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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.
There is a very simple function of the Paintbrush tool or any other tool for that matter that utilizes brush tip. That is called Fade. Now the use of Fade can have a lot of different functions, but here in the painting, we'll look at a couple places where we see such a fading brush. Right here we see that some of the little highlights right here on this lamppost, and also we them right here on one of the highlights on the edge of this cab right there. I can see where is really bright and then it's just slowly fading off into nothing.
That's a real simple function of that tool. So let's go in here and see how that works. Just so we can use him as highlights, so I'm going to go inhere and just invert my background and I'm going to create a couple of little effects here. I'm going to take my brush and it's set to a size 36 and it just does this right now. So when I go into my brush engine the function is under Transfer and what you fade out is either the Opacity or the Flow. What I am going to is I'm just going to turn this guy off completely, the Flow, and I'm going to save the Opacity.
I'm going to have it set to Fade. There it is. Now you can see a little preview of what's happening down below. I'm getting a little bit of a bumpiness. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to close up the Spacing. So I won't get that much of a bumpiness. Now the Fade is set on a number of steps, so 25 is going to fade when it gets to 25 different little brush tips being applied. So there you can see where it's going from the solid and fading out to nothing. So I can go in there and increase that. Let's say we do it to 95. So now I am going to get a longer streak.
This is very good for little things like say a meteorite or little light streaks like you saw before. If you want to have control over this, you might want to go in there and create a path. So if I want it to be a really nice arc and I want to create a nice little path, like so, all right, so now when I take the brush then I go to the Paths and say Stroke that, you see that it's going to follow that nice little arc. Now let's just say you want to add a little highlight to the edge of a disc or something like that. Let's create a little disc, just so can get the idea of what I'm talking about.
So I'm going to go here and I'm going to just create this little shape. So we will get Ellipse tool and we'll say fill it with a solid color here. And I create a layer and I create a little disc here, a nice filled disc and it's a nice little golden disc like that. Okay, so I want to give this a little edge and that's where the light is going to be picking it up. So I'm going to duplicate this and the one in back here, I'm going to kind of lift up a little bit like this. There we go. And then I'm going to just select a little area right in-between the two of them right through there. And I'm going to fill that with a color, same color, and then it just duplicate then close it off on that side we get a perfect there.
So now we have this disc. Now to make it and look like as three- dimensional, I'm going to take that one in back. I'm going to burn the edges of it. Let's go in here and say let's get the Highlights and we're just going to kind of darken that edge right through there. I'm going to darken this edge right inhere it has a little three-dimensional look to it. And then we're going to kind of lighten up the center. I'm going to go in here and just lighten this up. And let's set this up to Highlights and we're just going to lighten up bright in the middle there. Let's set up the Shadows. Get it as light as we can in there. There we go.
It going to require a lot of hits right there. So we're just picking up a little highlight right in the center there. Now this edge right here that's facing us is going to need a nice little highlight right there. But it's got to follow that edge and it's got to fade that way and that way. Now when you stroke a path, it strokes it into direction in which it was created. So what we'll going to do is we're going to getting close here. I'm going to create a path right from the center right here, but I click and drag. I'm going to hold down my Shift key to constrain it.
I'm going to come over to this edge here and click and drag. Now I want it to follow that edge so I'm just going to adjust this to it's just following that edge like that. Now it's going in that direction. I'm not going to create a totally separate path. Let's disconnect that path right there, that path is no longer selected, and I'm going to get kind of close to it, but not on it, because then it's going to automatically connect it. Right off to this side, click and drag this way, hold on my Shift key and go down to here and click and drag, and then I'm going to bring it over so it's right on top of the other.
They're still two distinct paths, but one is going to this way and one is going that way. So now I don't want either one of them selected, but I want to have those paths there. So I'm going to use this white right there and get my Paintbrush here and let's make the size much smaller. We have just about the size we want. Which is going to give us that. And there is the fade right now. That's currently set from before. I'm going to give that a much larger Fade so we'll set this up to say 120. So let's test that and see how far it's going to go. We could go even further. Let's go to 155.
That's going to be a nice size right there. So I have the brush selected and I'm going to create a new layer for that little highlight, on top of all of them, and we'll even call it hilite. And then I'm going to take my brush, take that path, and stroke it. And there you see that we have this highlight right in the center going off in this direction and off in that direction. And if you want, you can go in there and increase the size of it, bring down the Opacity a little bit to about 40%, and just give it a little bit hit right there in the center, just to add that extra little sparkle right there that makes it look a little more realistic.
And there we see that we have this nice little sheen on the edge of that disc to add that three-dimensional look to it.
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