Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Extracting the hill

From: Digital Matte Painting Essentials 1: Concept

Video: Extracting the hill

Before starting on the castle structure, I find it very helpful to tone the plate to more closely match the environment of the castle I envision. If you plan to do a castle on a bright, sunny Caribbean hill, then your work is done. But often you'll want to tone and color correct your plate to make it something more dramatic than your source material. Even if you don't plan to change the plate, you should watch the next couple of videos just to get a handle on how to do it. You'll probably want to deal with the hill separately, so it would be helpful to separate it from the rest of the scene before we begin.

Extracting the hill

Before starting on the castle structure, I find it very helpful to tone the plate to more closely match the environment of the castle I envision. If you plan to do a castle on a bright, sunny Caribbean hill, then your work is done. But often you'll want to tone and color correct your plate to make it something more dramatic than your source material. Even if you don't plan to change the plate, you should watch the next couple of videos just to get a handle on how to do it. You'll probably want to deal with the hill separately, so it would be helpful to separate it from the rest of the scene before we begin.

You could do this be using the Lasso tool to carefully select around the hill. But I want to show you a better and more accurate way of doing that. Go to the dock windows on the right of the interface and choose the Channels tab. Here you can view the red, green, and blue color channels that make up your image. Look through the individual channels and see if one of them shows the hill more clearly separated from the rest of the scene. In this case the blue plate shows the hill darker than both the sky and the water.

Make a copy of the blue color channel by dragging it to the bottom of the window on to the Create a New Channel icon. It looks like a square with the bottom left corner turned up. That copy labelled blue copy appears and it's selected. Now press Cmd or Ctrl+M to open up the Curves panel. You want to pull the black point which is in the lower left corner of the curve to the right until the hill becomes completely black. Then pull the white point which is at the upper right corner of the curve to the left until the water becomes almost completely white to create a high contrast matte.

this channel isn't clear enough to get it perfect using only the curves, but it'll get you most of the way there. Either choose the Lasso tool from the Tool panel or press L on the keyboard to access it. And now you'll need to do some hand lassoing to get rid of these dark tones in the water. Once you have made an initial selection, you can add to this selection by holding down on the Shift key while using the Lasso tool. With your initial selection made, you'll want to fill it full of white, so make sure that white is in your foreground color picker, and then press Delete. Photoshop will ask you what you want to fill the contents with, and choose foreground color.

Now I can see, there's a couple of areas I've missed, and I'll go ahead and add them to the selection. I'm going to make sure white is still in my foreground color picker, and hit Delete again. Now all of the areas that contain water and sky are completely white. You'll need to do a bit of patching on the hill so quickly marquee around all of the white in the hill. Press the X key to swap the foreground and background colors in order to get black into the Foreground color picker.

Press Delete and choose foreground color again. You'll also want to clean up these rocks in the water so marquee around them. Press Delete and then fill the rocks full of black. Now you have a clean, high contrast matte. However, what you want is white where the hill is, and black where the sea and sky were. You want the inverse of this, so go ahead and select all, Cmd or Ctrl+A, and then invert the channel, Cmd or Ctrl+I. Now the area with the hill and the rocks is completely white and the area with sky and water, completely black.

Cmd or Ctrl click into the channel thumbnail preview to the left of the channel name to load the selection in. Photoshop loads a 100% selection into any area that is white, and a 0% selection into areas that are black, cleanly selecting the hill alone. Click on the top RGB icon to view your color plate again. And then click on the Layers tab. Now press Cmd or Ctrl+J to separate the hill from the background and place it on a new layer. In this lesson, you learned how to separate your hills from the background using a high contrast matte extracted from one of the RGB channels.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Digital Matte Painting Essentials 1: Concept
Digital Matte Painting Essentials 1: Concept

24 video lessons · 9094 viewers

David Mattingly
Author

 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Digital Matte Painting Essentials 1: Concept.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.