Tag Archives: photoshop tutorial

Scars (PHSH Effect #26)

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Important: This is the 4th last article for 2023. I’ll be taking the last half of December and first half of January off from posting.

I’ll be back January 12th, 2024 with the first short story of the new year! (The first article will go up January 15th)


This month, I’ll be showing you guys how to add a scar to a picture. That’s right, I’m bringing you yet another ‘creepy’ tutorial to perfect just in time for Halloween!

As with most other tutorials, this one may seem complicated at first, but once we break it down, it’s actually not too hard to execute. And, like all the other tutorials: it’s fun!

Let’s get started.

Step 1

As always, Step 0 is to open a new PHSH document and to pick a base picture. Because this is a… let’s call it ‘dark’ tutorial, a picture that matches will make the effect look better. Look for something where a person is screaming, in some kind of pain or otherwise terrified.

I for example, found this one.

Feel free to use this same image, or one you find yourself. The steps should be the same, with maybe just a slight tweak of colours depending on the base picture. But don’t worry, we’ll get to that.

Once you find a picture you like, you’ll need to decide where you want the scar to be. On my picture, I’m going to put it on the left side of her forehead. After you decide on the placement, we’ll be drawing the scar.

To do this, first you’ll need to set the Foreground Colour to a faded red. #984A48 will work for the tutorial.

 

Step 2

Once the Foreground Colour is set, create a New Layer, then go over to your Brush Tool. With the Brush Tool selected, go up to the Brush Settings at the top and change Mode to Dissolve.

You’ll also want to change Flow to 50% and leave Opacity at 100%.

Once you’ve changed the Flow, you’ll want to also change the Size of your brush. The size of the brush will be the width of your scar, so make sure you choose one that isn’t too thick or too thin. 6 Pixels should work for today. But once you have the technique down, you can always experiment with different sized brushes to see how the different sized wounds look.

You can leave the Hardness of the brush at 100%. (Or, if it’s not currently set at 100, change it to that)

Now that we’ve got the brush set up, it’s time to make the cut!

Draw a line where you want the scar to appear on your model. Don’t forget that human faces (or bodies) aren’t completely flat, so your scar shape should reflect that.

For example, if you’re drawing the scar on the person’s cheek, the line should follow the curve of the cheek bone.

If you don’t like how your mark comes out, erase it and try again until you’re happy with it. This is why we’re drawing on the New Layer we made and not directly on the model picture.

You can also zoom in on your picture (using the CTRL and + buttons) if needed to help you get the shape you want. (To zoom back out, it’s CTRL – )

 

Step 3

Next, we’re going to draw over the mark again, but with an altered Brush. This time, change your Brush Mode back to Normal, double the brush Size (if you used 6px, make it 12px) make the Opacity 50% and change the Flow to 100%.

You also do not need to trace over the previous line perfectly! Having it a little skewed will help with the end effect. Scars are never perfect, right?

 

Step 4

In the Layer’s Menu, right-click on the scar layer and open Blending Options. Once opened, check-mark Bevel & Emboss to apply the style to the layer.

Once you apply the effect, click on it to open the options. We’ll be changing them to make the scar more life-like.

You’ll also want to apply the Contour and Texture boxes by check-marking the boxes next to them.

Now we’re going to start changing the Bevel & Emboss options. To start, change:

– Style to Inner Bevel

– Technique to Smooth

– Depth to about 285%

– Size to 5px

And Soften to 0px

 

After making these changes, your scar should look like a welt with a nasty line in the middle.

You can also change the Direction and Angle if needed, though 120 should work for a face. You’ll want to change these values depending on the lighting the picture you chose has.

Once you’re happy with how the scar looks, click “Ok” to apply the changes.

 

Step 5

Next we’re going to use the Smudge tool to get rid of any pixelated edges on our darker line.

Set the Strength to 50% and smudge the edges very lightly. We need just enough smudging to get rid of the pixelation. If you smudge it too much, the mark will end up looking more like a smear than a scar.

If needed, you can zoom in closer to help you complete this step.

 

Step 6

After you’re done smudging, make a duplicate of the model layer. The easiest way to do this is to hold down the ALT button on your keyboard while clicking and dragging the model layer in the Layer’s Panel.

If you were zoomed in on the scar to smudge, you can also go ahead and zoom back out now.

Once you’ve made the duplicate, you’re going to Merge the scar layer with it. To do this select both layers (hold down CTRL and then click on each layer) then right-click and select Merge Layers from the drop-down menu.

The option Merge Layers shouldn’t be greyed out if you have both selected. My option is greyed out because my computer is dumb sometimes and won’t show a click drop-down menu when I want it to. The picture above is my options while only having 1 layer selected.

 

Step 7

Now that the layers are merged, go to the Layers Panel and change the Opacity for the layer. You’ll want something fairly sheer so the scar looks faded. Something around 10% should work. For my picture, I made the Opacity 18%.

If you want the scar to look more pronounced, change the opacity to something higher.

Here’s how my scar looked when I changed the Opacity to 30%.

And this is what it looked like at 60%.

As you can see, the higher the Opacity is, the more pronounced the red is but that’s the reason it will start to look fake if it’s too bright.

If you think the dark line in the center of the scar still looks too pixelated, you can go ahead and use the Blur tool on it to smooth it out. Just like with the Smudge tool, you’ll want to do this carefully.

Though it is Halloween, so if you wanted to, you could throw subtly out the window and go in the complete opposite direction.

It all depends on the look you’re trying to achieve.

That’s it for this tutorial! Don’t forget to save your file both as a PHSH file so you can continue to practice and as a picture (JPEG, PNG, etc.) so you can share it with your friends and family.


Like this tutorial? Check out the rest of the series here!

How to Make Water (PHSH Effect #23)

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In this month’s tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make water.

From scratch.

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It may seem impossible, but don’t worry – I’m not talking miracles. This tutorial is a little harder than some of the previous ones, but as long as you follow through the steps (and practice) you shouldn’t have any problems creating water from nothing.

No resurrections required.

Step 1

Create a blank PHSH work document. Yep, we’re not going to be using a picture for this one!

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Step 2

Create a New Layer, then call the layer Water Surface.

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Make sure your Foreground Colour is white, and the Background Colour is black. Also make sure your new layer is white, and not transparent. If the layer is automatically transparent upon creation, don’t worry! You can use the Paint Bucket and dump the white foreground colour onto the layer.

 

Step 3

Next, right-click on the layer and Convert to Smart Object.

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You’ll know the Layer is a Smart Object when this symbol appears in the corner.

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Once the layer’s a Smart Object, go up to the top menu and go to Filter – Blur, then choose Gaussian Blur. The Radius size should be 5.0.

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Step 4

Next, go back up to Filter and this time, click on Sketch, then choose Chalk and Charcoal from the list. If you don’t see Sketch in the drop-down menu (like mine), click on Filter Gallery, then Sketch.

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On the right-hand side, the values for the Chalk & Charcoal effect should be as follows:

Charcoal Area: 6

Chalk Area: 6

Stroke Pressure: 1

Once the values are correct, click the Okay button to apply the effect.

After applying Chalk & Charcoal, you’re going to add a 2nd Gaussian Blur, and make this one’s Radius 7.4.

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Step 5

Now that we’ve got the base done, we can start to make this actually look like water!

To begin the waterfication process, we’re going to add some ripples. To this, go back to the Filter Gallery, Sketch menu and this time, we’re going to use Bas Relief.

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For the Bas Relief, make sure the values are as follows:

Detail: 2

Smoothness: 2

Light: Bottom

Once you’ve added the ripples, we’re going to go back up to Filter – Blur and add a Motion Blur.

For the Motion Blur, the values it should be:

Angle: 0

Distance: 118

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We’re also going to add one more Gaussian Blur, with the same value as before (7.4).

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Step 6

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Hopefully by now you’re starting see the water take shape. Which is good, because the next step is to turn it water colour!

To do this, we’re going to add a Gradient Map. You can do this one of two ways.

The first way is to create a New Fill Layer by using the option at the bottom of the Layers panel.

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Once the Gradient Map Properties panel opens, double click on the Gradient to bring up the Gradient Editor. From here, you’re going to change the white and black colours to the following two blues.

Light: #5394b9

Dark: #18548b

To change the colours to the above, click on the little arrow (called a Colour Stop), then double click on the colour in the below Stops menu. This will bring up the Colour Picker, and allow you to input one of the two blue colours.

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AterImber.com - Writing - Writing Tips - Photoshop Tutorial Series - How to Make Water PHSH Effect #23 - Step 6 3 - phsh, photoshop, photoshop tutorials, indie author, books, writing tips, authors, Canadian authors, author tips, book covers, book cover helpDouble click Colour Stop to bring up Colour Picker

Once you’re in the Colour Picker you can copy/paste the above numbers into the # bar to get the correct colours. Then click Okay to make the colour change take affect.

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Copy/paste the # values into the box in the Colour Picker

Make sure to this for both colours. Once done, you can click Okay in the Gradient Editor for the change to take affect or you can save this Gradient into your presets by giving it a name.

This will allow you to easily add this gradient to future projects without having to add the colours manually.

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If the darker blue is at the top of the gradient instead of the bottom, you can either manually change the colours again so the dark blue is the first Colour Stop on the gradient or, you can check the little Reverse button in the Gradient Map Properties panel.

Whether or not the dark blue is on the top will depend on what you’re adding this Water effect to. The lighter shade of blue is to represent the direction the light is coming from.

 

Step 7

This is looking pretty good, and again, depending on the picture you’re using this water could be done. But, if you’d like to make it look a bit more realistic, we can add some ‘sun’ highlights.

To do this, you’ll need to create a New Layer and call it Water Texture. Just like with the Water Surface layer, you’ll be filling this layer with white, then converting to a Smart Object.

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Step 8

We’re going to add some Noise to the Water Texture layer now, so go on up to Filter – Noise – Add Noise. Make sure the values for Add Noise are 73.02% and Uniform.

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Next, we’re heading back to the Filter Gallery for more Sketch fun! This time, we’re going to select Halftone Pattern from the Sketch menu. The values for Halftone Pattern should be:

Size: 1

Contrast: 50

Pattern Type: Dot

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Step 9

Now we’ve got that done, we’re going to actually create the highlights.

To do this, go back up to Filter Gallery – Sketch – Bas Relief. For this Bas Relief, the values should be the same as before (2, 2, Bottom).

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Once you’ve applied the Bas Relief, we’re going to add another Motion Blur. Adding this will soften the highlights/reflection.

Again, for this Motion Blur, the values can remain the same (Angle: 0, Distance 118).

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Step 10

If you’d like to make the ripples in the water longer, you can do that by applying yet another Gaussain Blur. Then, set the Blend Mode to Soft Light.

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Once you change the Blend Mode to Soft Light, your water should look like this:

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Step 11

Now, we’re going to add a Brightness/Contrast layer to just the Water Texture layer by using a Clipping Mask.

To do this, right-click on the Water Texture layer, then choose Create Clipping Mask.

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For the Clipping Mask, the Brightness should be set at 9, and the Contrast should be 100. If the panel doesn’t come up automatically, go up to the Adjustments panel (it should be sitting on top of the Layers panel) then click on the sun icon.

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Step 12

Lastly, we’re going to add a Gradient Fill to give this water fake depth by adding a yellow tint. To add a Gradient Fill, go to the Solid Fill at the bottom of the Layers panel, then click on Gradient.

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For the Gradient Fill, you should use the following:

Light Yellow: # fbf4cd

Dark: #070605

Style: Linear

Angle: 90

Scale: 100

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Once all these values are correct, you’re also going to change the Blend Mode to Soft Light, then set the Opacity to 50%.

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You’ll also want to make sure this Gradient Fill is on top of all the other layers.

And there you have it!

A not-so-simple, but not-as-complicated-as-you-thought way to create water from scratch in Photoshop!

Don’t forget to save the project both as a PHSH file and flatten the layers before saving as a PNG/JPEG.

This one will definitely take some practice to perfect, but it’s a lot of fun to play around with! You can try changing the Opacity of the Water Texture layer for less intense looking ripples, or even play around with the colours.

Who says water has to blue, anyway?


Like this tutorial? Check out the rest of my series here!

Pointy Teeth (PHSH Effect #22)

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Now you can transform yourself into a vampire – just in time for Halloween! 🧛‍♂️

Step 1

Find yourself a picture that has a nice, clear view of the teeth. I was lucky enough to find one that already has a few pointed teeth on it.

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This is the picture I’ll be using. I’d like to note, your picture doesn’t have to already have pointed teeth, just a clear view of teeth, as this will make it a lot easier to attach the points will be making.

Once you have your picture, go ahead and open PHSH, and start a new project. Then, bring your picture onto it.

 

Step 2

Now that you’re ready to start, make a New Layer, and call it whatever you want. For the purposes of the tutorial, I’ll call this layer Tooth Outline.

On the new layer you just created, use your Brush Tool, and make an outline of what you want the pointed tooth to look like. Do this in a colour that is as close to the tooth colour as you can.

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To get the colour of the tooth, you can click on Colour Swatches in the left-hand side Tool Panel, then when the Colour Picker pops up, click on the part of the tooth you want to use the colour from.

 

Step 3

Once you’re happy with your outline, use the Pen Tool, and trace around the entirety of the tooth. Make sure you get both the pointed part you drew, and the tooth that was already there.

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After making the outline, go to the Paths section (one of the tabs in the Layers Panel), and turn it into a Selection by pressing CTRL while you click on the Work Path layer. You’ll know you’ve successfully Selected the outline when the line turns to a dotted, flashing line.

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Step 4

Now that you have the outline selected, make another New Layer. This layer, we’re going to fill in the rest of the tooth’s colour, so you may want to rename it to something appropriate, like Tooth Colour.

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Renaming your layers isn’t necessary – the effect will still turn out if you don’t name them – but I find it’s easier to keep track of which layer is which when you rename them. If that’s not your thing though, you can go ahead and disregard the renaming part of the steps.

 

Step 5

Once you have the entire tooth filled in, and it matches the colours of the tooth that’s already there, you can go ahead and Deselect the outline. (To do this, you can go to the Rectangular Marquee Tool (the tool directly under the Mouse in the left-hand Tools Panel), and right-click on the selection, then pick Deselect from the drop-down menu that appears.

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After you’ve deselected the outline, make another new layer. This layer is going to be the highlight for the tooth. Go back to your Brush tool, and use a very light white colour, then use that colour and paint a highlight down one side of the tooth.

You may have to change the size of the brush, so the highlight doesn’t look too out-of-place.

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Step 6

Once you’re happy with the highlight you made, you can switch back to the Tooth Colour layer. Next, go up to Filter – Blur – Gaussain Blur, and apply it to the layer.

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You’ll want to use something small, around 0.4 – so that it helps blend the colours, without making the tooth look like it’s fuzzy/blurry.

After you’ve applied that to your layer, go ahead and zoom out, to check out your handiwork from a not super close angle.

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Hopefully, the pointed part of the tooth will look like it’s part of the original.

If not, you may have to go back to the Tooth Colour layer and match more of the original tooth colours to the point.

Or, you may just need more practice!

But, not to worry – this is the last PHSH tutorial for the year, so you’ll have plenty of time to practice before the next one!

This was actually the 2nd tooth I vampire-ized on this picture. I used this one for the tutorial instead of the first, because I felt like this one turned out better.

What do you think?

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Like this tutorial? Check out the rest of the series here!

Making a GIF (PHSH Effect #16)

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Don’t be scared! Making a GIF is not nearly as complicated as you may think!

Well, okay, that’s not technically true. It can actually get complicated, but that’s completely dependant on what you want to GIF. Don’t worry though, because this is just a tutorial, I’ll be keeping things simple, and you can always practice and work your way up to complicated later.

In the interest in keeping things simple, I’ll just show you how to make the GIF I teased in the last tutorial.

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Also, real quick, ‘GIF’ stands for Graphics Interchange Format. So, the proper pronunciation is to say it with a hard ‘g’ sound, not with a ‘j’ sound. Now that you know what it stands for, I hope you will start saying it correctly, because now you don’t have an excuse. (Unless you say ‘jraphics’, but I’m gonna go ahead and assume you don’t)

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started!

Step 1.

First things first, set up a new document/work file in Photoshop, and make it whatever dimensions you want. Then, using the Type tool, type some words for us to GIF, and make sure you type them all on different layers. Since I’m showing you the GIF I teased last time, I typed out This is a GIF on 4 separate layers. But it can be any text you want. (Or it can even be a picture, but we’ll get to that later)

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Step 2.

Next, go up to Window (in the top menu with File) and click on Timeline from the drop-down menu.

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Once you click on that, you should see a banner come up on the bottom of the window, this is called the Timeline. There should be 1 ‘frame’ with your layers already in it that popped up as well.

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Step 3.

Now that you have the Timeline open, you have to place each layer onto different frames. This is actually much simpler than it may sound. First step, is to take them off the first frame. To do this, simply go over to your Layers Panel, and hide the layers you don’t want visible in the first frame. (Click on the eye beside the layer to hide it)

The only thing visible in the first frame should be the word This.

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Step 4.

Now we have to make more frames. To do this, click on the Duplicate Frame button in the timeline. It is the button that looks like the New Layers button.

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To make this the 2nd frame, we are going to hide the This layer, and un-hide the is layer. You do this in the exact way you did to hide all the layers, but the hidden layer won’t have an eye next it. That’s okay, just click in the little square, and the eye and layer will appear, making the layer un-hidden.

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Continue to duplicate, and hide/un-hide layers until you have 1 frame for each layer. If you get confused, look at the frames – you should be able to see in the frame preview that there is only 1 word in each frame.

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Step 5.

Now that we have all the frames correct, we can check how the GIF looks. To do this, click on the 1st frame (to start the GIF from the beginning), and then click the Play button in the Timeline. Your frames should then ‘play’, and you can see if you need to fix/change anything.

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Step 6.

If you think your GIF is moving too slowly (or too fast), you can change the speed by clicking on the arrow that’s under the frame, next to the time, and then select the time you think will work best for you. Keep playing with it until you find a speed you need, and to check the speed, just Play the frames again until it looks right for your needs. (For the most part, I’ve found the default of 0.5 seconds to be sufficient)

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Now that you’ve got the timing right, you may want to change the Loop type as well, so that it continuously plays, instead of just playing once. In the Timeframe box, under the frames, there should be a Loop dropdown. Click on the drop-down menu, and select Forever from the list. This will make your GIF play in a continuous loop, well… forever. (If the default is already Forever, you can ignore this step)

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Step 7.

Now that you’ve completed your GIF, it’s time to save. But wait!

You can not save a GIF in the same way you’ve been doing (Flattening then saving as a PNG/JPEG). Well, okay, actually you can save it like that, but then it won’t play.

If you want to save the GIF to actually play, you’ll have to go up to File, then find Save For Web in the drop-down.

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In the dialogue box that comes up, make sure GIF is selected as the format, and leave everything else the default.

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Then, click the Save button on the bottom of the box, and then from there you can give the file a name and save it to wherever you need to, like any other file.

And there you have it! You now know how to make a GIF! I told you it wasn’t that hard. And the cool thing is the steps are exactly the same no matter what you’re doing.

So, say you want to make a picture move. Let’s say you want to make a rocket ship take off.

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The steps are exactly the same, except instead of using text, we’re moving a picture. And, it takes more frames. Also, because it’s just one picture (minus the booster flames), all I’m doing is moving the picture slightly between frames, so it appears to be flying.

Here’s what the PHSH work file looks like:

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Each time I moved the rocket, I placed a Guideline where the nose was, so I’d know how much to move it in the next frame. You can see here that I also changed the play speed twice. In the first few frames, it’s set at 0.2 seconds, and then after the ‘booster’ (flames) comes out the bottom, I changed it to 0.1 second, so it appears like the rocket sped up.

Go ahead and play with this technique – it is one of the more fun ones. You guys have until October to keep yourselves busy with GIF making, after which, I’ll be showing you how to create:

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Changing Eye/Skin Colour (PHSH Effect #15)

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I know, I know, ‘you’re revisiting effects already? Does that mean you’re out of ideas?’ No, no it doesn’t. There’s no need to worry, I just thought I’d revisit this one, because I actually discovered an easier/more effective way to change someone’s eye colour, and this technique can be used to change the colour of more than just eyes! You can also do skin colour, hair, and pretty much whatever else you want!

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AterImber.com - Writing Tips - Photoshop Tutorial Series - PHSH Effect 15 Changing Eye/Skin Colour - BaW to Colour Hand - phsh, phsh effect, phsh tutorial, tutorial, photoshop tutorial, indie author help, book covers, writing tips

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For this tutorial, we’ll be using the below black and white picture of an eye, but feel free to use any picture you like. Since you’re just starting, I’d recommending choosing a black and white picture to practice with, but note that this technique does work on pre-coloured pictures as well.

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Step 1:

Okay, by now you should know Step 0 is to always open a new work file, and to place your picture onto the document. After this, go over to the bottom of the Tools Panel on the left-hand side, and click on the button that’s under the Colour Swatches.

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Step 2:

Once you clicked that, go to your Paintbrush, and change the size/hardness of it, then begin to paint over the part of the picture you want to change the colour of. (In this case, it’s the iris) When you begin painting, it may turn red-ish/orange, don’t worry! This happens just to show you the part you’re painting. It won’t stay orange after you’re done this step.

For eyes, I like to try to get the size of the paint brush as close to the size of the iris as I can, so that I can paint with just one click, so the edges aren’t ‘bumpy’. Also, don’t worry about painting over the pupil for this step. We can clean up the paint later.

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Step 3:

Now that you’ve painted over the entire part you want to change, click the button under the Colour Swatches again, and you’ll notice the red goes away, and there should now be a slow-flashing dotted line around your image – this is showing that you’ve selected it.

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Step 4:

Go up to Select – Invert, this will now select the part you painted, instead of the part outside of that. (Don’t ask me why it defaults to selecting everything you didn’t paint, I have no idea)

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Okay, at this point, you can now change the colour by one of two ways:

Way #1:

Step 5:

With the iris still selected, go to the bottom of the Layers Panel, and go to where you’d make a colour a background, and select Solid Colour from the menu.

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Step 6:

After selecting the colour you want, at the top of the Layers Panel, there should be a box next to the Opacity drop-down that says Normal. Click on that to bring down a drop-down menu, and then select either Screen or Overlay from the menu. (Use whichever one makes the colour look the best)

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OR

Way #2:

Step 5:

Now that the part you want to change colours is selected, go to the top of your Layers Panel, and you should see a panel sitting on top with tabs in it, that are labelled Adjustments, Color, and Swatches. Click on the Adjustments tab, and then click on Hue/Saturation from the pictures listed. Hue/Saturation looks like a colour picker, and is beside the thing that looks like scales.

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Step 6:

After clicking Hue/Saturation, a panel should pop out, with different sliders on it. To change the iris colour, you can play with the Hue and Saturation sliders, until you find a colour you like. If you find that the colour is too subtle, (even with the Saturation on full), try checking the Colourize box at the bottom of the panel. This may help.

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(Back to both ways)

Step 7:

Once you have a colour you like, go to your Eraser tool, and erase the pupil, and if there is colour outside the edges/area you want to be coloured, erase that, too. If you used the Solid Colour method, you may get a dialogue box that comes up that says something about rasterizing the layer, or that it won’t be editable anymore, just click ‘okay’.

Once you have the edges/pupil all cleaned up, you’re done and ready to save!

I wouldn’t say this technique is easier than the other one, but this one is a lot more versatile, and as I said above, can be used on more than just eyes. It also makes it look more realistic, in my opinion. Once you’re happy with the pupil, why don’t you try to colourize the skin colour as well?

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Go ahead and play around with this effect, to see how it works best for your needs – the next tutorial will be coming Aug. 30th, so you’ll have plenty of time to master this one!

Next time, I’ll be showing you how to make a GIF! Oh, yes.

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Blood Drips (PHSH Effect #13)

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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?

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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.

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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.

Example:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Seris - PHSH Effect 13 - Blood Drips - All the Same Sized Lines - phsh, photoshop, phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial

Compared to:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Seris - PHSH Effect 13 - Blood Drips - Varying Length and Size - phsh, photoshop, phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial

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.

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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

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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)

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AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Seris - PHSH Effect 13 - Blood Drips - Pucker Line 1 - phsh, photoshop, phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Seris - PHSH Effect 13 - Blood Drips - Pucker All Lines - phsh, photoshop, phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial

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.

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AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Seris - PHSH Effect 13 - Blood Drips - Bloat 1 Line - phsh, photoshop, phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial

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.

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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.

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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.

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Once you’re happy with how the drop shadow looks, click Okay.

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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.

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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:

Inner Bevel

Technique: Smooth

Depth: 590

Up

Size: 10

Soften: 7

Shading:

Angle: 120, 30

Highlight Mode: Hard Light, Opacity: 63

Shadow Mode: Overlay, Opacity: 80

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AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Seris - PHSH Effect 13 - Blood Drips - Bevel and Emboss Halloween - phsh, photoshop, phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial

Then set the Contour to the below:

Gaussian (Round one that looks like a hill)

Range: 0

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Step 8:

And finally, we’re going to add a Gradient Overlay, with the below settings:

Soft Light

Opacity: 24

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And add it to the Type layer as well:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Seris - PHSH Effect 13 - Blood Drips - Gradient Overlay Halloween - phsh, photoshop, phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial

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.

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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.

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Seris - PHSH Effect 13 - Blood Drips - Finished Effect Black Background - phsh, photoshop, phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial

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!


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Spot Brightening (PHSH Effect #12)

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Spot Brightening is a very important skill to have. Sometimes – for whatever reason – an image will come out with a dark spot, or will have weird lighting. Spot-treating images can be an immensely helpful tool in your PHSH arsenal, especially with summer right around the corner, you know you always get that one Beach Day pic where there’s too many shadows.

And, like most of the other effects I’ve shown you, it’s secretly really easy once you know what to do.

I’m going to use the teaser image from last month, even though most of it is dark already. I think keeping the images consistent is helpful when needing to look back at the effects while you practice them. So, for simplicity sake, we’ll be using the Match image:

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Step 1: Start a new Work File/Document/Whatever-You-Want-to-Call-It in PHSH and drag/drop the image into it. Don’t forget to resize so it fits into your work space.

Step 2. Using the Elliptical Selection Tool, select the head of the match, and a bit of the flame.

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Step 3. With the head still selected, go up to Image – Adjustments – Brightness/Contrast

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Step 4. In the Brightness/Contrast box, slide the Brightness slider toward the right to brighten the selection. Sliding it in the opposite direction will make the selection darker.

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Step 4. Once you’re happy with the Brightness, click Okay to make the transformation stick to the picture – or, if you are in the Brightness/Contrast by accident, you can always Cancel to undo the change. (One of the great things PHSH has for most of the effects is the Live Preview, so while you’re playing with Brightness/Contrast, colours, etc. you can actively see what you’re changing on the image)

If, for instance, you need to make the selected area brighter than the slider will let you, you can hit ‘Okay’, stay on the selected area and then re-brighten it to whatever you need.

For instance, I brightened the picture at first to +64:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Spot Brightening - 64 Bright - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, picture manip, photo manip

But if I needed it brighter, I could go back in and:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Spot Brightening - 27+ Bright - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, picture manip, photo manip

And so on, and so forth, until my hearts’ content:

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Spot Brightening - 91+ Brightened - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, picture manip, photo manip

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Spot Brightening - 45+ Brightened - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, picture manip, photo manip

AterImber.com - Writing Tips - PHSH Effect Series - Spot Brightening - 150+ Brightened - phsh tutorial, photoshop tutorial, phsh, picture manip, photo manip

You could basically do this until there is just a white hole in the middle of the picture.

Yep, that’s literally all there is to it.

I mean, there is another way you could do this – but that involves a hell of a lot more steps and Layer Masks – it just gets waaay too complicated. Which, truthfully, was the way I learned how to do it first before figuring out this easy way, and since these tutorials are here to make your lives easier, I’ll just refrain from sharing that overly-long pain-in-the-ass way.

Thank me later!

Aaand I don’t want you to get disappointed or anything, but this will be the last PHSH tutorial until October. Since I’ve started No. Mad. I’ll be focusing more on that for the next few months. Think of this time off as extra time for you to practice all the effects you’ve learned thus far.


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