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After you've perfected your perspective drawing, the next step in the matte painting process is to layer in tone: the master tool in the matte artist's arsenal for establishing a fully formed structure. David Mattingly, a matte artist for many groundbreaking motion pictures, takes a black-and-white drawing and shows how to use the five elements of light—dark sides, light sides, cores, cast shadows, and final darks— to paint the surfaces and create a realistically shaded environment in Adobe Photoshop.
This course is part 3 in David's Digital Matte Painting Essentials series. Go back to part 2 to recreate the castle drawing he uses in this course, or if you simply want to learn more about form, you can use the example provided in the exercise files.
With all the rectangular surfaces on the light side defined, now it's time to do the dark side. Each selection you make makes the next selection faster and easier, so this dark side selection will take you much less time to do than the light side did. Zoom in on the castle so you can see it a little better. Marquee around the crenellations of the top of the castle to exclude these towers and domes. Once again, you only want the flat surfaces in this first pass, no rounded ones.
Make sure to also exclude these towers on the left. And then very roughly draw around the outside edge of the castle. Don't forget about these two smokestacks at the front. And these two remaining top towers that weren't selected before. Close that selection. There's a couple of little round tower points over here that I'd like to exclude from the selection. Moving over to the Layers window, I want to hold down Cmd+Opt+Shift or Ctrl+Alt+Shift.
Notice again how the cursor gets a little x next to it. And click into the layer thumbnail preview of the Silhouette layer. By intersecting with the silhouette, your selection is now confined to the bounds of your castle. Move to the light side layer, and Opt+Cmd+click or Alt+Ctrl+click in the layer thumbnail preview to subtract the light side from the dark side selection. We want to darken the dark side, so let's add a new layer, and name it DarkSide, and change the layer transfer mode to Multiply so it'll darken the castle.
Open the color picker, and choose that same 150, 150, 150 middle gray we chose before. And fill the selection with 100% of that foreground color. Since the layer transfer mode was set to multiply, it now substantially darkens the dark side of the castle. That completes the dark side. In the next section we'll create some additional masks then tone the towers and domes.
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