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4.4 Adding Textures

The side of the turtle doesn’t match well with the city because the scale of visual detail is clearly mismatched. In this lesson we use some compositing techniques to add textures to the turtle’s shell that will match up better with the scale of the city. And we add some brilliant waterfalls!

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4.4 Adding Textures

Hello everybody welcome back to advanced Photoshop techniques. We are now on lesson 4.4 where we start adding some textures to our scene. Here's where we last left off with our scene. In the last lesson we added some filters and adjustments in an attempt to make things look a little more cohesive. But there's still some issues that I'm seeing here. Primarily it's with this large shell underneath the city. Now the shell as we look closer to it, the visual detail of the shell, doesn't make it look like it's a large shell. It doesn't have enough detail built into it. It sort of visually betrays the fact that it was a smaller shell that we just expanded in size and we're trying to make it look like it's giant. If this were actually a really big huge giant turtle shell, we would see a lot more detail in here because there would be more surface area for there to be detail on. So the task at hand is to use different textures of different mountainous areas to reproduce that effect and make this so it visually actually looks like it's something that's really this massive. In the course files for this lesson, we'll find seven specific stock resources that we're going to be using for adding the different types of textures and other elements into this scent. Now I chose these simply because they have a lot of nice visual detail to them, they look like elements that are massive because we can see a lot of detail in there, and they also look like they're kinda far away. That's exactly what I wanted for our turtle shell. The first image I wanted to work with is this New Zealand image that's got some great moss and craggy rocks and even some waterfalls cascading down. And I think it'd be really cool to have some water falls flowing off the edge of our turtle city, there. I'm gonna grab this jpeg file and just drag it right over and deposit it right within our scene. It comes in on top of that turtle head, because that's what was selected at the time. I'm gonna pull that down so it's over the turtle shell, and then I'm going to transform it into place so that it's small enough that it looks like it actually covers that turtle shell. Now when you're transforming items like this, a lot of times it's hard to know how big do you wanna make it. So a good strategy is to just lower the opacity so you can see that shell through there. And I can begin adjusting this to fit exactly where I want it to be. You may even want to right-click and use the warp tools to make it look like it actually fits along the curve of that shell. So here's the size and position that I decided on. Now often when I'm creating textures using different photos like this, my first go-to is to start playing with the blending modes. Using things like the overlay, soft light, or the multiplier on the screen to try to add some additional blending into there so we kind of get that same image from before but we're just pulling the texture out of it. In this case that didn't seem to work very well so I just left it at normal, but then I added a layer mask to first conceal the entire thing. And that's by holding down the Alt or the Option key and conceal the whole thing. And then I started just painting that back in using, to begin with, a soft, round brush with white paint. Opacity right at about 50% or so. So just begin reapplying that texture so that it fits right over this shelled areas. And when I get to the point that I like the way it looks with the round brush, I will switch over to the grunge brush, or even that cloud brush, to add a little bit more visual interest to it. And it doesn't like quite so consistent with just the soft edged brush. So you can see how that ended up looking there and here's a quick peek at the final mask for it. You can see where I used a lot of that grunge brush in there just to help change up the visual texture of it. Also I wanted to make sure that these sort of crevices between the shell plates shown through. So it still looks like it's the shell of a turtle and not just a mountain scape that's been blended in. And of course the mountain image is way too bright for what we need. So let's clip a curves adjustment layer to it and then pull down on that central area. And look how that really helps to blend things in there. Very nice. Next, let's see what we can do with adding a little bit more of a waterfall effect coming from this cascading river down the side of this turtle's shell. I'm going to go to my Mac Mac Falls over here, and there's a really nice cascading waterfall from here. Let's just create a very, very rough selection of this. Copy, paste, is back over here, and it's facing the wrong direction. That's easy enough to change. We go to edit, transform, flip horizontal, and then work on transforming this into place. Now the main issue that we're going to have with this in particular is that rough mask area isn't looking so good. But that white water area is beautiful. So let's first try changing this to a screen blending mode, and we need to make the outside areas much darker, so they disappear. So do that with a levels adjustment through image, adjustments, levels. And pull those darker areas in, and just watch them start to fade off there. And the areas that don't fade off with the levels command, we can force the issue with that by using the soft edge brush with black paint to paint that out. And then of course we can still add our layer mask and adjust things as needed using the mask. And here's a great little tip that I found really helpful for working with these waterfalls. First unlink that mask so that you can transform this independently from the layer mask, go back to our transformation cage. Right click and hit distort and then you can make those top corners fall in really close to really narrow that top area of the waterfall. So it looks like it's cascading out and then sort of getting caught in the wind and sort of dissipating as it falls. So we'll even expand the bottom portion of it some too. And ultimately that's how mine ended up looking after transforming it and touching up that mask a little bit more. Now I'm gonna repeat this process again with several of those textures again, that would be a very tedious video to watch completely through so I'm going to pause the recording and then show you what I've done afterwards. Okay so here's what I ended up with. And I want to walk you through the different decisions that I made and which textures I used from which images. To begin with, notice this nice mist area here in the foreground of these clouds. That's this texture that is pulled directly from this mountain file right here. You can recognize it up in there. I was able to isolate that out. Increase the black areas, like we did with the waterfall. And then I turned it to screen, and use the layer mask, and I got a beautiful mist at the front part of it there. That also helps conceal some of those transitional areas that may have been a problem. And then digging into the turtles group, not only do I have that waterfall that we originally put in there, but I added another one over here on the left. But over here I was able to get another waterfall using this image where it's really the same idea as before, just created a rough selection around it and de-saturated it. Pull out the greens and then just used a levels command to increase the contrast To isolate the whites, and that also will set the screen so it's just the white areas that we see coming through. There's this rocky texture here that I set to luminosity which I found works really really well for creating a very craggy, rocky elements of that turtle shell. Now this texture came from this image. It's pretty clear. And again I just did a rough selection around it, put it into place, set the blending mode to luminosity to help blend those things together, and then used a layer mask to really blend it in well. I also clipped a curves adjustment layer to that just to increase the contrast on that just a little bit. After that, we see this image here that I did the exact same thing with. This is also set to luminosity and I used a layer mask to control exactly where that was applied. And that one came from this island image. And then there's these mountain textures here. This one is set to normal, but just has a masked area to really help it apply well in there. Likewise to that one. Now you'll notice that this is less saturated than the original texture image that we looked at, which is this one. It's not a lot less saturated, cuz there's not a ton of colors in here. But I did pull down the saturation some with the hue saturation adjustment before applying it over here. And in this one I just used the normal blending mode. And a layer mask to apply it. And so the result of adding all those different textures from various stock images, using mountains and waterfalls, is that we actually look like this turtle has a mountain for a shell. It's rather convincing, and it works rather well. These are not difficult techniques but they do take a little bit of time and it takes a little bit of experience in just figuring out what textures to put where. I would encourage you just to experiment with that. Play with it some. Don't try to match mine up exactly. Experiment with your own. See what other effects you can get and how much rocky cragginess you can build into the shell of this turtle. Okay we're almost done with this entire project, next lesson we do some really fun lighting effects.

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