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How to Create a Cool Animated Mist Effect in Photoshop CS5

May 23rd, 2011 2 comments
Animated Gifs

Animated Gifs

I love these animated gifs and wanted to try something like that myself. I did a photoshoot a couple of months ago and used a fog machine to create a misty background. It would be cool to show the mist swirling around in a short animated gif. The original photo had some mist, but I wanted to add some more in Photoshop and then animate it.

Original:

Model

Original Photo

Animated:

Fog Animation

Fog Animation Effect

Photoshop CS5

Level of difficulty: Intermediate. You should be familiar with working with layers, resizing images and using the warp tool.

Create the mist layers:

(Click on the screen shots to zoom)

    • Create a blank layer above the edited/retouched photo
    • Paint some mist on the blank layer & name the layer Mist 1. I used these mist brushes by SpiritSighs.
Mist Brushes

Mist Brushes

    • Copy the layer, name it Mist 2 and warp it using Edit => Transform => Warp. You can warp the mist to make it look like it has drifted around.
    • Copy the warped layer and repeat with another warp (Mist 3).
    • Copy the above layer and warp it again (Mist 4). You will now have the original image plus four mist layers above it. Click on Fig. 1 to expand.
Mist Layers

Fig. 1 Layer palette with mist layers

Create the Animation Frames:

    • Select the 5 layers and open the animation window (Window => animation – Fig. 2). Make sure you are in frame view (Fig. 3).

Fig. 2 Opening the Animation Window

Fig. 3 Animation window in frame view

  • Click on the frame and duplicate it by dragging it to the new frame icon. Repeat this four times to give a total of 5 frames (Fig. 4 & 5).
Duplicating the frame

Fig. 4 Duplicating the frame

Duplicating the frame

Fig. 5 Duplicating the frame

  • Click on the first frame. Go to the layers panel and make only the base layer (retouch) visible (Fig. 6).
Layer visiblity

Fig. 6 Click on the eye to hide, click again to reveal layer

  • Click on the second frame and make the retouch layer on the Mist 1 layer visible using the layers panel
  • Click on the third frame and make the base layer & the Mist 2 layer visible.
  • Click on the fourth frame and make the base layer & the Mist 3 layer visible
  • Click on the fifth frame & make the base layer & the Mist 4 layer visible
  • Select all 5 frames by clicking on the first and Shift-Clicking on the last one.
  • Change the frame delay time to 0.1 (Fig. 7) You can try different timings depending on what works best for your project.
Change frame delay

Fig. 7 Change frame delay

Tween the animation to make it run more smoothly

  • Click on the first frame and Shift-click on the second frame
  • Go to the animation menu and choose Tween… (Fig. 8)
Animation Menu

Fig. 8 Animation Menu

  • Enter 10 in the “frames to add box” and select all layers, and position & opacity (Fig. 9)
Fig 9 Tween Dialog Box

Fig. 9 Tween Dialog Box

  • Select frames 12 & 13 and repeat the Tween for these two frames. Repeat this for frames 23 & 24 and 34 & 35 (See Fig. 10)
Tweening Frames

Fig. 10 Tweening Frames

  • Duplicate the last frame (45) and move it to the front
  • Tween the first and second frames as before. This makes the animation smoothly cycle back to the beginning.
  • Make sure the repeat mode is “Forever”
  • Save everything!

Check it out – when you press the play button you will have a pretty smooth animation!

Save the animated gif

  • Resize the image to the size that you want (I used a height of 375 pixels because it gave me a file size under 2 MB). Go to Image => Image Size and select the size that you want, making sure to lock the aspect ratio.
  • Go to File => Save for Web & Devices.
  • Set to “forever”
  • Select Gif and Save (Fig. 11)
Fig. 11 Saving the GIF

Fig. 11 Saving the GIF

To view the animated gif, open it with your browser.

I’m looking forward to doing some more of these animations and have lots of ideas for future shoots! If you have tried it, please share by posting a link in the comments section.

Video Tutorial: Pin-Up Photo Retouching

April 4th, 2011 1 comment

This video shows how I retouched a photo to give it a vintage 1940′s – 1950′s pin-up art look using Lightroom 3.3 and Photoshop CS4. The basic technique is in this video tutorial on 1950′s pin-up effects on Planet Photoshop, but with some modifications since I used a low-key dark background but the Planet Photoshop tutorial used a high key photo.

The techniques include:

  • skin smoothing with the surface blur filter
  • using layers & blend modes
  • layer masks
  • making selections using luminosity
  • digital makeup
  • using the photocopy filter
  • merging & copying layers
  • dodging & burning by using curve adjustment layers

Have you done pin-up photography? Please share your links and any techniques in the comments section – thanks!

Kurvy Model Pin-Up

Kurvy Model Pin-up

 

Photoshop Tutorial – Basic Retouching for Beauty Portraits

September 11th, 2010 2 comments

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In this video I show you how I do basic retouching on a beauty portrait, including cleaning up blemishes on the skin, removing stray hairs, brightening up the eyes, retouching lipstick and smoothing the skin using Adobe Lightroom 3.2 and Photoshop CS4. The final image is still very natural looking and does not look like it has been significantly altered.

Here is the final image:

Beauty Portrait

Olympus E-510, Zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-35 lens at 200mm, 1/160 s, f/9.0

Thanks to model Kaitlin Sullivan and makeup artist  Jennifer Ruth!

Please feel free to comment and pass along any tips that you might have. I would also be happy to answer any questions on retouching so please ask!

Photoshop Tip: Bokeh Effect for Glam Makeup Shot

September 5th, 2010 No comments

Gold Glam Lips Bokeh is normally created in-camera by using a shallow depth-of-field and focusing on the subject and allowing the other parts of the image to become blurry. For this shot I wanted to create a glam look by adding some bokeh in Photoshop.

First I retouched the photo, smoothing the skin and removing any blemishes. There are a variety of ways to do this – here is one short step-by-step example.

I added a blank layer above the top layer, and selected a hard-edged round brush and set the foreground colour to white. I wanted the brush to paint a bunch of random circles so I went to the brush window and selected “shape dynamics” and moved the slider for “size jitter” to around 30%, selected “scattering” and checked “both axes” and moved the slider to around 480%, “count” to 2, and “count jitter” to around 30%. FInally, I selected “other dynamics” and changed the “opacity jitter” to 10%. You might need to play around with the settings to get something that looks good for you. I then painted the layer with a few strokes. I added a layer effect – “gradient overlay” and used white for the foreground colour and some gold from the lips for the background. It was a linear gradient with an angle of 118 degrees, and normal blend mode.  Finally, I adjusted the layer opacity to 67%.

I then added another blank layer above this, and painted some more circles, then I used the Gaussian blur filter to make these blurry. You will need to play around with the radius that best works for you. I added some layer effects – “outer glow” and used the eye dropper to grab some gold colour from the lips, and changed the blend mode to screen. I also used “inner glow” with a light yellow colour (ffffbe).  I used a levels adjustment layer, clipped to this layer and lightened up the bokeh circles until they glowed a little. I then changed the layer opacity to about 50%.

Finally, I used a curves adjustment layer above all the other layers to tweak the contrast of the overall image.

Here’s another tutorial for creating an awesome digital bokeh effect.

Bubble Pop!

February 10th, 2010 No comments
Bubble Pop

Bubble Pop

Just for fun!

I took some action photos using the camera’s burst mode during the bubble-blowing set our photoshoot. The burst mode takes a few photos in rapid succession when you hold down the shutter release.

In Photoshop, I  layered a couple of the photos, aligned them, then used the animation window to create a series of 5 layers using the tween command. I then converted the file from 16 bit to 8 bit mode and went to the File… Save for Web and Devices, and saved as a GIF, resizing and choosing the option to loop the animation forever.

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