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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'll start our texturing project using the final form file. FormFinish.psd. That file is available to premium members in the exercise files for this section if you want to use it to follow along. I bet you thought you'd be using photography earlier than this. But by working through these three stages, concept, perspective, and form, without relying on photographs, you now have a roadmap to creatively use photography but not be a slave to it. As we start to use photographs, it's important that you retain everything we've done so far.
When I teach this project in my digital matte painting classes in New York City, there are often students who completely forget about what we've done so far and start slapping in photographs without regard to lighting or perspective. I'll teach you how to not be that student and how to make controlled use of photographs from diverse sources to create a cohesive photo-realistic castle. I often get questions from students as to whether using photography is quote, cheating, and whether a real matte artist wouldn't hand paint everything.
I think that if you use photographs the way I'll teach you, it isn't cheating and you can achieve a level of realism that would be very difficult to match when hand painting. I truly believe that even the great masters of matte painting, like Peter, Allan Shaw and Albert Whitlock, if they were alive today, would use photographic textures in their work. In every matte painting, there are many areas that are very repetitive. Like the stones in the walls of a castle. Using photographic textures can free you from what can best be called the grunt work of that kind of task.
And produce very realistic results in a fraction of the time hand-painting would require. So with that said, let's prepare our final form project for use in the texturing section.
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