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Adding background mountains

From: Digital Matte Painting Essentials 4: Texturing

Video: Adding background mountains

Now we should add some detail to the background mountains. You'll need to clean up the left side of the mountain just a little bit.

Adding background mountains

Now we should add some detail to the background mountains. I have another piece of photo reference that has the kind of jaggy peaks that would go nice back there called Mountain.JPEG, and it's in the exercise files for you premium members. Let's try extracting this with the magic wand tool. Set the tolerance to 35. And click a couple times into the sky. You'll need to clean up the left side of the mountain just a little bit. And invert the selection and copy it out. Paste it into the castle project and let's position it and scale it down to something like this back volcano.

That's getting close. We'll need to turn the castle off so we can see the background mountains more clearly. Paste in a new copy of the mountain. We're just going to reuse this section a couple of different ways. And scale it and stretch it to fit. Just duplicate this copy over to the left side. What we're primarily going to be getting from this mountain is the texture. With the Eraser tool, go through and erase any hard edges on these layers of mountains. Then select all three of' 'em and merge them together. Load in the selection from that original mountains later, invert it, and then delete those edges.

Now, the photo reference mountains exactly matches the silhouette of the original mountains. Grab that big soft round brush again and invert the selection so you can paint into the mountains. These mountains are lit from the right direction and the shadow's occurring on the left side like we need, but you'll need to enhance the lighting by darkening the left side more. I'm going to merge these photographic mountains with the original mountains from the concept sketch. And then set the Brush transfer mode to Overlay.

Load that deep red color from the sky. We're going to darken and intensify the mountains so that they look more threatening. Go back to normal mode. And let's darken these mountains even more overall. Duplicate the mountains. We want another mountain range in front of these, so scale them down and squash them a little bit. Lets open up the Curves. Pull down on the black point, and let's rais the mid-tones just a bit. Now those lower mountains are more of a silhouette. Paint into them to darken them over all.

Use the Lasso tool to cut the top of this low mountain so that the shape is different from the higher one. Make a new layer between the Mountains and the Mountains Copy and call it Haze. Let's grab some of that light sky color. And we're going to add a little haze in between those two mountain ranges. Let's add another layer of haze on top of that. Go ahead and haze down both sets of mountains this time. There's too much contrast in the base.

So let's knock that back. Let's turn on the volcano smoke. Choose the cloud dynamic to brush again. The smoke is looking pretty good, but we need to extend it up more, there is a bit of a hard line at the top where the smoke cut off. The same with this smaller volcano. Smooth both of them out, so the smoke seems to disappear into the atmosphere. The point where smoke erupts out of the volcano should be hotter. So let's add a dab of bright orange right where the magma would be shooting out.

Let's switch the transfer mode to overlay to intensify the fire effect. Then lock the layer by clicking this lock check box. That will prevent you from painting anywhere on the layer where there aren't already pixels. Select that big, soft round brush. Select a bright orange-red from the color picker. And intensify the base of the volcano smoke. Let's pick a bright yellow Then go over the flames to make them even more saturated than intense. Unlock the layer.

Let's turn back on the castle layer so we can see the foreground and background combined. Then select that layer we made all the corrections to the sky on and return the Brush transfer mode to normal. Then lighten the sky right behind the volcano so little more. There could be slightly more haze on the mountains to set them further behind the castle. The same with this volcano smoke, it got a little too dark up here. That pretty much finishes up the background.

Next we need to unify all the details on the castle, and we're going to do that in the next lesson.

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This video is part of

Image for Digital Matte Painting Essentials 4: Texturing
Digital Matte Painting Essentials 4: Texturing

39 video lessons · 3324 viewers

David Mattingly

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  1. 1m 51s
    1. Introduction
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 44m 5s
    1. Why did we wait so long to use photographic textures?
      1m 55s
    2. Prepping the form study for texturing
      5m 32s
    3. Transfer modes
      9m 4s
    4. Color basics
      4m 45s
    5. Creating a stone texture
      3m 26s
    6. Adding the dark side's base texture
      3m 57s
    7. Adding the light side's base texture
      3m 40s
    8. Rounded textures and the Warp tool
      6m 33s
    9. Websites for matte painting reference
      5m 13s
  3. 30m 12s
    1. Creating a photographic crenellation
      7m 30s
    2. Creating a line of crenellations
      3m 27s
    3. The Vanishing Point tool
      4m 54s
    4. Adding crenellations using the Vanishing Point tool
      3m 4s
    5. Trimming the crenellations
      7m 9s
    6. Adding back sides to the crenellations
      4m 8s
  4. 29m 36s
    1. Levels and Curves anatomy
      5m 26s
    2. Camera Raw
      3m 33s
    3. Using Levels and Curves
      4m 55s
    4. Color correcting individual RGB channels
      3m 19s
    5. Toning the base castle
      5m 35s
    6. Toning the crenellations
      6m 48s
  5. 32m 25s
    1. Adding photographic elements
      4m 19s
    2. Distorting the dome and rectangular faces
      5m 18s
    3. Relighting the dome
      5m 59s
    4. Color correcting the dome
      1m 52s
    5. Adding more photographic details
      5m 57s
    6. Relighting the new details
      3m 50s
    7. Color correcting the details
      5m 10s
  6. 51m 33s
    1. Extreme color correction
      3m 36s
    2. Adding a photographic sky
      6m 27s
    3. Adding background mountains
      5m 32s
    4. Integrating the details
      7m 30s
    5. Collapsing layers and more details
      5m 13s
    6. The final paint layer
      6m 28s
    7. Lights and glows
      7m 16s
    8. Smoke and flames
      9m 31s
  7. 33s
    1. Goodbye

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