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So here we're going to apply texture to an uneven surface. So I am going to try and make it look like she really is a cheetah woman rather than she has just had a cheetah texture laid on top of her and then a Blending mode applied. Let's take a look at the layers panel with the finished version and there is quite a lot going on here. So I am just going to switch over to the starting version and then tell you about all these things as and when we go along. I pulled off my layers panel so that we can have a bit of growing room with this.
Here is our starting point. We've got the background layer. On the background layer we have a Gradient Overlay. The Gradient Overlay is applying a vignette, darkening of the edges. On top of that we have the face and the face has a layer Mask applied to it, masking out the background. First thing we want to do is apply a Bevel and Emboss effect to this layer. So I am going to come down to my layer Effects>Bevel and Emboss and the type of Bevel Emboss I am after is a Texture Bevel. Now there are a number of settings involved here, and just so that you don't have to watch me move around one of my sliders and trying to replicate them, I am just going to apply a style that I've already pre-prepared.
So I am going to come out to my Graphic Styles panel right there and slide down and it is this last one in the list, and it looks like that. So let's go and have a look exactly what's going on here. It's a Bevel and Emboss texture and it's using the Cheetah Texture. So I have pre-saved this as a pattern and to do that, you would need to turn everything else off, so all you have is the cheetah and then choose Edit>Define Pattern. So with that in place, I am using that as the texture, scale at 100%, and these options chosen, I've changed the color of the Highlight mode to sample the brown from the cheetah spot.
The key here is that it's an Outer Bevel. If I make this an Inner Bevel, it just looks well kind of interesting, but not what we are after. So the Outer Bevel is beveling the area around her face, and giving the impression that she is sort of pushing up out of the texture. Now, on top of this, we have a Black & White adjustment layer, and this Black & White adjustment layer is set to Tint, and it is clipped to the face layer. I am going to hold down Option or Alt and click right there.
Now what we don't want to happen is for the eyes and the mouth to be affected by this. So I am going to come to my Paths panel where I have a work path, or rather Path 1 already prepared. I am going to Command+Click on that to make that path into a selection. On that layer Mask I am going to fill that selection with black. So that restores the eyes and the mouth to color. Next thing I want to do is make a duplicate of the background layer. Let's turn the Gradient Overlay back on; Command+J will duplicate it.
I am going to drag it up to the top. I am going to clip it, holding down the Alt key, clicking on the line between the layers. I am going to throw away the Gradient Overlay from this particular one and that's not going to look like this. But what we want to do here is change its Blending mode to Multiply and that's going to allow the texture to come through. We don't want the eyes and the mouth to be affected by this. So I am going to apply the layer Mask to this, but before I do that, and it's important that I do it in this order, I want to scale this layer, so that we give the impression that it's closer to us.
I am going to reduce the size of my image, and I am going to press Command+T or Ctrl+T to put a transformation rectangle around that, and then holding down Option and Shift, I am going to scale it up to about 106% and press Return. Now, I'm going to apply a Pinch Filter to this. Before I do that, I am going to Convert for Small Filters, then come to the Filter menu and choose Distort>Pinch.
I am going to pinch it by this amount -30, that's going to give it a convex effect and we can see what that's doing. It's pushing the texture out towards us. Let's increase my view size. I now need to restore the eyes and the mouth and I am going to do that by just burring the layer Mask that we have already made here, holding down the Option or Alt key, and dragging that on to the background copy layer. Next, I would like to bring out some of the detail in the face, and I am going to do this with a couple of adjustment layers.
So I need to turn off these layers for the time being and the background layer as well and the Bevel and Emboss effect and the reason I'm doing this is because I want to select the mid-tones and the highlights, using the Color Range tool. But I don't want anything else factored into that selection. So I am going to come to select the face layer, select Color Range, and from the Sampled Colors dropdown, I am going to choose Highlights, click OK, and then I am going to make that into a Levels Adjustment layer.
I am going to drag that up to the top and we will come back to that in a moment. I am going to return to the face, back to Color Range and now I am going to choose the Midtones. I am going to do the same thing; Levels, drag that up to the top, better name these just so that we know what's what. Lastly, we want the shadows; there aren't many.
So what I am going to do with the shadows once we've got the selection of the shadows, I am just going to add those to the layer Mask of the Midtones. So, on that layer Mask, I am going to fill that with white which in my case since white is my background color; Command+Delete or Ctrl+Delete. Now, we can turn everything back on, and we can kind of make these do something for us. So we want to increase the contrast. I'm on the Midtones layer.
See as I drag these sliders around, bringing the White Point slider towards the center, the Gray Point slider to the right. I am going to go to the Highlights and essentially do the same thing. I am liking the effect with the Midtones, I am not liking the effect so much with the Highlights and the problem with both is that both are shifting the color. So I am going to change the Blend mode of these layers to Luminosity; that's better! Let's just take a look at what they are doing.
So Midtones, it's really bringing out the shadows and in fact I think we need to bring them out some more. So I am going to really up the shadow detail and you can really see it coming out underneath her chin. And Highlights, I am just brightening everything overall, but it's mainly the Midtones that are adding-in some tonal value back to the face. Continuing on this theme, I am going to add an additional layer at the top, and this is going to be a Dodge Burn layer.
I am going to hold down my Option or Alt key, click on Create new layer, and I will call it dodge and burn, although it's going to be mainly burning, making things darker. mode will be Overlay and I am going to fill it with Overlay neutral color, and I am going to clip it to everything, hold down the Alt key, and click on the line between that and the layer that is beneath it. Now, I choose my Brush tool and painting in black. I have my Opacity down, low about 15%, and wherever I see an area of shadow, and I am working with a large soft brush, I am going to paint over that to accentuate that shadow a little bit more; especially on the cheekbones, the eye sockets around the nose, little bit around the lips, but with a much smaller brush, on the shoulder, and on the collar bone.
Now, if I do this too much, you can see that it's starting to shift the color slightly, so I might just want to tone that down a bit by going to Soft Light as my Blend mode. Now, there is something that's bothering me, and that is the lips and the eyes, the lips especially make her look like she is Mrs. Potato Head with the lips just stuck on. So we need to rectify that and this error comes from me having used a path without feathering or any sort of softening of the edges, using that as the layer Mask.
So let's address that. There it is right there and I think what I am going to do is get myself a nice big brush. I am going to get rid of that completely. I just want to paint the lips back in. So now, I am going to switch back to black. I have got my fancy Wacom Tablet here which is going to make this so much easier. Now, painting in black, I'll just go over the lips, and we can bring them in much more softly, and much more realistically than they were before.
Then the eyes, they've shifted a bit with the adjustment layers that we have applied. So I am going to come in first to the Highlights and again painting in black, just go over them to make sure that we're not losing any of the eye color. I think these are on the Midtones that we are, okay, all right! Now, we can restore the eyes to their original color, and now let me zoom out. That looks a whole lot better.
So feel free to edit yours, and tweak yours just to your own liking. But you can see that there are number of steps involved but it's really worthwhile taking these different steps to make it look like this woman is really inhabiting this cheetah skin rather than it's just a piece of cheetah fabric that's been slapped on top of her and then a Blend mode applied. So I hope you'll agree it's worth the extra effort.
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