Avatar Project

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Student Examples

Part One (resizing the eyes)

  • Open your file in Photoshop (verify that it’s high resolution by go to Image—>Image Size)
  • ellen avatar
  • Make a layer copy by pressing ‘command j’
  • Rename the layer to Original
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 12.24.16 PM
  • Make a selection around the right eye and eyebrow using the Lasso Tool (L)
  •  2 selection around eye and eyebrow
  • Edit—>Copy (command c)
  • Edit—>Paste (command v)
  • Rename layer ‘Eye Right’
  • Edit—>Free Transform
  • Enlarge and rotate slightly (press return when you are done)
  •  4 enlarge and rotate
  • Select the original layer
  • Make selection around the left eye and eyebrow
  • Edit—>Copy
  • Edit—>Paste
  • Rename layer ‘Eye Left’
  • Enlarge and rotate slightly
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 12.27.23 PM
  • Select both eye layers by clicking on one, hold your shift key, and click on the other layer
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 12.29.20 PM
  • Press ‘command e’ to merge the layers together
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 12.29.25 PM
  • Rename the layer to ‘eyes’
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 12.29.32 PM
  • Use the Eraser Tool (e) to erase around the eyes to blend it in with the face
  •  Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 12.51.48 PM
  • Select the eyes and original layer and merge together (command e)
  • Rename it it ‘edited’
  • Rename the background layer ‘original’
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 5.30.22 PM
  • Select the Patch Tool (J) on the toolbar (it might be hidden under the healing brush)
  •  9 patch tool
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 5.32.55 PM
  • Make a selection around one of the eyebrows
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 5.31.35 PM
  • Press and hold inside the selection and drag over to an empty patch of skin (the forehead or cheek might be the best choice for this)
  • Release the mouse when it is over the forehead/cheek
  • Deselect (command d)
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 5.35.22 PM
  • Repeat for the other eyebrow
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 5.35.38 PM
  • Use the Healing Brush (J)…looks like the band-aid and/or the Clone Stamp Tool (S) to blend it in (Click here if you need a refresher on the Healing Brush and Clone Tool)
  • SPEND TIME ON THIS PART! Make sure that everything is well blended in (this includes under/around the eye)
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.19.41 PM

Part Two (Liquifying…flattening and enlarging the nose)

  • Go to Filter—>Liquify
  •  12 Filter, liquify
  • Your screen should look similar to this
  •  12.5 Liquify screen
  • Select the ‘freeze mask tool’ (f) on the lefthand side of the panel
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.22.41 PM
  • Make sure that box next to ‘Show Mask’ is checked
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.27.15 PM
  • Paint around the areas of the nose (the goal of this step is to flatten the nose without distorting the eyes and mouth)
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.29.04 PM
  • Select the Forward Warp Tool (w)
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.29.11 PM
  • Move the shadows near the bridges of the eyes outward (the shadow/dark spot on the left eye should be pushed left…same for the right side)
  • Keep using the Forward Warp Tool to stretch and flatten the nose
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.43.55 PM
  • Press OK when you are done

Part Three (Enlarging the eyes)

  • Make a layer copy of the ‘edited’ layer
  • Rename it to ‘edited liquify nose’ (you can make the other layers invisible…we won’t be needing them for now)
  •  Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.46.24 PM
  • Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool (m)
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.47.29 PM
  • Make a selection around the left eye while holding down the shift key to keep it in proportion
  •  Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.47.06 PM
  • Press ‘command j’ to make a layer copy of that selection
  • Rename the layer to ‘left eye’
  • Click back on the ‘edited liquify nose’ layer
  • Make a selection around the right eye
  • Press ‘command j’ to make a layer copy of that selection
  • Rename that layer to ‘right eye’
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.48.02 PM
  • Press ‘command t’ (you can also go to edit—>free transform)
  • Move the registration point (that is the point in the center of the selection) to the middle of the pupil
  • Hold down the shift key while you enlarge the eye
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.48.30 PM
  • Press enter to release it
  • Click on the ‘left eye’ layer
  • Press ‘command t’ (you can also go to edit—>free transform)
  • Move the registration point (that is the point in the center of the selection) to the middle of the pupil
  • Hold down the shift key while you enlarge the eye
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.48.47 PM
  • Press enter to release it
  • Merge the ‘left eye’ and ‘right eye’ layers together
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.49.02 PM
  • Rename the layer ‘eyes’
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.49.10 PM
  • Add a layer mask to the eyes layer (it’s the second icon next from the left on the layers panel, you can also go to image—>layer mask—>reveal all)
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.49.19 PM
  • Making sure that the layer mask icon is selected, use the Brush Tool (b) to take away parts of the eye that overlaps (SPEND TIME ON THIS PART!)
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 7.08.18 PM

Part Four (liquifying the eye)

  • Click on the ‘edited liquify nose’ layer
  • Filter—>Liquify
  • Select the Bloat Tool (b) on the left side toolbar
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.23.46 PM
  • The goal of this step is to make the lower part of the eye (use the mask tool to make sure the top part of the eye does not move)
  • Press OK when done
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 10.27.05 PM
  • Select the ‘eyes’ layer
  • If the eyes look off center, follow the steps in red. If they look fine as they are, you can skip the steps in red
  • Select the Elliptical Marque Tool (m)
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.38.01 PM
  • Make a selection around one of the eyes
  • Click on the Move Tool (v)
  • Move the eye
  • Select the Elliptical Marque Tool (m)
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.38.01 PM
  • Make a selection around the other eye
  • Click on the Move Tool (v)
  • Move the eye
  • Use the layer mask in the ‘eyes’ layer to do any touch-ups
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.44.31 PM
  • Select both the ‘eyes’ and ‘edited liquified nose’ layers (click on one layer, press your shift key, click on the other layer)
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.46.23 PM
  • Press ‘command e’ to merge the layers
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.46.30 PM
  • Rename to ‘edited nose and eyes’
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.46.51 PM

Adding Blue

  • Add a new layer
  • Change the layer blending mode to ‘hard light’
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.49.20 PM
  • Rename the layer ‘blue’
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.49.35 PM
  • Select the Paint Bucket Tool (g)
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.49.56 PM
  • Select a blue color
  • Click on the image to fill with blue
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.56.42 PM
  • Add a new layer
  • Rename it to ‘blue 2’
  • Make sure ‘blue 2’ is on the top
  • Change the layer blending mode to ‘Overlay’
  • Select a light blue color
  • Use the Paint Bucket Tool (g) to fill in the blue
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.57.17 PM
  • If you want to adjust the color, press ‘command u’ or go to Layer—>Adjustment—>Hue/Saturation
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 8.57.48 PM
  •  Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 9.02.15 PM

Getting rid of the blue

  • Make a layer copy of the ‘edited nose and eye layer’. Merge the two blue layers with the edited nose and eyes copy layer
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 9.53.00 PM
  • Rename it to blue edited
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 9.53.17 PM
  • Add a layer mask to blue edited layer
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 9.53.24 PM
  • Use the brush tools to take away the parts that do not need to be blue
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 10.02.57 PM

Yellow Eyes

Below are examples of what their eyes look like in the movie

  • Add a new layer and name it ‘Yellow’
  • Select the Paint Brush Tool (b)
  • Select a yellow color
  • Paint the iris yellow
  • Use a layer mask if you need to (make sure the pupil is not painted yellow)
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 8.37.25 PM
  • Change the layer blending mode to ‘Color’
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 8.42.37 PM
  • Make a layer copy (command j)
  • Change the layer blending mode to ‘Overlay’
  • You can lower the opacity to lessen the intensity of the yellow (this is optional)
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 8.53.26 PM
  • If you want to adjust the color of the eyes, select one of the yellow layers and press command u (or go to Image—>Adjustments—>Hue/Saturation
  • Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 8.56.51 PM
  • Tip: If your eyes are showing up really dark, keep duplicating the overlay layer. You might also need to add a new layer and rebuild the eye if the pupil gets lost.  Ask me for help if you get stuck on this step and I will show you how to do it.

Adding light to the face (giving it some highlights)

The steps in this section that are in green are optional, but strongly encouraged if your image is appearing slightly flat. Do these steps to add highlights to the forehead and nose (skip these steps if the avatar is already looking shiny).

  • Click on the ‘Blue edited’ layer and press ‘command j’ to make a layer copy
  • Rename it ‘light on face’
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 9.17.14 PM
  • Select the Dodge Tool (0)
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 9.16.27 PM
  • Look at the top horizontal bar, make sure that the range is set to ‘Midtones’
  • Select a brush with soft edges
  • Set the exposure to a low opacity (it does not need to match the image below)
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 9.23.39 PM
  • Use the Dodge Tool (o) they way that you would use the Brush Tool (b)
  • Pay close attention to the changes, they are subtle!
  • Lighten the forehead and nose (the first image is what it looked like before and the second image is what it looks like after the highlights are added)
  •  

  • Add another new layer (sorry! there’s a lot) and name it ‘Speckles’ (make sure it’s at the top)
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 9.50.04 PM
  • Select a speckled brush (you can also download a skin textured brush or a brush for freckles)
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 10.08.27 PM
  • Select a light blue color
  • Add the texture brush all over the skin
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 10.10.58 PM
  • Use a layer mask or the Erase Tool (e) to delete any of the texture that went other areas besides the skin
  • Change the Layer Blending Mode to ‘Soft Light’
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 10.20.26 PM
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 10.20.34 PM
  • Feel free to lower the layer opacity to decrease the intensity of the texture (adjust to your preference)
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 10.23.55 PM

Eyebrows

  • Make a new layer called ‘eyebrows’ and place it above ‘light on face’ layer
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 9.15.52 PM
  • Make all layers except the ‘eyebrows’ and ‘original’ layer invisible
  • Use the Lasso Tool (l) to make a selection around the original eyebrows
  • Make sure you are on the ‘eyebrows’ layer
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 9.16.08 PM
  • Change the layer blending mode to ‘Overlay’
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 9.16.48 PM
  • Make the other layers visible
  • Select the Paint Bucket Tool (b)
  • Select a dark blue color
  • Fill in the eyebrows
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 9.17.33 PM
  • Select the Marque Tool (m)
  • Make a selection around one of the eyebrows
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 9.17.39 PM
  • Select the Move Tool (v)
  • Move the eyebrow in place
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 9.17.45 PM
  • Tip: press ‘command t’ to slightly rotate the eyebrow
  • Select the Marque tool (m)
  • Make a selection around the other eyebrow
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 9.17.50 PM
  • Select the Move Tool (v)
  • Move the other eyebrow in place
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 9.17.54 PM
  • Deselect (command d)
  • Make all layers visible
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 9.18.02 PM
  • Tip: press ‘command t’ to slightly rotate the eyebrow
  • Select the Smudge Tool from the toolbar (it’ll be below the Gradient Tool and might be hidden under the Blur Tool)
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 9.33.14 PM
  • Use similar settings, making sure the brush is small
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 9.38.06 PM
  • This next step is to make the edges of the eyebrows a little more textured and natural
  • Click an hold the mouse around the edges of the eyebrows and drag it in an up and down motion like the image below (fyi…the white is a motion that you are making, you are NOT painting it white)
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 9.44.52 PM
  • The image below is what the eyebrows look like prior to the Smudge Tool
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 9.49.03 PM
  • The image below is what the eyebrows look like AFTER the Smudge Tool
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 9.48.52 PM

Stripes!

You will learn how to add the stripes in the next steps. The stripes are going to show wherever there is skin. The easiest way is to use a guide to divide the image in half and then copying and reflecting the other half. If the face of your avatar does not work with the guide method, you do not have have to use the guides. The stripes of the avatar do not need to be symmetrical. You can also find a zebra pattern and use it instead of creating your own stripes

  • Add a new layer called ‘Stripes’ and change the layer blending mode to ‘Overlay’
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 10.36.08 AM
  • Go to View—>New Guide
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 10.25.42 AM
  • Click on ‘Vertical’ (the number doesn’t matter)
  • Make sure you have the Move Tool (v) selected
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 10.26.05 AM
  • Move the guide in place
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 10.28.16 AM
  • Select the Pen Tool (p)
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 10.32.48 AM
  • Make stripes around the face and neck (if you have arms, then do those too)
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 10.34.27 AM
  • Click ‘Make Selection’ from the top horizontal bar
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 10.34.35 AM
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 10.34.41 AM
  • Press OK
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 10.34.46 AM
  • Fill it with a light blue
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 10.36.32 AM
  • Press ‘command d’ to deselect
  • Press ‘command u’ to change the color to something that is slightly darker than the skin
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 10.37.05 AM
  • Use the Smudge Tool the same way as you did with the eyebrows. This will make the stripes look more textured
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.13.22 AM
  • Press ‘command j’ to make a layer copy
  • Go to Edit—>Transform—>Flip Horizontal
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.13.40 AM
  • Move the other stripes in place
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.13.49 AM
  • Use a layer mask or the Eraser Tool (e) to delete unwanted stripes
  • You can also lower the opacity and/or change the layer blending mode (sometimes soft light works better than overlay)

  • Find an image of stripes from the internet
  • Copy and paste it in your avatar document
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.18.47 AM
  • Use your Wand Tool (w) to delete the white
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.18.52 AM
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.18.58 AM
  • Rename the layer ‘stripes’ and change the layer blending mode to ‘Overlay’
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.18.31 AM
  • Use the Paint Bucket Tool (g) to fill it with a blue color
  • Use hue/saturation (command u) to change the color to a blue that is slightly darker than the skin
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 11.19.05 AM
  • Make sure to use a layer mask or Eraser Tool (e) to get rid of unwanted stripes
  • Below are great stripe images you can use (you can definitely use others!)
  • Lower the opacity to your preference (you can also adjust the layer blending mode)

  • Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 7.42.20 PM
  • Don’t forget to use the Smudge Tool the same way you did on the eyebrows! It gives the stripes great texture!

Adding Dots

  • Add a new layer called ‘Dots’
  • Put it at the top of the layers panel
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 7.22.08 PM
  • Select the Brush Tool (b)
  • Set the color to white
  • Go to Window—>Brush
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 7.32.33 PM
  • You can place each dot individually or select the ‘Scattering’ option (keep in mind you have to click on the word ‘scattering’ to adjust it’s settings)…I also adjust the ‘Shape Dynamics’ as well as the spacing in the ‘Brush Tip Shape’
  • Use a variety of brush sizes
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 7.41.17 PM
  • You can use the Eraser Tool (e) to remove any dots that you do not want
  • After you are satisfied with the dots, go to Layer—>Layer Style—>Blending Options (or just double click the ‘Dots’ layer)
  • Select Outer Glow
  • Select a mid-blue color
  • Change the Opacity to 100
  • There were some dots that I wanted to be symmetrical so I used the Lasso Tool (L) to make a selection around it
  • I then went to Edit—>Copy
  • Edit—>Paste
  • Edit—>Transform—>Flip Horizontal
  • I used the Move Tool (V) to place it in the position that I wanted
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 7.43.04 PM
  • I merged the two layers and renamed it ‘Dots’
  • I then added more dots
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 8.15.32 PM
  • If there are dots you want to delete, use the Eraser Tool (E) to remove them
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 8.15.27 PMScreen Shot 2014-02-16 at 8.23.02 PM
  • After you are satisfied with the dots, go to Layer—>Layer Style—>Blending Options (or just double click on the ‘Dots’ layer)
  • Select Outer Glow
  • Select a mid-blue color
  • Change the Opacity to 100
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 8.30.57 PM
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 8.31.06 PM
  • Adjust the layer opacity to lessen the intensity of the dots (you do not have to use the same opacity as I did)
  •  Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 8.31.34 PM
  • After the opacity change, I added more dots and deleted others (you do not have to)
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 8.37.56 PM

Merging Layers

In these next steps, we are going to merge a lot of the layers. Before we do this, we need to apply the layer masks.

Tip: Before you start these next steps, make layer copies of all of  your layers and put them in a ‘group’ folder to ensure that you can go back and make any edits you see fit

  • Right click a layer that has a layer mask (or press the control key while clicking the the name of the layer)
  • Select ‘Apply Layer Mask’
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 9.49.20 PM
  • Repeat these steps on all the visible layers with layer masks (if your avatar is separate from the background, do not merge it with the background)
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 9.49.37 PM
  • Select the layers
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 9.50.23 PM
  • Press ‘command e’ to merge the layers
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 9.50.57 PM
  • I renamed mine to ‘merged layers’ (you do not have to)

Elongating the neck

The avatars in the movie have a long neck. We will be using the Liquify filter to achieve this look.

  • Select the ‘merged layers’ layer
  • Go to Filter—>Liquify
  • Use the Freeze Mask Tool (f) to paint over the parts you do not want to be distorted
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 9.57.33 PM.png
  • Click on the Forward Warp Tool (w)
  • Elongate the neck (do this by pulling downward on the shoulders)
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 10.04.17 PM

Ears

If ears are not visible on your Avatar, you can skip this step

  • Open the image(s) in Photoshop
  • 127 image
  • Use the Lasso Tool (L) to make a selection around the ear
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 7.18.31 PM 
  • Go to Edit—>Copy (or command c)
  • Go to your Avatar image and then Edit—>Paste (command v)
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 9.03.45 PM
  • Go to Edit—>Free Transform to scale and rotate the ear
  • Press ‘return’ to release it
  • Go to Select—>Select All
  • Edit—>Copy
  • Edit—>Paste
  • Edit—>Transform—>Flip Horizontal
  • Go to Edit—>Free Transform to scale and rotate the ear
  • Press ‘return’ to release it
  • Merge the ear layers together and rename it ‘Ears’
  • Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 10.12.14 PM
  • Add a layer mask to the ‘Ear’ layer
  • Lower the opacity of the layer so you can see the original ears behind it (this will be brought back to normal later)
  • Make sure the layer mask is selected
  • Select the Brush Tool (B)
  • Select black
  • Paint over the parts of the ear that need to be deleted (if you make a mistake, change the color to white to make the selection reappear)
  • Go to Image—>Adjustments—>Hue/Saturation
  • Change the ears to match the skin of your avatar
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 8.54.20 PM
  • NEXT STEPS ARE OPTIONAL
  • Go to Filter—>Artistic—>Plastic Wrap (or go to Filter—>Filter Gallery and select Plastic Wrap)
  • Adjust the levels for your desired effect (you do not have to match what I selected)
  • 140 plastic wrap
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 8.53.04 PM
  • I went back to Hue/Saturation and made some adjustments
  • I selected the ears
  • Use the Eye Dropper (I) to select a blue on the face near the ear
  • Use your Brush Tool (B) at a low opacity and cover the ear to help it blend  in more
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 9.00.06 PM
  • I selected the ears and use the Eyedropper Tool to sample the blue on her face
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 8.59.04 PM
  • Select the Brush Tool (B) and lower the opacity
  • Paint over the selected ears to help them blend in more
  • Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 8.56.26 PM