Tools taught: Dodge, Burn, Sponge, Liquify, Loading Brushes
- Open Photoshop and open a photo of yourself. Try finding a good photo with crisp quality, good lighting, and where the person is looking directly at the camera. Photos with your mouth slightly open work the best. Don’t squint your eyes. The wider your eyes are, the easier step three will be.
- Make a copy of the background layer by pressing Ctrl + J (Layer via Copy). We do this in case you need to start over. You can delete the original layer once you have finished the assignment.
- Use the Clone Stamp tool to stamp out the iris (colored part of the eye). Spread the white of the eye across the whole eye. If you have difficulty using the white part of your eye as a source, try using a tooth to clone. If the color appears splotchy, use the Smudge Tool to blend the colors.
- For steps 4-6 use a soft brush. Use the Dodge Tool to brighten the whites of the eye. Use the Sponge Tool to desaturate any color of the eye. For both tools, set the exposure amount to 25%. You can go over the areas several times to intensify the effect.
- Use the Burn Tool at 25% to darken areas (midtones) around the eyes (focusing on the underside and inner corners). You can go back over the area to create a darker color. Use a bigger brush for the burn tool to hallow out the cheeks and damage the neck. “Burn” the rest of the body with various degrees of exposure. Leave some skin as is (normal). Heavily burn any wrinkles or creases (joints). Go really heavy on the fingers. Use the burn tool to damage the clothes.
- Use the Sponge Tool at 25% to desaturate your flesh. Desaturating removes color from the image. Do not desaturate your entire flash. Leave some in its natural state.
- Convert your Image to a Smart Object. Right click on the layer>Convert to SmartObject. Then go to Filter>Liquify to melt (warp) certain facial features. Be sparing with this tool. Too much can make your zombie look cartoonish. Use only the Forward Warp tool inside Liquify to slightly drag your bottom lip downward. You will want to use the Mask tool under Advanced options to protect the rest of your face when you are warping certain areas. Drag one of your eyes downward. You can use the Reconstruct Tool (below the Forward Warp) to repair any distortions that need to be fixed. Press OK when you are happy with your edit
Since we made the edit using a Smart Object you can go back into the Liquify filter and make edits.
- This step will require you to download custom brushes. Select your Burn Tool We use this tool because it will make your color slightly darker. Change the exposure to 100%. Open the brush settings and choose Load Brushes. Use a brushes shaped like cracks to damage your skin. You must reduce the brush size. This is a good time to review that the brackets on your keyboard control the size of a brush. Burn a few cracks into your body.
To find brushes, search the internet for Photoshop Brush. Here’s a link that I used. https://www.brusheezy.com/brushes/1442-crack-brushes-i The brush I chose: Cracks brushes
- Create a new layer. Select the Brush Tool. Using a soft round brush, change the brush opacity to 20% (options bar). Go to your swatches panel and select a dark cool brown color. Paint “dirt” on areas of your clothing that should appear like you have been in the dirt (if you weren’t able to burn your clothes in step 5)
- Change your foreground color to a dark red (RGB 99, 0, 0). Add a new layer and paint blood splatters using custom brushes. Working with multiple layers and masking will help you create realistic blood. Use the Burn Tool to give depth to your blood drips. Decorate the background. Refer to the end example for ideas.
I found really cool blood brushes here: https://www.brusheezy.com/brushes/57005-blood-splatter-brushes. Here is the download brush file.