Designing a Retro-Style Superhero
Illustration by John Hersey
Watching:

Shooting flames out of the hero's hands


From:

Designing a Retro-Style Superhero

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Shooting flames out of the hero's hands

In this movie, we're going to create flames that are shooting out of the hands using a couple of new flame patterns once again from the Fotolia Image Library. name it as you are turning the background into a layer.
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  1. 41s
    1. Welcome
      41s
  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 Designing a 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.

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
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Shooting flames out of the hero's hands

In this movie, we're going to create flames that are shooting out of the hands using a couple of new flame patterns once again from the Fotolia Image Library. So, we're going to start with this guy right here. And I want to go ahead and name this layer inside of this image before brining it over into the composition, and I want to name it after the file name. So, I'll go up to the File menu and choose Save As or press Ctrl+Shift+S or Cmd+Shift+S on the Mac. Then I'll select the word flame and it's final number and press Ctrl+C or Cmd+C on the Mac, cancel out, double click on an empty portion of this layer so that you can name it as you are turning the background into a layer. And now bring up the new layer dialogue box, at which point I'll press Ctrl+V or Cmd+V on the Mac in order to paste that name like so, and then I'll click OK. Now we want to convert the image into a smart object, so make sure your rectangular marquee tool is selected and then right click inside the image window and choose convert to smart object. Once again right click inside the image window and choose duplicate layer and let's go ahead and put this layer inside the symmetrical flames .psd file which is my progress file so far. And I'll click OK and then I'll switch back to that image like so. And let's go ahead and drag this guy into the right position. So I'm pressing the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on the Mac as I'm dragging. And I'm pressing Ctrl or Cmd because that gives me the move tool on the fly. All right. Now let's go ahead and transform, that scale and rotate this layer, by going up to the edit menu and choosing the free transform command, or as usual, you can press Ctrl+T or Cmd+T on the Mac. And I'm just going to enter some arbitrary values that I came up with. So, I'll go ahead and link the width and height values. And then I'll select the width value and change it to 106%, so the height value changes to 106% as well. And then I'll change the angle value to -10.35 degrees. So as I say, arbitrary values that I came up with just through trial and error. And now I'll press the Enter key, or the Return key on a Mac, a couple of times, in order to apply that change. And now I'm going to Ctrl or Cmd+drag this flame down so it's more or less centered on the hand. And so if you end up getting slightly different results, that's totally fine. Now I don't want to see this flame bursting out from under his arm, because it looks like his deodorant is failing.

So I'm going to mask it away by switching to the lasso tool, which I can get by pressing the L key, and I'll go ahead and lasso this region, let's say. So then I'm selecting as least as much area as I want to mask. And then with this layer selected I'll drop down the to the add layer mask icon at the bottom of the layers panel and I'll Alt+click or Opt+click on it. And now we want to change the blend mode, of course. From normal, up here in the upper left corner of the layers panel to screen, in order to create this effect here.

Now we want the same thing flipped on the other side. First, before we do that. I actually want this layer name to end in a .one and that's because we're going to end it with two flame patterns from this same image. Alright, so now that I've renamed the layer, I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+J, or Cmd+J in a Mac. And I'll press Ctrl+t or Cmd+t on the Mac in order to enter the free transform mode. I'll go ahead and drag that target which is the center of the transformation to that point right there on his chin that defines the center of our super hero. Now I'll right click inside the image and choose flip horizontal. And then I'll press the enter key or the return key on the Mac to accept that change. All right, now let's go to this flame pattern right here. And the great thing about it is it's the shooter, so if we rotate this in the right direction, it will appear to shoot directly upwards. The first step is to convert the background into a layer by double clicking on it, pressing Ctrl+V or Cmd+V on a mac, and then I'll enter a .two, because this is the second flame from that same file and then I'll click OK. And now, a right click inside the image window. You can do it with the Lasso tool as well, and choose Convert to Smart Object.

And finally, I'll right click inside the image window and choose Duplicate Layer. In order to move that flame into the symmetricalflames.psd image, and I'll click OK. All right, now I'll go ahead and switch over to that file that I'm working on and with my smart object selected I can apply a non-destructive transformation by pressing Ctrl+T or Cmd+T on the Mac. I'll link the width and height values together. I'll select the width value, I'll change it to 96-percent. So that both of those values change accordingly. And then I'll change the angle value to negative-60-degrees in order to make that flame shoot upright, and I'll press the Enter key a couple of times here on a PC, that would be the Return key a couple of times on a Mac.

All right, now I'm going to press the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on a Mac to temporarily access the move tool. And I'll drag this guy down to about this location there. So notice this little high-heeled shoe that you can see there on the inside of the flame. It's showing it black. I wanted to be sort of cradled right there in the hand between the index finger and the thumb. And I might just go ahead and nudge this image upward a little bit by pressing the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on a Mac along with the Up Arrow key. And this looks good to me, in which point I want to change the blend mode in the top left-hand corner of the layer's panel to screen just like usual.

All right. Now, we've got this very light flame. We're going to see it better when we create the xerox effect, but for now it looks nice and bright. But, of course we need to create a flipped copy of it over here on the right-hand side. So press Ctrl+J or Cmd+J on the Mac to jump the layer like so, and then you want to press Ctrl+T or Cmd+T on the Mac in order to enter the free transform mode. Grab that little target right there and move it to the bottom of the chin right there at the intersection of the chin in that straight grill line. And then right click inside the image window and choose flip horizontal in order to create a flip version of those flames.

And press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac in order to accept that change. And just so that we can really see what's going on here, what I'm going to do is first I'm going to put all the flames inside of a group. So, I've got the top flame selected, I'll scroll down the list and Shift-click on the bottom flame, so I have a total of I think, eight flame layers now. And now, I'll go up to the Layers panel fly out menu, click on this little icon there, and I will choose New Group from Layers, and that allows me to name the group as I create it, and I will call this group, not surprisingly, Flames.

And then, press the enter key, or the return key on the Mac, to accept that change. And, just to really show things off, let's look set the flames against a black background, for now. So, I'll go ahead and click on the spike layer to make it active. And, I'll drop down to the little black and white circle icon, at the bottom of the layers panel. I'll press the Alt key, or the Opt key on the Mac, click on the icon and choose solid color. And that way, because I have the Alt or Opt key down, I can name this layer as I create it. I'm going to call it black back and then I'll click okay, because afte rall, it's a black background.

And that will bring up the color picker dialog and by default, I'll get black. But if you don't, then you just want to drag this little circle down to the lower left corner of the color field and click OK in order to accept that change. And we now have this brilliant flame pattern complete with these flames shooting out of our superheroes hands. Set against the black background but of course we need the flames to show up better against our existing background. Which is why I'm going to show you how to make that happen in the very next movie.

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