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What really makes a matte painting come to life? A technique called camera projection can transform a 2D matte painting—like the fiery castle built in previous installments of this series—into a 3D scene, complete with a moving camera and shifting perspective. In this, the fifth and final installment of Digital Matte Painting Essentials, David Mattingly shows how to use Maya's powerful toolset to add perspective and animation. First, you'll break out the layers of the painting, create rough geometry inside Maya to match the forms, and then project texture onto those forms to give them depth. Then you'll learn how to add an animated camera, special effects, and create a fully realized 3D environment from the painting.
There are seven more layers to prepare and this is going to get repetitive, so I'm going to fast forward through the next one, the top wall. You'll do the same thing, load in the mask holding layer if you have one, or hand select the top wall. Then Copy-Merge the selection out, Paste it in place Patch the areas where the side tower is covering the wall, then select the bottom of the layer, copy duplicate that selection down so that the layers can meet without gap showing, and trim the layer.
Turn the other layers on to confirm you have enough coverage. And then turn all the other layers back on. Next, we want to get the towers and domes out. And on this one, I didn't correct the mask holding layers. The reason for that, is that any element that can be silhouetted against transparency, can be cleanly extracted by turning off the background layers, selecting the area you want. Copy merged, and pasting it back in place. Since there was nothing behind them, the towers and dome come out cleanly.
Let's zoom in and solo the towers layer. Once again, we have some elements in front of the dome that are on another layer. In this case, the boxes on the top wall bastions. So select them, and press delete. Select the bottoms of these towers in the dome, and copy duplicate them down to provide coverage. There's a little cleanup to be done on these sides. And this little chunk on the left side. Now select the bottom of the dome, and copy duplicate that down to get coverage.
I want a little bit more of this illuminated archway that's hiding behind the crenelation. And the same with this tower. I think I need a little more. Clean up these ragged edges on the bottom. Petch this tower on the far left. Turn the other layers back on, and lets put the towers behind the top wall and confirm we have enough coverage. That looks good. Turn the new layers you've prepared for Maya off and all the other layers back on. And we're ready to extract the bridge. These next two layers are exactly the same, so I'm going to fast forward through them.
So there's the bridge layer, and let's do the side tower. These mask holding layers, if you prepared them come in really handy for this extraction process. Otherwise you have some additional hand selecting to do. Let's slow down again to extract the hill and background. Turn on all of your original layers. Select all the layers that make up the castle. Don't include the mask holding layers, background, or special layers we extracted for Maya. And put them in a group called castle.
Turn the new castle group off and we just see the hill in the background. Let's extract the hill next. Load in the selection for the hill, and copy merged. Then, go up to the top of the stack, paste it in, name it hill. Select the bottom of the hill, and copy duplicate it in place using the down arrow key. These rocks have gotten really streaky so let's scribble in some tone to repair the rock texture. And the same over here where the streaking is a bit too obvious.
Turn the hill off. Then turn off the hill on the background layer. Now we have a clean background with nothing else on it. Even though we'll be projecting this onto two pieces of geometry, the sky and water, we only need one map of the entire background for both. So, select all, copy merged, scroll up to the Maya layers, select the bottom layer, and paste it in. Move it to the bottom of the stack and call this one Background.
The hill needs to go just above it. Turn all the Maya layers on. Double check that there are no gaps. That all looks pretty good. Now, we can throw out the layers we no longer need throughout the Castle group and the Mask Holding Layers group. And we no longer need this hill in the background group, since we have it in the Maya layers. Close up the background group. There is one final thing you need to do to this file. Set it to eight bit. In the top menu, go up to image, choose mode, and then, eight bit slash channel.
We did all of our texturing in 16-bit because of the expanded color space, but Maya won't accept 16-bit files in the default setup of the application. If you are going to do this project in a high-bit depth system like Nuke, you would keep everything in 16-bit. But for this tutorial, set the file to eight bit before exporting the texture files for Maya. You'll want to save this file under a new name, just in case you want to go back and revise your final textured castle.
So let's call this CameraProjectionStart.PSD This file will be available to all lynda.com members, premium and regular, to use while doing this course. Next step, I'll show you how to write out each of these layers, in the special way Maya needs them, for use in camera projection.
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