Can you give me any tips to help me quickly paint a huge crowd in a vast en­vi­ron­ment?

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Imagine Nation Artist Q & A -

Gary Chaloner, Australia

Donglu replies

The trick to paint­ing a huge crowd is un­doubt­edly to avoid paint­ing each fig­ure in­di­vid­u­ally, be­cause it would be ex­tremely time-con­sum­ing and dif­fi­cult to bal­ance out the im­pres­sion of a big crowd within the com­po­si­tion.

If we look at some paint­ings by Craig Mullins, for ex­am­ple, who is renowned for de­tailed scenes on a large scale, we can see that he fo­cuses more on how to give the im­pres­sion of a big crowd, in­stead of paint­ing the peo­ple in the big crowd. By giv­ing a few vis­ual hints, you can eas­ily trick the viewer’s brain to read care­fully planned colour noise and cor­re­spond­ing high­lights as a crowd. Know­ing how to cre­ate the right illusion can sig­nif­i­cantly speed up your ef­fi­ciency dur­ing tight pro­duc­tion pe­ri­ods, which is key in the en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try.

Here I’ll take you through the steps in­volved in mak­ing some cus­tom crowd brushes, which can re­ally speed up the crowd paint­ing process.

In or­der to give some va­ri­ety to the crowd, I’ll make three dif­fer­ent crowd brushes. Each of them will have spe­cific setup: dif­fer­ent Jit­ter sizes, Scat­ter­ing ef­fects and Dy­namic Color ef­fects. With the right set­ting ap­plied, press­ing the brush softly makes the crowd small and light to mimic at­mo­spheric per­spec­tive, but when you press the brush hard the size of the crowd in­creases and val­ues be­come darker val­ues. You can down­load my brushes from this is­sue’s col­lec­tion of re­sources.

One ba­sic crowd brush can al­ready pro­duce a fairly con­vinc­ing vis­ual rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a crowd. Cre­ate a few dif­fer­ent ones to add more com­plex­ity and re­al­ism to your im­age.

Tweak your brushes’ set­tings to make them slightly dif­fer­ent from each other – it will add even more

vis­ual vari­a­tion to the crowd.

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