Join Uli Staiger for an in-depth discussion in this video Painting steam, part of Up and Running with 3D in Photoshop CS5 Extended.
If I look at the image, if I look at the water, I have no idea if this is cold water or hot water. Knowing this would help me understand the image because if it's cold water, it's probably seawater, and if it's hot water, it's the water coming from the faucet. And since we see that already, that the water comes in from the faucet, it would be a smart idea to just bring in some steam. Steam can be painted in but if I look at the surface, at the water surface, then I think it would be a very good idea to darken it because if we darkened it, we have a bigger contrast between the water surface and the steam.
Also looking at the this part of the surface, I guess there should be some reflection off the dark boat and the water seems to be brighter than the boat. (LAUGH) Also this is not a good idea, so I would like to paint in some darkness. Painting in is maybe the wrong word. We just take an adjustment layer. I click on the surface, go to the Adjustments. And now you have the choice between the Curves and the Levels. Some people don't like the levels because they say, oh, the Levels.
They're easy to use and you can't do a lot with them. They might be right, but for this job, the levels are perfect because we don't want to do a lot. We just want to darken the water a little bit. Of course, we add a clipping mask. And then (audio playing), we just darken the water like this. That's probably all we have to do, almost all we have to do because going back to the layers, we have the opportunity to change the fill method. You might have noticed that the colors slightly change, not very much, but just a little bit.
So, I just go from Normal to Luminosity, and stick to the color I had before. So, now we're set and can paint in the steam. Steam is painted in two layers. The first layer is right on the surface of the water, that's the more important layer. So right on top of the levels, I click for a new layer. Call that steam. And now we can start painting the steam. We have white already as a foreground color.
We have a nice brush. The Brush has got a hardness of 0%. This is really important. And an Opacity of 5%. 5% is already a lot. So, it would be probably better if you lower that down to 3 because you don't want to see the traces of the brush. You just want to see the steam. And I start with a very small brush. And start painting in the steam right here on the surface of the water.
Just make sure you paint a lot of steam exactly on that horizon line because the steam is stronger down here and if you move up, you can use a bigger brush just like this one. If you paint that, it's a cool idea to change the size of your Brush. You do that either on your keyboard or right on the keys of your (UNKNOWN) tablet or you can do the following.
You just go to Window > Brushes > Shape Dynamics. Clicking in here, you can control the size of the brush like the pen pressure, by the pressure you use when you paint on your (UNKNOWN) tablet. but then, if you want to do that, you have to set a minimum diameter. it's at 100% right now. That means no matter what pressure you take, it's always 100%. If you set that down to, let's say something between 10 and 20%, then the smallest, right now we have 15%, the smallest brush size you use is this. That's 15% of the whole brush size of 50 pixels.
So, if you would like to put the Pen Pressure, which is a cool idea, then you go to something between 10 and 20 %. Say, Control Pen Pressure. Close that again and continue working. And now, you can easily paint these little fine structures. And still, you can use a bigger brush for the structures you need way up here, and this guy. And it's also a cool idea when, from time to time, you just see what you did so far.
So, we just look what you did by hiding the layer and bringing it back again, because if you don't do that, it could happen that you just added too much of the steam. Especially here, where the jet hits the water in the tub. Especially here, there's a lot of steam, exactly here, you have to paint in more than, let's say here. And please make sure that you don't paint the steam on the underwater image because there can't be any. Okay? So, what we still have to do, we have to paint in some more steam, right here on top.
Right here to make the whole atmosphere here look steamy and hot. And once we've done with that, it's cool if you take another layer. Behind the mixer, underneath the mixer in the Layers window and do the same here. Maybe you increase the Opacity of something like 5 or 6% and do that with a bigger brush because the black is almost unnatural here. So, you don't want to use that deep black. It looks cooler if you do that.
And of course, also here you can paint in very small, steamy structures. Take your time. If you do that the first time, it takes a while until it looks good. If you did it before, you're done in a few minutes. But if you don't like it, just try it again.
- Looking at the source images
- Beginning the composition
- Creating layer masks
- Adding a 3D object
- Customizing and rendering the 3D object
- Adding details
- Final adjustments