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Digital Matte Painting: Changing a Scene From Summer to Winter
Illustration by John Hersey

Adding snow to the rooftops


From:

Digital Matte Painting: Changing a Scene From Summer to Winter

with David Mattingly

Video: Adding snow to the rooftops

With the foothills adjusted, now it's time to winterize the chalet. Let's push in on it, and you can see the chalet has a tiled roof we want to cover with snow. I'm going to create a new layer and call it Rooftop. Choosing my Lasso tool by pressing M on the keyboard, I'm going to marquee around where snow would be on the roof. The snow should have some dimension so it should go above the top of the roof. Now I'm going to fill the selection with white, then I'm going to choose the Brush tool, or press the B key, and deselect that area, make the brush smaller, and I'm just going to paint where the snow would fall on this rooftop.

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Digital Matte Painting: Changing a Scene From Summer to Winter
1h 48m Intermediate Jul 03, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, well-known author, teacher, and illustrator David Mattingly demonstrates his production-proven matte painting techniques and shows how to turn a summer daytime scene into a wintry nightscape using Photoshop and After Effects. David shows how to take a plate, or a still shot from a film, and alter key elements to change the season and time of day. Using advance digital matte painting methods, David removes all of the greenery from the mountains, fields, and trees, and covers them with snow. Then he replaces the sky, and adds realistic touches such as chimney smoke, icicles, and night-lit windows. In the final chapters, you'll discover how to create an animated scene that cross-dissolves between the two versions.

Topics include:
  • Making precise selections using the Color Range command
  • Controlling reference material through layer masks
  • Creating custom brushes
  • Painting snow, icicles, and trees
  • Painting through a high-contrast matte
  • Replacing the sky in an image
  • Animating smoke and falling snow
  • Reformatting and rendering a scene in After Effects
Subjects:
3D + Animation Illustration Video Digital Painting Compositing Visual Effects
Software:
After Effects Photoshop
Author:
David Mattingly

Adding snow to the rooftops

With the foothills adjusted, now it's time to winterize the chalet. Let's push in on it, and you can see the chalet has a tiled roof we want to cover with snow. I'm going to create a new layer and call it Rooftop. Choosing my Lasso tool by pressing M on the keyboard, I'm going to marquee around where snow would be on the roof. The snow should have some dimension so it should go above the top of the roof. Now I'm going to fill the selection with white, then I'm going to choose the Brush tool, or press the B key, and deselect that area, make the brush smaller, and I'm just going to paint where the snow would fall on this rooftop.

I want to add some dimensionality to the snow by indicating an edge of shadow, so I'm going to grab a shadow color from down here in the snow and this will show where the edge of the snow would be on the roof. And same here: I want to indicate that underside shadow for the snow. My palette is set up for this project, so I'm generally just selecting colors right off the plate. I also want to indicate the snow on this back building going down the side.

Snow would fall on all flat horizontal surfaces, so snow would have fallen on the top of this railing. This will also get rid of these flowers. I'm sure they'd be gone by this time in the winter. Same thing with this railing on the front. I want to restore the white highlight on the peaked roof of the chalet. I hope you will forgive the fact that there are occasional silences in these videos. I want to keep this project in real time and show you the entire painting process, so sometimes the painting will have to speak for me.

I'm making sure I have a white highlight on top of the shadowed edge of the snow throughout the structure. I need to resize my brush to match the scale of these structures. I can do that on the fly in Photoshop 4, 5, and 6 by Option+Ctrl+Right-Mouse- Click and drag on the Mac or Alt+Right-Mouse-Click and drag on the PC.

It looks like we've got a small structure right back here that could use some snow on the roof. I'm going to grab that shadowed color from the top of the roof and then go through and add that additional dimensionality to the roofs throughout. There's a little railing on this background house that I want to add some snow to. This looks like it's mostly in shadow, so I'm going to knock it down. Next up, we want to remove the hard shadows on the structure, and we'll do that in the next lesson.

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