Case Study //: Blossom Storm
Blossom Storm was relatively a fast production. It only took about 3 days to do and it was a really fun desktop wallpaper I have done in a while. Blossom Storm was worked on really big, as was Eternus Somnium and Stridence. Here are the stats for Blossom Storm:
Size //: 120MB .PSD file.
Dimension //: 35 in (w) by 23 in (h)
Layers //: About 431 layers
Software //: Adobe Photoshop (85%), Illustrator (10%), Cinema 4D (5%)
Production Time //: 15 Hours (approx.)
Model //: Diane Mikaela
Please note: Case Study is NOT a step by step tutorial on how I did my project. It is just a case study of how the project was completed. In all honesty, only a designer who has excellent knowledge of the software I use would know how I achieved many of the steps. Thank you.
The original photo I worked with. It is time to mask out the background.
I quickly delete the background using the lasso tool and it is time to use quickmasking to get into the fine details.
Before I begin though, I save my selection just in case my Photoshop decides to crash (CS4 loves to crash on OpenGL mode)
And I save it here. I make sure I name the selection (DATE_OBJECT NAME_#) so for example on this project I would name it (010309_diane_1).
Almost there. I still have tiny area’s to tweak out. This photo was a pain to mask out for some weird reason. Once I finish the masking process, I duplicate the layer she sits on and I use a Gaussian Blur and hard light blending mode to soften her out.
I duplicate her again and apply a screen blending mode. I lighten her skin tone easily this way.
I get the eraser tool and erase out where it’s too light. I want her to look natural.
Time to dye her hair. I do this very rough and erase out extra area’s later. I just use a red brush tool and color her hair.
Then I use the multiply blending mode and adjust the fill to about 40%.
It’s hard to see a blended red on a black background so I invert the color to erase out extra parts I missed.
Complete for now. I can always go back and adjust the fill if I wanted to.
Now I apply a little eye shadow. I am no expert make up artist so I try my best. I look at other people’s make up shape for reference.
Blending mode of multiply with a fill of about 30%. Again, I can adjust this later if I need to.
Result so far.
Time to apply some lipstick on her. Blending mode of multiply with fill adjusted.
Result so far.
Adding color to her eye. Same deal here, with multiply blending mode and adjusted fill.
I make sure I look at the overall color combination after I am done.
Now I know this project is going to be big. I make sure to label all my layer names and have a orderly color organization so I can find things a bit easier. My personal settings are:
Blue: Background big objects
Yellow: Environmental elements
Green: Foreground objects
Pink: Background particles
Now I work with 3D stripes. I import this from Cinema 4D and work with it so it looks like it’s wrapping around her body.
Added a bit more (a lot more) stripes and vector elements from Illustrator.
Added a temporary background color and started to play around with gradient layer effects on the stripes. I uncheck the align to layer option in the gradient layer effects to achieve a stretched out gradient look. I also play with the scale under the gradient effects options. Then I added a cherry blossom tree behind her.
Had a hard time making strips that worked with the model so I had to go back to C4D many times to create new renders.
Playing with details.
I wasn’t happy with the color so I started to seriously experiment with gradients.
The color of the strip so far. Still not happy with it but it will do for now.
Brought the cherry blossom tree into the foreground to create more depth overall.
Erasing some parts of the tree.
I use my invert technique again here to make sure I didn’t miss erasing certain parts. I have a bad habit of leaving a stray out in the document and not noticing it till I saved the final. So inverting it to see if you missed anything is a good habit.
Added some water behind the model. I got a picture of an water splashing, desaturated it, bumped up the brightness and contrast and used the multiply blending mode to achieve transparency. Trust me, you don’t want to sit and quickmask water.
I start to create shadows for the strips. I want to change the color of the strip to black, put it behind the red strip, and blur it to create a shadow. I don’t want to use the layer effects drop shadow plug-in because it won’t let me erase certain places. To achieve a natural perspective, you want to use a different layer.
Me applying shadow around her thighs.
Time to create the 3D text. I make it in Illustrator and import it into Cinema 4D.
Applying Extrude NURBS in C4D.
Import it into Photoshop and play with the brightness and contrast.
Result so far.
I wanted to add a little bit of blue so here I am brushing all the places I want to be a bit bluish.
I am making sure I didn’t miss anything that I didn’t erase or adjust.
My final result.