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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 the Toys R Us store, getting real close right here, we'll zoom in to this area right here, and we're going to see a interesting little pattern right there. See these little patterns of these little fences with all these little holes inside there that are at angles. Looking at the actual file for the fence, it looks like this, but we're going to do here is create that pattern of holes. Now, it's very similar to the little quilted metal we did for the Nuts for Nuts stand, but with an added detail.
The quilted metal was just these little bumps in the middle, but this is holes in the metal, and that right there adds a whole complexity. The holes are little circles that are at angles, which adds that level of complexity, because when you create a pattern of circles, it just would make him straight up and down. But here they are at 45 degrees angles of each other. So let's go in there and create this effect. Now the first thing we need to do is to show our grid so that we get perfect symmetry. I'm going to come in here and right here, I'm going to select a circle like that.
And in the layer--I am going to create a layer because I want the transparency in between those holes where the actual metal will be-- I'm going to go in there and fill that with a 50% gray. Click OK. Now to this I'm going to add some tones, so I'm going to look at some black, and I get a nice soft-edge brush. I'm just going through a little black along this edge here. I got my Opacity lowered so I can do it in a couple of strokes, rather than giving a strong black right off the bat. And then I'm going to use white, and I will bring my Opacity back up make the size little smaller.
Let's get rid of that Transfer mode there. And I'm just going to go in here and click here, come down here and say Shift+Click, and it connects the two clicks. So, there. We have that. Now that doesn't exactly look like a hole, but you'll see where this is going when we completed the whole pattern. I'm going to go in here and duplicate this straight across, leaving two subdivisions, almost exactly like we did with the quilted pattern. I'm going to go in here and establish that angle by centering one below the other two and then duplicating the ones below like that.
So now here is the point where I would go in there and create the pattern by selecting the center portion of the outer circles to establish the angle right there. Now, I make sure that my background is turned off and I say Define Pattern. Now why have I done these tones if this is supposed to be a bunch of little holes? Okay well, let's go in there and now use this pattern and you'll see why. I'm going to pull back, see the whole image here, and at this point we can turn off our grid.
We don't need to see it anymore, so we just say turn off the grid. In this layer here, I'm going to throw with tone that's going to be the metal itself. So I'll pick a light gray like this for my foreground and for my background, I'll pick a darker gray like that, and we'll just throw a reflected gradient right into that layer like that. So now I'm going to create a layer on top of this, and this layer right here I'm going to fill with my pattern. So I come over here and say gill with the pattern, and there is the little holes that we created, but they don't like holes.
So what I'm going to do is I'm going to duplicate that layer to have a second layer. This layer I'm going to lock the transparency, switch my color to black, and say fill that with the foreground color. Now they look like holes, but do they look like holes in a sheet of metal? No, they look like holes on a gray sheet of paper. This is metal. So what I'm going to do now is I'm going to clip that layer of the black holes with that layer below that has the pattern we created.
Now that it's clipped, I'm going to take that layer and with my Move tool, I'm going to move it slightly to the left, hitting my cursor keys and up a little bit, and there you see the purpose of those little highlights and shadows, because now it looks like holes cut into a thick piece of metal, giving you the illusion that this is in fact metal.
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