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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
In this movie, I am going to start with this tree from Piotr Skubisz of the Fotolia image library, and I'm going to add this guy's face from Warren Goldswain. And then I am going to warp the face around the tree, I am going to add a displacement map, a few other effects, and we are going to end up mapping the face into the tree, like so. If you take a look at the Layers panel here, you'll see that there's not all that much going on. There is trio of smart filters, a couple of layer effects, a single adjustment layer, and then this additional bit of bark layer up top here. But it does involve a little bit of manual labor because we've got a couple of manually generated layer masks.
So let's see how it's put together. I am going to start by grabbing this tree layer here and converting it to a displacement map. So I'll right-click on it and then choose Duplicate Layer, and I'll send the image to a new document, and I'll go ahead and call it tree displace and click OK. And then I'll go up to the Layer menu and choose Flatten Image because the image has to be flat to serve as a displacement map. Then I'll go up to the Image menu, choose Mode, and choose Grayscale. And then after clicking the Discard button, I'll go up to the File menu and choose the Save command, and then I'll make sure the format is set to psd, and I'll click on the Save button in order to save out that displacement map.
All right, back to the image at hand. The first thing I want to do to this guy's face is warp it onto the tree. So I am basically warping the face onto an orthogonal cylinder, as you'll see. But because I want to make sure that this is a nondestructive transformation and that all my filters are nondestructive smart filters, I need to convert the face to a smart object by right-clicking on it and choosing Convert to Smart Object. Now, I'll go up to the Edit Menu, choose Transform, and then choose Warp. I am going to change the style of warp up here in the Options Bar to Arch, like so.
Now that's way too pronounced of an effect, so I am going to change this Bend value to five, and then I am going to tap to the Horizontal value, and add a little bit of horizontal perspective by increasing that value to 5% as well. Then I'll press the Enter key a couple of times on the PC, the Return key a couple of times on the Mac, in order to apply that modification. You can go back, by the way, if you want to change your mind anytime you like, you just go back up to the Edit Menu, choose Transform and choose the Warp command again, and you will see your previously applied settings. Anyway, I am going to Escape out of there.
Next I want to go ahead and apply a displacement map. So I'll go up to the Filter Menu, and I'll choose Distort, and I'll choose Displace, and I want my Horizontal and Vertical Scale values to each be seven. I'll click OK, and then I'll find that tree displace pattern, and I'll click Open in order to displace the guy's face into the tree bark. All right, now to get a sense of what that looks like, I'm going to go out to the blend mode pop-up, and I am going to change it from normal to linear light like so, so that we can just basically see us we're working along here, how the face is going to map into the tree.
I also want to get rid of that filter mask, so I am going to right-click on that thumbnail there in the Layers panel, and I'll choose Delete Filter Mask. All right, the next step is to reduce the impact of this effect a little bit and suck some of the color out of the guy's face, because we really want him to ultimately be grayscale. So press the D key in order to confirm that the foreground and background colors are black and white respectively, then go out to the Filter Menu, choose Sketch, and choose Chalk & Charcoal. These are the values that I want to apply, by the way. I'll go ahead and drag this guy up so that we can see him.
I'm deemphasizing the shadows by reducing the Charcoal Area value to zero, I'm emphasizing the highlights by increasing the Chalk Area value to its maximum of 20, and then I'm basically balancing the contrast by setting this Stroke Pressure to 1. Click OK to accept those values, and you'll end up getting this effect here. That's too much, in my opinion, so I'll double-click on that slider icon to the right of Chalk & Charcoal to bring up the Blending Options dialog box, and I am going to reduce the Opacity value to 50%. The next step is to breathe a little life into these shadows, because I want these irises and other shadow details to appear contoured, not to just appear absolutely black.
So to add some contours to the shadows, I'll go up to the Filter Menu, choose Other, and then choose High Pass, and I am going to set the High Pass value to 20.0 pixels as you see here. Notice that does open up the irises and the eyebrows and so forth. It also gives us some highlights around the details, around the brow and the nose and the nostrils and the lips and the chin. Now, I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept that effect. That's too much once again, so I'll double-click on the slider icon associated with High Pass to bring up the Blending Options dialog box, and I'll change this Opacity value to 50% as well.
All right, next I want to suck all of the color out of this guy's face, and I am going to do that by pressing the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac, clicking this black-white icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and then choosing the Hue/Saturation command. In response to this dialog box, I am going to call this layer "desaturate," and then I am going to turn on Use Previously Layer to Create Clipping Mask, and then I'll click OK in order accept that change. Now because this adjustment layer is clipped inside the face, we're going to affect just the face and not the tree in the background. I'll reduce the saturation value to -100, and you can see that just gets rid of those aberrant skin tones, and I say aberrant because they're not part of the tree tones.
Now, I'll go ahead and hide the Adjustments panel. The next step is to mask this guy. So I'm going to click on the face layer to make it active, click on the Add Layer Mask Icon down here at the bottom of the Layers Panel. I'll go ahead and grab my Brush Tool. And if I right-click in the Image Window, you can see that I've got an 80-pixel brush. You can change the size as much as you want, but the Hardness value is set to 0%, which is going to work quite nicely for us. I'm painting with black, so I am just going to go ahead and paint away the area above his brow like so. We don't want any of his hair, obviously, and then I am going to paint away his sideburns over here on right-hand side, increase the size of my cursor by pressing the right bracket key a couple times, paint into his cheek--which is going to work out pretty nicely for us-- paint down along his chin and jaw line, then pain over into the cheek just a little bit, and then over into the eye.
I am going to reduce the size of my cursor a little bit because I want to get rid of that highlight on the left side of that eye. Now, I'll increase the size of my cursor a little and paint up into this region. Now what we need to do to see what we've accomplished here is Alt+Click or Option+Click on the Layer Mask icon there in the Layers panel, and now I am going to go ahead and just sort of lasso around this area generally in order to sort of slice through this area of black. I'll go up to the Select menu and choose the Inverse command, or press Ctrl+Shift+I, Command+Shift+I on a Mac. And then, because black is my foreground color, I'll press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete to fill that area with black.
All right, that's good enough. I am going to Alt+Click or Option+ Click on that Layer Mask thumbnail again to escape back out so that we can see the larger RGB image. Now what I want to do is reduce the darkness of those shadows, because we really shouldn't have a shadow that's any darker than the organic shadows that are already found inside the tree. So I am going to lighten the shadows by clicking on his face to make it active, and then go to fx, choose Color Overlay, and click on the red color swatch. And now, I'll click inside the tree someplace in order to lift the color.
This time I've got whatever this color is right here, 58, 97, 11, where the H, S, B values are concerned. What I ended up coming up with--and you can go your own way here if you like--but I ended up coming up with 50, 90, and 12 for the H, S, B values. As you can see, that goes ahead and lifts the darkest colors--actually, it goes ahead and throws a bunch of brown all over the place. We'll take care of that in a second. Click OK and change the Blend Mode from Normal to Lighten, and that way we're only hiding the shadow details. We are just brightening those shadows ever so slightly.
It's a pretty subtle effect, actually. Next, we are going to give them some sculpted contours around his cheek and his jaw line using a common, everyday, average drop shadow, except our application will be a little unusual. I'll change the Opacity value to 50%, and the angle value is fine at 135 degrees. I am going to set the distance to 40 pixels, and then I'll raise the size value to 30 pixels like so, and I'll click OK in order to accept that modification. You can see that gives him this nice dark shade here in his cheekbones and down below his jaw line as well. And if you want to emphasize that, you can grab your Brush Tool once again--and I'll switch back to my layer mask--right-click inside the image window, maybe take the Hardness value up to let's say 35%.
Press the Enter key or the Return key to accept that modification. Make sure that the foreground color is black and then paint under the jaw line like so, just to make sure that we're getting a nice deep groove in that jaw. Then if you want to paint the cheekbone out a little bit, you press X key in order to switch the foreground color to white and then paint the cheek out. So you can make modifications like that on the fly as you like. Now the final thing I want to do here is map the colors of the bark onto his face, because we've lost some of those bark hues. So I am going to Ctrl+Click, or on a Ma, Command+Click, on that layer mask thumbnail in order to load it as a selection outline.
I'll drop down to the tree layer, and I'll go up to the Select Menu, choose modify, and choose Expand. I am going to set the Expand By value to 30 pixels, click OK, and that goes ahead and then shifts that selection outline outward 30 pixels all the way around. Then I'll press Ctrl+Alt+J, or Command+ Option+J on a Mac, in order to jump that selection to a new layer, and I am just going to call it "color" and click OK. Now, I'll take that color layer and move it to the top of the stack, so that it covers up everything that we've done, and I'll change the Blend Mode setting from Normal to Darken.
Then I'll reduce the Opacity value to 50% and press the Enter key, the Return on a Mac. That gives us a more naturalistic effect, but it's too naturalistic. In other words, we don't have any highlights left now that are indicating that the nose is jutting out and that the eyes are nice and bright and so forth. So I am going to add a layer mask to this layer as well by clicking on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of Layers panel. I'll go ahead and grab my Brush tool, I'll press the X key in order to swap the foreground or background colors so that the foreground color is black, and I'll paint into the eyes like so. And then I'm going to paint across the nose and the brow a little bit and the top of the chin and the top of the nose, and I might add a little bit of highlight to the cheeks as well.
You know what? There is just one more modification I want to make. I want to see a little bit of the grooving of the bark coming through the shadow detail, so I am going to something over here to this layer, whatever it's called these days. Let's go ahead and expand that a little bit. It's called face. I'll double-click on this empty region of that layer in order to bring up the Layer Style dialog box, and I'll drag this white slider triangle that's associated with the underlying layer slider down to 225, and then I'll Alt+Drag or Option+Drag the left half of that triangle all the way down to 50, like so.
Now you can see the groove starting to show up inside those shadows. I think that gives us a more realistic effect in so far as things go, of course. I'll click OK in order to accept that modification, and that is it folks. So go and press the F key a couple of times and zoom in to the hundred percent zoom level and that is how, or at least one way how you create a face in a tree here inside Photoshop.
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