Today, I want to share with you the process I used to create my Autumn Typography piece. This project is over 500 MB, took over 14 hours to complete (mainly experimenting with different techniques), and contains over 400 individual layers. The final result can be seen in the image below.
Speed Art Video
The concept started with a few sketches. I roughed out the general composition and detailed a few elements. I knew the lettering would be created with the help of Photoshop’s 3D features so I didn’t spend too much time creating a detailed sketch of the overall piece. I fully anticipated this being a very fluid process.
Scene Set Up
I scanned the sketches and brought them into Photoshop. I extracted the bucket sketch and positioned it in a new scene. I also added a gradient background to start.
The next step was to work on the lettering. The font is a modified version of Century Gothic—edited using Illustrator. I then brought each letter back into Photoshop and converted them into separate 3D objects. I worked out their relationships in the scene.
Refining the Sketch
Now that the lettering was worked out, I could finish the sketch directly in Photoshop. I used some additional elements from my scanned sketches to fill out the scene. Using a Wacom Tablet (I highly recommend investing in one), I drew over the sketch to refine each element.
Creating Shape Layers
The next step required converting all elements into shape layers. I started with the letters, converting the face and sides into individual shape layers. At this point, I also gave each letter a separate color to better visualize the lettering.
I continued creating shapes for the bucket, stalks, pumpkins, and gourds.
Rather than working on the leaves from the main sketch, I used the more detailed sketch to create the leaf shapes.
Refining the Scene
I then placed the leaves in the scene with the rest of the elements. At this point, I also added the remaining elements, such as the twigs and acorns.
Next, I went through scene to add shading and highlights to each element.
The next, and longest step was to go through and add textures to each element. I used real-world textures to help texture my scene. For example, I found an interesting aged-metal texture that I used on many of the pumpkins and gourds. I also found a charred-wood texture which worked well for the acorn caps.
Lastly, I went back through the scene and added my final touch ups, such as additional shadows, shading and highlights, and atmospheric effects.