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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.
Back in the perspective session, we learned how to distort crenelations into perspective using the distort tool. But next I want to show you an easier way of doing that. In fact, when I show you this, your first question might be, why didn't you show us that before when we were doing the perspective drawing? The answer is that it's important that you know how to distort elements into perspective without using this as a crutch. But, now that you know how to do it without the vanishing point tool, you're ready to use one of Photoshop's coolest features.
Up here, we have the flat crenelation that we created in the last two videos. And it's important that it have no perspective in it. It must be completely flat for this to work, since the vanishing point tool will add its own perspective. Select all and copy the line of crenelations into the clipboard. Turn off your flat crenelation, since it will be confusing if it's visible. Make a new layer. If you don't make a new layer, the vanishing point tool will add what it does to whatever layer is currently selected. But for the best result, you wanted to do its work on a new layer.
You should also save your project before you open up the vanishing point tool. It can be a little finnicky, and I've had it crash on me from time to time. Also, turn on your perspective guides, both your right and left side. Then go up to the top menu and choose Filter Vanishing Point. The filter opens in its own interface. Notice that when it opens, the first tool you need to use is already selected up here in the left corner. That's the Create Plane Tool, and you use it to set up a base grid for the Vanishing Point Tool to work over.
Zoom in so you can really see your guides, and start clicking to establish the left side face of the castle. Make sure the grid is exactly following the right side perspective guides. I like to use one of the actual perspective lines to position the first grid, so that there's no question that it's properly positioned. If the plane is not exactly matching the perspective in your project, everything it does will be wrong. Notice as I adjust the corners of the grid, it sometimes turns yellow indicating this position is suspicious, and you need to do some more adjusting.
If the grid turns red, Photoshop is indicating there is no possible perspective solution for this position. The grid needs to be blue for it to be a viable perspective solution, even if it's not the right one for your project. It can give you a blue grid, even when it's not matching your castle. So it's important that you double and triple check that your perspective grid matches the perspective of your project. Once you have the first plane positioned to your satisfaction, Cmd or Ctrl+Drag on the center box on the left side of the grid, and it drags out a new grid.
It'll probably be wrong for your project, Photoshop has no way of knowing what the perspective in your project is, so you need to adjust the second grid to match your castle. Also be aware that if you get one side perfect and then adjust the other side, it will slightly change the original side. So you need to work back and forth to see that everything is set. You can adjust the grids to your hearts content as long as there are just two grids. The moment you add a third grid, you can no longer adjust the corners of the grids. Everything looks good, so now adjust the bottom and tops of these two grids to match the first tier of the castle.
With that set, hold down the Cmd or Ctrl key and pull the Center Box, the top of the front grid, to find the face of the second tier. You'll need to do two planes, one to step back the wall, and another for the face of the tier. You can no longer adjust the corners of your grid, since you have more than two grids, but you can still adjust the tops and sides to match your castle. Then, Cmd or Ctrl+pull twice again to establish the front wall. Adjust to fit like before. And you can see that the perspective is exactly matching what we have.
Then Cmd or Ctrl+drag again and establish the top tier of the castle, adjust it to match, and then the front face. Adjust the size to fit. That's about the right amount of grids for this project. I've had students try to construct the whole castle in great detail, but all you really need is the major planes where the crenelations will be situated. That finishes setting up the grids for the Vanishing Point Tool. In the next lesson I'll show you how to add the crenelations in perspective using the grids.
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