Join Daniel Lieske for an in-depth discussion in this video Enhancing the light in the scene, part of Creating a Digital Painting with Photoshop CS5.
Now we want to do some large scale adjustments to our scene, and we want to try to model it out with light a little bit more. Now, to do that we ill use two techniques. The first one is modelling light and atmosphere with a very large soft brush. So, I'm picking up my big soft brush. Making it a little bit bigger, again. And I'm, will now try to enhance the feeling of the background.
The background is very light at the moment, and that's good. Because it, gives a nice contrast to the saturated foreground, an so. Background and foreground are separated nicely, but it's looking a little bit dull back there. So we will try to apply some color to remedy that. The first thing I want to do, is to change my brush mode to Overlay. Which is a very nice mode to to change the atmosphere of your image. I will pick up a very light orange-yellow and now I'm going to paint in the background.
And as you can see the background takes this yellow, orange, very nicely, giving it a very sunny and warm atmosphere. And now, I'm going to take a cold color, a blue, and I will put it here in the top region.
And I will switch my mode to Multiply. Now I will darken the top most edge of the background a bit. Give it even more depth and atmosphere. So we have light and shade. In this background and the important thing is that it still seperates nicely from the foreground. Now I want to model with light a bit and I'm using a nice little trick for that.
First what I'm going to do is I'm going to merge all the layers that make up the foreground, all the pieces of the roots. And we create it with the Puppet Warp tool. I want to merge all these layers, and there's a keyboard shortcut for that too, Ctrl + E, merges all selected layers. By the way, you can select several layers, by holding down the Shift key. Now I am duplicating this Foreground layer by dragging it, on the little document icon.
Now I have a copy of my Foreground layer and I'm switching over to the Screen mode. With this layer and this effectively lightens up the whole scene. But I don't want to lighten the whole scene up. I only want to lighten certain parts of it up, so I'm giving this copy of my Foreground layer and Layer Mask. And I select the Layer Mask by clicking onto it, and I hit Ctrl + I in order to invert it.
Now the layer is mask is black, and that means that nothing of my copied Foreground layer is visible right now. Now I select the mask and I pick up my expressive Bristle brush, and this is loaded with white right at the moment. And when you are painting with white into a mask, you will reveal part of the layer that is masked off. So, by painting white into the mask, I'm revealing those parts of the layer that are lightening up my scene in the foreground.
And I do that to create the effect that some parts of my foreground are hid by light. And I've chosen a light direction from right to left. And all parts that face right where we see some of this sunlight that is coming from there. Not only the roots will receive some light from there but also the rocks those roots are sitting on.
And by leaving some parts out of that, I'm able to create some texture, some additional texture here. And now we can have a look. We can turn this layer on and off and we can see that it is like turning off the light or turning it on. It's like a light switch now, what we have here. And of course we want to keep the light on.
Also, what we can do now is, we can make a little color correction to our light. For that, I'm opening up the Color Balance palette. There's a nice shortcut for it. If you don't want to get it over Image > Adjustments > Color Balance, you can use Ctrl+B. With this color lalance I will now try to change the overall color of the sunlight that is hitting our surfaces now. And it normally is a good idea to distort it a little to the yellow and the reds. Like this.
Now, with that we have now effectively modeled our scene with light. And with these large scale adjustments. We have reached a point where we now can use some brush work some traditional painting, to detail our jungle scene.
- Setting up
- Working with shapes and layers
- Using the Polygonal Lasso tool
- Separating the foreground from the background
- Enhancing the light in the scene
- Creating a leaf brush
- Painting a character