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  1. #1
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    Help me find the tricks used to make this image, so I can learn them ? :)

    Hello !


    I have a picture that I think I'm able to see how it was done. Since it's pretty similar to what I'm trying to achieve, would you mind helping me find how to reproduce its most basic tricks ? (e.g. which tools to use in which order to achieve this or that result, or layer and masking tricks, etc.)


    Picture is here: koleksifoto.com/images/wallpapers/11253093/Background/Illustration%20Art%20Work/Creative_Artwork2002.jpg
    (Sorry, the forum won't let me set this as a link until 5 posts)


    Since my art skills barely reach the programmer art level, I would just like to:

    1/ Reproduce the same grass with same color. I'm able to make grass already, but not as nice even though I think I use more complex tricks.

    2/ Reproduce the same path texture with same color. It's not impossible that the path also extends underneath the grass layer, making it a little yellow. Whether that's the case or not, this is the kind of details I'm looking for to reproduce these graphics.

    3/ Reproduce the water texture. The water I'm doing looks fair but is unusable. This one is way better and more complex. It seems that there is a rock texture below, and in between there seems to be a shade layer that's more uh..dense.. in some places than in others. The author seems to control the waves placement and orientation way better than I'm able to. There could also be some alpha fading on the edges of the water layer

    4/ Lighting. Ignoring the more complex graphics such as trees and rocks and their shadows, is there particular lighting in this picture ? If so, any advice to reproduce it ?

    5/ Water is complex enough already, but if you have advices for reproducing the bridge, I'm all ears. It seems to require some drawing skills though so I might not be ready for this. Points 1/ to 3/ are more important.


    Thanks a lot !

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    Re: Help me find the tricks used to make this image, so I can learn them ? :)

    Sounds like I'm not allowed to edit my posts either, but I wanted to precise that I don't have a tablet. Only good ol' mouse and keyboard. Pen pressure would have been neat, but to have a tablet you at least need to have some talent to justify its cost xD

  3. #3
    Guru chrisix's Avatar
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    Re: Help me find the tricks used to make this image, so I can learn them ? :)

    i think you're looking at this all wrong.
    to me it doesnt look like this has all be drawn, it looks more like someone placed pictures together with photoshop.
    what you need to reproduce this are some good stock images

    1. find the right stock
    2. find the right stock
    3. find the right stock
    4. a soft light yellow brush on lighten?
    5. ad shadow twice
    Last edited by chrisix; 12-22-2012 at 07:52 AM.

  4. #4
    Guru Fatboy73's Avatar
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    Re: Help me find the tricks used to make this image, so I can learn them ? :)

    This looks like a 3d render to me. The thing is, there are no "tricks" with something like this. It's skill and practice and knowing what your doing.
    If there are specific little things you need help with, that's what we're here for. To put up an image and ask "How do I make this" would take a longer explanation than anyone is willing or able to write on a forum.

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    Re: Help me find the tricks used to make this image, so I can learn them ? :)

    Fatboy:
    Well, ain't making that grass or that path a specific little thing ? Safe from some plants that have been added above grass, I thought it was some well done mix of noise, unknown coloring "tricks" and a mask that displays a bit of the path texture below grass. The path seemed like a cloud with noise and blur, combined with more unknown coloring tricks.
    That water sounded like a tougher thing to explain.

    I'm well aware that I'm probably entirely wrong, that's why I'm posting here, to learn how they were done. ;) I figured grass and path were simple enough for someone to explain it to me. Guess I could be wrong on this one too


    Chrisix:
    Okay, so if you're right it's not noise / cloud or some filter combinations, it's real pictures adapted properly. So uhhh... I should just steal the grass and the path straight from the image and use them as repeatable textures to be painted where I need it ? (It's not for commercial use, just learning)

    But what about the water. Assuming I think it's pretty good and want to use it as stock, how should I do this ? There is a rather uniform water area on the right of the bridge, maybe I should make a repeatable texture out of this. And then, how do I make those nice waves ? Maybe paint them with a semi transparent white ? Or generate them from filters, but in that case how can I control them like they are on this picture ? (The water I've generated from filters is mostly unusable so far)

    Thanks. Hope my questions are precise enough that answering a couple of them won't take too long.

  6. #6
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    Re: Help me find the tricks used to make this image, so I can learn them ? :)

    Just go to google image search and type "grass texture" then do a search for "water texture" and pick something nice.

  7. #7
    Guru Fatboy73's Avatar
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    Re: Help me find the tricks used to make this image, so I can learn them ? :)

    Well, ain't making that grass or that path a specific little thing
    No not really. If it's a 3d render it's one long, complicated explanation and some guess work.
    If it's painted, it another long, complicated explanation and some guess work.
    If it photo manipulation, it's yet another long, complicated explanation and some guess work.

    I do apologize if I'm coming off as snippy, as that is honestly not my intent. The point I'm trying to make is that it's a complicated image and you might as well have asked us what trick Michelangelo used on the Sistine Chapel.

    If your art skills are at a minimum as you say, and you have no formal art training, then you really need to start simple.
    There are a zillion and one tutorials out there on any subject you can imagine. If your really serious, read up on some color theory. Start sketching and drawing anything and everything you can from real life. If you plan to work on the computer, invest in a drawing tablet and get used to drawing with it.

    Again there is no, trick or quick and easy technique. It takes years of practice to achieve the level some have around here and to do any part of that picture is no simple thing. OK I'll get off my soap box now and hope you get the point I'm trying to make.

    Best,
    Chris

  8. #8
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    Re: Help me find the tricks used to make this image, so I can learn them ? :)

    I followed the advice "just do it", and here's what I got: s7.postimage.org/8yflmy6m1/BGTest.jpg It's still lame but way better than I expected to make in 15 minutes. (Trial and error takes time) So thanks. Now my problem is lighting filters. Do you know why I get this ? s13.postimage.org/7clkzax92/Creative_Artwork2002_R_cup_r.jpg Can this filter be made to look more realistic with that picture or the one I made ? I think great lighting is achieved through painting with talent and the right brush, but since I've got none of this, having the filter work good sounds best :p __________________________________________________ ___ Sorry for the off topicness, you can just skip reading from here. Fatboy: Not snippy, no. ;) There's always someone to make that kind of comment. I've never seen it help anyone though, and sometimes people go to really stupid lengths to make this point. Instead of giving practical advice they'll spend an hour through several walls of text explaining how life's tough and you'll only be able to do something after a billion years of practise. Then, to feel like they're not just being negative, they'll direct you to the most basic exercises (i.e. the most boring and furthest from your original goal, usually), like drawing an innocent apple to death, programming a lame "hello world" in C++, or getting music theory courses before touching any instrument. This is the formal way of learning. It's probably the best but also the longest and most boring, particularly during the beginnings. Only those of us who have a burning desire and heaps of time to go down that road will want this, and for some reason the advice given always ends up being given to the wrong guy. (possibly because the counsellor feels annoyed, thinking Mr. Asker doesn't take his domain of expertise with all the awe it deserves) Pick the right learning curve for the level you want to reach according to time and motivation. In my case, it's best to start learning Photoshop tricks and have Photoshop fill the unspoken abyss of my lack of skill so that I can make my own game assets for prototypes. ;)

  9. #9
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    Re: Help me find the tricks used to make this image, so I can learn them ? :)

    Hi Unguru,

    I have to second most of what F-Boy wrote with the exception of the image link you provided was most likely not a 3D render.

    I'm not trying to show off here. I created the following image in about 20 minutes or so once I had all the reference materials I needed. No layer styles were used. Mostly Dodge and Burn, and Paintbrush.

    Mind you this is terrible work because I was going way too fast. I would normally take several days to create an image like this. I left out the dirt path because I got bored. This is just for an example.

    -guitarisland_01-jpg

    Here are the photo's I used to make it.
    -guitar01-jpg-water01-jpg
    -palm02-jpg-palm01-jpg
    -wood01-jpg-grass01-jpg-gravel01-jpg

    Even though it only took me about 20 minutes to create, it would take me a very long time to explain everything that was involved in what I did! The water effect alone is a very complicated procedure to explain even with a video! Overall it's not that difficult to create images like this, but you have to put in some practice time with Photoshop and start small with effects that are much easier to explain!

    We are all willing to try and help you with one aspect of the effect at a time.

  10. #10
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    Re: Help me find the tricks used to make this image, so I can learn them ? :)

    IamSam:
    Pretty cool Sam, thanks for giving me a glimpse of your workflow. Always useful ! So I think I understand that dodge and burn tools are very powerful, but pretty hard to use properly. They have odd names in my language so I didn't use them, thinking they weren't super important and I should focus on learning other tools first.

    I'll give them some practise and see if I have questions about them

    So far I mostly seem to use layer effects, filters and alpha masks. I paint, erase and transform a little, use stamps to steal textures from pictures and make them repeatable.
    I'm no good with picking the right brush with the right parameters and applying it correctly. Especially with a mouse !
    I also keep an eye of 3D effects because it can be hard to find good assets on the web that share the same perspective. I think your picture has this problem with water texture not being viewed straight from above.

    Not sure how to correct that though. 3D tools probably won't work, we would maybe have to stretch the upper half of the texture while leaving the lower half untouched. I don't know how to do that !

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