Designs dekeConstructed: Retro-Style Superhero
Illustration by John Hersey

Designs dekeConstructed: Retro-Style Superhero

with Deke McClelland

Video: Finishing off the hands and gloves

We now have one outstretched hand, and I think we can be proud of that. And then I'll switch back to my brush tool, and I'll also click on And I'll go ahead and click and shift+click.
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  1. 41s
    1. Welcome
  2. 13m 6s
    1. Masking a person from a white background
      8m 20s
    2. Smoothing out the edges of a jagged mask
      4m 46s
  3. 28m 52s
    1. Adding power and motion with Liquify
      8m 21s
    2. Puppet warping the legs closer together
      6m 36s
    3. Applying a perspective-style transformation
      5m 34s
    4. Smoothing and removing details with Liquify
      8m 21s
  4. 28m 34s
    1. Filling and stroking the silhouette
      3m 47s
    2. Drawing with the Pen and Brush tools
      7m 56s
    3. Hand-painting the face
      8m 56s
    4. Refining brushstrokes with Median and Minimum
      7m 55s
  5. 39m 2s
    1. Adding complementary colored clouds
      5m 28s
    2. Drawing a handful of spikes in Illustrator
      8m 34s
    3. Creating a burst pattern with Transform
      9m 36s
    4. Adjusting the spikes for a better effect
      7m 20s
    5. Bringing the burst pattern into Photoshop
      8m 4s
  6. 51m 4s
    1. Creating the extreme paths for the grill lines
      7m 31s
    2. Blending the grill lines in Illustrator
      9m 42s
    3. Correcting potential blending problems
      9m 58s
    4. Bringing the blended paths into Photoshop
      8m 27s
    5. Simulating pressure when stroking paths
      5m 35s
    6. Contouring the grill lines onto the face
      9m 51s
  7. 23m 47s
    1. Drawing a hand with the Pen tool
      9m 29s
    2. Converting the hand path to a shape layer
      6m 2s
    3. Finishing off the hands and gloves
      8m 16s
  8. 28m 49s
    1. Blend, scale, and rotate photographic flames
      6m 17s
    2. Filling in gaps with symmetrical flames
      7m 15s
    3. Shooting flames out of the hero's hands
      7m 34s
    4. Stroking the composite flames
      7m 43s
  9. 19m 13s
    1. Drawing cartoon flames as a shape layer
      5m 56s
    2. Enhancing the flames with layer effects
      5m 32s
    3. Adjusting Puppet Warp and Expansion
      7m 45s
  10. 16m 56s
    1. Installing a free comic-lettering font
      3m 59s
    2. Formatting the monologue text
      5m 43s
    3. Drawing the talk balloons (a.k.a. speech bubbles)
      7m 14s
  11. 43m 10s
    1. Selecting a font-creation software
      5m 17s
    2. Drawing consistently rendered letterforms
      9m 10s
    3. Pasting the letters into Glyphs Mini (Mac only)
      8m 11s
    4. Copying capitals into lowercase positions (Mac only)
      6m 45s
    5. Generating an OpenType font (Mac only)
      7m 56s
    6. Stylizing the custom font in Photoshop
      5m 51s
  12. 4m 24s
    1. Time lapse of the retro superhero
      3m 4s
    2. Until next time
      1m 20s

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Watch the Online Video Course Designs dekeConstructed: Retro-Style Superhero
4h 57m Intermediate Jun 30, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Turning a person into a silhouette
  • Adding power and motion with Liquify
  • Drawing with the Pen and Brush tools
  • Creating a dramatic background
  • Adding grill lines and flames
  • Inserting talk balloons
  • Creating a custom comic font
Illustrator Photoshop
Deke McClelland

Finishing off the hands and gloves

We now have one outstretched hand, and I think we can be proud of that. But we're still missing the other one, and we need to add in the grill lines as well, which is of course, precisely what we're going to do in this movie. So, first thing I want you to do is go to the hands layer right there, make sure that the vector based portion of the layer is selected, as opposed to the pixel based layer mask. And then grab the black arrow tool, the path selection tool, and click on that path in order to select the path that surrounds the hand. Now let's make a copy of it by pressing control+alt+T, or command+option+T on the Mac, which allows us to transform and duplicate a selection in one operation. And I'm going to go ahead and move this target toward the center of the image. At which point you may see this peculiar effect right here, where the interior of the path appears to disappear. Don't worry about that. Just go ahead and right click inside the image window and choose flip horizontal and you'll flip around that target point right there and you can see that we've got a hand at new location. And I might as well nudge it into the proper position as well, by pressing a combination of shift+right arrow along with the right arrow key by itself. And then when I get things arranged, I'll just go ahead and press the enter key, or the return key on the Mac, in order to accept that change. All right. Now let's mask away the first in the background by clicking on the the layer mask, this whitish thumbnail right here for the merge BBQ layer.

And I'll go ahead and select the brush tool which you can also get by pressing the B key. And I've got a pretty big brush going right now, but the foreground colors is white instead of black so press the X key and then I'll just brush away that little bit right there. I'm going to zoom in a little more closely. And I'm going to switch to the layer mask, the white thumbnail here for the hands layer. And I'm going to reduce the size of my brush by pressing the left bracket key a few times. And then I'll click right about here, let's say, and shift+click at this location and you can see that we're running into a problem.

We'll come back to that. In the meantime, just go ahead and click there and shift+click right there in order to create kind of a perpendicular cut-off and brush that area way. Now, there's a variety of ways that you can solve this problem right here. You could paint on a new layer, if you wanted to. You could paint just a little bit of blue. But that seems like an impure solution to me. So what I'm going to do instead is change the hand shape by clicking on the vector based shape thumbnail here, in the layers panel, of course. And I'll go ahead and select the white arrow tool, the direct selection tool right here, and then I'm going to click on this segment in order to select it, this segment that I used to close off the path outline.

And I'm going to drag its control handle downward, quite a distance so that we're covering too much of that forearm. And then I'll switch back to my brush tool, and I'll also click on layer mask thumb nail for the hands layer at the top of the layers panel. And I'll go ahead and press the the X key in order to switch the foreground color to white, once again. And I'll paint around here, and you're going to have to be kind of careful. Actually, painting to just right about at that location seems to do the trick. Then I'll press the X key to switch the foreground color back to black. And I'll go ahead and click and shift+click. And now I'll paint away that area. And I think we have a pretty good looking solution.

I'll press the X key to once again make my foreground color white. And then I'm going to right click inside of the image window, and I'll change the size value here to 25 pixels, like so, then I'll press the enter key, or the return key on a Mac, in order to accept that change. And then, I'll just go ahead and click right there so that, the circle of my brush is bisected by that perpendicular line, so it's half blue and half black, and click at that location. And I think that is a terribly desirable result.

All right. Now all we need to do is fill in the grill lines. And we're going to do that pretty much just like we did in the last chapter, the difference is that I've created the lines in advance. So if you have access to this file and you go to the paths panel, you'll find this path near the bottom, it's called glove grills and it includes the grill lines for both the right hand that we're looking at right now and his left of course, as well as the left hand. And we're going to want to stroke these in a couple of different ways. So I'm going to press the A key to switch to the white arrow.

Then I'll press Shift+A to switch to the black arrow. And now, I'll go ahead and marquee all these finger paths right there. And here's problem, I'm selecting the path outlines. It's not only in this path here in the paths panel, but also the ones associated with the vector mask. And I don't want that, so I'm just going to click in the background layer for now to rule out these vectors right there, and notice now, just the fingers are selected. And now shift+drag around these two little lines over here on the left hand side of this hand, and also shift+drag around these lines that are associated with the thumb.

You don't want to select any of the palm lines or the forearm lines. Now go ahead and switch over to the other hand and shift+drag around these path outlines right there, shift drag+here, and shift+drag here. It's important that you keep the shift key down so that you're adding to the previous selection. Now let's go ahead and press control+X or command+X on a Mac to cut those paths to the clipboard, of course. Now switch back to the paths panel. I'll create a new path by alter option+clicking on the little page icon on the bottom of the paths panel. And I'll call this path containing fingers. And then press the enter key or the return key on the Mac. I'm going to move it to above glove grills right there.

And then I press control+B or command+B on the mac in order to paste those paths and click often to deselect them. All right. Now, lets go ahead and stroke them, so switch to the layers panel, click on the hands layer right there. And I'll create a new layer by pressing control+shift and or command+shift in on a Mac and I'll call these hand grills lets say and I'll click okay. And now, of course, I need the brush tool, so I'll select the brush tool over here inside the tool box. You can press the B key as well. Go up to the window menu choose the brush command, that will bring up the brush panel here.

You want to reduce the size value to ten pixels for these finger lines right here. And make sure the spacing is still set to 10%, the hardness value should be 100%, then select Shape Dynamics, just go ahead and click on it. Control should still be set to pen pressure, if you've been working along with me. And, minimum diameter should be 50%. At which point you want to go ahead and close the brush panel. And, now, let's go to the paths panel and alt or option + click on this little circle, right here, the stroke path with brush, icon, in order to bring up the stroke pad dialog box.

Just so we can make sure Simulated Pressure, that check box, right there, is still turned on. Then click okay and you end up with this effect. And by the way, it's happening in the other hand as well. Then click on glove grills in order to select it. Go ahead and right click inside the image window and increase the size value to 12 pixels. And that's it, then press the enter key or the return key on a Mac and now you can just press the enter key or the return key again in order to stroke all of those path outlines. Both in the right hand and in the left hand, actually across both the left and right gloves.

And now presumably, you want to deselect the path here in the paths panel. But, problem is that we don't have any more room down here at the bottom, in order to click in an empty area below the last path. So what you do is you press the control key or the command key on a Mac and click on that selected path and that'll deselect it. And you no longer see the paths here inside the image window either. And now I'm going to zoom so I can take in a little bit more of my superhero. And that takes care of it. That is how you draw and stroke and otherwise create two new hands for our splendid looking superhero, here inside Photoshop.

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