Join Bert Monroy for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating fingernails, part of Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The People.
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There are many hands that are visible in the overall painting of Times Square. To get really close of, let's just say we want to do an image of just a hand, I am going to look way up here at this billboard because there we are getting real close on a hand. So, I got a close-up here of it. And we can see that the fingernails are very detailed. That's what we are going to create in this particular movie is a fingernail. Let's pull back a little bit again, so we can just see the overall hand. Let's create that fingernail. So, since we don't have anything to start with, I am going to have to go in there and create some shapes, so this is going be our thumb right here.
This is the edge of the thumb and then it goes in a bit like that and comes down and round like so and then it comes over to here and here this little lump around it then it comes over here and it goes around to the tip of the thumb like that. All right, so we can always refine this after the fact, so we will just go in there and do that. We will just kind of curve it out a little bit and there is our basic thumb. And on this thumb, there will be a fingernail. So, I am going to go in here and draw my fingernail.
So, here is the shape that goes round, goes in here, goes around the edge of the thumb, comes around, and goes out here and closes it off. Now, once again I'm going to go in there and modify it after the face to get it just the way I want it. So, I want this thumb to kind of appear like that and soften these areas to make it more round, and there we have the basic shape for the thumbnail. Now, we are going to go in here and render these. So, I'll pick a color for my flesh tone and just go in here and pick kind of a color that looks kind of fleshy like that. That looks good.
I am going to select this path that makes up the thumb and let's go in there and save those paths and we will create a layer and we will call that layer the thumb. And I fill that path right there with that color and this will be the fingernail. So, I will create a layer and we will call it nail and we will pick a different color, more in the pink vein in like that and a little lighter. A lot of the tones will be added aftereffect and in that layer, we will go ahead and take that path and fill it.
So, now we don't need the paths anymore, there they are. We have our basic shapes that are going to be the thumb and thumbnail. So now, it helps to study reality. You have a hand right there. You can look at your hands and see how that thumb is structured and so on. Some thumbs are different than others, the shapes of hands are different, but if you want a nice, lean, simple hand, just look through any fashion magazine. You will see all kinds of pictures of hands and you will see how they are structured. So, now I am going to go in here and start adding some tones to this to give it a little dimension.
On the thumb itself, let's go to that layer. I am going to get my Burn tool and I am going to make it a nice large size here. And I've got the exposure down to about to 20%. I am going to just kind of darken some of these tones right in here. I am going to set it to Midtones now. So it's going to warm them up a little bit and I am just going to add some tones right through here. So it's just giving a little dimension and a little bit tone through there and a little bit of tone right here at the edge where the nail is being formed. I will go right along the edge of nail just like so.
Then I am going to make it a really small brush and just add a couple of little lines here. These are little lines that you would normally see on the thumb. Let's undo that last one and you will see these little lines right there and maybe add a couple of little tones right in there. Now, I am going to do a highlight. A really small brush about the same size, add just a little highlight right along the top part of these lines here just to give them a little dimension. Now, after they are done, I am going to go in there with my Finger tool and then I'm going to make it larger and I am just kind of push these around just so that they blend into each other a little better.
So, I am just getting that little tone. So there we see that we have these little lines on the thumb. Now, what I can add is little texture at this point. So this is so close, we can go in and just give it a filter. We will give it one of the Texturizer filters. So, we go in there and just to add a little texture. Scaling is way down. We will bring the Relief down a little bit and click OK. Now, we just have a little tiny bit of a texture. Now comes the nail. So, we have our fingernail there, so what I am going to do is create a layer right above it, right here, and this is going to be the texture of our nail.
I am going to fill it with that same color that we had before. That same pink. And I am going to go in here and switch to a black and white and right in here I'm going to give it a filter of Render > Fibers. Because if we look at the fingernails, there is kind of all these little ridges in it. So, I am going to bring up the Variance so I get really strong little ridges. Bring down the Strength or maybe increase the Strength. There we can see we are getting all these nice little ridges. So I am going to click OK and I get all these little lines, which I am going to stretch out a bit.
So, I am going to go in there and give it a little Motion Blur. Straight up and down. I need to increase the distance there so I get all these nice little streaks like that. Click OK. Deselect it. I am going to put that layer in Multiply mode and then bring down the Opacity considerably. So, I just got this little hint of these little lines just like that. Then I am going to go in there and I am going to clip it. Holding down my Option key, Alt on a PC, I am going to click right there on the nail, which I'm now going to warp it.
So, it takes the shape of our nail. I am going to warp it. I am going to grab the four handles and make them parallel to the shape of our nail, just like that. Now, I am going to take these handles and bring them in. Bring this one up, bring this one up, bring this one over. So, you can see that I am restoring their directions the way they should be, but now they are following the shape of our nail. I am going to curve these that way so that they follow again the shape of our nail.
Bring this in, bring this out just a little, and there we have that. We are now starting to get this nice curvature to our little pattern and I am going to straighten these out, so we are starting to get that little bit of a curve just like that. And there we start to have the little texture on the nail. Now, if you look at your nails, there are some light-colored tips, like there'sthis this white section right in here. So, what I am going to do is I am going to go in and just create that white section. I am going to create a little oval right inside here like so, close it off, and I can always modify it after I have done it.
So, I want to just bring this in about like that. That looks good and just straighten this guy up. And right below this texture here, I am going to create a layer. So, I am holding down my Command key, Ctrl on a PC. So, I created a new layer underneath and we will call this white area and I am going to fill it with that white right there. We got a white. So, I am going to take that path and fill it. Now, it's a little stark right now. No problem. Let's save that path. Remember that everything gets modified after the fact and also the tip of the nail.
So, I am going to go in here and just kind of follow this edge just about like that. Now this could be a French manicure or whatever, but I'm just going to get a little white tip along this edge here. So, I am going to go in there and just straighten this out a little bit more, maybe add a little more to it. About like that. That looks good. Save that path and we are going to call this the tip of the nail. Again right above the white area, we will just create a new layer and we will call it tip and fill that with the white.
So, now we have all these tones in place. Now, I am going to go in here and start to play with them. So, I am going to go to my layers and I am going to take the white area, which I am going to blur. We give it a little Gaussian Blur just to soften that up, soften it up about like that. That looks good. I am going to bring down the Opacity for it. So I don't want it so strong. I just want it to be a little hint of a white tone in there. For the tip, I am going to go in there and do that same blur. So, I give it the Gaussian Blur and this one I will make a little sharper. I don't want it to be so soft. About like that.
And that we are going to leave nice and strong. Now, our texture, our texture is little too strong and too predominant. Let's bring down the Opacity just a little more about like that and I am also going to give it a mask because now in the mask, I am going to eliminate certain sections that I don't want. So, I got a nice big brush here, make it really big, set it to 20% and black, so I am going to start hiding. I am just going to very lightly dab in certain areas just to lighten up that texture, just like that.
So, now it's not so predominant. There are just little hints of that texture in different places. Now to the nail itself, I am going to do a little lightning and darkening there. I am going to take my Dodge tool and just going to just give it a little lightning right in this area here just to lighten that up a little bit. Then I take my Burn tool and make it a little larger and kind of just darken right along here and right along this whole side here. Let's pull back a little bit here and get a much bigger brush. I am just going to darken this whole side here so that the nail starts to become a little darkened.
And there you just start to get the feel of the nail. I am going to come in here and darken this edge right here, just darken this little area right in here where the nail is coming out of the skin and there you see that we have this very realistic looking kind of a fingernail.
In this installment, The People, Bert illustrates how he created the hyperrealistic portrayals of the dozens of people inhabiting his painting, many of which he drew from real-life friends and family. The course shows how to construct eyes, lips, ears, and other facial features, paint natural looking skin, add hair, apply makeup, and create fabric folds, stitching, and texture to emulate clothing. Bert shows how digital artists can recreate these effects at home, using the tools in Photoshop and Illustrator and a little imagination.
- Creating life-like facial features, such as noses, teeth, lips
- Understanding the structure of the mouth
- Creating facial contours
- Adding details such as fingernails
- Using a Cintiq to create realistic hair
- Creating beard stubble
- Creating the look of stitched denim
- Adding ribbing to a t-shirt