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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 new bristle brushes has made it easy to do a lot of special effects that require the look of traditional brushes. In Times Square there is billboard right up here for the play Tarzan and you can see that it's made up of rough kind of letters. Now I have the actual file in back. This is a low-res version so let's open up the actual file. Here we see that as we get closer you will see that there is a lot more detail and you can start to see that the letters are in fact very rough looking brushstrokes and you can see little hairs and stuff sticking out all over the place, all of the things that make them look like they are rough brushstrokes.
So let's go see how those were done. So right here, I'm going to get my Paintbrush and I am going to choose one of the bristle brushes. I am going to use the softest one, this little round-bristle one here which is one of my favorites. The Round Fan. It allows you to go in there and be very loose with this thing. I am going to modify it. I am going to reduce the number of bristles that are there now and you can see the effect it's going to have. I am painting with black. Let's go in here and see what it's doing right there, and I am going to go in there and start increasing Length of the bristles so it'll be a little longer.
And you can see that right now it's starting to create a whole different effect. I am going to give it a little Spacing. I like to test each mark as I do it. I like to do a little test there just to see and I am going to bring down the Stiffness as well so that they are not so stiff. Now you can see we are starting to get a nice little feel to this brush. Let me give it a little more Spacing, so there is even more air around it. There. So now I am going to go down here to the Shape Dynamics. In the Shape Dynamics I am going to set the Angle Jitter to Direction. That's going to completely change the way this brush is going to start to behave.
So let's go back in there and make a few more modifications. Like increase the Length again, bring that up a little more. There we go, and let's play around with this angle here. So now when I start to just play with it you see that it's a much rougher kind of a stroke. So what I am going to do is I am going to do my background here. I am going to invert it and in a layer on top of that, which is where I am going to create my letters. I am going to create them with white. I am going to go in here and just going to create the nice letter that I want. So I am going to kind of fill it in, in certain spots I am going to fill it in just as I get it its basic shape.
I am just going to go and I am just dabbing over the filled area. I'll go in there and clean some of those rough areas later and I am going to go in there and just kind of paint this whole thing right through here, like so. There is the basics of the letter A right through there, like that. And we can go in there and just kind of roughen those guys up a little bit, and then we'll just throw a little connector right in the middle here, just like so. And I am just constantly changing the angle of my brush. I am going to get a little hairs showing up in different spots all through there like that.
And there you can see that I've get this kind of a rough looking kind of a letter made out of some really rough brushstrokes by just going in there modifying one of the existing bristle brushes to make it behave just the way I wanted it and give me my rough brushstroked letters.
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