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This course 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. Today I have a really fun one for you. I'm going to show you how to create a photographic caricature from a portrait shot inside Photoshop. We're going to start with this photograph right here, although you can start with any image you want. Just make sure, for things to work out best, that the person is standing in front of a solid color background. And then it's a matter of exaggerating the most identifiable features. So this guy, he's got some big, beautiful eyes.
We'll make 'em bigger. He's got a fairly small nose, we'll make that smaller. He's got a big toothy grin, we'll exaggerate that. He's got a massive forehead. I'm not one to talk. And he's got a big pompadour that looks very much like my own. We're going to exaggerate all of those features using a combination of Free Transform and liquefy to create, wait for it, this effect right here. Here. Let me show you exactly how it works. All right, just so you have a chance to see things on screen.
Here's the original portrait shot. And here's that photographic caricature created in part using Photoshop's Liquefying filter. But before we dig in with liquefy, we're going to save ourselves a lot of time if we apply most of the distortion, using the Free Transform command, which will allow us to exaggerate the size of this guy's forehead and scale the top of his head independently from his jaw, as you see right here.
So, the first thing you want to do, is convert this image to a smart object. And the reason you want to do that, is so you can apply all of your modifications dynamically. Which means you can go back and change your mind any time you like. So, I'll double click in the background here inside the Layers panel and I'll name the layer Dude, let's say. And then I'll click OK. And then, armed with your rectangular marquee tool, you want to right click inside the image window and choose Convert To Smart Object like so. Next, go up to the Edit menu and choose Free Transform.
And the great thing about the Free Transform command is that it allows you to apply every single one of these transformations that are listed in the Transform sub menu in a single operation. So I'll go ahead and choose the command, or you can press CTRL T or CMD T on the Mac. Now, I'll go ahead and zoom out a little bit by pressing Ctrl - or Cmd - on a Mac a couple of times. And the first thing I want to do is warp the image. And any time you want to warp inside the Free Transform mode, you want to click on this Warp icon up here on the right side of the Options bar.
And that will take you into the Warp mode as indicated by the word Warp over here on the left side of the Options bar. Now if you like, you could just drag inside the image to apply a free form distortion like so. But in my case, I have a very specific style of distortion in mind. So, I'm going to select the bottom middle point inside of this reference point matrix, on the left side of the Options bar. And then I'm going to change the Warp Style to this guy right here, shell upper.
And you can get a sense for how each one of these Warp styles work, by checking out their little icons right there. So, if I choose, Shell Upper, you can see that that exaggerates the guy's forehead and hair, which are a couple of his major attributes, while keeping his jaw and his shoulders pretty much the way they were. Now, you can modify the degree of distortion by dragging this handle up here at the top. At least it's located at the top when applying the Shell Upper effect.
So I can drag down to reduce the degree of distortion. I can drag up to increase the distortion. In my case however, I want that bend value to be set to 50%, which is the default. Now, that may surprise you because after all, the top of the guy's hair is sticking up beyond the edge of the canvas. And I'm going to correct that problem by scaling the image vertically. And to do that, to scale the image, you need to switch out of the Warp mode by clicking on that Warp icon again, and that switches you into the Standard Free Transform mode.
At which point, you want to make sure that bottom middle reference point is still selected over here on the left side of the Options bar and then, I'm going to change the height value independently of the width value, so don't link 'em together. Go ahead and change that height value to 95% and then press the Enter key a couple of times here in the PC, that would be the Return key, a couple of times on the Mac, in order to apply this distortion. All right, so that takes care of the initial distortion. Now we need to liquefy the image. And you do that by going up to the Filter menu and choosing the Liquefy command.
However, at this point you'll notice that we're seeing the entire image inside of the Liquefy window, which can prove to be a little confusing because it's now impossible to get a sense of exactly where the canvas is. So, what I recommend you do is cancel out of here and then let's go ahead and create a copy of this layer by pressing Ctrl A or Cmd A on the Mac in order to select the entire thing, and then press Ctrl Alt J or Cmd Optn J in a Mac, in order to jump at that selection and name the layer at the same time.
And I'm going to call this layer Liquefy, like so. And then, I'll go ahead and click OK. And notice that we have now created an independent layer that is no longer a smart object. Smart objects always have a little page icon in the lower right corner of their thumbnails, whereas Standard Pixel Base layers don't. So now notice that if I go up to the Filter menu and choose the Liquefy command, then I am seeing just the portion of the image that's visible inside the canvas.
However, if you're working inside of Photoshop CC, you really want to apply Liquefy as a non destructive dynamic modification, which means once again converting the layer to a smart object. Believe it or not. So just go ahead and cancel out of here. And with this Liquefier layer selected, go ahead and right click inside the Image window. This assumes that your rectangular marquee tool is active up here at the top of the tool box and then choose Convert To Smart Object. And now, you can apply it liquefy dynamically by going up to the Filter menu, and choosing Liquefy once again.
And of course, the most obvious modification that we need to make here, is to go over to the blow tool. So I'll go ahead and select it from the toolbox in the upper left corner of the window here. You'd want to press the right bracket key a few times, in order to make that brush bigger and then, make sure it's centered as well as you can on the pupil of this eye and just click and hold in order to exaggerate its size. Then move over to the left eye. At least that's the way I'm working. Make sure once again that the pupil is more or less centered and then click and hold again, in order to exaggerate that eye.
Now you're probably going to get this beady eye effect here, which is why you'll now want to select the Warp tool. So called Forward Warp tool. But I don't call it that because there is no such thing as a Backward Warp. And again, you'll want to increase the size of your brush so it totally encapsulates the eye. You press the left bracket key to make the brush smaller and the right bracket key to make it bigger. I'm going to make it pretty darn big like so, and then I'm going to drag the eye up and out. And then I'll drag this eye up and out as well, and then you'd want to reduce the size of your cursor and move the pupil around a little bit in order to make sure that the eyes are looking at us, as opposed to pointing them in totally opposite directions.
And now that I've made that modification, I can go ahead and click OK to apply that modification. And the great thing about applying Liquefy as a smart filter and again this is only an option to those of you who subscribe to the Creative Cloud. But the great thing about it, is you can now make further modifications just by double clicking on the word Liquefy here inside the Layers panel, which will bring back all of your changes and allow you to apply more changes as well.
Now, I happen to have saved my settings in advance. And if you're working a long with me, you can get to those settings by selecting the Advance Mode check box right here in the upper right region of the window. Click on the Load Mesh button and if you have access to My Exercise files, you can navigate to this file right here called massivemutation.msh and that MSH extension stands for Mesh by the way. Go ahead and click Open and then I'll go ahead and apply All of My Settings, after which point you can go ahead and click OK.
And just to give you a sense of what we've been able to accomplish, I'll go up to the File menu and choose the Revert command, in order to restore the original version of the image, and I'll go ahead and press the F key a couple of times in order to fill the screen with the image and zoom on in as well. So this is the original version of that portrait. And then if I press Ctrl+z, or Cmd+z on the Mac, that is my photorealistic caricature. Thanks to a combination of Free Transform, and Liquefy, applied dynamically to a smart object, here inside Photoshop.
All right, so I sort of short shifted that Liquefy step, which is why if you're a member of the lynda.com online training library, I have a special follow-up movie, in which I demonstrate how I Liquefy this guy in detail. If you're waiting for next week's free movie, I'm going to show you how to mask this guy against a more dramatic background, as well as how to shade and sharpen him so he looks like an absolute rock star. Deke's Techniques each and every week. Keep watching.
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