On the Subject of Living worlds…


The last planet I worked on painting was somewhere in the primordial stage, some green sludge, some frozen or trapped water.  The next world I decided to work on was along the same lines just a little further developed.  More of an earth like planet, capable of hosting multicellular life, or even becoming a second home to humanity?

living

 

Once again I am much happier with this planet, the level of detail is much better and showcases my digital painting a bit better.

-TheGrav

Another World Forge


One of these days I will get down to doing a real tutorial again… possibly on how to use Photoshop to make planet and space art.  I am still working on resources for my resume and portfolio website, mainly the planets that will become the hover over links that will serve as main navigation icons.

The planets I made last month were… okay, but I wanted to push myself and see if I could get back into the swing of things and make planets that really make my jaw drop.  I will admit it has been a few years since I did Space-Art…

Here is the first of the newest set of planets I am working on, this one I am really happy with.

OrganicI tried to design it as a young planet, that is just beginning to develop basic organics, still mostly rocky, with the majority of its water still frozen.

More to come!

-TheGrav

 

I don’t always Visit other planets but when I do…


Earlier today, while working on the Warp Gate, I had this crazy idea.  One of my stranger ideas, but I thought it would make a great painting!  The idea for this painting is a simple phrase:  “I don’t always Visit Other Planets, But when I do I leave crop circles.”  Time to collect resources and throw them together in a quick outline.

I Google search “The most interesting man in the world, saved a pretty low quality images, as I am using it as only quick reference, and for the layout and then I dug through all my original created space images, tossed them all into Photoshop and came up with this layout.

Most Interesting Alien, Ryan Berry, Digital Painting

The resources I created from the ground up are in use in the small window, behind what will eventually be my alien.  This sort of quick mock-up is something I do often.  Most of the time I just combine a bunch of my own images, rather than using one I downloaded however in this case I am trying to match a very specific image.  So I cheated a little bit!  Of course by the time I am done formatting the image it will be a lot different.

Here are the two images I combined in the background to make the environment look good.  The layout and size I chose for this image so it could in theory be printed out at standard poster size.

Dust Planet, Digital Painting, Science Fiction, Ryan Berry

This is the image I placed on the background layer.  I only wanted to use a chunk of the star field.

Living world, Digital Painting, Ryan Berry

Another older digital painting, this time of an earth like planet.  I wanted this planet to be above the background layer, creating a sense of depth.

Alien, Science Fiction, Digital Painting, Ryan Berry

Two hours later…  Not quite done yet, but getting there.

-TheGrav

 

Working with images


One of the things I do often as a working graphics guru, is use found/purchased images in fun and different ways to get an end product my client is happy with.  Sometimes I can afford the time to go and get my own images.  But scouting a location, collecting the shoots I need and then going through them is a process that can be long and wasteful.  Which a lot of times is not in my clients budget, or doable based on my deadline schedule.

In these cases I have to fall back on a number of tricks and skills that can save me time, but deliver an awesome end product that fits my clients needs.  In this short tutorial I will go over creating “header” or “banner” style images, which can be used in many different web applications.  I work mostly in Photoshop and on a PC so keep that in mind as you follow along, the tools I will outline and mention normally have equivalents in most other graphic programs.

The image I am starting with is a couple of sail boats at dusk.  I am going to fit this image into a 940 x 198 pixel banner (compatible with WordPress headers), so I search for a big image.  It is important to also find a high DPI or high pixel count image when you are planning a project like this.  Make sure you save the file and don’t overwrite it, often I will save and image as “sailboats_src.jpg”  or something along those lines.

Doing both of these steps will help you out in the long run.  It is always easier to shrink and image than it is to blow it up.  The nifty “enhance” trick made fun of in Super Troopers and often seen in shows like CSI is complete bullshit.  Yes you can do it.. But it is massively time consuming and just a waste, plus your end product will look grainy or pixelated.

After a quick search on Google I have a 1024 x 768 image I want to use.  After dragging it into my template I end up with something like this:

Photoshop, sail boats, sunset

You will notice that it doesn’t quite fill my work-space, I have a big chunk of white to the left of the boats that is a bit out of place.

This is what I will focus on fixing to make the image which is not at the right ratio, look right.  There are a few ways to do this, painting new information in is more artistic but ultimately almost as involved as going and taking the shot it wanted in the first place.

I could drag another image in, to hide it, but that isn’t what I want, I could clone it, which works but can look to “doctored”.  So what am I gonna do?  Mix all three of those methods of course!

Transform, Sunset, Sail boatsFirst I will cut and paste the image in again.  It some in on-top and I have gone ahead and used ctrl-t to transform the image so you can see the outside bounding box.  You can see in this example how big the image is and why I couldn’t just shrink it down to get what I wanted.. the Ratio is just to far off.

This is the Layer box, or Layers Menu.  As you can see the image I dropped in is currently “on top” of the other image, so it displays as if it is physically on top of the other image.  A good way to look at layers is just like that, each one is a new “photo” that has been dropper onto the stack.

However “Layer 2” is not the layer I want on top, so I will simply use the drag and drop feature to place it below “Layer 1”.  This way the white space on the left is covered up, just as mentioned above this is one of the ways I could have fixed the banner…

This is not enough however it is only part of what I plan to do in the long run.  Simply covering the white space still leaves something to be desired.  And this is what we end up with..

Now I need to get it the way I want it.  There are a few different methods for getting this done, but what I will do is use the Transform tool or ctrl-t to move it, resize it, twist it and even distort it until it looks good and like something I can use.

Here what I mostly did was shrink it to almost the right size and then distort it by stretching it to get the mountains and water where I wanted them.  Again I left the transform tools bounding box up so you could get an idea of how much I tweaked the image.

From here we are getting pretty damn close.  In my lazier moments I will toss some text, or even just a thick black line over the image to disguise the “weld” line but that isn’t enough for this project, so I will get into using my skills as a painter and the clone tool to get rid of that line and make this header really work.

Below you can see what I have started to do, and as in most good art projects, I started by making a

Sunset, Boats, Banner

mess, that then needs to be refined and perfected into a finished piece.

From here I start to pull out all my tools, burn, dodge, smear, and even some digital painting will go into making a finished piece.  This is really where you have to decide how you want to work, with what tools and how fast.  Remember MAKE A MESS!  Then refine it, also make sure you are looking at the whole piece as much as you can.

It can be tempting to zoom in and get lost on details, but my warning is this: You will waste time, and you will lose what you are working on.  The zoom feature is awesome, but your audience won’t see it zoomed in… so you can make the corner perfect! But no one can see it and it doesn’t match…

Sunsets, Boats, BannersAnd there you have it, I will continue to weak it a little one way or another, but I am happy enough to show my client and move on to the next part of the process.  I would stress that this is however a small element and just a draft, a final may include a different picture or even more refining.

Create Away!

-TheGrav

 

City 7 Posters, Thumbnails


Most art projects start with thumbnail sketches.  This is true of my work, I like too work quick and dirty and small laying out the idea rather than focusing on the details.  This really helps to get the basic theme of what I am designing and I find it to be the one of the best starting places.

Illustration, Zombies, ThumbnailsIllustration, Zombiesillustration, zombies

Here we have the 3 thumbnails I choose form all the quick ones I did while trying to come up with the City 7 Movie poster.  I am trying to stick with a classic painted movie poster look, along with the classic 27″ x 41″ layout.   So as I drew these I tried to smash them into what I thought that box might look like.

Once I had decided on these three I took the first two and did a bit more detail work on them.  The third one will be done mostly in photoshop, with just some finishing work to make it look like a painting, as where the others will actually need a bit of painting and finishing.

Zombie, Movie Poster, City 7Here is poster number one in more detail.  The Scanner I am using is not the best, but still this should show a bit more of what I am trying to get towards.  I added room at the bottom for the movie bits, I have two fonts used, and I have more detail on the central and later to be painted figure.

My copy is very light so I can start to outline it and lay color down with Painter or Photoshop without having to compete with myself.  🙂  Realistically I will use my actual hand sketch as a constant reference as I work, making sure that the details I want on this Zombie come out just right.

Zombies, Illustration, City 7 This is the second poster done with a bit more detail.  This one is personally my favorite, because of the dynamic of having three zombies, as well as how I have gone a little over the top to really show off some of what So Cal residents know is San Diego.

All three posters will take a mix of work in Painter, Photoshop and possibly some 3d.  However I am going to try to stick with mainly just Painter and Photoshop.

All my elements are decided on and basically in place, so I will move onto the next step which is basically collecting some resource materials and setting up the “standard” poster elements.  Such as: size, credits, background color.

More to come as I move forward.  Also I am still doing #sketchaday work but I am not taking the time to scan it in!  Once City 7 work has calmed down just a bit more, I will begin to post those again!

-TheGrav

Playing with a girl…


The best way to get to know this girl, and make her a woman, is to jump right in.

I decided to take screenshots this time around so you could get a look at my colour palettes, tools, and brush.  Realistically it won’t help much unless you have some experience with Painter, but it is a good glimpse of how the program can be setup and used.

I started in charcoal, moved onto an oil brush, and then started to toss in some air-brush strokes as I moved.  This is all very rough at this point, I have thrown down some basic gesture work, as well as what I think the background elements may look like, and I have just generally made a huge mess.

However to me at this point the really important stuff is the gesture, the feel the composition of the piece.   I am going for a vulnerable but sexy feeling, she is nude, and only partially covered.  Her one hand almost reaching for a keyboard.

As you can see here, I have tweaked the gesture a bit, laid her back more on the floor(which will eventually be covered in water) and moved her leg about a few times.

It is important to note I have jumped back into Photoshop to do some of this, as you can see I have cut and moved/morphed several elements all ready.

A lot of digital artists seem to get to the end before they really move into a place where they use the morph tools to correct some piece of their art.  I like to remember that these tools are always at my finger tips, and it is often easier to fix and morph as you go, as it is to do all that as a last step.

It is important to note here, that unlike my normal method Lain (the adult) started life purely as a digital work.  There was no sketch, or refinement process.  I have even stuck away form photo reference up until this point, purely because I am going for that more anime/comic look.

That being the case you can really see the wide variety of colours I use to make the skin tone.  Skin is not just a pale pink, or a flesh colour.  It is a mix of as many colours as you can think of.  It has a richness that cannot really be captured without mixing a lot of colour as you work.

Of course as I move on her skin will continue to change colour even more, picking up traces of the environmental colours and later lighting/reflective lighting elements.

More to come soon!

-TheGrav