Join Bert Monroy for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a fog brush, part of Bert Monroy: The Making of Amsterdam Mist, the Natural Elements.
The main focus of Amsterdam mist, of course, is the mist. That fog, the fog that builds up as it goes further back. Now, how I created that effect we'll cover in the next movie, but first, let's cover how the fog itself is created. I got a new file here. It's just a plain white file, and what I'm going to do is, I'm going to get a black brush, or rather, a deep gray. About like that. There you go. That's a good gray. Just about a mid-gray.
Right there. Now, what I'm going to do is, I'm going to take my paint brush. I'm going to soften it up just a little bit. Just a little bit, and I'm going to draw a little shape in here, so I'm going to make my brush a little bigger, and just kind of draw a little shape in here, like so. Just a little shape. Okay, now what I'm going to do with this, is I'm going to get a darker, a darker gray, much darker gray, and I'm going to make my brush a little smaller, and I'm just going to draw a couple little dabs in here. Just a couple little shapes, right through here, and maybe darken this whole bottom part, or just kind of darken this bottom part here, just like that.
Then, what I'm going to do, and let's get real close to see this, I'm creating a little puff of smoke. It doesn't look like much yet, but you'll see it in a minute. I'll get my little smudge tool, and I'm just going to kind of move these guys around, just to kind of form these little shapes. Okay. Just like this. Now, it would help sometimes to maybe just create from a cloud. Take a little part of a cloud. My first dreamscape volume has a little tutorial called moonlit night, and there I create a brush based on some clouds.
Here, what we're doing is, we're just creating it from scratch, so I'm just creating all these little shapes, and now I'm just going to kind of pull these guys out, in and out, just to start breaking them up like this, and then with my burn tool, I'm just going to throw, make the brush a little smaller, and throw some little darks into certain areas, like right in here, and let's bring this up to midtones, and just kind of darken certain parts more than others, like so. I got this little shape here, right? Kind of funky, but it's okay.
It's going to work. I'm going to blur it just a little bit. Just give it a little gaussian blur, just to soften it up a little more. There. That's good. Now that I see this, I might want to just smudge these guys out a little more into each other, like that. There we go. Doesn't look like much, but it's a brush. So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to select it, and it doesn't matter how I select it, because it's only going to look at that. Everything else that's white is going to be transparent, so I'm going to turn that into a brush. Define brush preset.
There it is. Click ok. In fact, you know what? I'm going to lighten it up a little bit. Give it some light areas. So I'm going to go into my dodge tool. When I look at it, it's so dark, so I'm just going to lighten a couple of spots. There we go. That's going to add a little more variety. Now, I'm going to say define brush. Alright, so now, I can throw it away. Make sure our background is white, and we say add to white. Click ok. Gone.
So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to invert this. I'm going to invert the whole image. Just command I. Invert it to black, and then a new layer, right here, I'll use white. I'll get that brush, which automatically have the old brush created. If not, I'm going to go in there and select it right there. So, right now it does that, so what I'm going to do is, I'm going to go into my brush engine, where I'm going to add a little variety to it. Turn this off. Go into brush tip shape, and give it a little spacing. So you can kind of see what's starting to happen already.
A little spacing right there. Go into shape dynamics, and I'm going to give it a little size jitter. A little angle jitter. Just a little bit. So shift them around a little bit. Just like that. And now, I'm going to bring down the opacity to about a 30, and I start to draw, and you can see what I'm starting to get. See? And that's basically how the fog layers were created. Creating this little smoky brush.
So I can just continue to add to it, and so on, and then once the layers were created, they were just lowered in opacity to create the little mist that we see in the fog. In the next layer we're going to see is how those particular brushes were applied into specific layers to give us a sense of depth in the mist.