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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 many vendors that fill the streets of Times Square have all kinds of carts that sometimes incorporate some interesting textures. Like here, we have this pattern on this metal of this little Nuts 4 Nuts stand. It's kinds of like a quilted metal. This is a pattern, so let's go in there and create this pattern. Right here I'm going to create my pattern. Now the pattern requires perfect symmetry, so I am going to turn on my grid, and I've created a layer where I'm going create my pattern. Why? Because I want space, or transparency, in between the various little diamonds that will make up the pattern, so that way at some point I could turn off my background, so I would have transparency.
I have a white background. That way I could see what I'm doing. It makes it lot easier. So I'm going to come in here and create one of the diamonds. I'm going to use my Pen tool. I'm just going to click over here and drag the little handles out to this corner here and come down here and grab them, drag it to that corner, down to here, click and drag to that corner, and come up here, click and drag, and then close it off. So there is one diamond. I'm going to get little closer here, so I like to see what I'm about to do, which is I'm going to scale this down so that it fills up just one little section like this.
I work larger. That way it makes it easier to do things without having to strain. So I'm just going to going here and just shrink it down to fill up one set of sections right there. Click OK. So now that I have my shape established, I'm going to go in there and turn it into a selection. So I've got the path. I'm going to say make data selection, make sure I am in the right layer. And I have a couple of colors set up here. I've got this light gray, which I will make it a little lighter, and I've got a dark gray for the background. So right in that selected area I'm going to throw a gradient, a linear gradient for straight up and down right there.
So now what I need to do is to start to establish the step-and-repeat pattern, but it's an interlocking pattern, which makes it a little more complicated. So I'm going to in there and duplicate this guy straight across, leaving two subdivisions right in between. So I can now take this and drag it down below and center it underneath those two subdivisions, right there. Then I'm going to duplicate the ones below right here and across, and I have now established my pattern.
I'm going to go in there and create the pattern. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to select the inside center of the four outer diamonds. Now we the center one and there we see the lower part, the three missing sides out there, there and there, so when this steps-and-repeat, it's going to give me a complete pattern. I turn off my background to ensure I got that transparency back there, and then I go in here and I say the Define Pattern. There is my pattern. I can now select all and throw it away, because the pattern has been established.
I can turn off my grid. I don't need to see that anymore. And in my background here, I'll just throw a tone. In fact, we'll throw in this very same tone that we have here, except I'll do it as a reflective gradient like that. I'm going to do that in the background. Then in this layer here we're going to fill it with that pattern we just created. So I'll go over to here and say Fill, and I choose that pattern we just created, click OK, and there you see that we have our nice little quilted pattern.
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