Hosted by Bert Monroy.
Be amazed and learn as master digital artist Bert Monroy takes a stylus and a digital pad and treats them as Monet and Picasso do with oil and canvas. Learn the tips and tricks you need to whip those digital pictures into shape with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Read More
Create a moonlit landscape using simple 3D effects, lighting, and traditional filters.
Set up the moon
Bert starts with a static photo of the moon, which is in a new layer against a black background. Add a blue glow to the moonlight to add visual luminance. This image is cropped so that you can move it around the canvas as desired.
Create landscape using foreground and background colors
Imagine the landscape being built like Google Earth, where your perspective is from above. In the end, we will be adding a lake.
In a new layer, choose colors for your foreground. You can label this layer, "Terrain". These colors will represent the heights and depths of your landscape. The lighter the color the higher the peaks, and the darker the color, the lower the valleys. The color will automatically become a texture map. In this episode, the light color is a grey, and a dark color is a forest green. Apply the Clouds filter on this new layer while holding down the Option button (Alt on a PC). Holding down the button on your keyboard will ensure high contrast in the Clouds filter. Keep applying the clouds filter until you have a desired landscape.
With the dark color (green), use a soft, large brush to apply color to the bottom right portion of the canvas. Now, we will apply the lake color in the same area using a blue color.
Add 3D to the landscape
We will now create a 3D perspective and effects to this landscape. Choose 3D > New Mesh from Grayscale > Plane. To see the peaks and valleys, tilt your plane. Don't worry about the lighting at this point because we will apply our own light sources.
Add texture to the landscape
To apply some effects to your terrain, intensify the light source and then focus on the 3D Materials. Increase the bump strength to create an illusion of treetops, water ripples, and more. In Bump Strength, create a New Texture that has the same dimensions of your original image. In Layers, double click the "Terrain Bump Texture, which will open in a new window. Add noise to this file, save, and close. The noise will then appear as a texture in your 3D landscape.
Apply proper lighting from the moon
The moon is the only light source, so we'll manipulate the 3D lights to replicate this. Turn off all the light sources, and you will see that the image is completely dark except for the moon. Add new light source: Spotlight. Move the source of the light to match the position of the moon. Rotate the angle of the light so that it shines down into the landscape. At this point, the landscape will look like it is sprinkled with glitter, so we'll need to return to the 3D Materials window to adjust the Glossiness. Bring this value down to make the glitter appearance disappear a bit.
Add lighting detail to the landscape using a mask
Duplicate the terrain layer. With the top layer selected, turn off the lights so you can see the light's effects, but not the cone that indicates the angle of the light source. Bring down the intensity of your spotlight from the moon until satisfied with the appearance. Now, Bert adds a mask to the lake, brushing black onto the lake to let the glitter show through, which represents the light reflecting from the moon.
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Make sure to send in your artwork to firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like your image used as Bert's background on a future episode of PixelPerfect. Your image should be a 1280x720 JPG.