Apr 27 2009
NEO: Whoa. Deja vu.
TRINITY: What did you just say?
NEO: Nothing. Just had a little deja vu.
TRINITY: What happened? What did you see?
NEO: A Matrix Code Tutorial on MacMerc.com and then I saw another that looked just like it.
TRINITY: How much like it? Was it the same tutorial?
NEO: It might have been. I’m not sure. What is it?
TRINITY: A deja vu is usually a glitch in the Tutorial. It happens when they change something.
NEO: Hm, upgrades.
Make Green Rain…
1. Download the Matrix Code Pattern unstuff it and remember where it is on your hard drive. (Full credit goes to Thomas W.Otto who developed the cut of the Matrix Code font that I used to make this pattern. Good job, TWO!!)
2. Start a new document (Command-N) in Adobe Photoshop: 5.25 x 7 inches, 300 pixels/inch, RGB, White Background. (Is there a significance to the 5.25 x 7 inch dimension? Not really. But it will be easier to follow along if you do what I do all the way through.)
3. Create a new layer and title it “Live Matrix Code”
4. Go Edit>Fill… and set the Content to Use Pattern, the Blending to Normal, the Opacity to 100% and uncheck the Preserve Transparency check box. Now click the thumbnail beside Custom Pattern. You should now see your entire collection of patterns…except the one you just downloaded. Click the button in the top right hand corner of this window to open the flyout menu and choose Load Patterns…
This will open up a Load dialog box. Now just navigate to where the Matrix Code Pattern.pat file you unstuffed resides to load it. Once it’s loaded, select it in the collection (it will be the last one on the list … hover the pointing finger cursor over the thumbnails to find the one titled “Matrix Code” if you want to be extra sure). Click OK.
5. Under the View menu choose Show>Grid and then under the same menu choose both Snap and Snap to>Grid. If your grid is set to the default, you should see that each character of the Matrix code fall in its own cell in the grid.
Now go into your Guides, Grid and Slices Preferences (Photoshop>Preferences>Guides, Grid and Slices) and change your Grid to Gridline every 0.16383 inches with 2 subdivisions. Now you’ll still see every character in its own cell, but that cell with be divided into 4 smaller cells by lighter lines.
6. Fill the Background Layer with black and turn off the Live Matrix Code layer by clicking in the eye next to it in the Layers palette.
7. Create a new layer between the Background layer and the Live Matrix Code layer called “Bright White Glow”
8. With Bright White Glow selected, Command-Click the Live Matrix Code layer to make a selection in the shape of the code. Fill that selection with white.
9. With the code shape selection still live and the Bright White Glow layer active, hit Shift-Command-I to inverse the selection and then apply a 3 pixel Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur). You can deselect now.
10. Now go to the Layer menu and choose Add Layer Mask>Hide All. Bye bye!
Don’t worry, we’ll bring it back in a minute.
11. Select the Background layer in the Layers palette and with the Rectangular Marquee tool make a selection anywhere on your image that follows the bold lines in the grid and envelopes a 2 x 2 group of cells. Now go Edit>Define Brush… and name your brush “Square”. Deselect.
12. Select the Brush tool and open the Brushes palette. Scroll down and select your newly created brush from the Brush Presets. Click “Brush Tip Shape” in the Brushes palette and reduce the Spacing to 1%. Click Color Dynamics and set the Foreground/Background Jitter Control to “Fade” at a value of 1200. In the Option bar, set the Painting Mode to Lighten
13. Click Bright White Glow’s layer mask in the Layers palette to make it active. Hit the D key to reset your foreground and background colors also.
14. Now you are going to place your brush onto the canvas and start painting the streams of falling code, one by one. But before you do, you need to perfect this sequence: Click…Shift…Push…Release…Release
- Click and hold the brush in the center of one of the boldboxes of the grid where you want the lowest code character to be
- Hold down the Shift button.
- Push your mouse upward until the fade is complete
- Release the mouse button
- Release the Shift key.
Now try it. If you make a mistake, hit Command-Z. But make sure you get the pattern down—it’s the key to getting straight streams of code.
15. Code away! Repeat step 14 and toggle the grid on and off to see what it looks like between strokes. (make sure the grid is visible and that Photoshop is set to snap to the grid when you actually paint the strokes though)
As a guideline try to put a string of code in almost every available column.
Avoid starting too many strings on or near the same row and, similarly, try not to have more than 3 strings in the same column. Go for an even but random dispersion of code.
Once you are satisfied with the code coverage proceed to Step 16.
16. Create a new layer above the Bright White Glow and name it Green Rain. (Keep the grid visible. I know it’s ugly, but hold tight.)
17. Change the foreground color to R:22, G:255, B:113. Command-Click the Live Matrix Code layer and the hit Option-Delete to fill the code shaped selection with green pixels on the Green Rain layer. Deselect.
18. Group the Green Rain layer to the Bright White Glow layer by hitting Command-G.
19. Now, with the Green Rain layer still active, Command-Click the layer mask of the Bright White Glow layer. Take the Rectangular Marquee tool and Shift-drag the selection upward. The grid will make the selection snap up to the next grid line. Let it snap up until it has moved up 2 small cells to the next bold gridline.
Go Layer>Add Layer Mask>Reveal Selection.
20. You can turn the grid off now.
21. With the Green Rain layer still active, hit Command-E to merge the grouped layers into one. Rename the merged layer “Green Rain 1″
22. Now go Layer>Remove Layer Mask>Apply.
23. Hit Command-Minus a couple of times and enlarge you window—we’ll need some room to move in a second.
24. Hit Command-T to activate the Transform function. Control-Click within the selection and choose Perspective. Grab the lower left transformation node and pull it to the left. Keep an eye on the Horizontal skew value as it changes in the Options bar and stop stretching when it reaches about 18°.
25. Make a duplicate of Green Rain 1 above the original and name it “Green Rain 2″
26. Flip Horizontal Green Rain 2
27. Hit Command-T again and at this point if you need to hold down the Shift key and drag Green Rain 2 left or right to make the angles look correct, do so.
28. Hold down the Shift key and Green Rain 2 straight up about 1/7 of the total image height.
29. Control-Click within the selection and choose Perspective. Grab the lower left transformation node and pull it to the left. Stop stretching when the Horizontal skew value reaches about 9°.
30. Guess what? Make a duplicate of Green Rain 2 above the original and name it “Green Rain 3″
31. Flip Horizontal Green Rain 3
32. Hit Command-T again and at this point if you need to hold down the Shift key and drag Green Rain 3 left or right to make the angles look correct, do so.
33. Hold down the Shift key and Green Rain 2 straight up about 2/7 of the total image height.
34. Control-Click within the selection and choose Perspective. Grab the lower left transformation node and pull it to the left. Stop stretching when the Horizontal skew value reaches about 4.5°.
35. Click on Green Rain 1 in the Layers palette and set the Layer Opacity to 60%.
36. Go Filter>Blur>Radial Blur… Set the amount to 3, the Blur Method to Zoom and the Quality to Good. Also click and drag the Blur center to the bottom center of the window and click OK.
37. Click on Green Rain 2 and set the Layer Opacity to 80%. Then hit Command-F to apply the Radial blur to that layer also.
38. Also click on Green Rain 3 and hit Command-F to apply the Radial blur. No adjustment to the Layer Opacity here.
Add Scan Lines…
On other sites, the next 4 step would constitute a tutorial of their own. Here you get it as a finishing touch.
39. Create a new layer above Green Rain 3 and name it “Scan Lines” Set this layer’s blending mode to Overlay.
40. Go Edit>Fill… and set the Fill properties to 50% Gray, Normal, 100% and uncheck Preserve Transparency. Click OK. Don’t worry if you see no change—you’re not really supposed to yet.
41. Hit the D key to reset your foreground and background colors.
42. Go Filter>Sketch>Halftone Pattern… and adjust the setting to a Size of 1, a Contrast of 5 using a Line Pattern. Click OK.
43. Apply the same Radial Blur to the Scan Lines layer as you did to all the Green Rain layers.
44. Just go Layer>Flatten Image and you’re done.