Monday, October 1, 2007

Monster mash: turn someone you love into a wicked witch


By Dianah McDonald

I thought, what would be more apropos this month than to show you how to turn your loved ones into the monsters! Ok, I'm assuming they aren't already monsters. Don't worry if you aren't a Photoshop pro. These two projects are super easy and you'll be in the Halloween spirit in no time! This week, we'll look at turning someone you love into a witch -- in five minutes or less. Next week, we'll be getting all ghostly and such.

The wicked witch

A witch, in my little digital retouching fantasy world, is green. And while this article shows you how to create a green witch, don't think that only witches are green. Depending on your victim's personality, instead of a trip to Oz, your green person might be a Star Trek Orion slave girl or a Marvel comics character.

In this example I'm using a picture of myself shown in Figure A, so Wicked Witch it is! Go ahead and choose a picture. We'll wait.


Here I am, the future Wicked Witch. (click for larger image)

Well chosen!

Open your photo in Photoshop and choose the Polygon Lasso Tool, as shown in Figure B.


The little triangle in the lower, right corner indicates the tool has a pop-out menu. (click for larger image)

Use the Lasso to draw a selection limited to just your subject's exposed skin. Copy and paste that into a new layer. Click on the new layer in the Layer Palette to make sure it is selected.

Hold down the Alt key and select the Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layer Palette. This will create an adjustment layer specific to the current layer. On the fly-out menu, select Color Balance. Check the box "Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask" then click OK. You'll see the Color Balance dialog, shown in Figure C.


The Color Balance window allows you to manipulate the color balance. How's that for an aptly named window! (click for larger image)

You'll want to adjust all the colors, not just the Green/Magenta bar. I like to keep the tones uneven so the unnatural color will look natural, as shown in Figure D.


I'm green! (click for larger image)

You can stop there or do some tweaking. For example, I don't like how my lips and eyes turned green.

Select the layer with the flesh cutout. Using the Polygonal Lasso Tool you can select those potions you want to return to normal. Then press Delete, as shown in Figure E. The original layer shows through where you delete.


The original layer shows through where you delete. (click for larger image)

You might want to make some adjustment to the original layer as well. I've used the Dodge Tool to lighten the whites of my eyes, as shown in Figure F.


Here's my final result. (click for larger image)

You can also remove the background from the original layer and add your loved one to a different location. Heck, you might want to add a flying monkey or two!

Don't forget to come back next week, when I turn my unsuspecting nephew into a free-roaming, vaporous, full-torso apparition.