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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.
Your finished perspective drawing will have lots of layers you won't need for the next section. Before you start to work on form, reduce your perspective drawing to just your drawing and the perspective guides with white lines on a black background. You can either select all of your layers and choose Merge Layers from the Window drop down menu, or just press Cmd or Ctrl+E to merge all the selected layers. You should leave your perspective guidelines in the project, but turned off just in case you need them as reference.
If you did your own perspective drawing, please use that for the next section. If you want to use the one I did in the last section, it is available to all viewers in the Exercise files. It is called FormStart.psd. It's already reduced and ready for use in the Form section.
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