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


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Digital Matte Painting: Changing a Scene From Summer to Winter

with David Mattingly

Video: Creating a custom brush

Now the mountains are looking snowcapped, but we still have these green trees in the background. We are going to get rid of them with some painting. So let's select the Mountain layer and create a new layer above it. And will name this new layer, creatively enough, Painting. It can be useful to confine your painting to a separate layer so that you can go back later and color correct the base layer. I'm build custom brush to paint the background trees. I create a lot of custom brushes while I'm working, and I would adjust that it's helpful to give your brush a distinctive name, so that you'll remember what it does when you come back to it later.

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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

Creating a custom brush

Now the mountains are looking snowcapped, but we still have these green trees in the background. We are going to get rid of them with some painting. So let's select the Mountain layer and create a new layer above it. And will name this new layer, creatively enough, Painting. It can be useful to confine your painting to a separate layer so that you can go back later and color correct the base layer. I'm build custom brush to paint the background trees. I create a lot of custom brushes while I'm working, and I would adjust that it's helpful to give your brush a distinctive name, so that you'll remember what it does when you come back to it later.

As a starting point for this custom brush, you can use either the ChalkBrush from the set of custom brushes included with the course materials or use the brush titled Chalk from the default brush set that ships with every copy of Photoshop. Select either of those brushes and then start a new file for some experimentation. 500 pixels x 500 pixels is good. Let's look with this ChalkBrush looks like before we add any variation to it. Make the brush large and then dab it once. You can see it's a very irregular shape, very organic, with no regular edges.

This should work really well for painting the trees. Now we're going to add some dynamics to it to make it a more interesting mark. If we just go ahead and paint with it without any dynamics, it's sort of like painting with a piece of chalk, as the name implies. Now open up the Brush panel and under Brush Tip Shape, I am going to add some spacing so there's a little bit of distance between each dab of the brush. If I don't do anything else, this creates a brush that looks kind of like confetti and not a very interesting mark.

So now let's add some additional dynamics to make it more irregular. Let's click into Transfer and open that up. The opacity is controlled by the Pen Pressure, and I want to set the minimum on the brush to 30% so I can't make a mark that's lighter than 30% opacity. I also want to add some scattering. This will make each dab go off in a slightly different direction and it's very good for randomizing a stroke. This is really good for making the brush look less patterned.

I would also like the brush to orient slightly differently on each stroke. Right now, you're always seeing the same orientation on the mark. To do that, I'm going to click into Shape Dynamics and I'm going to adjust the Size Jitter and also the Angle Jitter. And then I'll add some Roundness Jitter so that it's even more irregular. Let's test it out in the file. So now you can see the brush is looking very organic and will work really well for these trees on a hillside.

So with our custom brush created, let's go ahead and close up the Brush panel and return to our Chalet file to paint the trees.

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