De­sign­ing Land­scapes in Pho­to­shop

Con­cept artist Stéphane Wootha Richard shows why there’s more to Pho­to­shop than you think in an ex­haus­tive video tu­to­rial

ImagineFX - - Reviews - Pub­lisher Stéphane Wootha Richard Price £3 For­mat Down­load Web www.gum­

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.

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