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Reflect my magical potential

Posted by
Curly (South Shields, United Kingdom) on 9 January 2011 in People & Portrait and Portfolio.

A result of boredom, an hour and a half playing around in Photoshop following some web based tutorials then painting with brushes.

I met my model at the same house party that featured in yesterday's post, like many people in South Shields we walk for miles on New Year's Eve going from house to house celebrating the New Year and getting quite "merry".

First of all here's the original for you to compare with.

I started by cropping the image in Photoshop and entered the original pixel dimensions into the crop tool's options bar, in this case 6144 px X 4101 px.
Then I made a loose selection with the lasso, hit ctr + j to set it on it's own layer. With this layer now named "face" I used the extract filter (tutorial here) to leave a good selection of the girl's face.
I then switched off visibility to all other layers, and then opened a new file containing a downloaded texture .jpg, and used the move tool with shift held down to drag it onto my image, once in place we used edit>free transform, and dragged the corners until the texture filled the screen, then the texture layer was dragged below the face layer in the layers palette.

I then made the face layer active and carefully followed this tutorial to do the skin retouching.

When the processes were completed, I made the top layer active, and in the layer's palette fly out I merged all of the "face" layers, having first switched off the visibility of the background and other layers below. Then the "face" layer's visibility was switched off, the texture layer was made active, then I merged down to leave me just these two layers.

It was now time to make the "face" layer active again, and using the lasso tool with a feather of 25 pixels applied, I made a loose selection around the left eye, then held down the shift key and made a similar selection around the right eye, hit ctr + j to set the selection on to its own layer and named it "eyes". Now with "eyes" active I went to image>adjustments>brightness and contrast and lightened the eyes a little and gave them a very small contrast boost, I then zoomed in closer and used the lasso again (10 pixel feather this time) to make a tighter selection around the pupils, then chose image>adjustments> hue and saturation, and bumped up the colour saturation of the pupils. Finally at this point I used the dodging brush set to highlights and 5% opacity and passed it over the white of the eyes a couple of times to lighten them, then I merged "eyes" and "face" together and ensured that this layer was renamed "face" again.

Next step was to make a slight levels adjustment to "face" because I thought it was too warm and a little too dark, then on to another tutorial to change and lighten the hair colour, all nice and easy using Quick Mask.

Next step after altering the hair, was to duplicate "face" layer and name it "face copy", this was made active and I then went to edit>transform>flip horizontal and used the move tool to reposition it as a mirror image on the right, the blend mode was then set to overlay and an opacity adjustment was made in the layers palette.

We are now finished with the face layers, time to make the background texture layer active, all I did here was to open up the hue and saturation adjustment , ctrl +U, and played with the hue slider till I got the colour I wanted, then adjusted the lightness slider to relieve the effect a little, finally I went to filter>blur, gaussian blur, and blurred it by 2 pixels.

Next make the top "face" layer active again and create a new layer which opens on top of "face", now it was time to play with some brushes and colours. Each brush and each colour was set on a new layer (so that you can edit them), the blend modes were set to colour or overlay, and the layer with the stars on it was duplicated, the lower of the two star layers was moved a couple of pixels to the right and had some gaussian blur applied to it.

That was about it, after a while just staring at your results and trying to decide if more or less was needed (no need to be hasty), I removed a couple of paint layers and finally flattened.

Lessons to be learned - (a) don't delete every picture that you take, a rescue or transformation can often be made to happen in Photoshop, (b) there are no limits if you are open minded, (c) never say it CANNOT be done, it can, (d) there are almost limitless resources and tutorials on the internet, you only need to look for them, (e) it only takes a couple of hours of your time to learn how to do this.

Finally, most of this can be achieved in Photoshop Elements as well as its bigger brother. So fire up your photo editor and have some fun!

PENTAX K100D 1/60 second F/5.6 ISO 200 67 mm (35mm equiv.)

Use control and your mouse scroll wheel to zoom the picture/page, then control and 0 to reset to normal size.

Even though I may not be able to visit or respond daily, I always welcome your comments or critiques.
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Read my views in Curly's Corner Shop, to find out a little more about my home town South Shields.

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frammy from MIRAMAS, France

tres beau portrait
je vous souhaite une bonne journée

9 Jan 2011 5:26am

Beat from Switzerland

superbe work! fantastic portrait shot.very well done

9 Jan 2011 5:42am

Scott F. Schilling from San Martin, United States

Great work on this and I like the look!

9 Jan 2011 5:44am

NaDu from Köln, Germany

Exiting technique. I read the beginning of your detailed essay and saved it to get through later. It's greatly kind of you to share your methods. Thank you, Curly.

9 Jan 2011 7:51am

delkoo from marguerittes, France

great soft double portrait, it is well suited for the new year.

thanks for the note and tutoral

9 Jan 2011 8:34am

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

Even if (imho) you picked the wrong model of the two...what a great blog Curly...so informative... although I was exhausted by the end!):-
The transformation and reveal is quite amazing and if you also like the before & after reveal, take a look at Pixeldreamer and his work, and the set up of pixelpost shows amazing pre & post processing reveals
I agree totally with the lessons...but the cost is a hardrive full of junk (like mine) that you keep in the hope of the next editing miracle to come along! It should also come sooner now as a I picked up Elements 9 over the holidays and possibilities now seem endless even if I have much more to learn. You may also want to take a look at these MCP actions, they are also '8' compatible, and I've had a lot of fun playing with eyes and teeth, if you know what I mean!

9 Jan 2011 8:46am

@Ted: I amazed at some of the work in that Blog Ted, bookmarked! Oh, and I'd never be caught paying for actions, there are thousands of them available legitimately for free.

Richard from Duns, United Kingdom

Fascinating write up Curly and a great result to all that hard work.

9 Jan 2011 9:08am

StarCosmosBleu from Bedford.Qc, Canada

Wow! that is some workflow..you need patience indeed to get such great results...lovely work...

9 Jan 2011 10:27am

CElliottUK from Reading, United Kingdom

Exceptional documentation! I didn't know that there was an extract filter. Hmm, that's my Sunday afternoon gone trying it out!
The hard work shows in the result

9 Jan 2011 10:28am

Richard from Montferland, Netherlands

Great work Curly, it cost you a lot of work to write all down!!

9 Jan 2011 10:33am

Christine from Duns, United Kingdom

Great result, I hope you sent her a copy, she will love it. Your generous write up showed me how much I have to learn, I wish I was more technical......and patient.

9 Jan 2011 10:44am

Pied Crow from Abuja, Nigeria

Thanks for the tutorial, it is always so hard for me to work my way through this kind of digital magic, it seems like too many options and choices. Step-by-step like this is terrific...I like your model, too, she looks quite merry herself and a real individual.

9 Jan 2011 11:07am

Marilla from Turku, Finland

Exciting shot! Thanks for telling us how you did it.

9 Jan 2011 11:24am

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

That's exceptionally well done Curly. You obviously have time on your side though:)

9 Jan 2011 11:28am

@grouser: Well it was better than being dragged around a supermarket!

Araceli Martinez from Barcelona, Spain

Buen trabajo!

9 Jan 2011 11:48am

Nilla´s photo shoots from Östergötland, Sweden

What a good result it got there by hard work! The model is so beautiful and has a wonderful smile. I'll save the tip! Thanks for being there.

9 Jan 2011 1:53pm

STEED from Somewhere, France

Ouf !!!!!!!!! First,I thought I was drunken..

9 Jan 2011 2:10pm

parisa from shiraz, Iran

nice shot

9 Jan 2011 2:57pm

Reed from St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Nice post-processing. That's one thing about Photoshop - it seems like every time I open it I lose a couple hours of my life!

9 Jan 2011 2:58pm

Julie from Easton, United States

What an awesome portrait!!! Well done my friend!

9 Jan 2011 3:03pm

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

Super details and description of your process Curly! I'll give it a try some cold winter's evening. Well done! ;-)

9 Jan 2011 3:09pm

cristina from Barcelona (Catalunya), Spain

perfecto tutorial y resultados!! estaría bien poder comparar con la foto original.
gracias por el tutorial

9 Jan 2011 4:19pm

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

Yeah, there's a few...but you've been luckier than me or more patient, in tracking down the worthwhile ones!

9 Jan 2011 4:19pm

Yvon from Orleans, France

wonderful portrait

9 Jan 2011 4:30pm

Sonia Nansid from Barcelona Stockholm, Sweden

Thanks for sharing the technique. A result full of glamour!

9 Jan 2011 4:50pm

Franz from Baden, Austria

what a process, but the end definitely justifies the means!

9 Jan 2011 4:52pm

CLODO from PESSAC, France


thank you for your PHOTOSHOP lesson, so we understand how you get this double smiling portrait.

9 Jan 2011 7:08pm

missparis from PARIS, France

Très sympa

9 Jan 2011 7:12pm

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

Very smooth for certain! Thank you Culy, fr the very detailed explanation as well..Beauiful job - well done!

9 Jan 2011 7:26pm

Tomek from PoznaƄ, Poland

Completly different processing but fantastic result.Bravo Curly.

9 Jan 2011 8:04pm

@Tomek: "Jack of all trades" Tomek, but "master of none".

Nazzareno from Rome, Italy

Wonderful processing. Amazing tones, light and composition!! !!

9 Jan 2011 9:13pm

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

Great work ! Bravo !!

9 Jan 2011 10:24pm

Nigel from Avening, United Kingdom

True devotion to the art !

9 Jan 2011 11:26pm

Wild Mustang Photography from Carlisle, Massachusetts, United States

A wonderful and creative portrait! Beautiful detail and color! Magical!!!!! Nice work Curly! Your fooling around with photoshop brings brilliant work!!!

10 Jan 2011 2:50am

M@ndy from London, United Kingdom

bloody 'ell - what a transformation

10 Jan 2011 4:45pm

Xerophytes from London, United Kingdom

very nice. with a nice detail steps.

10 Jan 2011 4:52pm

Tomix from landerneau, France

WOW! stunning work you did!! my poor english...i can't understand all what you said but i appreciate you give so much explanations! 5* for that!! :)

10 Jan 2011 5:59pm

Phil David Morris from Saskatoon, Canada

Very beautiful model and brilliant pp make this a wonderful work of art, an
amazing reflection effect like I have never seen before. Superb.

10 Jan 2011 8:21pm

MadScientist from Düsseldorf, Germany

So cool, experiments like this will eventually make me try PS, too.

10 Jan 2011 9:14pm

Amanda from Jersey City, United States

Very cool treatment--she looks like a pop star!

10 Jan 2011 10:27pm

¨‘°ºO Dutçh Oº°‘¨ from Neverwhere, United States

Lovely, her skin just glows.

11 Jan 2011 3:34am

Hilde Morin from Portland, Oregon, United States

Nice processing...thank you so much for the lesson, I'll try it soon.

11 Jan 2011 5:36am

Phil Bourgeois from Halifax, Canada

Wow....that is a heck of a lot of work! But the end result is pretty nice!

11 Jan 2011 4:42pm

Helia from Tehran, Iran

very cool...I wish I was your model :-)

11 Jan 2011 5:53pm

Zora Zoé Schmidt - sichtbar fotogrativ from Berlin, Germany

Boredom can be the cornerstone to very great results - like this one! Bravo !!!

13 Jan 2011 5:03pm

Nitin from Shanghai, China

superb stuff i like ur skills in this :)

6 Mar 2011 4:37am

1/60 second
ISO 200
67 mm (35mm equiv.)