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After you've perfected your perspective drawing, the next step in the matte painting process is to layer in tone: the master tool in the matte artist's arsenal for establishing a fully formed structure. David Mattingly, a matte artist for many groundbreaking motion pictures, takes a black-and-white drawing and shows how to use the five elements of light—dark sides, light sides, cores, cast shadows, and final darks— to paint the surfaces and create a realistically shaded environment in Adobe Photoshop.
This course is part 3 in David's Digital Matte Painting Essentials series. Go back to part 2 to recreate the castle drawing he uses in this course, or if you simply want to learn more about form, you can use the example provided in the exercise files.
Now we have the selections for towers and domes saved in mask holding layer. But we need a few more for each of the layers of walls. This will allow us to totally separate the walls from each other. So let's start with the lower wall and marquee around it not worrying about the cronolations. You should add the front of the bridge to the selection and this flame holder on the right.
Cmd+Option+Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Shift in the layer thumbnail preview to intersect the selection with the silhouette. Then, Cmd+Option+click or Ctrl+Alt+Click in the layer thumbnail preview for the dome and side tower layer to subtract them from the selection. Make a new layer and call it lower wall. Pick another primary color, this time a bright blue and fill the selection.
That's great, but we don't have any of the crenelations in this selection. You can go through and hand-select the crenelations, but if you think back to when we were doing the perspective drawing, we created something called cutting masks to trim the back sides of the crenelations. If you have access to the project files, open up the PerspectiveFinish.psd file, and then scroll down to find that layer. If you Cmd or Ctrl+Click into the layer thumbnail preview, you'll see that it contains a selection with just the crenellations.
You can use this layer on your own project to select your crenelations if you prepared it properly. So let's copy it out of the perspective file. And then Cmd or Ctrl+Shift to paste it into our current file. As long as your source and destination files are the same size, Cmd or Ctrl+Shift pasting puts it in exactly the same place in the destination file. As the one you copied it out of. Name this layer Crenellations Forms, so you know what it is, and then Cmd or Ctrl+Click in the layer, to load the selection.
Then, hold down the Option or Alt keys to deselect the crenellations you don't need, and fill the selection with a blue color. If you didn't prepare the cutting mass layer, you'll have to hand-select the crenelations. But it shouldn't be too bad. Let's do the next layer up. Select around the wall but go around the arm that sticks out to the side tower. You can once again not worry about the crenelations at the top or bottom of the wall, except at the front, where the cutting mask layer didn't get any of them.
Then go through and clean up the selection. Subtract the lower wall. Intersect with the silhouette, subtract the dome and side tower, make a new layer, and call it middle wall. And this time, fill it full of an ultramarine blue. Then, load in the selection from the crenelations forms layer or hand select those top crenulations if you don't have it. Get rid of the bits you don't need by intersecting and subtracting from the selection, fill them in with that same blue, and you're done with the middle layer.
Now we need to create a selection for the top wall, so go ahead and select around that. We need to go through the same drill. Intersect with the silhouette. Subtract domes and side towers, towers two in detail, middle wall. Make a new layer, and call it Top Wall. And this time, let's fill the layer full of purple.
Load the crenelations forms layer and intersect only the crenelations we need and fill them full of that same color. We have some crenelations on the bridge to this side tower, so let's load those and intersect them. And then delete them from that layer. We need two more selections. One for the bridges both the one at the front and on the side tower. And for the underside of the bridges. So let's do this front bridge first.
The only part we need to be careful about is separating the underside of the bridge. And the same with this little bridge to the side tower. Go through and intersect with the silhouette. Subtract the lower wall, middle wall, top wall, and domes and side towers. I noticed I missed a sliver of this bridge, I'm going to go through and hand select that.
We need to make a new layer, and let's call this one bridges. We're running out of colors here, but let's go with orange and fill it in. We have a little subwall on this top layer. And it'd be nice to have a separate mask for it. So, marquee around it. Then subtract the middle wall from it, and intersect it with the castle silhouette.
Then select the bridges layer again. Pick that same orange color and fill the selection with that. Load your crenelation forms layer and intersect just those tops crenelations and fill it again. All we need now is the underside of these bridges. So let's make a new layer and call it under bridge. We need to isolate those two remaining areas, load the silhouette, and subtract all of the other mask holding layers.
Now, just the underside of the bridges remain selected. And, for this one, let's choose magenta. Fill it and now we have mask holding layers for all these selections. Let's center it so we can see all our masks. In the next section I'll show you hot to set up your masks for use in toning your project.
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