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Digital Matte Painting: Changing a Scene From Summer to Winter

Painting icicles with a custom brush


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Digital Matte Painting: Changing a Scene From Summer to Winter

with David Mattingly

Video: Painting icicles with a custom brush

One of the prettiest and most distinctive parts of a winter landscape are the icicles, and I'd like to add some of those to break up this roof line. I'm going to make another custom brush just to create icicles. I'm going to open up the Brush panel, I'm going to use Shape Dynamics to paint the icicle, and I'm going to set the Size Jitter to Pen Pressure. That way as I press harder, I'll get a thicker mark, and as I pull up on the pen, I'll get a thinner mark. And I'm going to add some scatter to make the icicle irregular.

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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

Painting icicles with a custom brush

One of the prettiest and most distinctive parts of a winter landscape are the icicles, and I'd like to add some of those to break up this roof line. I'm going to make another custom brush just to create icicles. I'm going to open up the Brush panel, I'm going to use Shape Dynamics to paint the icicle, and I'm going to set the Size Jitter to Pen Pressure. That way as I press harder, I'll get a thicker mark, and as I pull up on the pen, I'll get a thinner mark. And I'm going to add some scatter to make the icicle irregular.

That'll give me a reasonable approximation of an icicle. With white loaded into the color picker, I'm going to press hard at the beginning of my stroke and let up at the end and I get a tapering irregular line that's a nice approximation of an icicle. As you can see, the time it took to create that custom brush really paid off, because I can add the icicles really quickly. I'm holding down on the Shift key to keep the icicles vertical. The main thing I've got to avoid is the temptation to go overboard on the icicles.

The icicles are also helping to break up the edge of the shadows. I've got too much of a sharp edge on my first pass at painting this roofline. So I keep hopping around from area to area until I get a nice coverage of the icicles all over the structure. And I need to add some icicles on these back structures. What's nice is these are on a separate layer, so if I feel like I've gone too far, I can just go in and erase a little bit.

Let's zoom out and take a good look at it. That looks pretty wintry now. In our next video, we will continue in our march towards a completely convincing wintry scene by adding snow to all of the shrubs and greenery around the chalet.

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