Course: Environment Tutorial: Niagara Forest

Hello everyone and welcome to this Free Tutorial Series with Corbin Hunter on Creating an Environment Tutorial!

In this Free tutorial series, Corbin Hunter takes you through drawing an Environment on the Niagara Forest.

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The resources in this course include the following: All three of the Photoshop tutorial .PSDs, the Textures used and Citizen members can also download each part’s HD video.

I watched a environment timelapse he had done, and wanted to see if he would like to create some tutorials for us. He agreed and did a fantastic job on them. So here is part one of the environment tutorial, Enjoy!

Here is the final tutorial series result after part 3 with after all the steps.

In the source files, there are a set of brushes that are included in the tutorial along with a helpful brush guide.

Here are the step by steps of Part 1

1.1 I start with the atmosphere colour I want. This will dictate the colour palette of the rest of the piece. The “default” atmosphere colour on a clear, bright day is a light blue-grey.

1.2 I use a black and white layer often to check my values. Colour are very distracting, and it’s important to make sure the value structure works alone. Value is more important than colour.

1.3 I continue to build forms, keeping atmospheric perspective in mind and paying attention to the entire composition.

1.4 I make sure I’m not getting too caught up in details. The vines reappear on a layer of their own, and the lights get placeholder positions, but I stay quick and loose, paying attention to the overall impressions more than anything.

Here are the step by steps of Part 2

2.1 I refine the overall composition, establishing the foreground tree as the dominant compositional eye-grabber. I also begin to give the trees interesting shapes.

2.2 On a new layer, I put in some crazy colours, mostly in the shadows. I’ll lower the opacity quite a bit, just to introduce some vibrance.

2.3 By simply building on the pre-existing values, colours and forms, you can now start with some detailed shapes. This workflow from loose to detailed ensures that you focus on a solid base before falling into the trap of detail for the sake of detail.

2.4 Once again, using the pre-existing elements, I throw some more trees in there. It’s hard to mess up the painting if your base is strong.

Here are the step by steps of Part 2

3.1 I work on pushing the forms of the trees here to make the forest a little more solid, giving it mass and interest.

3.2 By simply adding these hanging vines, the forest instantly feels more dense. These sorts of additions do wonders for an environment.

3.3 My value check layer is still on top, and I still use it a ton, especially when adding bold elements like the light beams.

3.4 This is what it looks like with the auto-adjustment layers. These won’t always produce good results, but soft light layers with random colours, or the hue and saturation adjustment can give similar results. This kickstarts my imagination and opens my eyes, letting me stray from the monochrome to a more powerful, impacting final colour scheme.

3.5 The final image comes together with the adjustments. Notice that the “tips and tricks” layers all remain pretty unobtrusive. Don’t go overboard! Let them augment your image, not distract from it!

Thanks for checking out this Environment Series with Corbin Hunter!

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