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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.
Here we are going to look at another pattern that's somewhat complex. But keep in mind, you may never have to do what I am doing here in this movie, but look at all the different steps. A little modification here and there, a different color, different mode, it's going to give you a completely different effect. So take into account what is being done, not necessarily the subject. I am going to come in real close on this cab right here, and we see that it's got this little light right here on the side. I am going to get really close on that light.
And we see that it's got this nice little intricate little pattern happening here and some lights and glares and stuff around it. That's what we are going to create here. It's this kind of a pattern right now. Now that's complex, but it really isn't: as you'll see, just a simple block with some layer styles. So let's go in here and create that effect. Let's get in a little closer. I am going to create a little block right here, a little shape like that. That's going to be the basic shape of those little rectangles that you saw there. I am going to do it in a layer, because we are going to use some layer styles to create the basic effects.
So I've got it in a layer. Now, I got a color. I am going to pick a warmer orange color like that, right there. I am going to fill that color into the selection. Let's go in there and say Fill with the Foreground Color, fill it. Okay, so now that's enough right there. That's the basis for what we need, because everything else is going to be layer styles applied to that particular shape. So I am going to go into my Layer Styles for that little layer there and I am going to, first of all, give it a Bevel and Emboss. And I am going to set it to a hard edge.
So I am going to say Chisel Hard, which is going to give me that nice little hard edge. I am going to increase the Size so it starts to look like right there, a little crystal shape. I am going to push the Depth so I get really strong lights and darks. And I am going to move that light over just a little bit over to the side, so I get a nice little tonality like that happening there. Now, I am going to play around my colors as well. I am going to change this color right here. I don't want that white, so I am going to go to a bright yellow. See? So that kind of warmed up that area up there. Say it was this black. Not good. So I am going to change that to say maybe a deeper brown.
So now I start to get my effect that I want. Click OK, and that's looking a little better. It starts to look like that a little crystal shape. Now I want to add some gleams and stuff in they, so I'm going to give it a little Satin. Now Satin gave me this little tone right here, so let's set the Angle to 0, so it's going to be following the basic lines of our rectangle. So I am going to go in there, and let's change the color as well. Let's try something really light like a white. Now, it's set to Multiply so we don't see it. White is not going to multiply those colors, so we are going to set to Screen.
Now we see the white. It doesn't make any big difference there; it didn't really add anything to it. So what we are going to do is change the contour to something a little more complex like this. Push up that Opacity a bit. Now we can start to see what's starting to happen. And we'll play around with the Size and the Distance on this. So we'll start getting these little sheens in there. Think there we are starting to get these little tones happening in there. We might want to change the Angle as well. Let's change it to 90 degrees. There. Now we got these cool little highlights like that. That works. All right, so now, we might want to add another little tone in here.
Let's give it a little Inner Glow, but the Inner Glow is going to not really be a glow, but it's going to be like a darkening along the edge. So I am going to change that color to a deeper kind of a brown color, about like this, maybe real deep, click OK and change the mode to Multiply. So I am going to get that little dark edge right along the sides there and increase that just a little. See what's starting to happen there? It's giving me that nice little tonality. And now, for the final touch, is I do want a nice little edge around this, just to separate one from the other.
So I am going to give it a stroke. Now the stroke right now is set to the outside, so all of it's outside of our selected area, and remember that our pattern is going to be inside of the selected area, and that's pretty thick. It's set to 3. I want about a 1.5 pixel, so what I am going to do is I am going to center that box in there, and I don't want it to be black. So let's change it from a black to say kind of a dark gray like that. That's it. There's the basis for our patterns. So I am going to click OK, and I am going to say Define Pattern.
Okay, so now I can deselect it. In fact, I can throw it away. I don't even want it anymore. I am going to create a new layer here, and I am going to fill that layer with that pattern we just created. Use the pattern, and there is that one we just created right there. Click OK, and we get that nice little pattern happening all through there. Now there is some lights going on behind this thing. So what I am going to do is I am going to create another layer on top of this, and I am going to switch to a white for my foreground color.
I am going to get my Gradient tool. I am going to set it to Radial Gradient. White is in the center so it's going to make the circle white going to a black, but I don't want the black. So what I am going to do is I am going to switch the mode that I am using for Foreground Color to Transparent. So I click on that. So now the white is going to go from white to nothing in a nice soft gradient. So right in here in the center, I am going to click and drag out like that. I am going to get this big white glare like that. It's a little strong, and it's kind of blocking everything. So what I am going to do is I am going to set the mode for that to Overlay.
Overlay is going to give me this nice kind of a light tone in their now. It's not enough so I am simply going to duplicate that layer, so I have two of them. And there we can see that now we start to get that sense of this light inside of our grill right behind there that's causing all this nice bright tone, and you have seen the effect on our little plastic grill on top. Now remember, you might not be creating a grill like this, or maybe you want a grill like this, but with a slightly different pattern, and so on. It's the steps that are important here, all the different steps, how I was able to get the beveled edges to make it look kind of crystalline, how I was able to get the glow in the middle, and so on.
A few additions here and there will make your piece a wonderful thing to look at, and create your own masterpiece.
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