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Light Flight by NadnerbD Light Flight by NadnerbD
I've been fiddling with this thing on and off for almost three weeks now. I made a ballpoint sketch at work that I decided I needed to turn into a digital art, so I did. That's about the story of this. Except for the part where I got really indecisive about the color adjustments at the end and have a whole folder of variations on this with funny green under-lighting.
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ZombieFX Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2018
o_o belly rubs above!
The-Toonologist Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2018
Just wanted to let you know that I really admire what you do with lighting and shading! Hope you keep up the great work!
AlliDrawsArt Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2017   Digital Artist
this is beautiful it immediatly sent me back to summer and i could feel the cool wind on my face and the birds churping
such a magnificent peice of art work.
BronyNo786 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Right up there with HTTYD. (flight scenes I mean)
RebellingLemming Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
One of the most awesome!
thespawnof66 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2016
Very impressive.
arhannas Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2016
She's so gorgeous! XD
cavaleirodragao Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2016  Student Artist
WHAT? this a 3d image? wow =)
AphelionMars Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Aaaahhh, the lighting is so beautiful, I love the way the light shines through her feathers!
ShiningLovelyStar Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
It looks like 3D! Amazing!
matmax426 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing art!
KillerTeddyBear94 Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
absolutely elegant :D
Bhomdrae Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2015
I could almost reach out and rub that belly.
PurpleBlastArtist Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
So cool!😉
Vegerot Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Harikon Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
nice shading and contrast.
ForestStarStudios Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
it... it looks like a photography, how can you be so good?
Eskerata Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I have this urge to reach up and poke her tummy as she flies by. (Which would earn me a hoofprint on my forehead.)
Great work on this.
labaki12 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2015
Это просто офигенски ! :)
Wirlog Featured By Owner May 17, 2015
No matter who many times i see this picture, allays amaze me the way you did the larger feathers with the sun effect.
xX2WolfFeather1Xx Featured By Owner May 5, 2015
Holy mackerel! This is amazing! From the thumbnail, I thought it might have been one of those SFM pieces or something because the lightning in this just made it look so incredibly three dimensional! Once again, an absolutely amazing piece you did here! 
Kyoshyu Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Like this. Just like this. Gotta do a surprise huggle right there in the air. :)
squawkwardd Featured By Owner Edited Apr 19, 2015  Student Filmographer
DietBudah Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2015  Student General Artist
Aaannddd... Poke the belly! *tactical belly poke from below*
This looks incredible! Like it could be a photo of a figure suspended in air. :)
luckyleafs Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ohmigosh.  That lighting's incredible <3  Her wings look so silky and bird-like, whoa~  Amazing job!
gutgutgut Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2015
Impressive lighting technique!
panzerhi Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015
Here-for-the-ponies Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Where is the underlighting on her stomach and legs coming from? I gotta know, because you really seem like you know what you're doing.
NadnerbD Featured By Owner Edited Feb 27, 2015   Digital Artist
The ground. I won't claim that I got it exactly right, but this is pretty much what you would get in this situation. With the sun directly overhead like this, the ground becomes a significant soft semi-directional light source.

I went looking for some pictures that would support my assertion, and this is the best I got from a half a minute of googling. The under-lighting is much more subtle than mine, but you can see that the lightest (and warmest/least-bluish) areas on the bird's belly is the part facing directly down. This would be much more pronounced in certain conditions, like for instance if there was snow cover on the ground, or if she was flying directly above some significant clouds, which would probably be the only reasonable explanation for the lighting in this picture.

Basically, the principle I was following was that in an environment with lots of surfaces, like, pretty much anywhere on earth, the darkest portion of a shadow (ignoring ambient occlusion on complicated objects) tends to be the portion near it's edge, because the opposing side will be lit by the opposition surge off the environment from the light that's illuminating the non-shadowed half.

For clarity, I drew a ball floating in the clouds. Because I'm lazy.
Here-for-the-ponies Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Applying opposition surge outside of astronomy is certainly an interesting idea.

I also understand the theory with light reflecting off the ground (though I really
can't see it no matter how hard I look at the photo you sent), and I have to 
wonder: how far from the ground is she? meters? dozens of meters? hundreds?

Just wondering, as ukulilia and I were looking at this piece and trying to agree
on who was right about what you intended the underlighting to be from when
you drew this.

Thanks for such a thorough reply, and even going as far as to illustrate it!
NadnerbD Featured By Owner Edited Feb 27, 2015   Digital Artist
Well, I don't think it's actually particularly relevant, but when I drew this I imagined her being pretty damn high. Like.. I dunno, airline cruising altitude. (32,000ft?) In theory altitude shouldn't make a significant difference to the power of the underlighting, since the ground is pretty wide, so as you ascend, you're farther from any one point on the ground, but also exposed to more ground area. In practice there's stuff like more atmosphere being in the way, and scattering, so it'd probably get bluer and more diffuse. Also probably other factors I'm not thinking of.

The under-lighting is intended to be reflected sunlight from whatever's below her, but as you've noticed, it's super exaggerated, so either she's above the frozen north, or I just pulled a lot of extra light outta my ass. I didn't really have a particular location in mind when I drew this, it was just supposed to be Celestia. :P

I'm having difficulty finding reference photos featuring the exact lighting conditions I'm looking for, but this seems to at least bear out that it's quite possible for ground light to be significantly brighter than blue sky.

Oh yeah, and who was right? I'm curious where y'all thought my crazy light was coming from. You probably gave it more thought than I did.
Queen-KittyKat Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I said a beach .D.
IsaLyx16 Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Is real.... Good!!!! 👌
EverlastingDerp Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Gosh that lighting is so gorgeous. :love:
chinjireta Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
it looks looks
Because-Pinkie-Pie Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Oh my god this is amazing!
MLPegasis4898 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wooow...!!! This looks truly gorgeous...!!! Love it!!! :clap: :clap: :clap:
age3rcm Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2015  Hobbyist Filmographer
t-the lightning...
the light... ning.... effects combined with shadows...
queendagi Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Clap Clap 
LittleLunaMoonMatron Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Fantastic how she looks so soft and real.
I-am-knot Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
I can see it with my eyes!
TheOnlyWolf100 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2015
The lighting is superb! Very realistic O-O it's amazing
TwipperSpains Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2015
Kujiiro Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015
Absolutely gorgeous.
RedusTheRiotAct Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2015   Digital Artist
It's so good, I think I'm gonna cry
cloudcoat Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2015
The lighting is amazing; I think it's fooling my eyes as they try to adjust themselves when I look at this!
January3rd Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2014
holy smokes that's amazing
everypone Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I've not much to add to what's already been said. A beautiful subject with a sublime expression; lovely composition, texture, and lighting (the overlap shadows on the primaries/secondaries in particular is a nice touch, and I rejoiced at the absence of lens flare). Very nice!
NadnerbD Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2014   Digital Artist
You're lucky, I almost put a lens flare in here, but I was lazy, and didn't feel like finding a way to make one that didn't obscure anything cool. SAI doesn't have any of the render effects and fancy stuff that Photoshop does, so it tends to keep me to simple painting techniques, which I like.
NicolasDominique Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2014  Professional Artist
Lovely Celestia :)
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Submitted on
December 6, 2014
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