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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.
In this tutorial, we're going to look at some patterns on walls created with brushes. Now they are kind of irregular looking patterns. Let us zoom in here into the interior of the Toys R Us in Times Square and we see this one wall back here. This one wall has all these little stars in a blue field there. Moving over across to this side, we see another set of walls that has stars and dots right there and here and back in here. We are going to look at those and how they were created.
Now I have here the actual files that made these things up. Here is that wall where we saw the Photo Pickup and there are various layers in here. So let's study those layers so we could see how this was built up. Of course, there are the paths that make it up. There is the path that made up the actual sign and so on. There is little stars. Now let's go look at the layers. Look at the background layer. The background layer is simply the gradient, going from this lilac down to this kind of a teal blue. Then there is a layer here that has little blobs or little shapes that makes up all those weird little designs on the wall, and there is the layer with the dots, bunch of irregular dots, and there are some stars.
Then we have the horizontal stripes, which have been given an Inner Shadow right in there to giving that feeling of being indented into the wall, and then we have three layers that make up the sign, which are those three here. We have the backing, which has some tones just to add a little shape to it. On top of that, we have the green backing. There we go, and then on top of that we have the actual letters, which have been given layer style of Stroke and Bevel and Emboss to make them look like they are doing the actual sign.
Let's look at the starry wall, which is made up of quite a few different layers. The top layer is just a composite where I bring things in, then there are various layers with different colors of stars. So now let's go in there and create this effect. Using my primitive tool right here, the one that allows me to create some bizarre shapes. That's the Custom Shape tool. I am going to go in here and look at the shapes that are available. Now there are those shapes right there, but there are additional shapes that's ship with Photoshop that you can access, and right down here is one called Shapes.
I am going to say Append, in other words don't get rid of these, just add the new batch to that, and there we could see that in Shapes we have some stars. So I am going to select that star right there and I am going to go in here and create the star. I am holding down my Shift key to make sure it's nice and even and I have it set as a path and I'm going to go ahead and fill that path with a black. So I am going to go in there and say Fill. Now I select it and I'm going to make that my brush. Define Brush Preset and we'll call it star.
Now I can throw it away. Don't need to see it anymore. And I have a layer that I have set up here that's a blue layer and I am going to work in this layer right here. Now I got that little star so I am going to get my brush and I am going to pick that star that I just created, which right now does that. So I am going to go in there and start making it smaller, about that size right there, and in my Brush panel I am going to go in and start giving it a lot of Spacing. So now it starts to look more like that. I'm also going to go into my Shape Dynamics where I am going to do a Size Jitter, set up a Minimum so they don't get too small, and an Angle Jitter so they are all going in different directions.
I am going to turn that off right there. So now it's starting to look more like this, and I am going to go in there and do a little color dynamics. So that I can go between foregrounds and backgrounds like that and I am going to push the Hue Jitter all the way up. I am going to then Scatter them as well, so they are going to go all different directions. See just like that. So now when I go in there and start to draw, you see I have that one. I am going to add some colors in here. Let's add a little red. Say a bright red like that and for this background here we'll add a light blue.
Let's go with a softer, like that, and I start to draw in there. You can see that I am getting all these additional colors because I have the Hue pushed all the way up. Now I wanted a little more control so what I did is I lessen the amount of stars that we're done and I segregated them to single colors in separate layers, but here just reducing the number of the count and pushing that Hue all the over you could see that I got a nice little range of multiple different colors right there. Now in the case of the other stars that were slightly bigger, let's go in here and let's turn off this background and let's just add a different color to this background here.
We'll throw in this blue from our background. There we go. So now here we are going to just create some white stars. So we got the little brush, make it nice and big, right there like that, and I am going to go to my Brushes panel where I'm going to bring this down. I am going to leave the Scatter, but I am going to increase the Spacing between them so there is even more space between them, a lot of space. Let's go back to the Color Dynamics. Turn all that off, everything off. There we go, no Color Dynamics at all. Just turn them off completely.
All right, so now I am going to go in here and I am going to just draw a couple little stars. Now those stars that were in the image had a little black line around them. Now since they're in a layer, I don't have to go in there and draw the black line around them. I could just go in there and go into my layer styles and say give them a Stroke. There is the little line right around them which I can control the size, where the line has been drawn and so on, but that's how those little lines were created. Now the dot was the same kind of a thing.
Let's go in there and create another layer for little dots, but the dots require very little modification. All I do is take a brush, take the little round brush that's hard right there like that. Make sure that I have a lot of Spacing between them. Go into my Shape Dynamics so they have different sizes and such and the Scattering and I go in there and draw all my little dots right around them and that's all it takes. Now the dots right now are in front of the brushes, but it is a layer so I just put them behind the stars and I can add a few more dots wherever I want and there you could see how those particular brushes were modified or created in the case of stars to create the effect that we saw in the walls in Toys R Us.
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