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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.
We are going to look at the pattern that exists here in the Times Square scene, which is right up here, this little pattern right there, these little ribs. And you notice that here there's a little place where the little ribs are protruding beyond this sheet here, these little rounded tops and so on. We are going to create this pattern right here. Now keep in mind that in this tutorial I am going to be doing it the way I did it for Times Square, this gray tone. Variations in color or any of the steps that I am going to show you now will result in a totally different kind of an effect.
So keep in mind it is not what I did, but how I did it that's important. So let's go in here and create this little pattern. So I am going to create a long rectangle, like so, and in a layer I am going to go ahead and fill that with a 50% gray, right there. So this is 50% gray. I am going to go in there and start adding some tones to it. But one thing I am going to give it a layer style of Inner Glow, which I will make a little bigger. And I don't want it to be that tone, so I am going to go in there and make it a dark black and set the mode to Multiply.
So there I have this nice dark tone along the edges like that. And maybe we will increase the Opacity a little bit, so it gets a little darker just like that. And I want to add more darkness to this side. So what I am going to do is I am going to take my Burn tool, which I am going to set up here to Shadows and I got it at 50%. I am going to make sure that I have no settings that are set up, and I am going to go and click right up here and then Shift+Click directly below at the bottom and go back and forth until I start getting a much deeper tone on that side.
You can see I am keeping it nice and even going up and down. I've got this nice dark tone happening there. Maybe it's just a touch on this side. So we have this nice tonality happening there. And maybe I want to just go right down the middle here and create a long vertical shaft right through there like that, which in a separate layer I am going to fill that with a white, and I am going to blur it. I am going to give a little Gaussian Blur just to soften that up a little bit and this is going to be a little highlight going right down the center. That's good.
I want to make sure it gets clipped inside there, so I don't see it. You see what's going on there because of the layer style. All right, and now we want to give the whole thing a little texture. So right here on the main layer, I am going to go in there and say let's give it a little Texturizer, and I will just apply a little bit of a texture to it. That looks good. Maybe we will bring up the relief just a tad and click OK. So now we have this little texture happening. So now, I am going to urge that down so we have one layer here, and I am going to turn that into a selection.
Now, because of the layer style, I have this darkness going along here, which means that my step-and-repeat isn't going to quite work the way I wanted to because all of a sudden it's going to have this dark edged here. So what I am going to do is I am going to deselect it. Holding on my Option key, Alt on a PC, I am going to go in there and deselect this top portion right there. I am going to come down here to the bottom and deselect this portion right there. So now you can see that what I have left selected is this central portion right there, which is going be fairly even.
So now that I have that, I go in there and say Define Pattern. That's it. We have now created our pattern. I can take this entire layer right here and just throw it away. Like we will take the entire layer and throw everything away because it had a layer style applied to it. So now I am going to create a new layer. Let's pull back a little bit. And that new layer I am going to go ahead and fill it with that pattern we just created. So I will go in there, and there is my pattern, the last thing I just created right there. So I click OK, and we see that we have this nice kind of a ribbing effect.
Now in the case of the painting, what I did was I went in there and just created little circles that I selected right on top here, just like so, right on each edge, and the rest will just kind of pull out like that. I am going to turn that path into a selection and just delete that portion, and there you can see I have the little circular areas along the top.
Now the wear and tear I applied to this, well, what I did there was to just take a brush-- one of the existing brushes like the Spatter Brush right there--I went in there and modified that brush. I have given it a little Spacing, going into Shape Dynamics where I turn this off, but I got a Size Jitter set up and I got an Angle Jitter set up, and let's turn this back to off here, and let's bring this down. So there we have this, and I am also going to set up a Color Dynamic, so it goes between foreground and background 100%.
And I got this black set up and I am going to pick up a light gray, like that. And then in sections, so that they are independent of each other, I went it there, and in a separate layer, I started adding that dirt. So I will go in here, and just make a smaller brush and I just kind of paint in some dirt along these edges like so, just add a little dirt to some of these guys like that, which I can then easily put that into say a Multiply mode or some other mode, just so it becomes kind of a dirt effect. And I will bring down the Opacity and there we just see that we start to have little damages in certain areas all over the place like that, and that's all it took to create this pattern and then to weather it down.
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