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.
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.
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.
Before editing the layout of the composition one more cave piece was tested, unfortunately I could not record this piece however I have a series of progression pictures of each individual layer.
The first layer composed of a rough sketch line art where a basic idea was created. Further more rough ideas of highlights and the direction the light entered the cave at.
Then next step was blocking out the colours using pen pressure and a chalk brush this way the colours blended together more easily. For this step a class mate helped me in the methods and how to develop a more professional finish.
This is how the cave appeared after the image was blocked out along with the specular light and radial light being evident. In parts the light reflected i added in a slightly more saturated value creating a lower light space. The next step involved adding increasing more detail.
This is where a higher opacity brush was used however this was later lowered to blend in with the under layer. The final step was to include in more foliage and detail within the image to finalise the composition.
This is the final composition I believe the level of detail is successful as well as the various tonal values. I also believe that a little more story and 3d aspect is identifiable within the final image.
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.
Within the work being produced titled “Project sloth” numerous references and research was carried out and looked upon. More so focusing around artist research and on a base level what is steampunk? During the beginning half of practical assignment a presentation had to be completed where artist and previous works where displayed alongside inspiration from other games was gathered together and discussed. That presentation can be found below.
Some of the information given within the presentation such as the team members and roles has now changed since then. Other factors that have changed alongside the team members was the composition and creature design. To an extent it was difficult to work around the changes and to account for the new layout and theme. Furthermore, merging the different art styles together and creating what appeared to be a coherent way of working. A lot of the methods and tools used to create the work varied although because of communication and feedback among the other team members it was brought together in a successful manner.
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.
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.