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Adding snow to horizontal surfaces

From: Digital Matte Painting: Changing a Scene From Summer to Winter

Video: Adding snow to horizontal surfaces

There are still some details that need to be attended to. I think the residents of this chalet would have brought in their summertime umbrella by now, so I'm going to paint that out. You can see by this time in the process, I no longer have to mix colors, so that I can pull almost my entire palette right off the painting. As you look at the snowy landscape, you'll notice that most horizontal surfaces have collected snow on them. So I want to go through and find any horizontal surface, like this fence, and add a layer of snow to it.

Adding snow to horizontal surfaces

There are still some details that need to be attended to. I think the residents of this chalet would have brought in their summertime umbrella by now, so I'm going to paint that out. You can see by this time in the process, I no longer have to mix colors, so that I can pull almost my entire palette right off the painting. As you look at the snowy landscape, you'll notice that most horizontal surfaces have collected snow on them. So I want to go through and find any horizontal surface, like this fence, and add a layer of snow to it.

Also, all of these windowsills would have snow. I always want to add an underside shadow to these layers of snow to give them some dimensionality. So again, I'm grabbing my shadow color right off the plate, skipping around my painting, looking for any horizontal surface to add a layer of snow to. All of these little details will work together to produce a convincing wintertime scene and a believable snow-covered structure.

I want to break up this edge where the snow turns to shadow. I don't think the sharp edge is particularly snow-like. I'm going to do the same on these windowsills. Maybe I will even add a little snow dripping down to make the edge more organic. I failed to save that Icicle brush; I want to save that right now. I'm going to save it as a new brush preset, Icicle. I want to make sure I get the top of this back wall covered and all of these fences.

Also the top surfaces of all of this railing detail would be a nice place to add a little bit of snow. I'm sure it would collect there. I notice I missed the backside of this roof. I want to add some snow on top of that and a little additional shadow, since it's falling away. I need to define the back edge of this roof.

I'd like to firm up some of these hard edges on top of the roof. I'm going to return to a hard solid brush and add just a bit of irregularity. To add some lumpiness to this line, I'm going to increase the Size Jitter. That will make it look more like snow. That way I can still draw with the line, but it gives me some nice irregularity that keeps the snow looking organic.

Just scribbling in some snow on these top railings. As I zoomed in closer, I noticed that I'd failed to paint out some of these flowers, so I want to take the time to do that. I can be very loose; this is all pretty much in shadow. You can see I've got some roughness and scattering on this, so that I'm not laying down a flat tone. I'm skipping from area to area, looking for anything that bothers me that doesn't look quite right.

It's the top of this railing detail on the front side of the chalet. I'm going to very quickly knock that in. And cover a few more horizontal surfaces as I see them. I still don't like the shape of the top of this tree, so I'm going to take another pass at that. I'm going to zoom out, see if anything jumps out at me. I'm looking at the overall adjustment on the background mountains, and I think they're too blue. So I'm going to open up the curves.

I'm going to pull some of the blue out by pulling down on the midtones of the blue channel. I'm going to pull a little green out. Now the blue of the background mountains more closely matches the shadow color of the foreground snow. Next up, I want to replace the sky. I want a sky that's larger than my original plate, so I can move it in my animation in After Effects.

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