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3.2 Adding Our Character

Hello and welcome to creating a fantasy book cover. This is lesson number four. In this lesson, we'll start to add in our character and work out what we would like in the landscape. So first of all, let's get in our character. I'll drag in the character I'm going to be using which is the barbarian warrior. Okay so first, we have to obviously get him out of the grey background. There's many ways you can do this, I showed you in the last lesson. Let's try a different way this time, let's try channels. Look at the Channels. Go to Blue. So as you can see, the whites are quite close to the background so you might actually be able do this. What you want is a good separation between him and the background. So this isn't quite, let's try it anyway. But normally what I would do is right-click on the blue layer,Do Create Channel. Okay. So hide the blue copy layer visible. Change this to selection. Rename it. Hit Ctrl + L on your keyboard or Cmd + L to bring up the levels. And basically the whites pop out to white and obviously him and the shadows go a bit darker. So, let's try the mid-tones first of all. Let's try the highlights. So as you can see cuz his skin tone and the brightness of him and the background is fairly similar this won't really work. But in a future reference if you have a bit of a different image this will work. So we'll have to just try the normal way of using the actual quick selection tools. Let's bring these back in in layers. Quick selection, let's just grab this, be quite easy to do in this. So go around there, okay we can also actually use this shadow, it is actually on the floor. So I'll show you how to do that as well. Let's just get the minus 1 as well to get rid of the bit on his arm. So let's do down here. Okay. So try and get this arm in there as well. Add to the selection. And his head of course. So let's go on the quick selection, and see what our mask is. That's not bad. Look at the set, this bit in the middle. So hold the Alt on your keyboard and Shift sorry, and just take out that section there. We don't want that. Okay, so now we have to do the spear. So under Mask tool, we're actually going to use the pen tool, and you do this with a pencil, so zoom in a little bit. To the bottom, and just select that spear. Zoom in a little bit more, see what I'm doing. Don't want to lose any of the spear, cuz it's quite a decent spear. So make sure we get all of this section in here, so up to there and to the point there. So how you actually make a curve, if you don't know already. All you do is hold the click when you click. So let's say you want to join that point with this point down here. So click once and hold the mouse key, and drag it out, like down, down, then out to the right, as you get this way and then obviously the opposite way. So I do it again down here, went this way, it will go that way. This way goes that way. So let's just join it to the spear end. Now if you've gone here, and you click on here now, you can see it's intersecting into our actual spear and we don't want that. So go back to where you were. We just point it there. How to stop that, hold Alt on your keyboard and click on that point. See this little arrow appear just next to your pen or your mouse key? Click on the actual point and it'll delete that little curve. So I won't do it now, I can just click anywhere and it'll be straight, so it's a lot easier. So you'll zoom out now. So go down. We've missed a little bit here as you can see. We've got a bit of the background but that's fine, you can fix that. So try and get as little as possible in this selection. Somewhere right there, that's fine. Join it up. So we can join it anywhere on here cuz it's his body. Join down here. Like so. That's fine. [INAUDIBLE] right-click, and now Make Selection. And then hold Shift + F5 to bring up the Fill layer, or just go to Edit > Fill, and go to the Black and that will fill our selection. So we got our basic selection now. I just need to do a bit of refinement. So of course, we've got a bit of errors going on here, so let's get the Brush tool Hard again. Maybe a bit of hardness down, just we don't want too much. The white brush, and let's just get rid of that. Again, you can use the shift technique. So click once down here, Shift + Click, and then get rid of that straight line, a bit easier. Okay, so it's got a little bit of his bicep out, but it doesn't matter too much. So I click on there to there. That's fine. On his leg as well, there to there and that's fine. So, his little pinkie finger there like that. Okay. I'm pretty happy with that. Let's see if the rest of it looks good. So I've missed out his toes there, for some reason. So let's make sure we include those. Looking good. I'm pretty happy with that. His nose there, a little bit off. There we go. Let's make it straighter as well. Selection makes it look a bit odd. Careful of his eyebrow there as well. That's looking fine. So then hit on the Marquis tool, this one here, just because it's easier to get to the raw fine edge. Take off the white mask mode. Get our fine edge, and this side just go in his hair, so get the size up a little bit. We're just going to go over his hair and eyelash, the eyelash is there so hold down the mouse key and then just go around his hair like so. That'll make it a little bit more visible. Okay so we can bring out the contrast. Out of one set smooth or one smart radius. Let's bring it out a little bit, see what happens. Not too much, just a little tiny bit. Shift edge, go in a little bit like so. So maybe plus three, that'll do, then hit the OK. So, it's probably gonna do the inverse again, remember. So if you don't want to do the inverse, so have to go back and change it. Hold Alt on your keyboard and it will do the inverse in the other way. It's good on the mask. Okay, so let's zoom in a little bit. We've got a few bits with a little bit grey. Under his chin there. Make sure we get on of course on the spear as well. If you can't see what you're doing because of the grey background, just make a color underneath. You can see what you're looking at, maybe a bit darker than that. There you go. Okay, so then I'm just gonna use the polygon lasso tool, get rid of that grey, Shift + F5 black. And then obviously up here as well. Shift+F5. Okay. You could be really picky and get rid of these tiny little bits in the corners, although you probably won't see it. Let's go with a free brush. It's not too bad. And in this bar over here as well. It's okay. We still got a little bit on his shoe as well where the material meets his foot. This section here, to actually magically wand this section, there you go. Edit > Fill > Black and there we go. So now let's bring him into actually our scene now. Just drag in him here, place him on the top of our rock. Ctrl + T to zoom out a litte bit cuz you might a little bit just to make sure we can see what were doing. I'm holding Shift + Alt as well by the way to keep in proportion. You can put it down a bit. Now we've got a little bit of a spear head type thing, and ornament at the top of the dragon's skull. Top of his spear. A little bit more space there. I'm thinking down a bit bigger. He's gonna be our main focus isn't he, so I need to make sure he's of a good size. Maybe I make this rock a bit smaller. So something like that. So the next thing we need to do, basically for now we're just going to be placing items we're going to be using. That's a good way to do that instead of focusing on shadows, on tones, on color. Get everything in place first of all and then work on our fit and make it integrate into the scene. So we're going to try and add a few things here. Maybe some crocodiles. So alligators, these are actually. So this one here, Ctrl+T. Drag it down. Place it here and then just go through the layer styles, just see what works. As you see, you don't always have to pen-tool out or try and cut it out of the scene. You're just trying to find a good layer style, so like that. You see? Soft light works pretty well. Let's try a different one as well. I think soft light is our one to use. Let's go up again to soft light or hard light. Let's see which one's better. I think soft light. Let's zoom in a little bit, see if this actually works for us. Cuz it might not. I think that's pretty good. That's looking pretty good. So now we can actually mask out this area, but the easier way to do that instead of actually adding the mask and then getting the black brush, go [INAUDIBLE] just completely invert the mask out. So white out, so hold Alt on your keyboard, hit on the Mask, completely gone. Get a white brush. Okay, soft brush. Now you can actually play with the grass brush in this. So get the grass brush, so grass down here, or maybe June grass. Go to Window > Brush, you have shapes here and turn off Color Dynamics and Transfer. So that's pretty good, but its not exactly the same as ours in our scene. So I'm going to change it slightly, make it a bit more horizontal, a bit more straight, I mean. So Shape Dynamics, play around with the angle just there, so we want it quite straight. Something like that. And then just bringing back into the scene with that brush. You can see it's a lot easier than cutting him out. So before we actually mess around with the integrating him a little bit better, let's actually group our layers together. So the character and the rock, that's Ctrl + G. So I named this character and the alligator like I said is and call this alligator. We'll add a few more as well into our scene. Okay. So now we have that. Let's actually name these as well. So rock and char for character. And that looks good. Okay, that's good. We can also do the sky as well if you want. Just call this background. We can delete the white. Actually, we can't because as you can see, it's faded in, so leave the white in there and let's just add that back in to our background. Make sure it's at the bottom as well. Okay? You can actually change this if you want as well. The white you can actually change it to a cream to make it a bit more creamy. Let's zoom out a little bit. Let's see what that actually does. Looks pretty decent. So we're learning everyday here. So maybe a bit of, let's try a blue. No, let's leave it yellow. A lighter yellow, something like that. Like a bit more into there, that looks good. Okay so on the alligator, to get this to look a bit more blended, we're going to do on the alligator, add a levels adjustment. Down here. Levels. Now what you can do as well, instead of to go down there, you can add in the actual menu bar, the tab basically has got a Window > Adjustments. I'm not going to because it doesn't free up much space from my screen size. So on here let's bring down the actual black points cuz it's too dark. Make sure attaching it to the actual alligator. To do that, hold Alt on your keyboard between the two layers and click on the button when you see that little icon. So bring down the actual black point, you can see until it matches our scene. So something around there. White point, you can try and bring that down a bit, but it doesn't need too much work. Again white point, let's try one of these as well, the mid tones. That should effect the actual alligator as well. So something like that is looking good. So we can always add a bit of shadow work, so let's do that. So we can a bit, if the sun's on the horizon we're gonna have a bit of shadow. So get a black brush, just really like a soft light, soft brush. Opacity down to about 5%. About the same with these flowers. They have 10% opacity, and then 5% furthest go that. I like it really low, cuz we have a mouse. If you haven't got a Wacom tablet or a pen, it's really easy to use if you got the opacity and the flow to really low values. So I'm just gonna get the brush size about 30 or let's try 50 and just add in a bit of shadow work. So it'll take a little while cuz obviously your flow and your opacity's a bit low. If you get a bit confidence then bring up the flow to about 20 and it'll start to show up a little bit more. We don't want too much of an effect here, we just want it to be a bit more outlined. A bit more effective. So, something like that. Let's zoom out. So that might be too much. It might look a bit too fake. So we can actually blur this. So do a Filter > Blur > Motion Blur. Bring it right down cuz we want the actual sun to have an effect. So that would be this way. Distance, obviously, not too much. Something like that, just really subtle shadow work, that looks fine to me. I'm unhappy with that. So let's add in a few more alligators as well before we end this lesson. So let's, I'm gonna bring up my stocks here, I'm going to bring in another one so let's get this one in here, that looks pretty good. Again, let's try to go through the layers. Let's bring this into the river actually. Down in the back here. Let's make it the other way, so go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. This one should be a lot easier I think especially when it's in the background so like that. So let's make the proportions a bit better, so go to Edit > Transform > Perspective. The perspective looking correct. Something like that. Go through the layer styles. I've got mouse with a scroll wheel so it's quite easy for me to just go through them. I don't have to do it by clicking. Not many of these actually work, so we have to try and play with this a little bit more. So let's try and play with the levels adjustments, so Ctrl + L. Let's try and make this a bit more easier for us to blend in. The black levels a bit, the highlights a bit, and the shadows, something like that. Let's try again. That's not bad there, but it's too much shadow or too much reflective on the surface. But we might have to do this by a mask. Cuz none of these seem to look decent enough, it seems to work in the actual grass. So yeah, let's go to normal. Zoom in a little bit. And then it's going to invert the mask like I've done before, so I code Alt Invert. And now with a really soft brush I'm going to move a white to try and reveal the gladiator. The gladiator [LAUGH], the alligator. So, something like that. That looks good. So then just hit X and the keyboard will go to black and then get rid of that shape. If you wanna be really clever go to the Lasso tool. Around his snout, wrong one, you should run the actual Lasso tool not the Polygon Lasso tool. It's always hard to get out of it, then you go right-click Lasso tool and then just his snout and his head. Get a few spikes in there and then with that you can easily just get rid of that water from the other side of his head. Opacity is going to go to 100 to get rid of this, something like that and you've got a nice looking alligator. So if you think it's a bit too light, you can change it, let's zoom out before we do that cuz we wanna see actually what it looks like. He's a bit big, Ctrl + T. Take him down a bit. Looking good. So I'm gonna hit Ctrl + L and make it destructive, I not too bothered, cuz it's in the background, bring out the midpoints on the shadows. And that's looking really good. So that's the end of this lesson. So please join me in the next lesson, we'll continue making our scene look better, a bit more detailed and we'll continue from there.

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