Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Covering greenery with snow


From:

Digital Matte Painting: Changing a Scene From Summer to Winter

with David Mattingly

Video: Covering greenery with snow

There's still a lot of green showing at the front of the house. Part of this was taken care by the snow layer, but it still looks like there's not enough snow on these foreground shrubs. I want to see the shrubs more clearly, so I'm going to turn off my Snow layer, and I'm going to loosely marquee around all of this greenery in the foreground. I want to be loose about this. I know I'm going to have to paint a lot of this stuff, so I don't need to get a terribly detailed selection.
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course 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 Video
Software:
After Effects Photoshop
Author:
David Mattingly

Covering greenery with snow

There's still a lot of green showing at the front of the house. Part of this was taken care by the snow layer, but it still looks like there's not enough snow on these foreground shrubs. I want to see the shrubs more clearly, so I'm going to turn off my Snow layer, and I'm going to loosely marquee around all of this greenery in the foreground. I want to be loose about this. I know I'm going to have to paint a lot of this stuff, so I don't need to get a terribly detailed selection.

Now I'll press Command+Shift+C or Ctrl+Shift+C to Copy Merge and copy that selected area out. This should be placed on a painting layer, so Command+Shift+V or Ctrl+Shift+V to paste it in place exactly where it was copied out of. Then press Command+U or Ctrl+U to open up the Hue/Saturation dialog and desaturate the area. Then I'm going to add a curve to it and pull the white point way in and raise the midpoint, and now it looks a lot more wintry, just from the get-go.

Let's turn the snow back on. And I think I can even curve that more. I want to merge that into the rooftop layer, so that I don't get too many layers going at once. Press Command+E or Ctrl+E and then hit B to get the brush and I'm going to select that Foliage brush that I used to paint the mountain side. That seems to work really well for painting organic things like this. And with white loaded in, I'm going to go through and paint in some of these tree branches.

I'm paying attention to how the snow would stick to the tree. And I'm going in and adding snow to the top of the shrubs. I am back to scribbling, but I am paying attention to the form of the shrubs and trees. I'm looking at the top of this tree and it looks like it's got a big blob of snow on it. I'm going to take the Eraser tool, or hit E on the keyboard, and erase into the layer to give me a more realistic tree profile.

Press B to get back to the Brush tool and continue to add snow to the branches. This is in real time, so forgive the occasional silences. I'm going to add some additional spacing to this to give myself more texture as I paint. I want the brush to be a little bit larger, so I'm going to hit the right bracket key to raise the size in one-pixel increments. Now I can go into this lower area and paint a heavily textured shrub.

The great thing about Photoshop's custom brush is is it allows you to produce a brush with a lot more character and roughness to it than the default soft round brush. When I was a young artist still working entirely in analog media, I only wanted to work with pristine brushes. My favorite at the time was a brand- new Winsor & Newton #3 red sable brush. When I started working at Walt Disney Studios, I had a chance to observe the working habits of Peter Ellenshaw, the great matte artist, and the father of my mentor in matte painting, Harrison Ellenshaw.

I was surprise to find that Peter didn't favor pristine brushes. In fact, some of his favorite brushes were, to my mind, rather ratty. He often used brushes with uneven edges and bristles that stuck out to the side and were well past their premium shelf life. When I asked him about it, he told me he preferred them because they offered more character to the brushstroke, more texture. And that's what a properly constructed custom brush can give you a brush with lots of character that can produce happy accidents as you work.

I want to paint more of a join at the base of these shrubs so I don't get this hard broken-up edge. I'm grabbing some of the snow shadow color to add to the base. That smoothes out the join between the plants and the ground. I've to got to do the same on all of these left-side shrubs, so I'm going to grab some of that bright snow color. And it's easiest to just hand paint these. It will go very quickly. Again, you've got to stay loose on this stuff.

If you think too much about it, you'll get a much less natural organic look than if you just let your hand flow. I have a little tree to deal with down here. With the foreground plants completely covered with snow, it's time to work on the background trees, and we'll do that in the next lesson.

There are currently no FAQs about Digital Matte Painting: Changing a Scene From Summer to Winter.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Digital Matte Painting: Changing a Scene From Summer to Winter.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK

Upgrade to View Courses Offline

login

With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Start your FREE 10-day trial

Begin learning software, business, and creative skills—anytime,
anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
lynda.com provides
Unlimited access to over 4,000 courses—more than 100,000 video tutorials
Expert-led instruction
On-the-go learning. Watch from your computer, tablet, or mobile device. Switch back and forth as you choose.
Start Your FREE Trial Now
 

A trusted source for knowledge.

 

We provide training to more than 4 million people, and our members tell us that lynda.com helps them stay ahead of software updates, pick up brand-new skills, switch careers, land promotions, and explore new hobbies. What can we help you do?

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.