View Full Version : Alien Cloudscape - Tuomas Korpi

08-22-2012, 06:00 AM
Cool, great challenge.

I feel the image is far more challenging than it first seems. But just the right concept to test our matte painting skills! Therefore I find it important to break the image down well before proceeding with the actual painting/compositing. Maybe do some testing with the perspective, analyze the light direction and find some good reference material.

After reading the brief, I took some quick notes about areas I need to pay some extra attention to:

- I have to keep true to the original concept; get a good amount of both "relaxed" and "busy" areas to make the image read well and seem interesting. It's a good and inpiring design.

- Due to the darkness of the sky and some rimlight on the planets, I feel it's more like a nightime setting than a bright day. Have to be careful with my value balance and lighting setup.

- The suggested lighting condition of the initial concept needs some work to get realistically executed. I really like the silhouette like shapes in the horizon, so I want to keep them separated from the foreground which gets most of the light... Creates a lot of depth and drama to the image...

- The cloud material is always a bit tricky to work with, since some of the light gets absorbed into the clouds and scatters heavily.

I'll probably start by modeling a quick&dirty 3D mockup to study the perspective and lighting. After that I'll paint a "base sketch" to work from, so I have some starting point for my value range and color palette when I start working with the photo material.

Good luck everybody!

- Tuomas

08-22-2012, 06:11 AM
My rough base sketch painted in Photoshop. Just trying to study the lighting setup and color palette before moving to photo material.


08-22-2012, 07:11 AM
awesome rough :D

08-22-2012, 07:48 AM
yeah, very nice ;). Great mood.

08-22-2012, 10:14 AM
Great first step, love the palette and lighting you have here. That's one thing I have yet to nail with this. Look forward to seeing your progress man.

08-23-2012, 02:37 PM
looking forward to seeing ur progress

08-24-2012, 07:47 AM
Awesome...I think you nailed it how this set should be lit. It's still long way to go though :) good luck mate

08-24-2012, 04:40 PM
Thanks guys!

bpsola: Thanks! I've been looking at your progress aswell, got some amazing stuff going on there. Good luck to you mate!
Yatzenty: Nice to hear. Hope so too ;) Thanks!

I'd like to also thank Ricardo Garces for the very good comments and advice he's been giving for the artists here ;) I really hope he drops by :D

I started to match some photos on the back layers. Top halves of the foremost clouds are also roughly matched to the lighting and palette.

The lower parts of the clouds have turned out a bit tricky, I may have to do that part again once I get the foreground fully finished.
The clouds also seem a bit too "solid" at the moment, I will add some reflected and bounced light there to make them seem more fluffy and cute :D


Ricardo Garces
08-24-2012, 06:49 PM
Hi Tuomas,

I have been to your website and you definitely do not need advice from me :) Your work is amazing! Great stuff in there!

But since you guys are placing me in the art direction position, I would say that you must be careful with the clouds in the horizon because I feel like the small planet is closer than the clouds.

I would say this happens because your horizon layer is too dark and lacks perpective haze. Go outside and look in the distance... objects in the distance are lighter than closer to you. That happens because air molecules although we cannot see them straight ahead of our eyes, they can be seen if we look at a huge bunch of them. Same happens underwater, you can see your hands but if you look straight ahead you see only blue or green depending where you are.

Regarding your comments about the clouds, I don't think they are too solid. Again has I stated in another thread we have always the creative freedom to do whatever we like with things that most people don't know or are not used to see.
But if you want to stick to reality I would say that the fluffy thing we see in the clouds, in these type at least happens only on the very top.

The fluffy thing is typical of cumulus clouds. These type of clouds if warmed from beneath like it happens for instance in African summer, develop into towering cumulus and then cumulonimbus. If I am not mistaken ( you have to forgive me if I am wrong, I usually stick to 1000ft when I am flying the helicopter ) cumulonimbus reach 35-40,000 Ft. The height of most commercial airplanes cruise height. Above that height there are no more clouds of this sort only haze clouds and some that produce quite interesting effects like coronas in the sun.

Inside these massive clouds you will find huge drops of ice, I was told that it is possible they even reach the size of cars!
That is why not only is forbidden to fly through these clouds, but also because the weather radar system was created for airplanes. So they can choose a path outside of these clouds.

Let also be known that unless you find a squall line, or a cold front, these clouds are not present. But these are Earth rules and we are in an Alien planet so everything is possible.

Getting back into the subject. I like your hues. I prefer dark over white, because you can then make the sun really shine and even play with a camera flare or "god ray" across or through the clouds.

I like where you are taking this image. Keep going.

Looking forward for the next developments! Cheers mate, good luck!

08-24-2012, 11:18 PM
lol'd at ricardo. u're starting to be the father of mattepainting here! :D didn't know that cumulonimbus clouds carry such huge packs of ice..

@korpi - this looks nice! :D

08-24-2012, 11:24 PM
Thanks RG, very nice comments!

- It is true what you say about the small planet being closer. That is something I need to look more into!

- But I don't necessarily feel there's a problem with the horizon, at least not a very clear one. I hear what you say about perspective haze, objects being lighter in the horizon and air molecules. Aerial perspective might be another term to describe that. Yeah, objects in the horizon could be lighter, but in the initial concept provided by MPC the clouds in the horizon were way darker than the sky behind. So I tipped towards light hitting the top surface of the clouds more, and clouds being overall darker since we are mostly seeing the sides (which get no straight light at all).

We are also higher, way above the clouds and the air is thinner there. I have a bit more atmospherical gradient coming from the planet and clouds in the first concept, which I intend to get more into my final painting. I could apply a more clear horizon line however, or get some darker tones and/or more contrast in my foreground elements. I feel there always needs to be some logical transition from foreground to the background and it's not there yet. Tough challenge! :)

- It's great stuff you're saying about the different cloud layers. I also think the clouds should have different characteristics on each height and the variation isn't there yet.

- What I meant by fluffines (eeegh, bad choice of words) was actually more the transition of colors and how some of light is shining through the clouds. When you're matching colors you easily lose (or at least I'm losing) some of the color transitions in clouds, there are more saturated midtones in certain parts and so forth... So that needs some extra work towards the end. In other words, it still looks too much like a graded black and white image in my opinion.

Thank you for your insight really appreciate it. Cheers! :)

08-25-2012, 07:41 PM
amazing progress man....looks like... you are one of the winners:-)


08-27-2012, 11:45 PM
Nyc :) loving it......

08-28-2012, 06:45 AM
Very nice work Korpi! This is diffidently one to keep an eye on. I am looking forward to seeing your progress.

Also, great website and portfilio. Good Luck!

09-02-2012, 03:02 AM
Great tones - I'm curious for more images!

09-03-2012, 12:39 PM

I've been quite busy this week. Hopefully I get it finished by friday! :O

09-06-2012, 02:07 AM
Bhew! Here's the 3rd WIP.

At this point I did a lot of details on the bottom parts, but decided to tone them down a bit in the end. It just looked way too crowded and fragmented. I also did a version with more cirrus like clouds on the top "rings", but somehow it lacked the form I wanted to keep there. Eventually I went back to the original cumulus clouds I had in my initial sketch.


09-06-2012, 02:09 AM
And the final matte.

I did a lot of small fine tuning only visible in the 4k version, but I think the overall atmosphere is much more cloudy and soft now. Previous version had a lot of sharp corners and painterly details I polished away.
I might still check the saturation levels once I do some matching with our studio monitors, but other than that it's finished now :D


Bhew, what an effort. Great challenge :)

Thanks for you input, comments and critique guys! Good luck everybody.

09-06-2012, 03:16 AM
i love it! :D

09-06-2012, 04:12 AM
Great work, man. I think you could've spent a little more time on the background ( the planets and space) but anyways, it's still awesome! :)

09-07-2012, 05:32 AM
Nice one..
Good luck mate

09-07-2012, 09:27 AM
Really nice work man, you must have an insane amount of patience. You came into the challenge with the right mindset, so hats off to you!

Good luck.