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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.
Next up, we'll take a photograph from environment-textures.com, and use it to create a photo realistic crenulation. You want to take the time to design a really interesting distinct crenulation, and use it throughout your castle as a unifying design element. Let's take a look at the photo. This is very high resolution, and has some nice elements that can be used as the base of the crenulation. This crenulation at the top of this arch has some nice detail, but the castle in the concept sketch has pointed triangular crenulations that I'd like to keep.
Using the marquee with the feathers set to 0, select two triangular shapes within the existing crenulations. Press Cmd or Ctrl+J to copy the selection onto a new Layer. We'll be duplicating these into a line of crenulations, but having at least two different brick patterns will help make the duplication's somewhat less obvious. Let's add a bit of finish to these triangular crenulations. Select the sides of the triangular points. Grab a warm grey from the flat area between these crenulations, and paint some plaster at the top of these bricks.
Then select the light side color from the stone between the two crenulations, and add a top to the plaster. The line between the light and dark side came in kind of heavy, so set the brush to 50% and go through and soften that edge up a bit. And paint a little shadow, where the mortar meets the bricks to give it some additional dimension. Let's zoom in, there's some shadows under the bricks that you should paint out. I'm going to use that chalk dynamic brush to paint it. You can stay very loose while painting this.
It doesn't have to be exactly accurate. But change your color often, so that you get a lot of variation in the brick, as you work. We've lost some of the definition between the brick. So I'm going to choose that Drawing Line Brush with just a little bit of scatter on it. And then go through and firm up some of these edges a bit, and sketch in a little indication of the cracks between the bricks. You want to keep the spaces between the bricks absolutely straight, so hold down the Shift key while drawing either horizontally or vertically. The space between the crenulations looks a little wide, so I'm going to pull them closer together.
Now we need to turn these two crenulations into repeating sections. So trim each side, then select the section and Cmd or Ctrl+Option+Alt+Shift drag the section over to duplicate it on the same layer. We have a little mismatch between the two sides that we need to repair before we continue duplicating. Again, you can stay very loose while doing this. If anything, if you get too fussy, it'll look less photographic. And hop around and define these bricks a little bit better. Now that we've patched the paintings so that the two sides join properly, we need to grab that little section of painting, and move it over to the left edge, and then delete that original duplicated area.
If we've done our job properly and we Cmd or Ctrl+Option+Alt+Shift drag it over to the edge of the original, they should join perfectly. That does it for the repeating crenulation section. Turn the original image back on, and let's add some detail underneath the crenulations. This interesting arch form will work well, so let's go ahead and select two of them with the Rectangular Marquee Tool. Select the original image and Cmd or Ctrl+J to Copy it onto a new layer, and turn off that background image.
The undersides of these arches have hard cast shadows that need to be removed. Let's try color correcting the shadow bricks to match the light side bricks. With the Lasso tool set to a two pixel feather to keep it a little softer, marquee around the area of the shadow. This doesn't have to be perfect, we're going to have to patch this with some painting when we're done. This is just for a gross color correction. Then set the feather to 10 pixels, and subtract from the selection right under the arch.
It'd be nice to keep a little shadowing under here. Open up curves, Cmd or Ctrl+M. We'll cover color correction in great detail in an upcoming section. But for now, just pull up on the middle of the curve, and pull in on the white point at the top right corner. This won't be perfect, but it'll get us most of the way there. Now, paint in the areas where the join isn't quite right. Once again, I like that chalk dynamic with a little more scatter on it for this.
That way you can rapidly paint in some tones to blend the shadow, without getting fussy about it. Just continue scribbling some tone to hide that join. Let's open up the brush, and add some more scattering to it. This will make it even more random. And some more scribbling in, varying the tone and some of the color from that lighter brick. We'll have to restore the indication of the cracks between the bricks a little later on. And choose that soft round brush. Using that scatter brushes made the tones a little bitty, and this allows you to smooth them out.
Now we need to do some painting, so the right and left sides join properly. So Cmd+Option or Ctrl+Alt+Shift drag the section over to create a new layer. We need to paint the join between the two sides, so that it will seamlessly duplicate. Also, with that color correction to get rid of the cast shadow, we've lost all of the definition between the bricks. So, this gives us a nice opportunity to paint them in. However, you don't want to spend a lot of time on this, this can be done very quickly.
I know the section will be scaled down to match the triangular crenulations, so stay loose and sketchy as you work on this. Let's start to look pretty good. Now we need to marquee of the section that has the perfect join on the edge, and Cmd+Option or Ctrl+Alt drag it over to the left edge. Make sure it's lined up. And you can delete that right side copy, we only needed it to paint the join. I'm going to double the speed of painting the center section of bricks, since it's just like painting the other side. And clean up this top a little. Let's zoom out and move this close to the crenulations.
In the next lesson we'll join this arch detail to our triangular crenulations, and make them into repeating line ready for use on the castle.
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