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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.
In this tutorial I'm going to show another existing brush in Photoshop that's manipulated to perform a task needed to solve a problem. Zooming into this area of the stone wall here we see the separations of the bricks. See how there is a slight rough edge to those bricks all through there? That's what we're going to create in this particular tutorial. I'll create a new file here and this file we'll just fill it with a regular color, let's say this dark tone here. Let's make it a darker tone, a dark brown like that, and for the foreground color we'll pick kind of a much lighter version of that.
Let's say about like that. That's good enough. Now I'll just go and throw a gradient, radial gradient, into the scene right here like that. Now I'm going to give this a little texture just to make it look kind of like a stone, so I'm going to give this Filter > Texture > Texturizer, and we'll use the sandstone and bring the Scaling up a bit and Relief just a tad higher, and now we have the stone texture. Zoom in to 100%. So now this is a wall made up of many tiles of the stone, so I want to do is create those tiles.
First, I'm going to create the actual shape. I am going to go in there and I'm going to draw a series of paths that are going to signify the different separations of the bricks. Now, I'm not really using a perspective guide here, so I'm kind of doing it by eye, just to get a good feeling of what this is going to look like. About like that and so another one here, so I am kind of doing this by eye. If you really need this to be perfect, I'll suggest that you make yourself some nice perspective guides and so on. But there, those are basic shapes of my bricks.
So in a new layer we'll call it seps, for separations, the separations of the different stone slabs. I'm going to use a much darker version of this, not quite black, but a very dark gray. About like that. So now I'm going to use an existing brush, as I said. So I have this hard-edged brush right now, size 8, which gives me that right now based on the lights that we had created earlier. So I'm going to go in there, that's a good size, but I'm going to soften a little bit.
I'm going to give a little bit of softening on the edge. I don't want it to be too soft, so I am just going to go down to about 80%, just to give me a nice soft edge of my brush. And I'm going to go into my brushes here and I'm going to say bring that spacing down so that they are just about touching, not quite touching, just about. There. And in my Shape Dynamics, I'm going to go in there and set up a Size Jitter so that they change in size. You see that, all the way to 100%. And I'm going to setup a Minimum Diameter so they don't get too small, about like that.
Okay, and now the angle doesn't matter because they are all circles, direction doesn't matter because they're all going in straight lines, but there you can see that we have this nice jagged kind of a line that's developed. So what happens here is that in my separations layer, I'm going to take that path, and I'm in the brush, I'm going to go ahead and stroke it, and there you can see that we have these nice irregular type lines. Now what happens in this particular case is that I'm going to go in nice and close and give that layer a layer style.
Now we see that we have these lights coming in from somewhere up here, so what I'm going to do is lights from up above. So I'm going to say give it a Bevel and Emboss, and since the light is coming from above, I'm going to create that illusion by putting the direction of the light right now from below. That gives me my highlights at the bottom, giving the illusion that the lights coming from above and we're looking at these indents going into the stone as you see there. Now I might want to take that light tone and warm it up a little bit, so I jusy give it more of a yellowish tone like that. I'm going to beef up the Opacity.
I'm also going to bring up the Depth. So I get a stronger definition of those tones as you see in there, like so. The darkness I could just bring that up a bit as well, and maybe the Size, the Size could be just a little bit smaller. So we'll bring that down to about maybe a three so we get just this little tone inside the bricks. Click OK and you'll see that now all our individual slabs are not that even anymore. They are kind of rough. Now, had I made it closer in the spacing, they wouldn't be as rough, but I want it to be fairly rough for this particular episode.
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