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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.
In this lesson, we're going to collapse some layers to deal with fringing, correct a few remaining problems and add some boxes below the front towers. First, let's deal with a problem that comes up with adjustment layers. As you can see, Photoshop displays a white fringe around some layers that have adjustment layers applied to them, like these crenulations layers. You'll want to copy these layers out, and basically flatten them so that you can deal with any problems that aren't anomalies, but actual white fringing.
So, turn off all the other groups, and open up the crenulations group. Turn off all of the front layers, and keep just the back layers on. Select all and then copy merged. Go above all of the crenulation adjustment layers and paste it in place, command or control + shift + v and label it crenulations back. Now you have all those back layers with their adjustments baked in on one layer. Do the same with the crenulations front, copy merged, and then paste them in place in the project above the crenulations back layer.
Label it crenulations front. Move them out of the crenulations group and turn the group off. Now you can see the actual pixel information on the crenulations and adjust as needed. Turn your layers back on and you can see most of the fringing is gone. I want to add one more detail to the front of the castle before we move on. So load the Dome group and turn off the layer mask for a moment. Turn back on the adjustment layer so this will be color corrected and load in the selection for the dark side boxes and the light side boxes.
Intersect the area that contains just the front box, select a group, not the layer mask and copy merged. Enable the Layer Mask again and paste that copy in. Move it above the dome group and above its adjustment layer, since it already has the adjustment applied to it. Turn everything else back on. And name the new layer front box. Move it over this front top bastian and scale it to fit. Turn it on and off to check the position. That looks pretty good.
I want to make this box taller so it'll sit on top of the wall. So let's select the bottom of it. And then command J to copy it out and scoot it down. Now this bottom section lines up nicely. The back side of that front box is still visible. So let's go ahead and make a selection around that and then delete it from the layer. We need to trim the top of this box, so that it matches the tower. You could apply a layer mask, but in this case I'm just going to delete it. Then merge those top and bottom sections together.
You still need a layer mask to make it sit behind the crenulations, so load in crenulations front and crenulations back. The back edge of this bastion is visible, so let's trace around that. And then intersect with just the area we need for the mask. Select that front box's layer again, invert the selection and apply the layer mask. We need a matching box on the right side, so let's copy that element out, paste it in and scoot it over to the right side. Turn on your perspective grid, you know you're going to need to scale it down since it's further back.
Line it up with that guide on the top and bottom. Needs to be scooted over just a little bit. And let's name this front box two. Load in the selection for crenulations front and back. Intersect with the area we need and apply the layer mask. Now the tower seems off center, let's adjust that, and trim the box to match. You can turn off your perspective guides now. And, finally, we need to fix up the mismatch between our photographic crenulations and the crenulations on our form project.
You can see it's causing a doubling of the crenulations in some areas. You can see why if you scroll down to your original form project and let's solo that castle. Our form crenulations are showing up as kind of a white ghost behind our photographic crenulations. So let's patch it on the castle all layer. Make sure the castle all layer is selected and select around the offending area. And copy, drag to hide those crenulations. We've got that same problem over here, so copy drag to hide them.
We need to make some final revisions to the castle on a top paint layer and we'll do that in the next lesson.
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