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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 appear everywhere. They could be on a curtain or on the floor. In the case of a little Snapple bottle here, it's a little tiny checkerboard along the cap here. Let's go see what one looks like. We've got one here, and you can see that it has these three little rows of little checkerboards, and it's a blue cap. So we have to go in there and create that effect for our little Snapple cap here. What I am going to do is I am going to zoom in real close, and the first thing we're going to do is colorize the little cap so that it looks like the same blue.
So I'm going to go in there and select this cap. So I am going to go in there and just very carefully, with my Pen tool, surround the area that's going to be the cap just like so, and then come out here and just grab a big area just to refine it there. So now I'm going to go in here and just get this just right, so there. Now we're just picking up just that area of the cap. Now this area back here is transparent, because this is in a layer. You can see that area is transparent. So now I'm in that layer, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to turn that path into a selection, and then I'm going to go over here to my Adjustments and use Hue/Saturation, where I'm going to set this to Colorize.
So it's going to change the colors of the existing image and pick a nice blue that I want there. I'm going to pump up the Saturation a bit until I have just the blue that I want right there. And you notice since I'm just using Colorize. I'm maintaining the dark tones and the highlights the way it looked originally. I'm not covering any of that stuff, so I didn't go in there and paint over it. I'm simply colorizing what was there before, going from that brown to the desired blue. So now that I've got the color, click OK and I could deselect it.
So now I need that little checkerboard effect. I want that little checkerboard to be on top of my bottle here. So now there are three little rows of white checkerboard. So now I need to create that pattern of that checkerboard. Perfect symmetry is necessary, so I'm going to turn on my grid, Show the Grid. Now I'm going to go in here really close and in a separate layer, I'll create a new layer, I'm going to go in there and turn off my other two. I don't want to see them. I'm going to go in here and create my little checkerboard.
I am going to select a little square, one of those subdivisions right there, and I'm going to fill it with white. So I'll go in there and say Fill with the Background Color, because that's what's white right now. Click OK. There it is. Now I'm going to duplicate that straight down so that it just touches the corner right there. So now I can select both of these and the two blank spaces next to them, and I have the basis for my checkerboard.
Now you're saying, this is only two rows and the cap has three, but that's okay. It's a pattern, so we can have thousands of rows that we can easily go in there and cut later. So now that I have that, I'm going to say Define Pattern. Now it's important that these areas here be transparent because all we want is the white boxes. So now that we have that, we can throw that away. Let's go see our other two layers and we'll take care of the grid. Grid be gone.
All right, so now our pattern is a little bigger than this is, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to fill a larger area so I can really get in there and scrunch it down later. So I'm going to make my background inverted so I can really see those little white boxes, making it a lot easier to go in there and modify them. So I'm going to select a nice large area here in that layer. I'm going to call this layer the pattern, so we can easily distinction it from the others. And I'm going to go ahead and fill it with that pattern we created.
Pattern and it should be that last one right there and click OK. There is my little white boxes. So now all I want is three rows, so I'm going to eliminate this top row here and eliminate this bottom row here. So there are my three rows, which I can now shrink those until they match the size of my cap. So I'm going to in there, scale them down so they're just the same height as the cap itself, right about there. Perfect! Click OK and we zoom in so we can see what we're going to do next.
We now have to wrap this little pattern right around our cap right here. So what I'm going to do is take that pattern and warp it. Now when you warp it, you notice that there are some pre-done sets right here, and there is one called Arc, which is going to arc it and make it real easy for me. I can just grab this handle and just move it until I have it to where I want it. Let's put in position, and we'll just play with this until we have it just where we want it, right about there like that. And I click OK, and I'm going to take it one step further, because I want this to kind of bend down just a little bit more right there.
So what I'm going to do is I'm going to select this area here, and I'll go a little further. Let's get a little tighter. Let's make it a real tight along this edge, right there like that. And I'm going to say Warp this. I am just going to grab this side here, just this little batch right here, and move those guys in just a little. By moving them in, I'm actually making it a little thinner on this edge, so it starts to have that sense of foreshortening like it's going around that bottle, just like that.
I'll do the same on this side now. I am just going to foreshorten this just a little bit, so it'll start to thin out as I go towards that edge. I'm going to bring this in, bring this down just a little, just slightly. I'm not doing massive turns here, just a little bit at a time, and then I click OK. Now that I have the shape that I want, I could easily go in there and just clip it with the cap, and there we see that we have our little pattern on top of the bottle. We've reversed this back to white, and we could see our little cap.
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