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Learn to create new worlds, both fanciful and totally realistic, in our series on digital matte painting in Adobe Photoshop with David Mattingly, a matte artist for many groundbreaking motion pictures such as Tron and I, Robot. In this installment, he shows you how to set up your palettes and workspace, tone the underlying plate, create silhouettes in your background, and paint in light and other details. Plus, learn to paint waterfalls, smoke, and other elements that make for fascinating movie backdrops.
Let's add a couple of erupting volcanoes behind the castle. And this time, we'll use the Lasso tool to delineate them. Select the Lasso tool, or press L on the keyboard. We're going to use the lasso as a Drawing tool. Creating a selection shaped like the erupting volcanoes behind the castle. Add a mountain on the left side of the castle. With the selection complete, make a new Layer in front of the sky, and name it Mountains.
Select the Brush tool or press the B key and select a Soft Round Brush with transfer turned on. With the heads up color picker, choose a dark burnt red orange. And start brushing in the background mountains. This isn't quite the right color, a darker redder tone would work better. . The mountain tops can be darker and more intense, since the base of the mountains would be affected by the haze from the sea of lava. Deselect all, Cmd or Ctrl + D and draw a second line of mountains at the base, to add some more depth.
Finish drawing the selection, and then invert it Cmd or Ctrl + Shift I. Select that lighter haze color from the base of the mountains, and brush that in behind the mountain range like there's a little bit of haze separating them. Hide the selection Cmd or Ctrl + h, so you can see what you're doing. Choose a slightly lighter, more orange color to lighten the bottom of the haze.
Then choose a nice bright red, to add some intensity to the middle of these mountains. Then Deselect All, and add a haze over both the mountains to unify them. That finishes the mountains, next we are going to add some volcano smokes.
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