Photoshop Glamour Girl Makeover Puppet Warp

April 27, 2013 in Digital Related Posts, Photoshop Posts by Ursula Smith

This week is another installment in the progress on the Photoshop girl. I am going to intersperse the next few lessons with other stamping posts, since Mom (who is my most faithful reader ;-) ) doesn’t do Photoshop. But for this week, let’s discuss Puppet Warp.

I’ve talked about Puppet Warp in Photoshop before. I love it for tweaking small sections of my work that are off- usually the eyes, or nose, but sometimes I even use it for the shape of the face. Puppet Warp gives you a little bit better control than the Edit->Transform->Warp tool does. So you can warp small sections of the image while keeping the rest of it intact.

Note that this tool is only available in later versions of Photoshop. If you have earlier versions you won’t have this tool, but you could try the Liquify filter instead, as we discussed last week.

Note that with Puppet Warp, I always copy the image onto a new layer and make edits to that copied layer. Use control-J (command-j on a Mac) or right mouse button click on the layer in the layer’s panel and choose Copy Layer.

When you choose Puppet Warp, you will see your image with a “mesh” overlay- a pile of lines that describe the contours of your image. You can change how many lines you see, or how dense your mesh is, by using the control on the top for Density. The default is normal, but you can choose to use fewer or more points. For tweaking small areas like eyes, I generally change the Density setting to more points.

Photoshop Puppet Warp Mesh Large

PhotoShop Glamour Girl Puppet Warp Large Mesh


Photoshop Puppet Warp Mesh Small

Photoshop Glamour Girl Puppet Warp Mesh Small


Then I usually set points around the whole of my image to keep the outline or general shape intact. You will see this in action- if you don’t set points, once you start moving things parts of your image that you don’t want to change might start moving on you. If that happens, just un-do and go around the outline of your image and set points in the corners and in the middle of each edge.

In Puppet Warp, your cursor will look like a little thumbtack.  To set points just click on the image where you want to put it.  I set points around the perimeter of the image as I described earlier, and then I narrow in and set points around the perimeter of the area I want to move. Often I also set a few points  surrounding that perimeter of what I want to move, so the keep the immediate area outside of the move area intact as well.


Photoshop Puppet Warp Mesh Points

Photoshop Glamour Girl Puppet Warp Points

The next step is to click on the points that you set on the area that you wish to warp. When you click on a point you already set, you then can drag that point to start to warp that portion of the image. My suggestion is that you do a little at a time, so that you can see exactly what is moving and warping, and what may be getting out of whack. You can use ctrl-z (command-z on a mac) to undo one move, but if you move things to fast and realize that two steps ago you may have moved a section too much, then you will need to cancel and start over.

I use the Puppet Warp command to edit small areas of my image that need fine tuning, where the regular Warp command doesn’t work, or where I need a bit greater control than I can get with the Liquify brush. Give it a try and see what you can do with the Puppet Warp command!

It appears as if I blew away the sample of the girl after Puppet Warp, but here are two quick examples of before and after Puppet Warp:


Photoshop Before Puppet Warp

Before Puppet Warp


Photoshop After Puppet Warp

After Puppet Warp

Boston Marathon Fans and Volunteers are the Heros

April 17, 2013 in Mixed Media Posts by Ursula Smith

Monday’s Boston Marathon tragedy hit too close to home. I can not imagine what would make someone want to hurt the Boston Marathon supporters. They are what make the Boston Marathon great. If you have never run a marathon, than you will just need to imagine how helpful it is to have folks lining the roadways and cheering you on, and volunteers helping you if you need it. If you have run before, then you do know what it means to see friends, and family, and even people that you don’t know yelling and clapping and lending their support. This is what the Boston Marathon fans do, all along the way, and in my opinion it it what makes the Boston Marathon great.  They are generous, happy, supportive folks that spend their day off cheering on the people that run. The runners are winners for accomplishing an amazing feat of running 26.2 miles, but the fans and volunteers are winners too. Because without them, many of the runners would have a hard time finishing.

When you start out it is all happy fanfare, music blaring, crowds making noise, and you are pumped to get going. As you are running (and running and running) you understandably start thinking “Ok, why did I do this?” when you hear someone yell your name, or the saying on your T Shirt. It energizes you and you keep going, determined to reach your friends and family waiting at the finish line, to accomplish your goal of running 26.2 miles, and, much of the time, to raise money for a cause.

The fans get you through. The crazy, fun crowds at Wellesley, the group at Heartbreak hill, and of course the throngs at the finish line. For me, I will never forget two people that helped me the year I ran Boston. I didn’t even know them. One was a small boy- who yelled for my T Shirt- “Go Diet Pepsi! I like Coke better, but Go anyway!” That made me laugh for miles!

I ran fine until 22 miles. Heartbreak Hill- no problem. But when someone in the crowd yelled “Go Diet Pepsi- only 4 more miles!”, you would think I would have been re-energized and ready to complete my run in fine style. Instead, I hit the wall. I stopped. I remember saying out loud to some guy I didn’t know- “4 more miles? What the heck, that is an entire run! I can’t do 4 more miles!” He looked at me as if I was crazy and said “You just ran 22 miles- of course you can run 4 more!”. My brain was able to grasp what he said, and I started to nod. He yelled “C’mon Diet Pepsi- go! Finish!” So I did! It was an amazing sight coming into the finish chute with everyone cheering and friends screaming, helpful volunteers there to hand you medals, and foil blankets, and water and whatever else you needed. Lots of hugs, lots of laughs, and lots of celebrating a job well done. That is how the finish should be.

It shouldn’t end like it did Monday. And those happy, cheering, generous fans and volunteers should not have been hurt. It breaks my heart to think of the young boy that was killed, a young boy just like the one that cheered for me during my run. It is painful to even think of the agony his Dad and family are dealing with right now. I wish I could do something to help. I will plan on going to cheer next year. And I hope that the rest of the Boston Marathon fans will return, so that we show whoever did this that they didn’t win on Monday. They won’t win. Ever.

There is a photo circulating now of Martin Richard, the young child that was killed on Monday, holding a sign that states “No More Hurting People. Peace”. Please, yes. I pray your wish comes true.

PhotoShop Glamour Girl Makeover Liquify

April 12, 2013 in Digital Related Posts, Photoshop Posts by Ursula Smith

My drawings always tend to come out a little skewed. As I am drawing they seem fine, but then when I step back, or look the next day, I notice that they are off. I used to just move on, or sometimes I would erase and try to fix things, if it wasn’t too bad. Then one day I decided to scan the picture and fix it in PhotoShop. It worked great! So, now I do that with more of my drawings.

One of the first tools I used to use was Edit->Transform->Warp or even better (with newer versions of Photoshop), edit->Puppet Warp. I will talk abot that tool next week, but this week let’s talk about a filter called Liquify. You can find it under Filters->Liquify. I had used the Forward Warp tool before, but I always used a smaller brush. Using the small brush left things bumpy, so I stopped using it for a while.

Then I watched a class taught by Lesley Adler over on Creative Live. She uses a really large brush with the forward warp tool, and for straightening out entire sides of faces, it works a lot better with the larger brush.

Also, with Liquify, there is a tool on the left hand side that allows you to create a Freeze mask on your image. It does just what it sounds like it should do. If you paint on an area outside of what you are trying to warp with the forward warp tool, it will leave that area alone. So you can freeze the surrounding part of your image, while you move the nose, for example, using the forward warp tool. Click on the Freeze Mask button (if you hover over any of the buttons on the left side, you will see a hint as to what that button does). Paint on the area that you wish to freeze. Then switch back to the forward warp button and start to paint and move that section. There is another tool within Liquify that lets you brush over something you have warped in order to restore it back somewhat to the state it was before, that is, it softens the Liquify changes a bit.

Note that with Liquify, I always make a copy of my original layer into a new layer. Use control-J (command-j on a Mac) or right mouse button click on the layer in the layer’s panel and choose Copy Layer.

Here are some images showing the original image, then a picture showing the Liquify filter in action, and finally the results. I was trying to straighten out my girl’s nose and face, and then even give her a more defined jaw and face shape, as if I was doing a glamour makeover.


Photoshop Glamour Girl Original

Photoshop Glamour Girl Original


Photoshop Glamour Girl Using Liquify

Photoshop Glamour Girl Using Liquify


Photoshop Glamour Girl Liquify With Freeze Mask

Photoshop Glamour Girl Liquify With Freeze Mask


Photoshop Glamour Girl After Liquify

Photoshop Glamour Girl After Liquify
Liquify helps me straighten crooked noses, make the face a bit more symmetrical, and jawlines can me made stronger or softer depending on the look I am going for. It is a great first step. Give it a try!
Next in the series- tweaking the features with Puppet Warp!

Photoshop Makeover of Drawing

April 3, 2013 in Digital Related Posts, Photoshop Posts by Ursula Smith

I have been promising folks a description of what I do in Photoshop with some of my images. I usually do some combination of a number of things-

  • adjust sizing and sometimes proportion
  • adjust images that are skewed either because of scanning issues or because of drawing issues ;-)
  • adjust brightness or contrast
  • adjust colors on all or a portion of the image
  • select and copy parts of images
  • combine images using blend modes (my favorite- I can do this for hours!)
  • paint additional strokes for color or design or filling in spaces
  • add text
  • a myriad of other things, but those listed here are typically what I use on a daily basis

So I thought it might be fun to walk through a series of steps and share what Photoshop tool I used and then see the results. However, instead of using a Photograph, I am going to start with an drawing I made. I have been practicing drawing female faces, and while I have progressed over this year, I still have a long way to go. Since I can work Photoshop like nobody’s business, I can usually get my drawings to a somewhat more acceptable level on the aesthetics scale ;-).

Along the way, we will learn tricks to take a black and white drawing and add color, highlights, pattern etc. You could also use those same skills to go the other way around- for instance, take a color drawing and make it black and white. You can still add texture and highlights, etc and so you could go from something like this…

Lion Sketch On Black Paper

Lion Sketch On Black Paper


to something like this…

Photoshop Lion

Photoshop Lion

So here is the original drawing that I am going to work on iduring the course of this series It definitely needs some help, not to mention color! So join me next week to see where we go from here!

Photoshop Glamour Girl Original

Photoshop Glamour Girl Original

As an FYI- I will be doing all my work in Photoshop CS6. So tools might not be available in previous versions.

Before we go further, if you are brand new to Photoshop, you really need to understand Layers first. I am making the assumption that you have worked in Photoshop before, at least a little, and know enough so that you can open  image documents, and work with multiple image documents/windows open all at once in Photoshop.

Layers work the same in Photoshop as they do in normal scrapbooking (or card making or or Art Journaling or other Mixed Media projects). If you layer a piece of paper over another, the top layer will show, and any paper underneath that top layer, that is not covered by it, will show as well. The bottom layer that is covered by the top layer will not show (because that portion of it is hidden underneath the top layer).

The right hand side of PhotoShop has a panel call the Layers Panel. If you do not see the layers Panel, then you should go to the top of PhotoShop and choose Window->Layers . You should see a check mark next to the word Layers, if  you want the layers panel to show. To have multiple layers in one document, you can either:

  • Open a second image and drag any layer (there may only be one) from that document onto the stop of the first image document.
  • Open a second image and Choose Select->All,  then Edit->Copy. Now click on the first image window and choose Edit->Paste.
  • In your current image window, choose Layer->New-> Layer. Now click on that layer in the layers panel on the right hand side, and then choose the brush tool (quick tip- just  type the letter “b” to get the brush). Now just scribble/paint on that new layer.
  • Click on the type tool (quick tip- just type the letter “t” to get the type tool) and type some words. That will create a new Type layer. This will be a vector layer rather than a raster layer, which is what photographs and working with the paint tool results in, but we don’t really need to worry about that now. We are just trying to get a handle on layers.

When you can see the Layers panel, you need to get in the habit of clicking on the layer that you want to make edits to. If you are not on the right layer you can screw up your image or tools/commands may not work. There is a checkbox at the top, when you are using the move tool (quick tip- type the letter “v” to get the move tool), that says “auto-select”. If that is checked, when you click on an item, it will auto select the layer that the item is on. I like this turned on, but sometimes that can be confusing to folks, so if you are seeing weird things happen when you are using layers, check on the right hand side to make sure you are on the correct layer. To be sure, you can always work with the checkbox turned off, and just get in the habit of always clicking on the layer you want to work on.

The first thing you should get in the habit of doing is making a copy of the original layer.  Click on the layer thumbnail to make sure you are on the correct layer. Use control-J (command-j on a Mac). You can also right mouse button click on the layer in the layer’s panel and choose  Duplicate Layer. Go back to the the original layer, and then click on the eye icon to the left of the Layer Thumbnail. That will shut visibility off on that original layer so you won’t be tempted to do anything to that layer any more, but it is always there so you can go back to it if you need to. Click the eye icon again to turn visibility back on, if the need arises.

You can have lots of layers. The more you have, the larger your file. There are ways around having larger Photoshop files like using Adjustment Layers and doing edits on blank layers that can save you on the file size. But when you are first starting out, just understand the layers concept and you can worry about file size later, when you are rocking it& ;-).

Up near the top of the layers panel there is an opacity slider. You can change the opacity of a layer as well. Click on the layer thumbnail to select a layer (and make sure the eyeball icon on the left is on, so that layer is visible). Change the opacity of the layer by scrubbing the opacity slider back and forth. If you lessen the opacity, then you can make the layer more translucent. If that layer is on top of another visible layer, then it will be similar to the effect of layering vellum over a piece of paper. You can start to see through that layer to the layer below. If you slide the opacity all the way down, it will become invisible and give you the same effect as shutting the eye icon off. You won’t see that layer. It will be like a layer of acetate ;-).

Hopefully the concept of layers makes sense! If you have trouble understanding it, take some paper and read the layers section again with the papers in front of you, and a Photoshop document with multiple  layers open. Now play around until it makes sense. You will only get frustrated if you try to move on, without understanding the concept of layers and how they work.

Join me next time to see how the Liquify tool can help re-shape a drawing.