advanced photoshop

Tutorial preview: Create photoreal mattes

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Magazine previews, by Julie Bassett

Learn to build up prehistoric matte paintings using photos and custom brushes in Photoshop

Build a prehistoric scene using photo textures and brush techniques

Dinosaurs have always been fascinating creatures that have captivated many of us since our childhoods. Who could have missed films like The Land Before Time and Jurassic Park? Obviously nobody has ever seen real-life dinosaurs before, so visual depictions in movies play such an important role in bringing our ideas of dinosaurs to life. With Photoshop, the convenience of creating matte paintings has made it even easier to build images of these creatures.

In this tutorial, we will go through some steps on how to use Photoshop to construct a matte painting of dinosaurs. We will create a scene of T-Rex in a volcanic surrounding. It will have a mysterious atmosphere complete with lava, bones and smoke. There are many different ways you can create this scene, but we will go through these steps progressively, and hopefully you will leave these pages with something that you can apply in your future work. All you need is a blank canvas, simple brushes and some photo references. Add in a bit of research too and you definitely won’t have a problem in visualising the fascinating scene of your childhood imaginations.

Tutorial preview: Create photoreal mattes