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- Making precise selections using the Color Range command
- Controlling reference material through layer masks
- Creating custom brushes
- Painting snow, icicles, and trees
- Painting through a high-contrast matte
- Replacing the sky in an image
- Animating smoke and falling snow
- Reformatting and rendering a scene in After Effects
Skill Level Intermediate
My mountain chalet is starting to look really dusky, but I'd like to add some orange glow onto the top of the hills and onto the top of the chalet to unify this scene and blend the landscape in. There would probably also be some glow on this patch of snow in front of the chalet, so I'm going to create another new layer on top of the BlueMultiply layer and then choose an orange from the sky. I'm going to choose a slightly lighter orange and then fill the entire new layer full of that orange and set the layer blending mode to Overlay.
I'm going to control where this orange glow shows up by using a layer mask. Select all and then fill the layer mask with black. Then load in the layer selection from the foothills. Then choose a soft round brush, make it nice and large, and then just brush white into the layer mask where I want the orange glow to show up. I'd like to add some orange glow right here where the most intense part of the sky is showing through between the mountains.
I'm going to load in the selection from the BlueMultiply layer and then paint that orange glow in with the big round soft brush. If I go overboard with the glow, I can always press X to load black into the foreground color and then paint black into the layer mask to remove some of the glow. I'd like to add a little orange glow onto this foreground patch of snow also, so I'm going to load in the selection from this Snow layer mask and paint white in to the Orange Glow layer. And I'm going to add the selection from the Rooftop layer and add some of that orange glow to the roof of the chalet.
I want to zoom in because I want to add an orange glow to these windows that are right down here near the snow. I'm not going to add this to the Orange Glow layer, but right onto the same layer as the windows. Still using that soft round brush, I'm going to sample a color right from the windows, then paint some light shining out onto the snow. It seems like a little too much. I'm going to select the Eraser tool and erase a little bit of what I did. I want to zoom out and take a good look at the windows.
Looking at the overall scene, I think I'd like it a little darker, so I'm going to go to my BlueMultiply layer and change it from 80% to 90% opacity. No winter scene like this would be complete without some smoke coming out of the smokestack, so let's add that as a final detail. I've got a photo of smoke already separated out in a file and I'm going to open that, Select All, and copy it. Returning to my chalet file, I'm going to paste it in and position it right over the smokestack.
The smoke doesn't look dark enough here, but rather than color correct it in Photoshop, I'm going to handle all of that in After Effects. That will also allow me to have the smoke be nice and bright in the summertime version and then darken it as we go into dusk. Name this layer Smoke. And that's it for the painting part of this project. If you've been following along and want to compare your work to mine, and you are a Premium member of lynda.com, you can see my final painting in the exercise files inside the Plate folder.
Next up, we'll prepare the file for After Effects, where we'll turn it into an animation.