Eyeball Soup Part 2: Blocking, Colouring, and Shading
Since my last post, I worked a lot more my concept art for the eyeball soup to the point where it’s almost finished now.
Following my lessons, I took the line drawing into Adobe Photoshop and started blocking in the basic shapes. This helps to lay down some initial shadows, light composition and the correct perspective for objects in the scene. My tutor taught us a way to quickly insert vanishing points into photoshop by inserting a polygon and tweaking with the settings until a star shape appears. However, his exact settings didn’t work for my version of photoshop. After some googling, I found this solution from Jeff Arola which works for me.
I also used a third one for objects in the centre of the room.
It might look confusing, but I blend them in and out or adjust the opacity depending on where I need them. The black frame is added to set the scene for the correct screen size to make sure no objects are outside the frame, 16:9 in this case.
Vanishing points are very helpful guides to get the perspective of different objects in the scene right. However, it does not work as well with circles.
I was somewhat inaccurate in my line drawing (just look at my barrels on the right) because I thought I would be able to quickly do that in photoshop. Big mistake, distorting circles in photoshop to fit the perspective takes as much time as drawing them beforehand.
Blocking itself is relatively straight forward. I just filled in all the rough shapes in greyscale to get an idea of how the scene is lit. Here, I made a crucial mistake by giving the window in the back too much emphasis. I want this scene to look similar in lighting to this screenshot from Resident Evil 7 with a bright light in the background and foreground lit in yellow light.
For my scene that would be the window in the back and the petroleum lamp on the ceiling. Somewhere in my head I decided it’s daytime and a petroleum lamp just can’t keep up with the sunlight.
I kept the blocking very simple. I knew I was going to bash photos together and use textures map just because there are so many objects in the scene, such as bottles, barrels and crates.
After the blocking was done, I started filling the scene with colour. I approached this in two ways: clipping masks and distorting photos. For the surfaces I was happy with, I use texture maps used for 3D design. These usually come with a bunch of PNGs (including bump maps, displacement maps, normal, etc.). For photoshop I just need the coloured ones. I insert them as a clipping mask on the blocked-in surface and adjust the perspective. I did this for the main structures of the room.
Second, for individual objects I look for photos that are as close to what I want as possible. I then cut them out, insert them and distort them to fit the perspective. The latter can be difficult, depending on how much the photo diverges from my perspective. I found it easiest for box-shaped objects with three sides visible to cut out each side from the photo and adjust each separately onto my blocking shape. With cylinder shapes, it was just trial and error until I got it right.
I shaded each surface and object once I finished adjusting the perspective. Here is what works for me.
I create four clipping masks:
Hue and saturation to adjust the colour of the surface/object to my scene
Brightness and contrast to adjust the initial lighting. Objects that are in the shadows are usually darker than those closer to a light source. Most of the time, I increased contrast to a maximum to bring out the colours again and make the surface/object more stand out.
Curves to draw in shadows. I pull down the curve depending on how dark I want my shadow to be. This darkens all shadows, midtones and highlights without losing too much detail. I then invert the clipping mask and use a white soft brush to draw in my shadows. One can also keep the mask and use a black brush to erase the shadows and draw in light.
Layer clipping mask set from “Normal” to “Overlay” to draw in the darkest shadows with a black soft brush should the curves be insufficient.
Now it looks like this:
As you can see, the lighting doesn’t look anything like the Resident Evil 7 screenshot. I will need to go back in and change it. I will set it from day time to night time with the petroleum lamp illuminating the scene in yellow light and with only a small beam of moonlight passing through the window.