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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 will show you a technique designed for folks whose idea of the dapper gentleman has less to do with shrinking a guy's head and more to do with expanding his head. Now notice that while he has a gargantuan head with respect to his body, the expansion is largely relegated to the jaw and the chin and the forehead. The actual features in the center of the face remain very much as they appear in the original image. And the advantage of this approach is that you're not wrapping the guy's face around a balloon, because that kind of distortion ends up exaggerating the nose and wrapping the eyes and the side of the face and so forth.
So let me show you how it works. I am going to switch to the original image. And this technique hinges on the application of two static filters, so we will be duplicating the original image in order to protect it. I will start by pressing Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J on the Mac, and I'll go ahead and call this new layer "big head" and click OK. Then I'll go up to the Filter menu and choose the Liquify command, which is where we want to start here, and I'll zoom in on the image. Now if you worked along with me in the previous video, what I would like you to do--just to make sure you can see your work and you get the same results I do-- is press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, which changes the Cancel button to Reset, and then go ahead and click on that Reset button.
Next, we will switch to the Bloat tool. And I will increase the size of my cursor by pressing the Right Bracket key a few times, and then I will click and hold inside the head and then inside the jaw and then inside the forehead and so on, in order to expand these details, like so. And if you like, you can also try out the Forward Warp tool. If you do so though, make sure that you drag in relatively small increments here, just a few pixels at a time, so you don't end up getting that sort of ripped-pixel effect, where it looks like a single pixel has been dragged a big distance.
Now you also need to do some work on the shoulders so that they don't end up getting distorted too far inward. At this point, the face looks pretty ridiculous I think. Now the key, again, here is to squish those features inward, so that we are not focusing so much attention on the bridge of the nose, we are not making a mess of the eyes, and so forth. And you can establish that effect using the Reconstruct tool, which is the second tool down in the upper-left corner of the window. And then I'll go ahead and increase the size of my brush cursor a little bit and I will just click a few times, like so, in order to gradually restore those features to their original condition. All right! So I have gone ahead and saved out the effect as a mesh file, and I am going to load it by turning on the Advanced Mode checkbox. And then I will click on the Load Mesh button, and you can see here that I have got this file called Big head.msh.
I will open it up in order to apply the effect that I came up with. All right! Now click OK in order to apply the Liquify filter to the image layer. Now the next step is to pinch the features just a little more, and I am going to do that not using the Pinch filter, which you may think is right way to go. The problem is the Pinch filter creates a conical distortion as if you're poking your finger into a balloon. What we want is a more rounded effect and you can achieve that using Spherize. However, I don't want to apply Spherize directly to this layer, so I will press Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J to jump the image again, and I'll call this layer "pinch effect" and then click OK.
Now you may wonder at this point why don't we go ahead and covert the layer to a Smart Object and then apply Spherize as an editable Smart Filter? The problem is, that way you can't describe the center of the Spherize effect. And because we just want to pinch the face, we have to apply Spherize as a static filter. So to select the face, I will switch from a Rectangular Marquee tool to the Elliptical Marquee, and then I will select this region from roughly the top of the forehead down to the base of the chin. And notice that I'm selecting inside of the ears as well. And I'm adjusting the location of my marquee on the fly by pressing the spacebar.
Once you get a selection well inside the face like this, then go up to the Filter menu, choose Distort, and then choose Spherize. Now by default, if I zoom out here a little bit, the Amount value is set to 50%, which will expand the features inside of his face, which is exactly the opposite of what we want. I am going to make that value negative instead to pinch the features. Not quite that much though, so I'll take the value up to -33%. Make sure that the Mode is set to Normal and then click OK in order to apply the effect.
All right! Now you can go ahead and click off the selection in order to deselect the image. Now I like the way that I've pinched the features inside the face, but I'm not too keen on what I have done to the ears. So I am going to mask some of this layer away by dropping down to the Add Layer Mask icon down here at the bottom of the Layers panel. I'll go ahead and click on it, and then I'll select my Brush tool, which I can get by pressing the B key. Right-click inside the image window, make sure your Hardness value is cranked down to 0%, also make sure that your Foreground color is black, and then just go ahead and paint away some of these details around the face.
So you want to paint back in those ears, we want to paint back in some of the chin as well, and then you may need to paint in some of the original forehead. And that's the effect folks. It's not a very hard one to pull off. If I Alt+Click on the eyeball in front of the background item, you can see this is the original image, and now here's the much larger version of that fellow's head, thanks to our ability to expand details using Liquify and Spherize here inside Photoshop.
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