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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 focus our attention on the final grill lines inside the face. I'm going to start by zooming in to my image. And notice that the face item is selected here inside the paths panel. And you can see that the paths don't necessarily align with the details inside of the face, including these eye creases right here, and that's because all the blends are linear and so they sometimes cut in different directions. They don't really convey the shape of a face all by themselves. So we are going to have to make some detailed adjustments. Go ahead and zoom in even farther, and I'll press the A key to switch from my black arrow tool, the so called path selection tool. And I'm going to marquee, around these path outlines, right here, to select them that way I can edit them along this crease line. And then, I'll select a pen tool, which you can get by pressing the P key.
And I'm going to move my cursor over one of the selected paths. Make sure you're seeing a little plus sign next to your cursor, and then click right there, for example. And then do the same here and over here. Watch for that plus sign. You don't want to see the asterisk next to the cursor or you will start a new path outline which is kind of messy. So, go ahead and click there, and then click right about there and then finally we want to click on this path outline. And now switch to the white arrow tool, the direct selection tool and go ahead and marquee some of those points there, in order to select them.
You may just need to select a few of them at a time and then press the back space key or delete key to get rid of them. And I'll go ahead and get rid of these two points as well. And, I might take this guy down a little bit, like so. The problem with moving, the anchor points is then you have to adjust the control handles, so that everything, sort of lines up properly. All right. I'm just going to raise this point, above the mouth a little bit. So I don't want these anchor points to get to close to the mouth, so I'll take these guys and nudge them up as well.
And then I'll select these, path outlines right there and I'll press the P key to switch to the Pen Tool and I'll click there and there. Notice I've got plus, notice I have a plus sign next to my cursor. And I'll go ahead and press the A key to switch back to the Wide Arrow Tool and I'll marquee and shift marquee those points right there and press the backspace key or the delete key on the Mac to get rid of 'em. Let's take this point and just kind of move it away, a little bit, because I just don't want to get too close to the mouth because, doesn't look right.
And I'll raise this anchor point as well, so you're just going to have to make whatever kind of detailed modifications you want to make. Actually, what I'm going to do is marquee these paths outlines like so and press the P key to switch to the pen tool and I'll click right about there, and down here and there if I can. And I'll take just a little bit off that guy. This one's fine. I'll see if I can get a plus sign next to my cursor. It's hard when there's a control handle on the way, by the way. So, that's just something to watch out for.
You want to click there, and maybe right about there let's say. Press the A key to switch back to the white arrow tool, marquee these points, get rid of them, marquee this point, get rid of it, this point right there wants to go away, and these two anchor points want to go away as well. I'll select this one and just kind of nudge it down. All right. Now we have these path outlines that are cutting into the cheek lines. So I'll marquee this guy to select it. Press the P key to get my pen tool, and click right about there, in order to add a point. And then, I'll just control drag, or command drag, around that top anchor point, pressing the control or the command key, when you're using the pen tool, get you the arrow tool on the fly. And then, I'll press backspace key to get rid of it. Now, let's check out this path outline right there.
It has a similar problem, I'll click right there in order to add a point controller drag around that top point to select. And then press Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac to get rid of it. All right. Now press the A key to switch to the wide arrow tool. Just kind of nudge these guys around a little bit to better locations that are closer. To the other grill lines, and this one I think he, I think he wants to come up just a little bit, and that means I'm probably going to have to change the shape of my grill line just slightly. And these jaw lines, they want to come down. So I'll marquee these guys and nudge them down by pressing the down arrow key. This one, I think I've taken too far down, so I'll nudge it up, and I'll take these guys back down just a little bit. So I want some more rounding, is basically what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to sort of trace the contours of the face. So I'm nudging these points up and down, depending on which specific points they are. This guy, I think he wants to go up a little bit, closer to the line of the chin, although this chin line probably wants to come down just slightly.
Now let's look higher. And you can see that we've gotta cut off these guys, underneath the crease line right there. So I'll just go ahead and marquee them with the white arrow tool like so. Press the P key to switch to the pen tool, click here and here. Oops, see? That's what happens when you don't watch for the plus sign. I'll click right about there and there and there. All right. And now press the A key to switch back my wide arrow tool and I'll marquee this point, shift marquee this one, shift marquee these guys, shift marquee this, press backspace key or the delete key on a Mac in order to get rid of it.
You know, and I think this guy wants to be over to the left slightly so I'm going to Alt click or option click on that path to select the entire thing. Now press the arrow key two or three times in order to nudge it to the left. All right. And then let's go ahead and select these guys right there and add points along this thing. Actually this guy, I don't need to add a point there, I could just select it, and just nudge it upward. But these guys they do need to have points. So I'll marquee in, press the P key to get the pen tool. Go ahead and make sure I've got a plus sign next to my cursor as I click, there's the plus sign. Actually I went a little higher. Plus sign right there and finally, a plus sign there. And now press the A key to switch back to the white arrow tool. I'll marquee these paths where these points set is, shift marquee these two guys independently. Press the backspace key or the delete key on the Mac to get rid of them. This guy is too low. I don't want it to get this close to the brow.
So I'll select it, press the P key to add a point up here. And then control drag or command drag around that anchor point to select it and get rid of it. Let's go ahead and nudge this point up as well. And then control drag or command drag around these path outlines to select them. And with the pen tool, click in order to insert points along that brow line right there. And it's just sometimes hard to get that plus sign to show up. And then I'll control or command drag around these anchor points. Press the backspace key or the delete key to get rid of 'em. And this guy wants to go away as well. All right. Now I'll press the A key to switch back to the white arrow tool. And let's take a look at everything here. It looks like this guy might want to go down. These guys might want to go down too, because I want to fill in this gap just a little bit. And so, of course, the specific changes that you make, if you're working along with me will definitely vary. Feel free to go you're own way.
But at this point, everything looks great. Now I want to trace most of these grill lines with a very small brush. And then these brow lines right here, underneath the eye and then the brows up here at the top, they wanted to be stroked with thicker lines, so that means we need to move the eye lines to a different container over here in the paths panel. So, I'm going to press shift A to switch to the black arrow tool. So if you press shift along with a letter, you switch between the tools that occupy the same slot over here in the tool box.
Now click on this path, shift click on this one, go ahead and shift click on these creases underneath the eye as well. And press control X or command X on the Mac to cut those path outlines. Let's create a new path by alt clicking or option clicking on the little page icon at the bottom of the paths panel and we'll call it eye lines and click okay. Then I'll press control V or command V on the Mac, in order to paste those paths. And now you can click off the path outlines to deselect them. And I'm going to move the eye lines up above the face paths. All right. Now click on the face paths to make them active there, switch to the layers panel. I`m going to click on the upper body layer to make it activate. So we put the new layer above it. And I'll press control shift N or command shift N on Mac to bring up a new command box.
And I'll call this one face grill and then click okay, to distinguish it from hand drawn face, don't you know. And then I'll press the B key to switch to my brush tool or right click inside the image window and take the size value down to eight pixels. And then you can just press the enter key or the return key on the Mac in order to stroke all those paths with that brush. Now switch back to the paths panel and switch to the eye lines container. And now you want to right click inside the image window with that brush tool and take the size value back up to 12 pixels, press the enter key, or the return key on a Mac to accept that change, and press the enter key or the return key on a Mac in order to stroke those path outlines. Then you can click below the paths in order to deselect them all, like so.
Now I'm going to zoom out just a little bit so we can see that powerful and very angry face, complete with a few dozen grill lines. Thanks to our ability to trace path outlines with pressure sensitive brush strokes, here inside Photoshop.
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