Digital Matte Painting Essentials 4: Texturing
Illustration by John Hersey

Camera Raw


Digital Matte Painting Essentials 4: Texturing

with David Mattingly

Video: Camera Raw

If you're going to become a matte artist, you'll want The file sizes of photos shot in the Camera Raw You can also open the photo in that Most importantly, You can also lighten or You can also tint your photos here.
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Digital Matte Painting Essentials 4: Texturing
3h 10m Beginner Nov 07, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Preparing your form study for texturing
  • Adding dark and light side textures
  • Making rounded textures with the Warp tool
  • Creating photographic crenellations
  • Using Levels and Curves for color correction
  • Adding photographic elements
  • Relighting details
  • Adding glows, smoke, and flames
3D + Animation Design
David Mattingly

Camera Raw

If you're going to become a matte artist, you'll want to start building a reference library to use in your projects. One of the best ways of doing that is to start carrying your camera with you, and photographing anything that might be of use. You want to invest in a camera that shoots a special format called camera raw. The file sizes of photos shot in the Camera Raw formats are much larger than other formats like JPEGs because this format doesn't throw away any information that the camera sensor collects. And the image is totally uncompressed.

Let's open up a Camera Raw photo. This is available to premium members if you want to try this along with me. This is a photo I shot on vacation in Colorado and it's called ColoradoLandscape.CR2. When you open a Camera Raw photo, it comes up in its own special interface that gives you a lot of control. You can also open the photo in that special color space I talked about in a previous lesson, in 16 bit, the much deeper color space your professional matte paintings will be done in.

This is especially important since 16 bit reference photos are not available on the internet, and not generally available on reference websites. Most importantly, you can adjust the exposure and a lot of other parameters of your photos before you open them. So that any color correction you do will be less damaging to the image. It's worth noting that camera RAW photos can allow you to correct for under or overexposure by a couple of stops either way. And that's really a boon for those moments where either you or the camera screwed up on the exposure.

You can also lighten or darken the highlights and lighten or darken the shadows. If you shot a photo in hard sunlight, lightening the shadows can help to balance the image for relighting. Camera raw doesn't bake in the white balance like other formats do. For instance, I can use this dropdown menu to choose any white balance I like: daylight, cloudy, shade, tungsten, fluorescent. If you have a camera that does the white balance calculation for you, I'll bet there are plenty of times it guessed wrong.

This allows you to choose any white balance you like after the fact. You can also tint your photos here. If you are planning to use this in a desert scene you could pull the Tint towards red and the Temperature towards yellow and now it looks really hot. If you are going to use it in a freezing Alpine scene you could cool it down before you open it. And that's just the first menu. There's all these other menus to explore like Tone Curves, Sharpening and Lens Correction. You can do all this before you even open up the photo.

In this photo, I wish the clouds popped out a little more. So before I open it, I can pull the Highlights to the left. And now the clouds are nicely clarified. When you are happy with your adjustments press open image, and now you have a pristine 16 bit image to experiment on. One note when you go to save the image you have to save it in to another format like Photoshop. When you do that you will no longer have access to all of these Camera Raw controls. Those are only in the CR2 files. So, make sure you save the original in case you want to make some more corrections to the photo next time you open it.

So, with that done, let's experiment with Levels and Curves and see how they work.

There are currently no FAQs about Digital Matte Painting Essentials 4: Texturing.

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Digital Matte Painting Essentials 4: Texturing.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.