Q&A: coins

Fred Reed, Eng­land

ImagineFX - - Contents -


Bram replies

The key to cre­at­ing a con­vinc­ing gold tex­ture is in the val­ues. When I’m paint­ing dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als I al­ways look out for photo ref­er­ence to help me out. Study­ing how light reacts dif­fer­ently on var­i­ous ma­te­ri­als is cru­cial when you want to recre­ate them your­self.

In case of the pirate gold I’m paint­ing here, which is a more rugged and older va­ri­ety, the nooks and cran­nies will be darker and dirt­ier than in new gold coins. I usu­ally start out in black/white to make sure to get my val­ues right. I’ll be boost­ing the shad­ows and the high­lights later, but right now it’s im­por­tant that the de­sign of the coin it­self and the stack they’re put in looks good.

Once I’m sat­is­fied I click Im­age> Ad­just­ments> Gra­di­ent Map. A Gra­di­ent Map re­places your val­ues with a gra­di­ent, so here I’m cre­at­ing a gra­di­ent where the high­lights are a bright yel­low, and the darks a warm brown. No­tice how there’s a big falloff, so the light will be re­ally bright in the high­lights, but it quickly falls away be­com­ing dark in the crevices. In­tro­duc­ing big contrasts like this is the key to cre­at­ing con­vinc­ing gold. To work, al­chemists!

When you’re paint­ing ma­te­ri­als such as gold, it’s a good idea to look for ref­er­ence. It helps you to get val­ues and cor­re­spond­ing colours just right. Cre­at­ing dif­fer­ent coins is easy with the Per­spec­tive and Dis­tort tools. You’ll have a heap of coins in no time!

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