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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.
CS5 introduced some new advancement to their 3D functionality in Photoshop Extended. One of them is a very simple way of turning something into a postcard. Let me show you what that does. I have one of my previous images right here on the screen and what I'm going to do is I'm going to turn it into a layer by double-clicking on it in the Layers panel. Turns it into a layer. There it is. Now it's a layer, I go in here and say under 3D > New 3D Postcard From Layer. Click OK, and there it is.
Now it doesn't look like anything happened, but what happened is it turned it into a three-dimensional shape that I can easily maneuver now in three-dimensional space. So you can see that I can twirl it around and do all kinds of stuff to it and view it from different angles and it becomes this three-dimensional object. Now you might say, "Well, that's kind of cool, but how useful can it be?" Well, I'll tell you what. Let's go in here and do something. You can see how useful it can be. When you try to emulate the third dimension, a lot of things have to be taken to consideration and perspective is one of them.
Let's just say we're going to do a 50s style diner that has this black and white tile floor, right? Let's create one of those floors right now. I'm going to turn on my grid to ensure that we'll get nice even tones here. I'm going to select the square right there. And I'm going to go ahead and fill it with black and I will duplicate that one straight down here. Then I'm going to select both of them with the two white ones on either side there and I am going to say Define Pattern. There it is. So now I could deselect that. Actually let's going to throw everything away. There we go.
Now we don't need the grid anymore, so let's turn off the grid. In a layer on top of this, I'm going to fill that with that pattern we just created and there is our checkerboard pattern. Click OK and there it is. Now, if I want to make a floor for our scene, how about Distort? Distort is probably going to give us the best solution. So I'll go in there and take Distort and drag it down here and I'll drag it down there. Not quite. Why? Because down here it is squares, but look, these are no longer squares. That ones that come to us are actually rectangles. Let's escape that.
By taking that layer and turning it into a 3D layer, a 3D postcard, now when I rotate this into the third dimension, you'll notice that I'm keeping the shapes, no matter what angle I view this at, I am maintaining those nice shapes, making it still look like squares no matter what angle I look at this. They are still squares. That one doesn't quite work, but there you can see that they are still squares. Now how useful was that in creating Times Square? Well, I'll show you one very good use for it and that is right here.
I'll show you two places where I used that very same function to solve things. Right here, get in close, and we see that we have these vertical blinds on this top portion of the MTV store, all of these little blinds through here, and then over here we have this little pattern up here, which is being reflected at two different angles in the windows down below. Well, here is a case where it was easy to make a simple pattern and then have it go into the third dimension to fill the spaces that I wanted. So we'll go back into that untitled file and here is where I want to create my little vertical blinds.
So I've got to create a long line like so. Here is my line, and I'll fill it with black, okay, that's good. So now I'm going to select this, just like this. Give a little space between it like that. Now in creating a pattern, this space plus this space next to it means how far this line is going to be from its neighbors on the next size, so I'm going to turn that into a pattern. Define Pattern. So, now I can take and throw it away. Background Color, there it goes. It is gone. So let's pull back just a little bit. There it is. So now I am going to create a layer, and this layer I'm going to fill it with that pattern. The pattern and the line I just created.
There is the lines. Now going back in space, these lines are going to get smaller or thinner and get closer together. Now to create that line by line is very labor intensive, but if I turn this into a 3D layer, I can go in there and do this easily. So I'll say New 3D Postcard From Layer. There it is. So now I can easily rotate this back in space and you can see that the lines are getting thinner as they get further away, and they are getting closer together and so on, just as they would in the real scene, and it creates the illusion of the lines moving back in space and this trick was done easily.
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