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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.
Those bricks we just created, we will take a step further in this tutorial. We are going to weather them. We are going to turn them into dirty and mossy, all the kind of stuff that would happen to these things when exposed to the environment. We are going to use again one of the existing brushes that we're going to modify to do what we want it to do and of course we are going to put all that into a separate layer. So I am going to go in there and get my Paintbrush and this time we are going to use one of the Spatter Brushes that come with Photoshop. That's this group right here. So the ones that come after the bristle brushes. We use the largest one, 59 right there, which right now is going to do that.
It just does a streak. So we are going to go in there and modify that brush. In our Brushes panel, we are going to give it a lot of separation so we that we see the distinct tips, just like that. Now we are going to go into our Shape Dynamics where we have the Size Jitter set up, Minimum, so we have set it up and we are going to set up the Angle so that they are all going in different directions and let's just turn that off. So it's just kind of messy like that. We are also going to give it a Color Dynamics, between foreground and background I am going to bring down everything else to zero. We just want the foreground and background.
So now that we have this information going on here. We got this gray. Let's make it a slightly lighter gray and for the background we will make that a really dark gray like that. So there is the foreground and background established. So now that we have that, I am going to go in here and I want to attack certain bricks separately. I want them to not look like as one continuous smear. So I have got to go in there. I am going to select just as one brick right here. so I am going in there and I am selecting just that brick like that and I'm in that layer which we'll call grime and I am going to take that brush and we'll make it a little larger.
I am going to bring down the Opacity to about 30% and I am going to start to draw right into that area. You can see that I am drawing these kind of dirty areas. As I keep going over the same area, it will start to get a little darker because of the fact that I have an Opacity set. I can make it even bigger and just cover larger areas, like so. There you go. I can now go in there and select this next brick right here and I'll do the same to that one.
So here I will just concentrate more on this side wall like that and I'm just adding all these grime, soot and dirt to it like so. I can do this to each individual brick until I have every one of them as dirty as I want it to be. Let's go to this one and there we'll just kind of randomly throw some dirt in here, and it's going between the two colors. It's just very subtle because the Opacity has been lowered like so and we will do this last one. Then we are going to do something totally different with the same brush.
I'm going to come in right there and we will throw the dirt in here. There, that's good enough. Now let's get a little closer, right here. I am going to put the grime behind the separations, because the separations are being going to covered up by those gray tones, and so there they came back out. So now here is what's going to happen. I am going to have the same brush, but this time I am going to go in here and really damage the stone. I am going to go in there and start gouging chunks out of it. So on layer on top of all of them, right here, and I am going to take that brush, I am going to bring the Opacity back up to 100%, and I am just going to draw a couple of tones right in here, like so.
All right, then I can make sure that I am only going to go get this section here. So let's just select this one brick, because I want the whole side of it on this side here to be effected. I am going to just kind of paint right in here like that and a little tones in there and just a little hole right in there. So now this particular layer, these are going to be damages in that stone, so what I am going to do is I am going to double-click that layer to bring up the layer styles and right off the bat I take the Fill Opacity and reduce it to zero.
Now the Fill Opacity made those gray tones disappear, but since the Opacity is still set on 100, when I apply some layer styles to these layer, those new pixels that get generated for layer styles would remain 100% visible, but the original gray tones will have been taken away by the Fill Opacity. I am going to give it a Bevel & Emboss and right off the bat, you can see what's starting happen. I am going to increase the Depth so we got strong lights and darks, and there you could see that we have now these gouges in the stone. Now we can play around with the light source.
Let's turn off the global. There you can see where it looks like. There are bumps in the stone based on the lighting. The direction of the light, we want the light to come from this way. Now they are going into the stone, as you see there. Click OK and I could take this a step further by just taking a hard edged brush like this one, make it really small, even smaller here, which I will just do a little crack in this brick right through here and going down this way, and you could see that now we have damages in the stone.
Now we can take this yet one step further. Let's get rid of the grime. Let's get rid of the damages. And these steps? Let's change those a little bit. I am going to select all and get rid of that. I am going to get a hard edged brush. Like the one I have now, which does that. Okay that's good. I am going to go into my original paths and stroke them. That's good. Now I am going to take the background layer, right here. It is the background layer which I am going to totally desaturate, bring down its color.
There we go and then we will give it a little Noise, give it a lot of noise, Monochromatic, and I will give it a little Motion Blur. Nice long Distance and an Angle, like so. Now that's kind of like a brush metal all right. We might even want to make it a little lighter, so we will go in there and just kind of lighten it up a little. What we are going to do to this now is add rust, using that same brush that we used before.
Here is the same big brush. There it is, all right. I am going to go into the brush engine, make those modifications again. I am going to increase the Spacing so we see the individual tips, go into Shape Dynamics where we have the Size and the Angle, and then we are going to go into Color Dynamics, which we didn't have before. I have foreground and background 100%. The rest of it down to zero. So now with that set up that way I am going to go in there and create a new layer, which I am going to call rust, and in this rusty layer I have some colors to pick.
I am going to get a nice orange color, say about like that, and for the background color I will get a really dark brown like that and now I can start to draw some rust. If I wanted to keep it inside those particular areas again, I can go in there and segregate the area that I want to work in, like so, and this is the one I want to work in, just this one brick right there. So I am going to go in there and start to draw some rust. And as you can see, I will make my brush a little bit smaller, that I am getting this nice little rusty kind of an edge to my little piece right there.
We will draw some more little rust into these areas here and along these edge up on the top like so and some more. Now, this rust is eating into the metal, so I can go in there and just get a few more damages going through here. It's eating through the metal, which is causing an effect on the metal on top so it's kind of flaking it away. So what I am going to do is in that layer I am going to give it a Bevel & Emboss, just like before, except this time I am going to make the size really small, like about a one.
Okay, I am going to increase the depth so I get this really strong nice little lights in there, just so I am going to get a little highlights and stuff so it looks it's eating into the metal. Bring that down, click OK, and you see that now our rust has eaten into the metal, creating the effect that we want. Basically what we did is we took existing brushes in Photoshop, modified them to solve the problems that we faced with, which was rust and dirt and damages, all the kind of things that could've happened to these materials when exposed to the elements.
It's just a question of understanding what the brushes can do and then modifying them to make them do what you want.
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