Matte Painting

During the process on coming up with a character concept I was presented with the task of creating a matte painting to place my character in. Before working on my own from concept pieces I followed a tutorial based on Machu Picchu and how to expand a high angled wide shot. The software I used in order to carry this out was Photoshop CS6. This was the base image I was given.

machupicchu I didn’t want to strictly follow the tutorial so added in my own elements and found a lot of inspiration from Asgard within the Thor films. The first step among this process was to sketch out a rough idea of what I wanted to create using the given image as a basis on composition.  I chose to keep it simple to begin with extending the mountains within the distance and bring a cliff edge together in the foreground. I started painting in the sky with a soft brush using a basic gradient of dark blue at the top of the sky fading into a softer blue along the lower horizon line from here I began painting in clouds and blocking of colours using the Idropper tool to gain as close to the pre-exsiting spectrum as possible the Idropper tool was used heavily throughout the matte painting in order for me to make it as realistic as possible.  This process was carried out throughout the majority of the painting until the surrounding negative space was filled. Following on from this I chose to add in spire like features attached down with chains as well as a distant waterfall this required some rearrangement of the composition however, didn’t take much longer to fix. The next steps involved adding in the finer details for this I had to zoom in and make light brush strokes following the pathways other trees, cracks and grass where following although I believe this was carried out successfully more time could have gone into this at a later stage to again make the image more detailed.  after finishing off the finer details I then again decided to change to composition of the image more so the left side rather than having a sloping mountain edge I decided to make this into a sharp cliff edge with various drop offs. Overall I felt this worked out better however, more could be done to the image in order to gain a more professional result and is something I will be taking into consideration during my main matte painting along with any others I am tasked with during future projects.

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Environment Design; Group Project

TechDoc17_03_17 Document Reviewing the process and methods used within recent project on environment design.

Turn Around of the library building:

Single Shot Renders:

Steampunk Temple


This is the final composition for what is titled ‘Project Sloth’ the inspiration on the layout was taken from Bone Temple as mentioned in a previous post.  Although I was planning on adjusting the layout to a new temple as well as discussing this with the group it came to a decision that this would be the more appropriate image. Furthermore the textures, values and overall feeling of the image was a lot stronger than other layouts tried with one example being;


Although the rule of thirds is evident within both and very similar in the placement of the main image I could not get the idea across of steampunk. Furthermore this would have been more awkward within the group as their objects could not be placed accordingly.

End of Project Composition and Evaluation.

Nearing the end of the project my group and I started changing around the composition of the final image to account for everyone’s placement and roles for the conceptual piece. After creating numerous layout one issue we came across was that the flat image was too boring and never told a story therefore I changed the composition. However, again this was then discussed as a group and it was decided that a cave would not account for the placement of a city, robot dinosaur, airship and character. Furthermore the cave did not come across as steampunk enough which was our decided theme.

In order to fix this aspect I researched into different composition method such as the rule of thirds and then started applying this to my layout along with two point perspective. I also found a previously worked on digital piece however could not find the artist that cohered with the finished piece. I found this through YouTube channel Adrien Von Ziegler a composer who specialises in Fantasy and Celtic music.

Of course the elements within this are not steampunk which could then be adapted to the project being carried out. However the layout is more appropriate to what we needed. Furthermore this would be a greater image to get across the notion of Dystopia.

After more discussion with the group we finally decided that this was more suitable for us all including the placement of each individual component.



Testing New Composition

Instead of having a flat image for the conceptual piece and it not telling much of the story I started playing around with the idea of a new composition. Mainly looking at caves and distant buildings to represent a city rather than an open desert.  I feel as though the result of this piece was a lot stronger than any previous pieces because of the more defined values within the rocks however due to not using the right opacity or pen pressure the result was too blocked out and not enough detail. I somewhat adjusted this through the use of a filter although when working on the next expansion to this composition I will be fixing this through having pen pressure set. Another factor this would improve would be the blending of colours.

Unfinalised Concept.

I have started to work on the overall concept piece for “Project Sloth” having next to no experience in PhotoshopCC I struggled creating this. With that being said I am happy with the outcome a few aspects could be changed but I will be looking at the positive elements of the concept piece first. One thing I do like would be the sky and how the texture look as though it is clouded or raining within the distance also the gradient created throughout the sky works well for the piece in creating a sunrise which was the intended outcome. Another factor that I like about the finished image would be the rocks and sand more specifically how the textures and line depth show the direction of value. This also adds a sense of movement to the still image.

Now looking at the negative factors and how I could improve on these one thing stood out for me and that’s how there is not much detail within the buildings. Even if these are in the distance I find that more detail could be added to them making key features of the overall steampunk/ dystopian theme more distinguishable. Contrasting to this when looking at the direction the light was coming in from (Back light) it came to my attention that the buildings would not be visible in so much detail therefore I will be changing this element within my next drawing possibly making them silhouettes.


I have uploaded a YouTube video over on my channel AkiYamiGameartandAnimation of the progress of this drawing, overall the drawing took 2 hours. The programme used was PhotoshopCC and drawing tablet UGEE2100. The same video can also be seen below however, if you like my work subscribing and liking the video would be highly appreciated.

Architectural Studies


Due to the theme of the project steampunk I thought it would be coherent to look into Victorian architecture starting with a simple technical study of a band stand. Wanting to achieve correct proportions within the piece I used a ruler to line up with the reference image and drawing. However, even within doing this I found the end result to have been too elongated when in comparison to the original.  The proportions of the band stand is an aspect I would like to work on within developing my drawing skills.


The above image was intended to be a quick study without paying too much attention to the proportions and scale I attempted to capture the shape of the building. For an illustrative affect I started going over where I believed the strongest features of the building to be I used a Pentel sign pen for this however, once completed I felt the image was too plain and needed a base colour to this would also be useful when transferring digitally. I wanted to create a soft warm feeling as though within a desert and without being too vibrant within the base tone therefore used the light pink. As the image stands I find that it would be suited to fill in a skyline or cliff side, this is something I will be exploring when creating thumbnails and finalised concept sketches.


Following on again with the illustrative style I started exploring local architecture that felt suited to the time period. First studying the town hall in a loose manner I briefly sketched out the image not taking much care when working on the proportions.  Once again this is something I would like to expand on. I used the Pentel sign pen within a few of these pieces not only because of the bold end result but also due to the scanner picking up the lines with a higher resolution making the images easily transferable when converting to digital drawings.


The next building I looked at within local architecture was the glass house. Throughout this drawing I wanted to show the rendering of glass therefore included the reflection and light through a series of thin weighted lines.  When showing the structure and frame of the building I used a heavier line weight more so around the edge which I feel brought together the finalised drawing more so than if I was to leave the line weight the same as the internal structure.

img015img014The two images on the left here are once again of local architecture, now with the top half of the building being unused plants have began growing from the top. The reference image I have gone off for this however was of an older date therefore did not capture the abandoned feeling from the building. Starting with the coloured piece in which I used watercolours on, for this I wanted to go for a semi realistic look however still aiming for the illustrative style. Very little detail is added within this piece which is something I would possibly like to focus on more within the digital part of the project the reason I never added much detail within the hand drawn part was to prevent it being too difficult to find the defined lines when repeating in a technical drawing.  I still feel as though it was somewhat difficult  to find the correct lines because of the colour. Because of this I believe it is evident that some aspects of the building are missing or not the correct scale when compared to other parts.  This can easily be fixed within Photoshop therefore I will be taking this method when drawing out the architectural elements of the piece.


The final technical drawing from the local architecture I believe is the most successful, taking in aspects that could have been improved on in past pieces. Although the proportion could still do with some work I find it still molds in nicely with other elements across the building. For the background I used a cool grey 4 ProMarker this was applied after the initial sketch because I didn’t want to bleed the inks from the Pentel sign pen.  The scale of this piece is A5 and because of this I found it increasingly difficult to achieve the details I would have liked, to compensate for this next time a thinner pen could be used.  Wanting to achieve the correct perspective I used a ruler and marker out the guidelines within a white gel pen, sticking to a one point perspective across the piece.