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Take a virtual journey to the bustling streets of New York in Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square. Digital painter Bert Monroy reveals how he created the minute details that build the impressive 108,000 x 21,600 pixels, 25-feet wide photorealistic portrait of this iconic intersection.
In this installment, The Tools, Bert demonstrates how he uses the brushes, filters, and textures in Photoshop to create everything from the trees in Central Park to the billboards on Broadway, and shares his techniques for keeping his project organized with layers and groups. He also touches on the importance of channels and channel calculations, and how the evolution of the tools in Photoshop from CS3 to CS5 shaped his work.
Patterns are fairly easy to create, but sometimes those patterns need to be manipulated to make them look real. Julieanne Kost here is wearing these pants that have this very intricate little pattern. It's just made up of these little squares, and these tiny little squares inside and so on. But you see that it's all folding and following the folds of the fabric and so on. So that's what we're going to create now. If I go over here to the file where I've got a path that I created. It's going to be the leg. So on the right onto this leg we're going to create that pattern and make it look right.
So, I'm going to go in here and I'm going to select the colors that I want for this. So we will go back to that other file, and we'll pick the colors that we need. Now see that we have these two different types of purplish color here. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to select the dark one for the foreground and holding down my Option, Alt keys, and clicking on the light tone so I have it for the background. So there is the two tones that I want. I could possibly make them a little bit darker just to give them a little more contrast and make this one a little lighter just to make it look a little more defined.
Okay, so there. Now that we have the tones that we want, let's go back and create the pattern itself. Now, the whole point to a pattern is that you need perfect symmetry, so that the step-and-repeat process will be seamless. So I'm going to view my grid, so I can make a nice solid pattern. I also need the pattern to be fairly small, so I'm going to increase the subdivisions for this grid right here and bring it to a fairly high number. So I have really tiny little boxes that I can work with.
That's good enough. So I click OK, and now I'm going to go in here and start to create my pattern. I have still got my path lit, so I can kind of see where I'm going, and that looks good. So now I'm going to go in here and just pick an area like this one right here. That little shape right there is going to be my pattern. I can now turn off my path. I don't need it anymore. Now what I'm going to do with this is I'm going to go ahead and fill that with that dark tone. So we go in there and say fill with the foreground color. Do it.
Then I'm going to select the little squares inside, those two, and I'm going to say fill with the background color. Now I'm going to select that shape there and I'm going to duplicate it straight down so that it puts up right against it right there in that corner. Now I'm going to select this side. I'm going to go in there and say fill with the background color. Select the two squares inside and say fill with the foreground color. And like I did before, I want to grab that whole bunch and duplicate it down here.
I have now set up my pattern. I can select all four little rectangles there and say Define Pattern. Now I can throw it away. I don't need it anymore, and we still got our background color, so we'll do it this way. Just take this over and copy it over. There we go. So now let's pull back and we have our pattern, so we no longer need to see the grid, so let's turn off the grid.
Now I have the leg there, and in the layer, go in there and create this layer and we'll call it leg. We're going to create another layer here. In the leg layer, I'm going to just fill that path with a color. So we're just going to say fill it and I'm going to create another layer, which I just did, and in that layer I am going to put the pattern. I'm going to go ahead and fill that layer with that pattern. I select Pattern and I choose that tone. Click OK. There it is.
So there is my basic pattern. So now I'm going to go in here and turn off that path--I saw it was still on there. I'm going to go in here and I'm going to trap this pattern inside of the leg. So I don't need all of this. So I'm going to kind of get rid of some of it. I am going to go in here and select a small portion of this. Let's pull back a little bit, so we can see what we're working on here. I am going to select a portion right there like this and just dump it, and select this little side here and dump it, just so that we don't need all that excess stuff. And there I have the pattern.
I'm going to clip it inside the leg. Holding down my Option, Alt key, I'm going to click between the two, and now we've trapped the pattern inside of the leg area. This pattern now has to follow the contours of the leg. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to warp it. You notice that I'm still in the layer with the pattern. So I'm going to go in there and I am going to say warp. I'm going to warp it over so it starts to match the angle of the leg itself. Now, I'm not bringing it all the way in, because what's going to happen is I'm going to start to lessen the thickness in certain areas so it is going to have this feeling like it is getting thinner as it goes around her leg.
As you can see, it is starting to happen right there. Right here the little lines are getting thinner. Let's bring this over, bring this around this way so you can see how the pattern is starting to take on the shape of the leg. I can grab these handles. Let's brings this one over. Let's bring this one up, and you can see how we are starting to bend this, and it's starting to take on the form of the leg itself. Down here we will bring this one in, bring this in like this, bring this one out, and there we are starting to get that shape of her leg right in there.
All right, so now the pattern is following the contours of the leg. So we'll say OK. So now, we have a couple of little bends here and there where it is going to pinch this fabric. So here is where the puppet warp is going to come in. So I'm going to go here and say puppet warp. Now I want to go in there and just manipulate certain parts. I'm going to expand this. I want this to be a little more dense, so I want to be able to have more points in there, so I increase the number of polygons that make up the mesh. Now I don't need to see the mesh.
So I'm going to turn it off. So now I'm going to go here and start the anchor certain parts that I don't want to move. So I'm going to go like right down through middle right here and just add up some points. These are the points that are just going to be used for the point of anchoring. I'm going to start adding some points on this edge that kind of parallel to the others right there, and a couple on this side. So I'm getting a whole series of points that I'm going to be able to manipulate. Now I can go in here and start to add points that will be used to bend things, like this one.
I'm just going to drag this one in just a little bit, so I get that little bend right there. And maybe I'll add one right here, so I can twist this in just a little bit. So I'm getting this little pinch in the fabric, a little pinch right here as well, and maybe one right there which I can pinch up. So I'm getting these little bends in the fabric at certain points. I'm going to add another one right here where I can kind of bend this one in and one here, where I can bend this one down. So I'm getting a couple of little bends so that I could just go in there and just kind of twist it around so I could see what's happening.
I'm going to grab one right here, and I want to anchor it on this side. I don't want to bend that side. So I just want to bend this in just a little, so that I get a little pinch in the fabric right there. We'll add another one right there and just kind of bend this over that way. That's good enough. I'm going to click OK, and there we have all these little twists in the fabric. So on top of this, I'm going to add another layer. This layer is going to have the dark tones that are going to be in there for these little recesses. I'm going to go ahead and clip that with this as well, and I'm going to use a black, which I'm going to go in with the soft brush and just kind of start to draw in where I know that these dark tone should be, right in there like that, and another one right in here, and in there.
Actually, that one should be more or like up above here like that, and let's do a couple in here. I want to just darken this whole side of the leg now, because it is the back side. This is starting to add the dimension to the leg itself. So I'm adding all these tones right along the sides here like that, and here I am going to add some more folds. So I'm going to get a smaller brush and I'm going to just kind of add a couple little folds in there, and a couple of highlights in certain spots where I feel they should be. There is the dark tones, and dark tone there.
We will just darken this whole area right up here. All right! So, there. Those are those dark tones which we are going to set to Multiply. It just darkened that area a little bit. I'm going to add another one, which I'm also going to clip. Now this one is going to have white, and white is going to be the little highlights here. So we are going to add little highlight right into this area right in there, and you notice that I'm using a lowered-opacity brush, so I'm not getting really strong tones. Now I'm going to go in there and with a much smaller brush just add a couple of little highlights in certain spots where I want them to be looking like there is a little fold in the fabric there, and right above the knee here, and then just add a little highlight right through the center part there, right there.
And there you can see how we've pretty much taken that pattern and distorted it and shaded it, so it starts to look like that pattern is in fact part of a pant leg.
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