Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Painting Workshop: Day 2: Tree Shadows

Now that we've seen the basic shadows on a sphere, let's apply that topic to the tree. For this demonstration, Jack just made the sphere a bit more elongated and added a "tree-trunk".

From the previous discussion, we still have the same basic shadows. All of the shadows discussed earlier, apply. However, there are some new items of interest:

1) The top of the tree (rim shadow casted by the sky) takes on the subtle color of the sky.

2) The brightest part of the tree has the color of the light source.

3) As you go further into the distance, more of the sky color becomes the component of the ground. Therefore, to get your plane to lay flat, begin adding more sky color to the top of the plane and bring it down to the bottom of the plane. This will give the illusion of the ground receding into the distance.

4) Since leaves can transmit light due to their thinness, transmitted light tends to shift more towards red. The thicker the material, the less of the shift towards red.

5) Tree trunks are really grey, not brown. They may have hints of other colors in them, but they should be painted a grey with the colors added.

6) There are more sky-holes towards the center of the tree versus the sides of the tree. This is due to perspective. As you view the edge of a sphere the longitude lines tend to get closer together. Therefore, as you go towards the edge of the tree, the leaves from behind the tree tend to close up the "holes".

7) Sky holes should be painted at the same color as the regular sky. Although, in reality, due to the tree hole sizes/light bouncing around, etc, the holes seem to be darker and the tree edges tend to have lighter sky. Painting the holes the same color as the light area and you will find that the illusion of the center tree holes being darker will automatically happen.

8) For the most part, the leaves of a tree have a shiny part and a dull part. Therefore the top of the tree will tend to reflect the sun light. The part of the tree that is not in sunlight will have the color affected by the texture of the leaves. For the shadow side, the leaves tend to shift towards violet, blues, darker greens, etc. The bottom of the tree tends to shift more towards darker reds.

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