So i decided to go with the matte painting of the I am legend film scene. Here are all the stock images and steps i took along the way.
I first started with an image of a New York street as empty as i could. I then began to remover any people that were in shot using the content aware tool. I was left with the first image. The sky needed a few more clouds so i found some clouds stock and placed them behind my buildings. My next step was to place the sky and fiddle with the settings to make it look like it belonged. Adding some darker patches and lighter ones to represent the sun streaming out of the clouds. I then began to destroy some of the buildings. This was created using the brush tool and smudge tool. Used together I could create a dark space and then smudge around the brickwork to create realism. Next onto the scene was foliage. Vines and moss hanging from lampposts, cracks,stairs and tops of buildings. Here are the stock images used and the edits of what i took. I added my own creation of vines using the brush tool and smudge tool again. I then found a guy and a dog who could fit the characters from the film. I cut them out and put them in a position which looked real and fitted the scene. After giving them some highlights and dark shading to fit in, I started to play with creating a water filled road. As there is a waterfall, there needs to be water. This was something that let my piece down. I wasn’t able to create realistic enough water for my liking. But what I did manage to create was understandably water. I then added few water splashes where the dog and man were walking and then finally placed a brightness/contrast layer with a saturation/hue layer.
For these images I really wanted to relate them to a film or book. To create and image from the piece as if i was imagining it myself, from my own perspective. I wanted to create a scene not from the movie or book, but one created from my own imagination. Here are the films and books I looked at.
First I thought straight away of the scenes from the film I am legend. How it would have been impossible to create a set for that vast space and look realistic as the new York city. So I began to think about matte painting a scene from the film. It seemed perfect, a derelict city with only solitary person and dog. Would create a nice piece. But in the film there isn’t much time between the death of the human race and the film, so not many of the buildings would have been broken, so I may have to improvise. The scene I would have to create out of my own imagination and to find the right picture to manipulate.
Bicentennial Man was a film where robots had developed so much that they have become human. This seemed perfect from my research and looking at Michael Oswald’s work. To create my own android human would be a challenge as i would want to replicate Michael’s class and perfection.
Fight club only popped into my head as I was scrolling through stock images. I saw a picture of an underground car park and remembered the film. A scenario came to me and I knew then that I had to create an image for this film. It would be a challenge to create the mood and bring the elements together. I would have to use digital painting, much in the same way that Michael Oswald would have done.
Digital painting, in principle, is painting with the tools on photoshop. Creating an abstract image with brushes and layers where anything is possible. You can also paint onto existing images to create new surreal images. Some of my favourite images created in this way are by artist Michael Oswald [michaelo to deviant art users]. His works are sublime. They use photographs of models and then transforms them into numerous different styles. He can turn a normal model shot into the most stunning android woman, with perfect curves and segments. His ability to cut into the human form and create new surreal images is staggering and inspirational. Here are a few pieces.
The red image shows how he has adapted the model to look like a puppet. He has cut her into portion, much like a doll. Even the mechanics of the doll are shown and perfectly replicated. The light and colours have been enhanced to make the image more vibrant and real. The strings have been added to give the puppetry feel as well as a blood tear to tie in the red background.
The next image shows his ability to create a full android model. The segments of this piece shows off his creative side. You can believe that this is a real android and that is partly down to the way it looks as though it could, theoretically, move. The skin tone has completely changed and taken on a plasticy/metalic look, perfect for this image. The light reflects off the model to emphasise the body form as well. not only has he created such a lovely model, he has taken it onto the background as well where more futuristic walls are found. The fact there is a shadow as well makes the model sit nicely in the image.
The next image, like the previous one, is a model come android. This image keeps the original skin tone while still making it look textured. This model still has clothes which throws in the realistic side to the image, while the plug and lead restores the fact that this model is an android. The lighting really sets this image off. It is what the eye is drawn towards.
From this research I have gained influential knowledge, which will aid me to create better pieces for myself.
Matte painting is the creation of a scene/ background/landscape using photoshop. The creation of this setting would be necessary for sci-fi scenes where there is no other way of creating it. Where you have a scene with a large depth of field and would be impossible to create a set. The matte painting idea gives artists free reign to create more and more outlandish and mind boggling scenes. The only limit is your imagination. Here are a couple I have found that I like.
I really like the sci-fi creation with the sky scrapers and flying ships. The image is really crisp and detailed. The city really resembles New York with the block structure of the city. The depth of the picture really makes it pop. The addition of the huge tower building in the background really hits home the futuristic theme. It could seem like a feasible future as there aren’t that many differences in this picture to where we are now.
The castle scene has been created to hark back to an era in our past, times of castles and an almost renaissance feel. The deep colours gives the image a really moody feel to it. The prominent foreground grabs your attention, while the background completes the scene but isn’t a main focal point. . The stormy rolling clouds adds to the dark setting, with the moon lighting up edges of clouds. A really nice piece. The subtle addition of an owl on the left is a strange addition but quirky and cool.
The last piece is of a demolished city. The buildings are in ruins and unrecognisable. This obviously would be out of the question to create such a set for a film and this is perfect for matte painting. The destruction on the buildings is really well done and realistic. The dark smoke clouds add to a sinister scene.
The information I have gained here will really help in my own work.
For my next digital manipulation brief I have been given the task to create two A3 images created in my own style and using any creative techniques. First of all I have to research two visual styles and analyse them using some notable examples. From this I will be able to get a deeper understanding of how my own work comes together.
To begin with for the second image, I first had to merge the two backgrounds to give the overall image some depth.
this looked quite natural and flowed through seamlessly. Now was the time to add in the ninja. The perfect place to set him down was on the bench. At this time I also added the moon which would house the clock. This was done because I thought it was a fitting place to be and that ninjas are one with time and are capable of manipulating it.
I have added snow splatters up from the ninjas feet hand and knee to show him landing on the bench from jumping onto it. The grindstone was next to enter the picture. I could not just add this alone, and decided to add a sword. This was to show that the ninja had more than the sword in his hand.
All that was left to do now was to tie them together and get a natural feel. This was achieved by brightness/contrast editing. This enabled me to add shadows and light flecks on the ninja, swore, grindstone, tree and bench. After this was added i thought it might be cool to add a dead bird to the ninjas knife to give the image some meaning. So the whole picture is capturing the moment when the ninja has just killed the bird. The bird had to be duplicated and separated to give the effect that the knife was going through it. As well as this blood was added to create realism.
This is the final image i produced. I was fairly pleased with the outcome. Not as nice a composition as the first i feel but still decent enough.
The deviantart links for the images used are:
http://browse.deviantart.com/resources/?q=swords#/d1jcm22 – swords
http://browse.deviantart.com/resources/?q=snow%20tree&order=9&offset=48#/d19pj7p – Background trees
http://browse.deviantart.com/resources/?qh=§ion=&q=banco#/d2lv7n6 – bench + tree
http://browse.deviantart.com/resources/?qh=§ion=&q=dead+bird#/d1iz5h4 – dead bird
So now was the time to bring all the elements together and create a new image.
First i started with the dunce and her cell. The dunce was cut out of the background and placed in the cell. There was already a dull light in the cell but i decided to bring the brightness down and create even more emphasis on the light.
The shadow under the dunce was darkened to stand out more as well. The next step was to put the gramophone into the corner. This was slightly more difficult as the angle was all wrong from the original image. the shadow on the wall allowed me to manipulate it more. Adding highlights with the brightness/contrast gave the image depth and as a result didn’t look too out of place.
The hardest part of the whole process was the book. At first i tried to rotate it so it was facing the dunce but I could not distort it to make it look natural. In the end I left it facing the same way, in a way it gave the picture more realism as it showed that tyne dunce was crazy.
The shadow and the highlights on the book make it fit into the picture and not stand out as if it has been placed there. Again it was created using the brightness/contrast tool. A photo filter was added to give slightly more colour and a warmer colour.
Now to bring them all together.
The final outcome looks like this. I added a layer of curves on the whole image to give it more warmth. It added to the outcome I think. At the end i looked at the image and it looked like it needed something else, so I added some text above the dunces’ head.
Here is the link from deviant art for the cell:
I am quite happy with the final outcome. Now on to the next one.