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Advanced Blending is the second installment in Deke McClelland's series on making photorealistic compositions in Photoshop. The course explores blending options and shows how to use them to create sophisticated effects and seamless compositions, often without masking. Beginning with the basics of blending layered images, the course sheds light on the formulas behind the Photoshop blend modes and shows how to comp scanned line art, create double-exposure effects, correct skin tones, and work with the luminance sliders.
In this exercise I'm going to show you how to use the Overlay mode in order to wrap a texture around the surface of a person's face. And it turns out to be something of morale of the story here. This dude is making this kind of I'm just crazy enough to do it face. And just as your mother probably told you, if you make a face like that long enough, it's going to turn to stone, and that's what we're going to do. We're going to go ahead and wrap this stone texture around his face, so it looks like he's been turned into a kind of statue.
And here is how we're going to make it happen. If you go to the Channels panel you'll notice that I've set up some alpha channels for you in advance. There is this face channel right there, which represents of course most of the guy's face. We're missing some details on his chin and so forth, but that's okay. I didn't get his neck however; I wasn't able to select the neck at the same time, so I've selected the neck which is very dark region inside of this image in a separate paths. So we're going to go ahead and add these two mask together. And one way to do that is to go up to the Image menu and choose the Calculations command, and then we get select the two masks one of which is called face the other one's called neck, and because we want to add them together, we want to magnify their bright parts, then we would change the blend mode to Screen, and that's how you add two mask together inside of Photoshop, And then click OK and you'll end up with yet another Alpha channel, and we can call this one mask.
Now I Ctrl+click on it or Command+Click on the Mac and then switch back to the RGB image, and I'm going to turn on that stone layer, click on it to make it active, and then drop-down to the Add layer mask icon and click on it in order to mask that texture into the guy's face. All right, now just the matter of changing the Blend Mode to Overlay, so that we can get a sense of how the texture and the face are going to interact with each other. Now there are a couple of issues I have here, one is, I don't really want the texture mapping into his eyes, because I think it will look better if his eyes are all naturally flashy.
I created some Paths in advance, I'm going to switch over here to the Paths panel, and you can see that I've got these paths, we'll go ahead and zoom in on him and I'll select him too with a Black Arrow tool. I'll click on one and Shift+Click on the other so that you can see these path outlines that I drew with the Pen Tool; you can see they have a certain clockwork Orange quality to them. What I really want to do is convert them to a selection, so I'll Ctrl+Click or Command+Click on the eyes path in order to select the eyes, then I'll switch back to the Layers panel, make sure that Layer mask is selected there inside the Layers panel.
Press the D key in order to establish the default foreground and background color and then press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on the Mac in order to fill that portion of the Layer mask with black, which ends up revealing the eyes. I'm going to press the M key to switch back to the Rectangular Marquee Tool and click in order to deselect the image. One other problem is that his skin tones are a little bit too flashy still; they don't look as if they've really turned to stone. So I'm going to take this layer right here and I'm going to press Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J on the Mac to create a copy of it, and I'm going to call desat, because we're going to use it to rob some of the saturation out of the image.
I'll click OK and now let's change the Blend Mode from Overlay to Color, for starters, just to get a sense of what that looks like. These would be the actual colors from the stone, blended in with the skin. To me, that looks pretty good, but it doesn't look exactly right, not quite what I'm looking for. So I ended up switching to a mode, I have to say, almost never use, but saturation. And that went ahead match the saturation of the skin tones with the colors that we're already finding inside the face and it ends up creating this really cool like in effect all over the contours of his forehead and his nose and his lips as well.
I just love the fact here that in some places his lips are kind of pink and then he has these mysterious gray spots as if he was actually turning to stone. And then the final thing I did was click on the stone layer and then press the 8 key to reduce the Opacity value to 80%. Bearing in mind by the way that Overlay is not one of the members of the Fill Opacity 8 group, so it doesn't matter if we change the Opacity or the Fill value, we'll get the same effect. And now I'll go ahead and switch to the Full Screen mode.
That's Ctrl+0 in order to zoom out, zoom back in a little bit. This is the final effect folks, and it's a function of mapping a surface texture into a person's skin, using the Overlay mode combined with saturation, here inside Photoshop.
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