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Digital Matte Painting Essentials 2: Perspective

Distorting crenellations into perspective


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Digital Matte Painting Essentials 2: Perspective

with David Mattingly

Video: Distorting crenellations into perspective

Now that we have one flat crenelation created we'll let Photoshop do all the hard work of distorting and placing all the other crenelations in perspective. Make sure you're still on the flat crenelation layer and lasso around it. Let's do this front bridge first. Copy drag which is Cmd+Opt or Ctrl+Alt drag that flat crenelation down. And get it roughly in place. Press Cmd or Ctrl + T to transform it horizontally to fit and then Right Click inside the transform box and select Distort from the drop down menu.

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Digital Matte Painting Essentials 2: Perspective
2h 37m Beginner Aug 27, 2013

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An accurate perspective drawing is an essential base for most matte paintings. Learn how to create linear perspective drawings of a castle in Adobe Photoshop with this course, and migrate the lessons to your own project. David Mattingly, a matte artist for many groundbreaking motion pictures, teaches you about the three types of perspective, and how to set up vanishing points, find and rough in the forms in your painting, add detail like crenellations, draw ellipses, and polish the final drawing.

Note: This installment of Digital Matte Painting Essentials builds on the concept sketch from the first course, but it's not necessary to have those files to proceed.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the three types of linear perspective
  • Preparing your concept sketch for drawing
  • Setting up vanishing points
  • Finding the first boxes in perspective
  • Roughing in the other rectilinear forms
  • Creating a flat crenellation
  • Plotting measuring points
  • Drawing ellipses
  • Adding repeating details to walls
  • Delineating the background
Subjects:
3D + Animation Rendering Design Digital Painting Visual Effects
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
David Mattingly

Distorting crenellations into perspective

Now that we have one flat crenelation created we'll let Photoshop do all the hard work of distorting and placing all the other crenelations in perspective. Make sure you're still on the flat crenelation layer and lasso around it. Let's do this front bridge first. Copy drag which is Cmd+Opt or Ctrl+Alt drag that flat crenelation down. And get it roughly in place. Press Cmd or Ctrl + T to transform it horizontally to fit and then Right Click inside the transform box and select Distort from the drop down menu.

Now comes the tricky part. You need distrot the edges to exactly match your guidelines. You need to keep the edges of the distortion box vertical. If they're tilted right or left, the crenelations will lean and the spacing will be inaccurate. The crenelations on the left are slightly smaller than those on the right, since those are closer to the viewer. As long as you're careful and accurate, Photoshop will do all of the work for you. The crenelations on the backside of the bridge are very similar to these.

So lasso them and command or control j to copy them off the flat crenelations layer. Any time you have crenelations that overlap, it's helpful to keep them on a separate layer, get them in position and make the back ones a little smaller since they're further away. Press return or enter to accept the transformation, select the flat crenelations layer again, and select-drag-copy them as before. Let's do the crenelations on the front of the castle next.

Press Cmd or Ctrl > t for the transform tool, and right-click and select Distort. This right side of the castle faces away from the viewer more than the left side; since the vanishing point on the right side is closer in. So, these crenelations will be more compressed. Play around with the size of the crenelations, until you get something that looks right to you. Here's an example with the sides of the transform box leaning to the left, which'll give you inaccurate crenelations.

Be sure to correct that, whenever it happens. You need to decide how wide these front crenelations should be. After getting them lined up, I think I want them to be narrower. So, I'm moving the right side to make the crenelations more compressed. You also need to pay attention to where the crenelations start and end on the wall. You can't have half a crenelation on an edge. That looks about right, except the Transform. While still selected, copy/drag them down to this lower wall.

This set of crenelations is very similar to those above. But still need to be adjusted to match the guides. Every time you use the transform tools to adjust the crenelations, they'll get a little softer. But reusing them here will still give you acceptable results. Select that first set of crenelations. You don't want to duplicate the one we just worked on, since that would be distorting it a third time. And go through that same process. Keep an eye on where the crenelations meet the right side bastion.

You don't want a half crenelation where it meets the wall. Zoom out and grab a fresh copy of the flat crenelation to do the other side of the castle. And get it roughly in place. This side of the castle is facing more towards us so the crenelations will be compressed less, so don't pull in the side as much as the right crenelation. (UNKNOWN) . your time and get these lined up with your guides.

Then Lasso around them and Drag > Copy them up to the next level. Then Distort it. And I think we can get away with just distorting this one again. Copying this again. This crenelation needs to be smaller since it's a bit further away from the viewer than the bottom one.

The crenelations for the front of the wall that connects to the bridge still need to be added. Select this upper set and copy-drag it down. There are a lot of competing crenelations in this area that we're going to need to clean up. But for right now get it into position and aligned with the right vanishing points. This area's getting hard to read so cut this set of crenelations onto a new layer by pressing Cmd or Ctrl+Shift+J.

The sidearm that connects to the pointed tower needs crenelations that vanished to the right. So select some from this right wall and command or control j to copy them on to a new layer and move them into position. I accidentally got a crenelation from the left wall that needs to be clipped off. This area's getting very hard to see because of the overlapping crenelations. So, turn off the flat crenelations layer temporarily to get this section lined up.

Now, we need to clean up the edges of the crenelations. So, lasso around all of the areas where they are hanging over. Most of these are on the flat crenelations layer, but I have three more layers with overlapping crenelations to worry about, also. And then, delete them. Click through these other layers to delete what's on them. The side tower still needs to be cleaned up. But the crenelation on the middle wall isn't meeting the bastion correctly.

I'm going to move that to the left a bit. There are smaller crenelations above the entrance, so grab the ones right above it and copy drag them down into position. Then scale them down, zoom in a bit and distort them to match. Clip off the extra bits.

Zoom out so we can see the whole project. Right now all your crenelations are without back sides, but in the next lesson, I'll show you the easy way to add thickness to them.

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