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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.
Want more of Designs dekeConstructed, the series that breaks down popular graphic designs so you can re-create them on your own? Check out Deke's page.
In this movie, we're going to transfer all of our blends over to Photoshop. And we're going to organize them into different buckets inside of the Paths panel. We might as well go ahead and blend the face before we move things over. So, here I am still working inside of Illustrator. I'll go ahead and select these five top paths on the forehead using the black arrow tool, and I'll press Ctrl+Alt+B, or Cmd+Option+B on the Mac, in order to blend those paths, and wouldn't you know, it worked out great. Now, I'll go ahead and select these five jaw lines down here, and press Ctrl+Alt+B or Cmd+Option+B to blend them as well.
And I go ahead and Shift-click on the forehead blend in order to select both the jaw and the forehead, as you can see. Then, I'll press the w key to switch to the blend tool, down near the bottom of the toolbox. And I'll press the Enter key to bring up the Blend Options dialog box, turn on the Preview check box, and I will take the Specified Steps value down to four, in order to produce this effect here. So, as you can see, the grill lines are a little tighter in the face than they are in the neck and throughout the rest of the body.
But given that, that is the focal point of the image, we want to provide as much detail as possible. So, I'll go ahead and click OK to accept that change. And now I'll Ctrl+drag, or Cmd+drag around these four paths. You don't need to select this one, just these four right here. And then press Ctrl+Alt+B, or Cmd+Option+B on the Mac, in order to blend those together. And now you can Ctrl+drag or Cmd+drag around these four paths on the left cheek, and press Ctrl+Alt+B or Cmd+Option+B in order to blend them, and then finally, I think we have one more blend ahead of us.
Right here, these tiny paths under the nose. Go ahead and press the Control key, or the Command key on the Mac, to temporarily get your black arrow tool and marquee those paths, and then let's press Ctrl+Alt+B, or Cmd+Option+B, to blend them. And then, go ahead and Ctrl+Shift-click on the paths that make up the right cheek blend, and Ctrl+Shift, or Cmd+Shift-click, on the left cheek blends as well. So, with all three all these blends selected, then you can press the Enter key to bring up the Blend Options dialog box, and we're going to take the Specified Steps value down to two, and turn on the Preview check box to see the results.
Go ahead and click OK. All right, now just for the sake of organization here, I'm going to move the face to an independent layer. So, I'll press the v key to switch back to the black arrow tool and I'll marquee all of these face paths in order to select all of them. And I'll go ahead and twirl close the neck layer and click on it to make it active. And now I'm going to add a new layer by pressing the Alt key, or the Option key on a mac, and I'll click on the little page icon at the button of the Layers panel. I'm going to call this layer face paths, and I'll change the color to brown, let's say, and click OK.
And now I'll go ahead and drag this purple square up to the face paths layer in order to move those face paths to the proper location. All right now, we basically want to select everything inside the illustration, so go ahead and zoom out, which you can do by pressing Ctrl+0, or Cmd+0 on a Mac, and press Ctrl+A, or Cmd+A on a Mac, to select all of the paths. And then you can go up to the Edit menu and choose the Copy command, or press Ctrl+C, or Cmd+C on the Mac.
Now, we're ready to switch over to Photoshop, as I've done right here. Now, notice that my Paths panel is still up on screen. And, just for positioning purposes, so I can tell where these paths need to go, I'm going to turn on the Edge Contours path, and then I'm going to press Ctrl+0, or Cmd+0 on a Mac, to zoom out. Then I'll go up to the Edit menu and choose the Paste command, or you can press Ctrl+V,or Cmd+V on the Mac. Now you might figure, you could go to Paste Special and choose Paste in Place, and that would retain all the positioning information, but doesn't work.
So, just go ahead and press Ctrl+V, or Cmd+V on a Mac. You'll get this Paste Dialog Box. You want Path, of course. So, go ahead and select that third option and then click OK, and you'll see that things come in, in the wrong location. So, essentially the paths get centered inside of the image window. So what you need to do, is go ahead and zoom in, until you can see the old path outlines, and I'm just going to press Ctrl+1, or Cmd+1 on a mac, in order to zoom to 100%. And now, this is where you've gotta be really careful, because if you deselect one of these paths, they're not grouped together the way they might be inside of Illustrator. So, you're going to find yourself having a hard time reselecting them. So, very first step is to drop down to the black arrow tool, the so called path selection tool here. And then I want you to drag one of the obviously selected paths. In my case, I need to drag it downward to about this location here, let's say. And now I'm going to zoom in, because I want to get this exactly right, so I'm Ctrl+Spacebar, or Cmd+Spacebar, clicking to zoom into my image. And I'm using my arrow keys now in order to align the paths, and you can see, right at that point there, I managed to put them in exactly the right location. So I'm trying to match, in other words, the original edge contours that I created back in the first movie of this chapter. All right now, what you want to do, don't click anywhere. Just go up to the Edit menu and choose the Cut command, or press Ctrl+X, or Cmd+X on a Mac. Now, we'll go ahead and cut all of those selected paths. Go ahead and zoom out a little bit so that you can take in more of your document at a time here, and I might want to zoom out just one more click. And now, let's create a new path by dropping down to the bottom of the Paths panel and Alt or Option-clicking on the little page icon in order to bring up the New Path dialogue box. And I'm going to call this path, Upper Body, let's say, because we're going to have to divide these path outlines up from each other. So, basically the upper body paths have to be in one container and the lower body paths in another, and then the feet and the face need to be separated as well. So, go ahead and create this new path bucket, and then just press Ctrl+V, or Cmd+V on the Mac, and Photoshop will automatically paste those paths outlines back into their previous location. All right now, I'm now going to go ahead and marquee all the paths associated with the face. And because I had the black arrow tool selected, I just need to partially marquee them to select them, and press Ctrl+X, or Cmd+X on the Mac, in order to cut them. And now, press the Alt key, or the Option key on a Mac, and click on the little page icon at the bottom of the Paths panel. Let's call this Face, and click OK. I'm going to move this one above Upper Body, just so that, everybody's in the right order, and I'll press Ctrl+V, or Cmd+V on a Mac, in order to paste those paths. Click on Upper Body once again, to make it active. Let's go ahead and zoom out here, because we need to go ahead and grab the lower body. So, I'm going to marquee from the hips down to the toes, all the way down, in order to select all those guys. Press Ctrl+X, or Cmd+X on a Mac, to cut them. Create a new path by Alt or Option-clicking on the little page icon at the bottom of the Paths panel. Let's call this Lower Body, why don't we, and I'll click OK. And now, I'll press Ctrl+V, or Cmd+V on a Mac, in order to paste those paths. And now you want to marquee just the feet paths like so, all the way down to the toes. Press Ctrl+X, or Cmd+X on the Mac, in order to cut them and then Alt-click or Option-click on the little page icon at the bottom of the Paths panel and call this guy Feet, and press Ctrl+V or Cmd+V on a Mac, in order to paste in. Now, you may wonder why I'm going to all this trouble, why am I separating the face from the upper body, from the lower body, from the feet? Well, the upper body as you can see, goes too high, the path outline goes too high into the glove, essentially, and they go too low into the trunk. And so, they're going to require a little bit of masking later on down the line. The lower body is just fine, but it's going to have thicker brush strokes than the feet, which is going to have still thicker brush strokes than the face, and that's why we have to divide things up. And if nothing else, it'll all make that much more sense when we actually apply pressure-sensitive brush strokes to our path outlines in the very next movie.
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