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Creating a ladder

From: Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The Tools

Video: Creating a ladder

Layer styles can make the smallest thing look real. No matter how simple it is, it is important for that to have life to make the overall scene look real. So I am going to zoom in right here on these little structures back here and you see there is a ladder there. Now, that ladder needs to fit into the rest of the scene. It has to have shading and such to make it look real. Now we are looking at a low-res version, so it doesn't look as detailed as the actual piece. But we are going to make that ladder. Simple thing like that and it doesn't require a tremendous amount of work, just a knowledge of how Photoshop works to make it look real.

Creating a ladder

Layer styles can make the smallest thing look real. No matter how simple it is, it is important for that to have life to make the overall scene look real. So I am going to zoom in right here on these little structures back here and you see there is a ladder there. Now, that ladder needs to fit into the rest of the scene. It has to have shading and such to make it look real. Now we are looking at a low-res version, so it doesn't look as detailed as the actual piece. But we are going to make that ladder. Simple thing like that and it doesn't require a tremendous amount of work, just a knowledge of how Photoshop works to make it look real.

So I got here a file I just created and I am going to create some basic paths that are going to make up my ladder. And they are not going to be difficult. I am just going to create one long path like this and I am going to duplicate it straight across. There is the basic shape of the upright parts of my ladder. Then I am going to go in here and create all the rungs that go across. I am just going to create this one right there and duplicate it down there and I am going down again and I'm basically holding down my Option+Shift+Command key to constrain these guys straight down.

That would be Shift+Alt+Ctrl on a PC. With the beauty of editing, there you see the entire rung. You don't have to make each one. You see the entire ladder is now set up. These are just the paths. Without them we really haven't done anything to our art. Here is the path. So I am going to just save those paths so we have them. Now, this is going to be created in various layers. I am going to select this first one here, right there. This is the one that's closest towards us, right there, and I am going to go in there and create a layer right there and this layer is going to upright and in fact we will make the one that's furthest to us.

So we will say upright right and that's this one here. So I am going to get a color that's going to represent that shape. So I am going to go in here and let's pick a nice gray. Say we pick that gray right there and I am going to get a brush, a hard-edged brush. Let's bring the Hardness up, bring the Size down to the size, that's going to be good for that shape of the ladder. Go in there and type in a 15 there and that's a good size. So now that I have that in that layer, I am going to go ahead and stroke that path. So there it is.

Now this one here, I am going to stroke in another layer. So I am going to call this layer upright left, and stroke that path in that layer. Then I am going to select all the ones in between. I am going to select all of these and in a layer in between all these, right there in between them, we will call it the rungs. And I am going to get a much thinner brush. Let's go in here and make it a little thinner. Let's say about 9 looks good.

So in that I am going to stroke the paths right there. So there is our basic shape for our ladder, but it's very flat right now. So now let's make it look dimensional. So I am going to go into my layer styles and for the upright on the right, I am going to go in there and say give it just a Inner Shadow, which I am going to have it turn off the global light and have the light come from this side here. Now I am going to choke it so it's hard, and I am going to bring the Size down to about 2 and I am going to reduce the Distance to 2, just so I get this little edge along the front there, see just like that.

Right now, what if this was supposed to be the light side, it's facing the light? Well, what we will do is we will just change the color to a very light gray like this and change the mode to a Screen, and now we've got a light edge right along there. So we'll say that's good. Click OK. And so that we can really see that light stand out, I am going to go to the background and invert it. So now we see that we've got this little light edge going on right there. So that's a good layer style, so I am just going to Option+Click and drag that into the other upright layer, like that, so now they both have that little edge going up.

So now comes the rungs. We want the rungs to look dimensional too. So I am going to double-click on them to bring up their layer styles and here I am going to give them a Bevel and Emboss. Right off the bat, you can see that they started to look dimensional. So I am going to go in there and I am going to just kind of reduce the size of this to something like about 3. Now this is not a formula, because this depends on the resolution of the file you're working on. So 3 might be too much. This is 72 dpi, so 3 is quite a bit. I am going to increase the Depth so I get really strong lights and darks and I am going to increase the Opacity for my whites right there, and you can see that I have this nice tonality going on there. Click OK.

Now, that's fairly good, but not perfect. So here is what we are going to do next. I am going to turn on the rungs as a selection. I am going to Option+Click on it just like that, and then in a layer right on top of the upright right, I am going to create a new layer right there, I am going to fill that area with black. So I am going to go in there and say Fill, Foreground Color, done. Now, I can deselect. What do I have? I have a bunch of black areas there. We should just turn this off so we could see it. I am just going to move it down for a second.

Let's turn this off. I am in that layer. There it is. See it's just that. Let me undo that, so it is right back where it is used to be. And what I am going to do is I am going to get in a little closer so we can see what I am about to do here. I am going to take that rung. We see that we have a light coming from up here somewhere, which means that the rung should cast a little shadow on the inside part of this upright. So I am going to take that layer, which I am going to call shadow, and I am going to skew it. I have to give it a little skew, right here like this.

So I am going to skew that so it goes just like that, and I am going to bring down the Opacity just a little. It's just a little hint, and then I am going to clip it with the upright layer, just like that, and there you can see that now we have this little shadow on our ladder there and we can even bring down the Opacity a little bit more, so that there's just as little hint of a shadow and there we could see that our ladder just became this three-dimensional ladder that was done with just a bunch of little paths that were stroked and layer styles took care of the rest to make it look real.

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This video is part of

Image for Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The Tools
Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The Tools

61 video lessons · 8918 viewers

Bert Monroy
Author

 
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  1. 6m 34s
    1. Welcome to the tools used to create "Times Square"
      57s
    2. What is "Times Square?"
      5m 37s
  2. 1h 32m
    1. Using a Cintiq to control the brushes in Photoshop
      3m 33s
    2. Making the chain brush
      8m 49s
    3. Making the single loop chain
      6m 55s
    4. Creating a brush to make furry text
      8m 13s
    5. Creating the look of stitching on cloth
      5m 46s
    6. Creating a rough brushstroke look for the Tarzan sign
      3m 3s
    7. Creating a crochet look brush
      5m 32s
    8. Creating dirt and grime
      6m 16s
    9. Using brushes to create trees in Central Park
      6m 41s
    10. Using a brush to create the look of embroidery
      3m 3s
    11. Creating the stars on the wall of the Toys"R"Us image
      6m 24s
    12. Creating a fabric design
      3m 43s
    13. Creating the look of brick
      4m 27s
    14. Weathering bricks
      8m 23s
    15. Creating light bulbs
      6m 14s
    16. Creating the effect of a fading brushstroke
      5m 36s
  3. 15m 42s
    1. Creating a paper towel
      8m 5s
    2. Creating denim
      3m 25s
    3. Creating asphalt
      4m 12s
  4. 21m 3s
    1. Layer groups
      7m 59s
    2. Making the lights in the Toys"R"Us image
      3m 12s
    3. Understanding the layers in lights
      5m 20s
    4. Creating blinds with a 3D postcard applied to layers
      4m 32s
  5. 32m 55s
    1. Creating a bottle
      8m 50s
    2. Creating an iPhone case
      3m 35s
    3. Creating the iPhone icons
      3m 34s
    4. Creating a ladder
      6m 8s
    5. Creating the effect used on the Bubba Gump sign
      5m 7s
    6. Creating realistic glasses
      5m 41s
  6. 1h 56m
    1. Creating a fabric texture
      9m 46s
    2. Creating Julianne's pants
      9m 28s
    3. Creating a checkerboard pattern on a bottle cap
      6m 16s
    4. Creating a wood texture
      8m 26s
    5. Creating concrete and marble
      3m 14s
    6. Creating a brick pattern
      7m 12s
    7. Creating ribbed metal
      5m 40s
    8. Creating ribbing on T-shirts
      11m 18s
    9. Creating a lime
      8m 29s
    10. Creating leather
      2m 33s
    11. Creating rough animal skin
      4m 0s
    12. Creating a grill on a car
      6m 4s
    13. Creating a car light
      6m 2s
    14. Creating the windshield
      10m 39s
    15. Creating a metal screen
      4m 14s
    16. Creating a quilted metal effect
      3m 18s
    17. Creating wafer quilting
      4m 41s
    18. Creating a pattern on the wall
      5m 16s
  7. 6m 57s
    1. Making the clipping group used on the manga billboard
      6m 57s
  8. 10m 36s
    1. Applying a layer mask to create a reflection
      3m 53s
    2. Linking masks
      1m 35s
    3. Applying layer masks and layer styles to create a chain link in a necklace
      5m 8s
  9. 52m 35s
    1. Explaining channels
      4m 0s
    2. Creating a license plate with channels
      6m 47s
    3. Creating shadows on the cables
      5m 50s
    4. Explaining channel calculations
      3m 46s
    5. Understanding calculations in channels
      4m 32s
    6. Creating a manhole cover with channels
      15m 31s
    7. Creating wiring on lights with channels and calculations
      12m 9s
  10. 29s
    1. Parting words
      29s

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