Can you help me quickly paint an en­vi­ron­ment?

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Imagine Nation -

Daniel Bac­chus, South Africa

An­swer

Char­lotte replies

There are a lot of tools out there that can help make even the most com­plex en­vi­ron­ment de­sign man­age­able, from thumb­nail to fi­nal prod­uct. 3D pro­grams (here I’ll be us­ing SketchUp) can stream­line the process; when you be­gin to com­bine these with pho­to­tex­tures and well-thought out light­ing ef­fects, you can quickly cre­ate a vis­ually in­ter­est­ing piece of art that sells your en­vi­ron­ment idea.

There are a few dif­fer­ent ways to ap­proach en­vi­ron­ment de­sign: for sci-fi and ter­ras­cape art the Shapes tool is in­valu­able, whereas for mod­ern ci­tyscapes start­ing with a photo plate can be much quicker. Other ur­ban en­vi­ron­ments or de­tailed matte paint­ing style art­work can ben­e­fit from 3D in the ini­tial stages. And of course, many artists just use free form paint­ing from start to fin­ish, for­go­ing photos and other pro­grams al­to­gether. Experiment with these dif­fer­ent meth­ods un­til you find an ap­proach that works best.

One quick trick is us­ing magic hour light­ing in your art­work. This cre­ates dra­matic mood, vivid colour and long shad­ows that are uni­ver­sally flat­ter­ing.

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