Lighting Issues-updated with new WIPs
 
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    Angry Lighting Issues-updated with new WIPs

    Hello.

    I'm having some huge issues with color in this piece. I'm terribly weak in color theory, in particular, painting anything without sunlight and this painting here mainly serves as practice for those weaknesses. The problem is that the girl is too light (though she is very light skinned) and I can't figure out how to make her stand out without making her blend into the background or have it look monotone. I've been playing with color and lighting for a long time now and no matter what I do, it isn't working out so I thought I'd give CA a try. Anyone here have any suggestions or techniques I can try?

    -Moonlight is supposed to be directly on her.

    -Skin layer is on screen because normal mode in PS because it doesn't look right in normal mode (again, it's just too light/bright).

    -The red glows from the bugs will in added later once I get the base of the skin right.

    -Her clothing are yet another issue. Like her skin, I think they're too light/bright for a dark, full moon light look. In daylight, they'd be light blue (the shirt), white (on string), red and gold, and the first layer of the skirt is supposed to be dark blue (though here it looks black )

    -Her hair is supposed to be white but I'm not sure what color it'd look like in the darkness so I settled for light blue instead.

    -legs has some anatomical issues which will be fixed later.

    -the leaves in the background, like rest of the coloring, has lighting issues, but they're not my major concerns right now.

    -pose from posemaniacs (in case anyone is curious). http://www.posemaniacs.com/?p=385

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    Last edited by C e r u l e a n; December 15th, 2010 at 12:29 AM.
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  3. #2
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    Where is the light coming from? Above? If so, there would be shadows on her face & highlights on her nose, her right shoulder with the hair, highlight on her right leg, shading of breasts.

    Or is it coming from the front? In that case her body should be more highlighted. Right now I can't really tell.

    Try to picture the character as a bunch of simple shapes, and imagine the light falling on it.

    And 2 nitpicks : Her right hand forms a nasty tangent with the clothing, and is really stretched looking. And her hair could use a little work, shape and shading wise. The way it's falling defies gravity, unless the wind is blowing, in which case her clothing would be responding.

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    The contradiction is, that your main light source is not the moon, but those red shining bugs. Concentrating on the bugs light, she'd reflect their red, complementary dark green. The next problem, these bugs are everywhere. There is not clear lightning source in this picture. Id suggest to either get rid of those bugs all but one, or place all of them on one side.

    Further, the combination of glowing bugs red light and moon light is very difficult to solve (at least for me).

    Aboout moonlight in general: As far is I can tell (I avoid drawing moonlight pictures, as long as I cant find a way to define the spot), moonlight is very diffuse, unlike sunlight. Most sides of any element get equal light. Either you need low contrast or little difference between light and shadow.

    Now, about this, I am not sure, but when I tried it out in your picture, it seemed to work. Moonlight makes the lightened parts look cold and pale (something between lightblue and lightgray, or whatever color you set for it, as long as it's a cold tone), while the opposition - the shadowed parties - would have more of the real color of the respective elements (just darker). Just would make sense, as warm light has cold shadow, cold light should have warm shadow, but I could be horribly wrong...

    Lighting Issues-updated with new WIPs

    Last edited by Swamp Thing; December 2nd, 2010 at 10:42 PM.
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    Try to figure the lighting out in grayscale. It can help a lot. If you make it work in grayscale, then color should be no problem at all.

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    Thank you everyone, I will look over the picture and try out some of your suggestions and post them as soon as I can.

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    Crank up on occlusion and make the highlights very bright. Thats the way to go for moonlight.

    It is going well so far. It will look nice with those red lights contrasting with the blueish moonlight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Thing View Post
    The contradiction is, that your main light source is not the moon, but those red shining bugs.
    Actually, it depends on which one is stronger. Also, Even though the bugs are closer, the influence of their light is going to fall off very rapidly (inverse square law).

    Sady, that's a really bad scan of that Robh Ruppel painting, and thus not a great illustration of what you're talking about. In the original the lights aren't blown out and the shadows are much flatter.


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    Elwell, indeed. I have a printed version here and it the contrast is not as exaggerated as that scan. Sorry.
    Nevertheless, the occlusion and highlights are still more accentuated than Cerulean's. Just not that much.

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    Smile

    I'm very sorry for the late update. Hopefully, this new WIP is better (I painted this as fast as I could).

    I took some of your suggestions and repainted everything in gray scale, fixed the hand and arm, gave her something more concrete to sit on, and the 'wind.' The only thing I didn't take out was the bugs. I decided to leave them in there. As for the ball of cool gray, it is supposed to be where the light is coming from (for reference's sake).

    Thank you Sandy and Elwell for the links and upload. I read through the three blog posts but I haven't really applied the techniques in the sample below yet. Moonlight is trickier than I had thought and I wanted to study the examples a little more before I can figure how I would apply it to this image. Otherwise, I think I might just omit moonlight and use a different light source (don't know what that will be yet though).

    Any suggestions on the image and gray scale is welcomed. The only problem I have with right now are the bugs' wings. I wanted them in motion blur but I haven't quite figured out how to paint that either so I'll focus on that soon.

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    Ok I like your drawing...you're definitely good at that. The only critique I had about your drawing was the angle of her head. You can see in the photo ref her nose is pointed down and a lot of the top of her head is showing. I used the liquify tool to pull her face down a little. Good job getting reference.

    First I'll say that I am colorblind so this is my best attempt. I often will let photoshop do the work for me with colors. If you just add colors that you know should both be there, photoshop will mix them and do the rest.

    So I started off using your greyscale drawing and I added a color layer of light blue. Then I added a lighting effect from above in the same light blue and put that on linear dodge( just scroll through layer choices until it looks right or change lighting filter if none look good). Next, I burned some of the areas in shadow, and dodged some of the areas I thought would catch the most direct moonlight like the top of her head--this is what makes it obvious that a light is hitting her. Then I sampled colors from your first image and painted them on some of those areas 40% opacity. Photoshop did the work for me mixing the colors.

    When I added red light hitting the girl near her shoulder, it looked crazy. Like everyone else, I just cant imagine what that might look like...being hit with both cool and warm light. So I moved the bug down and made her UNDERneath planes red, and top planes moonlit.

    Hope this helps. Another choice might be to make those bugs green or violet. It might look a lot more harmonious and less of a conundrum to paint.

    P.s. To add motion blur, just select the wings and use the filter called motion blur or box blur. Works like a charm.

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    Last edited by Artfix; December 14th, 2010 at 12:26 AM.
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    Wow, thanks for the suggestions! I will get to work on it right away. I've tried motion blue before, but I didn't like how it turn out. I'll try the other one then.

    Last edited by C e r u l e a n; December 14th, 2010 at 04:58 PM.
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    Think I'm about ready to color. If anyone has anything else to add, feel free to do so. I will begin detailing it soon (colored this time).

    Changes:
    -I pulled the face to fix the angle of her head.
    -I realized that my WIP was still too gray so I added more contrast. Hopefully, I didn't over do it in this.
    -The movements of the bugs' wings.
    -I fixed the background again and I think I will definitely stick with this one. It has the air of mystery and solitude that I wanted to convey.

    The only last question I have is whether or not that hair would show up that clearly in moonlight. For now, I am painting it like does. I have played around with it, maked it less sharp, but it hasn't worked out too well so I'll be thinking about that tonight and tomorrow morning.

    Again, that ball of gray near the top-middle is just there to tell you/me where the light supposed to be coming from.

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    Last edited by C e r u l e a n; December 15th, 2010 at 12:38 AM.
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    So I started on the coloring. For the record, the bugs and their red orbs makes everything more saturated and lit up than it should be... probably because of the dull green water and fading blue background. So I'm not quite satisfied with the mood yet.

    Any feedback or suggestions welcomed. I will probably work on it some more tomorrow.

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    Hey this is much better than your first color version which had no light source or mood. Great improvement and using our critiques.

    Try using color dodge for your brush on the bugs red light. Right now they don't look like theyre emanating light--it looks like...well it just doesn't look like a light. Color dodge will brighten the color towards white as you go on top of it multiple times. Its easiest way to get glowing lights. Make sure your are using a very soft and large enough brush.

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    Thank you. I will give your suggestion a try and post a new update.

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    try adding color dodge on those balls cause now it kinda seems distracting, i would have chosen a bright jellow color, not really red ,, also you can duplicate that layer and chose Gaussian BLur and set it on screen,lighten or color dodge, that would make the looks like they are realy glowing.

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    All right, I tried both of your suggestions, but the Dodge Tool and layer effects didn't quite work out. The Dodge Tool didn't seem to work on red and the layer effects suggested didn't look right either. So, I made two layers, one with a lighter shade and one with the original shade. It was the best effect that I could get. If it still doesn't look right, I guess I will go for a manual gradient on the balls instead. I also used Gaussian Blur though it may not be obvious.

    Other changes include refining the skin, most of the clothes and weapon. I am going for the shoes and leggings next, then the bugs and finally the lily pads.

    Again, any suggestions will be appreciated.

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    All right, here's the next WIP. As I stated in my previous post, I worked on the shoes, leggings and bugs. Details were added to the bugs and I decided that I wanted the largest bug to be blurred to give a sense of distance. It looks all right, though I might change it later.

    One question that I do have is, does it look like I have too much light?

    I am going for the hair, water and lily pads next, maybe add a reflection of the moon, and then I will call it 'done.' Anyone is more than welcome to point anything out or give suggestions.

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    I don't quite get the feeling that she is sitting on the lily pad yet. It might be due to the angles you've chosen to work with (in which case it's probably too late to fix) or the lighting. Try adding more shadow under her butt to root her to the leaf?

    Also I think the ellipses for the lily pads in the distance would be different from the main one due to the viewing angle (like how much of the edges we can see) but not too good at that myself so I'll leave it for someone else.

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    Hi again. This is really improving. I just want to clarify about the dodging. There is a dodge tool that will cause things to gain white. This tool uses no color and in fact, most of the time will screw up your color because it sucks the stauration out. The tool I was referring to use a brush setting. Put your airbrush to color dodge, and the glow effect should be really easy. Its important to have the right color when youre color dodging tho, or you can have some unpredictable outcomes like if your color is too dark. Having said all that, I think your bugs look fine.

    I can't tell thats a lilly pad at all. That looks like it is man-made out of acrylic or something.

    I think a moon reflection could be nice

    Good work

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    Well, I decided not to make the lily pads. I decided that I actually liked them the way they are after fiddling around with textures and stuff. I fixed the perspective as pointed out a bit so hopefully, it looks better now . Also, Artfix, I think finally got what you were saying and used the tool as suggested. It think looks great now.

    This will be the final image if there aren't anything to nit pick or fix. And if there isn't, I just want to say in advance a big thank you to everyone who helped me made this best that it can be.

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    Okay, seriously, I think this will be the last update if no one has anything else to add. If, in a few days, this doesn't get other comments, I will be 'done' with this thread and move the final picture over to the 'It's Finally Finished!' thread.

    Anyway, some minor tweaks:
    -fixed the tone so the overall picture would look a little more unified.
    -faded out the last 'pad' in the upper left hand corner to give a better sense of distance and darkness
    -enlarged one of the feet
    -fixed some minor shadows
    -fixed the skirt

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    I quite like the first one with the coloured blobs floating about. not that that is much help i guess.
    on the latest, it looks like her left foot is in plaster. the lily pad is good though

    edit sorry i misread the red bug near her foot as her toes, it looked odd, my bad.
    yep more specular lights on the water etc and diffuse on any uptured or otherwise lit surface

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    I didn't realize that before. I hope it's better now?

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    I don't really like how the light is diffusing from the bug's bodies. Especially the farthest ones. The light from the one by her foot also isn't interacting with the ground. It just looks off.

    Another problem I have is the red light reflecting off the black cords on her socks (i'll just call them socks xD) It presents a rather odd looking gradient. And keeping in mind that black doesn't reflect EMR as well as white, why is it more red than her socks? Is it some sort of synthetic reflective material? Shouldn't it be reflecting the moonlight too then?

    Places to think about adding red light : The floor of the lily pad, the rim of the lily pad, the water (you'll have to calculate this one carefully)

    A note on the water : the water would be reflecting the sky, or the ground beneath the water if it was shallow. I doubt that is the case, so it would be reflecting either the atmosphere, moon, stars, or clouds reflecting moonlight. Right now the water is a greenish color... Is your sky green? No clouds? Stars? Just something to think about.

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    Thanks, I will take a look at it again. As for the strap/cord, it's red in, I guess, 'normal 'light,' so if the other one looks black, I guess I will have to figure out the lighting again. I figured that since they were of the same hue, it'd look more red in red light (especially at that range) but I guess it doesn't?

    On the water: there really isn't any sky... well, it's dark like night would be, with just the moon. No clouds or stars. And the water is green, and deep. If the bright light near the center of the bottom doesn't really reflect the moon... then I'm not quite sure how I would make it more obvious.... I'll experiment and see what I can get.

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    let me try to rephrase what i said aboot the water- it reflects. If the night sky is empty and black, it should look pretty black.

    examples :
    http://images21.fotki.com/v847/photo...onwater-vi.jpg
    http://starmakers.net/starmakersphot...an%20Night.jpg

    Likewise, other phenomenom in the sky will be reflected as well... (http://www.greenlandholiday.com/Port...e%20fjords.jpg

    Likewise in this photo, the water is so blue due to the atmosphere - not the water itself.

    http://www.visailing.com/images/cari...r-fullmoon.jpg

    anyways what I'm getting at is think in terms of reflection. You have a little bit of reflection in your water, but if the moon is shining from above, shouldn't the water all be gleaming?

    i am no professional painter or anything, I am speaking mainly from my own observations from camping and stuff.

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    Thank you. I finally got what you're saying. But seeing as the water is somewhat still, how much of it should be gleaming and where? From the references provided, it seems I should be painting the moon's reflection straight up from where I have it right now. Although, your last question sounds like you're saying I should show the reflection in other areas of the water (say, the left and right side). I'll take it wasn't what you meant.

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