By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Take a warning sign to the next threat level with Adobe Photoshop. In this week’s Deke’s Techniques, Deke McClelland takes a photograph of a real-life sign from The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland—better known as The Cliffs of Insanity in the movie Princess Bride—and adds a menacing shark with the combined power of paths, channels, clipping masks, and some other tools in Photoshop.
To convert the path to a shape layer, go to the Layers panel, press the Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac) key, and click the black/white circle icon at the bottom of the panel. Choose Solid Color from the popup menu.
Pro tip: Holding down the Alt or Option key adds the adjustment as a new layer. Name the new layer Shark and click OK.
Choose Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal to flip the cliff to the right side of the composition. Then choose Edit > Free Transform to scale the cliff layer. Choose bottom right reference point from the matrix in the Options bar that appears are the top of your window and change these values to the following:
W or Width to 124X to 3342Y to 2702
Increase the contrast in the channel by choosing Image > Adjustments > Levels. Change the Input Levels in the Levels dialog box to 100, 1.00, and 200 and click OK.
Now zoom way in on your cliff and click on any of the black specks you see to paint them away. You can change the size of your brush with the right and left bracket keys.
Deselect the image and Ctrl-click (Windows) or Cmd-click (Mac) on the mask channel thumbnail to load the channel as a selection.
Click the RGB channel and return to the Layers panel. Turn off the cliff layer and turn on shark. Select the shark layer and click the Add LayerMask icon at the bottom of the panel to convert your selection outline to a layer mask.
Select the sweat path, marquee-select the path outlines, and copy and paste them into the Shark Shape path.
To add the sweat path to the layer mask, switch to the Layers panel and click the layer mask thumbnail attached to the shark layer. Choose the Marquee tool and marquee-select the general area they appeared in. Press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete on the Mac to fill the selection with white.
Deselect the image, return to the Paths panel, and press A to switch back to the Selection tool. Select the teeth path, select the path outlines for both the top and bottom rows of teeth, and copy and paste them into the Shark Shape path.
Check out the details in the video for instructions on sharpening, lengthening, and rotating the shark’s teeth to make it even more ferocious.
Now visitors to the Cliffs of Insanity have been properly warned. If you’re a member of lynda.com, Deke has a follow-up movie in which he shows you how to enhance the credibility of this shark. If you’re waiting for next week’s free technique, you can look forward to precisely aligning elements to a bleed inside of Illustrator, creating an interesting piece of vector artwork along the way.
Check back for more Deke’s Techniques each and every week from Deke McClelland and lynda.com.
Interested in more?
• Start your 7-day free trial to lynda.com today
• The entire Deke’s Techniques collection
• Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Intermediate
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