Thursday, June 21

Design a Gorgeous Geisha Art Poster in Photoshop

SKILL : Intermediate



This tutorial walks you through using beginner to advanced techniques to create a modern Japanese art poster of a Geisha, using stock textures, brushes and photos in Photoshop CS5. You will learn how to use masking and selection techniques, layer adjustments and custom brush settings to turn a photo into art.

 You will also learn how to use strokes and shapes to make her robe come alive.

Step 1

Launch Photoshop and create a new document. I decided to use the Photo preset with the 4 x 6 size for printing on cards, but you can choose any size you wish.

Step 2

Click on "File > Place" and select the vintage paper texture. Scale the image to fill the document by clicking and dragging on the little black nodes. Drag the right edge a bit further until the majority of the shadow disappears, as we want the light area in the middle to frame our subject.

 Step 3

Create a new layer and repeat step 2 to place the grunge texture.
Click the corner to activate the Transform Tool. Right-click and choose "Rotate 90°CW" to turn the texture on its side

Step 4

Drag the corners to fill the document with the grunge texture and then select "Color Burn" from the layer options menu. 

Set the Opacity to about 30% to get a nice subtle glow.

 Here is how your background should look:

Step 5

Click on "File > Place" and choose the photo of the Geisha. Scale the image until the Geisha on the left fills about two thirds of the frame. Position her off to the left as I have done here:

Step 6

Next, you will need to get rid of the background. There are several techniques for doing this and if you already know one you are comfortable with, continue to use it, otherwise you may try my shortcut method. This method is best for images with large areas of color.

Choose the Magic Wand Tool by right-clicking on the Quick Selection Tool in your left toolbar. Ensure the New Selection option is clicked in the tool option bar, and set the Tolerance to 15. Left-click the orange areas of the background while holding down the Shift key to create one large selection.

 Step 7

Click "Layer > Layer Mask > Hide Selection" from the Photoshop menu. This will add a layer mask to your Geisha layer that will allow you to remove the rest of the background. You could also do this by deleting the selection alltogether, or by using the eraser tool.

Masking is better because you can reverse any screw-ups easily by painting back over the masked area..

 Step 8

Set your foreground color to white and use the Brush Tool to paint over the remaining pieces of visible background until only the left Geisha remains.
If you mess up at any point, you can switch the foreground to black and paint the missing part back in.

When using masks, always remember to click the Mask Thumbnail in the layer panel before painting

  • Reduce the hardness when working around the hair and when refining the edges of the face.
  • Use smaller brush diameter for better detail.
  • Adjust the brush size on the fly by using your [ and ] keys.

 Step 9

Right-click your finished Geisha layer and choose "Duplicate Layer." 
Select "Overlay" from the layer options menu to give your Geisha a brighter color and contrast.

Step 10

Choose the Brush Tool and open the Brush Panel. 
Click the Preset Manager button at the bottom of the window to load your Watercolor brushes.

Step 11

Use the Eye Dropper Tool to sample the bright red color from the Geisha's kimono. Create a new layer and call it "Paint." Drag it below your Geisha layers.

Return to the Brush Tool and select the "watercolor_11" Watercolor brush. 
To see the brush names, hover your mouse above the brushes and wait a moment for the tooltip to appear. 

Adjust the size to about 1500 and click once over the Geisha to get the effect I have here 
by lining up the brush outline of the round spot with her hand

 Step 12

Paint around the subject, experimenting with the other brushes, 
sampling yellows and magentas from the kimono. 

To rotate the brush, open the Brush panel and drag the compass to change the brush angle. 

If enabled, uncheck "Spacing" to make it easier to preview.

To create the appearance of the black part of the robe blending into the paint, 
use the Watercolor_5 brush at about 600 pixels.

Step 13

Select the Eraser Tool and use a large soft brush size to go over the paint edges between the Geisha's face and the upper half of the circle splatter. 

This technique helps accentuate the brightness of the Geisha's face and sleeve, 
and gives our art a light source. 

Depending on your history settings and experience level, you may opt to use a layer mask here instead.

Here is a look at my finished layer:

Step 14

Create a new layer above your Geisha layers and call it "paint2.

Sample a bright red color with the Eye Dropper, then select the "watercolor_2" brush with the Brush Tool. Set the size to 1100 and click below the Geisha's feet.

Wednesday, June 20

Creating Drawing Effect On the Photo


Skill Level : Beginner

I tried to experiment with photo and mix it with black lines to simulate drawing. Would you know how to make it? Ok, then read this tutorial.

Let's start by finding the picture of beautiful girl with hairdressing. I went to Google Images and looked up the picture, you can feel free to download my picture from HERE

Open up the picture and desaturate it in the beginning with Image > Adjustments > Desaturate or press Ctrl+Shift+U.

After that increase the contrast with Image > Adjustments > Levels:

See the difference now?

Move to the next step. Create a new layer and fill it with white color. After that change layer opacity for this layer to 30%. 

Then select the Eraser Tool and a soft round brush to make a little clear work on the face area.

 Merge two of these layers in one and start to make drawing effect. 

Get out the Pen Tool (you need to make sure that you're working with Paths instead of Shape Layers. Draw out your line using paths

 After that select the Brush Tool and set up with the following settings and set foreground color as black

 Create new layer and then right-click and select Stroke Path

A little dialog box will appear as in the screenshot. 
Choose Brush and make sure there is a tick next to Simulate Pressure. This is important as it will give your curve tapered ends which will make it rock

  The picture use to look as mine:

 Now the line is hardly noticeable, but don't worry about. 

Next right click again and select Delete Path

Try to make more lines in the same way to outline the body and hair contour

 Now, move to the background layer with woman's photo and select the Brush Tool 

(use soft brush about 100 px and set brush opacity to 30% up). 

Sketched the silhouette with white color a little bit.

 After that use the Sharpen Tool to make the contours more distinct

 I finished off with this tutorial by merging all of my layers together. Please feel free to experiment, get creative, use your own settings. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial.


Saturday, June 16

Photoshop Depth Maps – Realistic Depth of Field

When it comes to creating depth of field in Photoshop many users use Gaussian blur or other techniques that hardly look realistic or even close to the depth of field a real camera creates. 
In this tutorial I will show you how to create realistic depth of field in Photoshop using Depth Maps. Enjoy.

I suggest you read the entire tutorial first and once you understand it, read it again and try it for yourself.

What are depth maps

A depth map in Photoshop is nothing more than a gray scale image used as alpha channel. It can be use with the Lens Blur filter to create “selective blur”. The filter applies a different amount of blur to each shade of gray. 

The darker the shade of gray the less blur is applied to your image. Take a look at the image below. The gradient on the right is the gradient used on the channels as an alpha layer.

Simulating depth of field on different distances

For a realistic depth of field effect, in Photoshop you must apply different amounts of blur to objects depending on their distance to the camera just like on a real camera. We are going to do that using depth maps. 

We will create a depth map manually by applying different shades of gray to the objects depending on their distance. On our depth map, closer objects will be darker and objects that are further away will have a lighter gray.

A practical example

I took a photo from the internet and I placed a few balls at different distances.

Creating the depth map

The next step is to start creating the depth map. As I said, the only way of doing this is by hand because we want solid gray colors. Just turning the image to black and white will not work.

The shade of gray you apply to each object actually depends on which object you want to be in focus and paint that object in black.

For example, if you want the yellow ball to be in focus, you should paint it in pure black and the other ones in different shades of gray depending on their distance from the yellow ball. It might be confusing but if you see it it’s easy to understand.

The first thing you should do is create a new layer and draw black to white gradient depending on how you want your depth of field. In my photo, the window at the end of the corridor is the furthest away from the camera and the ceiling and floor gradually come closer to the camera. So, this is how I created my gradient. (I deleted half of the gradient so that you can see how it looks on top of the actual image)

The next step is to isolate the objects and assign to each of them a different shade of gray. You can select objects by hand using the Pen Tool or the Polygonal Lasso Tool. 

In my case, I already have a copy the balls on separate layers so it’s a lot easier to select them.

It’s very important that the details of the depth map match each object accurately, otherwise you will not get the result you’re after. Make sure you create the details of the depth map on different layers because on the last step you will merged them.

I painted the blue ball in black because I want it to be in focus and I gave different shades of gray to the other balls. The yellow ball (which is the furthest away form the blue ball) is painted in a very light shade of gray, almost white so it will be the most blurred of all. The blue ball will not be blurred at all because I painted it in black.

So, the depth map acts pretty much like a layer mask but instead of controlling transparency, it controls the amount of effect applied.
After you got all the details, merge the gradient layer and the details on one layer, go to channels, create a new layer and paste the depth map.

The next step is to apply the Lens Blur from the menu Filter>Blur>Lens Blur. Use your alpha map as source and apply the desired amount of blur.

If your original image is composed by elements on different layers, you must merge them first in order to apply the blur to all the elements of the composition.

You can clearly see the gradual blur on the image above. Keep in mind that not all depth maps are as easy to create as this one.
This a a more complex one. Also make by hand using the Pen Tool in about 25 min. 
The amount of objects you isolate depends on the selective you want to be when it comes to create your depth of field.

(note: the people behind the 2 men should be darker because there is too much blur applied to them)