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Creating shadows on the cables

From: Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The Tools

Video: Creating shadows on the cables

Now that we understand how alpha channels work, let's see how it's used in the actual painting. I am going to zoom in up here to this shadow area up here, the shadow being cast on this wall. Now, if you really study how shadows work, you will notice that as they get further away from the object that's casting the shadow, it starts to soften up. So you see the shadow right here, that it's kind of sharp down here at the edge of the building, and it's getting softer as it gets further back. So let's create that effect right now using an alpha channel. I have here a file in which I've created a couple of layers.

Creating shadows on the cables

Now that we understand how alpha channels work, let's see how it's used in the actual painting. I am going to zoom in up here to this shadow area up here, the shadow being cast on this wall. Now, if you really study how shadows work, you will notice that as they get further away from the object that's casting the shadow, it starts to soften up. So you see the shadow right here, that it's kind of sharp down here at the edge of the building, and it's getting softer as it gets further back. So let's create that effect right now using an alpha channel. I have here a file in which I've created a couple of layers.

You can see that I have the wall edge, right here-- that's this piece right here--the wall, which is this brown piece here, and a building, this blue area here. And the background just has gradient of grays. We are going to cast a shadow across this wall that's being cast by this blue building. The wall is a little recessed, so there will be a little bit of a shadow cast on the face right here over the wall edge. So right there in front of that layer, I am going to create a layer and call it shadow. In fact, let's make it easier.

I can just use the wall itself, make it a selection, and then in that layer I am going to fill that selection with black. I just did a fill, go in here and say Fill, Foreground Color, OK, and here you can see that it's black. So I am going to deselect it and bring that layer up a little bit so it's just at that edge right there, and it's being cut here, because it's behind the wall right there. And I am going to blur it just a little bit. So I'll go in there and say Gaussian Blur of about, let's say 2 is good right there.

Click OK, bring down the Opacity a little bit to about 70%, put it in Multiply mode, so that we have a nice effect on the colors behind, and then I am going to clip it with that wall edge. So now I am seeing it only inside there. Now the wall on this side has the shadow being cast at an angle based on how far this building is from the wall. So I am going to go in here and I am going to use my Pen tool and right from this edge, right there, I am going to create my first point and then come up here and figure out my angle.

That's going to be about right, just about there. So now I'll just come out here and complete the shape that I want like that. So on top of the layer of the wall right there, I am going to create this, another shadow, shadow2. And I got that path, so I am going to take that path and say fill it with the black, turn off my path, go back to looking at the layers, and we see that there's the effect, which I am going to go ahead and clip it with the wall just like I did with the other shadow.

There it is clipped with the wall. I am going to bring the Opacity down to just 70%, and I am going to put it in Multiply mode, and I am going to give it that same filter of Gaussian Blur just as it was, and there we can see the softening right there. So now as that shadow gets further away, it has to get softer up in this area here. So I have to apply that Gaussian Blur filter a few more times, but I want it to work gradually, not evenly all the way across as the first Gaussian Blur did.

I need to have it to happen gradually, and that's where the alpha channel comes in. So what I am going to do is I am going to go to my Channels and say give me a channel. Now, I want to know exactly where I am placing my effects, so I am going to look at the other channels on top of it. And there I see my wall exposed, so I know that I want to kind of start right about here to soften it all the way up to the top. So if you remember that black protects and white exposes, I am going to get my Gradient tool and right now I have black as my foreground color, so that's going to be the first color.

So I am going to say from right about here right up to there, I create my gradient, and there is the gradient that I am seeing. Now go back over to the RGB and turn this guy off. We can see that the alpha channel had no effect on my image. It is simply a mask through which I will apply those effects. When we look at just the channel itself, there we see that it's a gradient that's going to have no effect here on my image, full effect up here, and a gradual effect through the area of the grays.

So when I come back only here, I make sure I am in the layer of the shadow right there. So now, I am going to load the alpha channel. So I am going to go in there and Command+Click, Ctrl+Click on it, which loads it right there. Now I usually like hide the marching ants, so I can really see the image in full without those distracting animated things going around. So I am just going to say turn off the selection edges. There we go. So now we don't see them. It is still selected, but we just don't see that selection. I am in the layer of the shadows, so I am going to go in there and get my Gaussian Blur filter.

Now I'm going to apply it a few times at a low setting. The reason I am going to do that is if I apply it at a high setting, you notice what's happening? It's softening, but it's still kind of sharp in the middle. So I don't want to do it that way. I want to do it in small increments at a time, so I'm going to apply-- let's try a 5. 5 is good. So I am going to click OK and there you can see it's done the effect. I am going to apply it again. So I will just say apply the filter again and again. You see that it's Command+F, so I am just going to do it by the keyboard, and apply it a few times, and you can see how the shadow is softening as it gets further away.

I am still applying it one more time, and here it comes one more, and there we see the effect that now is still sharp down here, slowly getting softer as it gets further away, and when it gets way up here, it's very soft. So it's giving me a realistic-looking shadow by applying the filter through a selected area based on an alpha channel, which gave me a gradient, which allowed me to apply the effect strongly in one spot and not at all in another.

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This video is part of

Image for Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The Tools
Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The Tools

61 video lessons · 8872 viewers

Bert Monroy
Author

 
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  1. 6m 34s
    1. Welcome to the tools used to create "Times Square"
      57s
    2. What is "Times Square?"
      5m 37s
  2. 1h 32m
    1. Using a Cintiq to control the brushes in Photoshop
      3m 33s
    2. Making the chain brush
      8m 49s
    3. Making the single loop chain
      6m 55s
    4. Creating a brush to make furry text
      8m 13s
    5. Creating the look of stitching on cloth
      5m 46s
    6. Creating a rough brushstroke look for the Tarzan sign
      3m 3s
    7. Creating a crochet look brush
      5m 32s
    8. Creating dirt and grime
      6m 16s
    9. Using brushes to create trees in Central Park
      6m 41s
    10. Using a brush to create the look of embroidery
      3m 3s
    11. Creating the stars on the wall of the Toys"R"Us image
      6m 24s
    12. Creating a fabric design
      3m 43s
    13. Creating the look of brick
      4m 27s
    14. Weathering bricks
      8m 23s
    15. Creating light bulbs
      6m 14s
    16. Creating the effect of a fading brushstroke
      5m 36s
  3. 15m 42s
    1. Creating a paper towel
      8m 5s
    2. Creating denim
      3m 25s
    3. Creating asphalt
      4m 12s
  4. 21m 3s
    1. Layer groups
      7m 59s
    2. Making the lights in the Toys"R"Us image
      3m 12s
    3. Understanding the layers in lights
      5m 20s
    4. Creating blinds with a 3D postcard applied to layers
      4m 32s
  5. 32m 55s
    1. Creating a bottle
      8m 50s
    2. Creating an iPhone case
      3m 35s
    3. Creating the iPhone icons
      3m 34s
    4. Creating a ladder
      6m 8s
    5. Creating the effect used on the Bubba Gump sign
      5m 7s
    6. Creating realistic glasses
      5m 41s
  6. 1h 56m
    1. Creating a fabric texture
      9m 46s
    2. Creating Julianne's pants
      9m 28s
    3. Creating a checkerboard pattern on a bottle cap
      6m 16s
    4. Creating a wood texture
      8m 26s
    5. Creating concrete and marble
      3m 14s
    6. Creating a brick pattern
      7m 12s
    7. Creating ribbed metal
      5m 40s
    8. Creating ribbing on T-shirts
      11m 18s
    9. Creating a lime
      8m 29s
    10. Creating leather
      2m 33s
    11. Creating rough animal skin
      4m 0s
    12. Creating a grill on a car
      6m 4s
    13. Creating a car light
      6m 2s
    14. Creating the windshield
      10m 39s
    15. Creating a metal screen
      4m 14s
    16. Creating a quilted metal effect
      3m 18s
    17. Creating wafer quilting
      4m 41s
    18. Creating a pattern on the wall
      5m 16s
  7. 6m 57s
    1. Making the clipping group used on the manga billboard
      6m 57s
  8. 10m 36s
    1. Applying a layer mask to create a reflection
      3m 53s
    2. Linking masks
      1m 35s
    3. Applying layer masks and layer styles to create a chain link in a necklace
      5m 8s
  9. 52m 35s
    1. Explaining channels
      4m 0s
    2. Creating a license plate with channels
      6m 47s
    3. Creating shadows on the cables
      5m 50s
    4. Explaining channel calculations
      3m 46s
    5. Understanding calculations in channels
      4m 32s
    6. Creating a manhole cover with channels
      15m 31s
    7. Creating wiring on lights with channels and calculations
      12m 9s
  10. 29s
    1. Parting words
      29s

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