Pixel Playground
Illustration by John Hersey

Red truck: Creating chrome headlight trim


Pixel Playground

with Bert Monroy

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Video: Red truck: Creating chrome headlight trim

This week we're going to continue on this particular piece, the red truck and see another aspect of how this thing was created. What I want to do this time is, I'm going to concentrate on this chrome part of the lamp right here with the reflections. So reflection here of the grill, and reflections here from trees, and some sky and the fender right here. Right here. So, we got here the file of the light, this is the original file, which has a lot of pieces, I have turned a lot of them off so we can just see the basic structures that we have here.
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Watch the Online Video Course Pixel Playground
15h 57m Intermediate Jun 07, 2013 Updated Jul 24, 2015

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Take a 10-minute recess every week and join Bert Monroy in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, the playgrounds of digital artists. Every Friday Bert walks through a fun, self-contained project that tests your skills and challenges the imagination. These programs aren't just image editors; they are sandboxes for creativity and experimentation. Take a spin through a carousel of tools and get reinspired, each and every week.

Design Photography
Illustrator Photoshop
Bert Monroy

Red truck: Creating chrome headlight trim

This week we're going to continue on this particular piece, the red truck and see another aspect of how this thing was created. What I want to do this time is, I'm going to concentrate on this chrome part of the lamp right here with the reflections. So reflection here of the grill, and reflections here from trees, and some sky and the fender right here. Right here. So, we got here the file of the light, this is the original file, which has a lot of pieces, I have turned a lot of them off so we can just see the basic structures that we have here.

Now way down here I have a blue disc. See, that's the outside part. It's going to be the rim. We look at just that and you see it's just a big circle with a little hole cut out where I put that little clamp. And, here there's this white one. Right here there's a white lamp. See, there's the lamp. Right behind it is a gray field which is just extending just a little beyond to give us that rim along the edge. So what I did is I created a couple of things to become the reflections. Now up here, you'll see this little scene.

Now it's nothing fancy here, see the pieces of it, I started with a little blue tone here, and turn this one on, there we go, we have this little scene, I'll just turn all these guys off, there you go, just set a little tone, and then we have this some clouds there, and then we have a little concrete area. And there's some trees that we just created using the various tools, like this one you might recognize, which is one of my brushes. Which is the one right here of the little maple leaf, right there. There's the little maple leaf we used to create this. And all these were created using the little grass brushes, right there.

Okay, and these up here we just created with another tiny little leaves that was created and using these leaves to create some of these bushes and stuff down here. So, all these have come with Photoshop. These are embedded in here in the loading of brushes natural brushes and such. The others, three grass ones, or two grass ones and the maple leaf are right there at the top level. So they were created with that. So, we can close that up, and right there, what I've done is I've combined them. Combined them into one image. So let's turn that on. There it is.

Now, there's a couple of ways in which we could do this. Now, one old way, which is when I originally created this, was use the sphere ice filter. Now let's pull back a little bit and see what's going to happen here. So here's the scene. So, if I want to go in here and spherize this, here's the filter. I use the Spherize Filter, which is under Distort > Spherize. Now it's going to go in here and you can see what it's doing right here. And I, all the way 100%, click OK and you can see what's going to happen. It's going to go in there and it just kind of bubbled it up. See? Let's undo that.

What we're going to do now is we're going to take this and move it over. Move it over to the right like that. Just like that and now apply that filter. Come up here and say Spherize. And you see that now what's happening, look at this edge, see? So as we move the image over to here it's going to be distorted right into this little area here. So click OK and you'll see that now it's going to start to hit that twisted effect, see? And we do it again And we could do it a few times and we could see that it's going to start to give me that nice kind of a curvature right there, see, for inside.

But, things have gotten a lot better since I first created this piece because now, we have a little thing called warp. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to go over here and let's go back into right here and let's take this guy and we're going to go ahead and trap him right off the bat. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to move him down. Moving that, in front of that blue layer, the one that's the actual chrome. So we'll come down here and just move it down. Just put it right here, for now, till we can move it down here. Okay, it's way down here somewhere. There it is, and we'll put it right there on top.

Okay, right there. Okay, so now we see it trapped inside there. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to go here and I'm going to warp it. So I'm going to go into warp and there's my grid. Which I'm, what I'm going to do is I'm going to start to bring this around, bring these guys over and bring these guys way in like that, there. So now I can start to really twist this around so I start to get a really tight little effect in here. And let's move this around. Let's get these guys over. So now you can see what's starting to happen here, and we're getting all this nice little twist.

So I'm going to start bringing these guys around, and as I start to bend this. You can see that manipulation these outsidee handles is giving me all this distortion here and it's no problem, I can move it over. Just hitting my cursor keys here to move this thing into position right there where I want it so I can see ti better. So now can start to manipulate this even more. So I could start to really twist it to the point where it's going to be really nice and tight in there like that. And I can really follow the curvature of this, this sphere. So I can kind of really follow it just like that.

Bring this guy in, bring this guy up, bring these handles in so that they start to really follow that curvature of my little sphere here. So I start to move them in. And let's move this guy out. Let's get that handle out, and bring it over. There we go. And there we can see where we're starting to get this nice little curvature in here. And we can tighten it up even more, just to get that, that curve that we want. Now, if it isn't, if it's opening up, no problem. We can just very easily finesse it until we have it exactly the way we want it.

And once we have it, we click OK and there we'll, we'll have this nice curvature inside of that little area of chrome. Now in the case of the truck itself, the grill on the other side, now here we're curving it this way. Now the truck, we're going to have to do that a little differently. So what we're going to do is I'm going to select this portion of the truck right here. This little portion right in there. And we're in the track in, I'm going to say, send that to a new layer. A new layer via copy. So now I can take this guy away, and we'll move this up on top of the scene as well.

And it's out of our field of view right now. It's right in there somewhere, right there. So what we're going to do is, we're going to go in and warp that as well. So this we're going to warp, going inward. Bring this in. Bring this in. Bring this out. Okay? So now we're going to start to twist these guys all the way around to this side. Let's bring this in. Bring that in. And you can see how we're starting to get this curvature. And these handles, they, I gotta really control these handles so that we're basically creating a new shape out of this, that's going to follow the contours of our little chrome.

And as we start to bring it around, we could see that we're starting to get our little grill in there. There's the grill visible and we could bring these guys all the way down so that we can really get a good sense of how this is going to bend up and twist it and more and really bend it so that we get a really strong kind of a bent-up grill back there. And there you can see how the other side got just a little reflection, that just got distorted inside of this area here to create the effects. And here, when you take your time and do it right, there you can see the effect of one on that side, and here's the other.

Now, these other little tones in here, they're just little layers that were added. Like here, you look at this little layer right here, it's just that little red, just a little red tone lighting in there, which was the reflection of the bumper on the side. There's a little edge there that's added, some speckles and so on. And that's basically the effect of how it's created to create that nice little tone inside the chrome.

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Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.
Q: Why are some of the 3D menu items grayed out when I try to follow along?
A: The 3D features in Photoshop CC require a computer with at least 512MB VRAM. If your computer doesn't meet this criterion, the 3D menu features will be greyed out.
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