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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. This week I am going to show you how to create what I consider to be a very interesting optical illusion that has to do with the way our eyes work. Notice on this piece of paper here that I have both a right-side-up and upside- down version of the model. That is to say she's mostly upside down. Her features, that is, her mouth and her eyes, remain right side up. Now the second I showed you this page, you knew something was wrong with the upside-down image and now that I've hold you what's wrong with her, you can see that's the case.
However, there's no way to prepare yourself for the effect you will experience when you turn the page a 180 degrees, and you can see that the image that's now on the left-hand side and right side up, except for the upside down futures, looks terrifying. It's like a blooha. It's an interesting party effect, don't you think? Here, let me show you exactly how it works. So here's the final version of the composition that we are going for. And once again, at first glance, it doesn't really seem like there's anything wrong. However, if I go ahead and rotate the image 180 degrees, you can see that something is tragically wrong with this image.
So let's see how to build one of these things. We are going to go ahead and switch over to this flat image file, and the first thing that we'll do is we'll establish a layered composition in which we have a right-side-up and upside down version of the model side by side. So go over to the Layers panel, double- click on the background item to convert it to a layer, name the layer model, and click OK. Now I am going to expand the canvas by going up to the Image menu and choosing the Canvas Size command. And we want to expand from the left side outward, so I will go ahead and click that middle left chiclet. And most likely what you're going to want to do, just to make sure you have enough room, is change the unit of measure to Percent and then assuming that the Relative checkbox is off, you will change the Width value to 200% and that will double the width of the image.
However, in my case, I don't need quite that much room. I am going to switch back to Pixels and I am going to change this Width value to 2132, which may seem like an arbitrary value, but it happens to worth for this image. It makes it about two-thirds again wider. So go ahead and click OK and you can see that now I've got more room to work. Now I want to create a copy of this image and flip it. I'll press Ctrl+Alt+T or Command+Option+T on the Mac. That goes ahead and transforms a duplicate of the image. Then I will right-click anywhere inside the image and choose Rotate 180 degree, and I will press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to create a copy of that layer here inside the Layers panel.
Now to shift the layer all the way to the right-hand side of the image. I will press Ctrl+A or Command+A on a Mac in order to select the entire image. I'll switch to the Move tool, which I can get by pressing the V key, and I will click this final align icon up here in the Options bar, which is called Align right edges. That goes ahead and sends the image all the way to the right side of the canvas. And then I will press Ctrl+D or Command+D on a Mac to deselect the image. Now my model set against a white background, and I can drop away that background just by changing the blend mode from Normal to Multiply, and we end up with this basic layered composition.
Now even though we want to modify the upside-down version of the model, we are going to actually apply our modifications to the right-side-up version, because that way we can better see what we are doing. So I will click on the lower of the two model layers in order to make it active, and then let's go ahead and zoom in on the left-hand model so that we're seeing her at 100%. And I will switch to the Rectangle Marquee tool, either by clicking on it or pressing the M key, and I will select this wide area around her eyes just so we have more than enough room to work. And let's jump this selection to new layer by pressing Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J on a Mac.
I will call this layer "eyes" and then click OK. Now let's go ahead and do the same thing for the mouth. I'll click on the model layer once again, select this generous region around the mouth like so, and then press Ctrl+Alt+J, Command+Option+J on the Mac, and then call the layer "mouth" and click OK. Now we need to take both of these layers and flip them. So I will start with the mouth, since it's active, press Ctrl+A or Command+T on the Mac to enter the Free Transform mode, and then I will just go ahead and right-click inside the image and choose the Flip Vertical command. Then I will press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to apply that change.
Now let's turn the mouth layer off for a moment. We will come back to it. Click on the eyes layer to make it active, press Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac in order to enter Free Transform, right-click inside the image again, and choose Flip Vertical once again. And then press Enter or Return once again an order to apply that change. All right! I am going to press the 5 key to reduce the opacity of that layer to 50%, and then I will nudge it downward, and I am doing this by pressing Ctrl+Down Arrow or Command+Down Arrow on the Mac. What I am trying to do is align the losenge-shape portion of the eyes with each other.
Then I will press the 0 key in order to restore the opacity to 100%. Now I will drop down to the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and click on it, and now let's go ahead and mask away the stuff that we don't want. I am going to select the Brush tool, which I can get also by pressing the B key. If I right-click inside the image, you'll see that I've got the size value at 60 pixels. More importantly, I've set the hardest value to 50%, which is going to give us the best results. Now I'll press Enter or Return in order to hide that panel.
Notice that my foreground color is black, which means that I can paint away portions of the image here inside the mask. And I will go ahead and paint around the eyes like so. I want to paint that eyebrow back in at the top. Of course, I painted the eyebrow away down there at the bottom. And I want to paint away some of the shadow along the bottom of the eye and paint the shadow back in along the top of the eye like so. Then I am going to do the same thing for this left eye. I'll go ahead and paint away that eyebrow down below the eye, go ahead and paint away some of these other lower details like so, until we end up with an effect something like this.
Now the problem at this point is that we have too much eye detail showing through from below, from the original good eyes. So I am going to press the X key in order to switch the foreground color to black and I'll reduce the size of my cursor a little bit. I might go ahead and right-click inside the image window and crank that Hardness value down to 0%. Press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to hide that panel. And then I will brush some of the upside-down eye back in like so, so that we don't have any repetition of detail like we did just a moment ago.
And if you go too far with it, of course, you can just press the X key in order to switch to foreground color back to black and paint some of those upside-down eyes away. Now let's check that we've masked away everything that we should. What I am going to do is press the Ctrl key or Command key on the Mac and click on the Layers thumbnail for the eyes layer here inside the Layers panel so that we load the selection around that layer. And then I will Alt+Click or Option+ Click in the layer mask thumbnail, so that we can see the layer mask by itself. I will increase the size of my cursor a little bit and make sure that I've painted away all the stuff around the edges of the selection so that we don't have some upside-down hair and other details.
Now let's do the same for the mouth. I am going to click on the mouth layer to make it active, go ahead and turn it back on, press Ctrl+D or Command+D on a Mac to deselect the image. Let's go ahead and scroll down a little less, and let's go ahead add a layer mask for this mouth layer by clicking on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. I am going to press the 5 key as well. I just need to make sure the mouth is aligned. And I am going to reduce the opacity of this layer as well. In order to do that, I am going to have to press the M key to return to the Rectangle Marquee tool, and then press the 5 five key to reduce the opacity of my layer to 50%. And then I will go ahead and nudge it down here by pressing Ctrl+Down Arrow or Command+Down Arrow, and that looks like pretty good alignment.
I want the bottom of her smile, which is now a kind of frown, to get very close to the bottom of her jaw line, but I don't want to it right on there. So I want a decent distance, about a pica or so. Now I'll press 0 key in order to restore the opacity back to 100%. I'll press the B key in order to switch to the Brush tool, and I'll go ahead and paint away the areas of mouth that I don't want. Now you are going to have to reveal certain portions of the original smile. That we will go ahead and heal away in just a moment. So notice that I've got these little dimples showing up around the mouth.
Now I am going to right-click inside the image. I am going to take that Hardness value back up to 50%, press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac, reduce the size of my brush by pressing left bracket key a few times and then just go ahead and paint away some details along the jaw line. This looks pretty good. Obviously, we need to do a little more work. And I'm going to start by pressing the X key here, and I want to paint some of this portion of the mouth back in on both sides, along what I'm calling these dimples. Now let's create a new layer to cover up the dimples by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac, and I will call this layer dimples. Click OK.
Then I am going to switch to my Healing Brush, that is, the standard Healing Brush tool, and what I'd like you to do is go up to the Options bar and change Sample from Current Layer to All Layers. Then press the Alt key or Option key on the Mac and click on an area that you want to sample from. Go ahead and drop down to the area that you want to paint away and of course go ahead and do so. And then I might click a few extra times in order to hide those details. Then I will Alt+Click or Option+Click over here on the left hand cheek, and I will paint away this left-hand dimple like so. And you may have to take multiple approaches to the thing, that is, you may have to paint multiple times in order to get things to look right.
If you end up with these kinds of effects right here where the transitions don't look good, then you can just back up, as I'm doing now, go ahead and sample from the new location by pressing the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and clicking. I will reduce the size of my cursor and paint along right there. That looks like a better transition to me. Paint along up here as well. Maybe right there below the cheek line. And we end up with this effect. I am going to press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac in order to zoom out, take in the entire image. It looks totally gruesome. The very final step is to go up to the Image menu, choose Image Rotation, and then choose 180 degrees. And you now have a good right-side-up version of an image and a messed-up upside-down version of a model that doesn't look bad as long as she is upside down. But go ahead and print it out, show it to your friends and family, then turn it upside down and watch their delighted reactions.
It's the perfect party gag.
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