Basics of Atmospheric Perspective

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About: Advanced 3d Modeling

In this Instructable you will learn the basics of atmosphere perspective, how to create the illusion of distance depth in your drawings, paintings, and illustrations! We will be using Photoshop in this example, but these concepts can easily be applied to any other digital or traditional medium!

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Step 1: Create a Background Sky Layer

I created a canvas in Adobe Photoshop that is 800x600. Using the gradient tool I then created a sky using a light blue color and white, and renamed this layer to "sky". This will be our background layer!

Step 2: Create Mountain Layer 1

Now lets create a layer named "1". This will be our foreground mountain layer. For this we will use a more saturated blue color that is darker, and paint a simple mountain shape in the foreground.

Step 3: Create Mountain Layer 2

Lets create a new layer and name this "2". Move this layer underneath layer "1". Now pick a lighter blue color, that is slightly less saturated and paint another mountain scene behind our foreground mountain!

Step 4: Create Mountain Layer 3

Create a new layer and name this one "3". Move this layer underneath layer "2". Now pick an even lighter blue color, that is slightly less saturated than our last color. Paint another mountain scene behind our second mountain!

Step 5: Create Mountain Layer 4

Create a new layer and name this one "4". Move this layer underneath layer "3". Now pick an even lighter blue color, that is slightly less saturated than our last color. Paint another mountain scene behind our third mountain!

Step 6: Create Mountain Layer 5

Create a new layer and name this one "5". Move this layer underneath layer "4". Pick an even lighter blue color, that is slightly less saturated than our last color. As you can see we have been slowly making our colors less saturated, and lighter as the depth moves back; this is the trick to the illusion of depth, as the scene gets further away, colors become less saturated, lighter and slightly more hazy(less contrast). Now paint another mountain scene behind our fourth mountain!

Step 7: Create Mountain Layer 6

Finally, create a new layer and name this one "6". Move this layer underneath layer "5". Pick an even lighter blue color, that is slightly less saturated than our last color; at this point the color should be much brighter compared to our layer "1" mountain. Paint your last mountain scene behind our fifth mountain!

Step 8: You Did It!

You did it, you have learned the basics of Atmospheric Perspective! Now you have a basic understanding of how to create the illusion of depth in your drawings and paintings by changing its color as the scene gets further away! Nice work!

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