, this, uh, this process really works the same way. We just kind of repeat and keep getting closer to the near ground in each different, different attempt. So trying a different shape here, I'm gonna see if I can get something cool going on in this little area kind of between these two little rocky formations it we got going on here, and I think that's working well, just enough to give it a little bit of interest. Make it look like a few little gaps in the grassy areas. Just little interesting things that that make it look like something more than just flat color. And also we want to be a little bit sparing with our detail, So I'm leaving some of these areas kind of subdued. The last thing we want is for every area of our image to be so detailed and visually active that it just gets overwhelming. We don't want that. So if there are areas that aren't really a focal point, go ahead and leave them kind of subdued any any detail ing that you do apply, keep it sort of subtle low opacity or just a little bit of paint applied, and allow those areas to kind of sit down a bit. Fade into the background and you'll be pleased with the result, doing a little bit of brushwork to define these little stony formations on this middle ground. And again, since we're gonna add a lot of detail to this near ground rock formation, this one will really do well without much detail at all. It's one of those great things where the human brain kind of connects the dots automatically, and if we define one in a lot of detail, we can kind of just leave the rest alone and and let the mind's eye connect the dots on that. So ah, really fortunate and handy tool that the artist can use and not not end up detail ing every part of your painting to death. In fact, in early epic painting that I attempted about 10 years ago, when I was still in school, I rendered every single part of it as much as I could. I thought, I need to really give every bit of effort I possibly can render every pixel as if it were the most important part of the page. I thought I could just sort of use brute force to kind of render that painting into submission, and it did turn out okay. But when I look at it now, it seems just totally sterile and dead. Almost it's is if there's no artistic expression, no whimsy, nothing expressive about any of it. It seems so rendered to death and just kind of boring. So I have sort of learned that tough lesson over the years that you have to use some restraint. You have to really safe your most rendered areas for those focal points, those real wow eye catching spots. Otherwise, if it's all just rendered to the degree, it never ends up looking good and it's a little bit counterintuitive. So don't fall into that same trap. Really. Save your detailed rendering areas for parts of your image that you want to be eye catching and let the rest kind of sit back. Even if it looks kind of sketchy and whimsical, it actually makes your image a little bit more compelling and charming. You want to see a little bit of that hand of the artist in there. That's kind of what people expect. That's what your clients and your viewers will like is to have a little bit of that in there. So just a little big picture tip there something that can really work for you. So just working on this nearer rock formation little Hill we've got here and trying to figure out some awesome custom shapes that'll work have basically been just layering the same couple of them on top of one another. As you can see on that rolling hillside going up and here on this dark side, I want to add in a little reflected light. So I'm just using some rocky shapes over there that I'm gonna paint a very subtle little bounce light on that dark side just something to make that area a little bit interesting and give it a little bit of pop. Set it off from that very dark little foreground hill that we've going on got going on right in front of it. So now that I've got those shapes set up again, we make that shapes layer invisible, and then we create a new layer. And once we use the selection by command, clicking the shapes layer weaken, just painting within it. So, just like magic, you can use Adisa selection and then just use a soft round brush on low flow and opacity. And you can paint in these really nice, subtle details. Really save your your bright highlights for areas of interest. So I'm painting this really bright kind of golden orange right where I want the footpath to bay. It's where I'm telling the viewer, this is where you should walk to come up here to have a look at what's inside of this stone formation. So all kinds of little cool I leading tricks that the environment artist needs to use t show everyone where there's their attention should be what's going on, that they need to pay attention to so that that's coming along really well. Playing around with the opacity on this layer beautiful part of keeping things in different layers is that you can always adjust things independently, so anything you think you might want to adjust, keep it on its own layer and you can run every kind of adjustment hue, saturation, brightness, contrast anything you think you might want to change down the road. If you have it on its own layer, it is super easy. All of those photo shop operations are available to you, so the line that we have to walk is wanting to preserve layers to make everything nice and edit herbal. But at the same time, you want to keep your layer number sort of small so that your painting doesn't get out of control and unmanageable and just become this tangled mess of layers. So hopefully this system of layer grouping in ways that we keep our layers kind of low in number that I'm demonstrating here. I hope that's a good formula for you to follow so that nothing gets too out of control or overwhelming. But here we go. We're sort of moving from distant to close, and now we're on this closest little Rolling Hill, adding that cool custom shape to give it sort of a rocky path. And I'm gonna include some foliage out to the left and right of this little rocky footpath . But that really does the job nicely. So just doing a little bit of manipulation to this and warping and scaling to make it fit. It's also really got a nice angle, kind of a nice lean to it that just leads the eye right into the page. So another great composition tool, one of those I leading devices. So again we just make that invisible command, click it, create a selection, and then on a new layer we paint in notice. I'm trying to keep these colors in this foreground kind of different from those in the rest of the painting, having a little bit of blue want this to seem like a totally different plane, a different level of depth. So I'm really trying something different to make this distinct. Of course, I wanted to all be cohesive, so it is gonna have a little bit of that orange flavor as well. No end up painting Cem, Orange colleges well, But these near ground elements are the ones that I want to be a little bit distinct in value and color and even level of detail. Those air the cues that our eyes used to tell how far away something is one of those great depth creation devices that we always use. So I've got this little stone kind of standing up here, kind of a neat little foreground detail. So I wanted to paint a little bit of rocky texture on that. I think that's really cool. So we're really setting the stage nicely to add in some foliage, which will do in just a few minutes but got a nice set of little rocky textures. We've got all of our terrain pretty nicely defined. It all has a nice sense of depth. Weaken tell how, how the lay of the land kind of roles and leans along as we go out into the distance. So that's all working really well. And that's exactly what the's custom shapes steps are designed to do. They let you really define the shape and plain of each one of these little tears of depth, and they add a tremendous amount of detail. So a really useful step noticing a few areas in the background that I could improve. Possibly. So I've got this little mountain. This little outcropping popped up here and I'm trying to sort of use the clone stamp to maybe put a little bit of orange in that background. And I had my brush that on the wrong mode it was on luminosity, so I switched that back to normal. Now I'm gonna paint in a little bit of that bright orange color. And as you can see, just like that, it sort of changes the plane. Suddenly, we've got a little path kind of curving around the far side of that mountain, so it's incredible. With just a few changes of value, you can really, entirely re sculpt the lay of the land. So it's never too late to edit things. If you find you're just not liking the way something's looking, or maybe a light source isn't adding up, something just isn't quite working for you. It's never too late. Just make some changes. You can always reorganize your layers a little bit, keep things kind of kind of organized in a way that you can always have that option. I thought this little hill, it's kind of almost a silhouette could use a little bit of detail, too. So I'm adding yet another little rock formation. Seems like the next little step along the way is your going out towards that tall mountain , and it's cool. I like how it's on that really nice, sloping plain. Really Add some interest, and we can really connect the dots between those. So I think this is looking great. Why don't we go ahead and start adding in a little bit of foliage up next? So we'll be using those custom brushes that we explored in our trees and foliage lecture, namely foliage three. And I think it's grass, too. So first I'm gonna put down some shadow colors. This is that foliage three brush working on a new layer in our foreground group just to kind of spackle and a little bit of this dark color. I just sampled that that very dark, bluish color from the rocks and even a little bit of silhouette work out on the perimeter here. So these air just the parts that I want these highlights to sit on now it's wishing to this cool grass brush and let's go ahead and add some of this arms. That's at a few highlights here. And remember, I'm changing the size of this brush with the bracket keys larger and smaller, because I wanted to seem a larger pattern, the closer we get and, of course, smaller. The farther out towards the perimeter of this hill had so much depth, it's that certain surface compression principle that really does this force and you can see already how really cool and realistic this little bit of foliage that were adding adds to that near ground. You can practically I feel like you can reach down and touch those blades of grass. So a super cool thing to do now this is kind of cool. I have locked this layer, see the little lock symbol next to that layer, and I'm painting in some brighter gold highlights just to the tops of these little blades of grass and bush tops. Really cool way to add some highlight. You just lock it and you can only paint within those pixels. So I think that's working really well, messing around with hue saturation to see if some different Hue might work a little bit better, Sort of set off this foreground. But for the most part, I kind of like keeping it in the same general Hugh. So a little bit of change, but I'm really just using the history brush to mostly go back on that. So that's looking great. I've got some little areas of grass that I like. So when whenever that's working, well, I try to just copy and paste, see if I can make him work in other parts of the candidacy, See how much mileage we can get out of a rendering that we like a lot. So, doing that here, Just seeing what I could make work on this little middle ground. This area I've got going on here just trying to repeat things. See if I can make the same kind of effects work twice for force another one of those artists tricks to to maximize the efficiency in time you get out of each image seeing if I can copy this little cool, rocky formation. Give some kind of interesting spot to this dark side of this little middle ground hill I've got here. Thought I'd sort of drop that change the angle a little bit like it's ah, Rocky column That sort of fell over. I thought that would be cool to sort of suggest that part of this has crumbled away to ruin . So maybe a little rocky structure, a little formation like we've got it sort of fell over on its side. Might be a little bit of cool back story, but I'm gonna leave that very subtle just painting in some or grassy textures here on this middle ground hill again, making that that brush larger whenever it gets closer to us. And that looks so cool. It's right in that mid tone, that part of a shape when light turns to shadow. That's where we really want all of these details to pop out, and you can see all those great little blades of grass and little sticks and twigs really showing up in that midtown. So a great use of that and it really brings our light sourcing toe life really makes it look cool, doing a little bit of refinement here. Maybe a little bit of this foliage brush to add a few more kind of bush and hedge looking formations going on here. But for the most part, this foliage detail ing step that we've done is really coming together. Force. We've got some great rocky textures. I think each tier of death has a lot of detail and interest in its very three dimensional. And this foliage adds a lot to so after a little more detail. Ng I think this one is just about ready to take to our final polish. Well, had some photo textures and a little bit of final Polish painting, and then we'll call this one done. We'll do that up next. 21. Project 2 - Epic Valley - Final Polish: Oh, hi, everyone. This is Hardy. In this section, we will finish our epic Valley project with some textures and final polish. So let's get started off camera. I've paced in in a few really great textures. We've got this super cool, otherworldly waterfall Cem Stone stuff and ah, really cool sky. That's a picture I took at the airport, actually, but it's perfect for this. It'll be a really good use of photo texture to give that sky a little bit of interest. It's got some really cool rays of light shining through. So it really fits our story in our mood that we're establishing here. So we're gonna use these on soft, light blending modes, as we did in our previous project. I've got them all grouped in a layer group called Photos at the top. So we'll just sort of grabbed them out of their one at a time and just apply it to these individual layer groups, these tears of death. So I'm gonna start in the background. We're gonna take care of this sky first. So I've got this photo and I'm just gonna generally place it kind of check it out, see where it fits establish a light source and again that's a little bit ill defined on this one. I wanted to leave it a bit unclear where exactly the light source is, but it still needs to make sense. So I've put it in a layer group and changed it to soft light. And that's when the magic happens. That's when it starts looking like we're just seeing a little hint of the texture and color from this photo. But we're not losing any of the really cool rendering we've got in the background. So I'm gonna work this around again, just hitting command T and then control to bring up these other functions. And I'm gonna find Tune this one a little bit. It's got a little too much blue sky showing through. I don't wanna let this image get overly cheerful or anything, and I'm grabbing this really cool feature part of the photo, those distant little breaks in the clouds where the light is shining through. That's definitely the most moody and evocative part of this sky photo to me, so I want to make sure that we're getting some hints of that. It was sort of getting lost beyond the horizon, tinkering with the color a little bit with some color balance adjustments. But I think this is working really nicely, doing a little bit of a racing just to get rid of some of those overly cheerful blue sky areas that don't quite fit the tone that I'm setting here. And here we go views liquefied to do a little bit of fine tuning to wear some of these little our king curves of these clouds are. But for the most part, I think that works great. Gonna run a paint daubs filter on it just to tamped down a little bit of that photographic quality. I wanted to match the painterly stuff that we've got going on underneath, and I think that works really nicely. So we will sort of continue this project and I'll move to this distance sort of the far background mountain, and we'll grab this waterfall with all these super cool stony textures. I love this picture. I don't know where this waterfall is, but those rocky textures are just so cool. Very otherworldly. So very glad I came across this one and certainly my thanks to the photographer who made it available for free. So I have put this photo into the distance layer group, and I have made it its own layer group, so you can see we have photo texture layer Group and I also put a mask on that. And once we just click the silhouette of this mountain shape that we have on its own layers , layer 11 down there, we could just mask it out. That way, the photos never go outside the lines. Everything that you put within that photo texture layer group because of that mask, it will always stay inside. Everything will stay nice and organized. You have to worry about photo edges bleeding beyond their margins or anything. It'll really work perfectly. So it's a really nice way to set these photo text during layers up. And, of course, with all of these different tiers of depth that we've got going on, it really pays off to be a little bit organized. So I hope you guys are really taking good advantage of this little system I've got going here. Takes a little bit of extra work, but it is certainly worth it to stay organized, so we're generally just repeating this same technique of grabbing photos from this photos group above and just dropping them into the layer groups for the different layers of depth . And then we just mask out a new photo textures layer and set that group too soft light. So I hope that makes sense. It's sort of the same technique will be doing in just addressing each different tear that we've got set up here. So dropping that really cool kind of algae rocky surface between the train tracks thought that was a perfect fit for our foreground layer. Here, not really going in order from far too near anything, just jumping up to the foreground, just really working on whatever is inspiring me at the moment. So just a few opacity adjustments, little tiny, fine tuning elements that I've got going on here to make sure that we're using each photo to its maximum effect but not letting it overwhelm any of the painting that we've worked so hard to create. To this point, photo should always just be a very subtle little underlying grain going on. Maybe a little bit of color variation to you never want the photos to dominate. Using this really cool rocky striations for this little rocky outcropping I've got here. And wow, I really just love that texture. And it fits that that little element perfectly. That's exactly what we want. Photo textures to do is add a little bit of interest to the things that we've painted but not overwhelm them. So I hope that's making sense. And you guys are really getting what I mean. When I talk about artfully using these photo textures in soft, light blending mode, it's, ah, really great way to add some punch to your image here in our final Polish step. So using this sort of rocky algae texture once again on this little near hill, the one going up towards this first set of rocky stone formations, I think that's working really nicely, racing away a little bit. I don't want that to be too bold and just copying and editing things, bringing some of this same element out to this farther, one out in the distance and that that's working really nicely. Run a little bit of a paint dubs filter on these. I do that sometimes, but not all the time. It's just a great way is some things looking a little too photographic and isn't exactly jiving with with what else you've got going on on that area of the canvas. You just run a little paint daubs filter, and it suddenly makes this photo look a little more painterly. Obviously, you can't really full anyone by running a filter on a photograph and say, It's something you painted but hopefully you know what I mean. Just a way to kind of bring things together, a good, good step for cohesiveness, trying to add a little bit of interest to this far little kind of rocky, exposed area of this hill. And I thought that cool, rocky, striations, texture were would work really well for that. I think that area is finally kind of coming together. So would have been a tough spot for me. So now let's grab this really cool side of a castle wall photo and really start adding some realism to these little stone formations. Look how much more realistic that looks already. Just with this first little effort, it text oring these things, a very cool set of irregular stones looks like it's all stacked up in something that was really constructed so trying to think about the perspective of this sort of cube like structure. So it's got different perspective planes, the one facing us going in one direction and the ones on the side and that bright light source going in a different direction. You don't have to be super finite with this. You don't have to set up a perspective grid or anything, necessarily. But just a few of these little adjustments can go a really long way to making these little elements feel authentically three dimensional. And while so much realism added there with so so little work, so a great step doing a bit of, ah adjustment on that to one of this nearer one to have a little more pop will do a color balance to make it a little more blue and wow, that really sits in the rest of the color scheme beautifully. So I think that that was a great step, doing a little bit of copying here, grabbing some of that cool, rocky striations to this little exposed rocky area underneath this little outcropping, I think that works really nicely. Love that exposed rock underneath the grass. Look, the guys I think That's about all we need to do for our photo text. Oring. That's really done exactly what we wanted. So now we'll start merging some of these things together to give us a more manageable layers to work with. So just group everything in each tier, make a copy and that hit command E two murdered together. So there we go. We've got everything essentially on one layer per tear. So again, grab everything. Command G to group, copy it and then command E to merge the copy. And there we have it. That's how we sort of say the copy of everything so that it's edible. But we make a merged version that we can work on without having to worry about. Jump between jumping between layers return. We want to change something. So that's what I'm doing here. Just another quick step to keep things organized and headache free. As we take this one towards the finish line, we're getting very close, so it's sort of final fine tuning and polished time here. So anywhere on your canvas it seems a little bit rough or could use a little bit of hand painting. T feel more painterly and refined. This is exactly what we're doing in this step. So I'm working from far too near doing a little bit of a racing away to make some of these rough silhouettes a little more crisp and interesting and even doing a little bit of smudging so that they sort of sit back into the far distance. But basically just just fine tuning These little silhouettes want this to really hold up to scrutiny. This is where you can zoom in a little bit and really make sure that even all the minus minute little details are done in a way that you can be proud of because after this will be sending this off to a client or a teacher or just posting it. So it's really that last chance step to really make it shine, jumping around a bit to want some of these little stone formations Now that I have them so well defined with photo textures want those to really be nicely defined. So even the slightest little work we do by adding some highlights or just a racing away a little bit of the contour doing a little bit of edge work here on that area where the plane changes really makes us look more realistic so you can see him sort of a racing away little brick pattern indentations. Little steps like that really will make these stone formations look super realistic. So I'm using the clone stamp tool a lot at this point to just to sort of grab local colors and repeat them, adding some little brick gaps in this bright light source area and even varying up that edge where the light side turns to dark just so that it's clear that maybe these bricks weren't stacked in a perfect pattern. There's just a little bit of variation. It makes it look very manmade, kind of hand wrought. And that's exactly what I want here. So you can see, even if you look at the beginning of this video, how far these little stony formations have come and how realistic they look now. So a super cool way to add a ton of realism with very little work attempting a filter here just to see if maybe I could make this area look a little less visually active. I think that's working well. We're gonna add a little bit of highlight to all of these areas where this stony formation would be catching the most spotlight. Just kind of taking a minute to take a look at the big picture and see what we might need to adjust next. And I think this is working well. Can you use that lasso tool technique to had a little bit of highlight to some of these little rocky facets over here on the edge of our canvas again just making little flat oval shapes with my lasso tool holding down shift to do multiple selections. And then, as you see, we just paint in with a soft brush to add. A nice, subtle highlight gives it a nice hand painted look to go along with all the great custom shapes and photo textures work. So I hope you're really starting to see how we use so many different techniques to arrive at a single final product. It all has to sort of come together. And if you rely too heavily on anyone, effect whether it's custom shapes or photo textures or filters anything like that. If it's too heavy handed into one note, it won't look that great. You need to really use all of these things, Aziz. A team together to kind of make your painting look really cohesive and give it a lot of nice personality and variations, a little more lasso tool selection work. And now I'm using the clone stamp just to sort of dot the landscape with a few little rocky highlight. And that's really coming well, so this is a really fun part of the process. We could just sort of jump all over the campus. Whatever catches are, I last little last minute ideas that might might be a cool way to make this one even even better before we call it finished. So Mork Loan stamping to just add some little rocky outcroppings make this hill a little more interesting. Give its, um, some fantasy type of personality, to said, It's not just a boring Rolling Hill. It's actually got some little features that make it interesting. That's exactly what we're trying to do here is just make these elements something to catch the player or the viewers interest. Make it something worthwhile of exploration, even adding in some little hand painted blades of grass here with the clone stamp. Just to sample that color And here's a really nice area where that dark stone formation really makes these golden blades of grass stand out so little opportunities like that for little areas of shine, where your project and really have some nice little feature points and memorable parts that they will make it a really charming and beautiful finished product. Adding some highlights to this foreground rocky element didn't want that to be too, too bold a little bit more last. So work over here to I keep these little last minute hand painted adjustments on their own layer a lot of the time because if they get too heavy handed, you can always a race back to what you had before or just find some nice middle ground. So that's always a good idea to work on one more new layer before you're sure you're extremely happy with it, and you can flatten that down. But as we get to our final steps here, it becomes more of a process of making last minute adjustments and then deciding when to sort of merge these layers together into one cohesive group. So this is that really great pay off part of the image where Everything really starts coming together. And you can just do some little hand painting elements to give it some last minute shine like these super cool golden blades of grass kind of giving a little edge lighting to this hill in the near ground. Just a little hand hand painted, charming elements like that to really make it. Ah, great finished product is good as it can possibly be. It's funny in this process, it sort of feels like the only hand painting parts that we do are at the very beginning when we're sketching for our concept and composition and then here at the very end. It's sort of like you save these two very hand painted parts for the very beginning and very end, and everything in between is almost like a formula that we can follow different tools in steps and concepts to keep in mind. That sort of bring these ideas together so hopefully it's more like a nice, comforting formula. You can follow a path, a guideline, and then at the's first and last steps, you really feel free to create your own things. It's where your artistic expression can really come to life, so notice. I added some atmosphere back there just to split these things out a little bit. Make these tears of death really clear now is one of our final selling points for this. I want to create some really cool little wildflowers growing in some of these grassy areas . And I'm going with this super intense blue color just to make it really pop against all those burned oranges again blue and orange or compliments on the color wheel. So they always look so cool together, and it really makes this meadow this epic Valley looked really other worldly and gives it that great fantasy video game type of personality. So I just made that one little group of flowers and then, with some copying in transformations, it really starts becoming a whole three dimensional looking field and against surface compression. Notice how we have some round looking large flower shapes in that very closest part in the corner. But then they get flatter and more numerous. All I do is copy them in sort of squash. That group of flower shapes together as they move out towards the edge of this little hill , and it makes it so much more round in three dimensional looking just because of those flowers. So there are great storytelling device. They're very pleasing because of the color interactions between the blue and the orange. But they're also really giving us a great benefit of making this little hill seem even more round. So death is always one of our greatest priorities. And even if he's very last stages, we can find new ways to reinforce that sense. So really loving these flowers. I think they had a lot of great great stuff to this image, both for color and for that that roundness aspect that I just mentioned. So we're really getting down to some final Polish stuff. Guys, this is looking super cool, just testing out to see if there's some other colors or little variations that might make these flowers look even cooler. But honestly, I think I just like this really intense blue, and the way it's working with these oranges and reds really great stuff is one final step. I think I'd like to add a little bit of a cloud in front of this mountain like it goes so high up that there's even cloud sort of drifting into the scene in front of it, and I think that's a really great final step. But guys with a few more details here, I think we're about ready to call this one of finished painting. Congratulations on completing the Epic Valley project. Let's take a look back at our project steps to see how far we've gone. We started with a sheet of value thumbnail sketches to conceptual lives and explore ideas. After picking a winner, we did a line arm sketch on top of the silhouettes to further define our idea. From there we did a rough color painting to define mood and atmosphere. After that, we had a detail with custom shapes and folate brushes. And then we finished things off with some cool photo textures and final polish on love. How this one turned out have added a few final details, some birds and debris, but that's basically it. We went from a blank canvas to a finished product that we could be really proud of. Tons of atmosphere and places to explore here. Hope you're really pleased with your projects as well join us for our final challenge up next. It's a project I know you're gonna love. I'll see you there 22. Project 3 - Ironwood Forest - Concept: Oh, hi, everyone. This is Hardy and welcome to the Ironwood Forest Project. This is gonna be a really cool in a lot of fun challenges to tackle. So let's get started. Once again, I've got our canvas separated into four little partitions. We're gonna do some thumbnails for conceptualization here, but to do something a little bit different instead of value sketches, we're just gonna do some Leinart. So I'm just gonna kind of scribble around with the brush tool. I've got my sketch layers set at 30% so that it's not quite so bold. I like sketching that way because it sort of feels like you're drawing with a pencil. Nothing super bold and permanent feeling like ink. So this could really just let our ideas flow. So the Ironwood Forest, this will be our a really epic scale forest concept. I want these trees to just seem unnaturally huge, like this couldn't really be a really forest, but something massive and epic out of a movie or video games. So that's one of our main goals. In fact, let's discuss our artists goals that we need to keep in mind here to start with. Let's definitely address that massive sense of scale. So I want these trees to be really huge and just overwhelming. I wanted to make the viewer feel tiny there, just in these this forest of towering giants. On top of that, I also wanted to really invite exploration. So if this is concept art for a movie or video game, let's imply Cem pass that the player or viewer could sort of mentally walk around. So we're gonna have a few little implications of paths, lots of ways to lead the eye. And also, I want to really pour on the bells and whistles. I want this one to be especially beautiful because we'll keep this in mind as if it's a portfolio building peace. So I'm really gonna gonna pour on all of the bells and whistles, all of those great little hooks and eye catching rendering devices that I'm going to show you in this one. So this one is meant to sort of be a portfolio star. So a little special gold it will have in mind there just to make this one a really feature . Now, these sketches air, probably even a little bit tough to understand, of being so loose with my line work, and at this point we're really just scribbling and sort of defining ideas that you can tell from the 1st 1 It's a ton of vertical lines defining all of those tree trunks that make up a forest, and in fact, this is probably a lot clear in my mind into anybody viewing from the outside. But this is a great way to sketch just to be really free and gestural with your line work and just get some ideas across. So in that 1st 1 I've got sort of a main foreground tree, kind of spreading some routes across that extreme foreground. And then we have a main tree weaken detail, sort of in the middle ground with this really cool battling river kind of going through it , and I have a little implication of a bridge there, and I'm doing that in this second attempt to just a little footbridge kind of crossing this meandering forest stream thought there would be kind of a cool way to show some signs of life, just a little cool back story, and also to do that exploration goal give us a little a little path for us to explore with our mind's eye. And similarly, I've got this waterfall kind of going on in the distance. Probably tough to tell that that's what I'm indicating there. But at this point, you should just be kind of scribbling in ideas, a very loose sense of perspective, maybe just where the Horizon Line is. We've also got a tiny bit of three point perspective going on, and all that means is that the lines defined by these vertically oriented tree trunks they sort of converge a little bit notice that none of them are going straight up and down, except for the ones in the very middle. That's that three point perspective. Imagine this vanishing point way off the top of the page and all of these lines air slanted inward, slightly just to make that that sense of three point perspective. It gives us a really nice sense of tall nous makes things feel very high up when we look up above. And of course, that really lends itself to this whole epic forest concept that we're trying to convey here . So ah, good use of three point perspective, even in a natural setting here no, no buildings or anything. But we can certainly use that to give this sense of very tall, very high up structures in our in our concept art here, trying really variations on all of these same elements. I know I want thes humongous trees and I want some water going through it. So little river elements, some waterfalls got a lot of cool tree roots that we can use to sort of guide the I little footbridges passed to invite exploration Really a lot of variations on those same ideas, but we're gonna use atmospheric perspective and scale to really communicate depth in this one. So the trees that are far away will will be sort of similar looking to the trees that are close up. But because they are smaller, well, we won't see as much detail. Will you scale in that way to really make things look deep? Also, there will be lots of atmosphere, so the trees that are farther away will seem lighter and a little less defined. So already sort of making early plans for all of those depth creating devices that we're gonna use. And for the most part, I think this is working Well, we've got a few nice ideas. Always good to just go ahead with a full page just to make sure you you've done a full exploration and I think this is working nicely. We've got a nice sheet of ideas to move forward from here. So after a quick break and giving these some thought, I've decided to go with this one. This will be our winner. I think it just has the nicest arrangement of all these main elements really gets the idea across nicely. And I think that tree in the middle distance is an especially nice shape. So we're really gonna make that our feature. So let's get started. We're going to take that and open up a new document are full scale for this, which is 16 by nine inches at 300 d. P. I and I've just pasted in this extremely rough Leinart, and I'm gonna just go over the top with another little Leinart sketch just to further define things and get it to a point where we could submit it to a client for for approval before going ahead with a painting. So really trying to define this main focus tree first. This one is kind of going to be the star. It's funny when you're arranging a piece of concept art like this. Sometimes I start to think of these elements as characters. You want to decide who is your main character? Who do you want to give the focus, too? It's sort of which which element is going to be the hook for your image? What are people going to remember? What's going to really draw in viewers when they take a look at your painting? So that's why I want this tree to be especially well done and memorable. So I'm giving it kind of an unusual shape. It's sort of offset a little bit. We're gonna have a cool opportunity to show some really neat roots sort of sticking out of that part. That's kind of hanging over, and we've got the water below. So it'll be this really cool juxtaposition of this massive, unusual looking tree kind of hanging over this moving water. It should be a really beautiful and compelling scene, and all the other elements are really gonna be set up to kind of draw focused Teoh, This main character that we're setting up here. Hope that makes sense. Sometimes it could be useful to define these things, give it a hierarchy and decide who the main focus of your images before you even start painting. So that's my decision there. We're gonna make this guy the rial feature element of this one trying to define this little river that's gonna be moving through our foreground here. It's probably tough to tell from that rough line heart that that's even what I had in mind . But we've got another tree in the near foreground. We're not going to see that much of it. It's so close up that it's just going to sort of seem like a little foreground mound of roots and dirt and rocky stuff. So some opportunities for some cool textures. But I'm gonna leave that pretty dark. This this tree in the extreme foreground is gonna be mostly a framing device. And also it'll create a nice, implied path, trying to show some little kind of stepping stones that go across this little river that runs between these two foreground trees on. I think that's working pretty cool. I'm not sure if I'm gonna keep those stepping stones or not, or just make it implied that you can sort of walk through this shallow stream but looking very cool nevertheless. So just to finding this this foreground tree again, it's not a terribly important main character anything, and it's probably gonna sort of reduce to just foreground texture and value for the most part. But we can still add some details. Got some little round bark details going on in my sketch, Maybe some little mushroom looking things growing out of the bark of these trees. So all kinds of cool opportunity to make thes seem a little bit supernatural, a little bit more interesting than just a normal forest. After all, we could just go out and take a picture of the redwoods in California if we just wanted to see a big forest full of trees. But we want to really take this a step further, make it seem like something kind of magical and supernatural, something that you can't really see in real life. That's what concept art is all about is sort of coming up with something that's it's cooler than reality, even though it's based heavily on relatable natural things. Hope that makes sense It's a really, uh, way that's been very helpful for me. To think of these things is sort of augmented reality, making things even cooler than they are in real life, even though they're based heavily on real world analog. So we're just really adding, in some Leinart into even these distant elements. This can all be pretty vague at this point, since we're just gonna end up covering all of this with painting. So as long as it's pretty clear in your own eyes the artist, even this little meandering path in the background in this tree root that we've got sort of like a bridge over the waterfall, another one of my little concepts I'm gonna work in. But as long as this is pretty clear to you and it's clear enough what your main elements are enough that you could have a discussion with your client or teacher before going to a final, then that's really all you need for this Leinart step to accomplish. I think we're pretty much there at this point, doing a second path on some of these foreground elements, making the line work a little bit bolder. There's so many vertical lines in a sketch of a forest that it's important to sort of pick out the main elements that need to pop forward. And of course, that's what we want thes, thes main character trees to do for us. And I think that's working really nicely. So with a little bit more fine tuning, I think we can pretty much call this Leinart finished up. Next, we'll starts, um, some color steps and get this one going. 23. Project 3 - Ironwood Forest - Rough Color: Oh, everyone, this is Hardy. In this section, we will continue our Ironwood Forest project with some rough colors. So let's get started. So we got our Leinart in place. We got all of our ideas and our composition mapped out. So off camera, I've pasted in 1/2 a dozen or so different photos with the kind of colors that I'm after just to get a very rough color played in place. And then I've run a really heavy Goshen blur filter on everything to totally blow out any distracting detail. So all I want is the main color statement I'm getting from this. And from here, we can just start kind of refining things. So I'm working on this same layer, made a quick copy just in case I wanted that. That blurred photo layer for later is a reference. But for the most part, we just kind of grab this and run with it and start using that eyedropper tool and our brush tool to just start painting in colors, refining this a little bit and start making this this collection of color sort of fit our composition here, really start making all of these these elements fit into this color scheme. So remember when you have the brush tool selected, if you just hit Ault or option, it'll turn into that eyedropper tool, and you can pick up any color on the canvas and just start dropping it back in. And that's what I'm doing here. It's a really free, expressive process where we're just sort of picking color up and laying it down. A few mood and light source things going on here. So as I mentioned, I want this tree in the middle distance that I'm working on here to be the main focal point . I want the light source to be really stark on that. I wanted to have a nice burning bright light coming in, sort of from the side. I thought that would be really nice and dramatic. Maybe it's either late in the day or kind of early in the morning. One of those nice magic hour type of lighting schemes would really make this look even more epic and moody, and that's exactly what we're going for. So that's sort of my thinking. They're also we've got some nice, warm and cool colors working with one another. That tree trunk is one of the warmest color scheme things in the entire image, so it helps it stand out. We've mostly got a lot of cool, greenish bluish grays elsewhere, so that also help this main character tree stand out. Is that nice, warm coloration on it? Let's see what else? Another item that we have with our light sores. So since we're in a forest, I thought it would be cool to have one of those lighting schemes where it almost seems like random areas are sort of in the spotlight gives you that really cool feeling that there's light filtering through the trees and just illuminating certain parts of the forest. So certain areas will just be lit up, really glowing bright in, since it's pretty much random how that occurs in a forest, it's entirely up to us, which features of our image here we want to highlight. So I'm doing some experiments here, trying to add a little bit of bright color on part of this near ground tree. Some other stuff going on here to see what might look cool if there's sort of a spotlight some sunshine breaking through the canopy, and I think that's looking pretty cool. Maybe a little bit of light on this foreground tree. We've got that really nice blaze of light down in the corner here really gives you that great sense of being in a forest, But I think that's working for the most part. So I have merged my sketch with my rough color layer, and I have run a paint daubs filter on it a few times, mostly just to make it look a little more painterly and and sort of obliterate that sketch , but also just to give it sort of a cool a cool look. Before we really take this any further, now comes the step where we're going to get a little bit organized. So I'm using the lasso tool to kind of cut out these different tiers of depth exactly like we've done in our previous projects. So just going around pretty roughly around the perimeter of these main elements and this one should organize pretty nicely. We've got a very obvious foreground with that near tree, the darker colors to make it seem very close in our atmospheric perspective scheme. Then, of course, we've got our main character tree. Here is our middle ground that believe it's a few background trees that I'd like to define as well. That'll cut those out right here. I want this cool little route that spanning this waterfall to be something that we can really help stand out. So that's why it's good toe to break out this little part as well. And all subtract out this little negative space where that route bridge sort of crosses over the waterfall. That's kind of one of our main exploration elements is inviting the viewer to come see what's up at the top of that waterfall and cross over that cool waterfall bridge. So now that we've got everything split up and cut out into different tiers of depth, that lets us really easily do some editing to both kind of start sharpening things up. So I'm doing a little bit of work on this far background, and, as you can see, these air extremely vague indications of some trees. Now I do have some background darkness that I wanna put right behind this main character tree, and that so that we can make that main tree kind of pop out, want there to be some really burning bright lights on that light side of the tree. So that's why I've changed it to be just a little bit dark behind that tree. You can use value and colors to sort of work with. You really set up your main characters in a cool way. That's what we're doing here, really helping this main character step stand out with our rough color before we even add any detail. So it's why it's always really nice to get these layers organized, kind of cut them out into tears of depth like we've got going on here. I hope you find that as useful as I have, adding a little bit of refinement here and there. But this is already if you squint at it, starting to take on a pretty nice quality of a good, good looking forest got some cool little areas where light is glowing in really starting to establish. Our light source got something that cool, spotlighting that we talked about earlier, where light just sort of finds random places in the canopy to shine through all kinds of really cool back story and atmosphere that you can create with those simple concepts. So just Teoh enhance the sense of spotlighting. I'm sort of making this tree a little bit darker at the top, and then there's just gonna be this really bright, really noticeable highlight right in that middle part. And as you'll recall, there is really a great way to make your really cool details. Show up is to put him right in that mid tone area. So right where I'm painting here, right where the shadow and highlight come together, that's where all of these really cool bark details male, Maybe a bunch of really detailed leaves in little branches can really pop out. In that mid tone, that little magic area were light and dark come together. So a lot of really cool opportunities is you get more experience with these. You'll learn toe to spot those opportunities earlier. Find ways to set yourself up for these later down the road. And that's what this rough color step is all about, really, just setting the stage for all of the cool I catching details that you want to include another benefit about having everything singled out and cut out onto their own layer is, as you can see, I just did a brightness adjustment just to make this a little more a little more of varied . In contrast, little more contrast going on to make it stand out so very handy to have things organized in this way, painting behind this tree a little bit sometimes the elements going on behind a main element or what really define it. So we want that silhouette to really pop out. That's why the values going on behind this main tree are so important. We've got some lights going on behind that dark side said that the dark silhouette pops out . But at the same time, we've got some darks going on behind our highlight side so that they stand out. So it's sort of using the opposite to make that contrast really show up. Hope that makes sense. But with just a little more detail work, I'd say that this rough color step is coming together nicely. So up next we'll begin our detail ing steps to really start making this one shine 24. Project 3 - Ironwood Forest - Adding Detail: Oh, hi, everyone. This is Hardy in the sexual start, adding some really cool detail to our Ironwood Forest project. So let's get started. I've got our basic color scheme in place, so the next thing I'm going to do is start getting a little more organized. I'm gonna put each one of these little depth tears into its own layer group, so starting with foreground here and then we'll do the same with middle ground. It's good to have everything in a layer group because in this next step will start adding a lot of custom shape layers. And it's really nice if you can have all those new layers group together with the tear that they're affecting. So that's all I'm doing here is just creating some layer groups naming everything to keep it nice and organized. But now that's that now that that's done will start laying in some custom shapes. So just grabbing some some things that I think might makes him cool tree bark and just going to start laying those in. We'll start with this four grand layer first, and this is really a necks Perrin mental process were just grabbing different things, seeing what might work and just trying it out. Now this old rocky path texture is sort of an old friend of mine. So I always know that that one's gonna make a nice looking path. And I'm always so blown away at how much instant depth and dimension these custom shapes add. Just with these few little additions we've added to this rough color painting, it's already just seemingly coming to life with so much dimension and detail looks really realistic, and not every shape that I add in here is gonna work on the first try. So this is really just an exploration process experimenting, seeing what looks good and seeing what doesn't and plenty of these air gonna end up getting edited out. So I don't want anyone to think that I always get this right on the first time because that's just not a truthful representation of this process. The beauty of Photo shop is that it's infinitely re workable, and that's really why there's. There's never any pressure to be perfect or expert on every single try, because you can just always delete things and rework things. My entire approach to digital painting is just sort of what I call a feel your way through . Just keep working at it. Keep messing up until it gets right because you're not even wasting paper or ink or anything. You're just trying as many times as you need to until you get something cool. And in fact, I think this rocky texture is really working better than any of those bark photograph custom shapes. So I think I might have stumbled on to a winner here. So I'm going to start just stretching out some of these rocky shapes. And they make this really nice kind of linear bark type texture. And I think that's working really well. Even subtracting away a little bit, kind of to imply that some of that tree might have some exposed roots or a little rotten away spot down by that water. Sort of a different treatment down there, all kinds of cool little possibilities you can explore by just trying different things, and I think that's looking really awesome. So a perfect illustration of just feeling your way through ah process, and even if it doesn't seem like an instant success, you kind of just keep messing with things and tinkering until it gets better. So already this feature tree is really coming together nicely, and we've got some really cool elements working here. I really like the implied path that we've got going to doesn't have to be. Anything is specific or obvious is a road or a trail, but you can look at this image and really just see where you're meant to walk through. Walking down that foreground little rocky footpath may be ankle deep through this water and then up over this little cool hill that we've defined on our feature tree on the other side of the river. So some cool little narrative we've got set up, hoping it's very obvious to the player what they're meant to explore and just adding all kinds of little bells and whistles. Little charming details to make this all seems cool as possible. So as you can see, these layers start to add up pretty quickly, which is why it's a good thing we did those layer groups. So I'm grabbing those and merging them together ever so often just so that the number of layers doesn't get too out of control. And that's always a good idea. Starting to throw a little detail into these, these more distant layers. These big trees spanning this waterfall out in the distance what those two have some detail to. But now it's finally time to start detail ing some of this water. So I want this waterfall to be another focus point of this image. It will definitely have a lot of contrast. Always a great instant drama device. Toe add. Waterfalls are just cool. And they're super easy with the custom shapes method that we explored in that rendering water exercise we did earlier in the course. And we're basically just gonna apply that exact process, even those exact shapes to this, and it's gonna work beautifully. So just trying to grab a variety of these little water custom shapes and just dragging them out in ways that are sort of randomized and indifferent so that they don't start seeming too much like stamps, that we're repeating over and over again, making sure that there's a little bit of variety, making everything look a little bit different just by differing up how much we stretch them , differing up the shape, all kinds of ways that we can sort of randomize things and make them seem more natural rather than just little stamps. So it's really cool. With these different shapes, you can make all kinds of different things appear to be happening in the water, and that's really coming together nicely. It looks like little waterfalls, little rocks in this stream that maybe create all these little splashing kind of miniature rapids. Things going on really looks like a great meandering stream sort of goes back and forth. So now I think those shapes are all in place. So I'm gonna make those invisible, and I'm going to start making new layers in each of these groups. And again, we just use those shapes is selections, and I'm just painting in starting toe. Add in a little bit of this subtle rendering instead of there's really bold shapes. So our custom shapes were always meant to just be selections, and now it's time to make use of those and paying in. And this is really making such a cool effect. I love these little details that are coming to light. It's almost like you just start shining that light on these areas and make all these details just really start to appear out of the darkness. Always one of those really great wow moments, one of those really real joys of this process when those marks on the canvas start start looking like something realistic. I know you've heard me preach about this before, but it really is one of my favorite parts of this whole process and and something that I hope I can impart to everybody who's painting with us here. Really? Ah, fun process and something that I hope keeps you coming back to digital art for years, keeps you excited about your work and really keeps you glued to to your process. Because that's that's when real improvement comes, is when when we start really getting addicted and really putting the time in. So we're gonna use custom shapes in sort of a different way. I'm going to start adding some really cool silhouette detail with some of these tree shapes . Now these stamps are actually taken from photos of entire trees. But because we have such a cool, epic scale going on, they make really nice little secondary branches coming off of these giant epic trees that we have set up here. So that's what I'm using them for here. Just placing these trees is cool. Little branches, little groups of leaves coming off of these silhouettes. So most of the time we're using these custom shapes. Justus A selection. But certain times like this they really make a nice stamped. Just something Teoh. Add instant incredible detail to your image here. So really, just trying toe punch up these eye catching silhouettes that we've got going on in these these trees, especially on this main feature tree. I'm even going across one of these shapes over this Midtown remembers we talked about the mid tone is a great area where light changes too dark to put some really intense detail. So that's a perfect placement for that branch. It's sort of blocking out some of that light and will make some really good use of some highlights with our our foliage painting brushes later on. But already look at how much more realistic this feature tree is looking with just a few of these silhouettes, we've got tons of detail now, even with detail, we want to apply that artfully so like we said in earlier projects, we never want an entire canvas to be so full of fine detail that it just gets hard to re. It's almost too confusing for the I. So we're gonna want a lot of this image to sort of sit back and be subdued. Almost kind of blurry, impressionistic indications of foliage. And then we want that really sharp, eye popping detail to occur only in a very few select feature points. And certainly this tree that we're working on now is the main one. Eso adding every every trick in the book to make this one look as cool as that can, all kinds of detail. We've got a really nice design, just the shape of the tree. We've got its position in the composition. It's right on that third line, right? Where are I? Is naturally going to be drawn to, and it's also got a really nice contrast color scheme. It's got a burning bright light source shining on it, and it's got a really nice mid tone that's giving it all kinds of opportunities to show all of its coolest details. So really doing everything in my entire bag of tricks to make this this tree look like a riel, eye catcher and make it a winner, and I think it's really coming along beautifully. Remember, we do want this to be a portfolio piece. That was one of our main art goals for this one. So just a cool stuff to keep in mind. And this is our final project in this course. So I really want to give it everything I've got really show you guys just about everything I know how to do to make an environment is cool as possible. I'm hoping that at this point it seems much easier than you might have thought it ever could be. Our mission here is to really demystify this entire process and make it really accessible for everybody. So I hope hope you're seeing how cool and how really doable. All of this is with a few concepts to keep in mind a little bit of practice in some of these really cool, game changing tools. That photo shop has available for environment art. So really makes a lot of incredible things possible. That wouldn't be otherwise. I hope you're enjoying that now. I'm gonna start sort of populating this forest with a few little detail spots even here in the background. These little tree stamps do a great job of adding some instant detail even far off, and I'll probably do a little bit of ah blurring treatment later on. I don't think I want the background details to be quite so, Chris, because we want our main characters closer up to be more prominent. But for now, just to sort of dropping in more custom shapes anywhere where it seems like they might be useful. And the great thing about thes thes entire tree shapes that we're using is that they give some scale to these trees, really make them Seimas massive and epic as we had set out to be. A. It's almost like they're so big that a normal sized tree is sort of growing out of the side of them. Very, very interesting stuff. So I hope hope that's working for you going to start adding in a little bit more detail here, just sort of jumping around my layers. Teoh. Check everything out, make sure everything's working. Okay, Gonna start populating some of these more distant tears with a little bit of detail, and with just a few clicks, I can copy some of these shapes and move them around the canvas. Bring in a couple of different tree shapes just to give it some variety. Make it look cool, and we'll just knock the opacity back on these. That's practically all there is to it. Just a few layers a racing away the bottom just to give the impression of some missed sort of settling at the bottom again. One of those atmospheric perspective principles and just like that thes thes, nice middle levels I have tons of detail and Onley took was a few few clicks of the mouse to to get that done or clicks of the stylist, I should say, but always blown away at how quickly you can populate a forest, especially with just a few shapes. And even though they're the same shape in many cases, with just a little bit of transformation, it gets so nicely randomized to the point that that you don't even notice that it's a shape it doesn't have that false repeated pattern. Look that that you might worry about really works well for you. So I think we've made some really excellent use of custom shapes here, both as a a custom shape selection for our rendering and just the silhouettes to bring a whole lot of detail to our foliage elements. Here. These silhouettes air really working well, So now it's time to use our special brushes to start actually painting in some foliage. At this point, it's going to start feeling a lot more like a painting rather than just placing elements. So this is really where it starts getting fun. I'm gonna use this foliage three brush here in the distance to just starting, adding a little bit of highlight. And I've got this on its own layer. I'll probably do a little fine tuning to it, even after I place all these items with with my brush work here. Remember how we can adjust these elements when they're on a layer and then use the history brush to sort of bring back some highlights if we want. But just making sure that these highlights are facing the light source that our main tree dictates sort of up into the left at this point, and making sure that all of our light parts of our branches are facing that way, all these little groups of leaves are really pointing towards that light source, and also I'm using scale in surface compression to make these distant elements seem smaller . So the groups of leaves that were painting closer I'll just increase my brush size a good bit to make those leaves seem larger, make them seem nearer. And that's really working. Well. Now let's let's dial these back a little bit, make their lightness and saturation a little bit lower, give them a bluer quality. And then, with our history brush, we're just gonna paint back towards that bright highlight color, just like we did in our foliage exercise to sort of selectively show those really burning bright highlights does such a cool job making it seem like you're really in a forest? So that's effect. In effect, I really love one of the greatest uses of the history brush that I've found so up. Next, I think we'll start adding some foliage to this near tree, so I'll make my brush a lot bigger for scale, and then I'm gonna use that mid tone to some really good effective puts him really bright highlights just on the dark side of that mid tone so you can see we've got this really cool back and forth between light and dark, where we have dark elements crossing over into the highlight and then really bright elements crossing over into the shadow area. It just makes it really visually active and really interesting. So this is that part of the page that we want to just give our maximum punch, give it everything we've got to make. It is eye catching and beautiful is possible, and that mid tone can really be your good friend for things like that. So I'm painting in a little bit of shadow, using the same foliage brush to just add a little bit of details and vegetation to some of these darker areas. Now I'll switch to grass to to sort of start doing the same thing, just kind of bringing a little detail here and there to make some of these little footpaths areas look kind of cool, too. It's almost like we've got some light kind of creeping up over this hill, and then it sort of blocked out by that little rocky formation on the side. So we've got a nice cash shadow. It all really works with our lighting scheme. It's the whole thing seemed really three dimensional and also gives us some really cool chances to have some really bright highlights kind of peeking out from behind a shadow. So I'll sort of do the same effect here on this foreground area. We want this nice ray of light, just sort of burning through that foreground is a nice, nice composition framing tool. So this is all on its own layer, in case we want to do some darkening and use of the history brush once again. But for the most part of just trying toe sort of populate this near ground with some cool little vegetation details. Now up next we'll start adding in, ah, lot of final polish and photo textures to make this all look really incredible. So you don't have to worry about rendering every blade of grass even in this extreme foreground, because we've still got some steps ahead for that. For now, we want to keep this just about as expressive as it can be just kind of let your hand be free, sort of dropping in foliage wherever you think. Those light sources might be interesting trying to give this little this little contour that frames that river a little more interest with a custom shape, but not sure if that was really working. So we'll just sort of try something else. Adjusting some scale here on some of this foliage just to make it seem a little bit nearer to us and using that history brush to make it even brighter. Super cool. I can't get enough of that technique is it just really gives you that forest feeling of just random highlights and shadows sort of popping in here and there. I think that grass area is looking really nice in the foreground that maybe a little too bright. So I'll try some use of the history brush There is well, just to see if we can make something kind of cool looking. I love it. That's awesome, the way we have that spotlight kind of shining just right on that grassy area. So I think our foliage brushes air, really doing some good for us here. We can do a little more detail work, maybe add a little bit of atmosphere, find some ways toe to make some of these middle grounds work a little bit better, feel like I had a few too many of the same kind of tree elements going on by this waterfall . So I thought, We try some rocky elements, maybe, like there's just some little rocky outcroppings around this waterfall. Think that would look kind of need So using just a few more custom shapes, it's kind of like we're backing up a step just to sort of change up in effect. And, of course, that's always find you never have to do this in order. It is certainly not paint by number, but just trying something new to see if we can frame one of these feature elements well. And, of course, it's always a nice I. Leading tool is well to try and make these little lines kind of guide your eye from that main feature tree over to the waterfall. So using those new custom shapes is selections and just painting within. And I think that's much better. Definitely nice to have some variety going on back there really frames that waterfall in nicely, but guys, I think we've done a really nice job on this step. We've used all these custom shapes and foliage brushes to really bring some detail to this cool painting. And this is so cool. I'm loving how this one's coming out. So up next, we'll Leadsom photo textures and some final painting to really finish this one in a great way. I'll see you there. 25. Project 3 - Ironwood Forest - Texture: Oh, hi, everyone. This is Hardy. In this section, we will continue our Ironwood Forest project by adding some photo textures. So let's get started. This is always a really fun part of the process. Will have a lot of cool detail punch in some color variation. It's gonna look really great. So off camera, I have pasted in a bunch of really cool different terrain is different kind of textures we're gonna use here a bunch of different photos. Ah, lot of these air, mind and some are just common market free use that I've downloaded. But all will be available to you if you want to use these. But I'd certainly encourage you to go find your own or even use some that you snapped yourself Always makes it more fun. So I've just got everything in that photos layer group. And as we've done in our other projects, we're just going to sort of grab photos out of that group and drop them into our other groups by death. So we'll sort of do this one at a time. And I think I'm going to start by adding some photo textures to this foreground group. So I grabbed this little mossy tree base, and we're going to start with that. So I've got a layer group called photo textures going to kind of move this one into position, and now we will create a layer mask for this entire photo textures group. That way, everything that we put inside of that group will stay within the silhouette of this foreground tree and little hill. So it's a great way to make sure that all of our photo textures sort of stay within the lines. After that, I've just changed that photo textures layer group too soft, light blending mode. And that's when that really cool change happens where we can see the texture and some of the color detail from the photo. But it's still really letting our main painting shine through, and that's what we want. We never want these photos toe really way down anything. We don't want it to be. All we can see, they just are a nice little punch up accent to your own painting, so always very important to keep that in mind, you won't want these photos to just help. You don't want them to be a crutch or anything that takes over. So from here, I'm just sort of transforming, adding in new things. But it's basically the same process it will do over and over again. Just grabbing photos from that photo group and then pasting or moving them into this foreground Photo textures later group. So just taking it from one place to another. It's a really nice way to stay organized, and especially when we have all of these different layers of depth and different groups going on, it's really important to stay organized. Otherwise, ah, blending mode might be applied to some layer that she didn't mean it to be. And things can sort of get out of wack. So a great way to stay organized and and you'll have really good, predictable results every time. So that's really it. Just trying to find the best use of each one of these photos. Sometimes it works exactly as you plan out, but other times they're all these great happy accidents. In fact, that really cool waterfall picture with that really interesting kind of stri aided stone, the one here in the upper left that would make such a cool tree bark that I didn't realize I'll show you that later, but for now wanted to add some of these really cool vines and roots onto this feature tree . Obviously, this one is our main selling point. So I want that to be a school is possible, and that's actually a tree in my neighborhood with all of these really cool vines. That's one that I've gotten a lot of use out off. And as you can see, those vines look really cool in that mid tone where we keep putting all of our eye catching elements. So ah, great use for that. Using the clone stamp a little bit to to kind of copy these photos around just again, just trying to find the best use that we can for each one of these, this really cool sort of algae and rocks area between the train tracks that was always great for a little footpath type of place because it's sort of grassy and rocky at the same time, bringing a lot of interesting stuff there gonna see if I can get this mossy tree base to work on this one as well. I'm not sure about that. Also, always a really nice color variation up to this point, things can start to become a little bit too unified. We've done a lot of painting and we've sort of been sampling colors a lot that has this averaging effect of bringing the colors all closer together. So once you get to this point right before you had photo textures you're painting can even seem just a little bit monochromatic. But these photos do such a great job of adding all kinds of really nice subtle hue and value shifts just to add an entirely new level of complexity to your color scheme. Even so, here's that super cool waterfall and rocky texture that I'm gonna make work on this cool little hill in the foreground. Just a really nice use for a rocky outcropping. And it even has some little grassy areas built in. So I'm gonna brighten that up just a little bit to make it fit that wanted to get so dark that it gets lost. But here's another super cool use of this photo and actually makes him really interesting tree bark. Even though that's a photo of rocks, it sort of looks like all of these cool little labors kind of peeling up, and it really works well, we could even kind of stretch this one out a little bit to make some more vertical linear type elements. So this is definitely one of those ah ha moments in this piece for me when I sort of found this entirely new, really cool application for this. It also makes it look kind of unusual. We want this forest toe look other worldly and not like anything you could see in the real world. So there's really interesting, strange looking bark pattern really helps us in that area, too. So a great happy accident that we found this this alternative use for this really cool texture. I hope you find little discoveries like that have sort of come to rely on little unexpected things like that, really shaping the direction that my paintings go in. And it always keeps a process really fun because everything is always unexpected. It keeps it exciting, and you never know which road you're gonna go down in each piece. But this is coming together really nicely. Just running and quick paint. Daubs filter from time to time. Always a great thing to do just to make sure that these photo textures aren't clashing with with the rest of the painterly look we've got going on here. And paint daubs really helps with that. Time to add a little detail to this little meandering river in the background. Thought this little waterfall image was, ah, perfect use for that. We're gonna use a few photos so that we're not just copying one scene too heavily. And actually, I really like these kind of mossy looking hills, so I'm gonna see if I can find some other places for that. And, wow, that's really cool. That really came together nicely, Kind of. Ah, an unexpected used for that, too. Very cool stuff. But that really gives us a nice, detailed base for our water fall here, but definitely a feature element that we want to shine. So a little bit of detail. There really helps. I've got this the same waterfall with the cool rocky surfaces. But we're gonna use that river as well. A really need one. And there we go. I'm gonna detail this distant tree by really stretching out that cool, rocky pattern. And look at what a cool pattern for bark that looks like even on this tree way off in the distance with an entirely different scale. It still works really nicely. So I'm seeing if I can get some more mileage out of that in some other areas. A really cool you. So I hope you find some good uses for your photos is well, these really cool little happy accidents, letting that sit back a little kind of less than 100% opacity because we don't want too much detail to appear in our distant elements. But grabbing this little meandering stream to start adding a little bit of detail to this water as it comes forward racing out so that these different levels of detail I've got going on in these different photos sort of jive together. And there we go. You'd never know that. That was two different photos. They really composited very seamlessly, and a soft light really does a great job of that, because it it's sort of integrates everything. Nothing gets to Boulder. It really makes things like Unified. So notice I've created one more photo textures group above everything. This one is sort of on top of all of my layer groups. It's It's just it's own element, really. And that's because I wanted this river texture to kind of cover everything to sort of unify things. We've got that four groundwater. It didn't really belong to our foreground or our main middle ground feature tree. So that's why I just created one more photo textures group kind of above everything. But with that guys, I think our photo text during step has really done a beautiful job of adding tons of interests and really great color variation. So up next we'll add some final polish and we're ready to go. 26. Project 3 - Ironwood Forest - Final Polish: Oh, hi, everyone, this is Hardy. In this lecture, we will finish off our Ironwood Forest project with some final pilots. So let's jump in. So here we are. Every step has been building to this one. This is our final final chance to really make this one as cool as it possibly can be. And this is really the fun part. This is where it's all gonna really come together for us. So the first thing I'm doing is consolidating some of these layers of it, just as we've done in our other projects. I made groups of everything inside of these layer groups. I made a copy and then just merged that together. So I've got everything still as an inevitable individual piece. But I've also got a nice merged version that I'm working on here. So a good way to sort of trim down your number of layers and guys, this is the fun part. We're kind of just gonna freestyle a little bit. I've grabbed are very simple brush, just that sort of squashed angled calligraphy circle, a very basic Photoshopped default. And I'm just gonna really start polishing up this main feature tree in a few other parts on the page just to make this is cool and full of detail is possible. As I've said a few times before. We want a lot of this painting to sort of sit down and be a subtle background element. But this main feature tree we just wanted to be is packed with eye popping cool detail is possible. So that's what I'm doing here. I'm just using this small brush and just giving it a lot of really cool detail work. This is one of those great parts where you start toe, come back to this feeling like a nice hand wrought painting. We've been doing a lot of technical things with custom shapes and photo textures, and after a while that can actually start to feel like you're getting kind of far away from making artwork. But this end in step is a really great one. This is where we just use a brush and paint and start adding cool little hand rot details, really one of my favorite parts. We're gonna make it really work for us on this last step. Here, make this one a really nice portfolio. Peace. Hope you're very pleased with where your projects are at this point, when it's set up nicely when you you've really done all of these steps well and given yourself a nice platform to sit on here at the end, it makes these little extra details so much fun. So up to this point, I've just been adding little kind of plant like details, a lot of little roots sticking out of the tree, a few little gaps in the bark just doing a little bit of hand text oring to this bark, especially where it's right in that bright highlight and changing into that mid tone. That's where we're going to see a lot of detail, using my lasso tool as well to define a few selections, just areas to put a little extra detail. Not maybe gonna use those to make some little dark notches here in this little lumpy part of this tree trunk, just to sort of add a little more detail. It's like we're putting little cracks in the bark, little details that make it look like something really hand painted and just make it a little cooler and more artistic and creative than just photo texture. So a really fun step adding some little mossy looking details to this contour edge of this tree trunk. Now, this is gonna be kind of a cool idea, have created a new layer. And I'm just painting in some indications of some little mushroom type things that air growing out of the side of this tree. And we're gonna copy this over and over again. So it's sort of like the flowers in our epic Valley project. Just do a handful of them, render them kind of nicely, and then we could copy them over and over again. If the patterns kind of randomized it won't read is a copy, it'll just look like you've got tons of these little things. So that's what I'm doing. I'm just copying these, moving them around, finding cool places to make this work. I'm gonna even put this one in the shadow side, so I'm adjusting it a little bit. And that's such a cool detail. We're getting so much mileage out of this really easy little step, and especially in that mid tone where light turns to shadow, that is such a great detail to include really brings a lot of fantasy personality to this makes it look like something out of a Lord of the Rings I P. Instead of just a normal forest. So trying to find ways to give it that otherworldly vibe before we finish up here. And I think that's really successful. Before I finish up rendering this feature tree, I'm going to do a few little hand painted leafy foliage elements again just to sort of break out of that brush stamp look and just make this really, truly my own, adding in a few little branches and twigs to coming from these foliage elements and nice little gnarled, twisted and turned branches just to give these little areas of foliage something to stand on. And while this has come together so nicely, we've really come a long way with this feature tree, and I think it's it's really working for us. It's got such a strong, moody light source were really making that mid tone work. Well, force that's our biggest selling point, Certainly gonna be the hook in the most eye catching part of this. So now just sort of polishing up some of these other elements around this main feature part . It's It's really just a matter of letting these little background details sit down a bit and sort of act as a support element for for our main feature tree. So never want anything to get too noticeable, too loud, so to speak, making this custom shape that I still have handy. We never merge our custom shape layer. We always want to keep that because even at this late date, we can make selections and do cool things with it. So I did a copy merged if that cool, little rocky, grassy platform looking thing in the corner. And I just copied that here wanted an a little dimension. So it's really cool Had that sort of comes out in front of this feature tree. Looks like something where you almost want to see a little guy with a fishing pole or something standing. So a nice little feature spot. If we do end up adding a character that to this at some points, it's always nice to have a really obvious place for that character to stand, and that certainly qualifies. They're so seeing if I could make that concept work elsewhere for me. But I really like how how that little grassy platform is standing out, adding a little bit of atmosphere behind this tree just to make some of these silhouette details pop out really want this toe to be memorable, adding some little hanging kind of mossy vine things going on off the tree. Just another one of those really cool, hand wrought details have to make sure you're making these go straight down and your perspective plane. Just make it all add up with the gravity that we've got set up here. That's the only thing when you have something that's supposed to supposed to be hanging straight down, you want to make sure that you've got it in the correct perspective plane or have it just blowing in the breeze or something So that grassy platform area was working so well for me on the feature tree I've done another copy merged, and I'm bringing it over to our foreground layer to see if I can get that little base of this foreground tree to work a little bit better. It's been a bit of a problem area for me throughout this piece, so I think I finally have a really nice solution, even though it's a copy. It looks so completely different because we've changed. The value worked in a little bit. It's now got this really nice sloping edge that just really leads the eye into the image exactly as we want, but it's still subdued enough that it's not jumping out is a feature not distracting from our main point going to use a little more photo texture here. And in fact, this one is on the soft, light blending mode. But I'm actually just gonna use this on normal. I really like that mossy kind of cracked bark look, and I think that really fits here. So I'm just gonna race away, do a bit of a filter on it and then some hand painting to make that nice, mossy feature element sort of stand out on that. And I think that's finally got this foreground tree in the shape that I wanted it to be in looking really cool. So little smattering of grass on that foreground. But again, we don't want anything to get too bright on this foreground tree, and I think this is really coming along, doing its job really nicely. It's kind of sets the stage. It's a vague idea of this giant tree, adding some cool little details, some sticks and twigs. But this tree is not distracting from our our main point. It's doing a good job of of setting the stage but not getting too loud or distracting perfect, right right in that middle ground that we're looking for. So after a little bit more cutting and pasting, seeing, if any more grass will find a good place on some of these places, maybe even out on that tree root. But I think that's looking great, love. Adding, these little hand painted sticks and twigs and little mossy hanging things really starts giving a big sense of scale to when you have these hand painted tiny little branches. It gives you the impression that this tree must just be hundreds of feet around the base of its trunk. So really cool scale details, and it's just a lot of fun to really brings this back to feeling like a ah handcrafted piece of art. Don't want to get lost out on all the technicalities of the software. As amazing as they are, and as useful as they are at the end of the day, We are artists, and we're creating this stuff by hand. So notice I just ran a paint. Dogs filter on that area of the background behind this feature tree just to make it a little more nondescript, almost a little bit blurred and look out crisp. It makes that foreground tree look so the contrast there between blurry and sharp can really draw attention to your foreground element. Super cool trick. Jumping into my distant layers here, working on this tree in the background just to do a little bit of hand painting, adding some cool little limbs and even erasing away a few little notches in the bark. Just cool. Little details. If if someone was inclined, Teoh to really zoom in on this one and really go exploring visually, I want to make sure that there's some cool stuff even far back for them to discover. So this little route bridge, which is sort of a background feature, kind of ah, ah, background character that might get noticed, adding some little hanging elements, some sort of twisty vines going around it just to give that some interest. We want that to be one of our main explorer invitations So if somebody would look at this painting, they would probably say, I kind of want to go find where that bridge go. So really wanna put a little bit of extra effort into that one, cleaning up this waterfall a little bit? At the moment, it's It's sort of just looking a little too much like a raw custom shapes or doing a little bit of hand painting. Maybe there's some rocks that some of this water is sort of bouncing down before it gets to the riverbed at the bottom. Very cool. Little details to add in. I do a lot of this detail work on just one extra layer. It often gets flattened down to the merged layer pretty soon thereafter, but it's always good to keep. It is a safety line on its own layer for at least a little while, until you're really sure it's working for you. But again, we save copies of everything when we group all of those elements together before we copy them. That's how we make sure that even if we make some mistake that we need to backtrack way back in, we've got everything available in edit Herbal that we could do that. So no worries there. Photoshopped it. Barring some software limitations you can really make is many layers as you want to. I like to flatten things just as a convenience matter. It's always nicer toe work and edit a single layer as opposed to toe managing a bunch. So that's the only only consideration there, doing a little bit of hand painting on the water. This photo textures air, really adding a lot. But I want to bring it back to something looking a little more painterly, Not quite so so photographic. So with a little more soft light work just to see what else we can do to improve this foreground, I think I may actually do some more custom shape work. We're sort of going back and forth kind of pushing and pulling on on these various techniques that we're using. So I think custom shapes would add some nice highlights, especially to this foreground. That photo is kind of nice, but I'm not quite sure what my decision's gonna be here. I really like all that churning water that we've got set up, but certainly we can't call this one finished when we got just raw photograph playing such a prominent role. So I'm gonna definitely do some more hand painting and a little bit of custom shape work on this to make it feel a little more finished and polished. I think that's gonna look really cool. I'm thinking maybe there should be more of a glow sort of coming around this tree some or highlight back there. So I'm painting behind that layer to to really help that silhouette of the tree stand out. And I think that's gonna be a really cool place to put some highlights because after all, the sun is coming in from that right side, it's lighting up that side of the trees so brightly. So I think it would be cool if it was casting Cem Sheen on this water. It's kind of like the river sort of arcs around. Maybe there's sort of a pond or some sort of still water over on that side. And, of course, if we just squash thes custom shapes and make them smaller, look at how much depth we added. Really glad we came back and added these extra custom shapes there so easy. And they had so much realism and death a ton of fun, too. So we've got kind of a nice cast shadow set up here, even on the water. So it looks like that tree is really blocking the sun. We've got those bright, shiny ripples of water out in that distance, and then it sort of gets dark. So we'll add a little bit of highlight on the other side just to keep matching with this light source. But when we have something bright, sort of hidden around a corner, it's another really great invitation to explore. It kind of makes you wonder. What would I see if I were to climb over that little sunlit hill? What kind of cool, bright, peaceful scene is just around the corner so always a really neat possibility to explore, and a great way to use that. That whole concept of inviting the viewer to explore just a little little feature elements something kind of hidden makes you want to just take take a look at what's coming up next. I think that's working well. This water is definitely looking a lot more hand rot and not quite so reliant on the photo textures, and that's what I wanted. I think we're gonna bring a little bit of that closer to really like these little splashing waterfall shapes. It's just like the water is just kind of rolling down all these little rocks, maybe fallen logs that make this into some nice, churning, babbling, brook looking type of water. So really working really fits with the whole mood and setting that we've got going here. It's a very fantasy painting looking device, a very cool thing to do, seeing if I can add a little more rocky feature to this area around this waterfall. So while I'm working on custom shapes, thought I'd give this one more try just toe to bring a little bit of a different treatment to this rocky surface. And I think that really helps gives us a little bit of a different material right at that. Water's edge looks very cool, and after all, that waterfall is definitely a feature spot. So that's coming along really nicely. I think up next, I would like to have some burning rays of light kind of pouring through this for sort of filtering through the tree. So, just like in our sky painting, we're just dabbing in some color sort of randomly. But where we want the rays to shine and then with the motion filter, that's all it is. Blur and motion blur and look at that. It turns those little blobs of paint. And this incredibly cool a ray of light rays pouring through the trees just added so much drama almost instantaneously. I love that trick. It really makes it very cinematic trying some different layer modes just to see how those color interactions will work. And I think we'll settle on hard light that works nicely. It's all very subtle differences, but it works nicely, so we're really it our final point here. So I have done a copy, merged again that's command shift, see, and then paste it in place. So we've got everything merged on one layer, and I'm just doing some little final edits here. Going to see if I can bring some of this cool custom shape work up to this is front part of this river just to make it match a little bit, and actually, with that stretch, it sort of pulled that shape out and made it kind of a nice, swirling, curving look, So I really like how that's working. And we're finally getting something to to sort of cover up that heavy use of photos that we have in the front. So looking much more hand rock, which is exactly what we want. Custom shapes could really solve so many problems. Been a complete game changing tool for May, so I hope you find that is useful as Ideo. But, wow, this one is really coming together nicely. I hope you've enjoyed this. I think it's definitely ah portfolio caliber piece. It's got all of these great features. We pretty much used every trick that we've learned in this course to make this one shine, and it's really coming together nicely. Hope you're pleased with your project as well. I guess things to mostly take away from this would be that great use of the mid tone. I know I've said it over and over in this project, but it's so powerful when you have a dominant feature element. Really, make those details in the mid tone really pop out. It's it can really make it work for you Really set your painting off doing a bloom layer here. Just add a little bit of cinematic kind of glow to a few places, don't want to get too carried away with this. It could make things look a little too soft and and dream like. But But it's definitely a nice way to add a lot of mood and atmosphere, and I really like how that turned out, especially in this upper right corner. And the way some of that light is sort of glowing in that little area underneath. Those exposed roots really does a great job of making this look dramatic and kind of warm and inviting, adding a little bit of color Dodge work behind this tree just to make this foreground silhouette pop out. So I switched my brush to color Dodge just to make it brightened things behind. It wanted some of those cool leaf shapes to really pop out, and guys will make a few more things glow with some color dodge work. You can use just a gray color and see how it adds a little shine. Just a little pop to wherever you put. It's a very powerful tool you can you can totally blow things out if you use it too much. so you set with a lot of restraint, but color dodge A very cool way to add a little pop. Now I've got this scatter brush and we're just gonna add some debris. Little bits of dust or pollen kind of floating around in the air really makes the air Seymour realistic makes it seem like a three dimensional space, and certainly these particles would exist in a forest. But guys, these final touches and I think we can just about call this one of finished painting Congratulations on completing the Ironwood Forest Project. Let's take a look back at our project steps and see how far we've come. We started with a sheet of thumbnail sketches and selected one to expand into a refined sketch. From there we headed rough color to establish lighting. And then we had a detail with custom shapes and foliage brushes way, then added some really cool photo textures and finally finished things off with a hand painted detail and final polish. I'm really happy with how this one turned down so much cool detail, a really cool world to explore. Hope your police with your projects as well projects like this, or certainly a challenge, but they're so worthwhile, it can be really portfolio builders join us up next for our course Recap. 27. Course Recap: congratulations on completing painting environments. We've covered concepts and theories, including environment, painting, overview, depth and scale, mood and story in composition. We then learn some special Photoshopped tools and techniques that make environment painting way easier than we might have thought. Custom brushes and custom shapes. We then learn complete techniques for rendering different parts of landscapes, skies, trees and vegetation, water and finally, rocks and mountains. We then put all of this knowledge to use over three awesome projects. Hidden Path, Epic Valley, an Ironwood forest. Put some of your work so that the entire course community can see your rock star skills. If you want to continue creating full concept art projects to continue to build your portfolio, check out this page of new project briefs that I've put together to give you a good starting point. These air similar to the assignments that you might receive from a real world client. So they're great practice environment Painting is a fun and worthwhile skill to pursue, and I hope this course has been a step towards a lifelong passion for all of you. Keep at it and do awesome work. That's it for painting environments. Thank you so much for enrolling and for being part of our community. If you'd like to take your environment, aren't to the next level. Be sure to check out concept art. Architecture will build on everything we've learned here and use it to create epic cityscapes. You're going to love this one. There's an awesome world of art out there, and it can use more awesome artists like you. In the meantime, good luck with your artwork, and he's always paint cool stuff.