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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.
Right now our dome is flatly lit, with no real direction of light evident. But the castle in our scene is lit from the right. So we need to relight it. I want to show three different ways to do that. The first is using the lasso tool to select areas, and then the curves tool to lighten or darken them. Set the lasso tool to a wide feather, say 15 pixels, and lasso off the dark side. You'll want a smaller feather for doing the top of the dome, so set that to five pixels and then marquee that off.
Open the Curves. Pull down on the white point to darken the dark side without increasing the contrast too much, invert the selection, set the feather back to 15. And you might want to remove just a sliver from the light side so that there's a little more room for the core. Open up Curves again and pull up on the middle of the curve to lighten the light side. Then, select a sliver of the dome where the light and dark meet.
Set the feather back to five to do the top part of the dome. Open up Curves and pull down on the white point to add the core. Now the dome is basically relit. Let's undo that. Relighting with selections and curves works well, but let me show you two other ways to do it that I prefer. The first is using the Brush tool set to Overlay. Such your foreground and background color picker to the default black and white by hitting the d key. Now, from the drop-down Brush menu, choose Overlay for the transfer mode for the brush.
This mode works great for relighting since it doesn't destroy the detail on the layer you're working on but rather enhances it. For this to work, all the pixels you want to affect have to be on the same layer. For instance, if you paint in an area of the layer that doesn't have any pixels on it, it won't work in Overlay mode. It'll just work in normal mode since it will only apply the Overlay mode to existing pixels you are painting over. Load in the selection for the dome layer and hide it.
Make sure your brush has a soft edge. You can hold down the Ctrl or Alt or Opt or Alt keys and drag up and down to harden or soften the brush. You want it to be soft. Lower the opacity of the brush to something around 30% so you can build up the tone. And start stroking the dark tone on the dark side. You'll need to resize the brush for the smaller form at the top of the dome. Build it up slowly following the form of the dome as you work. Press x to load white into the foreground color picker, and start building up the tone on the light side.
Resize the brush on the fly to fit the form, and with a smaller brush, brush a highlight in the middle of the light side. Finally, press x again to load black back into the foreground color picker and build up the court where the light side meets the dark side. Resize to add the court to this little top piece, and you're done. Let me show you the other way on these square box forms. For this, we're going to use the Dodge and Burn tools. Dodge and Burn refer to a dark room technique when printing analog photographs in a dark room.
When you are dodging a print, you take a wand with a shape on the end of it that would block out some of the light from the enlarger from reaching the paper. Conversely, you could burn a print, or make it darker, by taking a card with a hole in it and only adding light to the print through that hole. So let's burn a little of the dark side to darken the boxes. Load in the selection from the boxes on the dark side. And hide the selection. Set the exposure of the Burn tool to a low percentage, say 30%.
Notice that you can choose what area of tone to affect, the midtones, shadows or highlights. In this case, we would want to affect the shadows. Now go through and darken those boxes. The great thing about this technique is you can selectively paint in tone, adding it only where you want it. Then select the layer with the light side boxes and load the selection. And select the Dodge tool. Notice that, again, you can choose the mid-tones, highlights, or shadows. We want the mid-tones. Set the exposure to 30% so we can build it up, zoom in so we can see what we are doing, hide the selection, and start painting in the light side.
Make sure that Protect Tones is checked when using this tool, otherwise it will substantially increase the saturation. Even with that Protect Tones box checked, one of the downsides of using the Dodge tool is that it does brighten the color of whatever you're working on. See how these box fronts are getting bright red? We'll fix that in a minute. The other tool here below the Dodge and Burn tools is the Sponge tool. You can use see to saturate and de-saturate the area. Again, lower the opacity to around 30% and then go through and selectively de-saturate or make grayer these areas that got too red.
There is little area on the dome that got too bright, so go ahead and use the Sponge tool on that also. So, there you have it. We've re-lit the dome three different ways, and now we can color-correct it to match the rest of the castle, which we'll do in the next lesson.
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