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Exercise 52: Macro Reflective Studies Step by Step


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Check out and Download the Step by Step and Original Practice Sheet .PSD HERE.    

Artist: Tim Von Rueden (vonn)

Here's the Downloadable 52 Exercise Template below:

  Exercise 52 Practice Sheet: Macro Studies by CGCookie 

This challenge is fun as well as challenging since the reflective properties of each object is very high! Being on such small objects, it can get difficult adding in all those bounce light parts but just take your time and be patient. Wait to add in the subtle textures and details till the very end. It's all about building up a strong contrasted foundation first.

For the exercise let’s break down each step and see how to paint each object from start to finish.

  1. Refined Outline – Use reference and create a clean outline of each object to the best of your ability.
  2. Solid Base – Start with a solid base color to work on top of. Usually it's easier to build up lighter values with a slightly darker base.
  3. Build Up Values – Using a lighter value color, start building up the values based on where you believe the light source is coming from!
  4. Add Lighter Values and Bounce Light – Continue to build up the values with even lighter ones and then remember to add bounce light around the edges of these objects.
  5. Remove Outline and Refine –This step will show you how well you added values without the help of lineart. If it's too blurry to read and distinguish the edges, keep the lineart on until it's good enough to refine the edges clearly. The edges themselves also might be a little rough so be sure to touch up those as well!
  6. Highlights and Final Polish - This is the step to make magic happen! The objects will pop and the texture will start to feel ingrained. Some touches like a hint of rust or scratches can really make an object appear to feel real as well.

When you finish the exercise, remember to submit the result to the “Submissions” tab on CGCookie, you can see other submissions alongside your own!

Image size
2500x2306px 1.11 MB
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