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Digital Matte Painting Essentials 2: Perspective

Adding details to the domes and towers


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Digital Matte Painting Essentials 2: Perspective

with David Mattingly

Video: Adding details to the domes and towers

The walls are looking good. So let's add some ornamentation to the towers and domes. We already subdivided this high tower so let's use those divisions to add some arches that echo those on the lower wall, along with some small windows all wrapped around the tower. Turn the Ticks Layer back on so we can see the subdivisions and on the Details Layer add Vertical Guides on every other tick going around the tower. Then draw the little arch decorations from the guide up to the middle Ticks.

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Digital Matte Painting Essentials 2: Perspective
2h 37m Beginner Aug 27, 2013

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An accurate perspective drawing is an essential base for most matte paintings. Learn how to create linear perspective drawings of a castle in Adobe Photoshop with this course, and migrate the lessons to your own project. David Mattingly, a matte artist for many groundbreaking motion pictures, teaches you about the three types of perspective, and how to set up vanishing points, find and rough in the forms in your painting, add detail like crenellations, draw ellipses, and polish the final drawing.

Note: This installment of Digital Matte Painting Essentials builds on the concept sketch from the first course, but it's not necessary to have those files to proceed.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the three types of linear perspective
  • Preparing your concept sketch for drawing
  • Setting up vanishing points
  • Finding the first boxes in perspective
  • Roughing in the other rectilinear forms
  • Creating a flat crenellation
  • Plotting measuring points
  • Drawing ellipses
  • Adding repeating details to walls
  • Delineating the background
Subjects:
3D + Animation Rendering Design Digital Painting Visual Effects
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
David Mattingly

Adding details to the domes and towers

The walls are looking good. So let's add some ornamentation to the towers and domes. We already subdivided this high tower so let's use those divisions to add some arches that echo those on the lower wall, along with some small windows all wrapped around the tower. Turn the Ticks Layer back on so we can see the subdivisions and on the Details Layer add Vertical Guides on every other tick going around the tower. Then draw the little arch decorations from the guide up to the middle Ticks.

I want a couple of guides for drawing the windows, so select the Final Ellipse Layer, Lasso around one of the closest ellipses and drag copy, duplicate it down to the lower part of the tower. This ellipse is at 100% but it would be nice if it was lighter. So select Fill and clear it by 60%. Duplicate it again and define the top and bottom of the windows. These guides are still too dark. So Marquee around both ellipses and clear them by 60% again.

Draw guides through the middle of the arches to help center the windows and lightly block them in. With everything roughed in it's fairly easy to go through and clarify these arches I'm holding down the Shift key and drawing short segments. And then clean up these windows. Let's work on the dome.

Zoom In and add a new layer called Dome Details. These little arched windows that go around the edge of the dome will require some guides. I want to mention a great shortcut. You can select any layer that has pixels underneath it by Cmd or Ctrl+Right clicking on an area. That's how I'm finding this Final Ellipse Layer without having to go into the Layers panel. We'll cover this in much more detail in the next section, Form. Grab one of the existing ellipses, drag it down to the bottom of the arch and scale it to size.

It's too dark so, Lasso around it and clear it by 90%. Duplicate it again, and line it up with the bottom of the windows. We need one more for the top of the windows, so copy it again. Switch to the Dome Details Layer and roughly sketch in the archways that go around the dome. I'm doing a mixture of freehand drawing and holding down the Shift key and drawing segments.

This can be sketch here, since I'll come back after I've roughed it in, to draw the final forms cleanly. You only have to draw half, since the dome is symetrical you can flip it over. With the guides in place, go through and draw it cleanly at higher opacity. I generally draw this by clicking and holding down the Shift key to get more control. With half the arches completed, drag copy, duplicate them to the left and transform it negative 100% into place.

There's a bit of clean up to be done where the decorations go behind this tower. Clear it by 80%. Now we need to define these little windows that wrap around the dome. Add a guide to find the center of each archway for the windows. And then rough in each of the windows, still working at a low opacity.

With the guides to help you draw it accurately, go in and firm up the windows at a higher opacity. Before we leave this dome, it would be fun to add a bit more detail at the top. We need another guide, so grab an ellipse from the top pointed detail and move it down a tad.

Then scale it into place. You'll notice this ellipse is getting kind of mushy. And I probably should have gone to the ellipse bank again to get a clean one. So I'll sharpen the edges a bit with the Eraser tool. And add a few divisions to this top dome point. I'm going to add a round base to this front tower.

Then Lasso around it. Let's move it over to this other symmetrical tower and scale it down a bit. Let's add some decorative points to the dome and square tower like I have on the concept sketch. My layers are getting rather disorganized so let's make a new layer for this called Domepoints. Draw only half of the decorative point. And then Lasso it and drag copy, duplicate it. And transform it negative 100%.

Then line it up with the other side. Let's get it centered on the dome division just right. These ellipses are so tiny, we can just free hand them, and clean up that dome division behind the point. With one point nicely drawn, Lasso around it and drag copy, duplicate it to the next position. And the next.

This one needs a little cleanup. Let's Lasso around all of them. And drag copy, duplicate them to the right. And transform them negative 100%. And eliminate that first one from the selection so that the line doesn't double up. We need one more on this right side. There's a little cleanup on this left side, and where the dome divisions are showing up behind the points.

We're almost done. Let's add some points to the square towers on the left. These should be slightly different from the ones on the dome. So let's go through that same process again. Once you've drawn an interesting shape, Lasso around it. Copy drag, duplicate it. And transform it negative 100%. Line it up with that original side. This looks a little too fat. I'm going to transform it horizontally so that it's a little pointier.

And then deselect it and free hand in the ellipses. Let's clean up the line from the tower behind it and Lasso around them and let's move it over to the other corners of the tower. And do a little clean up behind the points.

One last detail, I'd like to add a flame holder at the front of the castle entrance. Draw the top of the bowl. And a lower fore line, then Lasso around it and drag copy, duplicate it over to the right side, and scale it into place. That's it for drawing the castle, in the next lesson we'll draw in the main background forms.

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