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Photo Effects

Create a Vampire Portrait in Photoshop

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These days it seems like vampires are all the rage. In books, on television, and the big screen, vampires are everywhere. Thankfully, for us, vampires are not real and for those of us who are not actors or makeup artists, turning into a vampire isn’t possible unless you have some knowledge of Photoshop. In today’s tutorial we will demonstrate how to use Photoshop to turn a lovely portrait into a dark, intimidating vampire. Let’s get started!


Tutorial Assets


Step 1: Darkenning the Image

To start things off, open the portrait you plan to use. Make sure the Layers Panel and Adjustments Panels are open (you can open both panels from the Window menu). Then add a Levels Adjustment Layer by clicking on the levels icon (second icon from left to right on the first row) on the Adjustments Panel. As soon as you click on this icon a new layer will show above the "Background" layer on the Layers Panel and the content of the Adjustments Panel will change in order to display the Levels options. On the Adjustments Panel move the middle slider (gray slider) to the right until you reach a gamma value of 0.40.


Step 2 - Masking Over the Eyes

Select the Brush Tool (B) by clicking on the Brush Tool icon on the Tool Bar or by pressing B (don’t press B twice as this will take you to the Pencil Tool, or three times as this will take you to the Color Replacement Tool), go to the Control Panel, click on the down-pointing arrow next to the sample brush tip in order to display the Brush Preset Picker. Choose a soft brush of Master Diameter 65px and Hardness 0% (if you don’t see the basic brush set go to the right-pointing arrow on the top right corner of the panel and choose Reset Brushes from the menu, then select the right brush).

Look at the values on the panel to make sure the diameter of the brush is 65px and the Hardness is 0%. Press Enter to close the panel. Press D to get the default colors on the Tool Bar and then X to invert them, now black should be your foreground color. Make sure the opacity of the brush is 100% (look the value on the Control Panel). Zoom in on the eyes. If you accidentally deselected the brush tool, press B again.

Now select the Levels Adjustment Layer Mask (white square on the right of the levels icon on the Layers Panel), you’ll see a black rectangle around it when it’s selected.

Paint with black over the eyes in order to hide the levels adjustment for that area careful not to paint over the eyelids (when you paint over the image with a layer mask selected you’re actually painting over the mask, not the image itself). Check the layer mask thumbnail, it should have the two black areas you just painted.


Step 3 - Reducing Saturation

Double-click on the Hand Tool in order to fit the image on screen. Click on the left-pointing arrow on the bottom left corner of the Adjustments Panel in order to go back to the adjustments list. Add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer by clicking on the second icon from left to right on the second row.

A new Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer is added on the Layers Panel above the Levels Adjustment layer. Move the saturation slider to the left until you reach a value of -50.


Step 4 - Changing the Color

Go back to the main view of the Adjustment Panel and add a Color Balance Adjustment Layer by clicking on the color balance icon (third icon from left to right on the second row). A new Color Balance Adjustment Layer is added on the Layers Panel above the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. Move the Yellow/Blue slider to the right until you reach a value of +35.


Step 5 - Darkening the Hair

Alt-click on the Create New Layer icon on the bottom right corner of the Layers Panel, name the layer "Darker hair" and click OK.

The new layer should appear above the Color Balance Adjustment Layer. If it doesn’t, drag the layer to this position on the Layers Panel.

Zoom out on the image in order to see the pasteboard (grey area around the image). Select the Brush Tool (B), and then choose a soft brush of Master Diameter 600px and Hardness 0%. Press Enter to close the panel. Press D to get the default colors on the Tool Bar, black should be your foreground color now.

Paint over the hair and the neck, then change the blend mode of the layer to Soft Light by clicking on the arrows next to Normal on the upper section of the Layers Panel and choosing Soft Light from the menu.


Step 6 - The Iris

Alt-click on the Create New Layer icon, name the layer "Iris" and click OK. Zoom in on the eyes. Click on the Foreground Color Picker on the Tool Bar in order to open the Color Picker window. Enter the following values for RGB: R=242 G=150 B=70 and click OK.

Select the Brush Tool (B) and open the Brush Preset Picker. Choose a soft brush of Master Diameter 35px and Hardness 0%. Click Enter to close the Panel.

Paint over the iris of both eyes careful not to paint over the pupil, the eyelids or the white area. Change the blend mode of the layer to Vivid Light and reduce the opacity to 70%.


Step 7

Alt-click on the Create New Layer icon in order to create a new layer, name it "Iris border." Zoom on the iris of one eye. Press D to get the default colours. Select the Brush Tool (B) and open the Brush Preset Picker. Choose a soft brush of Master Diameter 9px and Hardness 0%. Press Enter to close the panel.

Paint over the border of the iris. Move the view to the other eye (you can use the Hand Tool, the Navigator Panel or the mouse wheel). Paint over the border of the iris. Then change the blend mode of the layer to Multiply and lower the opacity to 80% either by clicking on the right-pointing arrow next to 100% and moving the handle to the left until you reach 80% or by clicking on the value and typing 80.

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, select 2.0 pixels and click OK.


Step 8 - Dramatic Eyes

Zoom over the eyes. Alt-click on the icon Create New Layer, name it "Eye shadow" and click OK. Press I to get the Eyedropper Tool or select it by clicking on the Eyedropper icon on the Tool Bar. Click with the eyedropper below the eye in order to lift a brown color. Look at the colors on the Toolbar; you should see this color as your foreground color now.

Select the Brush Tool and choose a soft brush of Master Diameter 100px and Hardness 0%. Press Enter to close the panel. Paint over the eyelids and below the eyes careful not to paint over the eye.

Change the blend mode of the layer to Multiply and lower the opacity to 60%.

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, choose a Radius of 24.0 px and click OK.


Step 9 - Tiding Up

Alt-click on the Create New Group icon on the bottom of the Layers Panel. Name the group "Eye adjustments" and click OK. Select the layers "Eye shadow", "Iris border" and "Iris" and drag them into the Eye adjustments group. Now the layers should appear indented. Close the group by clicking on the down-pointing arrow on the left of the group icon.


Step 10 - The Lips

Alt-click on the Create New Layer icon, name it "Lips" and click OK. Click on the foreground color icon on the Tool Bar to open the Color Picker window. Type the following values for RGB: R=120 G=80 B=90 and click OK. Zoom in on the lips.

Select the Brush Tool, open the Brush Preset Picker and choose a soft brush of Master Diameter 45px and Harness 0%. Press Enter to close the panel. Check on the Control Panel the opacity is 100% (if it’s not 100% press one). Paint over the lips. Change the blend mode of the layer to Multiply and lower the opacity to 50%.


Step 11 - The Lips Shadow

Alt-click on the Create New Layer icon, name it "Lips shadow" and click OK. Select the Brush Tool and paint over the bottom part of the upper lip and the upper part of the lower lip.

Change the blend mode of the layer to Multiply and lower the opacity to 70%.

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, choose Radius 15.0 px and click OK. Double-click on the Hand Tool in order to fit the image on screen.


Step 12 - Fixing the Hair

Add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. Grab the Target adjustment tool which is on the left of Master above the Hue bar.

Place the cursor over the blue hair, you’ll see an eyedropper, click and drag to the left, now you’ll see the saturation slider moving to the left as well, therefore reducing the saturation, keep moving to the left until you reach -80.

If this doesn’t get rid of all the blue on the hair, adjust the sliders on the color bar at the bottom of the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Panel. The two slim rectangles on each side of the dark grey area define the range of color that will get completely affected by this adjustment. The two triangles on each side, next to the light grey area define the transition area, this means the colors that will get less and less affected by the adjustment.

If there’s still blue on the hair move these sliders to extend the range of colors affected by the hue/saturation modification.


Final Image

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