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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 begins the first of two devoted to my favorite holiday, Halloween. Now every once in a while we get requests from members of lynda.com and this time around we got a request to create a technique based on what might be the worst franchise of movies ever made, which is a big claim I know, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! Now if you've never heard of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, good for you. Way to keep your mind free of dumb junk, but basically, they feature these tomatoes with overwrought faces like this one.
I happened to have drawn this face, and I can't show it you against a tomato, because even though, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is just rotten to the core, it is trademarked. So I decided to come up with an alternate technique. We're going to take this just adorable little girl with her beloved pumpkin, and turn it into a killer pumpkin that happens to belong to her and protects her in life. Now you may look at this and say, okay, if you've really carved into the surface of a pumpkin, it would look more like this, with this kind of yellowish background.
However, I prefer this technique, which is why I'm going to show you exactly how this works. All right, here is the final effect we're going for, and here is where we're going to start. This photograph by the way comes to us from the Fotolia Image Library, about which you learn more and get special deals at fotolia.com/deke. The first thing you want to do is draw yourself a face, some sort of killer pumpkin face like this one here, and I painted this image with Wacom Tablet, otherwise, I just use the Brush tool.
Although, I'll tell you something about the Brush tool, we'll go and switch to it by pressing the B key or we can just click on it in the toolbox, and I'll go ahead and bring up the Brush panel as well which you can get to by choosing the Brush command from the Window menu or you can press F5. Here is the thing. Unless you want really super lumpy brushstrokes, you want to crank the Spacing value down. By default it's at 25%, you really want it at something more like 10%, and that is the default setting for every single brush, 25% that is. So you're going to have to change that setting manually.
Anyway, I'll go ahead and hide the panel. Notice also that I've gone ahead and painted the face on an independent layer, so you can see the checkerboard transparency in the background. The only reason it appears to be painted against a white surface is because my Background is set to white. Next thing you want to do is make sure that face layer is active, and then using the Rectangular Marquee tool, so we went ahead and pressed the M key to switch back to it, right-click inside of the Image window and choose the Duplicate Layer command, and then you want to go ahead and change the Document to your photograph, in my case Adorable little girl.jpg and then click OK in order to copy that layer.
If I switch back to that JPEG image, you can see that we've got the face layer inside of it. It's taking up little bit too much room. It's pretty much unreadable at this point. Make sure that the face layer is active, which it is, then go up to the Layers panel fly-out menu in the upper right corner and choose Convert to Smart Object and now we have a Smart Object version of this layer, which means that we can transform and filter it until our hearts content. So first thing we need to do obviously is transform it. I'll go up to the Edit menu and choose the Free Transform command or you can press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac.
Here are the values I'm looking for. Obviously you can play around as much as you like, but I ultimately linked both the W and the H values here. So I'm going to perform a proportional transformation. I'll click on the W value to make it active and set it to 34%, and then I'll change the Angle value right there to -7, and I'll go ahead and move this guy into the desired position. That turns out to be this. I'm going to enter some coordinates up here for the X and Y values. I set the X value ultimately to 522, and then I set the Y value to 2225, and those are both pixel measurements by the way.
So if you're working in Inches or Millimeters, you would have to enter px, that is to say, if you're working along with me. Now I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to apply that transformation. It doesn't really make any sense that his face is at this angle when the pumpkin is oriented straight up and down, but he just looks so cute that way. So I'm going to zoom on in to the pumpkin face and I need to mask him behind the girl's arm. So I'm going to turn the face off for a moment and then I'll go up to the Select menu and choose the Color Range command.
And the reason I turned off the face layer by the way was because the Color Range command is always seeing a view of the composite image. So I needed to get him out of there for a moment. Then I'll click over in this area where I think her arm is, right about there. the Fuzziness value is set to 40, as by default Localized Color Clusters is turned off, and I'm going to go ahead and Shift+Click in a few locations, maybe Shift+Drag up her hand as well like so. Then I'll scroll down a little and Shift+Drag inside of her arm right there. And I might go ahead and Shift+Click on that little detail. That worked out nicely.
Now you don't want to go too far into the fingers just because you don't have to and you're going to start selecting regions inside the pumpkin as well. Then go ahead and click OK in order to create that selection. Turn the face layer back on, and then dropdown to the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on it, and now we'll go ahead and mask that arm away. We need to clean out this mask a little bit probably, not too much, but what I'm going to do is Alt+Click or Option+Click on the Layer Mask thumbnail there inside the Layers panel in order to view the mask independently of the image.
And using my Rectangular Marquee tool, I'll select around her face into the top of the image as well. So I'm pressing the Shift key as I drag with marquee, and then White is my foreground color, so I'll press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete on a Mac in order to fill that area with white. Then I'll go ahead and deselect the image. I'm going to switch over to my Brush tool here and I'm going to press the X key, so I'll be painting with black. I'll right-click inside the image window and make sure the Hardness is set to 100% which it is, so I'll go ahead and press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac to dismiss that panel.
Then I'll just go ahead and paint inside of this area like so. Again, we don't need to worry about the fingers. Then just go ahead and click on the thumbnail for the face layer in order to switch back to the composite image. Now if you zoom in here you'll notice that the arm mask isn't really cutting into the face properly. So I'm going to unlink the layer mask from its layer by clicking on this little chain icon and then I'll click on the layer mask to make it active. I'll press the M key to switch back to the Rectangular Marquee tool and then I'll press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and press the Right Arrow key a couple of times in order to nudge that mask over.
Having done that, let's go ahead and make some modifications to this face here. I'm going to go ahead and zoom out a little bit. I'm going to fill the face with little bit of surface detail from the pumpkin itself, so I'll go ahead and click on the Background to make it active, and I'll press Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J on the Mac in order to jump a copy of this layer. I'll name it texture and then I'll click OK and I'll move that texture layer to the top of the stack, and then I'll clip it inside the face layer by pressing the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and clicking that horizontal line between those two layers.
That's completely covering up everything, so I'll double-click on an empty portion of that texture layer in order to bring up the Layer Style dialog box, then I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and drag the right half of that black slider triangle, for the This Layer slider, the top one, all the way up to 160. So that we're allowing some of the blackness from the underlying layer to show through and then go ahead and click OK in order to apply that modification. Now let's make the face layer up here as if it's cut into the surface of the pumpkin, and I'll do that by selecting the face layer, then I'm going to double-click on its thumbnail in order to open up the Smart Object.
Now if you get this alert message telling you how Smart Objects work, just go ahead and click OK. Now I need to increase the size of this canvas, so I'll go up to the Image menu and choose the Canvas Size command, because I need some more room around the face. With the Relative check box turned on, I'll go ahead and change both the Width and Height values to 100 pixels, and this will make sense why I'm doing this in just a moment. I'll go ahead and click OK in order to apply that modification. Now I'm going to dropdown to the FX icon, click on it, and choose Drop Shadow from the bottom of the list here in CS6. It's at the top of the list in CS5 and earlier.
I'm going to increase the Opacity value to 100%. Go ahead and click on the Color Swatch there and make sure it's black, because we do need a black drop shadow here, click OK. And I'm going to change the blend mode to Dissolve, so we get those speckles around the edges and I'll change the Distance value to 0, the Spread value should be 0 and the Size value should be 20 pixels, is what we're looking for, the Angle value does not matter, because the Distance is set to 0. So I'll go ahead and click OK to apply that change and now I'm going to go ahead and close the Image window and click the Yes button here on the PC to update that image. That would be the Save button on the Mac.
So that gives the face a little bit of added texture. You can see right there, but I want to smooth that texture away a little bit. So with the face layer once again selected, I'll go up to the Filter menu, choose Noise and then choose Median. I'll go ahead and set the Radius to two pixels and click OK and that goes ahead and makes that dissolve looks a lot cleaner. Then I'm going to right-click on this Filter Mask and choose Delete Filter Mask in order to get rid of it, just so that we've a little more room inside the panel, and I'm going to apply three different layer effects.
So I'll click on the FX icon and we're going to start things off with Inner Shadow. So I'll go ahead and choose that command. Click on the Color Swatch to bring out the Color Picker dialog box and these are the values we want; 35 for Hue, 100% for Saturation and 20% for Brightness. So I'll go ahead and click OK, and then I'm going to change the blend mode from Multiply to Linear Burn, so that we were really burning in that shadow. And I'll take the Opacity value down to 50%, then all these values need to be adjusted. I'm going to set the Angle value to 10 degrees. It doesn't matter if the Use Global Light check box is turned on or not, because this is going to be our only directional effect.
And I'll take the Distance value down to 6. I want 0 for the Choke and I want a Size value of 6 as well. So we just have a little bit of shadows, as you can see here. Now I want to color in the interior just a little bit. So I'll click on Color Overlay to make active. Click on the little color swatch, and this time the values are 40 for Hue, 50 for Saturation and then 100% for Brightness. I'll click OK and then I'll change the blend mode from Normal to Linear Burn once again. I'm going to leave the Opacity value cranked up 100%.
And then finally, I'm going to add an Outer Glow so that the skin appears to be a little damaged, and so I'll click on the Outer Glow to select it. Click on its color swatch. I want those same exact values; 40, 50 and 100 for HSB. Click OK and I'll change the blend mode this time to Multiply, and I'm going to increase the Opacity value to 100% and I'm looking for a Size value of 20 pixels in order to produce the effect you see here. So notice that the flesh is a little bit stained around the edges of the carving.
Now I'll click OK in order to apply those effects. Let's go ahead and zoom out a little bit so we can see more of the image at a time. And the last thing I want to do is make his teeth white. Now you may argue that if I'm going to make his teeth white, I should make it eyes white as well, but I played around with both effects and I decided the teeth by themselves look great. What you want to do is make sure that face layer is active. Right-click inside the image window and choose New Smart Object via Copy, in order to create a copy of this layer that is not linked to the same original.
Your new layer is going to be below, so go ahead and grab it, and we might as well collapse the layer above him and then drag that face layer to the top. And we don't want any of the layer effects associated with it, just grab the word Effects and drag it to the trashcan at the bottom of the Layers panel. We do want that Layer Mask. We do want that Smart Filter. We're going to rename this layer teeth, because that's what it's going to be. And then I want you to double-click on the Layers Thumbnail in order to visit the Smart Object. If you get the alert message just click OK.
For the moment I'm going to turn off the Effects here and I'm going to create a New Layer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac. I'll go ahead and name this new layer teeth. Now what you want to do is go to your Gradient tool, click and hold on it and select the Paint Bucket tool from the list. Then you want to set your Tolerance value to 100 and make sure all three check boxes are turned on, including All Layers. That's very important. Then press the D key and the X key in order to make the foreground color white and click inside the top teeth and then click inside the bottom teeth in order to fill them in.
Now you can turn off that face layer. You can zoom in on your teeth if you want to, you may find that there are a couple problems here and there. So I'm going to fill in those problems using the Brush tool. Go ahead and grab the brush, maybe reduce its size by pressing the left bracket key a couple of times, and there is a little bit of garbage right there that I want to paint out too. That looks pretty good! We need to put the drop shadow back on the teeth, but in white this time, so I'll grab the drop shadow, drag it and drop it onto the teeth. Double-click on the words Drop Shadow, click on the little Color Swatch in order to bring up the Color Picker.
Change the color to white, click OK, and then click OK again. You can get rid of the face by the way if you want to, just select it and press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac and then I'll close this image. Click on the Yes button here on the PC or the Save button on the Mac in order to update that layer inside the image window. We need to mix the teeth with the pumpkin flesh a little bit. I'm going to do that by double-clicking on an empty portion of the teeth layer to bring up the Layer Style dialog box. Then I'll drag the black triangle associated with underlying layer, all the way over to 70, like so, and then I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and drag the right half of that triangle all the way up to 210, and now even though the Opacity of this layer is set to 100%, we're getting an interesting mixture of whiteness and pumpkin flesh.
Then click OK in order to accept that change. That's it folks! I'm going to press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the Full Screen mode, maybe zoom out just a little bit here so we can take in this adorable little girl and her killer pumpkin.
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