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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.
Textures take on many different forms, and each one depicts the article that it's covering. So I'm going to go in here and zoom in another little tidbit right, there and we have this really weird animal skin right there, all kinds of weird stuff happening to it. So let's re-create that kind of effect. Now keep in mind that I'm doing a particular thing here, but little variation in what I'm doing, a little variation in colors and so on, or setting of a filter can have a dramatically different effect on your final outcome. So I totally encourage you to experiment, not take what I've done literally and just go in there and start experimenting on your own, and find a whole bunch of happy accidents that could give you a lot of solutions to problems you'd be facing with. Let's go in here.
I am going to create layer right here on top, and I want to fill it with a color. Let's pick a nice kind of a brownish color like that, and I've just gone ahead and filled it. Foreground Color, right there I'm going to give it Texturizer. I use that filter a lot because it's a good basis for a lot of things. I'm going to bring the Scaling up, and I bring the Relief up a bit. Now we have all that nappy stuff in the foreground. Well, let's create that effect. It's can be a little tougher, and I'm going to go here and I'm going to fill this new layer with a neutral density, a nice 50% gray.
I'm going to give it noise. I'm going to give it a lot of noise. Now I want to introduce a lot of gray to this so I can get some nice even tones for my next filter. So before that, I'm going to filter with a little Blur More, which is going to introduce some grays. Now comes my next Filter, which is under Pixelate. I am going to do Crystallize. Crystallize is going to create these big chunks. It could be small, but I wants a fairly big chunks like about like that. Click OK and I have these big chunks all over the place.
To those I want to apply yet another filter. I'm going to say find the edges of all those chunks. There we see that we have all these nice little tones happening all through there. So I'm going to blur it just a little bit, a little Gaussian Blur, just to soften them, and then I'm going to go into my Levels, where I'm going to strengthen them. So I'm now getting these much thicker lines like that. So now that I have that, I can go there and apply yet another filter. I'm going to go into Brush Strokes here and apply Spatter. And Spatter is going to go in here and start to really roughen those up.
I can bring the Smoothness up a little bit, maybe the Spray Radius down, so this is not so chaotic. And I got these nice tones happening there. Click OK and I've got this happening, which I'm going to go into my Levels once again and just take those great tones and just make them a little darker like that. So now that I have that, I'm going to go in there and say I want to make that into a different mode. I will just put into Multiply mode. So now I have all these dark tones on top of this. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to duplicate that layer. So I have another one right on top there.
This one I'm going to blur it even more, a Gaussian Blur, just to start to kind of spread out those tones right there like that, soften that up. And I'm going to go in there and increase those dark tones so I start getting these really heavy dark tones in between there. Click OK and this one I'll just bring down the opacity just a little to just get those other tones to come through from underneath right there like that. So now I can go in here and start playing around with that basic brown texture underneath where I can start getting a little tonality to it, a little bending here and there.
I'm just going to go in there, and let's set this to our shadows, so we'll get some nice warm tones of the fur. There we can see now we're getting a nice texture going through there. And I might want to go in there and do some very specific little areas where I want to go in there just add little tones right into these little spots right in there, very likely to give them a little dimensional look to them. And there we could see we're adding all these nice little textures to certain spots and making this look like this burly kind of a animal skin like the one we see in the Times Square scene.
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