Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Painting on a photograph, part of Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery.
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All right, if you take a look at the Final Na'vi creature right here and all the warpaint, then you'll see that there are three colors of warpaint in all, and that based this off of one of the characters, I don't know if this works for all of them, but there is a layer cyan paint with two stripes across the cheeks, one on the chin, and this V like pattern across the bridge of the nose and forehead. Then we have some white accents as you can see here. Then we have these yellow spots that look like fried eggs. And it's all perfectly good. This is what we're going to doing.
We're going to create this warpaint on three separate layers, one for cyan, one for white, and one for yellow, and in fact, I've already done the yellow. If you go to Sharpened irises.psd or your sample file that you've been working on forever now, at the top of the layers stack here, you'll find a layer called yellow paint. And it's very simple to put together as you will learn as we work on the hardest of the warpaint layers which is the cyan layer. So go ahead and turn off yellow paint for now, click on it to make it active. I want you to go to the Channels panel here.
And I want you to check out this alpha channel called cyan paint. And it represents all the brushstrokes that we will be using in order to create the cyan paint layer, and this is often times the best way to work. You could just paint on an independent layer and try to blend it with the underlying image, but what I've found works better is to try to do the cyan using an adjustment layer because it just means rotating the hue values a little bit, and then go ahead and mask that adjustment layer using this mask right here.
And if you want to create your own alpha channel and just play inside of it, all you do is drop down to the bottom of the Channels panel and you'll see this Create new channel icon right there. You just click on it, you get a new black alpha channel, you paint with white, you're good to go. All right, I'm going to undo that guy because we're going to play around inside the cyan paint channel, but we don't want to mess it up. So what I'm going to do is I'll just go ahead and make a duplicate of it by dragging it onto the little Page icon. And I'll just rename it, something I can mess up. All right that works.
Now, I'm going to go over to the Brush tool in the toolbox. I can get to it by pressing the B key if I like. And you might think that, if you know anything about Photoshop CS5 and its new Brush features, you might think that I use some sort of new brush madness in order to achieve this wacky effect right here. This is all very old school. I did it using old brushes that have existed inside a Photoshop forever and I didn't use a Wacom Tablet. I just did it with a mouse and yet it came out great. So let me show you what's up there.
I'm going to go ahead and click on this little folder icon in order to bring up the Brush panel. And you should switch over to Brush Tip Shape. If you don't, then click on Brush Tip Shape to make it active. And then I'm going to drop down this list until I come to this guy right there. It look like a 48 and it says Oil Heavy Flow Dry Edges. that's the one I use, click on it to select it. You can modify how this brush is put together by, for example, dragging this little arrow in order to make it upright.
And then I'm going to drag out these points to make it thicker. So we have more of, sort of, a flat square brush going and then I'm going to raise the Size value to 100 pixels. And then I'm going to move my cursor out into the image window and see how it fares. Now I should be painting with white and sure enough my foreground color is white, if it's not for you, press the X key. Your Opacity value should be 100% and then you can just start painting like so. You'll look at what I did and say, well those paint strokes don't look as grimy and as smudgy.
That's because I also did this number and kind of just clicked around like this and then I'd press the right bracket key to make the brush bigger, and maybe click around some more and left bracket key to make it smaller and press the X key in order to paint with black, and sort of smudge this around like so, and so I just painted back and forth with black- and-white, and then I'd switch up brushes every once in while with some of the others sort of spongy brushes that are available to you, until I got this effect here. Now, you may look at this and go well this all very well and good Deke, that you're sitting here painting these stripes in this black background.
How do you know how it registers with the image? Where in the heck is the image in all this? Well what you do is just scroll up your Channels panel here and you turn on the eyeball in front of RGB so you can see the image and your mask at the same time, and then you're viewing your image as a kind of ruby-lith overlay this way. And what I wanted to make sure I did was I painted outside of her face. You can see that I painted well outside of her face on a number of occasions. Here, I missed a point here. Let's go ahead and paint for the route on the left-hand side of the image over here and maybe add a little bit more garbage.
Press the X key in order to paint some of that away a little bit. And go with a smaller brush so I can fit inside of this region. And that's very important to do to paint out into the dark areas because then we're going to use Luminance blending in order to transition this warpaint into the girls flesh. I don't want this other garbagey stuff that I did over here with this brushstroke. So I'll just select around it using my Lasso tool. So I press the L key to switch to the Lasso tool, drag around this area, press Alt+Backspace or Option+ Delete to fill it with black.
So bear in mind even though we're seeing a red overlay, this is really a black area, a masked-away area, and then the white brushstrokes are what we're going to use to reveal the adjustment layer. All right, let's go ahead and put this mask in play. I'm going to press Ctrl+D, Cmd+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image. Then I'm going to switch back to the RGB image like so. Now, that's not going to change your display because the mask is still visible. So you need to go down to the mask and turn it off. And then I'm going to do something quite interesting here I think.
I'm going to convert this alpha channel to a selection outline. And that way we can use that selection outline to mitigate the area that's modified by the adjustment layer. And you do that, the simplest way to convert a mask or an alpha channel to a selection outline is to press the Ctrl key here on a PC, or the Cmd key on a Mac and just click on it, just do that, nothing more. So Ctrl+click or Cmd+click on that layer mask thumbnail. It goes ahead and converts it to a selection outline. Now switch back over to the Layers panel and we're going to make a new adjustment layer.
So go to the Adjustments panel, click on it to make it visible, and we're going to create the warpaint using Hue/Saturation. So I want you to Alt+click or Option+ click on the second icon over in the second row in order to force the display of the New Layer dialog box, then we'll call the cyan paint and that's it. You don't want to turn on the checkbox, you don't want to change the Mode for now. Click OK in order to create this layer. I'm going to move it below yellow paint like so because yellow paint ultimately has to be on top. And then I'm going to change the Hue value.
Actually I'm going to change Hue, Saturation, and Lightness values like so. First I'm going to change Hue to -30 and that's going to go ahead and rotate the blues into cyan territory. That's not enough. So I want to increase the Saturation, the color intensity that is, by raising the Saturation value to 40 and then I'll also raise the Lightness value to 30. Now, I've been telling you in previous videos that you don't want to use lightness inside of Hue/Saturation because it ends up making the colors pale if you raise the lightness value, or overly dark if you sync the value.
However, for our purposes here it it's going to work out beautifully. So there are exceptions to the rule of course. I'm going to go ahead and hide the Adjustments panel. So now the question becomes how do we go about blending this incredibly fakey warpaint with the underlying image? And I'll show you how in the next exercise.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
- Using masks and blend modes in radically new ways
- Mastering the Pen tool and Paths panel
- Transforming and maximizing Smart Objects
- Employing Smart Filters to create complex effects
- Exploring the capabilities of Bristle brushes and the Mixer Brush
- Merging multiple images into seamless panoramas
- Exploring the full range of luminance with HDR Pro
- Recording actions and batching-processing images