What we will create:
Earth and stones are a very important part of complex scenes. They seem very simple, but at the same time, these are rather complex objects to visualize them fairly plausibly. The texture does not appear by itself – this requires proper processing. In this great lesson, I will show you which of the tools in Photoshop you can use to make your images of earth, rocks, mountains, deserts and rocky protrusions look as natural as possible.
1. Create an image of a regular piece of land.
When drawing simple scenes, the earth is a necessary evil. We know that everyone will ignore her and focus on the main object / character, but if we miss it, it will not go unnoticed. I will show you a way to create an image of a simple piece of land, with the possibility of setting it up, which will be the perfect image for the background or serve as the basis for some more detailed object.
Start from the stage you would like to cover with earth. If the objects are on a separate layer, place the ground under it, if not, draw a base around it and use it as a clipping mask (Control-Alt-G) for all layers. Fill this base with a base color for your land.
Create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + N). Fill it with any color. Next, go to Filter – Noise – Add Noise (Filter> Noise> Add Noise).
Now, apply the tool Free transform (Free Transform Tool (Control-T)) to flatten the texture slightly.
Take the Free Transform tool again. Click on the corner points with the CTRL key held down to make it possible to pull them individually. Thus, you can customize the location of your texture in accordance with the perspective we need.
Next, do a double click on the layer. We go to the section Mix if (Blend If). Here we need to play a little with the sliders in the second row in order to make the dark areas partially transparent. (To separate the sliders sliders and move them individually, you must hold down the Alt key)
Now, go to mode quick masks (Quick Mask Mode (Q)). To isolate a remote area of the earth, use Soft round tassel (Soft round brush).
Press Q again to exit the quick mask mode, and invert the selection by pressing the key combination (Control-Shift-I). Open a Window – Adjustment (Window> Adjustments) and select Brightness \ Contrast (Brightness / Contrast). Reduce the contrast to the minimum as far as possible, and vice versa unscrew the brightness to maximum. This will create an airy effect for the future.
Find the texture you would like to use for the ground. It should not be overly detailed – it’s better if it is more chaotic. For this lesson, here is the texture Dirt texture. Use the tool Free transform (Free Transform Tool) to customize its perspective, just like we did with the noise texture.
If there are elements in your texture that should not be too stretched, do not bring the texture border to the horizon itself – we will correct it a little later.
Apply Layer mask (Layer Mask) or just use the tool Eraser (Eraser Tool) to smoothly blend the edge of the texture.
Reset Saturation (Saturation) to a minimum using the Control-U combination. The color of our texture should in no way affect the color that we have chosen for our land.
Apply adjustment layer Levels (Levels) using the Control-L key combination to correct excessive contrast between light and dark elements.
Change Blend mode (Blend Mode) on Overlap (Overlay).
Now, you can duplicate our texture (Control-J) and adjust it for the missing part of our background.
Next, go to Quick mask mode (Quick Mask Mode (Q)). Highlight the area lit by the light source.
Turn the mask into a selection. Increase the value a little Brightness (Brightness)
With the Control key pressed, click on the mask next to the previous adjustment layer to restore the selection. Add adjustment by means Color balance (Color Balance) and shift the color of the illuminated ground to the color of the light source that illuminates it.
Shadows appeared by themselves, but we can put even more emphasis on them. Select them with Quick masks (Quick Mask).
Then apply the adjustment Brightness / Contrast (Brightness / Contrast) to make the shadows darker and less contrasting (Layers – New Adjustment Layer – Brightness / Contrast (layer – new adjustment layer – brightness / contrast)).
If you want to enhance the effect, simply duplicate this adjustment layer.
Create a new layer. Double click on it to apply styles.
In the dialog box, select Color overlay (Color Overlay):
- Blend mode (Blend mode) Normal (Normal)
- Opacity (Opacity) 100%
Color choose base for stones
Next, select Stamping (Bevel Emboss):
- Style (STYLE): Inner bevel (Inner bevel)
- Method (Technique): Smooth (Smooth)
- Depth (Depth): 100%
- Direction (Direction): Up (Up)
- The size (Size): 21
- Angle (Angle): 124 (Select according to the light source)
- Height (Altitude): 37
- Put a tick in the checkbox Use global illumination (Use Global light)
- Gloss contour (Gloss contour) change to something rough (see screenshot below)
- Mode backlight (Highlight mode): Screen (Screen).
- Dimming mode (Shadow mode): Multiplication (Multiply)
- The exact values should correspond to the resolution of your screen, so do not copy them from here thoughtlessly, but experiment, and try instead, directly copy the result itself.
When the style is ready, draw the stones according to the perspective of your scene. Do not paint them too big!
Duplicate the drawn stones. Next, right-click on the layer and in the pop-up menu select Rasterize Layer Styles (Rasterize Layer Stylе). Then press Control-U to reduce the intensity of the color.
Next, go to Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter> Blur> Motion Blur) to slightly blur the image of the stones. Use the same angle as the light source.
Place the “blurred” layer under the stone layer. Take the tool Move (Move Tool (V)), and use the arrows on your keyboard to move the shadows so that they appear to be behind the stones themselves.
Drain both layers into one (Control-E) and mix the stones either using Layer masks (Layer Mask) or tool Eraser (Eraser Tool).
If you want to make the shadows more bluish than black, create a new layer and fill it with the same color as the sky. Next, click on it twice and in the dialog box experiment with the mode Mix if (Blend If). Play with the sliders to add transparency to the parts above the bright areas.
Then change Blend mode (Blend Mode) on Colour (Color) and lower Opacity (Opacity) to your taste.
If you do not like this effect and you have a little more time to work on it, there is also another method. It will be especially good if there are clearly distinguishable parts on your texture, for example, some separate stones.
Highlight these well-distinguished parts of the tool’s help. Lasso (Lasso Tool (L)). Next, press the Control-Shift-C key combination to copy everything under it and paste it to a new layer.
Now double click on the new layer. Select in the dialog box Color overlay (Color Overlay). For him put Blend mode (Blend mode) Overlap (Overlay), lower opacity (Opacity) up to 11% – this will make our surface a little brighter.
By adding Shadows (Drop shadow) you can simulate the volume of our stones.
The characteristics for the shadow should be:
- Blend mode (Blend mode): Multiplication (Multiply)
- Opacity (Opacity): 100%
- Angle (Angle): 90
- Use global illumination (Use Global light)
- Distance (Distance): 11
- Swipe (Spread): 0
- The size (Size): 5
You can add shadow to these stones just as you did before (motion blur, etc.).
2. Draw a rounded stone
Draw a basic shape for your stone.
Take the texture for your stone, for example, from Rock 1 raw materials. Place it over the painted base and cut it to fit the base of your stone using a clipping mask by pressing the Control-Alt-G key combination.
Now, we need to adjust the shape of the texture according to the shape of our stone. We go to Filter – Distortion – Spherization (Filter> Distort> Spherize). Now turn off the clipping mask for a while (by pressing Control-Alt-G again) to see the effect.
Lower Opacity (Opacity) and use the tool Free transform (Free Transform Tool) to resize our texture.
Let’s shade our stone in the easiest way. Create a new layer and fill it with any color. Double click on it and in the dialog box select Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay).
The parameters for the gradient are as follows:
- Blend mode (Blend mode): Normal (Normal)
- Opacity (Opacity): 100%
- White to black gradient colors (check the check box andto invert (reverse))
- Style (Style): Radial (Radial)
- Angle (Angle): 90
- Scale (Scale): 82
Then, right-click on the layer and select Rasterize Layer Style (Rasterize Layer Style). After that, use the tool Free transform (Free Transform Tool) to adjust the shadow.
Press Control-B and enter the settings as in the screenshot below to tint the shadow with the color of the environment.
Drag the shadow layer below the texture layer. Double click on the texture layer and in the dialog box play with the mode settings “Mix if (Blend If). The black marker is responsible for the degree of opacity of the texture directly above the dark areas of the layer below. If you move the marker to the right, the opacity will increase. To make the effect smoother, it is necessary to split the marker; to do this, before you start moving it, hold down the Alt key.
Duplicate the shadow layer (Control-J) and position the copy above the texture layer. Change Blend mode (Blend Mode) on Overlap (Overlay) and again try experimenting with the mode settings “Mix if“(Blend If) to make the dark areas transparent.
Duplicate the texture layer and place it above all other layers. Click on it with the right mouse button and select Clear Layer Styles (Clear Layer Style). Then press control-u to reset Saturation (Saturation) to a minimum.
Use Layer mask (Layer Mask) or tool Eraser (Eraser Tool), to almost completely remove this texture, leaving only a thin area of reflected light in the shade.
If you want to create a backlight effect, create a radial gradient with black in the center and position it as shown in the screenshot below:
Change Blend mode (Blend Mode) on Screen (Screen). And again, experiment with the mode settings “Mix if” (Blend If) to make the light more natural.
3. Draw the Rocky Mountain
Let’s start by drawing a rough outline of our mountain.
Split the mountain horizontally into several large pieces.
Now add the vertical division.
Lower Opacity (Opacity) of your sketch and create a new layer (Ctrl + shift + N). Using the guides, draw large rock slabs.
Repeat horizontal division. Those. each resulting section is divided into even smaller zones horizontally.
Create a new layer below the layers with lines and draw a base for your mountain. From now on, trim all new layers to the shape of this base using the clipping mask mode (ie, using the Control-Alt-G key combination).
Create a new layer above the layers with lines. Draw shadows in the gaps between the plates.
Next, draw the light in the illuminated areas.
Lower Opacity (Opacity) lines almost to the very 0. Draw apart horizontally located cracks.
Now, add vertical cracks to your mountain in the same way.
Next, we need to shade the cracks created in the previous steps.
You can adjust the contrast of your mountain by adding a correction layer. Levels (Levels). To do this, go to Layers – New Adjustment Layer – Levels (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Levels) and shift both markers closer to the center.
Take the texture to create the surface of your mountain (Rock 2).
Now double click on the texture. By means of changing mode settings Mix if (Blend If), you will be able to show the crevices of your mountain without changing the rest of the texture.
Next, go to Editing – Puppet Warp (Edit> Puppet Warp). Add cusps all over your mountain.
Then reshape the texture so that it matches the shape of your mountain in volume.
Change Blend mode (Blend Mode) on Hard light (Hard Light).
If you want to make the area near the shadow also textured, duplicate the texture (Control-J) and change Blend mode (Blend Mode) of this copy on Soft light (Soft Light). Next, adjust the mode settings Mix if (Blend If) so that the light areas become transparent.
Finish with your mountain, cutting out some crevices along the edges. You can also work with contrast by following your own style.
4. Draw a mountain slope
Choose a good, uniform texture, such as Rock 3, for example.
Next, go to Editing – Puppet Warp (Edit> Puppet Warp). This tool is literally created for this kind of transformation! To begin with, draw sharp slopes.
Drag the edges of your slopes behind the tips to make the texture stretched and more in these areas.
Pull the edges of the protrusions between the slopes so that in these areas the texture becomes smaller and more compressed.
Use Layer mask (Layer Mask) or tool eraser (Eraser Tool) to cut off the contour of your mountain. Done! Of course, it will take some time to practice this in order to achieve a satisfactory result, but once you master it, you will realize that this is an incredibly fast method!
Now, let’s darken the slopes. Create a new layer and cut it to the shape of your texture using a clipping mask (Control-Alt-G). Install Blend mode (Blend Mode) Multiplication (Multiply) and draw the shadows – to begin with light gray, and then continue with darker tones.
Do the same, but with light, this time apply the mode Soft light (Soft Light).
If you want to make your slopes less bright, then double-click on the layer on which you worked with the light (previous step) and experiment with the mode settings Mix if (Blend If).
5. Draw a mountain ledge
Create a separate file (separate from the one in which you will directly draw the mountain ledge). Draw an ellipsoidal shape with the tool Ellipse (Ellipse Tool) and modify its shape, or simply draw it with a solid brush. This will be the main surface of our ledge.
Now go to Editing – Define a brush (Edit> Define Brush Preset). Press F5 and change the settings as shown in the screenshot below.
Draw a rock. If the individual “tiles” of our rock are too far away, or vice versa, too close to each other, try changing Intervals (Spacing) in the form settings Brush print (Brush Tip Shape).
Create a new layer above each part of our mountain ledge and set Blend mode (Blend Mode) Multiplication (Multiply). Use this layer to draw shadows.
Combine all the parts and their shadows and paint our mountain ledge as shown in the screenshot below so that it looks more naturalistic.
If it seems to you that the contrast is too weak, use the palette Levels (Levels (Control-L)) to correct this.
If you want to focus on the top of our mountain ledge, create two new layers, for one of them set the mode Soft light (Soft Light), and for another set the mode Multiplication (Multiply) and draw accordingly light and shadow on them.
Take the texture from the Rock 4 raw materials. Set the blending mode for it. Overlap (Overlay). Next, using the tool Free transform (Free Transform Tool (Control-T)), adjust the perspective in accordance with the perspective of the mountain ledge. To do this, pull the control points while holding down the Control key.
Take advantage of Masked layer (Layer Mask) or tool Eraser (Eraser Tool) to remove extra items.
Now, take the same texture and squeeze it vertically, and drag horizontally with the tool Free transform (Free Transform Tool) to get the image of texture lines. Duplicate what happened twice (Control-J key combination).
Next, go to Editing – Puppet Warp (Edit> Puppet Warp) to give our texture the correct shape.
Take advantage of Masked layer (Layer Mask) or tool Eraser (Eraser Tool), to remove the extra parts outside the image of our mountain ledge.
Do the same with the other part.
6. Draw Sand Desert
Draw a triangle, as in the screenshot below, in any way that you like. You can draw the halves separately using the tool Pen (Pen Tool (P)), and you can draw it entirely, and then just paint the halves with different colors, this is more convenient for you.
Create a new layer, trim it with a clipping mask (Control-Alt-G), and shade the triangle slightly.
Merge both layers (Control-E) and blend the face between the two halves so that a smooth transition is obtained. For these purposes, you can safely use either the tool Finger (Smudge tool) or tool Blur (Blur Tool).
Next, go to Filter – Noise – Add Noise (Filter> Noise> Add Noise) and add a light grain to the surface of our triangle.
Next, take the Tool. Mix brush (Mixer Brush Tool) and set the settings as shown below. Change the size of the brush so that it fits completely inside the triangle, then hold down Alt and press tightly enough.
Draw a stroke. The result should be similar to what you see in the screenshot below.
Jagged edge may be due to too much value. Intervals (Spacing), or because of too small size of the canvas. At the same time, the smoother the stroke, the harder your computer is to handle it. In this case, a certain compromise is needed.
Draw sand dunes. Pay attention to their direction and how they are interlaced with each other.
Use the tool Free transform (Free Transform Tool (Control-T)) to set up the correct perspective. Pull the control points while holding down the Control key so that you can move them separately.
To fix the jagged edge problem, use blur tools, such as Finger (Smudge tool) or tool Blur (Blur Tool). You can also use the tool Mix brush (Mixer Brush Tool) with default settings. The more important the background for your work, the more attention you need to pay to correct problem edges.
Next, go to quick mask mode (Quick Mask Mode (Q)), and paint over the remote part using a soft round brush.
Exit the quick mask mode (Q) and add a new adjustment layer. Color balance (Color Balance) selection. Make the part of the image closest to you warmer in color.