Cre­ate an amaz­ing face-paint ef­fect with Pho­to­shop El­e­ments

Windows Help & Advice - - FRONT PAGE -

1 Cre­ate a new file

Once you’ve cho­sen your im­age and opened it in El­e­ments, you’re go­ing to need to make a copy of it. Do this by us­ing File > Save As. Give the file a new name and make it a Pho­to­shop PSD, then re­open the old file. PSD files are na­tive Pho­to­shop files and en­able the ap­pli­ca­tion to do in­ter­est­ing things with them. Leave your other file as a JPEG – this is the file you’ll work with mostly.

2 Blur it

Open the PSD, and make it black-and-white us­ing Im­age > Mode > Grayscale, then head up to the Fil­ter menu and choose Blur > Gaus­sian Blur. You don’t need to blur the im­age so it’s un­recog­nis­able, but enough that the de­tail is gone and only ar­eas of light and dark re­main. This will vary de­pend­ing on the pixel di­men­sions of your im­age file. Save the file and close it.

3 Se­lect it

Back on your other file – the one that’s still in colour – make a se­lec­tion around the face of your sub­ject. New in El­e­ments 2018 is the Auto Se­lec­tion tool, and it’s re­ally clever. If you’re us­ing an ear­lier ver­sion or a dif­fer­ent app, you’ll need to use wands, las­sos or maybe the Pen tool – make sure it’s just the face you se­lect, plac­ing your line around stray hair that’s fallen over the face.

4 Re­fine it

To re­fine the se­lec­tion open Re­fine Edge us­ing ei­ther the but­ton at the bot­tom of El­e­ments 2018’s in­ter­face or the Se­lect menu. On the Re­fine Edge float­ing win­dow change Out­put To from Se­lec­tion to Layer Mask. Your cho­sen face should now float freely in che­quered space. Save us­ing Se­lect > Save Se­lec­tion, so you can load it later without hav­ing to re-se­lect the same pix­els.

5 Re­move the colour

In the Lay­ers pal­ette, add a Hue/Sat­u­ra­tion Ad­just­ment Layer above your im­age layer, pull the sat­u­ra­tion slider all the way left, then drag the Layer Mask up to the new layer. If you’re asked whether you want to re­place the Layer Mask say ‘yes’. You’ve now moved the ‘hole’ cre­ated by your se­lec­tion onto a layer that re­moves all the colour from the im­age.

6 Fine tune

Zoom into the eyes of your im­age, and with the Layer Mask se­lected on your work­ing layer in the Lay­ers pal­ette, paint black over them with the Paint­brush tool and a suit­ably sized brush. This will bring back the colour from the layer be­low, mean­ing your fi­nal im­age won’t be left with grey, life­less eyes. Do the same to the teeth and gums, and you’ll see the colour com­ing back.

7 Im­port your graphic

You’re now ready to im­port the face-paint graphic. This can be any­thing, al­though sim­pler de­signs work bet­ter. Sports team lo­gos, which tend to be round, are a good choice, while an­i­mal prints are also pop­u­lar. Use File > Place to im­port the file, and it will ap­pear as a new layer with resizing han­dles at­tached. Re­size it so it fits, then click the green tick to com­mit to your changes. 8 Stretch to fit

Drop the new layer’s Opac­ity to around 30 per­cent, and use Edit > Free Trans­form to dis­tort your paint layer so it fits the face be­low. Don’t worry too much about the edges – the Layer Mask will take care of those – but con­cen­trate on get­ting the eyes lined up, and the mouth too if that’s im­por­tant to your im­age. Drag the Layer Mask up to your top layer to see how it will look.

9 Use the Eraser tool

Drag the Layer Mask back down to the Ad­just­ment Layer, and change the top layer’s Blend Mode to Color Burn. Use the Eraser tool on ar­eas that shouldn’t be face-painted, such as the eyes and mouth and any parts of the hair that have been cov­ered over. If any ar­eas of mono ap­pear, re­move them by re­peat­ing Step 6. Now use the black-and-white im­age from Step 2…

10 Fit the face-paint graphic

Load the se­lec­tion you saved ear­lier (Se­lect > Load) and en­sure the top layer is se­lected in the Lay­ers pal­ette, then go to Fil­ter > Dis­tort > Dis­place. El­e­ments doesn’t have a pre­view for this fil­ter, so you may have to try sev­eral times. En­ter ‘20’ in both Dis­tance fields, then press OK and se­lect the PSD file as your map. It bends the layer around the the face be­low for a nat­u­ral look. ■

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