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2.4 Designing a Cliff-Side Ocean Scene

In this lesson we will cover reflections, creating a sunset, and workarounds for complicated areas.

2.4 Designing a Cliff-Side Ocean Scene

Hi. My name's Brian Lee. And welcome back to designing landscape concepts for feature films and games. In this lesson, I'll walk you through my process of designing a scenic oceanside cliff face concept as I would in a real world gaming or film production environment. So here, I'm gonna go ahead and start with this mild blue background, just to give us a nice seaside manner. And I just go ahead and start building in the composition just as we have in the previous paintings. So I went ahead, you'll notice my swatches, and I did find an image on Google that I liked and I just started using some of the colors from it actually multiple images and then bringing them together in my swatches panel. So this helps me a lot when I'm a making decisions about color for this specific piece. And right now, that's kinda my main priority. There's a little bit of the composition in there now, but mainly, I wanna get all the different colors today. I think it would be in this scene down. Basically to making a color palette inside my canvas that I can just sample from throughout the remainder of the painting. So I wanna make it a little gloomy up here in the sky just to give us some to work with. Give that sun something to bounce off of I went ahead and selected the top part of the image and then duplicated it, flipped it, which gives this kind of our reflection here. And that's something you'll see me do a few more times on the painting. And mainly the reflection is, the strength of the reflection is due to the amount of turbulence in the water. If there's a lot of turbulence we're going to have less reflection just because the surface of the water is going to be kind of crazy. But if we if we don't and it's just a flat calm reservoir then we'll just have a nice glossy finish. I just haven't decided yet what I want that to be, so I'm keeping the reflection pretty minimal at this point. I'm just building in some of the details of the rock just trying to get some details about how the type of stone the jaggedness even the colors the black values here you'll see I just another reflection flip to kind of give it a wet sandy look. Trying to build out this foreground ground plan a little bit and I guess I'm hinting at the small little rivers leading down to the sea. Just gonna try to make this sunset a little bit, like blazing hot. So starting from a very, A very limited color palette for the sun is usually just a white dot. And then just building out from there with yellow and then orange and having it fade and dissolve into the blues. Think these clouds will go ahead and they'll come and just finish off our composition. Not the left or right now. You'll find I kind of struggled with this piece just because mainly, I just couldn't get the feel for these rocks. It took a while, especially the foliage up above them. You notice I play around with it quite a bit to get the look and the feel that I'm going for. And any time you're feeling like that it's best just to go find a couple reference images and bring them in and just go off your reference. I try to work through it here as much as I can. Mainly just struggling with what kind of trees are up there, is it just bushes, that are very weathered by the sea, or do we actually have some trees up there, and then you gonna think about scale, and how big the trees are, how big the bushes are, and then kind of how they grow along this rock ridge is another thing I think about. At the end of the day, as long as they look good and they're not too distracting from from the main feel of the piece and the main story line it's fine. Mainly, what I wanna do is make sure that they look different than the rocks themselves, not only in color, but actually in texture. So, it's just kinda figuring out what that texture is. You can see, I'm kinda covering them up a little bit trying, to get more rocks blended in there so I don't have to have so many pieces of foliage. And I, I did carve out that main rock there, I just thought it was a little bit boring in shape, so giving it's some jaggedness, is kinda nice, and helps a story just be a little bit more interesting. Maybe it's again a little bit more of a treacherous area not a place you'd really like to land your boat because of the rocky shores. And then I did build in some some even deeper mountains back there which is kind of nice. Again, it gives us the purpose of depths. Just make these things really monstrous. Softening the sky a little bit. Just making it all kind of blend and mesh together. Kinda like our hero rides off into the sunset kind of a scene. So we want it to be soft, relaxing. And you'll see I just did another reflection there. Just wasn't feeling quite right yet. And any time you make changes obviously to the upper part of the image or the non reflections section. You're gonna have to flip it again so that the reflection matches the reality. And then we'll go ahead and do it again with these rocks to provide us with a very nice reflection there and decided to just kinda remove all the the rock structures between us and that main column. Just because of it just looks better having a nice reflection there bottom line. And allows the light to come in nice and smooth along the water and and hit the shore real hard. It's a little easier to design in that way, rather than having a million little rocks in the water that you have to worry about. So here I'm just going to do one last pass on all these images and all basically using it curves to bring in the shadows a little more and then adding another curves to bring in the highlights. It's kind of my last step before turning in a final piece. I like to go over it with a couple curves, one for the shadow, one for the highlights. Just cranking up some of these hot spots. I like to stay away from complete whites and complete blacks as much as possible so I'm always careful about that. And there you have it. Four complete concept designs here that could be used for film or gaming. So in the next video I'll say a quick goodbye and recommend a few places to go to sharpen your skills further. So again, thanks for joining me and I'll see you in the next video.

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