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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've now added the first layer of crenulations, but they need to be trimmed where they're overlapping other structures on the castle. You could go through and just delete the areas you don't need, but I want to show you a non-destructive way of doing that, which is really handy for these crenulations, especially since you'll want to adjust them to fit properly on the tops of the walls. Select the Rectangular Marquee tool and select all of the ends of the crenulations where they intersect the walls or go behind other structures.
I'm holding the Shift key as I work to add to the selection. These crenulations on the lower front walls need to be trimmed where the opening of the bridge is. And, all of the areas where the crenulations are intersecting the bastions at the corners of the walls. Also, select around the top of this side tower, since the crenulations would go behind it. You'll need to carefully marquee around this section to avoid getting the crenulations below it. And I've missed the side of the castle behind the bridge. I think that gets most of it.
Since the layer mask will reveal the selected areas, we need to invert the selection so that it hides the areas we have selected. Then select the layer with crenulations on it and click on the add layer mask icon. Now, you want to adjust the crenulation so that they sit on the walls properly. But before you do, make sure to click on this little lock icon between the layer and the layer mask. When you unlock the layer from the mask, it allows you to distort the crenulation without distorting the mask.
Select the color layer, not the mask, and now marquee around the crenulations that you want to adjust. The problem with this crenulation is that half a crenulation is emerging from the wall. So we need to distort it so that this crenulation clears the wall. Same with this crenulation. It isn't quite lining up with the edge. Notice, as I distort this, it distorts only the color material, not the mass trimming it. I just noticed I missed the trim on this middle crenulation. No problem, I'll just add it to the layer mask. This sidearm going off to the tower needs to be masked off.
I can't see it, so I'm going to turn off the layer and then marquee around it. And press delete to add it to the layer mask. I just noticed this crenulation got clipped a little too much, so put white in the background color picker and press delete to restore it. Now we need to add the overlapping crenulations, so make a new layer and call it crenulations two. We need to add the crenulations to the top of the castle and let's marquee off this one just below it. Select the crenulations one layer where it lives and copy it out, and reselect crenulations two and paste it in.
Scoot it up to where we need it. These crenulations go behind, so move the crenulations two layer down. Since we're using the crenulations from this lower layer, they no longer line up. So looking carefully at your guides, distort them into proper perspective. These need to be trimmed. But, I can't see this right edge. So, I'm going to turn off the layer and I can see where the edge of the wall is. Turn it back on, invert the seleciton and apply a layer mask.
We need another layer for the crenulations that are forward to the ones, including the bridge. So, make another layer and call it crenulations three. With the Lasso tool, grab the section of crenulations above the doorway, copy it out of the crenulations one layer and paste it onto the crenulations three layer. We're going to use these for this set of smaller crenulations above the doorway. Get these roughly scaled down so they're in the ballpark of the size you need, and then select the Distort tool so you can distort them into perspective.
You can use your form project as a reference to see that the size of these smaller crenulations are sort of matching what you had before. You want to trim these to the top of the doorway, so with the Marquee tool, select each edge. Invert the selection and apply the layer mask. Now, let's work on this front bridge. We're going to need a fresh copy of the crenulations, so turn on your crenulations flat layer, zoom out, so you can see them, copy them into the clipboard. Return to crenulations three. Turn off that crenulations flat layer, and paste it into a new layer.
Get it roughly positioned. The bridge is vanishing to the left and the right vanishing points are kind of confusing, so you might want to turn those off. And we're going to distort this into proper perspective. For this bridge section, I returned and got a pristine copy of the crenulations, but you've seen me reuse distorted sections as I've been working. One question you might have in mind is whether it is safe to re-distort elements a number of times, or whether it's best practice to always go back to your original source, so that your photo elements don't get distorted more than once.
It's true that every time you use the Distort tool on a piece of reference it softens it a bit, but if you limit yourself to a maximum of three not-too-extreme uses of the Distort tool, and the original piece that you are distorting is of high quality, you'll still get excellent results. I don't want to get to many layers of crenulations, so I just merge this bridge section down into crenulations three and you'll want to trim the edges. Copy that section we just distorted in the place for use on the back side of the bridge and paste it into a new layer.
This goes behind the other crenulations so just put this just above crenulations two. Positioning this can be confusing since you won't really see much of the backside of the bridge, but it needs to be there. It'll be a little smaller, so scale them down a bit. Merge the layer into the crenulations two layer and preserve the mask. The crenulations are blocking the element you'll want to marquee around to trim this layer, so turn off the visibility and select the front and top of the bridge. Mask around these little smoke stacks. Turn the visibility back on, and mask off that layer.
The only section we haven't done is this sidearm. This is getting repetitive and I'm sure you have the idea of distorting the crenulations into place, then non-destructively masking them. So, I'm going to time-lapse the rest of this. And that's it, that's all the crenulations on the castle. In the next lesson, we'll add backsides to the crenulations.
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