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Learn what it takes to design and create your own custom silver-age superhero. Join Deke as he starts by tracing a photo to create the hero's body and then jumps into Illustrator for the creation of the final effects. Finally, Deke takes us through the steps to lay out our own custom type to complete the comic.
In this chapter, I'll show you how to create this dramatic background that makes the Blue Barbecue look like he's bursting forth from the image. And, it's a combination of these clouds that I'm adding inside of Photoshop, and these burst lines that I'll create inside of Illustrator. So we'll start off with the red clouds. I'll go ahead and switch over to my image in progress here and then I'll scroll to the bottom of the layers panel and click on the background. And ,next what you want to do is drop down to the black and white circle at the bottom of the layers panel, and press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and go ahead and click on that icon and choose gradient.
And then because I have the alter option key down, that brings up the new layer dialogue box. And I'll go ahead and name this layer red gradient and I'll click okay. Next, inside the gradient fill dialog box, you want to go ahead and click on that gradient strip right there in order to bring up the Gradient Editor dialog box. And I'm going to switch to this gradient right here, red green, even though it's not exactly what I'm looking for, it's kind of close. And now, I'll double click on the red color stop, in order to bring up the Color Picker dialog box, and I'll change the hue value to zero degrees. I'll leave the saturation at 100%, and I'll take the brightness value up to 100% as well, and then I'll click okay. And now, if you're working along with me, you'll want to double click on the green color stop in order to once again, this is the color picker dialog box. This time we're going to change the hue value to 345 degrees which takes us a little bit into the magenta territory. And then, I'll once again leave the saturation value set to 100% and I'll take the brightness value up to 50% and I'll click okay. And then, I'll click okay again, this time to exit the gradient editor dialog box. So all I see onscreen is the gradient fill dialog box, at least where dialog boxes are concerned, anyway. Now you want to take the scale value down to 77%. So that we have a quicker fade from dark red at the top to bright red down here at the bottom. And I'm going to start my drag at the figure's jaw line, right here. And then I'll drag down to the top of the trunks, down to this location here in order to move my gradient downward, so that we have more dark red and less of the bright red. Now, go ahead and click okay in order to accept that change. Now, the great thing about this red background is that it complements the cyan that I used in order to fill the figure. Because after all, anytime you want a complimentary color, you want to rotate the hue value 180 degrees. So in my case, I have a cyan that's 190 degrees. So, you subtract 180, you get ten degrees, and then of course, I took a little bit of liberty and set that hue value to 0 degrees for the bright red and 345 degrees which means I subtracted 15 more degrees from 360 which is the same as zero down this 345 to get the dark red at the top. So again, I'm trying to stick with these old style comic book colors. Now, though, I want to do something that they didn't do very often back in the comic book days. They did sometimes. Jack Kirby did quite a bit, actually, in the 70s. Which is to add a photographic image to the mix. And so I'm going to bring in the stormy clouds, once again, from the Fotolia image library, about which you can learn more, and get deals at fotolia.com/deke. And, I'm going to go up to the file menu and choose the file info command in order to find out what the file number of this image is. And it's 146 and a bunch of other numbers. I'll go ahead and select that number by dragging across it. And then I'll press control C or command C on the Mac to copy it, and now I'll click cancel. Now I want to duplicate the clouds into my image-in-progress, so I'll right-click inside the image window with my rectangular marquee tool, very important. Then I'll choose Duplicate Layer, and I'll change my document to Face-and-Body right here, and I'll go ahead and click okay in order to duplicate that layer. And now I'll switch over to the face and body image and you can see I have a new layer that's just called background. I'm going to change its name by double clicking on the current layer name right there and I'll enter the word clouds and then I'll enter an open parenthesis and I'll press control V or command V on the Mac to paste that file number, just so I remember where it came from, in case I need to come back to it later. And then I'll enter a closed parenthesis like so. So it's not necessary that you name a layer that way but it can be a really good idea, if you ever want to find the image again. Now, press the Enter key, or the Return key on a Mac, in order to accept that new name. And now I want to blend this cloud's layer with the gradient behind it and I'll do that by going up to the Blend Mode pop up menu in the upper left corner of the layers panel and I'm going to chose the very last blend mode, luminosity in order to produce this effect here. And that's how you add a dramatic, complementary colored, photographic background to your comic book superhero, here inside Photoshop.
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