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ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation Artist Q&a -

Ma­te­ri­als such as a cloth­cov­ered padded seat not only re­quire tex­ture to make them look con­vinc­ing, but an un­der­stand­ing of their phys­i­cal struc­tures and how light in­ter­acts with them. Be­fore I start, I search the in­ter­net for images to gain an idea of the char­ac­ter­is­tics of a padded seat. For in­stance, a padded seat usu­ally has rounded edges, and the sil­hou­ette of the pad­ding should re­flect that.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the fab­ric or leather is usu­ally stretched over the back and/or bot­tom of the chair, mak­ing tiny bunches in the drap­ery where the ten­sion is strong­est. It’s the at­ten­tion to such de­tails that would make the ren­der­ing more con­vinc­ing. I want a light­ing con­di­tion that’s high-key, so that the ma­te­ri­als can be de­picted with clar­ity. To that end, I chose to po­si­tion the seat in front of a wide win­dow.

First, I need to sketch the seat in per­spec­tive. I use sim­ple, one-point per­spec­tive to es­tab­lish that. For clean-look­ing ob­jects such as th­ese, I use Pho­to­shop’s Pen tool for more con­trol over my edges. You can erase some edges with an Air­brush for soft edges, but in this in­stance, it’s not needed. Af­ter that, it’s a mat­ter of ren­der­ing the ma­te­rial and over­lay­ing a ma­te­rial tex­ture (on Soft Light mode) as needed.

Use a broad Air­brush and lay down ar­eas of light and shad­ows. The bright back­light­ing cre­ates a sem­blance of rim light over the chair.

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