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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, here in the States, it's Thanksgiving. And if you grew up anywhere in the United States of America, you will recognize what I'm about to do, from your childhood. But you probably haven't done it since. You'll start with an outline of your hand. Now, if you grew up in any other country, you may be thinking "the traditional thing to do for Thanksgiving is to trace your hand? Why in the world is that?" Well, because you then turn your hand into a turkey as you can see here.
And if your turkey ends up looking as frightening as mine, then you go ahead and give him a clean pair of underpants. Here, let me show you exactly how it works. All right! Here is the final version of our just gorgeous-looking turkey, just so you can see it on screen. Here is where we're going to start. You can see that I went ahead and traced my hand on the white background here. I did so by putting my hand on a Wacom tablet and just tracing around it with a stylus. Now, you can do anything you want.
You can trace with a Sharpie on a piece of paper, scan it in, that kind of thing. But if you do draw your outline on a flat background the way I have, then you're going to have to lift it, because we need to mix a bunch of different lines together. And by the way, notice that I traced into my wrist a little bit. You're going to want to do that if you want this effect, because we're going to use the wrist as the outer sides of the turkey's amazing legs. I will switch back here. To lift this outline onto its own layer, and this is a trick that works with any line art, you switch over to the Channels panel and then you press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and you click on any of the channels; it doesn't matter which one.
I just went ahead and clicked on RGB. Then you go up to the Select menu and you choose Inverse, because that way, instead of selecting the white background, you end up selecting the black line. Now, you want to switch back to Layers panel and create a new layer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac. I will call this layer hand. Go ahead and tap the D key to make sure you've got your default colors and press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete on the Mac in order to fill the selection with black. Click off the selection to deselect it, and then select the background at the bottom of the Layers panel and press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on the Mac in order to fill that background with white.
Now, we've got the hand on an independent layer. I'm going to press Ctrl+Shift+Right Bracket; that's Command+Shift+Right Bracket on the Mac in order to move that hand layer to the top of the stack. I've gone ahead and drawn a few other layers in advance here. I've got the feathers layer that's covering up the fingers. I've got the pretty face layer right there that's got the turkey's face. Then I've got the feet layer, which of course communicates his feet down there around the bottom of the wrist. Now, I need to create a layer that provides some of the colors.
I'm going to do that by scrolling down my Layers panel and clicking on this other elements group. I will press Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac in order to make yet another layer, and I will call this one colors and then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. I've got some swatches that I've created in advance here that are going to communicate the colors I want to work with-- some bright primaries, as you can see. Now, I want to be able to fill the feathers. And I am either faced with the proposition of clicking several times with the Paint Bucket tool inside of every single one of these regions or I can enclose the regions in a different way.
So here is what I'm going to do. I'm going to switch up to the feathers layer for a moment and I'm going to grab my Lasso tool, by pressing the L key. I will press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac so I can draw a polygonal selection outline, and I'm going to draw it around the bottom of the feathers here, around these little baselines. I'm going to go all the way down around here. I am trying to be pretty careful because I want these guys to enclose the fills properly. So I'll go ahead and drag around till I get them all selected, like so. Then I'll press Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J on the Mac in order to jump the selection and name this new layer.
I'll go ahead and call it something like, let's say boundaries, and then click OK. Now, turn off the feathers layer so that the feather outlines aren't getting in the way. Then switch back down to that colors layer in order to make it active. Now, we want to grab the paint bucket. You'll find it by clicking and holding on the Gradient tool. The paint bucket is the second one down. Now, we want to change these settings here. I'm going to click on the word Tolerance and change it to 100. Then I'm going to turn on the All Layers checkbox. This is assuming the default settings.
Then press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac to temporarily get the eyedropper, click on the red swatch in order to change foreground color to red, and click in the first finger. I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click on the blue swatch, click in the second finger; Alt+Click or Option+Click on the green swatch, click in the third finger; Alt+Click or Option+Click on the violet swatch, and click on that final finger. Now you can go with any color scheme you want. You don't have to use my color scheme, so feel free to go your own way. I'm going to go ahead and zoom out here so I can see the face.
I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click in that red finger there in order to change my foreground color back to red. And I'll click at that thing, whatever that thing that hangs off of a turkey is, and then I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click on the yellow swatch, and I'll click in each one of the beaks. I want to expand my colors so that they more than fill in the outlines, because otherwise, they might not quite fill in all the way. I'll go ahead and turn off these line art layers for a moment so we can see these colors by themselves.
What you want to do, with the colors layer active, is go up to the Filter menu, choose Other, and choose Minimum. The reason that this expands the selection is because it's reducing the size of the transparent area on the layer, by increasing the size of the opaque area using the Minimum command. So, I'm going to change the Radius value to 4 pixels, which is about half the width of the lines, and then I'll click OK. And you can see that all of my areas just grew. The red of the gobbler thing underneath the turkey's face has kind of expanded into its beak, so I'm going to press the L key to switch back to Lasso tool and I'll Alt+Click around this region like so in order to select it.
And to make sure I just fill in the opaque pixels, I'll press Shift+Alt+Backspace or Shift+Option+Delete on the Mac. I'll click off the selection to deselect it. Go ahead and zoom back out here, and turn on the line art layers that I want to use here. So, we want hand. We don't need boundaries anymore. I'll turn feather back on, along with the pretty face and feet. Now what we need to do is create a layer to color in the body. So I'll click on that other elements group once again and press Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac in order to create a new layer above that group.
I'll go ahead and call this layer skin and click OK. Then I'll switch back to the paint bucket, and I can get to it by pressing the G key, for gradient. I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on that flesh tone right there, and then I'll go ahead and click inside of the bird's flesh, like so, in order to fill it in. Then I want to expand the size of this region as well. In other words, I want to make sure the flesh is going all the way under the lines. So, I'll repeat the last filter by going up to the Filter menu and choosing that very first command, Minimum, or I could press Ctrl+F or Command+F on the Mac.
Now, it's not going to look like it makes much difference onscreen, but that's because it's covered up with lines right now. I want to go ahead and add an inner shadow to this layer. So I'll click on the fx icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and I'll go ahead and choose Inner Shadow. Then I'll click on the color swatch here in order to bring up the Color Picker dialog box, and I'm going to dial in a color of Hue 30 degrees, Saturation 50%, and Brightness 50% as well. Then I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac to accept that color.
Take the Opacity value up to 100%. The Blend Mode should be Multiply. In my case, the Angle is -125 degrees, which is what I want. Then I'm going to expand the Distance value by pressing Shift+Up Arrow until it's 55 pixels, and then I'll take the Size value up to 65 pixels, so we get this kind of volumetric chicken skin in the background. Click OK in order to accept that change. Now, you know what? I don't like the way the brown is coming up around his head. The reason that's happening is because the eyes are currently transparent-- that is, the eyes on this layer--and that's kind of shoving the layer effect upward.
What I want to do is switch back to that good old Lasso tool there. I'll just Alt+Click or Option+Clicking on the Mac about midway through the line, so through the center of the line, and then I'll go up all the way around the thumb here. That flesh tone is still my foreground color, so I'll just press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete in order to fill that area with beige or whatever. You may say "well, what about the eyes Deke?" Well, we will come back to that in a moment. Now we need to go ahead and copy this Inner Shadow effect to the colors layer as well.
So I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and drag Inner Shadow from the skin layer and drop it onto the colors layer. That's too much, so I'll double-click on Inner Shadow--the one associated with the colors layer now-- and I'll take the Distance value down to 35 pixels, and I'll take the Size value down to 45 pixels, and then I'll click OK. The next thing I did was to add a bunch of wrinkles. You can see this wrinkles layer right here. I'll go ahead and turn it on. And I just went ahead and drew from my own hand.
Now I want to fill those with the shade of brown right there. So I'll press the I key to switch to my eyedropper, and I'll click in that brown to make it the foreground color. Then I'll replace the black lines with brown lines by pressing Shift+Alt+Backspace or Shift+Option+Delete on the Mac. Now, I want to blend those lines in, so I'll change the blend mode here in the Layers panel from Normal to Multiply, and we end up with this effect here. Now, this is the point at which I was starting to think, well, this turkey is really looking naked.
I think I would like to put some sort of garment on him, and that's why I chose underpants. So, I'll go ahead and turn on that underpants layer. Then I'll click on the colors layer to make it active. I've got to color in the underpants obviously. So, I'll press Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac, call this new layer whities, click OK. Then I'm going to go ahead and zoom in, and I'll press the B key to select my Brush tool, and I'll press the D key followed by the X key. That makes my foreground color white. Right-click inside the image window and increase the Hardness value to 100%. Maybe reduce the size of my cursor a little bit now.
And then click and Shift+Click my way across the top of the underpants, all the way across the elastic, I guess that's what that is, and then take it down. So I'm just Shift+Clicking all the way around the underwear that's associated with our turkey. I'll take this over to here and up to here and so forth, and go ahead and trace all the way. Now, I've done a really sloppy job. Look at that. If you end up having problems like this, then you can press the E key to switch to the Eraser tool.
Right-click to confirm you've got a Hardness value of 100%, which I do, and then you can do the same thing. You can click and Shift+Click in order to get rid of some of that extra white that we most assuredly do not need. I try to do a halfway decent job, even though this is just the most ludicrous turkey possible. Now, I'll switch back to the Brush tool by pressing the B key, and I'm going to increase the size of my cursor and just try to paint inside the remainder of the underwear. You may not get everything, but we'll be able to see whether we hit all the pixels or not in just a moment.
Then what we need to do is move the wrinkles layer there below the whities layer, and so I'll go ahead and grab wrinkles, move it below the layer of whiteness. It looks like we've done a pretty good job, or at least I have. So now, I'll go ahead and add yet another drop shadow by scrolling down to my skin layer and Alt+Drag or Option+Drag the Inner Shadow effect--not up to the wrinkles layer, I want it to go on this whities layer right there. And we end up with this extremely unfortunate effect.
We need to change this color as quickly as possible by double-clicking on Inner Shadow to bring up the Layer Style dialog box. I'll click on the Color Swatch there and I'll change the color to a Hue value of 220 degrees, and then I'll go ahead and take the Saturation value down to 25%. A Brightness value of 50% is just fine. Then click OK in order to accept that change, and otherwise, these settings are fine as is. Now, I'll click OK in order to accept those underwear.
Let's take care of the eyes. I'll go ahead and zoom in on them. Create a new layer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N, Command+Shift+N on the Mac. Call it eyes, click OK. I'm still armed with my paintbrush. So I'm just going to paint inside the eyes like so in order to fill them in. And now let's add yet another Inner Shadow effect by clicking on the fx icon, choosing Inner Shadow, and this time I'll click on the Color Swatch. I want the Hue value to be 0 degrees, because we're going to give him kind of red eyes. We'll set the Saturation value to 100%, and I'll set the Brightness value to 50%.
Then I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept that change. We want the Opacity value to be 100%, and I'm going to leave the Distance value set to 5 pixels, but I want to take the Size value up to 20, and then I'll Shift+Tab back to Choke and press Shift+Up Arrow a few times to take it up to 30%. So we get an awful lot of redness inside of the turkey's eyes. Then I'll go ahead and increase the Noise value to 10%, so we end up with this effect here. Now, I'll click OK.
Go ahead and zoom out once again, so I can take in my artwork. We still have some work to do here. We've got to give this turkey some gooseflesh here. We'll do that by adding a layer of texture. I'm going to scroll down to the skin layer, click on it to make it active, and press the M key to get my Rectangular Marquee tool. Go ahead and select a region that at least includes all of the turkey, like so. And then create a new layer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac. I'll call the layer texture and click OK.
Then I'll press the D key to reinstate my default colors, and I'll press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete to fill that layer with black. Now, you can click off the selection to deselect it. We're going to apply a bunch of filters here. So let's turn this layer into a Smart Object by going up to Layers panel flyout menu and choosing the Convert to Smart Object command. Now, what you want to do is add a little bit of grain. To get the texture I'm looking for, we need to go to the Filter menu and choose Filter Gallery, here in Photoshop CS6, because that's the only way to get to this function.
You want to find Grain in the Texture section. Click on Grain. These are the settings we are looking for: an Intensity of 80, a contrast of 50, and Grain Type should be set to Sprinkles. Click OK. I'll go ahead and zoom in so we can better see this effect. Right now, it looks like garbage. But the next thing we're going to do is going to help a little bit. Go to the Filter menu, choose Noise, and choose Median, which is going to help to smooth away some of that noise, and you just want to set the Radius to 1 pixel. That way we have a lot less noise going on onscreen, then click OK.
Now, let's blur things by going up to the Filter menu, choosing Blur, and choosing Gaussian Blur. And this time, we want a Radius value of 4 pixels, at least where this image is concerned. I'll click OK again. Filter number 4, also located in the Filter menu. Go down to Stylize and then choose Emboss. And here's the settings I went with this time around: 45 degrees, a Height of 10 pixels, and then an Amount of 500%, the last of which is the maximum setting.
Then click OK to accept that effect. Finally, I want to sharpen these bumps here. And you may say, well, you just applied Gaussian Blur, why would you apply sharpening at this stage? And the reason we went with Gaussian Blur is to increase the size of the bumps. Now, we're going to sharpen them. So, I'll go up to Filter, choose Sharpen, and then choose Smart Sharpen. These are the settings I'm looking for: an Amount of 500%--nothing subtle about this effect--a Radius of 2 pixels, and Remove set to Gaussian Blur. More Accurate should be turned off. Then click OK.
Then finally what we want to do is scroll down the list here. Let's get rid of that darn filter mask by right-clicking on its thumbnail and choosing Delete Filter Mask. Now I'm going to collapse this guy. I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click on the line between the two layers like so in order to mask the effect into the skin, and then finally, we'll change the blend mode from Normal to Overlay in order to produce this effect here. The big problem here is while that big inner shadow looks great on the big details inside the hand, it doesn't look so good where these tiny, little fragile legs are concerned.
We're going to have to take care of this in a fairly clumsy way. Press the L key to switch to Lasso tool and Alt+Click or Option+Click around this general region, just to make sure that you grabbed both legs. Then go to the skin layer to make it active and press Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J on the Mac in order to jump the selection to a new layer. I'll call the layer legs. Then click OK. Now, we need to grab the texture layer and Alt+Drag or Option+Drag it down so that it's sitting on top of the skin layer, and then Alt+Click or Option+Click the horizontal line between texture and skin to mask that texture back into the skin as it was before.
Now, go to the legs layer, double-click on its Inner Shadow in order to bring up the Layer Style dialog box, and this time around, we want to take the Distance value down to 25 pixels and I'll take the Size value down to 15 pixels and click OK. And we have a much better effect. This is before, if I press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac, and if I press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z again, that my friends, is after. Go ahead and zoom out. I might as well turn off the swatches layer. We don't need that anymore.
And I'll press Shift+F in order to fill the screen with my image. This is the final version of the turkey, achieved using a common, everyday analog hand combined with Photoshop.
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