Another one of those “someone on /r/illustrator asked an interesting technique question” pieces. The question posed was “how can I get this fading-into-the-fog” effect, with this as the reference image.No idea who it’s by, or what the actual medium is – I could guess anything from “3d rendering” to “an actual fucking dead horse chopped up and suspended between pieces of foggy plexiglas” given that the image was on the Saatchi Gallery’s asset server;  image search just turns up the cover of the eponymously-titled first album by a band called “Nothing But Thieves”. [edit: it’s by one Miriam Sweeney]

Anyway. My initial technique suggestion was “make some alternating layers of fog and parts; the fog layers just hold a background-colored rectangle at like 10%, the part layers all have a blur effect applied to the whole layer, with succeeding layers more and more blurred”. They came back saying “this looks better than my initial attempt but still has some banding”, so I actually fired up Illustrator and fooled around. I refined it to “move some parts to the next-deeper parts layer, and draw some shapes at 20-50% on their original parts layer to add a bit more definition to the shape”. And of course I drew a dragon because I am a goddamn nerd who likes drawing dragons. :)

And here’s the source if you’re curious. fog

(worth noting: there’s an opacity mask on the frontmost layer of dragon parts, to blur the transition a little bit – I liked the way that looked.)

40min, could use some more love on the parts poking out of the fog bank if I was going to call this a truly finished piece.

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