Join David Mattingly for an in-depth discussion in this video Prepping the form study for texturing, part of Digital Matte Painting Essentials 4: Texturing.
As we start texturing our final project, double check that your form file is still in 16 bit by going up to Image > Mode and make sure your project is in 16 bit not 8 bit. All of your texturing must be done in that richer color space. Our form project doesn't look much like our original concept, so you need to reopen your finished concept painting. If you are a lynda.com premium member and want to use my finished file, it's inside the folder for the exercise files for the concept section called, ConceptFinal.psd.
For the convenience of the premium members who didn't do the concept section with me, I'm also putting a copy of that file in the exercise files folder for this section. Let's take a look at what's inside that concept painting. One layer we don't need is the Castle layer itself. Since we'll be using the castle, we created in the perspective and forms sections as the template for the textured castle. So go ahead and turn off the visibility of that layer, along with the Smoke layer. All of these background layers are usable as a starting point for our textured castle and it contains the original plate.
So select all of the background layers and then Shift-click on the little file folder at the bottom of the Layers window to put all of the layers into a group, and name the group Background. Pull that concept sketch out of the tab so that it's free floating and holding down on the Shift key, drag the background group into the form finish.psd file. My Form file, and my original concept sketch are different resolutions, since I added some space to the top while working on the perspective drawing.
So, I need to reposition it at the bottom to line up the elements. The background layers have come in at the top, so drag them to the bottom of the layer stack, just above the perspective drawing so that you can see the castle. Open up the background group and let's take a look at what we have here. We have the hill, the volcano and mountains, and the sky and several layers toning the original plate. You could collapse some of these, but for right now, leave them in for reference. There are some layers you can get rid of, like this direction of light icon.
Hopefully, the forms study has all of the lighting questions solved, so we no longer need that as a reminder. You still need the mask holding layers since you can use them to trim your textures as you work. Let's go down to the silhoutte layer. Remember, this layer was turned down to 70% so that you could see the line work while working on the form project, but that has made the castle slightly see through. So, push the opacity of that layer up to 100%. Select the Perspective Drawing layer that multiplied over the top of the form project to preserve some of the line work.
You can turn down the opacity of this to something around 30%, experiment a little to see what looks right to you. If you turn it off altogether, you lose a lot of detail that you can use in adding the textures. But at 30%, it preserves a bit of that line without being overpowering. There are a lot of layers associated with the castle, and it would be helpful to reduce them to just one layer so that we could tone the castle. Load the selection in from the castle silhouette, then Cmd or Ctrl+Shift+C to Copy Merged or Copy Everything in the area of the selection.
Then Cmd or Ctrl+Shift-v to Paste it back in exactly the same place. And name the layer Castle All. Now, turn off the Perspective Drawing copy layer. That gets rid of all of the lines that delineated the background. You don't want the line drawing over the background, from now on all edges must be held with tone not line. Basically, we have everything that makes up the form study of the castle on one layer at the top of the project. You'll want to keep all of the layers that made up the form project for use in making selections to mask your texture layers, but you'll want to organize them in a group so that you can hide them when you're not using them.
So, select all of the form layers and Shift-click on the group folder icon at the bottom of the Layer window. This puts them all in a group, which you should label Form. You'll still need your perspective guide so keep them near the top. We have a gap at the top of the painting which should be patched. Open up the background layer and select any of the visible layers. Select the top section of the sky and copy merged, then Shift paste it back into the same place and transform it up to patch the sky. We'll be adding a finished sky later, but this will hold for now.
So, now you have your castle on one layer. It doesn't look much like the castle in your concept painting, but we'll address that in your next lesson about color correction. I'll save this prepared file in the exercise files as TextureStart.psd. This will be available to all viewers while working on this section in case you want to work alongside me, but haven't created your own castle project so far.
- Preparing your form study for texturing
- Adding dark and light side textures
- Making rounded textures with the Warp tool
- Creating photographic crenellations
- Using Levels and Curves for color correction
- Adding photographic elements
- Relighting details
- Adding glows, smoke, and flames