Digital Matte Painting Essentials 3: Tone
Illustration by John Hersey

Examining the dark sides of rounded surfaces


From:

Digital Matte Painting Essentials 3: Tone

with David Mattingly

Video: Examining the dark sides of rounded surfaces

Next we're going to add the dark sides to the towers and domes. This is very much like how the light side was done, only we're doing it on the dark side layer that is set to multiply. Select the dark side layer, make sure your background color is still set to that middle gray that we used before And then load the towers one layer, hide it. Let's start this out with the gradient tool. Holding down the Shift key to keep the gradient vertical and dragging to the right, go through and give each tower a couple of passes with the gradient to build up the tone.

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Watch the Online Video Course Digital Matte Painting Essentials 3: Tone
1h 18m Beginner Sep 19, 2013

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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.

Topics include:
  • Selecting the silhouette
  • Find the dark sides and light sides in the drawing
  • Using mask-holding layers
  • Examining the light and dark sides of rounded surfaces
  • Looking at the cores
  • Adding cast shadows
  • Separating surfaces with final darks
  • Adding ambient occlusion
Subjects:
3D + Animation Design
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
David Mattingly

Examining the dark sides of rounded surfaces

Next we're going to add the dark sides to the towers and domes. This is very much like how the light side was done, only we're doing it on the dark side layer that is set to multiply. Select the dark side layer, make sure your background color is still set to that middle gray that we used before And then load the towers one layer, hide it. Let's start this out with the gradient tool. Holding down the Shift key to keep the gradient vertical and dragging to the right, go through and give each tower a couple of passes with the gradient to build up the tone.

You can hide and unhide the selection. Command or Ctrl+H. To remind yourself what towers are selected. You'll need three or four swipes on each tower to build it up. Like on the light side the gradient tool won't do it all. You'll need to select the brush and making it smaller go in and do the finer details on the tower tops.

Now let's load in towers two in details. Then, hide the selection so you can see what you're doing. I'm doing these other towers directly with the brush. The gradiant works great as a starting point but you can do it either way. Then the backs of these little flame holders. These little detail points on the dome still need a dark side.

I'm going to zoom in closer so I can see what I'm doing. Finally we need to load in the dome and side towers. With a big soft brush do the base of the dome Then reduce the size of the brush and brush in the fine upper parts. And that completes the dark side on the towers and domes.

In the next lesson, we'll add cores, a dark transition area between the light and dark sides on rounded surfaces.

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