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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.
We have all the detail we need on our castle, but it doesn't look like anyone is home yet. Let's add some lights, glows, and a lit doorway to show the human presence. First, let's light up the entrance. Select around it. Then subtract the crenelations from the selection. Copy merge to copy everything out. Paste it in place to put the entrance on a new layer. Name this layer Lights. Load the selection from the layer and hide it. Then pick a bright red color.
Choose that big, soft, round brush and set the brush transfer mode to Overlay. We aren't setting the layer to Overlay, just the brush, and then painting directly on the entrance pixels to get the effect. We're using the juicy properties of the overlay mode to increase the color and saturation to get the entrance an incandescent red. When it starts to look intense enough, change to white. You'll need to do multiple applications of this, but it turns the inner core of the entrance yellow, just the glowing effect we're looking for.
When using the overlay brushes, the edges can get crunchy and messy, so set your brush back to normal, and paint over the little problem areas. This inner part of the doorway has gotten too dark, so brush in just a taste of that red, then choose the drawing brush and trace over some of the detail that was lost. Add a little red glow around the edge to get rid of those light pixels. Then patch the top of this crenelation that turned white. Let's light up some of the windows.
Select around these front windows. Get some of them on the side wall, you don't have to get every, single one. Maybe skip this one right near the arm. Then this top wall. Maybe get all of these windows, we can vary the lighting while painting them. And the big arches inside the dome. I'd like it to look like the lava is being processed inside the structure, so these archways should glow. Subtract the crenelations from the selection. And the Light Side Boxes layer, now you have these windows nicely separated.
Get that soft, round brush again and make sure you're still on the Lights layer. With that fiery red, brush some tones into the windows. You don't want to make every window a solid color and the side of the window closer to the inside of the building should be brighter. So vary the tone as you work. Then choose a bright orange and dab in some color again, somewhat randomly, but favoring the inside edge of the windows. Let's choose a different orange to add a little variety to the tone. Then choose a burnt red to do some of the outside edges.
You can select the eraser and erase into the layer to add even more variety to the tone. I noticed I missed these windows on the upper wall ,so lets dab some color into them. And a brighter yellow to add some highlights inside the windows. Vary the color as you go. Let's zoom in and add some structure to our front windows so the light will pop out more. This gives the window a bit of a frame. Do the same on the other side. Add the crossbars. Zoom out.
Let's heighten the color on the front side of the castle with an overlay layer. Make a new layer and call it Overlay Glow. Set the layer transfer mode to Overlay. This time we'll use the brush in normal mode and get the overlay effect from the layer transfer mode. Scroll down and find the Castle All layer, and load in the selection to roughly contain the glow to the front of the castle, and hide the selection. Make sure you are back on the Overlay Glow layer, and start lightly brushing in some of that orange to enliven the front of the castle.
This will heighten the effect of the lava waterfall, indicating the front of the castle is being lit by that flow. Add some of the orange overlay to the towers, and notice how it increases the saturation and adds a bit of magical glow to the surfaces. Add a glow to the front of the castle on that same overlay glow layer. We should add a bit of glow to all of the windows. This may be going overboard on the glows, but I can always back off on it with the eraser tool since it's all on a separate layer. The edges of these dome archways should get some special attention glowing the outer rim with an intense red.
A little more on these side windows, and on the entrance. These front windows should glow even more. Even out the front to taste. Zoom out and reframe on the lava waterfall. This'll need a glow, of course. And a dab of the orange overlay for the smoke stacks. A little bit more evening out all over the castle. And these upper levels. Let's zoom out and take a hard look. I think there's too much glow, especially on this one front window, so switch to the eraser tool, and knock it back to a more sensible level.
That's it for lights and glows. I think the castle now looks inhabited. In the next lesson, as the piece de resistance, before we call it a finish, we'll add some smoke, flames, and special effects.
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