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A crucial step in building a realistic digital matte painting is texturing your scene. This course shows you how to add light, color, and texture to a basic form using photographic references and the tools in Adobe Photoshop. Author David Mattingly starts the lessons where Digital Matte Painting Essentials 3 left off—with a fully shaded 3D form—but you can also jump straight into this installment to learn more about texturing. Start now to learn how to add crenellations, color correct your form, distort and relight photographic textures, and add glows and special effects that make your painting convincing.
With the photographic details added to the Castle, it's time to turn our attention to the Sky. I have a photographic sky with the sort of streaky yellow glow in it that I envisioned for this Castle. If you're a lynda.com premium member, this is available to you in the course materials as sky.jpeg. Open it up and lets Paste it in the Castle project. It comes in to the middle of the Castle, so let's move it to the bottom of the layers just above the background group. The Sky reference is lower resolution than the Castle Project, but you don't have to worry about that in this case since the sky doesn't have to be ultra sharp.
Scale it up, and it looks like the sky is leaning to the Left. So let's distort this one side larger than the other and get the streaks level, that looks like it'll work. Let's turn off everything except for this new sky in the background. You can turn off the Group so you don't have to turn off all those Individual layers. Open up the Background group, let's put this New Sky behind the mountains. You'll need to get rid of this patch at the top since we now have coverage up there, and turn off the volcano smoke.
We don't have double mountains, and the mountains in the plate are too dark. So, lets paint them out. You can pick a color right off the plate. It should probably be a lighter and a little more orange. And with the big soft brush, go ahead and just scrub it out. That looks a little too light, I'm going to select a darker color and knock that down a bit. And let's get rid of the top of that Mountain, you don't have to be too meticulous in this. We're going to come back with a cloud brush and restore some of this detail. Let's switch to that Cloud Dynamic brush to simplify this top area.
It's too busy and I think this would work better with a more subtle cloud pattern. This Cloud brush works great for this sort of thing. You can't completely control it, but the randomness and scatter of the brush gives you a much more natural look to the clouds. I'd like a couple of Variations on this brush, one inside of the shape dynamics section. Set the side should have control to pin pressure to give yourself more size variation. I'm going to crank up the minimum diameter to 35%, so that it doesn't go too small, then add more scatter to it to make it even more random.
One rule of thumb is that the more scatter you add, the more happy accidents and random shapes it'll generate. But along with that goes a loss of control, so you'll have to experiment and strike a balance. And don't forget to save the brush as CloudDynamic 2. Let's make one more cloud variation to give ourself a lot of variety. Lower the size jitter on this one to 15, give it a little Less Scatter and under Brush Tip Shape raise the spacing to, say, 42%.
That'll give you an even lumpier cloud and of course save it, that should be enough. Let's go ahead and dab in some dark clouds up here at the top. This is that lumpier brush, so we're getting a more distinct cloud pattern. Then that CloudDynamic2 brush isn't as lumpy, but it has more scatter, so it'll randomize the pattern more. You can use it to patch some of these streaky clouds at the left. And let's grab a lighter tone to add a little space for my Castle to be silhouetted.
Grab a dark tone and fill in some of these holes in the sky. When working with these randomized brushes, you need to watch out for overworking the clouds and getting an overly busy sky. I think I'm in danger of that now, so I'm going to use that soft round brush to knock the clouds back a bit and smooth them out. I'm going over this and getting rid of some of that lumpiness. And once I have that back in control, I'll use the cloud brush again very gingerly to restore bit of that crisp cloud pattern.
I'm using that Cloud Dynamic brush with a lot of scatter on it, and it's very hard to control, but it works great for restoring just a bit of the original cloud pattern. That's looking pretty good, let's turn the Castle back on. You'll want your Castle to stand out from the sky showing a clean silhouette. I sometimes have students who do a dark Castle against a dark sky, or a light castle against a light sky which doesn't make it stand out. I want to show you a painting by Rembrandt called, The Old Mill, I have to thank my good friend, artist Jim Gurney, for pointing this out.
Take a look at the four arms of this windmill. Interestingly enough, Rembrandt has painted all four possible states of an object against a background, light against light for this arm. Light again is dark for this one, dark against dark for this one and dark against light for the fourth arm. It's a very cool painting and I'm sure Rembrandt did this as an explanation of this very topic. Skilled artists like Rembrandt play with lost and found edges. But its very important for you that you not muddle the silhouette of your Castle too much.
The Castle is the centrepiece of this scene and your eye should be drawn immediately to it by it's separation from the sky. The Castle is nicely silhouetted now, but I'd like to restore just a bit of complexity to the clouds behind it with that Cloud's Dynamic tool brush. So, just dab in some more cloud detail with that dark tone, a little dab will do you. And keep resizing to add variety to the stroke and I think that does it. Next, we'll detail up the Mountains in the background and we'll do that in the next lesson.
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