“Upon a turbulent sea we sailed in mortal danger of death, until the sea calmed and became like glass and reflected the beautiful heavens.” – Lea Wiggins
I have to admit to being a little reticent about putting this tutorial out there, given it’s a style I developed completely from scratch and I thought what if people just put theirs out there afterwards, it will steal my thunder. Then I thought, no this is all about sharing, and if you create great scenes of the sea with the sky then that will make me very happy indeed and to hell with the thunder. 🙂
There’s a Flame Pack with this tutorial, download it, and load it into your JWildfire. It contains some sample skies, and seas to use. If you want to explore the skies further, you could try my Heavens Script pack which will randomly create more. You can of course (and hopefully) tweak the sample skies settings and create your own. If you do, please share the link back here so others can try their hand at it too.
Ok, so this is going to be in two parts, the first part is to render a sky, we do this so that when we render the sea, we can add our rendered sky in as a background. This is trial and error to some degree, as you’ll be working on the parts separately, but it isn’t too tricky to adjust afterwards. So, let’s begin.
Rendering the sky
Load the flame pack into JWildfire
Once you’ve loaded the flame pack you’ll see there’s some sample skies to play with, click on one that you like the look of to get it into the JWildfire editor.
Next, we’ll be playing with the Pitch and Perspective (click the Camera Tab to see these). I won’t go into the technical details of what these are, but you need to alter them so that the sky tapers toward the horizon. In other words it looks stretched at the top, narrowing to the horizon. This is to give the illusion of depth and distance. You can leave these alone and see how it goes, it’s all just a matter of personal preference.
Now, we’re going to adjust the horizon of the sky, I like to work with 2/3 sky and 1/3 sea, so I adjust the Centre Y setting until my sky is about 2/3 of the way down the screen. I like to leave some overlap too because the sea is rendered as partially see through, so you’ll be able to see the remaining sky colours through it, which gives a better sense of realism. Again, where you place this is up to you though.
This is only approximate, but somewhere around here (as indicated by the line of the arrow) usually works well. When you’re happy with the positioning, render your sky ready for part two.