05 Local value and texture

[Music] so once you've identified light and atmospheric perspective if that's relevant your necks gonna go and check the local value now this scene is the exact opposite of local value this entire scene is made from one type of stone and the only information you're getting is from the form and the shadows but what we want to talk about is a scene like this here you have no information from light at all there's no shadows anywhere in the scene and yet we can see those individual shapes broken up very graphically why is that well it's because the bricks and the roof tiles in the sky they're all just different local values so what you get is nice and visual separation something like this is the exact same deal here the bark of the tree is very white which stands off very nicely from the dark value of the leaves you've also got the sky the blossoms and the sidewalk and what that gives you is just a really nice quick read from a tonal standpoint and if you're able to make decisions in an illustration choosing materials that will separate from one another like this is a really great idea but it doesn't always have to be a cloudy day here we have a very sunny day and you still have separation from materials for instance the tree trunk looks very different than the paint that's in shadow because with this white stucco even the darkest of the shadowed areas are not nearly as dark as the tree trunk the tree trunk and the paint are equally in shadow yet they are very visibly different from one another so when you are making an illustration and debating how dark should the shadows on my white paint be well there's no obvious answer but the way I'd like to do it is to just look at photo reference and when used with the histogram I think this is a great way to start deciding what values you want to use in your own illustrations and then you have something like this where you have very graphic lights and darks you have a light costume surrounded by a dark painted object he also has a dark haircut and glasses so what that gives you is a nice initial read with very clear visible shapes but then if you linger on any of them you see that there's cool details inside the same exact thing can be said about this costume a very dark costume against a light background also she has very light skin same deal here it's a light environment in a dark costume as just a sense of design these are smart choices if you're making an illustration this would be a very clear approach it's not to say that this is any more or less realistic this is just a way to make your character separate from the background and it's all about choosing the local value wisely so once you've established the local value the next step I like to think about is what does the surface feel like and for now we're not gonna be talking about glossy things but we're gonna be talking about matte finish objects that are bumpy so with these rocks you have a great example of this these are essentially the same sphere we've been used to rendering you could imagine this as a very flat sort of 3d generated object it's a cloudy day so you don't have terminators that are just a matte finish rendering but you and I can tell the difference between the sand and the rock and they're essentially the same local value so how can we tell the difference well the cracking pattern on the rocks is a dead giveaway so essentially we have a shallow overlay on top of the overall rendering so it's important to think about it in this way the overall rendering is gonna be the most dominant now any surface information like the cracks in this rock is gonna add to that overall plane change but ultimately if you squint your eyes you're still gonna essentially be looking at the matte rendering so don't get carried away with adding contrast in these details and then of course after the cracks there's also little indentations from weathering and you could go to town on the details but I like to think of this sort of bumpiness as a separate entity from the overall value pattern these rocks are another great example because they have sort of a layered chiseled look to it and I'm actually really glad that they took this photo on a sunny day you can tell it's a sunny day because of the shadow cast by the hammer from a local value standpoint this rock is pretty boring but where the interesting surface information comes from are these layers the stratification because what you're getting our cool sharp little overhangs each of which are casting a sharp shadow now this rock would look a lot different if you are on a very cloudy day and you did not have strong shadows because in this case a lot of the visual interest is coming from those cast shadows this is totally the opposite here we have relatively shallow bumps the sort of overall bumpiness of the rock but then we have very deep crevices so at sort of a large scale we have peaks and valleys and then at a surface level we have pretty shallow bumps and this is an important distinction because what you're seeing here is probably a pretty sunny day and the tonal change is happening where the form changes you have the illuminated faces and in the shadow shape but when we're just looking at the illuminated faces all the little bumpiness is actually pretty low contrast and this is where a contrast creep is really gonna get you you can look at all the little bumps and think ooh I see darks and lights I'm gonna really up my contrast add a lot of details but using the histogram will show you that it actually is a pretty low value range the major change here again is between the shadow shape and the illuminated form and the way I like to think about this is the surface details are shallow and anytime you have shallow surface details you're gonna have lower contrast when we had steeper surface details like the ones in this example well then we're gonna have higher contrast changes because again here we have very visible layers of rock each of which sort of overhanging the other so given a sunny day and there's going to be very strong shadows between these layers and as a result it's gonna be a higher contrast look and then you have something like this where the local value has a little more variation you've got dark rust and you've got light rust but then the bumpiness is a little different here it's primarily flat with a few little cracks but then here and there we have these deep cutouts and we're getting strong cast shadows so these are the sort of things you look for when you go to do a study so I'm gonna actually now go ahead and do a study and we'll talk about what I'm looking at in the reference and I'm translating that into my drawing so we are gonna start here with a rendered image out of a 3d software and the reason I'm starting at this point is because everything sits on top of that mat surface rendering but we already talked about mat surface rendering we did that in basic rendering 1 & 2 so I'm actually gonna start this example right here and the mat rendering tells us the first I have on our checklist which is what type of light is it it is a sunny clear day we have a visible Terminator and we have a strong cast shadow so the next question is what is the local value and here my reference tells me it should probably a little darker so I'm gonna use the levels to crank down my existing values but if you were just starting from scratch you wouldn't paint with such bright values in the first place so now I need to give myself a blueprint for the bumpiness the tactile quality of this surface and based on my reference it's got these cool linear shelves it is stratified rock so I'm just gonna start by doing a line drawing on a layer over top of this now working with layers I think is really helpful from this process because you're thinking about these as sort of separate components at a large scale this is a sphere and it is mat surface and so that tells us the overall plane change is gonna be what we started with any of this surface bumpiness is really just sort of a thin layer on top so we don't want to mess up what we started with which was the rendered sphere all we want to do is modify a little bit and so having different layers is gonna help us in this process now at the end of the day I'll play flatten them down but this is sort of a nice way to keep things separated both mentally and in Photoshop mm-hmm once I've got all my lines here I need to start carving out the surface and remember the are pretty deep we have sort of different elevations happening on the surface so you're gonna have cast shadows the question then becomes what value do I make the cast shadows and for this the important thing to remember is that within one object nothing is ever going to be darker than the darkest core shadow so in this case I literally just sample from the left side of the spheres rendering and I won't go any darker than that and now on another layer separate from the line art I'm just gonna start painting in cast shadows so this is taking the overall plane change that I started with with a sphere and then starting to do some sort of shallow cuts I'm giving a sense of the bumpiness even though it doesn't overwhelm the overall plane change that's the most important part this is just polish now I'm actually gonna hide that for a second because I want to disrupt this Terminator a little bit this after all is a rock it's not a sort of a polished sphere so I'm just gonna disrupt that transition and make it a little bumpier a little more faceted but since this is a separate layer from my cracks and crevices it's easy to combine these two now at this point I noticed that I've overlooked part of the local value of the reference and that's these little white veins in the rock these have nothing to do with light they have nothing to do with bumpiness they are just a different color of mineral and for that I'm just gonna use a screen layer which is just gonna lighten everything so I'm gonna paint with a solid color and put these veins into place and what it does is just lighten any value that's underneath it and I happen to be doing this underneath the cracks and crevices layer and that just sort of makes my job a little easier it's kind of easier for me to mentally keep these things separated so if I want to tweak them at the end they're all isolated now here I'm looking at my reference and this feels a little too uniform so I'm gonna use a brush that just got sort of randomized circles and each of them have a slight value variation in the end result is it gives it a little more of a faceted planar look like little micro changes in the surface are catching the light in slightly different ways now at the end I like to make sure the values are looking good and to do that I will use the levels adjustment at the top of the layer group so it's affecting all the paint underneath and then when I'm happy with it I'm actually gonna paint on one layer outside of this mask because this would not be a perfect sphere in the silhouette this has bumps and crevices and cracks so I'm gonna go ahead now that I've sort of happy with the texture and I'm gonna change up that silhouette a little bit I'm gonna cut in here and there and extrude a little bit just to give it a nice naturalistic look and that's it so I did not use any photo texture but instead I just went through the checklist and that's why I want to approach each of these concepts from a modular standpoint if we can think about each of these properties independent from one another that allow us to extrapolate much more easily because I never explained why it is I'm painting on a sphere clearly this is not the same shape as my reference but this is a little test for me this says I understand my reference well enough to wrap it around a different object now in this case the object is pretty simple it's a sphere but the point is it forces me to really know the material not just copy what I'm seeing because that's what we're gonna need to do when we're Ella straighting so let's continue the checklist and start to talk about a few more properties