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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.
Now there are many patterns that appear in Times Square. All of them are created in many different ways. Let's go in here and look at one of these patterns really close. Right here in the foot locker store, we see that there is a little pattern right inside there up on the wall-- this little pattern made of all these little cylindrical shapes right there. We're going to create that pattern right now. Right here in this blank file, I want to create this pattern. Now what's important with any pattern is perfect symmetry. So in order to ensure that symmetry, I want to bring up my grid. I am going to say show the grid.
Now I want to get in real close here, so we can see clearly what I'm going to be doing here. Right now, it's broken up this way. I need three cylinders, so what I am going to do is I'm going to increase to the number of subdivisions, so I have a better guide for the three shapes that I need. So I'm go into my Preferences and go to Grids right there. I'm going to increase to subdivisions to a higher number, say 10, and you can see them back there. They just became this tiny little squares. So I will click OK, and that's the basis for my pattern right there. So I'm going to take my rounded corner tool right here and I'm going to draw a shape right inside there that's going to snap to the grid, leaving one subdivision on the tops and bottoms and sides.
Okay, so now I am going to duplicate that straight over, leaving one subdivision in between and then one more, again leaving one subdivision in between. There we see that we have the three shapes that we want. So I am going to go to my Path Selection tool and select the other three right there. I am going to grab them all and copy them down to this block right here. Now I'm going to copy them over again over to this block, but here I am going to do one slight difference is that I'm going to rotate them. I am going to rotate that path, so that it becomes a nice even horizontal kind of a shape like that. There they are.
Make that happen. So now I'm going to take them and copy them up to this one here. So there, now we have all the basics for my pattern that I am going to create. So what I am going to do is I want a little space in between these guys, and I'm going to apply a layer style, which is going to give me the effect that I want. So I'm going to create them in a layer. I am going to go here. I've got a color selected. Let's see the color we've got. Let's make it a little lighter. Let's say we go about like that right there. And in this layer what I'm going to do is I am going to take all those paths and fill them. There they are.
They are filled. So now in the background layer, I'm going to fill that with a same color. So I'll go in there and say Fill with the Foreground color. Fill it. So there, now we have this one complete shape. So what I'm going to do now is I am going to take that layer, the layer has little cylindrical shapes, and I am going to double-click on it to bring up the Layer Styles, where I'm going to add that little definition of that raised surface. So I'm going to give it a Bevel and Emboss, and the Bevel and Emboss, based on my light direction, I want to say let's bring the light over this way just a little bit, increase the depth, so I get really strong lights and darks.
I am going to soften it up a little bit, just like that. I'm going to give it a very slight drop shadow. Let's just go in there and say 2, and its size of about 2, and bring down the Opacity, so it's just a little hint of a drop shadow back there. Maybe a little bigger. Let's go in there and increase the Distance to say, 4 is good. There we ago. Let's spread it out a little bit, so it just softens up a little bit. Actually, let's bring the spread back down like the size. There we go. That softened it up nicely. Click OK. So now we have the basis for our pattern right there.
When I create a pattern, it's going to look at all the layers. I don't need to flatten this at any point. So what I'm going to do now is to create the pattern, and I'm going to select it in that place right here, which is one big square right across both of them, snapping to the grid as well, and let's pull back and see what we've created. It's just this little shape right there, right? So now that we have that, we don't need the grid anymore. So I can go in there and say let's turn off the grid. Now we can really see the shape that we've created. And if they are not quite exactly the way we wanted, let's go in there and go back to our Layer Styles, and go to that shadow tone right here. Let's bring that down a little bit.
It's a little too strong. There we go. That looks a little better. Click OK. Now that we have that, we can say the Define Pattern, and we can call this whatever we want. We'll say wall. We can now just throw it away, no problem. In that same layer--we can even turn this one off--this layer, I'm going to ahead and fill it with the pattern, and the new pattern we just created should appear at the end, and there it is. Click OK, and there is our wall, which then in the scene is slightly tilted at an angle, so all I need to do is go in here and take my Distort tool and just bring this down a little bit on this edge, and bring this one up a little bit. And there you can see that we started to establish our nice little three-dimensional look.
Now it isn't really three-dimensional because of the fact that these guys are just as big. Let's undo that for a second. What I am going to do instead is I'm going to take that layer and convert it into a 3D postcard, and now that it's a 3D postcard, I go in there and simply turn it into the perspective that I want, just like that, and there you can see that now I have a truer sense of the perspective that I need for that particular wall.
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