The key to success is (as always) to find good sources to work with. One of the hardest things to deal with when you are creating a statue is turning the hair into stone (or bronze, or gold or whatever). If you are hoping to learn how to achieve this, you will get disappointed. Ive tried several ways of making the hair look right in the past and failed miserably every time.
The easy way around this hairy problem is of course to forget your Don King or Donald Trump idea and go for Bruce Willis instead. If you don't want to base your statue on a bald celebrity, try to find a source that has the hair you are looking for. I never decide what celebrity I will use beforehand. When I find a good source I ask myself What celebrity has hair like that?. (Too bad everyone in ancient Greece and Rome seemed to have super curly hair. If you don't want to do 218 Frodo statues). For my Hopkins bust, I used this source:
Looks pretty much like Hopkins hairdo, right? Maybe Nicolas Cage could work too. And maybe a few more. Anyway, Hopkins was my choice and fortunately I managed to find a good source pic of him:
Ok, we have found good sources which means 50% of our work is done. :o) Time to align the layers. Lower the opacity on the Hopkins layer and make sure the hairlines are aligned. Resize his face if you have to. Don't worry about the eyes, nose and mouth being off. We will keep the whole lower part of Hokpinss face for this project so it doesnt really matter. Remember to make a copy of the Hopkins source, you will need it later.
I decided to mask out the background behind the statue. The boat doesnt make sense so I go for a plain black background instead (by placing an all black layer below the statue layer). The disturbing metal pipe was removed with the clone tool. I also mask out the parts of his face I don't need, using a very soft brush.
These steps leave me with this:
Here comes the most important step. We have to lose some of his face texture to make him more statue-like (even if DerAlt tells you wrinkles don't hurt). For this, I use the smudge tool with the pressure set to about 30%. I use short strokes and try to follow his facial lines so the shadows don't get too messed up. Don't overdo do it or he will end up looking too blurry and almost rendered. Heres a before and after shot to give you the idea of what we are trying to achieve:
Ok, time for another little trick. We will use a filter that isnt used very often (at least not by me) called high-pass. You can find it under filter - other. Set the radius to about 90 pixels and hit ok. Pretty neat, huh?
Let's get rid of some color. Choose image adjust Hue/Saturation and lower the saturation to about -70. We also want to take advantage of his natural highlights. To make them stand out a bit more, go to image adjust Brightness/Contrast. Don't be shy here. The highlights will be very important to make him look like he is made out of a smooth shiny material. I set the contrast to +30. That's a bit too much so I lower the brightness to -10. (All values throughout this tutorial are of course based on the particular sources. You'll have to experiment when you try this technique with other sources).
Ok, this is where we are at now:
Ok, so far so good. The contrast helped us with the highlights but the shadows are now too dark. No sculptor will cut that deep into the block as our current shadows are suggesting. To fix this I create a new layer above and group it with the face layer. Then I set the layer blending mode to lighten in order to not affect the highlights we just created. I also lower the layer opacity to about 40%.
Now we need to find a good color. We will use trial and error for this and try different colors until we are satisfied. Pick a color from the scene and work from there. I ended up using this color:
I painted with a normal brush on my lighten-layer. As it is grouped with the face layer, I don't have to be careful. The mask I have on the face will take care of it. This is what we get:
We are getting closer! Now it's time for some details. Personally I think the chin turned out a bit dull. I want some highlights there too so I use the dodge tool. With a big soft brush, range set to highlights I go over the chin area, directly on the face layer. (exposure set to about 30%).
Hmm, still some color shining through, especially on the lips. Use the sponge tool and desaturate those parts. There! Hopefully your image looks something like this now:
The color match is still not perfect. Instead of tweaking in absurdum, create a new layer above the others but dont group it with anything below this time. Set the layer blending mode to color and lower the opacity to about 50% (Full opacity would make him look to monochromatic). Pick a color and paint it all over the statue. Try different colors and layer opacities until you are satisfied. This is how my image looks now:
We need to fix his eyes. That will be a big improvement. Fortunately, our original source had pretty good looking eyes so I copy the left eye and paste it on a new layer just above the face layer (it will automatically be grouped).
I lower the opacity and use free transform to align the new eye with Hopkins left eye. I mask out everything except the eyeball. (Use contrast and/or saturation to make it match the face if you have to). Same procedure for the right eye. I think the right eye on the original statue looked pretty strange so I just copy the left eye layer and use that for the right eye as well. As we just use the eyeball, the symmetry will not be noticeable. Here is what we get:
Sir Anthony would be mighty upset if we left him with those goofy looking ears. We will solve this using the same technique as we used for the eyes. Copy from original statue, lower opacity, use free transform to make them look like Hopkins ears and mask out parts you don't want. Place your copy of the Hopkins source image below the ear layer so you can match the shape. (If you have a later version of Photoshop, you can also try liquifying the new ears with Hopkins face as a backdrop layer to get a perfect shape).
Hopkins' ears are smaller than the original statues (thank god!) so you'll have to mask out the ears on the statue layer. We are almost finished now:
The last step is all about final adjustments. I added three adjustment layers on top. Contrast/brightness, curves and hue/saturation. Play with them until you get a nice result. This step also involves fixing things you arent happy with. Maybe lighten some of the shadows that are still too dark with your dodge tool. Maybe give him some more/less saturation here and there with your sponge tool. If you think the highlights in the face are too visible, try lowering the opacity on the face layer. Not too much or the original statue will shine through. About 80% is a good value. Experiment until you get an image YOU are happy with. (My final result looks slightly different than my entry in the contest but that's just because I used different values on my adjustements layer this time.)
I hope some of you can find this tutorial helpful.
Photoshop tutorial by Norrit originally posted on Worth1000.
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Written by DesignCrowd on Saturday, June 11, 2016
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