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HatschYuh's avatar

How I do my Stuff - Rocks, Trees and Clouds

Lately I received some notes and comments regarding how I'm basically doing my stuff. This one here was asked from :iconanorha-nono:, and to be honest - I also was curious how I actually approach on such stuff.

Actually this is more a Workflow-picture rather than a tutorial , that's why I will explain it quite briefly - but hopefully clear enough so you might see the idea what I'm actually doing here.
First of all : My stuff is not supposed to look realistic or super detailed, the things I doodled here took me around 5-10 Minutes each. Of course when I'm working on larger pictures I will certainly detail them out, but for this case here I'll just show my typical workflow when I'm doodling faster.

The Steps :

1. Base Shape : Quite obvious, just create a shape to start with. I tend to skip creating outlines/sktechlines, since I think that it binds me too much to a certain shape before I even start defining that shape. At this point, I need my freedom to improvise when I suddenly got a better idea.
Whether it's a rounded or an edgy shape, this is mostly the thing I start with. Experimenting using awkward shapes makes things more interesting.
2. Rough Shade : To specify a certain light direction for receiving and casting shadows.
3. Detailing the Shade : Give your object more defined shadows to make it look like the desired object (tree, rock, cloud, whatsoever)

Step 4. and 5. are more or less different, as each object has it's own specifications :

Rocks :

4a. Scribble Randomly to give it a texture : This is actually an optional step if you don't use any photo-textures for your works, as it's the fastest way to give it some sort of noise and uneven pattern. It can be ignored, if it's not necessary.
5a. Deeper Shades: This applies mostly to the main edges of the shadows, as the light contribution at this point has the highest contrast. Since from this edge the shade-colour bleeds out to the sky tint, it has this deeper shade. I mostly do it to simply give it more depth to a picture (pretty much like Ambient Occlusion).

Trees :

4b. Add Backleaves : If you intend to doodle everything on a single layer, I would start with this here since it's a little bit more tricky to make it look decent in my opinion. Anyway, I'm doodling a "backleaf"-layer so I can later on give it a proper distance fog/sky color tint easier.
5b. Add Frontleaves based on Branches : I think it's quite self-explaining. Trees have many braches of single leaves which add together and giving it that look. I simplify it by giving them a round shape and just paint them (but leaving holes here and there to make it look more natural somehow). I think it's important to know that the shapes I'm doodling here are not realistic by any means, but as I didn't want to paint dozens of shapes to it, I just kept it around 7-8 Shapes - actually there should be way more.

Clouds :

4c. Add turbulence on the base : Clouds don't have smooth edges at all (dependent on the distance you won't notice it anymore), so give it a more irregular pattern makes it somehow look more natural in my opinion.
5c. Deeper Shades : Well, this one I actually learned as a VFX Artist : Unlike rocks, clouds do not have hard edges since it's just steam. But based on the density of clouds, there happens a lot of Multiple Scattering between the lighting and shading of these clouds (and the fact that your eyes will see it as a fully dense object since it's mostly really far away). It happens at a certain "edge" (and it's mostly visible at that angle, since at other angles the light might be more contributed widely) of the cloud that's where the light won't be able to scatter through the cloud as much as at other spaces of the cloud. The rest of its tint in the shadow is mostly skylight contribution.

6. Highlights : To increase the effect of lights coming from a certain direction, as well as giving it a specular/glossy look depending on the material.
7. Skylight Contribution : Give the object the tint of the sky colour. But this is a little bit more tricky, as you have to seperate between sky tint and distance fog, as you might make it look like far away. 
8. Add Stuff + Touchup : Give your object additional smaller objects or things which work with the main object. It may look more interesting and natural as standing alone. Afterwards you can play around with saturation, contrast and hue in order to make it look more fitting to the overall scene.

I hope that it'll somehow helps and now you got the idea how I do my stuff usually.
If you got any questions, feel free to ask (although I will reply quite late due to being busy all the time).

It took me around 5-10 Minutes to paint each of them (excluding the single steps), the step-to-step setup took waaaaay longer. Alltogether it took me three lunch breaks to finish this one here.

Done with Paint Tool SAI

Please download if you can't read/see it properly.

Edit : Here's a picture I painted, using exactly this workflow for the tree, rocks and clouds : Above The Ground by Juh-Juh
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1900x3206px 2.15 MB
© 2015 - 2022 HatschYuh
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Mystie-Wolf's avatar
these are all soooo helpful, ill be sure to try the cloud and tree technique soon ^^
HatschYuh's avatar
Thank you, I'm glad that you think you and hope it could be of any help to you! x)
AngeesDreams's avatar
could you possibly add you brush settings for the trees?
Dahkur's avatar
That looks very helpful! Thanks a lot!
HatschYuh's avatar
I'm very glad that it could be of any help to you! :]
thank you, also nice to have a lot of step-by-steps!
HatschYuh's avatar
Well, actually I only have two so far...but I'm glad you think so! :D
Hi, what brush better use for trees leaves?
HatschYuh's avatar
Usually a squared brush, which acts more like a rectangular line. It's quite effective if you use short strokes, at least this is how I achieve these leaf-ish effect. ;)
G4m3rFr34k's avatar
This is actually really helpful haha
Charlene-Art's avatar
This is how I should do things :D
HatschYuh's avatar
Yeah, feel free to do so. :D
loveedreams's avatar
amazinggg tutorial!! *-*
i need to practice that stuffs!
thank you so much for your time making it ^^!
its surely very helpful!
HatschYuh's avatar
Well, I'm really glad that I can help you somehow! :D
sekiriin's avatar
I have always wondered how landscapes are made so nicely in such a short time. 

This really helps. Thanks so much! :happybounce: 
HatschYuh's avatar
Well, then I'm really glad that I could help you somehow! :D
HatschYuh's avatar
Well, I'm glad you liked it! :D
Theodriel's avatar
nice tutorial ! thanks 
HatschYuh's avatar
I'm glad that you liked it! :D
HatschYuh's avatar
Well, in the end it still is a matter of practicing to get to the desired result, but I'm glad that I could help somehow. ;)
scadl's avatar
Amazing tutorial! Thanks for making this.
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