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2.3 Photoshop Lighting Effects

Establishing a realistic lighting atmosphere for your digital art takes a lot of time and consideration. This lesson will show you how to approach light and shadow using layer blend modes and other Photoshop lighting effects for an authentic atmosphere.

2.3 Photoshop Lighting Effects

[MUSIC] As someone who started out digitally painting, I don't actually normally approach my projects like this. Usually I just grab a couple of references, make my sketch and then I start painting and Photoshop. But let's say you aren't really confident in your brush skills. What do you do then? Photo manipulations rely on all these different pictures to do the heavy lifting for you. So, no, I won't have to draw a Dragon, right, but I get to still use this great dragon sculpture as a base layer to something I can paint right over. But I also have to remember that these pictures are just the initial starting point, the dragons not even gonna look like this in the end on the screen it looks like this for now, but in my mind, I have to hold this final image in my imagination and try not to get too confused by where I'm currently at and what I'm seeing at the moment. Now's a good time to make very clear decisions about the lighting is it daytime, nighttime, maybe rainy out is a little misty. Luckily, we can cheat a lot of the lighting by using adjustment layers. This next step will color correct everything so that all these pictures belong to the same environment. And adjustment layers like hue and saturation help me get the lighting as close to what I need as possible. Then we won't have to paint as much in the end. Let's start with the shelf. Set a new hue and saturation adjustment as a clipping mask to the shelf. Lower the saturation and lightness and help hide the shelf into the background a little more. Repeat these same exact steps for the other smart objects according to their physician to the light source. So remember I've decided on a late afternoon day, pretty decent temperature and you know maybe it's not too cloudy out. So what this means is that this garden lamp really gets to be a highlight in this piece and light up both friends. So with each object, I have to lower the saturation to take away any overly obvious colors or warm tones, like the orange eneos of the shelf. Then I lowered the lightness to show that this garden this open space is full of trees that would be casting a lot of different shadows and making the environment seem a little bit more dark, maybe even chilly. I'd say a good, 55 degrees Fahrenheit,12 some odd Celsius degrees outside hence the socks. She's wearing right. Okay, so now we can recolor the dragon. Add a hue and saturation adjustment to the dragon layer, right click to set it as a clipping mask and feel free to play with the hue values a little bit, see how much the composition would change if the dragon was another color like blue, or even purple. I'm gonna go with this bright saturated look for now. Then use a hard round brush to remove some of the saturation to reveal that original color underneath. [MUSIC] Let's move on to the robe. Right now she's got a great natural, almost kind of like a Trey you vibe going on, but the brown is definitely too distracting. So just like before, let's recolor the row with a hue and saturation adjustment. This time I've used the Polygonal Lasso tool to make a selection around her robe, so that when I add this hue and saturation, only the rope is gonna change its color. Let's go with this beautiful hunter green. [MUSIC] So I'm not really feeling this color for the cloth for the rope time. So I'll mask away the effect on it, and just kind of clean things up a bit for a more realistic look. Now let's get to a couple of more accessories. To fill the scene out even more. I've extracted the flower portion of this ponies. Pasted it above the model layer and adjusted the size to fit her hair. A simple mask can take away any excess, but the eraser tool works too. By the way, ponies are a really great symbol of richness and honor in traditional Chinese culture, they'll add a nice delicate aspect to the strong dragoness. I also want a little more light in the scene, so I'll extract a portion of this candle to fit onto my shelf. Then use the marquee tool, for added decoration, by filling a selection in with green Continue fixing the masks, there's gonna be a lot of maintenance to go. So just take things slowly. I am definitely not feeling the socks. They're a little too bright. So right now I'm adding the mask back to the socks because I wanna recover these later with a more saturated color. Okay, so let's go back to the rope for now. While I don't mind the white rope, I also wanna incorporate a lighter green, almost kind of like a lime green into the scenario, I think it would be really beautiful. Select the model layer and hit the layer button to automatically clip it. Zoom in to get a clear view. Then use a rectangular marquee tool to make a selection around the entire thing. Hit the hue and saturation Adjustment Layer and adjust the colors until you get a similar green with a little more yellow in it. [MUSIC] Then use layer masks to clean up the edges with a hard round brush. [MUSIC] Do the same to the socks. Get a really rough selection with the magic wand tool. Then clean it up a bit by adding a bold green color. You can also adjust this color by lifting up some of it, with a layer mask. Okay, let's keep going. We are going full fashion Maven on this piece, so feel free to add on to this adjustment by also re coloring the cuffs. This time I'll set a new layer clipped above the rest to overlay, to dark in this color with more green. [MUSIC] Okay, she's looking a little fancy, I like it. So, let's add a few more details and really make this row feel like something she personally owns. Use the lasso tool to create a new color, and hold Shift while you make the selection to complete the other side. Then we can fill it with the same green color from the rope. We'll get back to the hair later but so far she's looking pretty coordinated. So what can we do about her friend, well, let's go back to the original human and saturation adjustment and experiment a bit. I wanna see if I can get a nice two tone effect by lowering the saturation and continuing to adjust it for a muted Metallic look. Then select the dragon layer, and hit hue and saturation again, to add another adjustment layer underneath. We'll use this one color for the rest of it. So I know it's looking like a lot of green right now at this moment. But we are going to set it up like this for now so that we can add, and layer on more colors to it as we go. Okay great, now let's stop for a second and just think, remember where we started? We just went from a bunch of random pictures to real familiar details that look like they all have a relationship with one another. So let's keep adding to this wardrobe. Let's go back into our toolbox and see what else we can find. So another amazing find online are these incredible Photoshop actions that can really help you mimic realistic Textures and fabric designs. Since I wanna go bold with a beautiful embroidered road, I'll need to figure out how to change this solid design into real life embroidered stitches. Well, we can always use a Photoshop action. I'll be using this action from designer, Black Nall. It even comes with a couple of different options for the embroidery effect. So once the action is downloaded and installed, open the Actions panel and you're ready to go PNG design. All we have to do now is select the effect we want, then hit the play button, depending on how big the action is you might have to wait a little bit or click out of some other quick prompts, but when it's done, we have a cool embroidery stitch in the same design that we have on the cups, and that's gonna add another cool part to the story. [MUSIC] When you are ready to add it to the composition, just copy and paste it onto a new layer, then Ctrl T to resize it. With the layer selected, go to image, hue and saturation and adjust the color directly on this layer. I'm gonna match it to the lighter green we've already got going on. I'll also be building the rope with a few copies of this layer pretty much trying to create my own fabric pattern with this flower design. So on each copy, add layer masks to take away the parts of the flower that you don't want, and keep rotating and switching up the angles until it feels pretty much just satisfying to your eyes. For now, I'll set the Blend Mode to Hard mix, as I continue adjusting the pattern. And you know what I think she is looking pretty fantastic so far. I was so excited that I named this layer a bunch of exclamation points because I thought that all of these little cool cheats, were really helping to make this piece work. But now it's time to get down to business. So when these next lessons, we'll continue to adjust the lighting so that we're really sitting with our friends in this seat.

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