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Adobe Photoshop for Kids: Become the Wizard of Oz!

This post is part of a series called Adobe Photoshop for Kids!.
Adobe Photoshop for Kids: Mini-Me!
Photoshop for Kids: I'm Stuck!
This post is part of a series called The Wizard of Oz.
Create a Photo Manipulation of the Emerald City of Oz With Adobe Photoshop
Create the Wicked Witch of the West in Adobe Illustrator
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Transform your youngster into the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz! And pay no attention to that person behind the Photoshop...

1. Gather the Resources

The throne room of the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz was visually distinctive in the film. Curtains in the background, some sort of throne or altar structure, smoke and fire, and of course the giant, green, floating head!

Step 1

Download the WizardOzResources.zip file attached to this tutorial. Inside you will find four images that we will use to create the throne room setting:

Step 2

Remember seeing the huge, disembodied head of the Wizard the first time you watched the Wizard of Oz? It was scary and intimidating! It certainly wasn't smiling. 

So coach your child to pose for a few shots, and ask them to express some negative emotions with facial features. Try for things like disdain, contempt, or disgust to get some interesting expressions.

Try for a variety of annoyed wizard expressions

2. Set the Scene

Before releasing our smaller counterpart into the wonderful world of Photoshop, let's set up the throne room first.

Step 1

Open the image of the stage curtain. It's in the attachment for this tutorial and it's called antique-2896_1920.jpg. The color needs to be changed to green, so add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and check the colorize box. Set the Hue to 122, Saturation to 32 and Lightness to -43.

Change the curtain color

Step 2

Create more dramatic contrast to the curtain image by adding a Curves adjustment layer and creating a slight S-shape for the curve.

use a Curves adjustment layer for added contrast

Step 3

Open the organ image, called antique-2896_1920.jpg. Use the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) to create a careful selection around the main structure of the pipe organ. Then go to Edit > Copy (Control-C).

Open the pipe organ image and select the main structure

Step 4

Return to the curtain image and use Edit > Paste (Control-V) to deposit the organ into our throne room scene. It comes in way too large, so use Edit > Free Transform (Control-T) to see the transform handles, which can be used to scale the layer down to fit.

Paste the organ into the throne room file

Step 5

The organ is way too bright. Add a Curves adjustment layer and clip it to the organ layer with Layer > Create Clipping Mask (Alt-Control-G). Then adjust the curve by adding a central point to the line and dragging it downwards.

Darken the organ with Curves

Step 6

The red hues of the organ need to be toned down so they are not as noticeable. Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and change the target color from Master to Red. Then set the Hue to +9, Saturation to -38, and Lightness to -40. Clip this adjustment layer to the last Curves adjustment layer with Layer > Create Clipping Mask (Alt-Control-G).

Adjust the red hues of the organ

Step 7

Open the Fire1.jpg image and drag it over to drop onto the throne room document. Then use Free Transform (Control-T) to scale and rotate the fire into place at the bottom of the image. Set the blending mode to Linear Dodge (Add) and reduce the Opacity to 95%.

Add the fire to the throne room

Step 8

Open the Steam1.jpg image use the same process to place the smoke into the throne room document. For the smoke, use a blend mode of Screen and an Opacity to 64%.

Add a layer of smoke to the scene

Step 9

Duplicate the smoke layer with Layer > Duplicate Layer. Then flip the copy horizontally with Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal and position the layer on the other side of the fire. Use the Edit > Transform > Warp to give the smoke a slightly different shape so it isn't an obvious reflection of the first layer.

Add more smoke to the throne room setting

Step 10

Before handing the project over to the younger member of this creative team, open the photo you two have chosen to use for the project. Then close any other documents that are open except the main throne room we have been working on.

Behold The annoyed future wizard

3. Hey Kids!

First of all, thanks for helping out! Have you had a chance to watch the Wizard of Oz movie with your parents? It was probably one of their favorites as a kid. Your parent has already set up a scene where we can turn you into the great floating head of the Wizard of Oz! So let's get started.

Step 1

You should see the picture of you open in a program called Photoshop. To the left side of the screen is a Tool Bar. In it, look for a little brush that has a dotted line around it—this is the Quick Selection Tool (W). Use it to "paint" a selection of your head. You should see a blinking line of dots showing the selection.

Quick Select around the head

Step 2

Near the top of the screen, look for a Refine Edge button. Press that to get a new window with a bunch of settings. Change the Radius setting to 3 px, the Smooth setting to 15, the Feather setting to 5 px,  and the Shift Edge setting to -20%. Then press OK.

Refine Edge settings

Step 3

Looking at your photo again, we want to copy the selected area. So go to the top menus and find Edit > Copy (Control-C).

Copy the selected area

Step 4

Look along the top of the screen for some tabs. These are showing the documents that are open in Photoshop. There should only be two right now: your photo, and the Oz Throne Room scene. Click on the throne room's tab to see that document.

Switch to the Oz throne room document

Step 5

Now go to Edit > Paste (Control-V) to paste the selection of your face over the throne room scene. If you look in the Layers panel you can see that this is on a layer by itself called Layer 1.

Paste the copied pixels into the scene

Step 6

While still looking at the Layers panel, right click on the layer containing your face and choose Convert to Smart Object. This makes that layer safer to edit in creative ways.

Step 7

Go to the menus at the top and choose Edit > Free Transform. You will see a box around your face on the screen. Click and drag on the corners to resize it until your face fits into the scene like you remember the glowing face of the Great Wizard!

Resize the face in the scene

Step 8

Do you remember how huge the Wizard's head was? We can make yours just like that too! Go to Edit > Transform > Warp to get a different set of handles around your face layer. These let you drag on the corners and intersections to change the shape of the layer. Make the top part of your head really, really big, and your neck rather thin too.

Shape the giant head

Step 9

Now to add that mysterious emerald glow. Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation (Control-U). When the settings box comes up, check the Colorize box and set the Hue to 120, Saturation to 70, and Lightness to -40. Then click OK.

Add the emerald color

Step 10

Look again at the Layers panel and find a setting near the top of the panel that says Normal. This is called the Blending Mode. Change it to Lighten so that your face looks as if it's made of light and you can see the smoke showing through it.

Change the blending mode

Step 11

Now go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All. You won't see anything looking different, but now there's another little white box next to the small picture of you in the Layers panel. This is the mask thumbnail. This will help us control how the edges look around your head.

Add a Layer Mask

Step 12

Next grab the Brush Tool (B) from the tool bar on the left. Then right click to get the brush options and select the Soft Round Brush. Make sure your paint color is black, and then use this brush like an eraser to paint out the hard edges around your hair and neck, or any other areas that don't quite look right.

Use a soft round brush to remove the hard lines

Great Work!

Nicely done. Your image should look something like this now.

New Floating Wizard Head

4. Finish Effects

Now that we have our wizard looking on, let's add a few subtle effects to the scene to finish it up. Work together on this part. If the child feel confident enough to follow the steps, encourage them to do so, but be ready to help out if they get stuck!

Step 1

Add a new layer under the Fire layer for Painted Smoke. Use a Soft Round Brush with a midtone grey and low opacity to build up some haze behind the smoke and give it more substance.

Add some painted smoke for depth

Step 2

Switch to black paint and add some darkening effects behind the fire to help it stand out more. Be careful here—it's just to add contrast to the flame, not shadows to the scene.

Add some dark areas behind teh fire image

Step 3

Add another layer and grab the Gradient Tool (G), setting it to the Foreground to Transparent preset and Radial shape. Hold down the Alt key to sample an orange color from the fire. Then create the gradient radiating up from the flame. Set the layer blend mode to Color Dodge and the Opacity to 60%.

Final orange glow from the fire

You Are Done!

All Hail the newly crowned Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz! Just don't pull back that curtain!

Final product of Wizard of Oz photo manipulation

How did your new wizard come out? Show us in the comments below!

Want More?

I hope you and your child had as much fun with this project as my daughter and I did! I've got more Photoshop for Kids! tutorials along with some photo manipulation projects, custom brushes, and even more Photoshop fun. Check out my profile here at Tuts+ for my other tutorials, quick tips, and courses.

If you're looking to try a few different resources to vary the result of the tutorial, there are plenty of alternative steam or smoke photographs and fire images on Envato Market. Have fun!

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