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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.
Dirt and grime, a product of all big cities throughout the entire world. Times Square is no exception. No matter how many times a day you might clean it, there is still that dirt and grime from just normal wear and tear in the elements, and so on. Looking throughout this scene, we'll see a lot of places where we see some dirt and grime, like right here in this lamppost. Go ingthere a real close so can you see there is a little dirt built up coming down from the edges of the sign there. The sidewalk, like right here, we'll get in real close right into this sidewalk area. There you see some dirt and grime, some litter, little rough spots up here.
I mean you can go way up on top here, like we'll look just like right up in here, and we'll get real close into this area here, and you see that there are some dirt and grime, little drips coming down from that pole, dirt everywhere. Clean as much as you want, but it will always get dirty again. Creating dirt and grime is really easy in Photoshop. I know there are people out there who will say dirt and grime is really easy to create normally, but when you're trying to paint this stuff, it gets a little more complicated. So what I am going to do is I'm going to use an existing brush. I am not going to create a brush. I am going to use one of your brushes that come with Photoshop, which is right here, these spatter brushes.
All these brushes right here is perfect for dirt and grime, as well as rust, another damage of wear and tear. I am going to choose the largest one right now, so you can see how it's going to work. I am going to set this up to black and there you can see that it just creates a streak just like that. Let me undo that and go over to my Brushes panel where I am going to modify this brush so that it's going to give me the effect of the dirt and grime that I want. First thing I am going to do is I am going to increase the Spacing. I am going to push that up so that we can see the individual tips and you can see that there are all the individual tips. There they are.
Just close them up a little bit. And it does have a bit of a pattern in it. It almost looks like a little caterpillar, and that's what it's creating. See it's kind of grimy, but it's very patterned like. It's too perfect! That's because all the tips are pointing in the exact same direction. So the next thing we have to do is change that by going down into our Shape Dynamics here where it's got some presets. Let's turn these off for now and the Size Jitter. I am going to generate a Size Jitter going all the way to 100% and set up a minimum, so they don't get too small.
So now you can see that each tip is a different size and the Angle Jitter is also set to 100%. Right now, I brought it back to 0 where they all face the same direction, but by moving the Angle Jitter, they are all going into different angles so that each tip is different in size and angle from its neighbors on either side, which starts to give us the randomness that you see here, which is much better for creating the dirt effect that we want to have. Now right there by itself is enough. You could go in there and scatter, but that starts getting a little too uncontrollable, so we won't use scattering in this case.
Now in a layer I'll start to create my dirt. Now I usually work with a brush with a low opacity. I am going to bring it down to about 30%, so I can slowly start to build up the dirt and make a little darker if I want as I'm working. Okay, just like that and I start to add it in layers as I go. Sometimes I'll get a really big brush and bring the Opacity way down so I can just kind of throw a couple of little edges along the sides like that which start to add a little extra dirt along the edges. Now I can go in there and let's say it's not just soot. Maybe its a little grime, some other sources.
So I am going to introduce a second color. I am going to get a light gray about like that, right there. So now I have this black with the gray. So going to my brush engine, I am going to go in here and say give me the Color Dynamics, where I have the Foreground and Background pushed all the way to 100% and I am going to bring the Hue back to 0. I don't want anything one these others and now that I have introduced this other color, let's bring it back down and go back to that 30%, and I start to draw-- In fact, let's go to 100% so we can really see the difference.
Now you can see that as I apply these strokes, you can see that there is a little variation going on there of the gray and the black, giving me a much deeper type of dirt than this plain sooty looking dirt that we have here. Now when it comes to things like rust, I am going to create another layer for our rust and here I can use this same brush that I used here but it's just a question of the colors. I am going to choose for my foreground color a very nice orange about like that, kind of a bright orange, and there for my background color, I'll pick a deep brown about like that.
Right there those two are going to give me the rust that I want. Let's make sure that all settings are okay. We've got the Size Jitter set and in the Color Dynamics, we have the foreground and background, so that's all the way we want it. So now I start to draw in here and you can see as this is going back and forth between the two colors I am getting a nice rusty effect. So let's just draw a couple of little pieces right here. It's getting some rust, and so on. After we've done this, we can do a few other things to make it look even more rusty by going in there and perhaps giving it a filter.
So I will go in there and it could be Noise depending on resolution you're working at, a much lower amount of noise, just enough noise right there like that. Or maybe we want to give it a little rougher texture. So we'll go in there and do something like say Texturizer, set to Sandstone mode, and we'll bring down the Scaling a bit, and push up that Relief a little, just like that and there you can see that our rust starts to have a more realistic look. Now let's just make believe that this rust is underneath this white paint here that's got dirt on it and it's underneath because it's even away at the surface paint here.
So to get that effect, I am just going to into my layer styles for that layer with the rust and I am going to give that an Inner Shadow, which I am going to Choke it. So it gets really tight. Bring down the Size a bit. Let's just make it a 1 and a Distance just a little bit more, right there like that, and we'll push this up a bit and click OK and there we can see that now we start to have this little edge along there which starts to give it the feeling that this rust has eaten away at the white paint, exposing this rust metal down below.
So there we can see that we have this very damaged whit ewall that has soot, grime, and rust eating away through it.
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