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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.
Brushes are very powerful tools in Photoshop and even more powerful when you take into account that a lot other features utilize things like pen pressure and pen tilt. And these are two things that the mouse cannot give you. You can't press down on the mouse to make a difference and you certainly can't tilt it. In fact it won't even work if you tilt it. That's where the stylus that's attached to tablets and this Cintiq really comes in handy, because there is a pen pressure and pen tilt attached to these particular tools.
It's also better the way you hold it. Rather than hold it as a bar of soap, you hold it like how you were taught to hold the crayon back in kindergarten. You're holding this the same way which is a lot easier on your hand. And the beauty of this is that pen tilt and that pen pressure. A lot of those tools will utilize that. Now in the movies on brushes you'll see that there is a one where I create this little fur ball. Now that fur ball is totally dependent on the tilt of my stylus. Let's go here and look at this.
I am using one of the bristle brushes that come with CS5 and I am going to go to my Brushes engine here where I am going to modify it a little bit. I am going to increase the number of Bristles. I am going to increase their Length a bit and I am going to bring down the Thickness and the Stiffness. I am going to bring that way down. Okay, now I am going to go into my Shape Dynamics where I am going to set the Angle to Direction. That's looking good. I am going to do a little Color Dynamics as well. Now that I have all these features set up then let's just go in here and get that Thickness down. Number of Bristles. Okay, I like that.
There you go. That's looking good. So now what happens here is that I want go now and I am going to twirl. I am going to twirl this to get this little fur ball. So as I twirl my little stylus around you could see that I am creating this little fur ball. Domething that you can 'tdo very easily with the mouse. But because I can go in here and just twirl this around like that, it makes that difference to create this little fur shapes that I want. So now talked about pressure sensitivity. Now that's really crucial, because you could set pressure sensitivity for so many different things, the flow, the opacity, so many things can be controlled by it, even the size.
And that will make a difference. Now you have full control over the amount of pressure that you're going to place ,so if you have a heavy hand you're going to have a different setting and then say your seven year old son who comes over to play with your computer who won't have as heavy a hand. You have control over these settings. So what I am going to do is I am going to pick one of the other brushes. So I just picked a soft edge brush, right here, which is going to go to just do that, just a stroke. But if I go in there and start applying some functions to this, I'll go over to my Burhs engine again, and I got the, my Transfer mode set and I have Opacity set to Pen Pressure.
I have the Flow set to Pen Pressure. And I can even go in there and say in Shape Dynamics set the Size to Pen Pressure. So now I have everything set to Pen Pressure. So when I start to paint with that same brush, but with these new settings, if I press very lightly I get a very thin line. If I press heavier it starts to thick in. So I can go in there and have full control over these kinds of strokes that I am going to get, which I didn't have before. So I can get really thin strokes, very light strokes, or very heavy strokes where I am getting a lot of ink being applied.
So you could see where things like pen tilt and pen pressure are so crucial. A lot of the effects that you were trying to get sometimes would be a lot easier by simply using a stylus over that mouse.
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