Designing Landscapes in Photoshop
Concept artist Stéphane Wootha Richard shows why there’s more to Photoshop than you think in an exhaustive video tutorial
Concept artist Stéphane Wootha Richard shows why there’s more to Photoshop than you think in an exhaustive video tutorial.
Plenty of artists offering video training include their original Photoshop document alongside the video showing how it was made. Stéphane Wootha takes this idea and runs with it.
At 8,000x3,400 pixels, his environment concept painting is so large that it occupies nearly 3GB of the tutorial download by itself. At least this gives you the chance to zoom into the detail of Stéphane’s image, which is an intriguing blend of near-photo realism with painterly brushstrokes and canvas-like surface textures.
The effect becomes clearer once you realise through the video that photographs form the bedrock of the composition. Using the photobashing technique that’s popular among concept artists, and referring to a thumbnail sketch that sets the direction for the image, Stéphane brings in elements from different photos to create an original landscape that doesn’t exist in reality. He makes use of selections and layer masks to present only the parts of each photograph he’s interested in. At this point, you can see the potential of the image, but the components don’t gel.
Next, it’s a case of working over the top of the photo-collage, using a combination of painting and Photoshop image-manipulation to take control of colour and tone. Stéphane builds up layers and applies different blending modes and layer masks to create a true sense of depth in the composition, for example.
Stéphane assumes you’re familiar with Photoshop’s key tools throughout the video. There’s no hand-holding here, but rather a forensic exploration of the principles behind creating a strong image, and how to manifest those principles through Photoshop. His narration is meticulous throughout the video’s two-and-a-half hours.
If Photoshop is largely about using brushes for you, then you’ll find this bargain-priced video will open your eyes to the possibilities of what you can achieve with its range of powerful image-editing tools.
This landscape concept art piece by Stéphane Wootha Richard is a beguiling combination of photobashing, painting and image manipulation. Its creation isn’t covered in the video, but this painted thumbnail informs Stéphane’s colour and value decisions throughout the video. Spot the join: the early stages see Stéphane blending parts of different photos until the components start to resemble the original thumbnail.