With Halloween around the corner, I’m sure some of you have been busy shopping for costumes for yourself, your kids or both. As I have visited some of the local stores, I’ve noticed that Jake Sully and Neytiri from the hit movie AVATAR are two of this year’s popular costumes for kids of all ages. So keeping in the Halloween (and CG) spirit, I thought it would be fun to share a Photoshop effect for you to try on some of your portraits to change one of your kids, clients, etc into one of the Na’vi tribe…
TECHNOLOGY BIT: How to Create an Avatar Effect on Your Image.
STEP 1: In Photoshop, open the image that you want to apply the effect to; a straight on portrait shot works best with this effect. Once open, duplicate the Background layer by selecting “Command J” on a MAC or “Control J” on a PC to keep your original image intact. Now select the “Crop” (C) tool and click and drag over the left side of the face. Here’s one of the images I used when first testing this effect:
STEP 2: Choose the “Lasso” (L) tool and in the “Options” bar, enter 10px in the “Feather” field. Make a loose selection around the eye and eyebrow, then select “Command J” /“Control J” to put the selection on its own layer (Layer 1). Press “Command T”/”Control T” to bring up the “Free Transform” bounding box. Rotate and resize your selection
, then press “Return”/”Enter” to apply the transformation. Your results may look a bit odd but don’t worry, it’s part of the effect and it will all come together in the end.
STEP 3: Select your “Background Copy” layer to make it the active layer. Use the “Lasso” (L) tool to make a selection around the lips. Now put that selection on its own layer (Layer 2). Resize and reposition the lips
using the “Free Transform” box (as in Step 2).
STEP 4: Press “Command-Shift-E”/”Control-Shift-E” to merge all the layers. Choose “Filter>Sharpen>Smart Sharpen”, enter 75% for “Amount”, 1 for “Radius”, click the “More Accurate” checkbox and then “OK”. Now with the “Lasso” (L) tool still selected, go to the “Option” bar and enter 0px for “Feather” and make a selection of just the eye. Put the selection on its own layer (Layer 1) then hide it from view by turning off the Eye icon to the left of the layer.
STEP 5: Click on the “Background Copy” layer to make it the active layer once again. Press “Command L”/”Control L” to bring up the “Layers” dialog box. Move the “Shadow Input Slider” (the black marker at the far left of the histogram) to the right to darken the shadows. Now move the “Midtone Input Slider” (the gray slider in the center) slightly to the right to darken the midtones. Finally move the “Highlight Output Slider” (the white marker on the far right of the Output bar) to the left to darken the highlight areas. Click “OK”.
STEP 6: Desaturate your image by pressing “Command-Shift-U”/”Control-Shift-U”, then press “Command U”/”Control U” to bring up the “Hue/Saturation” dialog box. Turn on the “Colorize” checkbox and enter the following settings: “Hue” = 206, “Saturation” = 58, “Lightness” = -13 and click “OK”.
STEP 7: Choose the “Burn” (O) tool which is nested under the “Dodge” tool. Go to the “Options” bar and choose “Midtones” for the “Range” and 30% for “Exposure”. Using a large, soft-edged brush, darken the areas around the eye, cheek and side of the nose. Now choose the “Dodge” tool and again in the “Options” bar select “Midtones” for the “Range” and 30% for the “Exposure”. Now with your large, soft-edged brush lighten the cheekbone, the front of the nose and the lips.
STEP 8: Duplicate “Layer 1”; remember that “Layer 1” is still hidden so “Layer 1 Copy” will also be. Click on Layer 1 to make it the active layer, and turn on the Eye icon to reveal the layer. Press “Command-Shift-U”/”Control-Shift-U” to desaturate “Layer 1”, the press “Command L”/”Control L” to bring up the “Levels” dialog box. Move the “Shadow Input Slider” to the right to darken the shadows and midtones, and click “OK”. Press “Command U”/”Control U” to bring up the “Hue/Saturation” dialog box. Turn on the “Colorize” checkbox and enter “Hue” = 206 and click “OK”. Use the “Burn” (O) tool to darken the innermost portion of the eye (closest to the nose).
STEP 9: Click on “Layer 1 Copy” to make it the active layer, and turn on the Eye icon to reveal the layer. Lower the “opacity” to 50% so you can see the layer beneath it. Press “Command T”/”Control T” to bring up “Free Transform” and resize the eye so that the pupil fills the top, bottom and right side of the eye opening (the side nearest the nose) and press “Return”/”Enter”. Change the “opacity” back to 100%, and add a layer mask. Now choose the “Brush” (B) tool and set the foreground color to black. Paint away every portion of the eye on the “Layer 1 Copy” mask except the large pupil. Now click on the “Layer 1 Copy” thumbnail and press “Command U”/”Control U” to bring up “Hue/Saturation”. Enter the following settings: “Hue” = -149, “Saturation” = 39 and click “OK”.
STEP 10: Press “Command-Shift-E”/”Control-Shift-E” to merge all the layers. Choose “Image>Canvas Size”; enter 2 inches for width, then click the right-center “Anchor” box and click “OK”. Create a new layer (Layer 1) by clicking the icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. With the “Brush” (B) tool still selected and the foreground color still black, paint in the area all around the face and the left side of the image.
STEP 11: Create another layer, “Layer 2”, and press “x” to change the foreground color to white. Bring up the “Brushes” panel (“Windows>Brushes”) and click on the word “Scattering” in the presets list. Make sure the settings read as follows: Under “Brush Tip Shape” make sure “Shape Dynamics” and “Smoothing” are selected as well as “Scattering”; on the right side of the dialog box set “Scatter” = 500, “Control” = off, “Count” = 1, “Count Jitter” = 0%, “Control” = off. Use a soft-edged brush (start with 30px) to paint in some random dots on the right side of the image and around the eye and cheek.
STEP 12: Click on the “Add Layer Style” icon (fx) at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose “Outer Glow” from the list. Set the “Blend Mode” to “Normal” and the “Opacity” to 100%. Click on the pale yellow color swatch and change it to a light blue color (R=32, G=179, B=221); click “OK”. Under the “Elements” section, enter “2px” in the “Size” box and click “OK” to complete the effect on your portrait.
NEWS BIT: Scott Brazina's Sports Portrait
I had a great time photographing Scott for his sports portrait this past week during his soccer game. Scott and his teammates came away with a win over Bedford.
NEWS BIT: Special Days in "The Brogen Loupe"
I couldn't let the month go by without acknowledging some FB friend birthdays... I hope you all enjoyed your special days!
Birthday Wishes this month are sent to:
Jennifer Roggi - Oct 1 Ashley Young - Oct 3
Jody Branch - Oct 4 Andy Joliat - Oct 5
Hillary Walter - Oct 11 Carol Adey - Oct 11
Dwight Patten & Diana Little - Oct 14
Nancy DeVito - Oct 16 Phil Schatt - Oct 17
Dave Dobrev & Jack Burns - 21st
and last but NEVER least, Jeff Dachowski - Oct 24.
I also want to recognize some major anniversary milestones in my FB circle this month and wish all the couples many, many more happy years together.
Happy Anniversary to:
Anne & Mike Vogel - Oct 6 (20 years)
Nancy & Rich Sahagian - Oct 10 (18 years)
Jen & Michael Rohnstock - Oct 13 (20 years)
and finally the couple who brings the party wherever they go...Lynne & Alan Moules - Oct 17 (18 years)
Make sure to send belated wishes to anyone you might know, and stay tuned for more Technology and News Bits in next week's issue of The Brogen Byte!
As always, thanks for your encouragement and support!