Creating realistic blood in Photoshop

Using this image, I will try to create the effect of realistic blood with shadows dynamically flowing from the lips. Without flat shades. Blood will flow down the skin from the lips, ending with a small drop on the chin.



Basic tools / filters needed to give a realistic blood look:
Variations (Variations);
Historybrush (Archival brush);
Blur (Blur);
Sharpening (Sharpness);
Smudge (Smearing);
SpotHealingBrush (Curing brush);
Burn (Dimmer) and Dodge (Clarifier).

Step 1. Choose a tool Lasso (Lasso) in the toolbar. I note that you need to pay particular attention to the curved lines of the area where you will use the tool. Lasso (Lasso) (because the blood changes its direction all the time, becoming like a curve). Create a thin selection (in this case, from the corner of the mouth to the chin line). From the Toolbar, select a tool. MagicWand (Magic wand), right click and set the value Feather (Feathering) by 0.5. Feather (Feathering) very important because it softens the edges of the area where there will be blood.

Step 2. Go to menu Image>Adjustments>Variations (Image> Correction> Variations). Here you choose the color, saturation and brightness of the blood. I prefer the blood of darker and colder shades, but at this stage you can choose the settings at your discretion.

Moving on to mitigate: a suitable tool for this would be a tool. HistoryBrush (Archival brush).

Step 3. After you set the appropriate color, select the tool HistoryBrush (Archival brush) in the Toolbar (values Opacity (Opacity) and Flow (Intensity) should not be high), then carefully sweep it only along the edges of the blood (for example, where the natural skin shadow is mixed with red). Your task is not to erase the entire red color, but to add volume. Smoothed edges should not be transparent or too textured.

Choose a tool Lasso (Lasso) and repeat the process with Feather (Feathering) and Variations (Variations). Now that you have such a rich red color, it’s time to blur the color a bit. Filter>Blur>GaussianBlur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur) and blur the selection by setting a radius of about 2.6 px.

Step 4. A continuous process will follow. Lasso (Lasso), Variations (Variations), HistoryBrush (Archival brush) and Blurring (Blur). Again, I leave it to your discretion how the blood will flow (a lot and in an arbitrary direction or in the form of a steady stream). Here are a few selections that I created, where after each application Variations (Variations) I applied a little blur (blur) and erased unnecessary.

Step 5. Cheat …
Realistic, volumetric blood requires realistic light reflexes. This is quite doable, but why not simplify your task and not take advantage of what you already have? Lips are a great example of how great a job can look. Variations(Variations) (as opposed to flat red). The existing light on the lips (as in this image) can be used as the light reflexes of the blood. The texture of the lips can play the same role due to its shadows and highlights. The same principle applies in cases where you want to make the effect of bloody tears out of the eyes, usually there are always areas with natural light in the lower edge of the eyes.

Remember, I said that I was going to get a spreading, dark, dense stream of blood with small clots at the bottom and around the edges. Once you have achieved the desired result of the blood stream and everything seems to take the necessary form, you will need to add additional light reflexes, passing from the darker and lighter shadows, which will give a feeling of greater realism. You will need 6 special tools: Burn and Dodge (Dimmer and clarifier); Smudge (Smear / finger); Sponge (Sponge) (or function Hue/Saturation (Hue / Saturation)); Sharpen (Sharpness); SpotHealing (Healing Brush).

Step 6. Creating light reflexes.
Stop your eyes on any place where red color tones dominate and any similar ones that seem slightly mixed. Then select the tool in the toolbar. Dodge (Clarifier). Install radius (radius) no more than 8px (I usually work with 3-5px), range (range) set to midtones (medium tones). Medium red tones will become brighter. Exposure (exposure) set 20-25 (no need to make the red color too bright). Using the tool Dodge (Clarifier), create a small dot in any part of the red color. You will notice that the red color will start to become brighter. Carefully continue to brighten, but take care not to lose the red color (if you brighten the area too much, then the red color may turn into gray-brown or even gray).

Then replace midtones (mid tone) on highlights (Sveta) (this will only brighten a very bright red tint). Now you can set a 10px brush for the tool Dodge (Clarifier). Walk them slowly in areas where the middle tones have just been clarified. You will notice that a red color will begin to appear. If this happens, then continue to lighten the area, using the tool occasionally. Sponge(Sponge) to reduce saturation. Do not stop working with the tool Dodge (Clarifier) until the clarified area becomes completely white. Repeat this process with other red areas where you find it necessary to add highlights.

Step 7. Formation of the light reflex.
This part is left entirely at your discretion and on how you think light reflexes should look. They may be larger, wider or smaller and thinner, may be zigzag or absolutely straight. Unleash the imagination. The blood itself can sometimes have very unusual, abstract light reflexes … and sometimes not have them at all. But in artwork (especially in collages) you can calmly explain that if there are very bright reflexes – a bright light falls from somewhere, or vice versa, if not bright enough, then for a certain section it just looks better. When you’re ready to get to work, remember: never go overboard with light reflexes, too much blood is transfused – not blood.

Choose the smudge tool (Smearing / Finger) in the toolbar, Strenght (intensity) 50%, Brush (Brush) 10px (approximately). Slowly guide them through the previously clarified area. This action should set the direction for the entire blood plot. Once you are satisfied with the result you get, reduce the brush size to about 3px, set Strenght (intensity) about 70-85%. This will determine the type of blood. Repeat this process as many times as necessary, as much as you want, or until it all starts to look like realistic light reflexes on a flowing blood stream … this is just a simple example of how easy it is to depict a light reflex.

Step 8. Sharpening
Then, naturally, why not play a little with the sharpness of the blood and its light reflexes … It will show them even more and make them brighter and clearer. But again, do not overdo it. If you overdo it, the result can be terrifying.

SpotHealingBrush (Spot Healing Brush) – This is what I often use in my work, including this method of creating blood. Set it to mode ProximityMatch (Selected), It is an excellent corrective tool that can clone surrounding details with the desired texture and other effects. Combine it with the tool.

Sharpen (Sharpness) it is also a great way to achieve a stunning effect in selected areas.

Step 9. Blood discoloration and darkening
You can do this using tools. Sponge (Sponge) and Burn (Dimmer), or go to menu Hue\Saturation (Hue \ Saturation) (Image\Adjustments (Image \ Correction).
Sponge (Sponge): Mode (Mode) Desaturate (Bleaching)/ Flow (Intensity): about 40%.
Burn (Dimmer): Range (Range): Midtones (Mid Tones) / Exposure (Exposure): about 40%.
Hue\Saturation (Hue \ Saturation) – Edit (Editing): Reds (Red).
This will help reduce saturation and darken colors at the same time. To keep other red tones from working, change the instrument Lasso (Lasso), Highlight areas of bright red blood where you would like to lower the tone a little.

Note: By adding saturation and darkening to red, the blood becomes more realistic.
… it’s all! No layers, no dirt. Do not need any brushes or any additions. But remember, this is all done from scratch, from nothing. This is just a simple example of how to draw blood. Successes!


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