Can you help me paint a sand­storm with­out it look­ing like a brown blob?!

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation - Sum­mer Nor­ton, Swe­den


Viktoria replies

Paint­ing a sand­storm us­ing Pho­to­shop is rel­a­tively easy. How­ever, mak­ing a sand­storm look in­ter­est­ing can be a bit trick­ier, since we’re ba­si­cally talk­ing about a rolling cloud of dust and… well, sand.

So con­sider adding some el­e­ment of story to your sand­storm paint­ing. Is the sand­storm on Earth or an alien planet? Is it en­gulf­ing the ru­ins of an an­cient city way out in the desert? How about paint­ing a desert no­mad be­com­ing en­gulfed by the sand­storm?

Hope­fully, you’ll have some ideas of how to paint more than just an or­ange dust cloud. Now for the process. What you need to think about for a back­ground scene of a sand­storm is that it ba­si­cally looks like a rolling cu­mu­lus cloud, but one that’s much more fuzzy around the edges, and sig­nif­i­cantly denser. You won’t get much light scat­ter­ing in a sand­storm, and you won’t see very far in­side it. Ba­si­cally, it’ll be like look­ing at a scene that’s af­fected by thick, sand-coloured fog.

An ob­scured fig­ure is one way to give your sand­storm a sense of depth and vol­ume.

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