AuthorTopic: Sunset tips?  (Read 3556 times)

Offline I_am_secretly_a_cat

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Sunset tips?

on: June 15, 2013, 10:22:08 pm

Monk meditating with a sunset behind him.
Can I get some advice and tips on the sunset? it really sucks

Offline Pix3M

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Re: Sunset tips?

Reply #1 on: June 15, 2013, 10:41:28 pm
Use a reference picture of a sunset to get the colors right.

Offline I_am_secretly_a_cat

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Re: Sunset tips?

Reply #2 on: June 15, 2013, 10:45:27 pm

Offline Pix3M

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Re: Sunset tips?

Reply #3 on: June 15, 2013, 10:52:04 pm
Huh... I dunno if that's the best reference to use. The sun is off to the side out of the photo. Your sketch places the sun right behind our subject so it's not the reference we probably want.

Other references that put the actual sun into focus gives us a much hotter color temperature for the sky:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sunset_2007-1.jpg

I think a lot of other references should give you something similar - something darker and with a hotter color temperature.

Offline I_am_secretly_a_cat

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Re: Sunset tips?

Reply #4 on: June 15, 2013, 11:12:06 pm
Redo with new reference... maybe too dark
Also tried the first reference again with your advice in mind
« Last Edit: June 15, 2013, 11:15:27 pm by I_am_secretly_a_cat »

Offline Cure

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Re: Sunset tips?

Reply #5 on: June 18, 2013, 07:32:46 pm
The bands of color are distracting for me, I'd consider adding more colors or dithering to create a smoother gradient. the jaggies around the figure could be smoothed with a little AA.

Offline I_am_secretly_a_cat

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Re: Sunset tips?

Reply #6 on: June 18, 2013, 09:17:02 pm
Hmm. Those are the area's I'm having trouble with... I'll try and experiment with dithering to get better.

Offline Decroded

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Re: Sunset tips?

Reply #7 on: June 19, 2013, 05:39:23 am
A trick for sky banding is to use layers of clouds.
You may specifically not want clouds but if you want to try, just refer to what I did with your other piece here http://www.wayofthepixel.net/index.php?topic=15481.0
I'm not great with these so I did this as an experiment.
I was going more for a sunrise there (i.e. its been a long night of zombie killing) with dull colours, but in your sunset you would probably want some more vibrant and intense colours.
The sexiest sunsets I've seen have hues of orange and pink (especially on cloud highlights), blended into either light or dark blue.
Sometimes there's some yellows in there too.

Also keep in mind what I said in that other thread about composition, explained better here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds
You can go for centered subject matter if you really intend to use a symetrical composition to your advantage, otherwise it is likely to look nooby and unnatural.
Lets say your theme is balance, well there are other ways to create balance.
For example something large NEAR the middle, and something smaller further to the side - imagine the subjects on a jigsaw, not by their physical weight but by their visual weight (size, contrast with surroundings etc).
In this case the guy could be meditating nearby some carefuly stacked round boulders for example, which again is communicating theme of balance.

According to what light is coming from the background, you can add a touch of rim lighting around the meditator.
If part of the actual sun is showing, try bleeding the light into the dark spaces a bit as happens in real life.

You could use 2 or 3 layers of hills in the background, which is a good opportunity to use athmospheric perspective to create depth and add to the sunset mood.
Simple smooth curves with solid fill colour and gentle anti-aliasing (do this at the end) will give a good, calming effect.
You could even attempt to arrange them such that it resembles a sine wave...
I would keep them fairly low in the composition (say not too much higher than the bottom third gridline) or it will detract from the sense of height of the meditator.

Wherever possible, recycle colours you already have and keep track of your palette.
Don't stress too hard over this though.
If you feel a recycled colour doesn't fit or you intend to use colour to change a dynamic, then its a good time to add a colour or ramp to your palette.
When you are ready, try making a few variations of the same image and just play with the palette.
Your piece could even be the same image 4 times with different palettes...


EDIT: Just stumbled across this sunset while drooling over Vierbit's portfolio *wipes mouth*:

« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 02:53:09 pm by Decroded »

Offline Grimsane

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Re: Sunset tips?

Reply #8 on: June 20, 2013, 09:15:19 pm
you're missing one key thing and getting it in the reverse order, Colour temperature, which is/can be representive of actual temperature.

the principle is that the higher the temperature the brighter it becomes, but at the same token it slides further up the colour spectrum, so red will heat up into pure white, but it will go orange and then yellow first.

here is a quick illustration:


i also just opened up the reference image, if you pay close attention you can see that towards the origin of light/heat (the sun) it actually gets more yellow.

also another thing is that you're art would benefit from anti-aliasing.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 09:19:25 pm by Grimsane »

Offline Decroded

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Re: Sunset tips?

Reply #9 on: June 21, 2013, 04:50:24 am
Yeah, true that.
Remember that when you look at a reference photo, the colour is not always exactly what you think your seeing as it is may be relative to the surrounding colours.

Common example:

Source - http://www.pixeljoint.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=11299

Here's a video example I stumbled across - http://vimeo.com/26788521
I'd still like to see some more in-depth and practical examples though...