Tex­ture brushes

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Workshops -

Now it’s time to make the ar­mour feel more real. I have a lot of stan­dard tex­ture brushes and free brushes you can down­load with a lot of tex­tures, shape vari­a­tions, and so on. Find­ing a brush that suits your de­mands is pretty fun too! The de­tail­ing is 90 per cent com­pleted, and we can now work with ef­fects, which is my favourite part of the job!

Ap­ply mo­tion blur

Now I cre­ate a flat­tened copy of all the lay­ers at the top of the layer stack (Cmd+Alt+ Shift+E or Ctrl+Alt+ Shift+E) and add a Mo­tion Blur ef­fect to the new layer. Us­ing a layer mask, I hide the ef­fect in ar­eas that I don’t want to be blurred: the face, hair, ar­mour and other fo­cal points. Here it helps to cre­ate a stronger feel of heat from the fire, es­pe­cially on the edges of the body.

Un­sharp Mask

Next I use the Un­sharp Mask fil­ter (Fil­ter> Sharpen> Un­sharp Mask) and Noise fil­ter (Fil­ter>Noise>Add Noise) to em­pha­sise the grain­i­ness and cre­ate the feel­ing of photo taken in a fire. At this stage you could say the illustration is com­plete, but I love to add one lit­tle, tiny step: chro­matic aber­ra­tion, which helps to cre­ate even more of a film feel – see the Pro Se­cret (op­po­site).

Light my fire!

Us­ing sep­a­rate Color Dodge lay­ers filled with black, I add more light to high­lights and to the fire at the bot­tom of the piece. I also add some sparks, which helps to cre­ate a feel­ing of mo­tion and the im­pres­sion of a strong wind. I also add an Outer Glow ef­fect to the sparks and fire lay­ers. Now the illustration is start­ing to look more like I imag­ined it would!

Make use of a photo tex­ture

I have a lot of pho­tos of ran­dom tex­tures I’ve taken out on the streets, so here I de­cided to use a photo of the tex­ture of a Ja­panese con­crete lamp post to add a more grainy and ran­dom feel to the illustration. I set the Opac­ity of the photo layer to 35 per cent and change its blend­ing mode to Soft Light. I also ad­just the Hue of the photo us­ing Hue/Sat­u­ra­tion.

Fin­ish­ing up

Fi­nally, I check for mis­takes by flip­ping the im­age (Im­age >Im­age Ro­ta­tion>Flip Can­vas Hor­i­zon­tally). If ev­ery­thing is okay, I flip it back and save! This process is dif­fer­ent from what I use for pri­vate il­lus­tra­tions – it’s a lit­tle bit slower – but with this you can go back to ev­ery last step by just turn­ing off the lay­ers, so it’s easy to make changes and at prac­ti­cally no risk, too.

Hue/Sat­u­ra­tion Cmd+Alt+U

(Mac) Ctrl+Alt+U (PC

) Quickly ad­just

your lay­ers’ colour and dark­ness

with this use­ful tool!

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