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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.
Hey gang! This is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. Now, this week I had a kind of nutty idea. I was thinking about that photographic evidence that you sometimes see for monsters, things like Bigfoot and the Yeti, and if you're from the small island of Puerto Rico, the Chupacabra. Well, those things attack people and animals. I wanted to create a monster that attacks the other monsters. It's this guy right here, a creature that I'm calling El Terribla. Its name derives from two different languages--he is that scary.
Now we're going to start by combining a few real-world animals together. We're going to combine this tiger, for example, along with this gorilla, and this adorable little puppy dog. And we're going to be merging these images using a single tool. Do you know what tool that is? It's the Healing brush. You've been using it to retouch images. We're going to use the Healing brush to make an image. Then you might look at this guy and think, "He is not all that terrifying. In fact, he looks like he is kind of drooling." Well, he is at rest, give him a break.
Let me show you how to create this cute cuddly monster here inside Photoshop. In this movie, I'm going to show you how to blend a bunch of actual photographs to create something entirely fictional using the Healing brush. I've gone ahead and assembled and scaled and aligned a bunch of photographs in advance inside of this layered composition. And those photographs include the stretched version of an angry lion, below that we have this thoughtful gorilla, and then finally this adorable puppy dog. The copyright holders for each one of the images appears in the upper-left corner of the window.
They all hail from the Fotolia Image Library, about which you can learn more at fotolia.com/deke. I'm going to go ahead and turn off that credits group. And, by the way, you want to see these guide lines. If you're following along with and you can't see those guide lines, go up to the View menu, choose Show, and make sure that the Guides command is checked. All right! I'm going to go ahead and escape out. Below all of those layers, by the way, if you turn all them off, you can see that the Background image contains the normal version of the lion, un-stretched, and by the way, we're working low resolution because we don't need high resolution.
All we need is for the image to fill the screen at the 100% zoom ratio because we'll ultimately be shooting the screen with a digital camera. Also note that the Healing brush is a static tool. So that it goes ahead and permanently modifies the pixels on a given layer, we're going to be working in the Background layer. For starters, I want you to turn on the gorilla layer, click on it to make it active-- that's very important throughout here-- and then we'll switch from the Spot Healing brush tool to the standard Healing brush tool, which is much more useful for our purposes. You should be seeing that the mode is set to Normal, Source is set to Sampled, and Sample over here on the right- hand side is set to Current layer.
Those are the default settings. Once you've established those, go ahead and press the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, and I want you to click at the intersection of those two guide lines, which happens to represent the exact center of this image. That's not really all that important. You just want to make sure you have a couple of guide lines in order to establish an alignment point. All right! So go ahead and Alt+Click or Option+Click at that location. Then turn off the gorilla layer, click on the Background layer to make it active. Now I want you to go ahead and zoom out so that you can see the entire image. Then right-click inside the image window, and take that Size value up to 1,000 pixels, which is big enough to fill this entire image, because as I say, it's not particularly high resolution.
Make sure the Hardness value is set to 100%, and then press the Enter key, or the Return, key a couple of times in order to hide that panel. And then go ahead and align your cursor to the intersection of those two guide lines and click in order to heal the gorilla into the tiger background. Now it will take a moment, and you just want to apply a single-click, incidentally. Now it's going to look like all you did was just filled the screen with the gorilla. That's because you're seeing a brush preview right now. Go ahead and press the M key in order to switch to the Rectangular Marquee tool, and you'll see the result of that heal.
That in and of itself, if you ask me, is absolutely amazing that you can pull off that kind of effect inside of Photoshop, the sort of blend of two images, with a single-click. And now we get this sort of ancient sepia tone of this gorilla image, which will serve us a starting point. All right! I'm going to go ahead and zoom back in. The next step is to heal some of the tiger back into place. Specifically, I didn't want this ultimate monster here to look too much like a gorilla, and if we kept its nose the way it is, it really came off as being a kind of gorilla monster.
So let's replace that nose with the original tiger nose--actually a stretched version of it, by turning on that tiger (stretched) layer, clicking on it to make it active to make sure that we're sampling from that layer. Then I want you to go ahead and switch back to the Healing brush, which you can get by pressing the J key, right-click inside the image window, and let's go ahead and change the Size value to 100 pixels, which is going to be a lot more reasonable. Go ahead and press the Enter key a couple of times in order to hide that panel, press and hold the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, and click at the intersection of the two guides.
Then go ahead and turn the tiger (stretched) layer off, go ahead and click on the Background layer to make it active again, and I want you to just click at the intersection of those two guide lines. Now that goes ahead and establishes the alignment point for our healing effect. You now need to do two things. First of all, go up to the Edit menu and choose Undo Healing Brush because we don't really want to heal the nose like that, or press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. Even though the brushstroke is gone, the alignment point is still established if you go up to this Aligned check box and turn it on/ Now you can paint with that aligned brushstroke, and you see me just moving the brush around so I can see a preview.
I'm going to press the Left Bracket key a few times to reduce the size of my brush, and then I'm going to paint in that slice of tiger nose over the original gorilla nose, like so. And we end up with this effect here. All right! It's not perfect. We'll come back to it in a moment. The next thing we need to do is paint in those tiger teeth. What I want you to do here, if you're following along, with me is turn that tiger (stretched) layer back on, then make it active, go ahead and grab the Rectangular Marquee tool. Let's go ahead and select a big chunk of tiger mouth like that, and press Ctrl+Alt+J, or press Command+Option+J on the Mac, in order to duplicate the selection into a layer.
Let's call it mouth, and then click OK. And I'm going to go ahead and turn off the tiger (stretched) layer so we can see the mouth by itself. Now I need to basically align the mouth inside of the gorilla face, the gorilla that we've created so far. So I'm going to go ahead and center my zoom a little bit, scroll down as well. And now with this mouth layer selected-- and I might as well move it down to stack a little bit, so that we can see it at the same time as the Background layer. I'll go up to the Edit menu and I'll choose Free Transform, or press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac.
And then I want you, up here in the Option bar, to click on this little Warp Icon in order to switch into the Warp mode. Then go over to the Warp pop-up menu and choose Arc Upper, like so. And I want you to raise that Bend value. This is going to seem insane, but take it up to 65% like that. Then let's go ahead and drag this guy down a little bit. And you know what? We want to able to see what we're doing, so let's reduce the Opacity value here inside the Layers panel to 50%, so I can see whether I've got this guy aligned properly or not. And I want to scroll down a little bit more as well. All right! It's too tall is the problem.
So switch under the Warp mode by clicking on this icon up here in the Options bar again, and then change the Width value to 90% and tab over to the Height value and change it to 75%. Then go ahead and drag that mouth up just a little bit. We want it right underneath the gorilla's lip, like so, and press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to accept your modification. All right! Press the 0 key in order to reinstate the Opacity value to 100%. And now we're going to go ahead and clone from this mouth. Now this is going to seem weird, but you want to go ahead and grab your Healing brush once again and Alt+Click or Option+Click at the intersection of the guide lines. Even though there's nothing at that intersection, that's what you want to do.
Then turn that mouth layer off, click on the Background layer once again, click at the intersection of those guide lines, just give it a click. Nothing will happen, but just to make sure, press Ctrl+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac, to undo any change you might have made. And now what we're going to do is paint under the gorilla's lip like so, just go ahead and paint under that lip. Try to be moderately careful, and you can go back later-- actually, we are going to go back and touch it up in just a moment, but you want to be as careful as you can be. And go ahead and paint those tiger teeth underneath the gorilla's lip, like so, and then Photoshop will go ahead and heal it into place.
Now obviously, it's not what we would call photorealistic, but it's amazing that it can get this much done this simply. All right! Go and turn the gorilla layer back on, so we can touch things up a little bit. Click on the gorilla layer to make it active, Alt+Click or Option+Click at the intersection of those two guide lines-- so it's a lot of back and forth here. Turn off the gorilla layer, click on the Background layer again, click at the intersection of those two guides to establish an alignment point. Obviously, we don't want that brushstroke, so press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, to undo it, reduce the size of your brush cursor, and go ahead and paint around the nose.
Now if you make a mistake, if you don't like what you've come up with here, then just go ahead and undo, press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, you might want to reduce the size of your cursor even further. And then just go ahead and paint around. You can paint in multiple brushstrokes. Don't feel like you have to get it all done in one brushstroke. In fact, that's probably not the wisest way to work because if you make a mistake, then you have to undo a bunch of stuff at once. Anyway, just paint around until you feel like you get something that looks moderately good. I want to paint some of those gorilla nostrils back into place. All right! Then come down here to the mouth and paint some of the mouth back in the place around the teeth, paint some of the mouth around the left side as well.
I'll paint underneath the mouth in order to get rid of some of that tiger action there. I do want to see this little line between the teeth because it'll end up looking like some saliva connecting the teeth together, which will enhance the scariness of the scene, don't you know. All right! I'm going to paint over the gums. This is going to seem strange. That's going to introduce some gorilla flesh into the gums, but that's better than seeing the tiger fur in that gum region which really doesn't make any sense. All right! The final thing we're going to do, let's go ahead and zoom back out, take it to 100%. Those eyes are just too human-looking, and one of the reasons that they're human-looking is because we can see pupils surrounded by irises, surrounded by whites.
And the whites of the eyes impart kind of a sympathetic trait to the monster. He is going to look a lot more monstrous, a lot more inhuman, if we get rid of those whites, and there's nobody like the puppy for having very small whites. So go ahead and turn that layer on, click on it to make it active, Alt+Click, or Option+Click at the intersection of the guide line in order to sample that layer. Then turn off the puppy layer, click on the Background layer, click at the intersection of those two guides in order to establish the alignment point, press Ctrl+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac, to undo that modification.
Increase the size of your cursor if you'd like by pressing the Right Bracket key a few times, and then paint the eye in, like so. Now this isn't going to look right initially. Go ahead and release and you'll see it looks way too blue, among other things, and we have some weird artifacting around the edge. So go up to the Edit menu and choose Fade Healing Brush, or you can press Ctrl+Shift+F, Command+Shift+F on the Mac, take the Opacity value down to 50% in order to get a kind of 50-50 blend of these two eyes. Then do the same thing to that right eye, the animal's left, I suppose.
Once you finish painting the eye, go up to the Edit menu, choose Fade Healing Brush again, and reduce the Opacity value to 50%, and click OK. All right! We have successfully healed these various animals together. I'm going to go ahead and press the M key in order to switch to the Marquee tool. I'll press Ctrl+Semicolon, Command+Semicolon on the Mac, in order to hide my guides, press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the Full Screen mode. And this is our purely fictional animal, created by blending multiple images together using the Healing brush.
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