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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 McClellan. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. Well, the holiday season is officially upon us. In just a couple of days it's going to be Thanksgiving here in the states. Now, in honor of the holiday last year, I showed you how to make a hand turkey. This year I'm switching things out and I'm going to serve up some ham. It's what I call creating a pigature in Photoshop. Now it's kind of an Ed Emberley thing. You know that guy who teaches kids how to draw? So we've just got some simple shapes going as well as an M an E, two W's and some cursive e's for the tail.
Here, let me show you exactly how it works. Alright, here's the final version of our pig. Just so you can see it on screen. If you're working along with me, make sure Photoshop is running, of course. And then press Ctrl+N or Cmd+N on the Mac. And, assuming that you're working in pixels, we're going to set the width value to 2,100 and then I'm going to set the height value to 1,524. So resolution should be 300 pixels per inch. Make sure that the Color mode is set to RGB, 8 bits per channel and the background content are white. I also happen to have my working space here set to Adobe RGB.
Then click OK in order to create that image. And we'll go ahead and zoom in on it. And now we want to start with the pig's body. And you make it using the Ellipse tool, which you can select from the Shape Tool Fly out menu. Then I'm going to go ahead and draw pretty big lips and I'm using the space bar to adjust its positioning on the fly. And as you can see here, over on the heads up display, next to my cursor. I've git a width value of let's say 14,46. That's fine. And a height of 886 pixels.
At which point you can go ahead and release the Mouse button. Now, inside Photoshop CC, it's going to bring up the Properties panel. And what we want to do here is set the fill color to None, so no color and then change the stroke to black and I also want the line way to be six points. And notice that by default the stroke is aligned on the inside of the ellipse, which is exactly what we want. Then go ahead and hide the Properties panel and I'm going to change the name of this layer to body. Like so. Alright, now we need to add some text.
So go ahead and select the Type tool. And you want your font to be set to Myriad Pro, Regular and the size value should be 86 points. And then click someplace down right. You don't want to click inside the elipse because then you'll create text inside of a shape. Which is not what we're looking for. So, go ahead and click down here, let's say, and enter capital W and then press the Enter key with the Return key on the Mac in order to accept that change. I'm going to go ahead and control drag this guy into about this position here.
And that's a command drag on the map and the reason I'm pressing the Ctrl key or the Cmd key is to temporarily access the Move tool on the fly. Now we want to make a copy of this W that is exactly to the left of it, which means you have to match all of the modifier keys. So press Ctrl+Shift+Alt here on a PC or Cmd+Shift+Option on the Mac, and go ahead and drag a clone of this W over to this location right there. Alright, now for the pig's snout you make that by Ctr+Alt or Cmd+Option dragging the W up to this location.
So this time you don't have to press the Shift key because we're not constraining the drag. Then let's go ahead and change the letter to a capital E. Press C+Enter key on your numerical keypad in order to accept that change. If you're working on a laptop, you press Ctrl+Enter or Cmd+Return on a Mac. Because obviously you don't have a numerical keypad. Next, we want to flip this guy by going up to the Edit menu, choosing Transform and then choosing Flip Horizontal. And you get this effect here. And now I'm going to Ctrl+drag it, or Cmd+drag it to right about there.
Now I need to extend the top and bottom bar of the E. So I need to convert it into a Shape layer. And anytime I do that I create a copy of the original by pressing Ctr+J or Cmd+J on the Mac. That way if I have to come back to the original Text layer I can. But go ahead and turn it off though because it's just there for safe keeping. With the most recent e-layer selected go to the Type menu and chose Convert to Shape and that will convert the letter form into a path outline and then you want to go ahead and select the Drag Selection tool that is the right arrow tool.
From the Arrow Tool Fly out menu there. And go ahead and marquee these two points and Shift+marque these two points. You don't want to select the middle bar. And then press Shift+left arrow and my case seven times in a row. So one two three four five six seven in order to create this effect. It is a little out of alignment but we will fix that in a moment. And then, finally, go ahead and press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac, in order to switch away from that path outline. And go ahead and re-select the Type tool, which you can get by pressing the T key, of course.
And select that top W right there. And go ahead and Ctrl+Alt or Cmd+Option, drag it up to the top of the screen in order to make a copy. Select that text and change it to an M. Now, notice that an M is not as wide as a W, at least where Myrid Pro is concerned. So, I'll go ahead and select the M once again and bring up the Character panel, which you can also get from choosing character from the Window menu, and I'm going to change this horizontal scale value there to 120%.
And then I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to accept that change. Now, let's take this guy here and I'm going to drag it, I'm Ctrl+dragging or Cmd+dragging on the Mac, so that it's in approximately this location right there. I'll have to adjust a little bit. But anyway, now what we want to do is go back to the body layer and mask it. So that we have gaps to accommodate the letters. And so, I'll start by clicking the add layer mask icon on the bottom of the Layers panel. Then, I'll go ahead and zoom into the hind legs like so, so I can see him in more detail, and I'll switch to my brush tool which I can also get by pressing the B key.
Then you want to right-click inside of the image window. And the most important value here is this hardness value, which needs to be cranked up to 100%. I might take the size value down to, let's say, 40 pixels looks pretty good. And press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac to accept that change. Press the D key, in order to instate the default colors here and then press the X key in order to switch them. So that the foreground color is black. And you want to paint like so in order to get rid of that section of the ellipse.
And you probably aren't going to get it exactly right the first time. For example, if I hadn't practiced this so many times I might end up with this kind of effect right there where I don't have exact alignment. In which case, if you encounter that phenomenon then press the X key in order to switch the foreground color back to white, I'll press the left bracket key in order to reduce the size of my brush a little bit and I'll paint that back in. Alright, let's go ahead and zoom out. And we want to take in the snout this time around. You can see that the alignment's off, so I'll go ahead and select the top E layer, and I'll press Ctrl+right arrow, this is Cmd+right arrow, a few times to nude that E outward.
Then I'll switch back to the Body layer. Very important. Press the X key in order to switch the foreground color back to black. And paint like so. I'll increase the size of my cursor. Paint up to here. And then I'll reduce the size of my cursor. This part's pretty tricky in order to paint that away and you can see that my alignment's not quite exactly on. It's really never going to be. But anyway I'll reduce the size of my cursor, press the X key again in order to switch my foreground color to black. And then I'll paint back in like that, and then I'll press the X key.
Then switch it to white and I'll paint it back and so forth. You know, how long you decide to spend on that is up to you. Anyway I'm going to go ahead and zoom out. So I can take in more of this critter here. An I'm interested in its ears this time around, which is the M, of course. It's not in alignment, so I'll select, the M layer, an press Ctrl+right arrow, a few times. It's Cmd+right arrow on the Mac in order to nudge it outward. Switch back to the body layer specifically its layer mask. Increase the size of the cursor like so and paint across here.
Obviously that was kind of a hat job there. So I'll reduce the size of my cursor. Press the X key and paint like so. And that's not quite right so I'll just undo and try again like that. That's good enough. Ctrl+0, Cmd+0 on the Mac to zoom out. Now, we need to add the tail. And we're going to create the tail like so. I am going to switch to the Type tool, click on the very top layer there to select it, click inside the image window and enter eee, lower case e's. Now, can't see them because they're white, so I'll press the Enter key on the numerical keypad to accept that change and I'll press Alt+backspace or Option+Delete on a Mac to fill the letters with blacks so they look like this.
So, three e's in a row. Now you need to change the stacks to some sort of script font, and depending on which platform you're on, you may or may not have this font available to you. It's a Microsoft font. And it's called Segoe. It's down here. SEGOE Script. So, Segoe script. Go ahead and select it if you have access to it, if not, you're just going to have to sort of experiment with the script fonts that are available to you. Because you want the es to be connected to each other, like so. So mistral, by the way, kind of works as well.
So you can check that out if you like. And now I'm going to bring up the Character panels. You can see right here. Go ahead and reinstate a horizontal scale value of a 100%, and then we're going to change the tracking value right there so that these guys align better. Notice that they're not fluid curves. And, if we want fluid curves, you need to change the tracking value to negative 124 is my experience. That assumes however, that the size value is 58 points. So, go ahead and take that down as well.
Then, go ahead and drag this guy down here. Now, the tail's facing the wrong direction, so go up to the Edit menu, choose transform and choose Flip Horizontal. And you'll end up with this kind of tail right there. I'm going to drag it to about this location, should work out nicely. I'm going to give it a layer mask by clicking on the, Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. And then I'll go ahead and select the Brush tool in order to paint in a mask. In my case, I need to press the X key to make my foreground color black. I'm going to increase the size of my brush a little bit. And just paint this guy away like so.
Now, of course, the pig wouldn't be complete without an eye. And we're going to draw that eye right here on the body layer. So go ahead and click on it to select it. And don't select this layer mask by the way. Go ahead and select the Ellipse tool once again, and then go out to the Control panel and change the path operation to subtract from shape. Then go ahead and drag right about here, I figure and press the Shift key as you do to constrain this shape to a circle. And you can see that mine is 82 pixels by 82 pixels and you end up with this effect here.
That brings up the Properties panel in this version of Photoshop. I'm just going to go ahead and hide it because I don't want to see it at all. Now, obviously, it's a cartoon pig so it has to be filled with pink. And we're going to fill the pig by clicking on the Background layer to make it active and then press Ctrl+Shift+N or Cmd+Shift+N on the Mac in order to create a new layer. And I'm going to call mine pinkishness, like so, and then click OK. Now, to select the interior of the pig, you want to use of all things the Quick Selection tool.
This is the easiest tool for our purposes. You also want sample all layers turned on, so that the tool can see all of the layers at once. I also have auto-enhance turned on although, that's not essential. Now what you want to do is draw a very long brush stroke like so. Inside the pig exclusively in order to select the entire interior. Now, if we were to fill this selection right now, we would have a little bit of a halo between the pink and the black stroke. So, to get rid of that go up to the Select menu choose Modify and choose Expand, and set this expand-by value to 12 pixels and click OK.
Now go to the color panel and make sure that you're looking at the HSB sliders, very important. Then, change the hue value to 330 degrees, change the saturation to 50% and we want a, brightness value of 100%. And then press Alt+backspace or Option+Delete on the Mac, in order to fill that pig. So you can press Ctrl+D or Cmd+D on the Mac, in order to deselect the animal. I figure he needs some hooves, so I'm going to press the M key to switch back to the rectangular Marquee tool. And, I'm going to draw it right down here, let's say.
In order to create a rectangle that dips below the bottom of the animals feet. And, then in order to select just these regions right here Press Ctrl+Shift+Alt or Cmd+Shift+Option on the Mac. And then click on the thumbnail for the pinkish layer. And then you'll find the intersection of that layer and that selection. Not press Ctrl+Shift again or Cmd+Shift+N on the Mac to create a new layer. I'll call this one hooves, press the D key to switch your foreground color back to black. And press Alt+backspace or Option+Delete on the Mac.
In order to fill those hooves like so and press Ctrl+D, Cmd+D on a Mac in order to deselect the image. Now we need a pupil, so scroll to the top of the layer stack, click on that very top layer and press Ctrl+Shift end or Cmd+Shift end on a Mac to create a new layer called pupil. Click OK. Go ahead and once again, select the Brush tool. Right click inside the image and we're looking for a size value of 60 pixels, along with a hardness of 100%. Press the Enter key or Return key on a Mac and then click right about there in order to create a pupil.
We also need a highlight. And we'll create that using the Eraser tool which you can select by pressing the E key. If I were to right-click with it you can see that my size value is set to 35 pixels, the hardness is 100%, now I'll just go ahead and click let's say up left like so. Alright, now we need to give the pig a background so I'm going to zoom out a little bit. Like so maybe even a little farther. In order to take in entire illustration and I will switch over to the Rectangle tool here inside the Shape Tool Fly out menu. And I will dry a rectangle more or less something like this, lets say.
And it comes in filled in black and that's alright and we will take care of that problem in a moment. Now I don't want it on the top of the stack here, that's wrong. A quick and easy way to move it down to the bottom to the stack is to press Ctrl+Shift left bracket or Cmd+Shift left bracket on the Mac. You can obviously go ahead and drag it down to the bottom as well, but I don't really have that much room to work. I'm going to go ahead and call this guy grass even though it's not looking very grassy right now. Now in this version of Photoshop the shape doesn't snap into alignment with the actual canvas, so I need to enter some values here inside the properties value.
I'm going to change the width value to 2,100 pixels, so it's very important you're working in pixels. I'll change the height to 450. I'll change the x value to 0. And we want the y value to be 1074 in order to fit this specific image. Now I'll hide the Properties panel because it's served its purpose, and I'll go ahead and change the values here in the Color panel. I'll change the hue value to 80 degrees. Then I'll change the saturation to 75 and the brightness to 100%. And I'll press Alt+backspace or Option+Delete on a Mac in order to fill the grass with that shade of green.
Now click on the background to make it active. We need to create the sky as a gradient. So go ahead and drop down to the black white circle at the bottom of the Layers panel. Press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac and choose Gradient. And because you have the Alt+Option key down, that brings up the new layer dialog box so we can name this layer sky, as we create it. Next you want to click on this little down arrow icon and change the gradient to Foreground to Background. Then, go ahead and click on the gradient bar to bring up the gradient editor dialog box. Double-click on the green color stop at the beginning there, change the hue value to 210 degrees, take the saturation value down to 50%.
A brightness of 100% works fine. Click OK, and then click OK again, so that you're looking at the gradient fill dialog box and change the angle to negative 90 degrees. Alright now, click OK. You can see that we've got one problem left right here. The animal's eye has filled with blue. And, that's because it's actually transparent. To fill it in, go ahead and select the pinkishness layer, right there, switch to the rectangular Marquee tool, which once again, you can get by pressing the M key.
And go ahead and marquee this central region, like so. So you just want to make sure that you've selected at least all of the eye. Then, go up to the Edit menu and choose the Fill command. And assuming that your background color is white, you want to go ahead and switch Use to Background color. And then you want to change Mode to Behind. So that you're filling the area behind the pink skin and then click OK, and you end up with that effect here. And now press Ctrl+D or Cmd+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image.
And that friends, is how you create an amazingly simple cartoon pic using nothing more than shapes and letters here inside Photoshop. If you're a member of the lynda.com online training library, I have a follow up movie, in which I show you how to take our pigture so far and place it against a photographic background. It's so real, it's like you could just reach out and touch it. If you're waiting for next week's free movie, this is a doozy. By popular demand, I'll show you how to take a photograph and turn it into a Roy Lichtenstein style band-aid comic panel.
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