Join Rayce Bird for an in-depth discussion in this video Painting anatomy, part of Turning Yourself into a Zombie in Photoshop.
- [Voiceover] Now that we have a pretty good base, let's use some of our brushes to paint some focal points and some zombie anatomy. Now becomes the fun part, in my opinion. Let's go ahead and back out a little bit and we're going to select this skull. Hold down the Alt button and just kind of drag it out into our scene. We can just keep it here if we need to but sometimes I like to get a little bit more up close with it. And we'll just size it down by hitting Command + T and grabbing one of the corners there.
And the biggest thing we're going to do here is we're going to look at this and translate the information onto the face. And sometimes, it's helpful to, let's go back to Command + T, rotate it a little bit, just so when we bring some of these shapes down into the face, there's kind of a natural relationships happening and it's easier for us to kind of understand what's happening, or what's going on there. So, first go ahead and grab one of those brushes that you created. I made a couple more but they're all kind of the same process and so, this is kind of that gross, nasty wound brush that we made and what I like about this is it's already kind of textured and it's gonna make for some really nice shapes to begin with.
Now, we can use any brush at this point because we're gonna be using the blur tool to kind of help soften some things. But go ahead and create a new layer on top of your zombie. And what you're gonna wanna do here is in this new layer, hold down the Alt button and try to grab some of those mauve colors that you see underneath the eye. You don't want something super light because we're gonna be painting shadows right now but maybe something kind of in between and it's also dependent on the sides so we've got kind of this unique light range happening on the right side of the face and of course we have the shadows on the left side of the face so what we're gonna choose for shadow depth over here is maybe something, you know, a little bit darker.
But try to keep that redness into the colors that you select. That's kind of the biggest thing here. And what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna take a look at this cheek bone and sometimes I like to map over the top of it just with my pen tool so I can kind of get the feel of the stroke. Okay, and then I'm gonna come over here and just try to implement that a little bit. Now obviously, it's probably not gonna be as strong as the shapes we're seeing on the actual skull but we still want it to be, you know, because there is skin covering the top of the skull still so it's gonna be a little bit softer than, you know, some of these harsher edges that we're seeing.
But some of these areas, I just kind of want to go in and play around with a little bit. And don't forget the orbital bone. It's gonna come in and drop down right about in there and I also recommend there's all kinds of anatomy reference online that would be really helpful for this. But a lot of times you can get what you need just by having a good skull reference. So, all right, let's go back and grab some of this darker color over here. And just try to write it from the nose a little bit. You don't want to really connect it too harsh right through there.
Okay, you want to keep it kind of soft and allow it to feel more like there's skin coming up over the top. Let's throw a little bit of color right in there. Okay, and you can already see that it's starting to feel a little bit more intense just by adding some of these colors. And I'm being really soft with the pen pressure, just barely pushing down. I don't want to get too intense too soon.
And I'm just kind of using the Alt button to jump back and forth from one side and the other. I find that it's a little bit easier to, in my work flow, to jump back and forth versus focus on one side and then go to the other. But that's just a personal preference. And then right here, the top of the nose, I always like to throw in a little bit of a color variation there, okay. And as you notice what's dark up here, what creates a shadow down here, down on the lip, it's not gonna work. So, that's why you always have to keep that Alt button handy, kind of make sure you're choosing the right shadows for the area.
Another thing we wanna do is, we're eventually gonna get some bones and some meat showing underneath the skin so now would be a good time to kind of lightly sketch out maybe some of these areas of interest. And this is going to be one of those things that it's kind of a balance, you know, you wanna make sure that maybe over here we have some exposed bone, maybe right here on the lip I want to show some of that teeth coming through, and you just don't want them all on one side or the other. Sometimes on a zombie it's good to have a good mix of a lot of different things.
We'll have some exposed meat maybe in this hairline and you can see that I've got some balance where this is going to be a darker spot and then if I have this being a focal point over by the cheekbone on the left, and then have it go to, you know, the left of, well, his left, our right, of his lip. It gives you kind of this nice back and forth, zigzag movement to take the eye and kind of refocus it. So, something like this I think would be some great sights to put in these wounds and to move forward with.
So, one more thing, as you guys are kind of blending these together, there's this really neat thing you can do with the Blur Tool. So, by default, it's set to this, it's set to blur. And I want you to go down to the Smudge Tool. And that's the tool we're gonna be using. Go ahead in your brush stack and just select one of these that has kind of a texture, we'll go with this guy, and then with your Smudge Tool selected, go into Brush and we'll give it a little bit more spacing and we'll also go into Scattering and we just want it to look something like that to where there's a little bit of a pull and a press from one shape to the next.
And then what we can do is we can grab some of this and just really lightly, one more thing, go ahead and go back to Shape Dynamics and you can set your Size Jitter to Pen Pressure. Dial up the mininum diameter so that you have a little bit of variance from the size and you can go in here and what this does is creates a little bit of a blend around some of these shapes. So, you'll notice that I'm attacking some of these really crude drawn out sketches and it's blending it seemlessly into the face there.
So, you'll have to do a little bit of both, using a texture brush and using this textured smudge tool and you can just kind of play around. As long as this is on a separate layer, you're not gonna do that much damage to what's underneath and so if you need to, you can restart this process and try again. And the biggest thing is just to kind of make sure you're pulling out that skeletal information so that you have kind of a good zombie base to move forward with. This looks great. Now let's use our skull reference image to expose some bone.
Creature creator Rayce Bird, the winner of Face Off, shows how to take a normal portrait and turn it into a hideously frightening zombie with Photoshop. He starts at the very beginning: finding the right image to zombify. He then shifts to "preparing the canvas," where he makes some initial adjustments to get the image going in the right scary direction. From there, it's all about the details, including teeth, veins, bone, blood, color correction, and the proper lighting. In the end, members will have a perfectly horrific zombie version of themselves.
- Finding the right reference images
- Making anatomy changes with the Liquify tool
- Creating custom texture brushes
- Adding zombie features: bone, blood, and gore
- Adding color
- Adjusting the lighting