Join Bert Monroy for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding a flock of birds with the Pen tool, part of Bert Monroy: Dreamscapes Volume 1.
And now for the final thing that we need to add to our little Atlantis rising scene, and that's a little flock of birds just flying off through the sky here. It will kind of round out the composition and just give it some life. So I'm going to go in here and create my bird. So I'm going to create new file and its size, in fact let's just see what we're going to-- 240 DPI in this particular file, so I'm just going to work with a low res, it's okay, no problem because it's going to basically be a brush, so let's make it 72 DPI.
All right, and it's 4 inches by 4 inches, that's fine. So right here I'm going to create a little bird, and I'm going to use my Pen tool to do this. So I'm going to go in here and just create basically a simple little bird. So I'm going to go in here and create the little wing, comes down, like so. and a little bit of a body right there and then another wing that's going to come up here, here's another wing right there, and we're going to kind of bring it down, and we're going to adjust all these a little later, and then I'm going to throw a little tail right here, a little tiny tail right through there.
And then the body that's coming around, like so. and then give it a little beak right here, come back and to fully understand what I'm doing you can watch the movie on the outlining the plane in the Crash Site movie, there you'll get an idea of how I was manipulating these little paths. So let me just go in here, and now start to modify this just a slight bit, I'm going to just to make my bird look kind of nice. I want it to be a happy little bird here.
So there we go in there, and that's fairly good. Let's bring this wing over a little, and let's bring this one up there right there like that, and that's good. So now that we have that little bird in flight there, I'm going to take that path and add black. I set this to black and white. I'm going to go ahead and fill it with black. I can take away the path. There's the basic shape, which I'm now going to select that. I'm going to select that little shape right there and Define a Brush Preset, which I'm going to call bird.
Okay, now this can go away. We don't need it anymore. We don't have to save it. So back in this scene here and then go to my Layers, and way in the front I'm going to create a layer, and I'm going to call it birds. I get my Paint Brush, I'm going to select the little flock of birds--or rather the single bird which is going to become a flock. So there is the little bird, which right now is going to do that.
Not very attractive, but we're going to modify it. If we go into our Brush engine where we're going to give it some spacing, and I'm going to give quite a bit of spacing to make all our little birds quite distinct, there we go. And I'm going to go into my Shape Dynamics, where I'm going to turn on my Pen Pressure, but I am going to set up a Size Jitter, so there's very definite difference between each bird, and I'm going to set up a Minimum so they don't get too small. See that one right there? He was really tiny. There's a little tiny one right there. I don't want it to be that tiny, so I'm going to just set up a Minimum for about 21%, that's good.
I'm going to shift the Angle just a little bit, just a little on these birds, not too much. I don't want them being upside-down. I just want to just shift the angle just a little, and I'm going to play around with the Roundness. Now the Roundness is going to flatten them, so some of them are going to get flattened so they start to look a little different, see, a little flat, and I'm going to set up Minimum Roundness, so right there, right about there. So now some are a little longer than others and so on, right? And then I'm going to scatter them.
So now they're going to scatter, and you can see I'm going to set it up on Both Axes so they're just scattering all over the place, just a little scatter of birds like that. I'm going to setup a little Color Dynamics as well, so they will go jumping between foreground and background, little Hue shift and a little Saturation shift and definitely a Brightness Jitter so that they're going to shift from tip to tip to different tones. And I'm going to set some Colors here. I'm going to get a nice dark gray, like that. In fact, we will go even darker, almost black.
And go to a very light lighter gray, let's say about like that, don't want to go too light just so we have enough of a shift between those, and then now that we have that, we have a good size. I'm just going to go in here and just draw right across here and do a couple of those strokes so that we have a little flock of birds just flying through the sky there, and there we see that we now have the completed scene of Atlantis rising from the sea.
- Creating alpha channels
- Isolating content with clipping groups and layer masks
- Turning a day sky into a night sky
- Compositing photos
- Creating tableaus
- Blending color and tone in combined images
- Painting in explosions