Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The People
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating a fabric design


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Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The People

with Bert Monroy

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Video: Creating a fabric design

Sometimes a stitch is a part of the design, in which is not just a thread going through fabric but it is woven into the fabric itself. In the Times Square, I'm in the center of the painting here, taking a picture of my wife, right there. That's me. I am going to go to the actual high-res version where we can see the detail of the stitching here. I am going to come in real close and we see that the fabric has a design made up of these little stitches that you see there. So I am going to create that kind of a thing for you right now.
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Watch the Online Video Course Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The People
3h 18m Intermediate Apr 27, 2011

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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 pixel, 25-foot wide photorealistic portrait of this iconic intersection.

In this installment, The People, Bert illustrates how he created the hyperrealistic portrayals of the dozens of people inhabiting his painting, many of which he drew from real-life friends and family. The course shows how to construct eyes, lips, ears, and other facial features, paint natural looking skin, add hair, apply makeup, and create fabric folds, stitching, and texture to emulate clothing. Bert shows how digital artists can recreate these effects at home, using the tools in Photoshop and Illustrator and a little imagination.

Topics include:
  • Creating life-like facial features, such as noses, teeth, lips
  • Understanding the structure of the mouth
  • Creating facial contours
  • Adding details such as fingernails
  • Using a Cintiq to create realistic hair
  • Creating beard stubble
  • Creating the look of stitched denim
  • Adding ribbing to a t-shirt
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator Photoshop
Author:
Bert Monroy

Creating a fabric design

Sometimes a stitch is a part of the design, in which is not just a thread going through fabric but it is woven into the fabric itself. In the Times Square, I'm in the center of the painting here, taking a picture of my wife, right there. That's me. I am going to go to the actual high-res version where we can see the detail of the stitching here. I am going to come in real close and we see that the fabric has a design made up of these little stitches that you see there. So I am going to create that kind of a thing for you right now.

Now let me pull back first and we'll see that there are various paths for all those different lines that we see throughout here. Let's get a little closer here. And in our Layers, we just turn on the background here and just see that by itself. And we'll look at the Paths. There is the path for the shirt. There is pants down below. Here is the lines on the collar, which you see right up there. Here is the lines on the yolk of the shirt right there. And here's the lines on the back. All the lines that make up the pattern on the back of the shirt.

There's lines on the front of the shirt. Lines on the arm. Quite a few lines there. Now these paths are all going to server as guides to make a brush do what we want it to do. So now I am going to go in here and create a new file. Where we're going to create that particular brush that made those little designs in the fabric. Now what it is, is just a little rectangular shape like that. Let's make it little thicker like that, and I'm going to make it black, there it is. So now, I can select that and turn that into a brush preset.

We'll call this Design Stitch. So now I throw it away. And we are going to make that brush behave the way want it to. If I go in here and pick up that little stitch right there, which right now is doing this. So what we are going to do is we are going to go into the panel and give it some Spacing. There is that Spacing just like we did with the embroidery and some of the others. But here we are going to work globally now. I'm not going to go into Shape Dynamics and play around the angles, no.

Here I am going to set this to Direction. I am going to bring the Size and the Angle down, but I am going to set the Angle to Direction. And I am going to go back to Brush Tip Shape where I am going to play with this angle here, and I'm going to move those guides so that they are in angle see. They are all working globally because I'm working with this control rather than the individual tips that you find under Shape Dynamics. Here under Brush Tip Shape, it's working with all the strokes together, so you can see that they are all moving in that same direction. There we go.

Bring that back down as I saw a couple were touching. They shouldn't. So there we go. That's down to zero. So now that we have that we can go in there and create the shapes that are going to be our pattern. Now the way it was done on the shirt is I have these shapes like so. So what I am going to do here is I am going to modify these just to make it look like what I had in the shirt. So I am going to take three, right there like that, and I am going to select the two out of ones and this one here. Those three and I am going to pick kind of a grayish tone like this.

And I got the brush, which I am going to reset its size, make it a little smaller, about like that. And in a layer, I'll go ahead and stroke that path. There it creates that shape. Then I am going to get kind of a beige tone about like this and select that last path and go ahead and stroke that one. And there you could see that there we have the pattern that was woven into the fabric made up of all these little stitches.

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