I then moved into Photoshop so that I could take more artistic control through painting and compositing. One of the goals I had before I started was that I wanted to spend more time artistically on this image. I knew this was going to happen in Photoshop given the time constraint.
Once Photoshop booted up, I began laying down my passes, filtering layers and adjusting the colors. I combined and edited multiple passes of the same element to gain a smooth, soft composition. Using the rock pass, I roughened the surfaces and added contrast to the metal (Fig.11).
Photo-filtering and contrast emphasis were used to deepen the color and tone of the image. When I'd established a nice variant, painting effects began. Using a final render pass and the metal passes beneath it, I started painting in scratches on the metal and edges of the armor and tech. Alongside this, I painted strokes of scratches on the surface because I didn't want anything to look new (Fig.12).
Final paint effects, including smoke and light streaks, were painted and composited. The little flares added life to the image. As tech was involved, I was required to render mattes just for the glowing light objects (Fig.13).
When the painting was all set and done, I took some time to color correct and fix the tone of the image, balancing the overall tone, materials and skin of the characters. Some photo filters were applied, including the Lomo effect and vibrancy in Photoshop. All this was topped off with the right amount of noise and blur overlay to the image (Fig.14).
Kinetica was an image that I never thought I would see physically, just only in my head. But I started off right, by concepting the abstract-like image early. Without doing that, it would have been a mess with no direction (Fig.15).