Heads and Bodies – Part 4

Last week, a “cheat” technique I posted from Steve Caplin’s  How to Cheat in Photoshop, 6th ed. showed how to make President Obama go bald.  In this next tutorial Caplin redresses the hair deficit by teaching his readers how to create a bearded Obama, as seen in the following images sequence:A fuzzy hair brushThreeThe first step to beard creation is fashioning a brush, which is accomplished by using a small soft brush to make a group of squiggly lines that looks somewhat like a tuft of hair.  Then, to turn the squiggles into a brush, choose Define Brush Preset from the edit menu.  When the Brush Presets Panel opens, the newly created brush will be displayed. The default brush will create a dense line.  For realistic looking hair the brush must be adjusted for Shape Dynamics and Color Dynamics. This enables the bush to make a more random, spaced pattern when used for drawing your beard.

Using my new brush, I went to work. First, I gave Obama the full-beard treatment, as shown in the middle image above. To me,  he looks more like a baseball player than a politician.  In the right panel, I used a layer mask to sculpt his beard. But, instead of using the typical soft-edged brush, which would leave an unnatural edge, I followed Caplin’s instructions to employ the very same brush used for creating the beard to create the mask. My result looks more realistic, but still not exactly presidential.

Beards and Stubble
In the next tutorial Caplin shows his readers how to create a short,  stubbly beard as seen in the following image pair:

BeardsBoth This technique uses Gaussian Noise and Radial Blur to create the stubble effect, followed again by a layer mask.  Doesn’t the beard make him look much tougher?

Regardless, I discovered that this technique, along with the previous one, also came in handy for designing the fur for the monkey statue as seen in Friday Challenges – The Problem of Fur, and again in this week’s Friday Challenge, which will be posted at a later date.

The Aging Process
For the final tutorial of this post, let’s consider another common graphics challenge: aging. Caplin  teaches his readers how to first to turn a 40-something woman into a senior citizen and then make her look even more youthful than before:

The Ageing ProcessThreeFor the elderly image, creating the hair grey was a simple matter of generating a new layer set to Color and then painting on it over the hair with either a black or a white brush. This  de-colorized the hair.  Next, facial lines and bags were developed by creating another new layer set to Hard Light. Colors from the darker parts of the face were sampled and a low opacity brush was used to build up the shadows on the cheeks, under the eyes and on the neck.  Finally, the whole image is desaturated using a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer to get rid of the youthful glow.

In the youthful panel, the process is even simpler. The Healing Brush tool was used on the original image to get rid of the mouth lines and the eye bags. Now if it were only so easy to take 20 years off of a real face!

Next: Heads and Bodies – Part 5

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