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Members Area Tutorial: Create an Advanced 3D Matte Painting Using Sketchup and Photoshop (Part 2)

This tutorial is a mammoth, and actually our longest, most in depth tutorial on record! It’s great to welcome Caroline to the team, and I’m sure you guys will learn a lot from her.

This tutorial was simply too long to post as a single post, with around 200 images and 57 incredibly detailed steps. As a result we have split it into two sections.

Part 1 was published earlier this week (you can access it here)and taught you how to construct a complex building structure from scratch using the free software Google Sketchup. Part 2 today shows you how to take the 3D Sketchup model and use advanced matte painting techniques and advanced Photoshop skills to turn it into a realistic final scene.

Let’s get going!

A note from Caroline:

In this tutorial you’ll find out how to use a “sketch” created in a 3D application as the foundation for a matte painting. To create the 3D template we’ll use a nifty little program called Sketchup. Most 3D programs have a very steep learning curve but Sketchup, which was designed with 2D artists in mind, can easily be learned in as little as an hour or two. Best of all, Sketchup is free!

After we’ve created the 3D sketch, we’ll take it into Photoshop and turn it into a matte painting using photo manipulation techniques and some simple brush work.

Final Image

As always, this is the final image that we’ll be creating:

Resources Used In This Tutorial

Step 21

First of all we’ll load the brushes and the color swatches we need for this project into Photoshop. Start Photoshop if you haven’t done so already and choose Edit>Preset Manager from the menu. The first dialog you see should be the Brush presets. If not, press Ctrl+1/Cmd+1 to make it so. Next, click the Load button, navigate to the folder where you downloaded the Brushes 01.abr file and double-click on it to load the brush set into Photoshop.

Still in the Preset Manager press Ctrl+2/Cmd+2 to switch to the Swatches panel. Click Load and find the Colors 01.aco  file. Double click on it to load the color swatches.

Click Done to close the Preset Manager.

We’re now ready to start on the matte painting proper.

Step 22

Press Ctrl+N/Cmd+N to create a new file which is  2000×2880  pixels at 300 dpi. Set the Color Mode to Lab Color and the bit depth to 8 bit. The background contents should be set to Transparent.

We’ll work in the Lab Color mode for two reasons. Firstly, it’s device independent so it doesn’t matter on which monitor it’s viewed or on which printer it’s printed, it will always look the same. Secondly, unlike in RGB mode, in Lab Color mode the grayscale levels are separate from the color levels, which means that it’s much easier to keep light and dark values under control without changing the colors in the process. If you’d like to know more about Lab Color mode, you  might want to have a look at this short tutorial.

Step 23

In the next few steps we’ll prepare the canvas so that we’ll be all set for the work ahead. Some of the work is a little tedious but it’ll save us a lot of jumping back and forth later on.

First of all, load the Template.png that you exported from Sketchup into the new document by choosing File>Place from the menu. Find the Template.png  file and double-click it to place it in the new document as a smart object. When placing the file the Free Transform mode becomes automatically active because Photoshop guesses you want to resize the smart object to fit the document, which is indeed the case.

Enter the values shown below in the Free Transform option bar and press Enter to fit the Template onto the canvas.

Step 24

Create a new layer (Shift+Ctrl+N/Shift+Cmd+N) above the Template layer. Rename this new layer “Front walls”. Next, select the areas in the Template layer on either side of the building. I used the Pen tool (P) to do this, but you can use any selection tool you feel comfortable with.

Save this selection as an alpha channel by choosing Select>Save Selection from the menu. Type “Front walls” in the Name field and click OK to create the alpha channel.

Make sure that both the selection and the Front walls layer are active and press Shift+F5. When the Fill dialog appears, choose 50% gray from the Contents list and press Enter to fill the selection with this color. Press Ctrl+D/Cmd-D to remove the selection.

Double-click in an empty space next to the Front walls layer’s name. When the Layer Style dialog appears, Click on the Stroke option to activate it and enter the following values:

Step 25

To save some time later on, we’ll create an alpha channel for each piece of the composition. This is very repetitive work and to make the process a little faster, I suggest that you assign shortcut keys to the Save Selection and Load Selection menu options.

To do this, choose Edit>Keyboard Shortcuts from the menu. When the dialog pops up, make sure that the Shortcuts For: option is set to Application Menus. Find the Select folder and click on the arrow in front of it to open it. Next, scroll down until you see the Load Selection and  Save Selection entries. Click on Load Selection to activate it and press Alt+F1/Opt+F1 to assign that shortcut combination to the menu option. Click on Save Selection  and press Alt+F2/Opt+F2 to assign the key combination to that menu option. Then Click the Accept button followed by clicking OK to close the dialog.

Alt+F1/Opt+F1 is now assigned to the Load Selection menu option and Alt+F2/Opt+F2 to the Save Selection menu option.

Select the top portion of the back  wall, press Alt+F2/Opt+F2 and save the alpha channel as “Back wall top”.

Proceed to select the remaining areas and save them to alpha channels one by one as shown below.

When you’re done you should have 16 alpha channels, including the Front walls channel we made earlier.

Step 26

Click on the Template layer and press Ctrl+J/Cmd+J to create a copy. Rename the new layer to “Shadows”. Change the layer’s Blend mode to Multiply. Click on the eye icon in front of it to turn it off for now.

Again, activate the Template layer by clicking on it. Double-click in an empty area next to its name to display the Blending Options. Set the Blend If options as shown below. This will turn everything transparent except for the black lines.

Repeat the above for the Front walls layer.

Select all layers we’ve created so far by clicking on the Template  layer and Shift-clicking on the Front walls layer. Press Ctrl+G/Cmd+G to group the layers and rename the group to “Template”.

Ctrl+click/Cmd+click on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette to create a new layer below the Template group.

Call this new layer “BG” and fill it with 50% gray.

This concludes the preparation of the canvas. We can now start with the fun stuff: applying textures. First we’ll apply basic textures to all the surfaces and add details afterwards.

Step 27

We’ll start at the back of the building and work forwards. Make sure the Template group is active but closed. Choose File>Place from the menu and double-click on the Plaster 1 image (Plaster-10050.jpg). This will place the texture above the Template group in Free Transform mode. Flip the image vertically by right-clicking inside the image and picking Flip Vertical from the popup menu. Scale the image down to fit the arch on the back wall but make sure it overlaps the back wall a little.. Use the template as a guide. Decrease the Plaster-10050  layer’s opacity a little to be able to see what’s happening.

Right-click in the texture and choose Warp from the popup menu. Warp the top of the plaster in such a way that it matches the rounded top of the arch. Press Enter to accept the transformation. Set the layer opacity back to 100%.

With the Plaster-10050 still active, press Ctrl+G/Cmd+G and rename the group to “Back wall arch”. Press Alt+F1/Opt+F1 to open the Load Selection dialog and choose  the Back wall arch  channel from the drop-down list to create a selection, then press Alt+F1/Opt+F1 once more, this time select the Back wall arch sides  channel and set Operation to Add to Selection. Apply the selection as a layer mask to the Back wall arch  group by clicking on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.

Open the Back wall arch group if it isn’t already and click on the Plaster-10050  layer to make it active. Press Alt+F1/Opt+F1 and load the Back wall arch sides channel as a selection. Back in the Layer’s palette, click on the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon and pick Curves  from the list.

When the Curves dialog opens, set the Lightness channel as shown below. This darkens the inside of the arch and makes it look 3-dimensional. Rename the Curves layer to “Darken sides”.

Next create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer by clicking on the  Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon and picking  Hue/Saturation from the list. Set the Saturation slider to -30.

Close the Back wall arch group, right-click on it and choose Convert to Smart Object from the popup menu. Converting groups to smart objects is a great way to declutter the Layers palette but still keeping the group and all the layers inside it editable. If you feel that anything needs adjusting inside the smart object, all you have to do is double-click it and the group with all its layers will open in a separate window, ready to be edited. Converting a group to a smart object has another advantage: you can apply layer styles and filters to the smart object without having to merge the group. The group itself remains untouched.

Step 28

Now we’ll texture the top of the back wall. We’ll use the same work method as we did for the Top wall arch. Choose File>Place from the menu and import the Plaster 1 image (Plaster-10050.jpg) once again. Flip the image vertically and scale it so  that it fits comfortably on the top of the back wall. Again, reduce the layer’s opacity temporarily so you can see what you’re doing.

When the layer is scaled press Enter to apply the transformation and set the opacity back to 100%. Next, press Ctrl+G/Cmd+G and name the group “Back wall top”.

Press Alt+F1/Opt+F1 and pick the Back wall top channel from the drop-down list to create a selection. Add the selection to the group as a layer mask by clicking on the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.

Click on the Plaster-10050 layer to activate it and create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Set the Saturation slider to -30.

Close the Back wall top group, right-click on it and choose Convert to Smart Object from the popup menu.

Click the FX icon at the bottom of the layer palette and pick Inner Shadow from the list. When the Inner Shadow dialog appears, adjust the settings as shown below.

Step 29

It’s time to turn our attention to the bottom part of the back wall. Choose File>Place from the menu once again and double-click on the Plaster 2 image (Concrete-9121.jpg). Scale the image and move it into place so that it fits the arches at the bottom of the back wall.

Press Ctrl+G/Cmd+G and call the resulting group “Back wall bottom arches”. Press Alt+F1/Opt+F1 and choose the Back wall bottom arches channel from the drop-down list to load it. Apply the selection to the Back wall arches group as a layer mask.

The texture is too light and it also has the wrong color. To fix this, click on the Concrete-9121 layer and create a new Levels adjustment layer. Rename the layer to “Contrast + color” and set the Lightness, a and b channels as below.

The bottom of the texture is now too dark. To lighten it, click on the Contrast + color layer’s layer mask (Photoshop should have created one automatically. If not, click on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette). Activate the Brush tool (B) and choose a soft round brush from the Brush presets. You can access this palette by right-clicking in the image while the Brush tool is active. Set the brush’s Size to 45 pixels and set its Opacity  to 50%. Brush gently over the bottom of the arches to brighten them as indicated in the image below.

Close the Back wall bottom arches group and convert it to a smart object. Click the FX icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and choose Inner Shadow from the list. Adjust the settings as shown below. Don’t forget to turn off the Use Global Light option!

Step 30

Create a new layer (Ctrl+Shift+N/Cmd+Shift+N) and name it “Back wall bottom arches sides”. Press Alt+F1/Opt+F1 and load the Back wall bottom arches sides channel as a selection. Click the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette to create a layer mask from the selection. Switch to the Brush tool (B). It should still be set to a size of 45 pixels, and hardness of 0%. Set the Opacity to 100%. Open the Swatches palette if it isn’t already and pick the color Chocolate. Make sure the Back wall bottom arches sides layer is selected and not its layer mask and paint over the left and center sides of the arches.

In the Swatches palette, pick the color French grey and paint over the right side of the arches.

Choose File>Place from the menu and double-click on the Plaster 1  image (Plaster-10050.jpg) to import it. Position and scale it so that it covers the whole lower part of the back wall. Press Enter to apply the transformation.

Press Ctrl+G/Cmd+G and call the new group “Back wall bottom”. Press Alt+F1/Opt+F1 and load the Back wall bottom channel as a selection. Apply the selection as a layer mask to the group. Right-click on the group and choose Convert to Smart Object from the popup menu. Next, apply an Inner Shadow layer style to the smart object with the following settings:

Select all layers belonging to the Back wall, press Ctrl+G/Cmd+G and call the new group “Back wall”.

Select both the Back wall bottom and the Back wall bottom arches sides layers and group them together. Call the new group “Back wall bottom front”.

Create a selection from all back wall pieces and add this selection to the Back wall group as a layer mask.

Inside the Back wall group, click on the topmost item (Back wall bottom arches group) to make it active and create a new Curves adjustment layer. Call this layer “Darken” and adjust the Lightness channel as follows:

Close the Back wall group. This is as far as we go with the back wall for now, we’ll come back to it later. Next up are the side walls.

Step 31

Import the Plaster 3 image (Snow_and_Ice-13834.jpg) using File>Place from the menu. Position it over the left wall and manipulate it into place by Ctrl+dragging/Cmd+dragging the corner points into place. Ctrl/Cmd+dragging in Free Transform mode invokes the Distort function. When you’re done, hit Enter to apply the transformation.

Press Ctrl+G/Cmd+G and rename the new group to “Left wall”. Using the Alt+F1/Opt+F1 shortcut, create a selection from the Left wall bottom and Left wall top channels and apply this selection to the group as a layer mask.

Click on the Snow_and_Ice-13834 layer to make it active and create a new Curves adjustment layer above it. Set the curve for the Lightness channel as shown below. Rename the layer to “Darken”.

Next, create another adjustment layer, this time choose Hue/Saturation. Adjust the Hue and Saturation sliders as follows. Don’t forget to tick the Colorize box!

Close the Left wall group, right-click on it and convert it to a smart object. Click the FX icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and choose Inner Shadow from the list. Set the options as indicated below.

Step 32

Choose File>Place from the menu and double-click the Plaster 3  image (Snow_and_Ice-13834.jpg). Position and scale the texture until it fits over the left wall.

Press Ctrl+G/Cmd+G and call the new group “Left wall windows”. Press Alt+F1/Opt+F1 and load the Left wall windows channel as a selection. Click on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette to create a layer mask from the selection. Inside the Left wall windows group, activate the Snow_and_Ice-13834  layer and create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer above it. Call this  layer “Color” and set the sliders as follows:

Close the Left wall windows group and convert it to a smart object.

Step 33

Use File > Place to import the Plaster 4 image (Concrete-9119.jpg). Position it over the left wall ledge and Ctrl+drag/Cmd+drag the two right control points closes together to match the perspective of the ledge. When you’re done, press Enter to apply the transformation.

Press Ctrl+G/Cmd+G and rename the new group to “Left wall ledge”.

Activate the Concrete-9119 layer. Use the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) do draw a selection around the side of the ledge. With this selection active, create a new Curves adjustment layer. The selection will be automatically applied as a layer mask. Rename the layer to “Lighten” and adjust the curve as shown below.

Ctrl+click/Cmd+click the Lighten layer’s layer mask to reselect the side of the ledge. Press Ctrl+Shift+I/Cmd+Shift+I to invert the selection. The front of the ledge is now selected. Create yet another Curves adjustment layer, rename it to “Darken” and adjust the curve as below.

Create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and rename it to “Color”. Set the sliders as follows.

Close the Left wall ledge group and convert it to a smart object.

Select all layers belonging to the left wall and group them. Call this group “Left wall”.

Step 34

To create the right wall, click on the Left wall group and drag it to the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette to create a copy.

Rename the new Left wall copy group to “Right wall”. Open the group and rename every layer from to its Right equivalent. So, Left wall becomes Right wall, Left wall windows  becomes Right wall windows and Left wall ledge becomes Right wall ledge.

With the Right wall group closed and active, press Ctrl+T/Cmd+T to activate Free Transform mode. Right-click inside the transformation box and choose Flip Horizontal from the list. Scale and manipulate the Right wall group into place. Adjust the corner points individually by Ctrl/Cmd dragging them. This is a little fiddly but take your time to get the wall to fit as accurately as possible on the template. It doesn’t have to fit perfectly but it should be as close as possible.

When you’re done, press Enter to apply the transformation. Adjust the various pieces inside the group individually if needed.

Step 35

Open the Wooden beams image(WoodPlanksBeamed0014_2_M.jpg) in a separate window (Ctrl+O/Cmd+O) and select a piece using the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) as shown below.

Copy the selection (Ctrl+C/Cmd+C), close the image without saving it and paste it into the main image above the Right Wall group. Rename the layer to “Left roof”. Convert the layer to a smart object.

Press Ctrl+T/Cmd+T and rotate the layer by 90°, move it into place above the left wall and distort it by Ctrl+draggging/Cmd+dragging the corner control points until it fits.

Press Ctrl+J/Cmd+J to make a copy of the Left roof layer. Rename this layer to “Right roof”. Press Ctrl+T/Cmd+T to activate Free Transform mode. Flip the layer horizontally and position it above the right wall. Adjust the corner points until it fits.

Select both roof layers, press Ctrl+G/Cmd+G to group them and rename the new group to “Roof”. Load the Roof channel as a selection and apply it to the Roof group as a layer mask.

Step 36

Open the Floor tiles image (ConcreteFloors0058_45_S.jpg) in a separate window (Ctrl+O/Cmd+O). Press Ctrl+A/Cmd+A to select the whole image. Choose Edit>Define pattern from the menu. When the dialog box pops up, just press Enter to accept the default settings. Close the image without saving.

Create a new layer above the Roof group and call it “Floor”. Press Shift-F5. When the Fill dialog appears, set the Use field to Pattern and fill the layer with the pattern you just created.

Convert the Floor layer to a smart object, press Ctrl+T/Cmd+T and scale and distort it as shown below.

Group the Floor layer. Rename the group to Floor and load the Floor channel as a selection. Apply the selection as a layer mask to the Floor group. Open the Floor group and click on the Floor smart object to activate it. Next, create a new Levels adjustment layer. Rename the adjustment layer to Contrast and adjust the Lightness channel as follows.

Step 37

Use File>Place to import the Brick image (Brick-12513.jpg) above the Floor group. Scale it and position it over the left hand side of the image. Press Enter to apply the transformation.

Press Ctrl+J/Cmd+J to create a copy of the Brick-12513  layer  and move it over to the right hand side of the image.

Create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and call it “Color”. Adjust the sliders as shown below.

Group all 3 layers and call the group “Front walls”. Load the Front walls channel as a selection and apply it to the Front walls  group as a layer mask.

All base textures are now in place. Your image and Layers palette should look similar to this:

Next we’ll add some details such as pillars and windows.

Step 38

Open the Carving image (OrnamentsRectangular0047_M.jpg) in a new window (Ctrl+O/Cmd+O). Press Ctrl+A/Cmd+A to select all and copy and paste the whole carving into the main image. Rename the layer to “Top”. Use Ctrl+T/Cmd+T to position, scale and warp the image until it looks like this:

Select a portion from the center of the Top layer with the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) and press Ctrl+J/Cmd+J to copy the selection to a new layer. Rename the new layer to “Left”, activate the Move tool (V) and move it down until it fits over the bottom left arch. Press Ctrl+J/Cmd+J again and name the new layer “Right”. Move this layer  to the right until it sits over the bottom right arch.

Set all 3 layers to the Overlay blend mode. Select them all and group them (Ctrl+G/Cmd+G). First, load the Back wall arch channel as a selection and then Ctrl+Shift+click/Cmd+Shift+click on the Left and Right  layers respectively to add them both to the selection. Make sure the Carving  group is active and apply the selection as a layer mask.

Set the background color to black, activate the Brush tool (B) and select a soft round brush. Set its size to 45 pixels and its opacity to 50%, Brush gently over the sharp edges in the mask to blend them into the background.

Set the Carving group’s opacity to 65%. If the group is closed, open it and activate the Right layer. Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and set its options as below.

Step 39

Choose File>Place from the menuand import the Mural image (Murals0007_M.jpg). Position and scale the layer to fit over the top of the back wall. Copy the layer (Ctrl+J/Cmd+J) and move it down so that both layers cover the whole top portion of the back wall.

Set both mural layers to the Overlay blend mode. Create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer above the Murals0007_M copy layer and set the Saturation slider to -54.

Load Back wall top channel as a selection. Select all mural layers and group them. Call this group “Mural” and apply the selection as a layer mask to the group.

Locate the Back wall top layer in the Back wall group. Activate the Magic Wand tool (W). Set Tolerance to 15 and turn off Contiguous. Click somewhere in the Back wall top layer to create a random selection of the back wall’s texture.

Return to the Mural group and make sure that the group’s layer mask is active. Fill the selection with black. The mural now looks as if it has worn away over time.

Step 40

Open the Pillar image (Cambodia0064_1_M.jpg) in a new window (Ctrl+O/Cmd+O) and separate the pillar from its background.

Copy and paste the pillar into the main image. Rename the new layer to “Pillar 1″ and position and scale it as shown below.

Click the FX icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and choose Gradient Overlay from the list.  Set the options as shown below. If the gradient doesn’t look quite right, position the cursor over the pillar and click+drag to move the gradient into place.

Duplicate the Pillar 1 layer twice and rename them to “Pillar 2″ and “Pillar 3″ respectively. In the Layers palette, drag the Pillar 2 layer below Pillar 1 and Pillar 3 below Pillar 2. Next scale and position both Pillar 2  and Pillar 3 to match the perspective as shown below.

Select all 3 pillars and press Ctrl+G/Cmd+G to group them. Rename the group to “Left Pillars”. Open the group and  create a selection from the 3 pillars by Ctrl+clicking/Cmd+clicking on the  Pillar 1 layer’s thumbnail and Shift+Ctrl+clicking/Cmd+Shift+clicking on the thumbnails of Pillar 2 and Pillar 3. Apply the selection to the group as a layer mask.

Use Alt+F1/Opt+F1 to load the Left wall ledge channel as a selection. With the Left Pillars group’s layer mask still active, fill the selection with black.

Step 41

Copy the Left pillars group by dragging it onto the New Layer icon at the bottom of the layer’s palette and rename the group to “Right pillars”. Next, delete the layer mask by right+clicking on it and picking Delete Layer Mask from the popup menu. Move the pillars into place underneath the right hand side ledge one by one.

Open the Gradient Overlay layer style of one of the pillars and tick the Reverse box next to the gradient swatch to flip the gradient. Move it into place if necessary. Do the same for the other two pillars.

Create a selection of all 3 right hand side pillars plus the Right wall ledge channel and apply it to Right pillars group as a layer mask.

Step 42

Copy one of the pillars in the Right pillars group (Ctrl+J/Cmd+J) and drag it out and above the Right pillars  group. Rename the pillar to “Pillar 1″.

Position the pillar between the right and center arch on the back wall and scale it so that it just fits. Adjust the layer style if necessary. Copy Pillar 1 and rename it to “Pillar 2″. Move the new pillar so it sits between the left and center arch.

Group the two pillar layers and call the group “Center pillars”.

Group all three pillar groups and call the new group “Pillars”

Step 43

Open the Window image (WindowsOrnate0063_M.jpg) in a separate window and cut out the window frame. Copy and paste the window frame into the main image and rename the new layer to “Window”.

Position and scale the window as shown below.

Ctrl+click/Cmd+click on the New Layer icon to create a new layer below the Window layer. Call this layer “Background”. Use the Lasso tool (L) to select a region just inside the outer edge of the window frame. With the Background layer still active fill the selection with a dark grayish brown (#4b3e39).

Apply an Inner Shadow layer style to the Background layer with the following settings:

Click on the Window layer to make it active and apply an Inner Shadow layer style to this layer as well.

Create a new Curves adjustment layer and adjust the Lightness channel as shown below. Rename the layer to “Contrast”.

Create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and set the Saturation slider to -30. Rename this layer to “Desat”

Group all layers belonging to the window and rename the group to “Window 1″. Create a selection from the Background and Window  layers and apply it to the Window 1 group.

Close the Window 1 group and copy it 3 times. Rename the new groups to “Window 2″, “Window 3″ and “Window 4″ respectively. Position and scale each window group as shown below.

Step 44

Open the Balustrade image (OrnamentsPillar0069_1_M.jpg) and cut the pillars out from the background.

Copy and paste the balustrade into the main image. Rename the layer to “Left” Position and scale it as shown below.

Copy the balustrade piece (Ctrl+J/Cmd+J) and rename the new layer to “Right”. Move it over to the right.

Select both layers and group them. Rename the group to “Balustrade”. Next create a selection from both the Left and Right  layers and apply the selection to the Balustrade group. Create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer above the Right layer, call it “Color” and adjust the settings like so:

Next, convert the Balustrade group to a smart object and apply an Inner Shadow layer style to it.

Click on the Window 1 group and Shift+click on the Balustrade group to select all 5 groups. Group them and call the new group “Windows & balustrade”.

Step 45

Now it’s time to inflict some damage. The building already looks pretty ruined but we can emphasize the dereliction a little more. We’ll start with the roof.

Locate the Roof group and click on its layer mask to make it active. Using the Pen tool (P) or the Lasso tool (L) select some pieces of the roof and fill them with black to cut  them out of the roof. Be sure to leave some jagged edges here and there to make it look more natural.

Convert the Roof group to a smart object. To give the roof some substance, apply a Bevel and Emboss layer style with the following settings.

Click on the BG layer and select a rectangular portion which just covers the roof.

With the selection active, create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, set the options as shown below and rename the layer to “Sky”.

Step 46

We’ll use the same technique to break up the floor. Locate the Floor  group and click on its layer mask to make it active. Again, use the Pen tool (P) or the Lasso tool (L) to cut pieces out of the floor. Next, select the Brush tool (B), right-click in the image and choose the Coloured pencil brush from the list. Reduce its size to 5 pixels and paint over the edges in the mask to roughen them up.

Convert the Floor layer to a smart object and apply a Bevel and Emboss layer style to it as shown below to give the floor tiles some thickness.

Open the Soil image (SandPebbles0020_3_S) in a separate window. Press Ctrl+A/Cmd+A to select all and choose Edit>Define pattern from the menu. Press Enter when the dialog pops up to accept the default settings. Close the Soil image.

Create a new layer below the Floor layer and fill it with the pattern you’ve just created. Rename the layer to “Soil” and scale it down so that it matches the size of the floor.

Load the Floor channel as a selection and apply it to the Soil  layer as a layer mask.

Hold down Alt/Opt and click the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer at the bottom of the layers palette and choose Levels from the list. When the New Layer dialog appears, type “Contrast” in the name field and tick Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping mask. Press Enter and adjust the Lightness channel as shown below.

Group the Floor, Soil and Contrast layers and call the group “Floor”.

Step 47

Before we go any further, lets clean up the Layers palette a bit. Click on the Back wall group and then Shift+click on the Windows & balustrade group to select all the groups we’ve created so far. Press Ctrl+G/Cmd+G to group them and call this group “Base elements”.

Now we’ll  do something about the front walls; they look far too straight.

Create a new layer above the Base elements group and call it “Left”. Select the Clone Stamp tool (S). Choose a hard, round brush and set its size to 21 pixels. Make sure Align is turned on and set Sample to All Layers. Zoom in on the top of the left hand side front wall. Hold down Alt/Opt and click on the brick to take a sample. Paint over the straight wall of the edge to break it up. Keep your brush strokes random so you don’t end up with another straight edge.

Create another new layer and rename it to “Right”. Repeat the above step on the right hand side front wall.

Create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, rename it to “Desat”. Set the Saturation slider to -14.

Next, group the Left, Right and Desat layers and call the group “Front walls extension”. Create a selection from both the Left and Right layers and apply this selection to the Front walls extension group as a layer mask.

Step 48

It’s time to start breaking the various pieces of the building. We’ll start with the back wall. Open up the Base elements group and locate the Back wall group. Open this group as well.

Open the Damage 1 image (Damaged-9174.jpg). Select a piece as shown below and copy and paste it into the main image below the Darken  layer. Rename the layer to “Damage 1″.

Scale the Damage 1 layer down a little and position it in the upper left corner of the back wall. Next, desaturate the layer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+U/Cmd+Shift+U. Select the Eraser tool (E), choose a soft round brush, set its size to approx 30 pixels and its Opacity to 50%. Gently brush over all the hard edges to blend them into the background.

Set the Damage 1 layer’s Blend mode to Overlay and its Opacity to 80%.

Open the Damage 2 image (246871_1725.jpg) and cut out a piece as shown below. Copy and paste it into the main image above the Damage 1 layer. Call the new layer “Damage 2″.

Position the Damage 2 layer in the lower right corner of the top arch, just behind the balustrade. Select the white pieces with the Magic Wand tool (W) and delete them. Next desaturate the layer and, using the same soft eraser as before, blend in the hard edges.

Set the Damage 2 layer’s Blend mode to Hard light.

Copy the Damage 2 layer (Ctrl+J/Cmd+J) and rename the new layer to “Damage 3″. Flip the layer horizontally and place it on the oposite side of the arch as shown below. Set the Blend mode to Overlay.

Create a new layer above the Damage 3 layer and call it “Damage 4″. Set the foreground color to a dark brown (#300606) and activate the Brush tool (B). Right-click in the image and pick “Crack 03″ from the list. Make sure the brush’s Opacity is set to 100% and click once in the center of the top arch.

Set the layer’s Fill to 75% and apply a Bevel and Emboss layer styleas shown below.

Create yet another new layer and call it “Dirt”. Activate the Brush tool (B). There are 4 drip brushes in the brush set, use them to paint dirt on the back wall by clicking in the Dirt layer as indicated in the image below. The foreground color should still be set to #300606 (dark brown).

Set the Dirt layer’s Blend mode to Overlay and its Opacity to 75%. Next, click on the Damage 1 layer and Shift+click on the Dirt layer. Press Ctrl+G/Cmd+G to group the layers. Call this group “Damage”.

Open the Damage group and then locate the Back wall bottom front group and open this group as well. Alt+click+drag/Opt+click+drag the Damage 1 layer from the Damage  group into the Back wall bottom front group to create a copy.

Position the Damage 1 copy layer over the bottom of the back wall and scale it to fit.

Step 49

Close the Back wall group and open the Left wall group. Click on the Left wall layer to make it active. Next choose File>Place from the menu and import the Damage 3 image (AsphaltDamaged0042_S.jpg). Place it over the left wall and scale it to fit.

Clip the AsphaltDamaged0042_S layer to the Left wall layer by positioning the cursor over the line between the two layers and hold down Alt/Opt. When the cursor changes to two overlapping circles, click once.

Change the AsphaltDamaged0042_S layer’s Blend mode to Hard Light.

Make a copy of the AsphaltDamaged0042_S layer and drag it into the Right wall group above the Right wall layer. Flip the layer vertically and position it over the right wall. Clip the AsphaltDamaged0042_S copy layer to the Right wall layer by Alt+clicking/Opt+clicking on the line between the two layers. The left and right wall should look similar to the image below.

Step 50

Close the Back wall group and open first the Pillars  group and then the Center pillars group. Click on the Pillar 1 layer to activate it and click on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette to create a layer mask for the layer. With a small, round brush remove pieces to make it look as if the pillar is broken.

Open the Damage 4 image (BrickOldMixedSize0012_1_M.jpg) and cut a piece from it.

Copy and paste the piece into the main image. Rename the layer to “Damage 1″. Position the layer over pillar 1. Copy the Damage 1  layer and call  it “Damage 2″. Move it into position as shown below. Use a soft eraser at 40% Opacity to blend in the sharp edges on both layers.

Set the Blend mode of both the damage layers to hard light.

Step 51

Use the same technique to break up the other pillars and the left and right wall ledges. You might also want to apply some more damage to the walls and also give the same treatment to the window frames and the balustrade. The key is to use your imagination and figure out where damage might occur to a building which is essentially open to the elements. Also use the drip and crack brushes where appropriate. Below is an example of what it might look like when you’re done.

Step 52

To complete the devastation, let’s add a pile of rubble. Open the Rubble  image (Demolished-3658.jpg) and use the Lasso tool (L) to select the piece shown below.

Copy and paste the rubble into the main image above the Front wall extension layer and rename the layer to “Rubble”. Place the layer in the bottom right corner and erase all the dark parts from the top of the pile by selecting them with the Magic Wand tool and deleting the selection. With a soft round eraser at low opacity blend the bottom and right edges into the background.

Create a new Levels adjustment layer, rename it to “Contrast” and clip it to the Rubble layer. Set the Lightness channel as shown below.

Select both the Rubble and Contrast layers and press Ctrl+G/Cmd+G to group them. Call the group “Rubble”.

Step 53

The image is coming together quite well now but it’s looking very flat. This is because there are no cast shadows yet. Let’s put them in.

Open the Base elements group and create a new Curves adjustment layer above the Mural group. Set the Lightness channel as shown below.

Rename the layer to “Cast shadows”. Click on the layer mask and press Ctrl+I/Cmd+I to invert the layer mask. It is now black and the image hasn’t changed. Set the foreground color to white. Activate the Brush tool (B) and choose a soft, round brush. Set its Size to 30 pixels and its Opacity to 50%. Start painting in the layer mask where cast shadows would be. Keep in mind that the light is coming from the upper left.

Step 54

We’re almost there. All that’s left to do is to put the sunlight and its shadows and highlights in place.

Close all open groups and open the Template group. Grab the Shadows  layer and drag it all the way to the top of the layer stack so that it sits above the Rubble group.

Create a layer mask for the Shadows layer and, with a soft, round brush and the foreground color set to black, paint over the front wall areas as shown below.

Click in an empty area next to the Shadows layer’s name to bring up the Blending options dialog. Set the Blend Mode to Hard Light. In the Blend If options, set the slider for This Layer as shown below. (To split the arrow, Alt+click/Opt+click on the left half of the arrow and drag it to the left.)

Choose Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur from the menu and set the Radius to 8.7.

Create a new Levels adjustment layer. Rename the layer to “Contrast”. Clip this layer to  the Shadows layer by clicking the This Adjustment

Clips to the Layer icon at the bottom of the Levels dialog. Set the slider for the Lightness channel as follows:

Step 55

To create some interest, we’ll color the shadows and the highlights.

Create a new Solid Color adjustment layer and set the color to #12152c. Rename the layer to “Shadow color” and set the Opacity to 29%.

Create another Solid Color adjustment layer, set its color to #f3d15b. Rename the layer to “Highlight color”, set the Blend Mode to Screen and the Opacity to 55%.

Step 56

To create light rays coming from the windows, create a new layer and rename this layer to “Light rays windows”. Then use the Pen tool (P) or the Lasso tool (L) to draw a selection as shown below. Fill the selection with #f3d15b and then set the Blend Mode to Screen and the Opacity to 16%.

Choose Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur from the menu and set the Radius to 46.

Step 57

Last, but not least, we’ll create some light blooming on the holes in the roof. Create a new layer and call it “Roof light bloom” Set the foreground color to #eadeb2 and activate the Brush tool (B). Choose a soft, round brush, set its Size to 300 pixels and its Opacity to 100%. Click once on each hole on the left hand side of the roof.

Set the Blend Mode to Linear Dodge (Add) and the Opacity to 47%.

Next, create another new layer and rename it to “Roof light rays”. Set the foreground color to #f3d15b and reduce the brush size to 150 pixels. Draw some rays coming from the holes in the roof as shown below.

Set the Blend Mode to Screen and  the Opacity to 14%. Next, apply a Gaussian Blur with a radius of 62.7.

Click on the Shadows layer and Shift+click on the Roof light rays layer.  Press Ctrl+G/Cmd+G to group the layers and call the group “Shadows/Highlights”.

Step 58

That’s it! All the hard work is finished. There is much more you can do to enhance the image even further, such as add some plant life and/or create some puddles on the floor. Because we’ve  been working non-destructively, it’s very easy to change things such as colors to your own taste. However, I’ll leave that to your judgement.

There’s just one more thing: because we’ve been working in Lab Color mode, you can’t just save this file as a JPG. The JPG file format is not available in Lab Color mode. What’s more, as it stands you can’t even convert the file  to RGB mode. If you do, Photoshop will throw away all your adjustment layers and you’ll have to start all over again. Not good. The best thing to do in this case is to save the file to another name, flatten it (Layer>Flatten Image) and then convert it to RGB (Image>Mode>RGB color). The appearance of the image won’t change but you can now save the file as a JPG. This way you preserve the original file with all its layers, just in case you want to change something in the future.

Final Image:

Here is what we’ve created. Give yourself a pat on the back!

Miss Out on Part 1?

This tutorial is too long to be published in it’s entirety (as it would take forever to load for you!).

Earlier this week we published the first section of the tutorial which taught you how to create this building structure from scratch using the free software Google Sketchup.

If you missed Part 1 or want to review it you can check it out here.

Member File Download

Download the original .psd file for this tutorial here:

DOWNLOAD .PSD FILE

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1 Comment:

  1. Joe.o`Flaherty says:

    Hi,
    Great tutorial but I can not seperate selections in Psp.
    I tried various ways of saving the file in sketchup as I worked on it ie, delete back of entity etc, I am not the most proficient user but I could follow your instructions and it looks identical to yours when opened in Psp.
    In part two using ctrl/f1 and ctrl/f2 as suggested and using the pen,fill grey 50% etc first part selected “back wall top ” works fine then i select the back wall arch
    the back wall also selects,i am not sure wher I have gone wrong,hope you can help solve it.
    Regards,
    Joe

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