In my new lesson, I will show you how to create a Princess Cat, she is half woman and half cat.
This lesson is designed for an average level of proficiency in Photoshop, it will take you about 2 hours, also a graphics tablet will be a big plus. I love creating hybrids of animals in Photoshop, turning animals into people and vice versa. I hope you try to do this lesson and show me the results!
As usual, the hardest part of the job is finding the idea / topic of the lesson and collecting all the stock images that will help bring the idea to life. I always liked fantastic characters: mermaids, unicorns, horses with wings, etc. Fairy tales, folklore of different countries, walnut and roman mythology are great sources of inspiration for me. These heroes are supernatural, half-half-animal animals. There are a lot of good Photoshop-lessons about animals on the Internet, and I hope that my lesson will be one of them.
Lessons for lesson:
Let’s start with the Princess Cats. I start with the first layer – a black dress. Cut only the dress. This is a nasty job, but you have to do it carefully. So do not rush!
Tip! Use the tool Eraser (Eraser Tool) and graphics tablet to remove the background. Enlarge the image, if necessary, to clearly see all the details and work them out well. It is also worth working with the background, the color of which is opposite to the color of the dress. So the process of mashing the excess will be faster.
Note translator: The author advises to work with the Eraser, but it is easier to work with the layer mask, painting on it with a black brush that will hide the excess. If necessary, you can switch to a white brush and return what was inadvertently removed. We can work without fear of making a mistake and erase too much.
You see that the dress does not look very good below, where the grass overlaps it. We need to fix this with a tool. Finger (Smudge Tool). Again, the use of a graphics tablet will greatly facilitate the work. Take a very small brush size and opacity of 90%. I do not use 100% opacity for this tool, because the result will be rough, and we must achieve realism. We will fix the rest of the details, such as color, saturation, light and contrast, when we add the background. You can use the tool Blackout (Burn Tool) to darken the smeared edges to give volume to the dress.
Let’s cut out the other images, two cats, stock images Cat and White cat. The head of the cat will be made from these two images – the ears and the upper part of the head of the White cat, and the rest – Kota.
Tip! When you cut your hair or fur, do not worry about the details. Just erase the excess along the main shape, and then add hairs with the tool. Finger (Smudge Tool) or Brush (Brush tool). As you can see, the two images have different sizes. Therefore, you need to change the size of the White Cat to 65%. Combine the two images together and erase the extra parts on both layers, as in the screenshot below. We do this in order to give the face feminine features.
Increase image exposure
Another problem you will encounter when combining layers is photo exposure. The white cat has a greater exposure, therefore brighter than the second. For the layer with the cat, I go to Image> Correction> Exposure (Image> Adjustments> Exposure) and set the exposure value to 1.15, the rest of the settings do not touch.
Combination of two layers with cats
It’s time to make a muzzle of one. We work on the layer Cat. I use the tool Finger (Smudge Tool) size of 2 pixels and opacity of 80%, put a tick in the “Use All Layers” (Sample All Layers). The last setting means that even if the two layers with the cats are not merged into one, the Finger will still use the colors and the White cat, along with our current Kota layer.
Be careful, work slowly and pay attention to details. The graphics tablet at this stage is simply worth its weight in gold. The reason for all the experiences is that I want to get a beautiful and attractive white cat. And I am pleased with the result.
When you are satisfied with the result, merge two layers into one. Use the Smudge Tool to draw hairs to create realistic cat hair.
We work with the layer on which the eyes are located. Adjust the size of the eyes under the cat’s face. Erase unnecessary areas as in the image below. Turn your eyes slightly and try to fit them into the cat’s face.
Use the tool Finger (Smudge Tool) for a perfect result. Another useful tool at this stage is Blackout(Burn tool), Lightening (Dodge tool), Brush (Brush), etc. Do everything you need to make your eyes fit perfectly. This is how it should look like now:
Using filter Plastics change the shape of the face. In this step, I also adjusted the glow on the face: the left ear was too bright for a dark background, so using the tool Finger (Smudge Tool) I made it so that the left ear was the same as the right ear.
Now all the layers (Cat, White Cat and Eyes) are merged into one – the Face of the Cat.
It’s time to work on a black dress. The dress is black, but the photo was taken outside in daylight, so it changed colors. We need to fix this with the help of Levels – incoming values are 12, 0.63, 255; output values are 0, 191. Look at the difference between before and after pictures!
In the window Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) set the Saturation value to -30, so we will remove the gaps in the thin places of the dress. But we still see green grass marks, so with a tablet and a tool Finger (Smudge tool) fix this. Darken the desired areas with the tool. Blackout (Burn Tool). Work until you get a good result and don’t forget about the details.
Change the dress size to 65%. Use filter Plastics (Liquify) to make the dress rounded. Duplicate the right side of the dress, flip it horizontally and place it on the left under the layer with the dress.
Transfer the image with the lips to your work file, cut the lips, resize them so that they fit the face. As in most cases, the hardest thing is to pick up the tone and color, glow, saturation and at the same time make the image look one. For this, I used Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) – Color tone – Hue 360, Saturation – Saturation 45, Brightness – Lightness 5, do not forget also to tick Chromaticity – Colorize. Here is the image before and after:
Use the tool Blur (Blur Tool) in order to blur the edges of the lips, so they will look more realistic. Also use Finger (Smudge Tool) with a small brush size and intensity of 60% and work it over the corners of the mouth, make sure that the tone of the lips in this place is mixed with the tone of the coat. Create a new layer under the lip layer, name it “lip shadow”. Following the rule stating that each object should cast a shadow on the surrounding surface, draw a shadow using the tool Brush (Brush tool). I took the color # 6b635c and the opacity 60%. Now your image should look like this:
Open the image with the masks, select the white one and transfer it to the working document, put it on the face of the Cat. Now use the filter Plastics (Liquify) to reshape the mask so that we can see the eyes of the cat. Use the tool Deformation (Wrap) to get a similar result:
Use Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to adjust the color of the mask. Make sure you tick the “Toning»(Colorize), set the following settings 230/13 / -55. Now the mask matches the color of the dress. For better contrast tool Lightening (Dodge Tool) size of 2 pixels brighten the areas shown in the image below. Tool Blackout (Burn Tool) darken the remaining areas, you will get this result:
I have to be honest with you, so I’ll say that it’s better to use a tablet for this step, also zoom in on the image to get a good result. Add a shadow, as we have done in the previous steps. Just open the layer styles and add Shadow (Drop Shadow) with the following settings: black, 80% opacity, angle (angle) 90, distance (distance) 2 and size (size) 8, leave the rest as default.
It was very hard for me to find suitable hands, I looked through many sites and even tried to photograph my hands in different positions. And in the end, I found something that suited me. So cut the hands and resize them.
There is a small difference between the saturation of the neck and the arms, so let’s fix this. Open the window Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and lower saturation to -50. Also add a shadow on the skin from the dress hangers to the areas marked below:
Also important are the shading hands on the dress. For them, create a new layer under the layer with the hands and using a round Brushes (Brush), changing the size and opacity, just draw a shadow. I did it with the color # 0b0b13.
I do not like the color of gloves, I want them to match the tone of the dress and mask. To do this, I simply create a layer above the glove layer and with Brushes (Brush) I will paint over gloves with # 313150. Layer overlay mode set Hard light (Hard light) and opacity 60%.
Each princess should have a crown or tiara. Therefore, cut the gold crown and adjust its size. Create a shadow from the crown, as we did with the hands. Can use tools Blackout (Burn tool) and Lightening (Dodge tool) to make the crown more contrast and sparkling. I zoomed in if necessary and used a 2 pixel brush.
Now I will add a magic wand to the cat. To do this, just draw a narrow rectangle, raster it and remove the areas hidden by hands. Adding a layer style Gradient (Grdient Overlay) – a line of black, white and black colors. Do not forget the shaded parts (use Dimming – Burn tool) in the place where the hands hold the wand. Select the tip of the wand and increase the brightness of this part, so you get a silver tip.
I will use the ready-made background for the room. Therefore, I simply copy the image into my working paper and post it as I like. As you may have noticed, the image is too bright and the Cat does not really fit into the picture. Therefore, I must darken the image.
First adjust the light and saturation of the entire image with Color / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) – Hue – Hue 0, Saturation – Saturation -90, Brightness – Lightness -45, a tick on the Color – Colorize is not needed.
Then with the tool Blackout (Burn tool) darken the wall. Brighten the floor in the foreground with a tool Lightening (Dodge tool), so you give depth to the image.
Resize the image with curtains, cut only the curtains. Now cut out the three parts of the curtain (top, left and right) and place them on three different layers. Duplicate the tip layer and place as shown below. Now we have four layers with curtains.
I edit the curtains a bit with the tool Finger (Smudge Tool). It is hard work, you must do it carefully with a graphic tablet. So zoom in and start fixing the curtains! Use a small brush size, opacity 80 – 100%, it looks like a painting.
Open the style window for these layers and add Shadow (Drop Shadow). Use default values, just change the angle. The angle for each layer is shown in the image below. You will see that only the left curtain has its own corner.
Shadow settings for three curtains: Blend mode – Blend mode Multiply – Multiply, opacity – opacity 75, angle – angle 56, tick on Use global illumination – Use global light, offset – distance 8, span – spread 0, size – size 13.
Shadow settings for the left curtain: angle 120, do not put a tick on Use global lighting, the rest of the settings are the same.
Select layers with curtains and merge them into one. Call the window Hue / Saturation (Hue / Saturation) to change the color of the curtains from red to dark blue using the following settings: Color tone – Hue 240, Saturation – Saturation 15, Brightness – Lightness -60, do not forget also to tick the Color – Colorize.
Tools Blackout and Lightening (Burn tool Dodge tool) Add contrast to the curtains. Also create a new layer under the curtain layer and draw the shadow of the curtains on the floor, as we did in the previous steps with other objects (use Brush – Brush, Blur – Blur, etc.) If you want, you can add a beautiful pattern on the wall after you edit it with Hue / Saturation and change the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay).
I decided to add some pearls to the curtains, the dress and the floor, I think it will be a beautiful combination. Round tight Brush (Brush) with color # e3dcc5 and size from 6 to 13 pixels, I draw small round figures. You can make several layers: one above the layer with the dress, the second under the dress, the third under the curtains, so the pearls will look more natural.
Transform these flat points into pearls by adding Shadows (Drop Shadow), Inner shadow (Drop Shadow), Internal glow (Inner Glow).
Shadow: Blend mode – Blend mode Multiply – Multiply, opacity – opacity 75, angle – angle 56, tick Use global light – Use global light, offset – distance 5, spread – spread 0, size – size 5.
Inner shadow: Blend mode – Blend mode Multiply – Multiply, opacity – opacity 75, angle – angle -135, offset – distance 5, dragging – choke 0, size – size 5.
Internal luminescence: Blend mode – Blend mode Screen – Screen, opacity – opacity 75, noise – noise 0, method – soft technique – softer, source – edge source – edge, choke – choke 0, size – size 5.
Another important thing is creating a shadow under each pearl. To do this on a new layer using Brushes (Brush) draw a shadow under the pearls that lie on the floor.
A bit of light and shadow before the final result.
The image looks good, but it is still a bit flat, so I want to add dark and light areas. It is easiest to do this by creating a new layer above all the others and using a round Brushes (Brush) color # 1d1d20 to draw light and shadow. Change the blending mode for this layer to Hard light (Hard light). This is what mine looks like now Princess Cat:
(click on image to enlarge)