Wednesday, 20 September 2017


This blog was showcasing of my studies during my time on my level 3 Animation, Games and visual effects course. Since then I have transitioned onto a foundation degree course studying specilised Animation & Illustration. I have a new blog at this address: 

I do hope that you have enjoyed my posts over the course of this blog and that you continue to follow me onto my future endeavers on my new blog! Thank you all!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Unit 6 - Illustration Day to Night (Process)

As previously mentioned I'm coming up to my end of year final show exhibition studying level 3 animation, games, and visual effects at Newcastle college. As part of my exhibition it is required that we produce either 1 portrait or 2 landscape prints. Having recently completed the background Illustration for my unit 6 project, I am presented with the opportunity to revamp this illustration and take it further.

What I shall be doing is taking that illustration and creating a night time version of it. This will not only allow me to provide an alternative concept for the environment but it shall also allow me a second go at learning about lighting in regard to strength and distance. As well as allowing me a second landscape illustration. I shall be completing this process in adobe photoshop and be using my previous illustration document as a starting point.

Previous Illustration starting point 

The starting point for this Illustration already establishes many things regarding making it feel realistic, organic and appealing. The floorboards are reflective, the lighting is strong enough to cast shadows but bright enough to fill in the whole room. The sun is the only source of lighting. The lighting is coming from the garden door and window above. The lighting is bright enough to cast a highlight over the door.

Blue overlay

In reflection to my studies regarding environment illustrations at night there is generally a dim blue 'vision' to the area presented. Therefore, a fast and easy first step to establish night time is to apply a blue overlay. This overlay sets the tone effectively but isn't completely effective at invoking a sensation of night time.

Darker Shadows
 Changing the tone by adding a blue overlay is a good beginning but the shading throughout the image is still behaving in a way that suggests there is a bright light source still filling the room. Therefore, the next stage in my process that will assist in making a realistic lighting scenario at night is to make the shadows darker. 

Without a strong Lightsource, the areas that are not directly in a lights path are far more unlikely to be hit with a gentle backlight from other objects. This therefore makes the shadows naturally darker in regard to lighting strength within a given area.

Darker Gradients
 Following on from the previous step the same fact applies. The light source is weaker therefore the lighting is not traveling as strong for as far. This has the effect that the deeper in the room you get the darker the light will be. The two areas that are most affected by this visually are the floor boards and the wall (By extension the table). Making these adjustments by darkening the gradient layer quickly establishes the new rules for the lighting. This effect clearly and organically conveys night time. 

Glowing orb and books
With the other effects applied the room makes sense from a realistic point of view. There is an organic natural presence to the room. But as an illustrator I don't want to stop there, there is an opportunity to convey more information and place importance as far as attention goes. 

The purpose of this illustration was to be a background in an animation. A house when placed in a narrative setting is an extension of the character living there. Therefore, it has such an importance placed on how this room represents the character. If the character is lazy or easily distracted, this can be reflected in a messy environment. If the character is composed, collected and focused, It would make more sense that his room would represent this by been organised clean and clear. 

This fact in mind I would like to bring attention the 'Spell books', 'potions' and the 'magic ball' that are all sitting on the book shelf in the centre of the composition. Their presence within the house highlights a key characteristic within the character, a special kind of mystery, charm and quirk is given to the character because of its appearance. By allowing these objects to glow and therefore have their values stand out, attention can be brought to them and this character trait as well. 

Furthermore, the location of the glow allows the eyes to explore the content of the room further identifying this that could have been lost within the room itself, but at the same time allow the lighting to make sense and appear organic.

Adding fire flys

 Acknowledging the fact that the books and potions suggest the house owner has traits mysterious, quirky but with a magical charm. This effect can be pushed further by adding a third element into the mix. Firefly’s are mysterious but magical creatures and very appealing. Adding them into the garden where they are clearly exposed allows them to contribute to the vision the room is representing within the character. All the while adding to the overall charm the room consists off. 

Process Gif
And there we have it! The final night time illustration. This creative process has been a great opportunity in allowing me to practice problem solving skills in art and design as well as allowing me the creative insight into a growing mental portfolio as an artist. Lighting is an important skill to master as an artist, as it is the key to making something feel right and appear organic. 

An illustrators Job is to do more than make something looks realistic and appealing. An illustrators job is to utilise skills and abilities to convey a specific message and place focus on desired elements to push the effectiveness of them. I feel during my night time illustration process that I have utilised and learnt more about utilising opportunity’s and manipulating the image to convey specific effects towards an audience. 

Was there anything else I could have done for this illustration? Comment below!  
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