Heads and Bodies – Part 5

So, I’ll bet you’re wondering how many more posts will be on Heads and Bodies. Well, the human form, and all it’s expressiveness, is one of the most complex challenges to tackle when making altered photos look realistic, so just hang in. We’re almost in there! Besides, it’s worth it.

Reversing the Aging Process
Last week we ended with a tutorial from Steve Caplin’s How to Cheat in Photoshop, 6th ed.  that made a a 40-something woman look 70-something  and then, using the original image,  20-something. This week Prince Charles gets the Royal Treatment when his age is reversed as seen in the following:

HRH prince Charles Visit to IraqFirst, I followed Caplin’s instructions to use the Median filter and the healing brush to get rid of the wrinkles. Then, I deployed a Curves Adjustment layer to get rid of his grey hair. Finally, applying the Liquify filter firmed up his facial contours.  Unlike the woman last week, the original image of Prince Charles didn’t get aged. I wondered why. Perhaps Caplin felt PC looks bad enough already.  Or, perhaps the Queen was not amused.

Lewis Shows His Age – but not in this blog!

At this point in the book Caplin included what he calls a “Case Study.”  He discusses one of his own assignments as a Photomontagist for the Radio Times. In the popular televised Crime Series, Inspector Morse, the aforementioned Morse is accompanied by Sergent Lewis, played by Kevin Whately, who is much younger and slimmer than the character in the original books by Colin Dexter.  In those books Lewis is old, bald and overweight.  the Radio Times asked Caplin to make Whately appear more like what Dexter had originally envisioned.  Unfortunately, due to copyright issues Caplin couldn’t include a file for us to work on. However, his discussion of how he aged Whately was very thorough and I was able to use many of the hints when I created the “Ugly” version of Caplin for the Friday Challenge: the  Woodwork Shop.

It’s All in the Eyes
Sometimes, when making a photomontage, you have two great images but they are both gazing out at the viewer.  The composite image would have ever so much more interaction if the subjects were looking at each other.  In the next tutorial Caplin shows his readers how that can be achieved as seen in this image pair:

It's all in the eyesBothRegular readers might recognize the woman in this image as being the same one from Composing the Scene – Part 1. For that exercise Caplin had already done the work of cutting out one of the irises, making new whites, putting the iris back and duplicating it on the same layer so that the irises would move together.  In this exercise I had to do that work The key is to be sure to place the second iris so that it is looking in the same direction as the first one.

A Change of Expression
In the final tutorial of this post, Caplin once again goes beyond the mere technical and enters the realm of the artistic.

Many times an image would be perfect except for the expression.  Caplin instructs that with judicious use of the liquify filter, an image’s expression can be changed to suit the mood of the composite as seen in the following panel:

216 - ExpressionsPanelpsdThe key is to be subtle! Make only small distortions by using a large brush and a low pressure. Now you, too, can take that scowl out of your 3-year-old nephew’s face to make him match the smiles of the rest of the extended family on your Holiday photo card!

Next: Heads and Bodies – Part 6

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