- Software: GIMP or Photoshop
- Level: Advanced
- Subject: Glowing Objects – Effects
Earlier, we saw how to paint glowing objects by taking lightning as an example. That technique can be used for other things like sparkles, energy beams and flames – not just for lightning.
In this article, we will discuss how to further integrate these glowing objects with the rest of the painting. We might put in a lot of detail into painting them, but if we do not consider the effect they have on their surroundings, the glowing object will seem to stand out. It would seem like it was just pasted over after doing the rest of the painting.
Here is a quick concept sketch I made of a Fire Sorceress. Notice how I painted the fireball in her hand – I used the same principle as I did with the lightning in the earlier exercise. But it still seems a bit odd, in spite of having the fireball show through her fingers – it is sort of detached.
To fix this, we have to consider how the fireball would effect the rest of the scene. In this case, we need to consider the light hitting the form of her body.
I gave the rim lighting to her body, keeping in mind of the light source as the fireball in her hand. This light source is not the primary – which is on her left and above. I apply the effect of the fireball as if it were secondary lighting. The secondary lighting effect does give depth to this artwork, but along with that, it makes it seem like the fireball is in her hand.
Here I have not given any other secondary lighting, and took the glowing effect of the fireball to be the secondary lighting to keep it simple. We can as well apply another faint light source opposing the primary light source to make the artwork more dramatic.
Things you need to keep in mind while rendering the effect of a glowing object are:
- Color – The color of the glow obviouly will cast the secondary light of same hue
- Shape of the glowing object – This effects how the direction in which the light effects nearby objects. If it is roughly a spherical object, then it goes out radially from its center. If the object is an elongated cylinder, when rendering, it will linearly go out.
- Intensity – This decides how far you would go applying the secondary light.
- Shape of the object the secondary light hits – This will give depth, and the way you render it, will depict its form.
If we were to go back to the example of the lighting as the glowing object, and we want to depict it striking throuh thick clouds, depicting the effect is a bit different. Instead of painting crisp rim highlights, we would have to paint a diffusing light since clouds are not solid objects.
So next time you paint any glowing object, remember to render the effect it has on its environment.