Step-by-step Pop your por­trait

Windows Help & Advice - - EXPLORE -

Choose a photo


Your choice of im­age for your pop-art por­trait is im­por­tant – any­thing with a busy back­ground is go­ing to take much longer to sep­a­rate the sub­ject from what’s be­hind. That said, Pho­to­shop El­e­ments 2018 has some clever tools that can help. You also need a strong, recog­nis­able fa­cial ex­pres­sion, as we’re go­ing to mess around with it a lot, and we don’t want some­thing in­dis­tinct.

Se­lect your sub­ject


We need to re­move the back­ground, and El­e­ments’ tools can help. We tried Auto Se­lec­tion, which is an op­tion for the Quick Se­lec­tion tool that sees you drag a box around what you want se­lected. El­e­ments analy­ses the im­age and gives its best guess. For our im­age, it got con­fused be­tween the model’s hair and her shadow, so we ti­died it up with the Se­lec­tion Brush. |

Cre­ate some lay­ers


Once your se­lec­tions com­plete, cre­ate a new layer with the sub­ject on with Layer > New > Layer Via Copy. Then do it again twice, so you have Layer 1, ‘Layer 1 copy’, and ‘Layer 1 copy 2’. Se­lect the Back­ground layer at the bot­tom of the Lay­ers pal­ette. Cre­ate a new layer (Layer > New > Layer) and it’ll ap­pear above Back­ground. Fill it with white us­ing the Bucket tool.

Blur your im­age


Save your file as a PSD. Hide ev­ery­thing ex­cept Layer 1 us­ing the eye icons to the left of their en­tries in the Lay­ers pal­ette, and make sure Layer 1 is se­lected. We’re go­ing to blur this layer just enough to make it look un­fo­cused. Use Fil­ter > Blur > Gaus­sian Blur and use a Ra­dius set­ting of 4. The more you in­crease the Ra­dius, the more blurred the im­age will be­come.

Cut out your im­age


On the same blurred layer, go to the Fil­ter menu and open the Fil­ter Gallery. In the Artis­tic folder you’ll find Cutout. Se­lect it, and you’ll get a pre­view of the ef­fect and some slid­ers to change the pa­ram­e­ters. We want to keep it recog­nis­able for now, so use: Num­ber of Lev­els: 5; Edge Sim­plic­ity: 0; and Edge Fidelity: 9. Mess around with the slid­ers and see what looks good for you.

Blend your lay­ers


Now, de­spite hav­ing done all that, you’ll only be able to see the top layer. We need to blend them to­gether, us­ing the drop­down menu at the top of the Lay­ers pal­ette. Start with ‘Layer 1 copy 2’ – Ex­clu­sion looks good, and is as good a place as any to start. Then blend ‘Layer 1’ copy with Layer 1 us­ing some­thing like Color Burn to bring out the colours. Feel free to ex­per­i­ment!

Lev­els ad­just­ment layer


Bring back ev­ery layer ex­cept Back­ground, and you’ll be able to ap­pre­ci­ate your work. We’re go­ing to add an Ad­just­ment Layer be­tween Layer 1 and ‘Layer 1 copy’, so se­lect Layer 1 and go to Layer > New Ad­just­ment Layer > Lev­els. Mov­ing the cen­tral tri­an­gle un­der the his­togram in the popup win­dow changes how bright the colours are on the two lower lay­ers. Ad­just as needed.

Cut and glow


Bring back ‘Layer 1 copy’ and se­lect it. Open Cutout again, and use the same num­ber of Lev­els but greater Sim­plic­ity and less Fidelity for a sim­pler look. OK it, and un­hide and se­lect ‘Layer 1 copy 2’. Open the Fil­ter Gallery, and choose Styl­ize > Glow­ing Edges. We went with: Width: 3, Bright­ness: 10, Smooth­ness: 10, but again ex­per­i­ment to see what works with your im­age. OK it.

Add a back­ground


Bring back Layer 2 us­ing its eye icon, and hide ev­ery­thing else. We’re go­ing to paint a frame across it us­ing the Paint­brush and Bucket tools. Choose red as your fore­ground colour, and the Paint­brush tool with a rea­son­ably thick tip. Click the brush once, hold [Shift] and click again some­where else to draw a straight line - re­peat to cre­ate a frame, then fill the frame with the Bucket tool.

Save and share


Save your PSD file, as this re­tains the lay­ers and al­lows you to come back and do more work on the im­age later. As there’s not a lot of fine de­tail in the im­age, it will prob­a­bly com­press well, so ex­port it as a JPEG us­ing File > ‘Save for web’. We’re go­ing to use the JPEG High pre­set, to min­imise the ap­pear­ance of com­pres­sion arte­facts in the fi­nal im­age. Click ‘Save’ to save the JPEG im­age.

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