Step-by-step: Rain hell­fire and de­struc­tion on a city

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Your Questions Answered... -

I start by us­ing a broad cloud brush to fill in the en­tire com­po­si­tion with or­anges and whites, mak­ing a fire-filled at­mos­phere. I add two lay­ers and paint the sil­hou­ettes of build­ings, try­ing to bal­ance the com­po­si­tion. The mush­room cloud will be in the left half of the im­age, so I add the heav­ier sky­scraper shapes to the right. With a Polyg­o­nal Lasso tool, I se­lect shapes for the low rooftops, keep­ing in mind the van­ish­ing point and hori­zon. With a broad brush I paint light val­ues in the se­lec­tion, es­tab­lish­ing the flat sur­faces re­flect­ing the ex­plo­sion. I add de­tail to the sky­scrapers, us­ing a re­peat­ing brush to sug­gest sep­a­rate floors and bal­conies. With a va­ri­ety of Scat­ter brushes, I paint in tons of fly­ing de­bris on a sep­a­rate layer. I then ap­ply a Ra­dial Zoom Blur fil­ter to give the de­bris en­ergy and mo­tion ra­di­at­ing from the ex­plo­sion. Us­ing my cloud brush, I darken the sky where the mush­room cloud will be. This will add con­trast to the gi­ant fire­ball.

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