A quick disclaimer:
While this tutorial isn’t too realistic (we’re not adding this effect to a person or animal), I still want to say that if seeing blood makes you nauseous, faint or is in any way triggering for you, please skip this tutorial, or continue with caution.
The purpose of these tutorials is to be helpful, not to negatively affect a persons’ health or cause anyone any harm.
This is the last PHSH tutorial for 2020, so please feel free to check out the other tutorials while you wait for the next one, which will be coming some time next year.
Keep an eye on my Twitter account for posting updates and anouncements!
Since we’re in October now, I thought what better PHSH effect to teach you then to add blood drips to an image?
It also just so happened to work out that this is the 13th tutorial – it’s like it was meant to be!
As with most of these other tutorials, it isn’t actually that hard, once you know how to do it. There’s just a few very precise steps you need to follow. And, as always, practice makes perfect, so the more times you do it, the better you’ll get!
Let’s get into it.
Step 1: This will either work on text or an image, but for the sake of this tutorial, I’m going to stick with a plain text layer. The technique is the same whether you’re doing a basic picture or something more complicated, so it’s best to start simple, and work your way up.
Starting with Step 1, which is opening a new document, and adding some type/a word to a layer. To keep with today’s theme, I’m just going to type Halloween. The colour doesn’t matter, but it may look more realistic to use a closer-to-blood colour.
Step 2: Using your brush tool (and a shade of red), hold down SHIFT and make vertical lines coming out of the ends of the words. (Holding down SHIFT will make the lines perfectly straight) You’ll also want to vary the length of the lines and the size of the brush you use, so it looks more realistic.
Tip: Before you use the brush tool on your Type Layer, you may get a dialogue box that says something like ‘you must rasterize this layer before proceeding, and it will no longer be editable as a Type Layer’. Just click ‘Okay’. This just means you can’t use the type tool to edit the layer anymore, but that’s okay. If you mess up you can always delete this layer and make a new Type layer.
Or if you like, you can paint the lines/drips in a new blank layer, so you don’t mess up the text.
See the difference? The varied length and size already is starting to look like blood!
Step 3: Now that you have your lines, we’re gonna go up to Filter – Liquify.
You may get a dialogue box that says something like ‘Liquify supports hardware acceleration to improve performance. Verify that ‘Use Graphics Processor’ is enabled in Performance Preferences.’ Just click okay, and then once it opens, set the following values in the Tool Options panel on the right hand side:
Brush Size: 40
Brush Density: 25
Brush Pressure: 48
Brush Rate: 28
The lines you made may show up by themselves in the Liquify panel, this is okay! It’s just because I painted them in a different layer than the Type Layer, just in case I needed to change something.
This technique will work whether they’re attached to the word or not.
Step 4: Now that you’ve set the Tool Options, select the Pucker tool from the left side menu, and drag it down the line you made, stopping just short of the end. Do this for all the lines you made. To do this step, we don’t need to keep the lines perfectly straight, because blood doesn’t drip in a perfectly straight line. So, try your best to make the lines look a bit ‘wiggly’ or just non-straight.
You may also have to hold the brush an extra second above the bottom, just so this part is the most puckered. (You can also change the Brush Size if needed)
Step 5: Now to make the actual blood droplets, use the Bloat Tool (directly underneath the Pucker Tool) and hold on the ends (or wherever you want blood drops) until you get the desired blood drop size.
Repeat on all the lines, and then once you’re done, click Okay. If you need to, you can always re-pucker parts of the lines, or if you accidentally puckered part of the line too much, you can use the Bloat Tool to make it more even.
Step 6: This is looking pretty good, but they’re still not quite as realistic as they could be. So now, we’re just going to add a simple Drop Shadow to the layer.
If you need help in doing this, head back on over to my Drop Shadow tutorial.
Be sure to un-check the box marked Use Global Light, and then play with the Distance, Spread and Size until it looks right for your document. You can also change the Opacity to 100%, and the shadow Colour by clicking on the colour square, and selecting a new colour.
I’m going to make the new colour a darker shade of red, instead of pure black.
Once you’re happy with how the drop shadow looks, click Okay.
If you did the blood drips on a separate layer like I did, then you will also have to add a Drop Shadow to the word Halloween (or whatever word you typed), because as you can see right now, it looks a bit odd to have a drop shadow on the blood, and not on the word.
These next few steps are optional, but I feel it helps take things a step further, and makes the effect look better. However, this completely depends on what you’re adding blood drips to, so it may not be needed. This is why I always suggest playing around with the effects, so you find what works best for you. That said, this is a Halloween themed tutorial, so I think the extra steps below help add that extra ‘creepy’ vibe.
Step 7: We’re going to go back into the Blending Options, and this time we’re going to click Bevel and Emboss.
Set the Levels to the settings below:
Angle: 120, 30
Highlight Mode: Hard Light, Opacity: 63
Shadow Mode: Overlay, Opacity: 80
Then set the Contour to the below:
Gaussian (Round one that looks like a hill)
And finally, we’re going to add a Gradient Overlay, with the below settings:
And add it to the Type layer as well:
And to add just that little extra ‘oomph’ to the image, I’m going to change the background colour to black, so the red colour really pops.
As always, don’t forget to save your work! (Both as a PHSH file, and as a JPEG/PNG)
Then you can use the image to show your friends, and keeping the photoshop file is always a must, just in case you forget how some of the steps, or if the picture file somehow gets corrupt, or you need to quickly go back and change something.
And ta-da! That’s it. Not too hard, eh? I would suggest to practice this technique with different text, and then once you feel comfortable, to move on to actual pictures. Since this is the last tutorial of the year, you’ll have lots of time to practice!
Like this tutorial? Check out more here!