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Integrating Texture Detail

Combine digital art techniques from across the board, from traditional art to painting texture overlays. Paul Gerrard explains how to create moods that enhance your image...

For this image I will be focusing on showing how texture from photographic resources can be implemented into a scene, and how to add an amount of detail to an image that would take an extremely long time by any other means. The approximate time to complete this image was only five hours.

The elements used here are closely related to the techniques that are used in matte painting. The photo image and digital painting techniques used here need to work hand in hand for the image to be successful.

I will be adding details such as moss, vines, bark and bone to my image all the time, and will be keeping in mind the scene’s light source, the shadows, mood and colour palette, and all the while adapting the textures to match.

Mostly I’ll be using the Clone Stamp tool to add the detail and basic Photoshop airbrushing for the bulk of the image, and layer overlays including overlay colour tones, dust and shadow. I’m going to be starting with a concept from which I have produced a number of roughs on the theme of dreams and nightmares; it’s a fantasy look at subconscious interpretations of the dreamworld. I produced five roughs on this idea, and then I chose the image of a dog-like man fighting against the wind. I liked the flow that this would create. From this I write a description to work from; a poetic influence of sorts.

“He pushes through reality, a dog creature walking against the subconscious winds. Feel his struggle, with each step his physical form changes and reality fades away…”

From issue 15.

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