Painting a Gooey Surface

In this section, we will paint a wet effect that looks a lot more viscous, thick, and gooey. Many of the steps are identical to the previous tutorial and will not be repeated in depth again.

We'll start out by using the same texture image and Drip layer that we created in the previous tutorial.

Because the texture we are using has no large repeating areas, it would normally be hard to see some of the distortions that this technique produces. To make the effect more successful, we will add some cracks to the rocky surface. We can either draw cracks on a new layer or, in this case, use another of Painter's features, Growth, to create some crack-like shapes.

Creating Cracks in the Rocks

1. Create a new layer, and make sure that the Preserve Transparency box is not selected. Name the layer Cracks.

2. Select a darker color from the image. In the Color palette, make the selected color dark.

With this new layer active, select Esoterica > Growth from the Effects menu. The Growth options box appears and displays a number of sliders and a preview window (Figure 3.29).

Figure 3.29 The Growth options box

Growth is a rather strange effect that makes plant-like designs. The actual use of the effect is limited only by your imagination.

5. To make the tree shapes look more like a crack, move the sliders to the following settings:

Flatness: 89% Thinout: 53% Random: 100% Thickness: 2% Branch: 1 Max Level: 6 Fork: .5

Fork Ratio: 105%

The options box with the sliders set to the correct settings is shown in Figure 3.30.


Figure 3.30 The settings to use in the Growth box

Of course, you are encouraged to experiment with other settings. The settings suggested will work for this project, but there are many others that would work well, too.

6. With the Growth options box still open, use your stylus to click and drag in the image from the center of the image out.

7. A circle will appear as you drag, showing the extent of the growth being created. When the circle takes up most of the image, let up on the stylus, and a new growth will be created. The image will look something like Figure 3.31.

Figure 3.31 The growth results on a new layer

The orientation of the growth in your image will probably be different. This is not a problem, since you will be adjusting both the size and direction of the growth to make it look more like cracks.

8. From the Effects menu, select Orientation > Free Transform.

9. Rotate and scale the Growth layer until it extends off the edges of the image, lies in a horizontal direction, and generally looks more like cracks in the rock. The image will look something like Figure 3.32.

10. When the layer is in position, finalize the transform by right-clicking the layer and selecting Commit.

Figure 3.32 The Growth layer is rotated, scaled, and moved into place. R

Giving the Cracks Dimension

1. Duplicate the layer.

2. Click the bottom Crack layer and check the Preserve Transparency box at the top of the Layers palette.

3. Using a brush with a high Opacity setting, select one of the lightest colors in the rocky surface and paint the cracks. Because the Preserve Transparency box is selected, only the cracks will be painted.

There are now two layers: one that is dark, and beneath it one that is identical but lighter in color.

4. Click the eye on the top Crack layer to make it visible again.

5. Activate the Layer Adjuster tool in the toolbox. Using the arrow keys to move the lighter Crack layer, slightly offset it beneath and to the right of the darker Crack layer. The image will now look something like Figure 3.33.

6. Select both Crack layers, and collapse them into one layer.

Figure 3.33 The lighter Crack layer is offset slightly below and to the right of the darker cracks.

The actual realistic look of the cracks is not important. You can paint them by hand if you want a different look. What is important is that there is now an element that will help display the distortion of the wet and gooey look that we are about to create.

Before we actually create the wet and gooey look, we need to create a new layer that has our cracked stone in it.

1. Drop the Crack layer onto the background rock image.

2. Load a selection using the Drip layer.

3. Copy and Paste In Place the Canvas layer with the cracks. Name the layer something like Rock Drips.

There should now be three layers: the Drip layer, the Rock Drips layer with bits of the rock cracks running through it, and the Canvas layer that has the rocky surface and cracks.

Getting Gooey

Now, to create the wet look but with a nice gooey and thick feeling, follow these steps:

1. With the Rock Drips layer active, navigate to the Effects menu and select Focus > Glass Distortion.

2. The Glass Distortion Options box opens (Figure 3.34).

Figure 3.34 The Glass Distortion Options box

3. Use Paper as the driving texture, and set the sliders to the following values:

4. If you do not see a significant amount of distortion in the preview window, try changing the paper texture. Larger patterned textures give the best results.

5. When the preview shows results that are acceptable, click OK.

A rippled, curved effect is applied to the new layer. You can see the results in Figure 3.35.

Figure 3.35 Glass distortion is applied to the Drip layer.

The reason for creating the cracks in the stone now becomes quite clear. In the background rocky surface, you can see the glass distortion effect, but it is somewhat subtle. With the added cracks, you can see exactly what has happened to the surface.

Adding Dimension

The drips have been distorted, but they have no dimension. Instead of manually adding a darker layer and painting shadows and highlights, we will use Dynamic Plug-ins to accomplish basically the same thing. Dynamic Plug-ins create dynamic layers and are a great feature to add to your creative arsenal in Painter X.

You can completely modify the effects of each dynamic layer at any time and any number of times without changing the source image. To create a dynamic layer, you use the Dynamic Plug-ins button located at the bottom of the Layers palette. By clicking the button at the bottom of the Layers palette that has an electrical plug as its icon, you create a Dynamic layer with one of 11 different effects.

1. Click the Dynamic Plug-ins button and, from the dialog box that pops up, choose Bevel World.

2. The Bevel World options box appears with a large number of sliders and settings (Figure 3.36).

Figure 3.36 The Bevel World options box

3. Set the sliders to the following amounts: Bevel Width: 2% Outside Portion: 0 Rim Slope: 0° Cliff Portion: 50% Cliff Height: 50% Cliff Slope: 67° Base Slope: 45° Smoothing: 100% Light Direction: 111°

4. Change the Light Color to a warm light tan color by clicking on the color box.

5. When you are finished making the changes, click OK.

The distorted Drip layer now has a three-dimensional feeling without a lot of hand painting (Figure 3.37).

Figure 3.37 Bevel World is applied to the Drip layer.

If the settings do not work the way you expected, you can double-click on the Dynamic layer and experiment with different settings.

When you are satisfied with the look of the Drip layer, right-click on it and Commit the layer. This turns a Dynamic layer into a regular layer that can be edited like any other.

Removing the Bevel

You may have noticed that there is a large bevel around the top and sides of the Drip layer. You may or may not want this. In this case, I do not want the beveled edges.

Removing them is simple. Just follow these steps to remove the bevel along the top and left edges:

1. Drag a long, horizontal rectangular selection across the image somewhere below the beveled top edge.

2. Feather the selection. The default setting of 3 is fine.

3. Copy and paste the selected portion of the layer.

4. Move up the new layer so that it covers the bevel at the top of the image. Figure 3.38 shows some of the top bevel covered.

5. Repeat the procedure for the left bevel, except use a long, vertical, rectangular selection.

Figure 3.38 The bevel is covered by copying and pasting selections from within the Drip layer.

Because the bevel on the right side of the image has lots of cracks, you cannot copy and paste a large section from another place in the image and have it work. The solution is to use a cloning brush and carefully paint around the cracks. 6. Choose the Soft Cloner brush. It is a variant in the Cloners brush category.

Carefully paint out the bevel on the left side of the Drip layer using the Soft

Cloner brush.

There are only a few things left to do to complete the painting. The drops still need a shadow. A strong highlight will help the drips look wet. Some additional texture added to the overall Drip layer is needed to remove the flat appearance of the Drip layer.

Adding More Shadows, Highlights, and Texture

The first thing to do is add a shadow to the drips. You can do this a number of different ways, but the easiest method is to use one of Painter X's default effects. 1. In the Effects menu, select Objects > Create Drop Shadow. The options box appears (Figure 3.39).

Figure 3.39 The Drop Shadow options box

2. Change the default settings to the following:

3. Deselect the Collapse To One Layer box if it is marked, and click OK.

4. A new layer group is created that includes the original Drip layer and the drop shadow. Ungroup the Drip layer and the Shadow layer by clicking on the Layer Commands button at the bottom left of the Layers palette. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard commands Ctrl+U (F+U on the Mac).

5. Select the Drip layer and duplicate it.

6. The duplicate layer will be the active layer by default, but if it is not, click on the duplicate to select it.

7. From the Effects menu, select Surface Control > Apply Surface Texture. The options box appears where the sliders should be moved to the following settings:

• Leave the other settings at the default.

A paper texture with a large pattern works best. You can change the paper texture while the Apply Surface Texture options box is open. Select different paper textures, and watch their individual effect in the preview window (Figure 3.40).

8. Click the OK button. Figure 3.41 shows the image with the surface texture applied.

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Figure 3.40 The Apply Surface Texture options box showing a preview of the effect on the Drip layer

Figure 3.41 A shiny surface texture is applied to the Drip layer.

Unfortunately, the application of the surface texture has affected the appearance of the drips in a negative way, making them not as clear. Using the Eraser brush with a large size, erase the drips portion of the top layer. The underlying Drip layer is revealed with the original drips visible. These drips are much clearer and more attractive (Figure 3.42).

Finally, add some highlights to each drip to finish the image. 9. Create a new layer. Choose the Glow brush from the FX brush category, and add the highlights. Figure 3.43 shows the finished image.

Figure 3.42 The results of erasing the top layer of drips

Figure 3.43 Highlights are added to each drip.

Figure 3.43 Highlights are added to each drip.

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