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An accurate perspective drawing is an essential base for most matte paintings. Learn how to create linear perspective drawings of a castle in Adobe Photoshop with this course, and migrate the lessons to your own project. David Mattingly, a matte artist for many groundbreaking motion pictures, teaches you about the three types of perspective, and how to set up vanishing points, find and rough in the forms in your painting, add detail like crenellations, draw ellipses, and polish the final drawing.
Note: This installment of Digital Matte Painting Essentials builds on the concept sketch from the first course, but it's not necessary to have those files to proceed.
Now, that we know how to divide up forms and perspective, we need to figure out where this bridge comes out of the front at the base of the castle. Draw two horizontal lines on each side of that centre line we found with the x technique. There's a blocky structure that supports the base of the bridge. So, draw each side of that. And then the bottom of the bases, paying carefully attention to your perspective grid as always. Define the top and bottom of the bridge, not worrying about the archway just yet.
Now do the front of the bridge where the lava waterfall appears. And draw all four side of the form. Then draw these side structures around the lava waterfall. You should roughly sketch in the rounded form of the archways on the underside of the bridge. This'll have to be refined later but this'll give you an idea of where it will go. So far, finding these forms has been fairly straight forward.
But, from here on out, there are a lot of smaller forms that need to be figured out that aren't so clear. As I work on finding all of the square bastions or corner structures, you'll notice that I undo quite a bit when I lay down a line that isn't right. I'm right handed and I keep my left on the Undo button as I draw with my right hand. The concept sketch was just that, a sketch to get your ideas down. But, in the perspective drawing, all the details have to be worked out.
You'll notice that as I draw these rear bastions on the castle, I'm shifting them back since the perspective drawing revealed I hadn't left enough room for them in this sketch. Don't make your perspective drawing match your concept sketch. Your perspective drawing has to match the grid you set up, using this sketch as a basic guide. If you edit forms to the top of your walls like I did called crenelations, you'll need to add guides for them. As I work here, I'm trying to figure out how tall they'll be in relation to my bastions, and I'm making multiple lines to try and figure it out.
I'm adjusting the opacity of the brushes I work. Sometimes it will get as low as 20% if I'm exploring the location of an object, and as I get more confident of where its located, I'll raise the opacity of the brush and clarify the line. With the exception of the archways that go under the bridges, we're just defining the remaining rectilinear forms in the castle at this point. We'll do the more complex domes and towers in another lesson.
Draw a guide across to line up the two bastions, then draw the back side of the forms. Even though it's covered by this wall, it's helpful to know where the entire form is. Draw the front wall of the castle, then sketch guides for the crenelations at the top. Whenever you have a series of forms that should line up, like these square forms at the base of these towers, lightly draw guides to help you line them up in perspective.
(SOUND). the castle, drawing straight through the boxes you just sketched. At this stage, it's better to draw guides through the smaller form, so that you don't get confused by them. Even though this back bastion is covered by the pointed tower. Draw the entire form. Drawing around the tower will make it a lot harder to understand where it will show. On the concept sketch, this middle wall wraps part-way around the castle, so draw that in.
You'll notice that the drawing will become progressively messier as I go over and over forms, trying to figure out exactly where they go. But we'll clean up the drawing after all of the vector linear forms are defined, the entry way to the castle still hasn't been draw and its a bit more complicated. First you need to draw were the wall would be if these two side bastions more than front of it Then, use the x technique to find the centre of the wall.
Then, draw equally spaced lines on each side of the centre lines, to show where the entry would come out of the wall. The entryway is contained in another rectal linear form. So, draw another line to show how far it extends from the wall. And another line on the other side, the same distance out. (BLANK_AUDIO) for the crenelations. Things are getting confusing.
So beef up the final edges of the entry, so we can see them clearly to centre the doorway. You still need to find the centre of the surface that sticks out. So use the x technique again. Then draw lines on each side of the centre line to show the width of the door. This pointed top tower hasn't been delineated yet so let's turn our attention to that.
The bottom of this tower sinks into the hillside, so indicate that with a slanted line. And draw through some of the forms at the top. You need to find the centre of the structure for the pointed top. Draw through the back side of the form to find the centre, and then draw a guide up to find the location of the point. We'll still need to define the square structure beneath the smoke stacks on the front of the bridge.
Draw a guideline for the top of the form so that they're the same height. And then draw on the top of the forms. The arm that connects the castle to this pointed tower still needs to be worked out. Sketch in these art structures for now, they'll have to be worked out in more detail later. The crenelations on this arm vanished to the right vanishing points.
So go ahead and add some guides for them. I'm correcting this arched form. It looked too shallow before. I'm doing one final pass on this, looking for areas that haven't been drawn out yet or need to be refined. These flame holders still need to be defined. All rectilinear forms need to be sketched in at this point. And add the top on these.
Back when I used to work traditionally using acrylics and brushes, I would do perspective drawings like this on tracing paper. The first drawing would get quite messy like this one, but it would allow me to find all the forms in the project. I would overlay another piece of tracing paper on top of the first drawing, and make a clean drawing over that. We'll be doing the digital equivalent of that in the next lesson. Where we take the information we found here and clean it up.
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