Welcome to the final part of the ‘All forms of elements’ series! This lesson will be very interesting, because the air usually cannot be seen. However, we can draw elements that are associated with air, this will help us add a special atmosphere to our paintings.
In this tutorial, we will look in detail at creating brushes for the Cloud, fog, including special effects, like atmospheric perspective and depth of field.
So let’s get started!
1. Create a brush Clouds. Version 1
There are many types of clouds, so let’s create a universal brush that will allow us to draw all of these types of clouds.
Choose a round hard brush, select an option Broadcast (Transfer) in the brush settings. Press the key (F5) to go to the brush settings tab.
Next, select the option Scattering (Scattering) and play with the settings to get the effect, as in the screenshot below. If necessary, go to the setting Brush Print Form (Brush Tip Shape) to change the value Interval (Spacing) your brush.
Next, select the option Form Dynamics (Shape Dynamics) to vary the size of the brush.
Next, select the option Double brush (Dual brush) and then select brush a piece of chalk (Chalk). Adjust the brush to create a rough texture.
Test the brush! If you are satisfied with the result, then save the customized brush. If not, then adjust the brush settings again.
Create a new document. Apply a dark blue-blue gradient to create a sky. Next, create a new layer, and then draw clouds using a pale blue tint (for example # B5C6CC).
Reduce the size of the brush to paint rough edges where the rounded edges are visible.
Set a lighter shade of the brush. Draw the clouds again, but this time, brush more often in the middle of each cloud.
Choose an even lighter shade, almost white. Reduce the size of the brush, add details to the clouds, as if, if it were ordinary 3D objects.
Where there is light, there are also shadows! Paint over the opposite side of the clouds using a pale dark blue color.
Depending on the style in which you are going to work, you can blur the clouds a little using your favorite blur tool. I used the tool Mix brush (Mixer Brush Tool) with default settings.
To create a feeling of fluffy clouds, simply use a soft round brush inside the already drawn clouds.
You can use the customized Clouds brush for all the clouds you want. Just do not forget to change the size of the brush, increasing or decreasing the diameter of the brush, therefore, constantly change the size of the brush to give the clouds more chaos and naturalness.
2. Create a brush Clouds. Version 2
If you do not have enough patience and want to quickly apply a brush, then you can try another brush.
Create a new document. Fill the background with black. Create a new layer. With a brush a piece of chalk (Chalk), draw an indefinite form.
Duplicate the layer with the drawn figure (Ctrl + J). Next, with the tool Free transformation (Free Transform Tool (Ctrl + T), increase the scale of the shape of the original layer. Holding the ‘Shift’ or ‘Alt’ keys during the transformation will help to maintain the proportions and position. Next, reduce the opacity of the original layer.
Next, go Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter> Blur> Motion Blur) to make the edges of the original shape less clear.
Merge the layers and then execute Inversion (Invert (Ctrl + I) color shades. Next, go Editing – Define a brush (Edit> Define Brush Preset).
Go to the bookmark Brush (Brush) (F5) and apply the settings to get an air brush. Test the brush during setup, and also note the setting Interval (Spacing).
You can use this brush in the same way as the first brush, the only difference is that this brush can be quickly created and the effect is less controlled.
3. Create Atmospheric Perspective
An atmospheric (or aerial) perspective is an excellent method for creating depth. Although the air itself is invisible, particles of water and dust that are dissolved in the air, on the contrary visible in the air. When the light hits them, the image that we see changes. The more “impurities” in the air (this does not necessarily mean pollution), the more saturated the “fog” can be. The fog becomes saturated with distance and acquires the color of the sky.
Let’s see how to add this effect to this scene:
Create a blue and white gradient. The white part of the gradient should be transparent.
Apply a gradient on the ground, in the layers palette below the layers with objects. Never apply this effect to the whole scene or you will lubricate everything! To apply the effect only to the ground, convert the gradient layer to a clipping mask to the ground layer (Ctrl + Alt + G).
Change the blending mode to Lightening (Screen). This will make the earth brighter and more bluish than just blue.
Now let’s do the same with objects. Create a new layer on top of the layers with objects, convert this layer to a clipping mask. This time, do not apply the gradient vertically, but instead draw a gradient along the perspective line.
Change the blending mode to Lightening (Screen).
This effect is obvious and there is no difference how many objects you have on the scene. Thanks to the aerial perspective, you can easily convince observers that these are not just smaller balls, but they are located at a distance.
As I said earlier, the more polluted the air, the richer the fog. This means that in fairly clean air, fewer objects will depend on the gradient. Therefore, you should not just reduce the opacity of the gradient, but instead make the gradient “shorter.”
4. Create a depth of field
Depth of field is another great way to create a sense of space. However, if this effect is performed incorrectly, then it can blur even a well-shaded picture. Let’s see how to avoid this!
First, we need to divide the stage into “levels”. In my case, this is earth, sky and objects – all separately. Working with each object individually, we will create the effect of depth of field.
First, let’s work with the land. Go to the layer with the earth, and then go Filter – Blur – Tilt-Shift (Tilt – Offset) (Filter> Blur> Tilt-Shift). Position the center where the observer is looking, and then compress the blur area into a small area.
This shows us which objects should be blurred and which will remain clear.
You can easily blur the sky with a filter. Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), let’s go Gaussian Blur Filter (Filter> Gaussian Blur).
Apply the same blur to objects that are located outside the “zone of sharpness”. If your objects are not separated, you can experiment with the filter. Blur field (Field blur), let’s go Filter – Blur – Blur field (Filter> Blur> Field Blur), the only thing to be careful here is to use many points at once to avoid blurring.
This effect, despite the fact that it is excellent, can only be used when the observer is looking at something, being very close to objects. You can easily accentuate a small-scale scene (“in terms of an ant”), but cannot be used for large-scale scenes.
This is also a very useful effect when you want to show where the observer is. All you need is to position something (very large on a given scale) right in the foreground, and then blur it. For example, in this case, the observer is behind the bars.
He or she can look through them …
… or look at the bars, depending on what you want to emphasize.
If you want to do something like this, the objects in the foreground should take as much space as possible without closing the entire image. You can see this effect by raising the palm of your hand very close to your face when you look at the monitor. Now, close one eye for clarity.
5. Draw the Fog
Fog is a solid atmospheric perspective. Let’s apply this effect to the scene. This time there is no need to make the effect tender!
Create a new layer, fill it with black. Next, go Filter – Rendering – Clouds (Filter> Render> Clouds). Copy image.
Translator’s Note: First press the keys (Ctrl + A) and then press the keys (Ctrl + C).
Go to the Channels tab, Window – Channels (Window> Channels). Create a new channel.
Glue the clouds, and then cancel the active selection (Ctrl + D). Next, click Load channel content as a selection (Load Channel As Selection).
We return to the RGB channel, and then turn off the visibility of the channel with the clouds, so as not to mix with the selected area.
Create a new layer. Fill the selection with white.
Using tool Free transformation (Free Transform Tool (Ctrl + T), adjust the perspective. Hold down the (Ctrl) key while moving the control points to create the desired effect.
Using a layer mask or eraser, hide the effect on objects. Pay attention to the perspective!
You can apply filter Plastics (Liquify), let’s go Filter – Plastic (Filter> Liquify) to change the shape of the fog.
If the effect is too transparent, simply duplicate the layer (Ctrl + J).
And we have completed the lesson!