Artist Bert Monroy demonstrates his techniques for creating lighting, fire, smoke, grass, and reflections.
(Speaker) What we're going to create here is an underwater scene and I'm going to start off with this garden scene right here and the reason I'm using this scene is because all I really need is this gravel area in the lower part of the image. All the areas above that area are going to be eliminated we're just going to concentrate on this area here. Now, the first thing we have to do is to change the color of this image. So, I go under image adjustments and I'll go to hue saturation and what I'm going to do is I'm going to just push the hue slider all the way over to the left because that's going to turn all my warm colors that we see indicated in this bar here into cooler colors as the lower bar is indicating.
I'm going to push the saturation up which is going to intensify those colors a bit. Now, we see that we're starting to pick up those nice aqua colors down in the gravel below, a little stronger and gets a little more exaggerated. Now, the stuff in back here we don't have to concern ourselves because like I said it's going to disappear. Once we have what we want, I click okay; there's the area we need. Now I'm going to create a layer right on top of that. Let's get a nice deep blue color for our foreground color and start with that color right there and for the background color, I'm going to pick a lighter version of that same blue; somewhere around that area there; I click okay.
I have this layer right here where I created and this is going to be the surface of the water. So with my gradient tool I'm going to create a gradient from the bottom up because the bottom is my dark blue and go straight up like that. That's going to become the basis of my surface of the water. I'm going give it a filter and the filter I'm going to use for this is under distort, it's called glass; (Pause) now, we see a small representation here.
What I'm going to do is I'm going to push all the parameters up; I'm going to push distortion all the way up to 20 and the scaling all the way up to 200 percent which is the maximum that they give you and I'm going to smoothen it up just a little more; let's say about 5, that way we can see the effect that we're getting here. (Pause) Click okay and we have it started. Now I'm going to pull back a little. I'm going to pull back so I can see some of the work area, this gray area out here and let's go ahead and name it, just to make sure we stay organized, we're going to call this "The Surface." (Pause) I'm going to go down to edit and transform and choose distort.
Distort is going to allow me to play with different parts of that layer individually. I'll grab the center right here and pull it up, all the way to the top like that and I'm going to pull the sides out (Pause)...out into the work area like that. Now, what's starting to happen, you can see, is that I'm getting these ripples up here become much larger and as they start to go back they become smaller because they're being squeezed in by the distort tool; that's going to give me that sense of depth; hit enter and that happens.
Now in a new layer between the 2 and I'm going to call this "The abyss." (Pause) In this area we're going to create that depth of the abyss of the sea itself. With my gradient tool again and with the blue in the foreground color, I'm going to change the format to foreground to transparent and throw in some small little gradients right in there until I start to totally eliminate that background that was visible. Now we're seeing only the area of the gravel and the surface of the water with that abyss in between.
We're going to start to add a little life to this. (Pause) In another layer, let's put this layer on top here; I'm not going to name this one yet because it's going to have multiple uses. What I'm going to do with it is I'm going to reset my colors to black and white and I'm going to fill that area with black; so that layer is totally black. (Pause) I'm going to give it a filter of add noise. I'm going to set it to gauzein which is going to give me a strong contrast dealing with the lights and darks.
The uniform is going to deal more with the mid tones; I want real strong noise here and I'm going to hit monochromatic so I don't get any additional color introduced like whites or purples or greens and such; I'm going to push this amount up a bit so I'll get a really strong noise like that; click okay. Now as I said, I'm going to use this for a couple of things so I'm going to duplicate that layer. (Pause) I'm going to turn off the eye for the one in back and let's concentrate on this one which we'll call "Particulate Matter; so I'm just going to give it a PM and that's for the particular matter that's just floating around in the water, little plankton things that have life and pollution in the sea.
I'm going to give it a slight blurring. I'm just going to give it a blur more just to soften it up a bit and then I'm going to go into my adjustments and go to levels and in levels I'm going to bring my blacks way down here and pull up my whites and you can see that what starts to happen back there; it starts to look like a star field. I'm going to push this a little stronger so I'm basically decreasing the amount of white speckles that are being visible; click okay and we see we have a nice variety of them which has a sense of depth; as I said before, it could be a star field.
Later on in this tape we'll see where this could be used for other sets. I'm going to take that layer and put it in screen mode which means only the white tones are going to show through and we start to get the particulate matter floating around in the water. I'm going to bring down its opacity just a little bit so they're not so strong and we get this nice little live plankton floating around in the water. Now there should be some light coming in from above because we see by the surface of the water there is daylight up there.
So, I'm going to pull back again, show our gray area and I'm going to get my lasso tool and I'm going to increase the feather to about 20; that means the edges are going to be nice and soft and I'm going to start out here and I'm going to hold down my option key to turn it into the rubber band tool and just create a kind of a cone shape, just like that. Now, the reason I started out here is because it has a high feather, which means all the edges of the surrounding selection are going to be soft.
I want this area to be soft but I want the area out here right at the edge and at the bottom edge to be sharp, create a new layer and I'm going to call this layer "Streams of light." I've got white for my foreground color so I'm going to go ahead and fill that with the white. I can now deselect it. You can see that the bottom edge is nice and sharp, it's bleeding right off the image, but the edges are nice and soft. I'm going to bring down the opacity of that stream of light.
It's just a little haze there and I'm going to duplicate it. This duplicate, I'm going to go into transform and I'm going to skew it, a little over to the right (Pause) and I'm going to take that and move it over, just a little off to the right some more and bring down its opacity even more, so it starts to soften up. I'm going to duplicate that original stream of light again and this time I'm going to skew it in the opposite direction (Pause)...and over this direction here and again move it over slightly (Pause)...and bring down its opacity some more.
(Pause) So now we have 3 little streams of light that starts to give you that nice feeling of light coming in from the surface of the water. Now once this starts to happen you have to take other things into consideration. That is that the ocean floor should reflect that light coming through. You should get this nice dappled effect down below. These are all things that should be considered when you're creating an image, there's always that extra 10 percent that has to be added to make it look real. This is where that second noise layer is going to come into effect.
So, we have that layer and we see the streams coming through it; that's because this layer is way behind the particulate matter and the streams of light layers. What I'm going to do to this layer is first give it another filter and under pixilate we have a thing called crystalize and that gives me these nice little crystals based on the noise that's there in the original layer. I'm going to bring up the cell size to about a 44 which will give me these big crystals; I click okay; that's going to begin to be my dappled effect.
I'll give it another filter under stylize here we have a thing called find edges. That's going to find each individual edge of those crystals and outline it with a nice little black line. Now the dapple reflections are usually a white tone so what I'm going to do is I'm going to go over here and invert this. (Pause) So, now I have white lines on top of black. To make them look like they are reflections of the water surface I'm going to go into my filters and under distort I'm going to use ripple and bring up the amount just a little so I start to get a nice little effect like such; click okay and I'll put that into screen mode as well.
(Pause) Now, I'm going to pull back again. (Pause) Again to see that gray area and just as I did with the surface, I'm going to distort this dappled effect. So I go into my transform and use distort but I'm going in the opposite direction as I did with the surface, bring this down and pull out the sides. (Pause) Zoom back in and we start to get our dapple effect. In that layer now, we're seeing the reflections are going all the way up here.
I'm going to add a layer mask, (Pause)...get my graining tool and I have to make sure that I've reset this to foreground to background and with white at the bottom I'm going to create a small little grading going up which makes the dapple effect start to disappear as it gets further away from our point of view. Now that we have our underwater scene setup, let's give it some real life. Let's put a little fish in there. I'm going to create a new scene (Pause)...and get my pen tool and set it to path mode, that's the second choice right here.
The first one will give me a vector layer; I just want the path itself because basically I'm going to create a brush. So, let's start creating our little fish. I'm going to pull out a little handle like so and come up to about, just about the midway point and click and drag to get this nice little curve. Now I'm going to change directions because now I'm going to get a dorsal fin here so I'm going to hold down my option button and click and drag to pull out a new handle, come up here and pull out a little fin. Change direction and come back down and change direction again and come down to the back part of our fish.
Here we're going to create the tail. So, I change direction again (Pause)...and come up here, click and drag to get this next little part. (Pause) Option click to get a new handle and come down to what will be the bottom of our tail,(Pause)...option click and drag again and bring it up to the base at the back of the fish there and now I'm going to create the belly. I option click and drag to pull out a new handle, come out to about halfway point and change direction and create this little fin that hangs down at the bottom of the little fish like that, change direction and bring it back up(Pause)...change direction and close it off at the beginning of the fish.
So, there's our little fish. So what I'm going to do with path is I've got my color black for the foreground, I'm going to go ahead and fill it with black; we can now turn off the path. I'm going to just select this fish with the rectangular marquee tool and define brush. (Pause) Now, we could name it if we wish but we'll just leave it as is. We don't need this file anymore because our brush is created.
Taking the brush tool and going up to the brushes we'll see that our little fish should appear way at the bottom here, there he is. Let's select that. (Pause) Now, there's this big fish floating on the surface of this water here. That's not exactly what we want. First of all we would like the fish to be much smaller; so I'm going to bring down the size right here in the master diameter, to a size about that; that looks about good, but we don't want it to be lonely out there so we're going to create and entire school of fish. So, I'm going to bring up my brushes palate and our little fish is selected right there.
What I'm going to do is I'm going to scatter. The first thing I'm going to do is give it a little scattering and have them all kind of shift away from the path so that we're going to get our whole school of fish jumping around and I'm going to increase the count a bit too. So, you're going to get some nice little bunches, but I'm going to give it a count jitter so that the amount of fish is going to lessen in certain spots. In fact, let's go back over here to brush tip and give it a little more spacing so we have spacing in our fish. See, now we can really see the count jitter.
Here we have a little clump of fish, here they become a little less and a little more open and there's another little clump starting to form here. Let's go into shape dynamics and what I'm going to do is bring the angle down so it's just a little bit of an angle, just a little variety. See, we're seeing a few fish going up and a few fish going down and so on. We're not going to play around with roundness because we don't want any fish looking like their flat. We want them all too pretty much have the same shape but we are going to play with the size jitter. I'm going to push that all the way over to 100 percent; so now we're going to get some that are tiny and some that are large but the minimum we're going to bring that in because we don't want to get to tiny to become like a little dot.
That's going to be as tiny as we want them, about 11 percent of our size of our fish. So there's our little school of fish traveling around but what I will do for my control is to set this up for direction. (Pause) So, now what's going to happen is that our school of fish is going to follow the direction of my path that I create in the scene. The last thing I'm going to do is in color dynamics I'm going to set the foreground and background jitter to 100 percent; so it's going to go between the foreground and background colors.
We can now take this and say goodbye to this and let's change this from white to a kind of a neutral gray there, click okay and instead of a black, let's bring this up to a much darker gray. We don't want black fish in there; we just want some gray fish; click okay and always in a separate layer create a new layer we'll call this layer "Fish" and in here we'll just draw a very quick little stroke goes across and we have our little fish just traveling all through underneath the water.