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Making of 'Spider's Web'

By Aziz Maaqoul
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Date Added: 9th December 2009
Software used:
Photoshop, ZBrush
Next I inserted the monster into the background of the matte painting (Fig.12 & Fig.13) and added the fog. I increased the saturation of the light, with gave me a warmer atmosphere.

297_tid_Fig_12.jpg
Fig. 12
297_tid_Fig_13.jpg
Fig. 13

At this point, I stopped for a moment and took a step back so that I could examine the image with fresh eyes. The result of this was that I found that the image wasn't quite legible and that it was overloaded with content. So I removed the monster and everything else that was bothering me (Fig.14).

After removing the monster, there was an empty space in the painting that I decided to fill with a large rock (Fig.15). To add further balance and break up the symmetry between the light and dark areas, I added some new textures and increased the atmosphere of the image. All of this helped me to find a better composition.

297_tid_Fig_14.jpg
Fig. 14
297_tid_Fig_15.jpg
Fig. 15

Fig.16 shows another rock that I added to enhance the light and give a feeling a depth.

297_tid_Fig_16.jpg
Fig. 16

Fig.17 shows how I integrated textures within the image. The rock was flat, so to make it three-dimensional, I applied soft light to one of the textures. The images that I used were a combination of high-definition images that I purchased from Shutterstock and pictures I took with my own camera.

297_tid_Fig_17.jpg
Fig. 17

I created the cave with black paint and then added a texture of an actual canvas (Fig.18). Frame 1 gives the impression that the canvas is artificial, whereas Frame 2 is much more natural. I worked the light into the canvas so that the fabric was not too loud or too discreet. For Frame 3 I wanted to use fireflies to give a little life to the cave. The image is a photograph of the stars that I applied using screen mode, which I find is more natural than trying to produce the specks of lights manually with a brush.

297_tid_Fig_18.jpg
Fig. 18

Fig.19 shows the various layers that I used for the light:

  • Layer 1 - an image that I applied the following to: layer style, colour overlay, dark green colour, opacity 51%
  • Layer 2 - air brush, opacity 60%
  • Layer 3 - sky brush, opacity 36%
  • Layer 4 - a technique that I often use for light and fog; I create a layer and apply the clouds filter, a black colour and white soft light with an opacity of 30%
  • Layer 5 - red, grey, black, 31% opacity
  • Layer 6 - aerograph brush, opacity 28%
  • Layer 7 - aerograph brush overlay, opacity 28%

297_tid_Fig_19.jpg
Fig. 19

Fig.20 shows the image without global illumination.

297_tid_Fig_20.jpg
Fig. 20


I then applied four adjustment layers to the whole image, the settings for which can be seen in Fig.21.

297_tid_Fig_21.jpg
Fig. 21

The final image can be seen in Fig.22.

297_tid_Fig_22.jpg
Fig. 22

As you can see, there is a clear sequence of steps in my work, and that is because I always record each step in jpg format. This is for two reasons; the first is that it allows me to see how a piece has progressed from concept to the final image and the second is as a back-up.

Thanks for taking the time to read this Making Of and I hope you found it interesting and useful!




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