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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.
The layer styles were so useful in so many of the tiny details in the painting. I'll zoom in right here on this iPhone ad there that we see right there. Now the iPhone was entirely created right here in Photoshop. Here's the file for the iPhone itself before it was put into the billboard. When look at it, we see here that we have the composite layer on top. And underneath it we have all the individual layers that make up all the pieces inside, including way down here we have a whole another set which is the actual phone itself.
So we can see all the layers that make up the phone. You can see that we have the little labels and the little yellow line and the pin and the 280, all the different pieces that go into there, even the battery life is in there. So what we're going to do is we're going to come down here and create this phone from scratch. I am going to go in here and see just the background. We see here we have the paths. Here is the basic paths and there is a couple of the symbols. There's some other shapes. There's a little envelope, the Safari, the little music symbol, the pin shadow, the route sign, the little gears, all the different parts that go into the overall painting.
So now, what I am going to do is I am going to come over here and I am going to pick up the outside part of the phone right there, that outside edge of the phone. So back in my layers I am going to create a layer right here on top of this, which we'll call the outercase, right there. And I'll fill that with a white. It will be fine. So I'll go in there and say fill that with white. Now let's just see our background. Turn it off so we know that, yep, it is in fact filled with white. Now I am going to pick this inner part here. Switch to black.
That'll be the interface. So let's create a new layer and we'll call it the face of the phone. And I will go and fill that path with the black. So there's our phone. Now let's turn the background back on, and that outer case is kind of like a shiny silver color on this particular model. And being the metallic, it's going pick up all these nice little reflections. Now I could go in there and paint all those reflections and create little masks and go in there and grab all these colors? Far too much work.
So what I am going to do is I am going to take the outercase right there. Let's move this over,so we can see what's going to happen. Next, I am going to go into the layer styles for it and I am going to give it a single layer style, Satin. Now it seems I've turned gray, but Satin is using black at a 50% Opacity to give me the tone that I want. Now right now it just looks like a plain gray right there. So what I am going to do is I am going to choose a Contour that's a little more complex like this one right here. And we see that something happened already. And what I am going to do is I am going to set the Angle here to say 0, so it's kind of straight on, and I am going to play around with the Size.
And you can see what's starting to happen up there is I am starting to get at all these nice little tones. If I set this to say maybe 90 degrees, there, we can see that I am getting all these other little tones happening. So I can go in there and play around with these until I have it just the way I want. And I'll play with these little handles here until we have just the Angle that I want. Maybe I could play around with this. And right there that Angle, there we could see that we've picked up this nice shininess to it. Increase the Size just a little. Click OK and we got to 100% zoom on this. And we see that we have this really nice edge to our phone.
See? I've got these nice little highlights that we picked up along the edges, which gives with that illusion of being this nice metal case on the outside of the phone. That's all it took. It was a simple solid color into the shape and then one layer style of Satin was the setting that provided me with all the little reflections to make it look like the metallic case.
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