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Digital Painting: Architecture
Illustration by John Hersey

Using the Shadow/Highlight adjustment filter


From:

Digital Painting: Architecture

with John Derry

Video: Using the Shadow/Highlight adjustment filter

So, up till now, we've been basically building our story elements. We've been putting pieces together and creating this overall scene that tells a story. Now its time to start kind of locking down things and begin to prepare it for the painting aspect of all this. And so what I want to do now is, while I still have all of these elements in various layers, is start to play around with the tonality of them, somewhat. And again, this will be in the service of basically adding or strengthening the mood that I want to impart within this scene.
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  1. 26m 4s
    1. Introduction
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      32s
    3. Installing custom content
      2m 46s
    4. Setting up Wacom express keys
      13m 32s
    5. Setting Wacom touch ring preferences
      2m 14s
    6. Setting Wacom stylus preferences
      3m 24s
    7. Division of labor: Image prep and painting
      2m 33s
  2. 19m 9s
    1. Visual vocabularies
      3m 49s
    2. The vocabulary of photography
      7m 38s
    3. The vocabulary of painting
      4m 59s
    4. Looking at reality through a mental painting filter
      2m 43s
  3. 38m 57s
    1. Removing lens distortion with the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
      6m 47s
    2. Removing distractions
      8m 7s
    3. Don't be a slave to the original photograph
      10m 51s
    4. Correcting image adjustments
      2m 58s
    5. Telling a story with added image elements
      10m 14s
  4. 25m 2s
    1. The eye has a better sensor than a camera
      3m 2s
    2. Adding natural shadows with Field Blur
      8m 47s
    3. Using the Shadow/Highlight adjustment filter
      7m 48s
    4. Using the HDR Toning filter
      5m 25s
  5. 39m 56s
    1. Resolution is in the brushstrokes
      3m 26s
    2. Using the Surface Blur filter
      6m 17s
    3. Using the Displacement filter to add imperfections
      6m 22s
    4. Using the Oil Paint filter
      11m 51s
    5. Making tonal and color corrections
      12m 0s
  6. 22m 40s
    1. Nondestructive layer painting (NDLP): Your creative safety net
      5m 54s
    2. Setting up the Mixer Brush cloning action
      7m 29s
    3. Using cloning layers
      2m 58s
    4. Working with adjustment layers
      6m 19s
  7. 20m 7s
    1. Using tool presets and not brushes
      3m 41s
    2. Categorizing and organizing brushes
      6m 14s
    3. Adding canvas texture
      4m 51s
    4. Using Sample All Layers
      5m 21s
  8. 14m 48s
    1. You must destroy detail
      2m 9s
    2. Establishing compositional structure
      3m 46s
    3. Determining a style and sticking to it
      7m 30s
    4. Painting in progress: Finishing the underpainting layer
      1m 23s
  9. 26m 40s
    1. Understanding simplified indication
      9m 9s
    2. Understanding color: Warm advances, cool retreats
      4m 9s
    3. Painting in progress: Introducing texture to the intermediate layer
      13m 22s
  10. 40m 19s
    1. The play's the thing
      5m 18s
    2. Focusing on the subject through detail
      4m 40s
    3. Using a traditional paint color swatch set
      4m 37s
    4. Painting in progress: Completing the detail layer
      16m 25s
    5. Adding surface texture effects
      9m 19s
  11. 12m 47s
    1. It pays to wait a day
      1m 55s
    2. Adjusting your importance hierarchy
      4m 49s
    3. You'll never paint the same thing twice
      2m 7s
    4. Helpful resources and inspiration
      3m 56s

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Digital Painting: Architecture
4h 46m Intermediate Jan 03, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Learn to think like a painter and render images that look like they were created with oils or acrylics, using the latest digital artist's tools. Author and artist John Derry introduces the process of interpreting a photograph into a painted work of art. He begins by explaining his system of visual vocabularies, which describe how to replace the visual characteristics of a photograph with that of expressive painting, and also shares the custom brush sets and actions he uses to achieve these results in Adobe Photoshop. The course also covers working with filters, layers, effects, and more to add further detail and texture.

Topics include:
  • Setting up a Wacom tablet
  • Removing lens distortions
  • Correcting distracting image elements
  • Making shadow and highlight adjustments
  • Simplifying details with filters and Smart Blur
  • Modifying color
  • Cloning layers
  • Using a traditional paint color swatch set
  • Using custom actions
  • Working with canvas texture
  • Creating physical surface texture effects
  • Painting with custom brushes
Subjects:
Design Design Techniques Digital Painting
Software:
Photoshop Wacom
Author:
John Derry

Using the Shadow/Highlight adjustment filter

So, up till now, we've been basically building our story elements. We've been putting pieces together and creating this overall scene that tells a story. Now its time to start kind of locking down things and begin to prepare it for the painting aspect of all this. And so what I want to do now is, while I still have all of these elements in various layers, is start to play around with the tonality of them, somewhat. And again, this will be in the service of basically adding or strengthening the mood that I want to impart within this scene.

We're going to use a couple tricks here in the next couple segments to be able to work on a couple different parts of this image just to start to get what my vision of it is. And, keep in mind, my vision of this and your vision of this could be different, and especially if you take some of the lessons that you get out of this course and apply it to an idea that you have, your vision of it is going to be completely different than mine, so what you're getting throughout this course is, you know, a thin slice into my way of doing things, and it's very unique to the way that I do it.

You may find that these techniques work great for you, but you'll apply them and use them in totally different ways. So, don't feel like what I'm showing you here is, this is the one way to do things. This is just a way to do things, and hopefully, some of these techniques can parlay themselves into the way that you want to affect an image or tell a story. Now, what we're going to start with is the castle itself. And I'm going to take advantage of the shadow and highlight feature that allows me to play with kind of adjusting each component of that, the shadows and the highlights.

And I'm going to start off by kind of going to the castle layer here, and we'll go up to our Image menu to Adjustments to Shadows/Highlights. And I want to show you a couple things right here. Did you see how that changed when that opened up? I don't like the way this changes every time it opens up, and that's because by default, Photoshop has the shadows turned up. You know, if no adjustment's been made yet, its going to look like this. That's how it looked before we came to it. If you don't want to see that change every time you open up Shadows/Highlights, go down here to the bottom and you may have to open up your dialog.

It shows up like this by default, so you might want to open this up with the Show More Options option, just make sure you have everything turned down and then you can say Save As Defaults, and so we can say Cancel now. And now when I go to Shadows/Highlights it doesn't change. That's the way I like it. So that's, that's a little thing that I wanted to show you. Now, I want to start to darken up this scene a bit give, it a little more mystery. And so with the highlights, see how I can start to turn this down? But there's one thing that's wrong, and this is where we're going to have to start considering the layers and how they interact.

You can see in the shadows that we've applied with the tree limb, see how they're turning kind of brown, that's because that's on a different layer. So it's going to act differently than if it were all of a single layer. So the first thing I want to do is, rather than just adjust the castle, I'm going to cancel out of this, and I'm going to collapse these two together. Now, as we go throughout this title, keep in mind that at various spots in the process, it's going to become necessary to collapse things.

Sometimes, in fact in a little while here, we're going to collapse this whole thing down to a single layer. I really advise you to keep track as you go forward of anything that you think you may want to adjust later on and go change. You always want to make sure that you're keeping a layered version around so that, rather than have some major surgery, it's very difficult to correct something, you could think of it as, oh, if I just had that on an individual layer it would have been so much easier. Always keep that in mind as you go forward, so that you keep a version that's layered. And I can tell you that having gone through this process to do this image already, you wouldn't believe how many versions of this image I have.

I probably have 20 or 30 versions of the image from beginning to end. And that's all so I can always get back if I want to just go back a couple of steps. The more you save layered versions of images as you move forward, you want to be able to have those so that you can make changes. And one way to think of it is, any time you think you may want to get back to something or any time you're going to collapse things, always save the image first, and then collapse, and that way you can always get back. So, that's just a little lesson, but it's hard learned, because you'll eventually do it and not save it and you'll realize how much more convenient it would have been to have saved the layered version.

What I want to do is here is I'm going to collapse my shadow layer down onto the castle, so I select that layer and I'm just going to use Command or Control+E to drop that onto the layer beneath it, which is the castle layer. So now, I now have the shadow and the castle as all part of one layer. And now I can go back to my Shadows/Highlights and not get that funny coloration that we saw before. So we'll go back to Shadows/Highlights and I'm going to adjust my highlights.

Now, see, now that's not, you know, I'll over do it, but you can eventually, with Shadows/Highlights, make colors look funny anyway, but it's not as much of a problem as it was before. So I'm going to do that. Let's also take a look at shadows, I was just going to check both. See how I can now kinda open up those shadows a little bit. So, there's no right or wrong answer to this. I always call this kind of work seasoning to taste. Everybody's going to have a different way they want this to look. So, season to taste is just where it's open to interpretation how you want to do it. And I'll always check with turning this on and on to see what I've done.

And remember, too, that what we're trying to do here is move this farther and farther away from how a camera looks at it and more how human vision looks at it. So, now that I look at that, earlier, I thought it looked fine, but when I start to see it kind of crunched down a bit there In the dynamic range, I like that more, so I'm going to go with that. And I can also go to the background layer, and I can also do the same thing with it, and just see if it's going to make any difference. So once again, we'll go to Shadows/Highlights and let's see.

Yeah, see how that, we're getting much more definition in the sky? I like that. I'll also just check what the shadows do, and actually, that kind of has a nice look. Because what we want to do here is, this background is farther away, and so there's going to be some atmosphere between us and those elements. And the more distant items become, the more they kind of lose color and get lighter. So by actually kind of turning this down, you can see how it's effecting the landscape back there.

I can actually use this to kind of lighten that up. So I'm going to go with something like that. There we go. So, what we've done here is we've used Shadows/Highlights in a way that lets us kind of interactively adjust the look of this. And in fact, if I go back a couple of steps here, temporarily, see, that's where we were, and there's where we are now. So now we've got this adjusted more to a way that, again, according to my vision, the way I want to see this appear, looks correct.

So, we're going to with this and then in the next video, we're going to take advantage of yet another tone correcting feature, and then we'll be pretty much ready to start the process of painting.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Digital Painting: Architecture.


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Q: I'm unable to install the custom Wacom settings included with the exercise files. Any advice on how to load them?
A: After the course was recorded, we discovered that the Wacom preference files are not cross-platform and are specific to the machine that created them, which limits their use. However, in the exercise files you'll find a PDF labeled Intuos4 Mapping_PS_CS5.pdf; using this document, you can manually enter the settings in the Wacom control panel. Also, please note that the settings are not necessary to complete the course.
 
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