Digital Matte Painting Essentials 4: Texturing
Illustration by John Hersey

Digital Matte Painting Essentials 4: Texturing

with David Mattingly

Video: Rounded textures and the Warp tool

The rounded forms of the castle needs to be textured in a slightly different way. Move the texture to the sides, so we can see the castle. Move that selection on top of the stone texture.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 51s
    1. Introduction
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 44m 5s
    1. Why did we wait so long to use photographic textures?
      1m 55s
    2. Prepping the form study for texturing
      5m 32s
    3. Transfer modes
      9m 4s
    4. Color basics
      4m 45s
    5. Creating a stone texture
      3m 26s
    6. Adding the dark side's base texture
      3m 57s
    7. Adding the light side's base texture
      3m 40s
    8. Rounded textures and the Warp tool
      6m 33s
    9. Websites for matte painting reference
      5m 13s
  3. 30m 12s
    1. Creating a photographic crenellation
      7m 30s
    2. Creating a line of crenellations
      3m 27s
    3. The Vanishing Point tool
      4m 54s
    4. Adding crenellations using the Vanishing Point tool
      3m 4s
    5. Trimming the crenellations
      7m 9s
    6. Adding back sides to the crenellations
      4m 8s
  4. 29m 36s
    1. Levels and Curves anatomy
      5m 26s
    2. Camera Raw
      3m 33s
    3. Using Levels and Curves
      4m 55s
    4. Color correcting individual RGB channels
      3m 19s
    5. Toning the base castle
      5m 35s
    6. Toning the crenellations
      6m 48s
  5. 32m 25s
    1. Adding photographic elements
      4m 19s
    2. Distorting the dome and rectangular faces
      5m 18s
    3. Relighting the dome
      5m 59s
    4. Color correcting the dome
      1m 52s
    5. Adding more photographic details
      5m 57s
    6. Relighting the new details
      3m 50s
    7. Color correcting the details
      5m 10s
  6. 51m 33s
    1. Extreme color correction
      3m 36s
    2. Adding a photographic sky
      6m 27s
    3. Adding background mountains
      5m 32s
    4. Integrating the details
      7m 30s
    5. Collapsing layers and more details
      5m 13s
    6. The final paint layer
      6m 28s
    7. Lights and glows
      7m 16s
    8. Smoke and flames
      9m 31s
  7. 33s
    1. Goodbye

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Digital Matte Painting Essentials 4: Texturing
3h 10m Beginner Nov 07, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Preparing your form study for texturing
  • Adding dark and light side textures
  • Making rounded textures with the Warp tool
  • Creating photographic crenellations
  • Using Levels and Curves for color correction
  • Adding photographic elements
  • Relighting details
  • Adding glows, smoke, and flames
3D + Animation Design
David Mattingly

Rounded textures and the Warp tool

The rounded forms of the castle needs to be textured in a slightly different way. Since they don't vanish to either vanishing points. They need to have a rounded texture that wraps around them. Turn off the visibility of the perspective guides. Then turn on the flat texture we saved from before. Move the texture to the sides, so we can see the castle. Let's do this front tower first. Using the rectangular marquee tool make a selection that is slightly larger on either side than the tower. Your feather should be at zero while doing this.

Move that selection on top of the stone texture. And Cmd or Ctr+J to copy that selection onto a new layer. And drag the texture on top of the tower. Turn the opacity down to 50% so you can see what you're doing. Zoom in a bit. Then press Cmd or Ctrl+T to invoke the Transform tool. Right click in the transform box, and choose warp. The warp tool is a real gift to any matte artist in that you can pull on any of these 16 control points and warp the texture to fit the tower.

This would be even more powerful if you could choose more than one point at a time, like grabbing this whole left side of grid points, but as of now you can't do that. You need to stay very organized while doing this, and pull in all of one side first, trying to make sure you pull in the points evenly. You want to pull down this left side, pulling down the edges of the grid warp to match the roundness of the ellipse on this side. And also in a bit, you want the texture to appear to wrap around the towers.

Which is why you made the swatch of texture larger than the tower. Allowing you to pull in on the sides. Then once you have that side done do the right side. Trying again to make it as even as possible. If you pull these points around willy-nilly, you'll end up with wavy bricks since the distortion will be uneven, so take your time as you work. The elipses at the top all need to be a little rounder than the lower ones, so you need to pull these top points down a little more. Once you're satisfied with the distortion, press Return to accept it.

You don't really need to do a separate distortion for towers that are very similar. Just copy drag them to the similar tower and transform it down just a bit to match the perspective. Grid Warping the texture can be kind of tedious so I'm just going to use this warped section again to cover the two back towers. Lets do this dome next. Again, use the rectangular marquee tool to make a selection somewhat wider than your dome. Zoom out so you can see your texture, and move the selection on top of the stone texture, and press Cmd or Ctrl+J to copy the section onto a new layer.

Move the texture on top of the dome and set the opacity to 50%. Zoom in so you can see the dome, press Cmd or Ctrl+T, and then select Warp. The dome is different than the towers and that you should pull the points at the top of the dome closer in, so that it hugs the edges of the dome. You'll have to pay attention while doing this, so that your bricks don't get all wavy. Pull these points to the top quite close, so that you can feel the top pinching in. And the bottom of the texture needs to be rounded to match the ellipse of the dome.

Watch both sides of the texture, and make sure it doesn't start to lean. These internal points need to be pulled up to get the texture inside the dome to round. Just a couple more adjustments to see that the texture matches the dome, and press return or enter. Let's do one more, this tall tower. Again, make a selection slightly larger on the right and left in the tower, and move it on top of the stone wall texture. Make sure you're on the stone wall texture layer, and press Cmd or Ctrl+J to copy the section onto a new layer.

Set the transparency at 50% so you can see the tower while you're distorting the texture. And go through the process again of pulling in the points to round the texture to the tower. I'm pulling in the points at the tip of the tower a little more than the side, since it comes to a point. And let's adjust the sides, and round the bottom a bit. Go all around the texture trying to get it as even as possible. And when it looks good, press Return or Enter. This part of the project is going to get super repetitive. So I'm going to go into ultra fast mode and instantly finish up all of the texturing.

See, that was easy. We've got a lot of layers that I'd like to collapse into one but we have a couple of areas where the texture is overlapping particularly here by the dome where the dome texture is doubling up with the overspill from the towers. I want to go head and trim the dome texture and also the base of these towers to clean them up. So, let's figure out what layer the dome is on. It's on layer three, select that layer and load this selection from the dome and side towers mass layer.

Invert the selection, Cmd or Ctrl+Shift+I, and delete the extra texture from the dome. Invert the selection again. Select all the of the layers that have the tower texture on them, and merge them all together, Cmd or Ctrl+E. Now, delete the bases of the towers and we get rid of all of the overlap. Merge the layer with the towers with the dome layer and name the layer Towers and Dome Texture. And set the layer to Overlay. Load the selections from all of the mask holding layers that had towers or domes on them.

And apply a layer mask to clean up the edges of the towers. And that's it for the base texture on the castle. Next, we'll look at websites where you can get good photo reference for you matte painting projects.

There are currently no FAQs about Digital Matte Painting Essentials 4: Texturing.

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.

* Estimated file size

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


You have completed Digital Matte Painting Essentials 4: Texturing.

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

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 ?

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 page and choose Site preferences from 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.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about 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

Sign up and receive emails about 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.