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Digital Matte Painting Essentials 2: Perspective
Illustration by John Hersey

Adding structural lines to the walls and bastions


From:

Digital Matte Painting Essentials 2: Perspective

with David Mattingly

Video: Adding structural lines to the walls and bastions

At this point, all of the structural work is completed on the castle, and all we'll be doing from here forward is adding details to give the castle more character. Turn off the Ticks layer, and the copy of the divisions guides that was used to break up the tower, and let's add structural lines to all of the walls and bastions. Let's add a new layer, and call it details. Set your brush size to two pixels, and set the opacity to 70%. These lines should be lighter than the primary form lines.

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

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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 structural lines to the walls and bastions

At this point, all of the structural work is completed on the castle, and all we'll be doing from here forward is adding details to give the castle more character. Turn off the Ticks layer, and the copy of the divisions guides that was used to break up the tower, and let's add structural lines to all of the walls and bastions. Let's add a new layer, and call it details. Set your brush size to two pixels, and set the opacity to 70%. These lines should be lighter than the primary form lines.

We're going to add these lines to all of the bastions and walls, but we no longer have to worry about finding the perspective on these, we'll just base them on the primary form lines that we already have. I'll be going up and down on the opacity of the brush by pressing the number keys on the top of the keyboard. For example, with the Brush Tool selected, if you press two the opacity of the brush will be set to 20% and if you press seven it will be set to 70%. Zero sets the brush to 100%.

I added guides 20% on this wall so that I could draw through the tower. Then using those guides I can make one more pass on the wall to beef up the lines to 70%. We'll go through and do this for all the forms on the castle. Once again I'm dropping the Opacity of the brush to 20%, to draw the guides through the tower in side arm. And then once those are in place go back to 70% and knock the lines in clearly.

This part of the project is repetitive, but you can take the castle from looking blocky and simple to being much more complex. (BLANK_AUDIO). There's some little windows on each side of the entrance. In order to center them and have them at the same height, add some guides at 20% and then go back and delineate them at 70%.

Some of my students have asked if I do a formal perspective drawing for every assignment I get, and the answer is no. Once you have a mastery of perspective, there are a lot of short cuts you can take to speed things up, including not adding this sort of final detailing. But it's important to know how to do a drawing like this, even if you don't do as complete a one as we're doing here. There's a great story about Peter Ellenshaw, the master matte artist I mentioned at the beginning of this course.

When he was working on Mary Poppins, the demands on his time were so great that he hired another artist to do perspective drawings of some of the panoramas of London he did for the production. When it came time for him to work over those drawings, he found them too confining for his built-in command of perspective and he ignored much of the work in order to complete the paintings. However, that sort of command of perspective only comes from doing many drawings like this in order to master the rules.

I'm going to speed the rest of this up. I don't have anything more to say about this section. And I think you get the idea. By adding this detail to the walls and bastins they look more substantial next I will add some repeating decorations to the side walls

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